How Latinas Play an Important Role in Business

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Carmen Castillo headshot

Carmen Castillo was elected to be Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the USHCC in 2018. She drives the direction of the USHCC and advocates on behalf of the Hispanic business community.

She is also the President and CEO of SDI International Corp. (SDI), which she founded in Florida in 1992. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions for the tail-end, centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay.

As part of her responsibilities at the firm, Carmen is hands on with the overall coordination of company operations, global advertising, business development and marketing programs, along with proposal strategies and preparation.

What is your favorite aspect of being a Latina business owner?

There are about 26 million Latinas in the U.S., and the number of Latina-owned firms has shown tremendous growth in the past decade, at a rate over 130 percent. It’s a thrilling time: to be able to see the how Latinas—who will be a third of the U.S. population in a couple of decades—are contributing to, and will continue to have an enormous impact on the U.S. economy, and in policy.

We still have a lot of work to do: make sure that more Latinas have a seat at the table, in the boardroom, on ballots; keep identifying and supporting programs and funding sources that are truly inclusive, and enable other Latinas, and all women with equitable access to the tools, networks, education, and funding we need to align our potential with revenue-making opportunities.

What is the secret to building meaningful professional relationships?

Networking is part of my DNA, and I started my business initially to be a sort of matchmaker between companies and recruiters primarily in the IT industry. Going to industry and matchmaking events attuned me to supplier diversity, and that led to a transformation in from a small, Florida-based staffing company into a global procurement process outsourcing leader.

It was the connections, the conversations, the referrals, and the trust that we built from going to diversity council conferences, meetings and lots, and lots of networking events that truly opened the doors that made all the difference to our growth. Networking and making connections, and paying it forward by facilitating introductions are some of the best investments you’ll ever make, and the best favors you’ll do for anyone.

Who is your favorite female entrepreneur or influencer?

I’m lucky to work with a lot of amazing women from all over the world, through my work at SDI and the organizations that I support, and honestly, everywhere I go! It’s hard to point out one woman. I’ve been inspired by women who lead multi-billion-dollar corporations (or kingdoms!) and are as humble and approachable as they are brilliant.

I’ve been blown away by women who’ve survived war, violence, and abuse, and had the resilience to start businesses that brought transformative change to their communities. I know women who keep going, take care of their families, companies, employees and communities in spite of debilitating grief and illness. I can think of many more, and I know that the list can go on and on. Women are unstoppable.

How is the role of women in the workplace changing?

I really believe that most companies are committed to diversity and inclusion, and in the past couple of years we’ve seen a little progress in the amount of women in C-level jobs and in boardrooms, but we’re still mostly underrepresented, globally. What’s changing is the narrative; we’re more vocal about the gender and the hiring gap: women are less likely than men to be hired into a manager position, and more often than not there is only one woman in a group of top executives in any given company. Trends are moving upward, which is encouraging, but the pace is still slow.

Who inspires you?

This is another tough one; there a lot of people whose work and passion really take my breath away, but one of them is José Andrés, and not just because we share a love for cooking! He’s someone who’s really dedicated to giving back. There’s a lot to admire: he started World Central Kitchen right after the earthquake in Haiti, to help the country. He organizes meals for people in need throughout the globe, and his work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María made him the Humanitarian of the Year—but what really inspired me is that he rose to help, and he never stopped giving. His spontaneous generosity is deeply touching to me.

Source: USHCC

This Navy Vet Is Now Taking His Military Skills To Home Inspections

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Joseph Cruz stands in front of his home inspection vehicle

Shortly after retiring from a 21-year career in the Navy, Joseph Cruz, 41, had an honest conversation with himself about his next steps in life.

Cruz took a job with a medical gas company to gain experience in sales. He really wanted to be in business for himself so after much soul searching and due diligence he is a first-time business owner who opened his Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise of Knoxville.

Driven by his longtime interest in real estate coupled with a desire to drive his own future as a business owner Cruz was ultimately drawn to Pillar To Post’s strong reputation coupled with the promising home inspection market. A recent survey from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) found that 88 percent of all U.S. homeowners believe home inspections are a necessity instead of a luxury.

As it turns out, homes operate a lot like vessels. Both require various well-oiled systems that must work together seamlessly to function optimally. Cruz plans to apply his many years of experience working on three warships (the USS O’Bannon DD-987, the USS Higgins DDG-76 and the USS Rafael Peralta DDG-115) to his new career providing quality home inspections to realtors, homebuyers and sellers.

“Like a well-built and properly-operating home, a Navy ship has various inputs of air, water, power and data that all work together,” Cruz said. “I’m looking forward to applying my helicopter-view mindset of a ship’s operations to the home inspection industry. I’ve owned several homes in the past and in the process of buying and selling, I fell in love with real estate,” Cruz said. “After the Navy, the possibility of a career in real estate was intriguing. As I researched franchise opportunities for veterans, Pillar To Post stood out at the top of the rankings for franchised companies that cater to veterans, with a 5-Star status from VetFran, the IFA’s program for veterans.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, the company is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

All veterans know all too well that the path to achieving one’s dreams takes a mix of determination and sacrifice peppered with a bit of a sense of adventure. Opening a business takes a lot of the same grit, and Cruz has proven he has the endurance and focus to make his business a success by moving his family across the country from San Diego to Knoxville last June. The past five months has been filled with change for Cruz, who packed up his van and left California behind with only a tent, sleeping bags and a power generator in tow.

“We camped along the way, staying at various National Parks until we finally arrived in Knoxville in July,” Cruz said. “I very much look forward to becoming an integral part of my business community.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise go to pillartopostfranchise.com.

Meet Dulce Candy: A Beauty Influencer Empowering Women

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Dulce Candy headshot

By Samar Khoury

Dulce Candy, one of the top lifestyle & beauty content creators online, is an inspiration to women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. Dulce, a successful businesswoman, published author, and Iraq War Veteran, spoke with HISPANIC Network Magazine about her journey.

HISPANIC Network Magazine (HNM): Tell us about your background. How did serving in the U.S. Army influence your decision to become a Beauty Influencer?

Dulce Candy (DC): I was born in Mexico, Michoacan. I immigrated to the U.S. in 1994 at age 6 with my Mom and two sisters at the time. I was raised in Oxnard, California. After graduating from high school, I chose to enlist active duty in the U.S. Army because I was looking for an opportunity to start a new life and make my parents proud.

HNM: What inspired you to start your own YouTube channel? Who is your beauty inspiration?

DC: For 15 months of my deployment in Baghdad, Iraq, I was forbidden to wear any civilian clothing or makeup, rightfully so. Because of the lack of self-expression, a burning desire to express my individuality was born. I never knew how much fashion and beauty meant to me until it was taken away completely. When I arrived back in the states in 2009 after my deployment, I discovered the tiny “Beauty” community online!

At that time, there were only about 100 beauty channels with only about 20 getting all the shine, and with members of the Latinx community leading less than 10 beauty channels. Starting my YouTube channel has been one of the most important choices I’ve ever made in my life. It allowed my passion for my hobby of beauty to flourish and turn into a thriving career that is still going strong 11 years later.

My beauty inspiration at the moment is more of a “look” than a person. I am all about the dewy and real skin glam. The type of look that enhances one’s natural beauty that radiates from within. This includes soft, bushy eyebrows, glowing skin, shimmery eyes, and glossy lips.

HNM: What have you accomplished through your YouTube channel? How has your channel inspired others?

DC: I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams! One of my most significant accomplishments was publishing my first self-help book titled The Sweet Life, moderating a town hall with Hillary Clinton, and starring in a Target commercial. My hope with my channel is to inspire other young women not to let their past or where they come from define them. I also hope to encourage young women not to be afraid of using their powerful voice to convey what they want. To also live life unapologetically and on their own terms.

HNM: How many social media campaigns have you been a part of?
DC: I have been so fortunate to partner with so many of my favorite brands over the past 11 years since I started my channel!

HNM: Tell us about the brands you’ve worked with. 

DC: I am blessed to have worked with numerous brands throughout the years! Some of my favorites include my face and lip palettes collaboration with Pixi Beauty, which was sold in Target stores. Also, over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel the world with different brands, and really loved trips to Costa Rica and London with different brand partners. In 2018, I also worked with an organization called Global Glow to empower young girls in numerous communities to advocate for themselves, use their voice to create their own opportunities and affect change in their communities. I enjoyed the partnership because I was able to use my platform to shed light on an organization whose mission aligned with my personal values and beliefs!

HNM: What else do you hope to accomplish, and what other changes would you like to see?

DC: I hope we continue to celebrate diversity so that young people can see themselves represented in an authentic way that makes them feel like they matter and that they too are beautiful in their own unique way.

HNM: What’s next on your agenda?

DC: My husband and I made the decision to expand our family and go through with IVF, and I recently found out that I am pregnant! I am very excited to go through the pregnancy journey! I also want to remain focused on self-growth, family, and continue to share my journey and experiences with my audience to inspire others!

For more information on this inspirational beauty mogul, visit Dulce’s website: dulcecandy.com

Follow Dulce Candy on Twitter, Instagram @dulcecandy and YouTube at Dulce Candy.

TIAA Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a Focus on Career Growth in the Hispanic/Latino Community

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Dr. Robert Rodriguez {in middle} with TIAA employees in Chicago

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, TIAA hosted several events in September and October that educated and entertained employees about the Latino culture and community.

Hispanic Heritage Month starts September 15, which marks the independence of many Latin American countries, and ends on October 15. This month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. TIAA’s Business Resource Group (BRG) for Latino and Hispanic professionals, called Unite, planned Hispanic Heritage Month events with a focus on career and economic growth of the Latino community.

On September 26, the Unite BRG welcomed a company-wide conversation with Dr. Robert Rodriguez (pictured: Dr. Robert Rodriguez {in middle} with TIAA employees in Chicago) live in Chicago and via video conference to office locations nationwide. Dr. Rodriguez is the founder and president of Dr. Robert Rodriguez Advisors LLC (DRR Advisors), a diversity consulting firm that helps business leaders elevate the impact and effectiveness of workplace inclusion initiatives.

Nationally-acclaimed speaker Dr. Rodriguez discussed the current state of Latino leadership in corporate America, including case studies of corporations and how they effectively recruit, hire and retain Latino/Hispanic talent and use that talent as an asset for their businesses. He also shared why companies view the U.S. Latino community as a catalyst for economic growth and the next great source of intellectual capital.

Dr. Rodriguez stressed the importance of people bringing their true selves to work, including their true heritage. This will become more prevalent as the workforce of the future will be heavily Hispanic/Latino – the fastest growing population in the U.S. – surpassing other ethnicities and soon to reach 25 percent, he explained.

Despite the growth of the Latino population, there is still a disparity of Latinos in leadership positions and on boards in corporate America. Dr. Rodriguez encourages organizations and employees to create workplace conditions that allow people to feel comfortable and safe to bring their true selves to work, and to not tell people to leave their culture at home.

Additional activities were held throughout the months of September and October in multiple TIAA offices to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, including talent development sessions, salsa dance lessons and other cultural dance performances, plus volunteer events at nonprofits NC MedAssist in Charlotte and Junior Achievement in Dallas – all held by the Unite BRG local chapters in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville and New York.

On October 2, TIAA’s Unite BRG held a Personal Branding Best Practices session open to all employees to learn how the “Performance, Image and Exposure (P.I.E.)” model can help them balance and positively impact their career and success.

These events highlight the contributions of the Latino and Hispanic culture, and showcase the wonderful work of TIAA volunteers and colleagues as part of the Unite BRG. TIAA invites all of its employees to attend these informative and engaging national and local events that celebrate TIAA’s diverse and inclusive culture and the heritage month.

Started in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month commences each year on September 15, the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Source: TIAA

Over 6,000 Minority Business Enterprises and Corporate Partners Attend National Conference on Supplier Diversity in Atlanta

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minority business owners shaking hands at conference

On Sunday, October 13, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) kicked off its annual conference and business opportunity exchange in Atlanta.

With over 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses representing millions of consumers, NMSDC is the largest and most successful non-profit advocating for minority entrepreneurs in the country.

The conference draws over 6,000 minority-business owners and corporate partners from around the nation.

“Economic inclusion is one of the most urgent issues we face to ensure opportunity and prosperity for all Americans,” said Adrienne Trimble, President of NMSDC. “Our numbers prove our success in this area.

In 2018, we executed $400 billion in revenue for minority-owned businesses. Some 1.6 million U.S. jobs were created, resulting in $96 billion in wages earned.

Who: National Minority Supplier Development Council

NMSDC President: Adrienne C. Trimble

What: 2019 Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange

Where: Atlanta, GA Georgia World Congress Center

When: October 13 – 16, 2019

Click here for the full conference schedule

Why: Economic inclusion for all Americans is one of the most critical issues of our time.

About NMSDCNMSDC advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. To meet the growing need for supplier diversity, NMSDC matches its more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to our network of more than 1,450 corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. NMSDC, a unique and specialized player in the field of minority business enterprise, is proud of its unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain.

Why This Successful Entrepreneur Pays It Forward by Helping Other Latinas Succeed

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Ana Bermudez stands with one hand on her hip with the other holding her smartphone with the image of her app TAGit

Ana Bermudez may not have been set up to be a success story from the beginning, but today, she is. Her tenacity and dedication to fulfilling her American dream helped her overcome numerous obstacles throughout her life.

By Christine Bolaños

Today, the San Diego native is a successful technology entrepreneur and advocate for the advancement of women of color in business.

Ana grew up in Logan Heights, an immigrant community in central San Diego where gangs, shootings, teenage pregnancy, and violence were normal parts of life. Her single Mexican mother took on various jobs to make ends meet while raising Ana and her three younger siblings.

Her family eventually ended up moving back into her grandparents’ crowded home where her uncles were up at late hours drinking with their gang buddies. “They did shield me from that,” Ana told POPSUGAR. But her younger sister fell into the same vicious cycle and became pregnant at 14 and again shortly thereafter. Ana and her mom coparent her niece and nephew.

As a child, Ana sought refuge in the many books her family gifted her. She was an avid reader, but it wasn’t until her mother gave her an encyclopedia series that her life changed. “It was an entire 30-piece volume of books and I was in absolute love,” Ana said. “That’s when I think I really stepped up my appreciation for education. Suddenly, I could learn and read about everything I wanted.”

Her Uncle Louie eventually took her under his wing. He works at Barrio Station, a nonprofit that seeks to save young lives and empower families by revitalizing neighborhoods and offering community activities. He took Ana to events and programs and treated her and her sister to trips to local museums and baseball games. “There was some balance to my life because I was also exposed to rehabilitation through my uncle,” Ana said. “That even though you were born into circumstances, you didn’t necessarily have to get stuck to that.”

Looking back, Ana said she realizes her mother may have been her greatest role model. Her mom had aspirations of her own that were cut short when she had children. But she worked hard to provide for her family. From becoming a manager at a local McDonald’s, to earning her cosmetology license, working as a cashier at a local taco shack, and eventually becoming an associate vice president insurance broker at a local insurance company. She would sometimes take Ana to work, where she had the opportunity to file paperwork, write receipts, and learn the basics of business and finance. “That woman has been through quite a lot and she’s always been very, very passionate about her work, which is where I assume my passion for numbers and business came about,” Ana said.

Ana went to the University of Notre Dame after receiving a scholarship. After college, Merrill Lynch hired her for a staff position. She worked there for five years as a wealth management adviser before transitioning to the role of chief financial officer at a small company.

Ready for the next challenge, Ana founded TAGit, a mobile app that television viewers use to buy items from their favorite TV shows. Through her research, she found that 40 million women shopped online while watching television. It seemed like a viable business, and after putting her brother through college and buying her mother a home in a safer neighborhood, Ana was ready to take a financial risk. She left her corporate job and followed her entrepreneurial desire.

However, a year-and-a-half later, she hadn’t found a big investor and was starting to doubt she had what it took to make it as an entrepreneur. With the odds stacked against her — just over 2 percent of venture capital funding went to women-led businesses in 2018 — two of her male mentors advised her to seek support from networks and organizations geared toward women and Latinx. She accompanied a friend to the Women’s Venture Summit at the last minute in 2013, a one-day intensive event that equips and connects female founders with female funders, and it was there where she met the event’s cohost, Latina scientist-turned-investor Dr. Silvia Mah.

Her mantra of “patience, persistence, and preparation” paid off as Ana found multiple investors at the Women’s Venture Summit, including Dr. Mah, who became an important figure in Ana’s life. “I laid out all my cards. I told her I’ve been doing this a long time and haven’t been able to get funding. She became my mentor,” Ana said.

Ana went on to serve as a panelist at future summit events and eventually became a program director at Stella Angels, an all-woman angel group founded by Dr. Mah, that seeks to grow the number of angel investors and fund more female entrepreneurs globally.

Now that she runs a successful business, Ana pays it forward by helping other women and people of color gain access to funding and become investors for other businesses.

Continue on to POPSUGAR to read the complete article.

USHCC Names Spanish Broadcasting System Chairman, President & CEO Raúl Alarcón “2019 Businessperson of the Year”

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President & CEO Raúl Alarcón accepts award on stage for “2019 Businessperson of the Year”

Raúl Alarcón, Chairman and CEO of Spanish Broadcasting System (“SBS”) (OCTQX: SBSAA) received the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (USHCC) 2019 Hispanic Businessperson of the Year Award.

Hundreds of Hispanic business, corporate and community leaders from across the U.S. attended the awards’ gala event, which took place at the USHCC’s 40th Anniversary National Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The award was presented by international top-selling artist Prince Royce who dedicated emotional words to the media mogul.

Every year, the USHCC recognizes an entrepreneur who exemplifies the best of America’s business community through their outstanding leadership, pioneering spirit and social and economic contributions.

The USHCC National Convention is the largest networking venue for Hispanic businesses in America. For over a generation, the USHCC has served as the nation’s leading Hispanic Business organization and worked to bring more than 4.37 million Hispanic owned businesses to the forefront of the national economic agenda. The National Convention brings together Hispanic business owners, corporate executives and members of more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce from across the country. It offers the opportunity to establish strategic long-lasting business partnerships, through dialogue, networking, workshops, and more.

Raúl Alarcón has become a key player for Latinos in Hispanic Radio and across digital media.. The charismatic CEO and Chairman of SBS oversees 17 Spanish-Language radio stations in the top Latin markets in the US and has extended that leadership into digital through its LaMusica app, currently the #1 ranked Hispanic streaming site and top Hispanic radio app.

The award highlights Mr. Alarcón’s strategic vision of integrating radio, television, entertainment and online/digital properties to capture growth opportunities with a clear eye on engaging the U.S. Hispanic consumer.
“Raúl Alarcón is a steadfast businessmen whose company continues to reach new heights and he inspires business leaders everywhere, especially in the media field,” said Ramiro Cavazos, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to recognize him as the 2019 Businessperson of the Year on our 40th Anniversary USHCC National Convention.”

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award from the USHCC – an organization that does so much to support Hispanic entrepreneurs across our country,” said Raúl Alarcón Chairman, President & CEO of SBS. “As an immigrant from Cuba, this is proof that the U.S. is truly the land of opportunity, where we can live the American Dream through hard work, a clear vision and the support of amazing organizations like the USHCC.” Raúl Alarcón Jr., joined SBS in 1983 as an Account Executive and has been President and Director since October 1985 and Chief Executive Officer since June 1994. On November 2, 1999, Mr. Alarcón, became Chairman of the Board of Directors and continues as Chief Executive Officer and President. Currently, Mr. Alarcón is responsible for SBS’ long-range strategic planning and operational matters and is instrumental in the acquisition and related financing of each SBS station.
Raúl Alarcón represents examples of the tremendous world-class talent that has emerged from the Hispanic community to serve in top leadership roles across all parts of America.

About LaMusica
LaMusica is a music-centric online platform catering to a wide variety of Hispanic users through the live audio and video streaming of the nation’s top-rated radio stations owned by Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), including WSKQ-FM in New York City, the #1 Hispanic station in America, as well as other leading SBS formats from around the country. Offering a daily variety of exclusive digital content including current events video vignettes, celebrity interviews, podcasts, expertly curated playlists and world premiere music videos, LaMusica is the preferred Hispanic streaming platform for today’s U.S. Latinos. LaMusica is available via the mobile app, the LaMusica.com website, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Firestick/AmazonTV, Samsung SmartTV, Apple CarPlay, as well as Chromecast and Alexa-enabled devices.

About Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS) owns and operates radio stations located in the top U.S. Hispanic markets of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Puerto Rico, airing the Tropical, Regional Mexican, Spanish Adult Contemporary, Top 40 and Urbano format genres. SBS also operates AIRE Radio Networks, a national radio platform of over 250 affiliated stations reaching 94% of the U.S. Hispanic audience. SBS also owns MegaTV, a network television operation with over-the-air, cable and satellite distribution and affiliates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, produces and promotes a nationwide series of live concerts and events, and owns a stable of digital properties, including La Musica, a mobile app providing Latino-focused audio and video streaming content and HitzMaker, a new-talent destination for aspiring artists and music aficionados. For more information, visit us online at spanishbroadcasting.com.

Meet Mimi G. – Latina DIY Expert and Sew It Academy Founder

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Mimi G. models her digital patterns wearing two different outfits she had sewn

Latina entrepreneur Mimi G. is the woman behind the award-winning popular fashion, lifestyle, and DIY blog MimiGSyle.com who is making sewing both hip and approachable through her online sewing school, SewItAcademy.com.

What started as a hobby in 2012 has blossomed into an international brand with a daily engagement of more than 2.1 million followers across social media platforms, 12 million-page views annually, and 575K unique visitors per month on her blog. Mimi G Style empowers and motivates people of all ages and walks of life. Her videos on DIY sewing, self-empowerment, and lifestyle have propelled Mimi G from blogger to internet sensation. We would love to set up an interview with you and Mimi G to discuss all things from women business leaders, to overcoming hardships, to breaking into the fashion and DIY industries.

Mimi G is a mother of four and a champion of women with an empowering back story that will inspire everyone. A victim of sexual abuse as a child, at 16 years old she found herself homeless as a single mother with a small child fleeing from an abusive relationship. Struggling to survive she bounced from couch to couch until she secured an assistant job and was able to stabilize herself with child. It was at that time that she began blogging about her true passion – sewing / designing clothes. She had a knack for seeing a design on the runway and being able to recreate it herself. For someone that was struggling financially, this was something that helped set her apart career wise allowed her to shine in important meetings. She may not have the money to buy designer clothes, but no one could tell the wiser.

Mimi G. headshot
Mimi G.

Her blog took off – people were drawn to her hip and cool approach to sewing. In a field where sewing could seem like something “that grandmas do” she was making it fun and exciting. Her blog evolved into her own best-selling patterns which in turn evolved into her own online sewing school. But that’s just the beginning. Mimi G is rebranding the whole genre and proving that dreams really can come true. What began blogging as a way for her to keep a personal journal of her sewing projects, in just 5 years, it became the vehicle by which she lives her passion, to empower and motivate people of all ages and walks of life to embrace their power, find their voice, and to discover their purpose. She works to help women regain their confidence and improve their self-esteem.

Since 2014, Mimi G. Style has partnered with Simplicity Creative Group to license, design and market commercial sewing patterns. In 2016 Mimi G. founded SewItAcademy.com, an online sewing school – designed to be a hip and fresh, accessible and affordable way for anyone interested in learning to sew and design.

Mimi G. has collaborated with over 350 brands including Target, Google, Macy’s, ULTA, The Home Depot, The Recording Academy, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Kellogg, Revlon, Steve Madden and more. She has been featured on Essence.com, InStyle Magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Out Magazine, and was awarded the “Best Latina Blogger” by Hispanicize 2015. Mimi also made her television debut on Lifetime TV’s “Project Runway Junior” as a mentor and design consultant for young designers.

Mimi G. is a sought-after speaker and consultant and has interviewed celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston along with highly popular influencers. She was recently featured in Gary Vaynerchuck’s most recent book, Crushing It, and has begun developing several web series as part of Mimi G Studios, launched in 2019. Instagram: @MimiGStyle

Jennifer Lopez: From the Block to the Boss

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Jennifer Lopez speaking at a radio interview

By Jovane Marie

In the nearly 30 years since she danced her way onto our screens as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, Jennifer Lopez has evolved into an award-winning, record-breaking, history-making phenomenon.

A force to be reckoned with in every industry she enters—be it dance, music, TV or film—the star has also made strides in the business world, intertwining her marketability with her personal persona and riding her brand all the way to the bank.

The Business of Being J. Lo

The consummate boss lady, Lopez has leveraged a thorough understanding of her personal brand and identity to generate several multi-million-dollar business enterprises. It is a tactic that, according to the successful multi-hyphenate, is key to longevity.

“You have to remember the value of your individuality—that you have something different and special to offer that nobody else can,” she said in an interview with IOL.

Lopez’s marketability lies in her origin story and the hard work ethic that took her from the southside of the Bronx to the highest echelons of stardom. To quote her hit “Jenny from the Block”— “no matter where she goes, she knows where she came from”—that sentiment has endeared her to fans, and consumers, worldwide.

“Staying authentic to that image of an entertainer, mother, and woman of humble beginnings in a struggling Puerto Rican family from the Bronx is important, and it’s key to reaching a bigger audience of potential customers. That’s a big part of who I am, and my brand in a way,” Lopez said in a sales pitch to Silicon Valley.

Lifestyle a la Lopez

Lopez first flexed her business muscle in 2001, when she launched her eponymous clothing and accessories line, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez. With an unapologetic focus on providing fabulous fashion choices for women of all sizes (including often overlooked curvaceous body types), the label has gone through several iterations over the years, expanding to include girls’ sportswear and housing decor. In 2010, she relaunched the brand in partnership with popular retail chain Kohl’s, capitalizing on their exclusive private brand strategy to ensure nationwide saturation of her vision. The collection, which includes a wide array of fashion running the gamut from statement pieces to chic comfort, is a testament to the entrepreneur’s personal taste (if she wouldn’t wear it, it doesn’t hit the shelf).

“It’s great to collaborate with Kohl’s in the creation of a full lifestyle

 Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It's My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS: Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It’s My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ABA)

brand that represents my full style and essence,” said the entrepreneur, who is known for taking an active role in each stage of the production process. “I’m a mom. I work. I want comfort, but I also want to feel sexy and modern. I think a lot of women want the same thing.”

Production Paragraph

As Lopez’s star continued to rise on the charts and in theaters, she made yet another boss lady move that would further cement her status as a business mogul. Alongside then manager Benny Medina, the star co-founded Nuyorican Productions, a film and television production company, in 2001. The production house has developed a wide range of projects, from documentaries to primetime shows to online series, with Lopez often starring or serving in an executive producer capacity. To date, the entity is responsible for six films, 12 TV series (including award-winning The Fosters, which won two GLAAD Media Awards for its outstanding representation of LGBT issues), four TV specials, one online series, and nine musical releases.

The Smell of Success

Lopez’s long-term influence and impact on the fashion industry extends beyond clothing, accessories, and home goods. In 2002, she launched what would become America’s top-selling fragrance and the best-selling celebrity fragrance line in the world—Glow. The move jump-started the now common-place strategy of celebrities bringing their own namesake scents to the market. In the 17 years since its inception, Lopez has released 24 fragrances, with revenue in the billions.

No Time Off

The mid-2000s saw Lopez incrementally building her empire—starring in several films (including 2006’s Bordertown, which earned her an Artists for Amnesty Award from Amnesty International), producing several others under Nuyorican, releasing her sixth studio album, maintaining her lifestyle brands, and serving as the Chief Creative Officer for NuvoTV (a Latino community focused cable network). It wasn’t until 2008, after giving birth to twins Max and Emme, that she finally took a short hiatus to focus on her new family.

She was back on the grind less than two years later, when she joined the judging panel on the tenth season of American Idol. The comeback served as the spark of a resurgence predicated on her undeniably successful personal brand that—nearly a decade later—has yet to falter.

The Power of Branding

Jennifer Lopez Book Cover: True LoveArmed with an ambitiously sharp business mind, an innate understanding of her brand, and a ferocious work ethic, Lopez has established herself as an obvious go-to for major companies looking to connect to consumers via a relatable feel coupled with a healthy dose of glamour. L’Oréal Paris, Gillette Venus, Fiat Automobiles, denim powerhouse Guess, and luxury footwear Giuseppe Zanotti have all called on the business behemoth, who boasts one of the most powerful brands on the planet.

The numbers don’t lie: more than 150 million people, a whopping 75 percent of them millennials, follow the phenom on social media, privy to Lopez’s every post, project, and partnership. That fact alone points to her uncanny ability to connect with the masses using her high-profile status as a business asset for social commerce.

To Lopez, that universal appeal serves as the potential foundation for creating wide-ranging business opportunities that have yet to be realized.

“I want to build something that has never been done before,” she declared in 2015 at VentureScape, a venture capital conference in Silicon Valley hosted by the National Venture Capital Association. And she most definitely will. Her companies boast a track record of success that surpasses Stanford graduates (the stereotypical recipients of such funds) and is predicated in part on her willingness to take risks.

“I have found that taking risks, being true to myself, and making decisions with good intentions can exceed even my own expectations,” the mogul mused in her 2014 bestseller, True Love.

Beyond the Business

Lopez may have established herself as an entrepreneurial enigma through her mastery of multi-faceted platforms and her sheer intelligence in strategically building and managing her brand, but her talents and impact (obviously) extend well past the boardroom. The fervent go-getter was advised as her career was just starting to blossom to “make a moment of her shot” (a piece of wisdom bestowed by fellow actor Jack Nicholson while on set shooting the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine in 1997).

She took the advice to heart, harnessing every opportunity to its full potential, smashing racial barriers, and side-stepping naysayers to become one of (if not the) most influential Hispanic performers in the United States. In 2018, TIME Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and for good reason.

The quadruple threat (singer, actress, dancer, and producer) has sold more than 80 million records in the last two decades, holding the record for releasing the first remix album—entitled J to tha L-O! The Remixes—to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as the highest first week sales for a Spanish album in the United States—her 2007 Como Ana una Mujer.

As an actress, she has blazed a record-making trail in Hollywood as

Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of 'Hustlers' in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY: Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

well, capturing the nation’s attention in 1997 with her portrayal of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez in the namesake biopic Selena and demanding a salary that at the time made her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history. Collectively, her films have grossed more than $3 billion, and she holds the distinction of being the first woman to have a number one film (The Wedding Planner) and the number one album (J. Lo) simultaneously in the United States.

Lopez has also left an undeniable mark in the dance industry, cementing her reputation as a powerhouse on the floor with her fierce choreography and the producing (and serving on the judges panel) of the wildly popular World of Dance, which features dancers and groups from all over the world competing for a $1 million prize.

Her influence goes beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the recording studio, however. Lopez’s list of philanthropic efforts rivals her professional achievements. From the founding of the Lopez Family Foundation, a global nonprofit “dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children and increasing available medical care,” to her service as the first national celebrity spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, her care, concern, and support for her fellow man and women is evident.

With her tenacious can-do attitude, persistent work ethic, and unapologetic boss lady branding, Jennifer Lopez has built a successful, multi-tiered legacy that is sure to stand the test of time. And she is confident there is even more to come.

“You have to believe that you really have that power to make your life whatever you want it to be,” she said.

Spoken like a true boss.

Labels Don’t Define Who You Are

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By Mona Lisa Faris

While it’s not a new word, we’re hearing “Latinx” more and more. Politicians are using the word more frequently—in fact, during the first Democratic debate this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren used it in her opening remarks.

Since its conception, “Latinx” is now a “hot” label. What does “Latinx” mean, and why is there so much controversy surrounding it? Basically, “Latinx” is a gender-neutral term used in lieu of “Latino” or “Latina” to refer to a person of Latin-American descent. Using the term “Latinx” to refer to all people of Latin-American descent has become more common as members in the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates have embraced the label.

The word was created as a gender-neutral alternative to “Latinos,” not only to better include those who are gender fluid but also to push back on the inherently masculine term used to describe all genders in the Spanish language.

I have to agree with George Cadava, director of the Latina and Latino Studies program at Northwestern University, when he said, “Latinx is an even further evolution that was meant to be inclusive of people who are queer or lesbian or gay or transgender.”

The U.S. Census Bureau still uses “Hispanic” and defines it as the “heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States.” For the past 30 years, we here call ourselves HISPANIC Network Magazine to encompass Latin, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Chicano, and any Spanish-speaking country.

As we’re sensitive to all the different cultures and labels, we have something for everyone. We are proud to bring you the powerful, beautiful and talented Puerto Rican Afro-Latina—La La Anthony. Read our interview with this superstar and how she uses philanthropy to power her causes.

Don’t let the labels stop you from voting, reading this magazine or being who you who you are. Until the next word comes, remember, labels don’t define who you are.

4 Podcasts for Your Daily Commute

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Get the scoop on jobs, lifestyle, and more! Podcasts have taken the world by storm.

Instead of listening to music on the way to and from work, most people are listening to their favorite podcasts.

Many cover topics like true crime, comedy, sports and recreation, society and culture, and arts and business.

“Podcast” was formed by combining “iPod” and “broadcast”.

Many different mobile applications allow people to subscribe and to listen to podcasts.

Check out these podcasts that give you business advice and teach you about food, family, history, and more.
 

Mucho Success

Mucho Success: Advice and Success Secrets for Latinos

How can Latinos become more successful? Learn the secrets of the most influential people and apply them to your life. Join corporate executive, entrepreneur, and business coach José Piñero as he interviews fascinating leaders and brings inspiring stories, lessons, and advice to empower and elevate Latinos.

Source: The Cultivation Company

Wait, Hold Up

Wait, Hold Up!

This podcast is for everyone trying to live their best lives but need some support, encouragement, and most importantly, dope girlfriends. Jess and Yarel are there to hash out their own real-life moments as well as get into those ‘wait, hold up!’ moments with their guests! Each episode offers something new, whether they’re diving into topics like careers, spirituality, personal development, or wellness.

Source: Wait, Hold Up! Podcast

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch provides a digital media platform that reflects the intersectionality between queer, Latinx, and Spanglish voices in an Anglo-dominated podcast world. FavyFav and Babelito approach the topics of identity, food, family, and history in a responsible yet humorous way.

Source: Latinos Who Lunch

Latina to Latina

Latina to Latina is an interview podcast hosted by Alicia Menendez and executive produced by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Menendez said, “Less than a year ago, when we first launched Latina to Latina, we produced what the two of us wanted and needed: a space for Latinas to talk about their lives and professional journeys. What we’ve learned from our listeners is that they wanted and needed this more than we even imagined. Yes, they are looking for inspiration, but we routinely hear that the sense of belonging and community is what keeps them listening week after week.”

Source: Latina to Latina