Latina entrepreneurs find a space online to thrive in pandemic
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Amaury Vidales holds a shirt with a number so viewers of her "Amaury's Accessories" livestream can comment and purchase the shirt through a Facebook Live event inside of her Eden Prairie, Minn., home on March 10.

By  Kathryn Styer Martinez

Amaury Vidales goes live weekly on her Facebook page, Amaury Accesorios, to show prospective shoppers what new things she has to sell — but it’s not just another virtual boutique.

Between the spontaneous bidding wars, music and banter with customers, Vidales creates a shopping experience that is a mix of buzzing zocalos found in the centers of Mexican cities, bustling open-air tianguis where shoppers can find all manner of items and an artisan handmade crafts fair.

Photo: Evan Frost | MPR News

She tries to include a new surprise item each week. Recently, it was a mini lavadero for makeup brushes. “Everybody in Mexico has [a lavadero] in [their] house,” said Vidales. The small handmade replica comes complete with a mini soap and it’s own carrying case.

Vidales, 47, represents a new kind of entrepreneur, someone who’s built a following online for experiences that have become scarce during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the process, she’s created an online space for community members to come together in an isolated world.

“It’s kind of like an escape from home and escape from your job. It’s like a fun place to hang out,” said her daughter, Regina Olono Vidales. “Most people just show up and they stay the full four hours.”

Her mother is also part of a growing wave of Latino small business owners in Minnesota and across the country. Latino-owned businesses grew by 34 percent compared to non-Latinos at just 1 percent over the past decade, according to a recent study by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

That report also found Latina business owners had been especially hurt by the pandemic, making Vidales’ success that much more intriguing.

Frida Kahlo an inspiration

Vidales reaches clients through her Facebook page, negotiates sales and follow-up calls through messaging applications and even sources her suppliers through Instagram accounts. All payments are made virtually.

She launched in 2019, before the pandemic, as a way to help pay her daughter’s college tuition and other family expenses. She said when she started, there were only a few other women like her selling goods through their social media accounts. The market exploded last year as COVID-19 kept people away from public gathering spaces.

Olono Vidales helps her mother with the weekly live events, along with her 12-year-old brother and Vidales’ husband, both named Javier.

On a recent broadcast, Vidales dressed in a shirt reminiscent of one worn by Salma Hayek in the movie “Frida.” She freshened her lipstick and turned on her ring light and smartphone as Latino pop music set the mood in the background.

As the four-hour event rolled on, the energy turned up. Vidales greeted people coming into the live chat by name while showing items for sale accompanied by their item number. Sometimes, bidding wars ensue, Olono Vidales said.

Vidales, who grew up in Sonora, Mexico, had long wanted to become a business owner. The virtual boutique has helped make her less shy and a polished public speaker, her daughter said.

Frida Kahlo’s importance to the boutique transcends fashion. The painter is prominent in many of the images. Women, especially Mexican women, look up to Kahlo as someone who achieved so much and never gave up despite her suffering.

Read the full article at mprnews.

Supporting an inclusive economy: small businesses, Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, and their intersection
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woman's hand pictured holding pen and calculator

For many of us, connections to small businesses are deeply personal—your local barber shop or family dentist, the spot for the best pizza in town, the small contractor you call to fix your leak.

Businesses like these make up the fabric of our communities—but many don’t realize what a big role they play, collectively, in the U.S. economy.

However, they face unique challenges even in the strongest of times and now, amidst the covid-19 pandemic, many small businesses are struggling to survive.

The situation at hand

JPMorgan Chase Institute research found that prior to the covid-19 pandemic, typical small businesses had only enough cash on hand to keep the lights on for two to three weeks. This was even more pronounced for small businesses in majority-Black and Latinx communities, where the typical business had only one to two weeks of reserves.

Interestingly, researchers found that in the Fall of 2020, many small businesses actually had cash reserves at higher levels than normal. This seems like great news—but when you look under the hood, the situation is more precarious. [3]

There are two factors to explain the elevated reserves: 1) an injection of cash from federal and local policy shored up many of the businesses likely to face a shortfall, and 2) a decision many businesses made to delay or dial back payments on things like upkeep of key assets, limiting wages or employee benefits, or other choices that may not be financially healthy in the months or years ahead.[4]

So, while cash balances are larger than usual, they may not be enough for small businesses to continue to survive in these tumultuous times. Expenses have already begun to outpace revenue. This trend could have a disproportionate impact on Black- and Latinx-owned companies, that tend to experience lower revenues and profit margins compared to white-owned counterparts.[5]

Help in many forms

Many small businesses face similar challenges: lack of access to capital and resources to grow. However, businesses owned by people of color and other underserved groups face these challenges more acutely. For example, according to the JPMorgan Chase Institute, Black, Latinx and women-owned small businesses are underrepresented among firms with substantial external financing. While there are no simple solutions, business, government and nonprofit leaders should work together to support, sustain and grow these critical enterprises.

For example, December’s $900 billion stimulus package included a second infusion of PPP funds, with $12 billion set aside for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).

While the terms might be unfamiliar, you likely already know your local CDFI or MDI. Some local banks or credit unions might fall into this category.

An MDI is a bank whose ownership or leadership is made up of a majority of people of color. CDFIs are community lenders, which primarily finance in low- and moderate-income communities and focus on small businesses, as well as affordable housing and nonprofits. Both MDIs and CDFIs earn these designations from the federal government, due to the vital financial services they provide in communities that are often underserved. CDFIs in particular are designed to meet these needs by offering capital and guidance to help ensure the success of vulnerable businesses. We think that’s a winning combination.

But MDIs and CDFIs need banks to provide additional capital to fund this critical work in communities. Here’s where JPMorgan Chase comes in.

Part of the solution

We believe that business has a role to play in addressing societal issues, along with business and community leaders. JPMorgan Chase is committed to building a more inclusive economy and our support for small business, especially in Black and Latinx communities, is a critical element of this work.

That’s why, in February, the firm announced new initiatives focused on providing MDIs and diverse-led CDFIs with additional access to capital, connections to institutional investors, specialty support for Black-led commercial projects, and mentorship and training opportunities. Initial investments and commitments to minority-owned and Black-led MDIs included Liberty Bank and Trust, M&F Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank and Broadway Federal Bank. The firm also committed $42.5 million to expand the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to reach new U.S. cities in 2021, providing loans and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses in collaboration with LISC and a network of CDFIs. Since its inception in Detroit in 2015, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund has deployed more than $32 million to Black, Latinx and other underserved entrepreneurs, including Jimmie Williams from Chicago, who received a small business loan to scale his landscaping company. In addition, we continue our direct support for small business, including through PPP.

This work is part of the $30 billion commitment over five years we announced in October 2020 to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities to help close the racial wealth divide. The firm is continuing to put this commitment into practice by combining our business, policy, data and philanthropic expertise.

We are committing $350 million over five years to help grow Black, Latinx, woman-owned and other underserved small businesses. This includes:

Philanthropy, low-cost loans and direct equity investments: Supporting the signature Ascend Program, helping build the capacity of diverse-led nonprofits across the globe to more effectively support entrepreneurs, and investing in early-stage businesses to help companies drive economic opportunity, including in Black and Latinx communities. Last month we made our initial direct equity investment in Bitwise Industries.
Policy: Releasing new data-driven policy solutions such as increasing resources for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan program, which provides loans of up to $50,000 to help small businesses. The firm will support advancing these policy reforms to help address the immediate and long-term challenges small business owners face.
Supplier diversity: Spending an additional $750 million with Black and Latinx suppliers, and co-investing up to $200 million in middle market businesses that are or will be minority owned via a new initiative with Ariel Alternatives.
Wrap-around support: Launching a nationwide Minority Entrepreneurs program to help entrepreneurs in historically underserved areas access 1:1 coaching, technical assistance and capital.

Together, these commitments will help reduce barriers to capital access and support the growth of thousands of additional underserved businesses.

Read the full article on the Washington Post.

Hispanics In Wine Organization Aims To Empower Latinx Wine Communities
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two women smile at the camera and hold a glass of wine as the sun sets in the background

Social organization Hispanics in Wine was founded with the aim of promoting equality and diversity and helping Latinx professionals advance in the wine industry. Founded in September 2020, it consists of a social media space and website which serve as a digital platform for insight into opportunities and resources for members of the community.

It was established by Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert alongside wine professional Ivonne Nill. The organization’s mission is to give back to Spanish-speaking communities by promoting equality and helping the new generation of Latinx professionals advance in the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine also intends to help wine companies better communicate with their Spanish-speaking consumers.

Photo: Forbes

Cofounders Maria Calvert and Lydia Richards met while working in wine public relations at Colangelo & Partners, a well-known agency with offices in New York and California. Calvert, a native of Quito, Ecuador, is currently working as an independent Public Relations Consultant with a focus on startup and established brands in wine and food, while Richards, who hails from Panama, recently started a job as PR Manager at Taub Family Companies: Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections.

At this time Hispanics in Wine has more than 30 members and is prepared to grow as word spreads within the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine aims to encourage and connect people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their career path in the industry through the organization. It also intends to help wine brands and companies cater to the Latinx population in the U.S., whose buying power is forecasted to top $1.9 trillion by 2023.

As Women’s Month draws to a close, we are concluding our focus on women in the wine industry with this interview of co-founder Maria Calvert.

World Wine Guys: What was the impetus behind starting Hispanics in Wine?

Maria Calvert: In 2018, I transitioned to the wine industry and met Lydia Richards at a public relations agency. As part of our PR jobs, we work closely with all types of professionals in the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries, including sommeliers, retail stores, restaurants, trade, press, wine brands, winemakers, marketing professionals, and many others. Coming new into the wine industry, you see people of color cutting the grapes and working behind the scenes, but we noticed the lack of representation and diversity when attending trade events, press trips, and executive meetings. In addition to the lack of BIPOC, Hispanic, and Latinx professionals in decision-making roles, we noticed the lack of Spanish language resources for our community, brands neglecting Hispanic and Latinx consumers, and the need to amplify the work done by vineyard stewards.

As a result of our professional experience as two Latina immigrants in the wine industry and Covid disproportionately impacting the hospitality industry and minority communities, we decided to launch Hispanics in Wine in September 2020. We chose this month in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Culturally, Hispanics and Latinx work together as a community; it’s part of our pride, family, our roots. Community is so important to us, and this is something that we are trying to replicate with Hispanics in Wine. We created this centralized digital space for individuals to feel welcomed by the industry, to find important English and Spanish resources, to provide a sense of community with other Hispanics & Latinx alcohol and hospitality professionals, and more importantly, to educate the public about our communities and amplify the diverse talent and knowledge we offer and promote more representation in the industry.

WWG: Which areas of the wine community have you drawn members from thus far? 

MC: The Hispanics in Wine team are four women with different professional careers, hailing from different countries, and different journeys in the wine industry: Lydia Richards, Ivonne Nill, Emilia Alvarez, and myself. It is important to highlight our team diversity because it allows us to understand the industry’s needs, bridging the gap for opportunities and language, and build a broad Hispanic and Latinx beverage and hospitality community.

As a result of our team’s efforts and continued outreach, we have connected with wine professionals across the United States and worldwide. We have a community that covers the spectrum of wine and hospitality. For example, we have Nial Harris García, Wine Director at the Conrad Hotel in Washington D.C., Hugo Arias, Head Sommelier at The Grill in Washington D.C., Gabriela Fernández, Marketing and Event Coordinator for a California wine producer, Jesica Vargas, Founder and Wine Blogger of AndesUncorked, DeAnna Ornelas, President of non-profit organization AHIVOY, Sam Parra, Owner of PARRA Wines Co., and many others. Our Hispanics in Wine community is growing every day, and we have received tremendous support from many wine professionals in the industry who want to help in any way possible.

WWG: How are you reaching Latinx members of the wine community in order to let them know about Hispanics in Wine?

MC: We are working with our Hispanics in Wine community to help spread the word, share the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series” within their network, and notify other Hispanics and Latinx professionals about this initiative. We started Hispanics in Wine on social media, and we now have a website. We have received inquiries from individuals trying to pursue a career in wine who reached out to us via Instagram, and individuals who found our website via Google search. We have also received inquiries from other Hispanic and Latinx professionals asking how they can help with the initiative and perhaps serve as mentors.

WWG: Can you tell us about some of the initiatives that Hispanics in Wine has implemented?

MC: We launched the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” where the team conducts virtual English and Spanish interviews with talented Hispanic and Latinx professionals in the United States and worldwide, such as sommeliers, wine producers, marketing experts, retailer owners, portfolio specialists, social influencers, and bloggers, to learn about their journey in the wine industry, speak about educational opportunities, and provide essential advice to the next generation as well as changes they want to see in the industry.

Our mission with these interviews is to inspire individuals to enter the industry, thereby increasing the talent we offer as a community. Ultimately, we want to increase pressure on companies to hire Hispanic and Latinx professionals for leadership roles, drawing from our deep well of unique backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints. According to Nielsen data, by 2023, we expect the buying power of the U.S. Latinx population to top $1.9 trillion, which is higher than the gross domestic product of countries like Australia, Spain, and Mexico. Targeting this quickly growing consumer base by aligning with Hispanic and Latinx values has never been more critical.

Through the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” we also aim to highlight the diverse backgrounds of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States and worldwide. We hail from vastly different geographies, whether Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Spain, or the United States; we have different traditions, we look different, and in some instances, we claim unique local languages, such as Guaraní in Paraguay, Catalan in Spain, or Quechua in Ecuador.

Additionally, with our public relations expertise, we are also working with the local and national press to include Hispanics and Latinx alcohol beverage and hospitality professionals at the forefront for feature stories and share their knowledge with key external stakeholders. In the near future, we hope to execute a program aimed at providing educational training, scholarships, and professional opportunities for advancing in the industry – both via in-house opportunities and partnerships with external organizations. Lastly, we are also looking to partner with wine companies looking to tap into the Hispanic and Latinx consumer market.

Read the full article at Forbes.

She was American’s first Latina to captain a flight. Now, she’s a pioneer poet, too
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Linda Pauwels sitting in the pilots quarters of a plane

BY WALTER VILLA, MIAMI HERALD

In 2000, Linda Pauwels became a pioneer pilot, the first Latin woman ever to captain an American Airlines flight.

Now she’s a pioneer poet, too.

Last year, she authored “Beyond Haiku: Pilots Write Poetry.” In the 50-page book, she incorporated the contributions of 40 pilots, including her own prose. She also asked the children of pilots — ages 6 to 17 — to contribute illustrations to accompany the poems. She used the work of 18 artists.

Weston’s Liz Booker, the founder of the Aviatrix Book Review website — which details more than 500 books of all genres that feature women in aviation — was impressed with “Beyond Haiku.”

“The book is the first of its kind that I’m aware of,” said Booker, a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot. “I’ve seen poetry books by a pilot. But I’ve never seen a collection of poems from different pilots, especially with children doing the artwork.”

Pauwels got the idea for the book last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the airline industry, leaving many families hurting. To help, Pauwels is donating all proceeds from the book to the Allied Pilots Association’s Emergency Relief and Scholarship Fund, which works in support of furloughed pilots and their families.

In the first three months since publication, Pauwels has been able to raise $2,200.

But Pauwels, a 57-year-old part-time Miami resident, has only just begun. She has written a second book, “Beyond Haiku: Women Pilots Write Poetry,” which is set to be released this summer.

She is also still an active pilot for American Airlines. In fact, on March 8, to promote International Women’s Day as well as her second poetry book, the plan is that she will captain a flight from Miami to Dallas. The entire crew will be female, including Pauwels’ first officer as well as eight flight attendants.

“The March 8 flight will bring back memories,” Pauwels said. “I was part of American’s second all-female crew in 1989. The first one was in 1987.”

COMING TO MIAMI
Born in Argentina, Pauwels lost her father when she was 6 years old. Within four months, Pauwels’ mother, Mabel, moved the family to Miami, where Linda dreamed of becoming a doctor.

But after Mabel started working at Miami International Airport as a traffic and operations agent for TACA Airlines, Pauwels’ interest in flight grew.

Pauwels, while working a night shift at the front desk of a Miami Beach hotel, was also a full-time, straight-A student at Miami Dade College’s Career Pilot/Flight Engineer program. She graduated from MDC in 1985, and American Airlines hired her in 1988 as a flight engineer on a Boeing 727.

Her interest in writing goes back a long way. In fact, she was the Orange County Register’s first aviation columnist in the mid-2000s.

Pauwels, who speaks Spanish, English and French, has a graduate degree in education. She will soon dive into Mandarin so she can be ready to resume piloting American’s post-COVID-19 flights to China.

Pauwels’ main residence is in the Dallas area, where American is headquartered. She recently got caught up in mid-February’s Texas snowstorm.

A married mother of two adult children, Pauwels and her husband were without power for four days during the storm. Outside their doors were 8 inches of snow. Inside, with the thermometer reading 37 degrees, Pauwels wrote two haikus, including:

Three mourning doves

Sit, puffy chested

Snowy bamboo fence

SOFTER SIDE OF PILOTS
Pauwels admits poetry is not known to be popular among mostly male aviators.

But she also thought writing haikus could help pilots deal with the stress of the job.

“Pilots live in a world of structure — we fly by the rules,” Pauwels said. “This book deconstructs some of that rigidity and allows the people on the other side of the cockpit doors to see that there is a softer side to the men and women who fly.”

As for her book’s artwork, Pauwels said she knew “poems alone wouldn’t cut it, and I wanted to give children an opportunity to create in their own style.”

Callista Chabot, a 17-year-old from New Hampshire, is drawing the cover illustration for Pauwels’ second book. The illustration depicts a butterfly riding on the nose of an airplane.

“I like the contrast between masculinity and femininity,” said Chabot, whose father, Jason, is a captain.

Chabot, who dreams of writing and illustrating her own children’s books one day, said she was thrilled to be selected for a book by women poets.

“I’m a strong feminist,” she said. “To get to work on a project written by women who work in a male-dominated industry is cool.”

Click here to read the full article on the Miami Herald.

Rosalía Just Revealed An Espadrille Air Force 1 On Instagram And I Am Spiraling
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Rosalia wearing a colorful bandana and looking at the camera

By Kelsey Stiegman, Yahoo Life

Yesterday, Rosalía gave fans a sneak peek at what seems to be an upcoming Nike collab starring the internet’s favorite shoe. The singer shared a video showing off the “AFI ESPADRILLE,” a Spanish take on the famed sneaker style.

Rosalía’s shoes combine the classic shape of an Air Force 1, with details taken from Spain’s traditional sandals, including a suede upper, ribbon laces, and a contrast stitch at the sole.

Inside the shoe, reads the phrase: “We just did it, Rosalía.”

As of now, Rosalía hasn’t expanded on her original post. It’s unclear whether these are a one-off design made custom for Rosalía or if these will soon hit Nike stories across the nation. That being said, the singer has been dropping hella hints on her Instagram over the past few months. First, there was this subtle shot of the espadrille sneakers…

A few days later, she posted a selfie, captioned: “Just did it.” In the pic, Rosalía wears nothing but a swoosh-printed sports bra.

Back in January, she even wore a Nike puffer jacket in the “Lo Vas a Olvidar” music video with Billie Eilish. (I’m not even including all the other Nike sneakers she’s worn because we’d be here all day.)

To learn more about Rosalia’s teaser for Nike, click here.

DC Universe’s Latina ‘Supergirl’ makes history
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Sasha Calle attends the Television Academy Daytime Programming Cocktail Reception at Television Academy's Wolf Theatre at the Saban Media Center on August 28, 2019 in North Hollywood, California

By Sonia Ramirez

Sasha Calle was in tears when she got the news from director Andy Muschietti that she had landed the coveted role of Supergirl for the upcoming DC movie “The Flash.”

The 25-year-old Colombian actress was visibly emotional as Muschietti shared the news through Instagram, asking the actress, “Can you fly?”

(Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

Through a video conference, Muschietti brought out the Supergirl cape and told Calle, “You’re Supergirl,” to which Calle asked, “Can I freak out for a second?”

Calle, who is known for her role as Lola Rosales on “The Young and the Restless,” shared the news on her Instagram and wrote, “Una latina súper héroe?! En que planeta?! Pues en este planeta!! (“A Latina superhero?! On what planet?! Well, on this planet!).

Calle was chosen from more than 425 auditioners, according to D’Alessandro.

Read full article at Chron.

Habits Highly Successful Business Managers Have (and How to Get Them)
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Latina business woman professional in a suit standing looking confident with arms crossed

According to Gallup, bad managers cost businesses billions each year, and account for at least 70% of variances in employee engagement scores. Having a highly successful business manager is crucial to the overall success of a company.

The problem, however, is that not everyone knows what type of habits effective managers have. By being able to identify what those habits are, businesses can take action to find the right people to fill the position, and managers can boost their productivity and increase their efficiency.

“There is always room for improvement, no matter how great of a manager you are,” explains Leon Goren, president and chief executive officer of PEO Leadership. “The good news is that making those improvements can often be simple. It’s just a matter of taking the steps to make it happen, to incorporate new habits that will lead to better outcomes.”

When managers take action to create effective habits, they see positive results in the overall success of their business. Here are some of the habits of highly successful business managers and how to nurture them:

  • Delegation skills. Highly successful leaders know how to delegate, rather than trying to do everything on their own. It’s imperative to learn to trust the people on your team.  If this is an issue for you, start by delegating small tasks and building on them. It’s also important that you have the right people in the right jobs.
  • Building a strong team. When hiring for your team, don’t just look at the candidate’s past experience and qualifications. Make sure that they are a good fit for your team and your overall corporate culture. Do they share the same values? Will they fit into your team’s unique dynamics? Do they understand what the expectations are? When you have the most qualified people – from both a fit and skills perspective, you will not only feel comfortable delegating tasks to them, you will also know they are working toward reaching your company goals. The right employees know how to work efficiently, are engaged, and exponentially help the company succeed.
  • Commitment to learning. The best managers never stop learning and understand that they will never know it all. They are committed to their development, they collaborate and bounce ideas off others, and they have mentors and join peer advisory boards to help them create robust and innovative solutions. These leaders continue to learn from others by discussing their challenges and opportunities and leveraging the knowledge and experience of their peers to help them grow. Joining a community like PEO Leadership, through their Senior Leadership Group, is a great investment in your personal, professional, and organizational growth.
  • Moving past fear. Being afraid to act can stifle management, which holds companies back. Highly successful leaders look to the future and are not afraid to take calculated risks. If this is something you are not comfortable with, consider engaging a leadership coach or joining a peer advisory board. Sharing your challenges and opportunities and getting feedback from multiple perspectives on your intended tactics, will enable you to apply the strategic advice to your plans and implement robust solutions. Having a mentor or successful peers review your plans will give you the confidence you need to carry them out.
  • Listening to others. Learn to actively listen to others. This is a skill that many people lack, even though it can be crucial to business success. Listen to your team, colleagues, mentors, etc. Listening doesn’t mean you have to heed their advice; nonetheless, hearing their thoughts, getting multiple perspectives and being an active listener, will help make you a more effective leader.

“It may seem overwhelming for someone to start laying the foundation to create numerous new habits all at once,” says Goren. “The best way to start is by selecting one thing to work on at a time. Once you have a good handle on it, move on to the next habit you’d like to incorporate. Before you know it, you will have many of these down, and it will be smooth sailing.”

PEO Leadership offers an executive leadership community that represents over 100 business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and top executives. Its services include peer advisory boards, executive advisors/coaches, community connections, strategic business advice, an annual world-class leadership conference, and thought leadership events including PEO Leadership’s “The Way Forward” live webcast and podcast. The company is owned by Leon Goren, who has over 25 years of leadership experience.

PEO Leadership offers leadership advisory services in six categories, including for Presidents/C-suite executives of large national and multinational organizations, entrepreneurs of large national and multinational companies, global executives, small business entrepreneurs, senior executives, and businesses in transition. There is a 60-day free trial Leadership Bootcamp available. To get more information or obtain a free trial, visit the site at: https://peo-leadership.com.

About PEO Leadership

PEO Leadership is a Canadian peer-to-peer leadership advisory firm that has been the destination for business leaders to regularly meet and discuss important issues, solve problems and explore new opportunities since 1991. The organization provides a safe and highly confidential environment, with PEO Executive Advisors, who facilitate stimulating and astute dialogue to leverage the collective experience, creativity, intellect and wisdom of the Peer Advisory Board and the PEO Leadership Community at large. They support, cultivate and accelerate business leaders’ leadership excellence to achieve great impact through the organizations they lead, the communities they serve and the lives they live. Current members include Umbra, Miele, Crayola, ThinkOn and Nestle. For more information about the company and services, visit the site at: https://peo-leadership.com.

‘We Are Not The Footnote’: In Photos, Reynaldo Rivera Evokes L.A.’s Queer Latino Bohemia
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black and white image of a man and a woman himself in a mirror

Reynaldo Rivera didn’t pick up a camera with the intention of making art. The Yashica he retrieved from a pile of his father’s things was a way of bringing order to a peripatetic life that had him bouncing between the care of his mother, his grandmother and his father, between Mexicali and Los Angeles, between Stockton and San Diego de la Unión, a small, agricultural outpost in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

“I did it out of this need to have something stable in my life,” he says. “Photography makes time stand still. And for someone who has had a crazy life, hectic and moving (I left home when I was very young), it gave me some kind of normalcy. … It allowed me to freeze time in moments that were special to me, and I was able to relive them over and over.”

Those frozen moments are the slivers of Los Angeles of the 1980s and ‘90s, pieces of city that no longer exist or have been rendered unrecognizable.

For Rivera’s L.A. was a city of $300 apartments and low-budget art happenings. It was a singer roaring into a mic at a house party. It was a turbaned performer swaddled in feathers, staring imperiously at the camera.

These intersecting worlds all materialize in the artist’s beguiling new photographic monograph, “Reynaldo Rivera: Provisional Notes for a Disappeared City,” published by Semiotext(e) last month. Its images also make an appearance in the Hammer Museum’s biennial, “Made in L.A. 2020: a version,” which has yet to open due to the pandemic. (Rivera’s photos, along with a video piece, are featured in the biennial’s parallel shows installed at the Hammer and at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.)

The book gathers 190 images from Rivera’s early career, a time when he was avidly recording his milieu for no purpose other than his own. Rivera photographed artists, writers and curators hamming it up at apartment parties, post-punk bands rocking club stages and Latino drag queens and trans performers in shining gowns putting on resplendent floor shows in old-school Silver Lake bars. It’s a milieu that, like Los Angeles, is largely Latino — straddling both sides of a border along with its in-between states.

Rivera, whose career has been as peripatetic as his life, has shown his work infrequently. But as L.A. has evolved and the neighborhoods he once frequented have been gentrified — and the Latino presence in those neighborhoods has been overwritten — he says he felt an urgency to publish a record of the city as it once was.

“To find things about Latinos, you have to read other people’s footnotes,” he says. “I wanted a book about us in L.A. where we are not the footnote.”

Read the original article at Los Angeles Times.
Study Says Hispanic Consumers Plan to Shop More Online
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Image of presents, with green and red lines on top

The power of the Hispanic community at retail continues to gain ground, according to a Univision proprietary study.

There are 62 million Hispanics in the U.S. accounting for 19 percent of the country’s population. In an interview Tuesday, Univision’s executive vice president of research, insights and analytics Roberto Ruiz referenced the youthful makeup and buying strength of the Hispanic market.

Twenty-three percent of babies born in the U.S. are Hispanic. And Hispanics have a younger median age — 30 compared to 42 for non-Hispanics.

(Image Credit – Morning Consult)

Traditionally, Hispanic consumers have represented a higher percentage of brick-and-mortar shoppers versus online, since in-store shopping is practically a form of entertainment especially among bigger families, Ruiz said.

Previous research has indicated that there is always a sense of discovery in shopping in stores. Before the coronavirus crisis, 53 percent of Hispanic respondents preferred to shop in stores and 47 percent preferred online shopping. The pandemic propelled online shopping and for Hispanics that shifted to 63 percent, Ruiz said.

“What is most surprising is the speed at which the Hispanic consumer has pivoted to e-commerce across categories. Now when Hispanics are asked about what they expect to happen after COVID-19, they are saying that 53 percent of their shopping will be online, compared to 48 percent online for non-Hispanics,” Ruiz said.

As for whether that shift is more indicative of how the pandemic has made many shoppers more comfortable about buying things online and they see no need to return to in-store shopping, he said, “Yes, however, everything we do is comparing Hispanic to non-Hispanic [people]. Non-Hispanics are telling us that 48 percent of their shopping will be online and 52 percent will be brick-and-mortar.” He added that he was surprised that more than half of Hispanic respondents said they will continue to shop online.

Continue to the original article at WWD.

Community Supports Restaurant Owner After The Video About Struggling Business
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Restaurant affected by COVID

Support is pouring in for a Long Beach restaurant owner following an emotional last-ditch plea for help as the business was on the verge of closing due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a tearful video, Oscar Rodriguez, who opened Cantarito Molito’s Grill on Pacific Coast Highway just about a year ago, could be seen tearfully informing his customers that his business has been drowning in debt and may potentially close.

“I don’t want to close my doors. I want to keep going because I do believe in this beautiful restaurant,” Rodriguez said, as he struggled to fight back tears. “I know I need to keep going because help is on the way, but I don’t know I can keep going.”

Like millions of business owners struggling to stay open, Rodriguez says bills are piling up without money coming innot even enough to buy meat for the few orders he had.

“I looked in the drawer and I only had like $50 in there,” he said, urging people to help as much as they can.

The emotional, heartfelt video captured the hearts of many in the community who listened to Rodriguez’s calls for help to keep his 30-year long dream alive. As of Sunday afternoon, the video has picked up over 90,000 views.

Robert Reedy, a resident from Whittier who traveled to Long Beach to eat at Cantarito Molito’s Grill , said Rodriguez’s video “really touched me because I know how much it took for him to make that video, to be that open and lay it all out there it brought tears to my eyes actually,”

Rodriguez says Cantarito Molito’s Grill is more than just a restaurantit’s a part of his community, and one he gives back to.

Some of his loyal customers who were dining at the restaurant Sunday said Rodriguez is known to bring people together with great food.

Rodriguez’s own staff set up a GoFundMe account to accept donations to keep the restaurant going. As of Sunday evening, the account surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000.

Read the original article at KTLA News.

Meet Isabel Ibañez, The Voice of a New Generation of Latinx Authors
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Upper body shot latina wearing jean jacket and white shirt brick wall background

Our Latinx community is full of talent. From musicians to writers, and everything in between, Latinx are creative minds that continue thriving in their spaces while opening paths to their audiences to do the same.

It is a fruitful cycle that will only continue to ignite our upcoming talents — and in this case, we see it exemplified through the experience of Florida-born and Bolivian author Isabel Ibañez.

Ibañez made her debut in the publishing world last year, with her book Woven in Moonlight, which TIME categorized 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, praising “every detail is rich with meaning and nuance.”

The wave of praise she received for her second book, Written in Starlightwhich just came out this month, is much more than anticipated. As a result, we had

(Photo courtesy of Isabel Ibañez)

to dig into Ibañez’s mind to see what and how this author embraces in her Latinx roots, what inspirations she gives to upcoming authors, and of course, how she is staying creative during this pandemic.

Here’s what she had to say!

Tell us about yourself and how your Bolivian roots inspired you both as a writer and in your newest work, Written in Starlight.

Both my books draw from my personal experience of growing up in Bolivia, where most of my family lives. To me, Bolivia is a vibrant and colorful place, with delicious food and incredible art, deeply rooted in artisanal crafting and weaving. Writing about a place I love so much felt natural to me — because my upbringing really shaped me to embrace all aspects of my heritage.

This story is particularly special to me, as it’s primarily inspired by my father and where he was born and raised — the Bolivian Amazon. This book is filled with the foods he ate, what his home looked like, even the bamboo stalks he slept on. It has the river that runs like veins through his pueblo, and where he traveled by canoe.

Written In Starlight also features a lost city — Paititi — that was once thought to be in Bolivia. I’ve always been fascinated by this legend, and I think the last known explorer to go searching for it went into the Bolivian Amazon in 1997, and he never came back out. I don’t know if this city will ever be found and where, but it felt like the perfect home for the Illari, who were largely inspired by Andean peoples in the Bolivian region who were conquered and displaced by the Incas.

Read the full article at Be Latina.

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