Mexican Scientist Creates Biodegradable Plastic Straw From Cactus

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Sandra Ortiz stands in kitchen behind table filled with vaiations of her new plastic

Researchers from the University of Valle de Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico have created a biodegradable plastic from the juice of the prickly pear cactus.

The new material begins to break down after sitting in the soil for a month and when left in water, it breaks down in a matter of days. Plus, it doesn’t require crude oil like traditional plastics.

“There were some publications that spoke of different materials with which biodegradable plastics could be made, including some plants,” Sandra Pascoe Ortiz, the research professor who developed the material, told Forbes.

“In this case the nopal cactus has certain chemical characteristics with which I thought it could be feasible to obtain a polymer, that if it was combined with some other substances, all of them natural, a non-toxic biodegradable plastic would be obtained. The process is a mixture of compounds whose base is the nopal. It’s totally non-toxic, all the materials we use could be ingested both by animals or humans and they wouldn’t cause any harm.”

This means that even if any of this material made its way into the ocean, it will safely dissolve. It’s estimated that between 1.15 million to 2.41 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers. Last month, divers found a plastic KFC bag from the 1970s during an ocean clean-up off the waters off Bulcock Beach in Queensland, Australia and earlier this year, during a dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench – the deepest point in the ocean – a plastic bag was found.

According to Ortiz, the project was born in a science Fair of the The nopal cactus sitting on table with blender in the backgroundDepartment of Exact Sciences and Engineering, in the chemistry class with industrial engineering students of the career. They began to make some attempts to obtain a plastic using cactus as raw material.

“From that I decided to start a research project in a formal way. Currently in the project collaborate researchers from the University of Guadalajara in conjunction with the University of Valle de Atemajac.”

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

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.

The story behind the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos creator is great. Eva Longoria is making it into a movie.

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Eva Longoria pictured with Richard Montanez

Actress and producer Eva Longoria will direct Fox Searchlight’s “Flamin’ Hot,” a biopic about Richard Montañez, the man who rose from janitor to PepsiCo executive after creating spicy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and who has subsequently become a role model for Latino entrepreneurial success.

Montañez, the son of a Mexican immigrant, grew up in a migrant labor camp in Southern California, where he lived in a one-bedroom apartment with his parents and his ten siblings.

Despite his humble beginnings, Montañez showed business acumen from a young age. On the first day of 3rd grade, his mom packed him a burrito for his lunch — a meal that marked him as different from his classmates.

“There I was with this burrito and with everyone staring at me. I put it back in my bag and hid it,” Montañez wrote in his memoir “A Boy, a Burrito, and a Cookie.”

He requested that his mom make him a bologna sandwich and a cupcake the next day, but instead, she sent him to school with two burritos: one for him and one for a friend.

And so marked the beginning of the young entrepreneur’s side hustle of selling burritos for $0.25 each.

Montañez dropped out of school in the fourth grade, but his yen for innovation didn’t end with his formal schooling. He took on a series of different jobs and while working as a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California, he created the now-staple in the Cheetos brand.

After a broken machine on the Cheetos assembly line released a batch of plain — and ostensibly unusable — Cheetos, Montañez took the snacks home, where he sprinkled them with chili powder.

After testing the flavor with his family, Montañez pitched the idea to former PepsiCo CEO Roger Enrico over the phone and was given two weeks to prepare a presentation to the executive suite.

Now, a motivational speaker and best-seller author, Montañez urges others to reach their fullest potential and not internalize limitations.

“Don’t take your position for granted, regardless of what that position may be,” Montañez wrote in his book. “CEO or janitor, act like you own the company.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

10 résumé tips to impress a recruiter in 7 seconds

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Hispanic Man on Laptop typing resume

Having a well-crafted résumé can be the key to getting your foot in the door at the company of your dreams. But figuring out how to make your résumé fully representative of your experience and also stand out is easier said than done.

After all, hiring managers and recruiters generally only spend about seven seconds reading your résumé before deciding whether to move forward or not.

Most people know the basics of how to put together a decent work history, but here are some tips you probably haven’t heard before that can help your résumé stand up to the seven-second test.

1. Only include your address if it works in your favor

If you’re applying for positions in the city or town you already live in, then go ahead and include your address. In this case, it lets the hiring manager know you’re already in the area and could theoretically start working right away. But if you’re targeting jobs in another area and you’d need to move in order to start working, it’s probably a good idea to leave your current address off of your résumé. Why? Recruiters are sometimes less excited to interview candidates from another city or state, since they often require relocation fees.

2. Be a name-dropper

It may be poor form to drop names in everyday life, but you absolutely should do it on your résumé. If you’ve worked with well-known clients or companies, go ahead and include them by name. Something like: “Closed deals with Google, Toyota, and Bank of America” will get recruiters’ attention in no time flat.

3. Utilize your performance reviews

You might not think to look to your annual review for résumé material, but checking out the positive feedback you’ve received in years past can help you identify your most noteworthy accomplishments and best work attributes—two things that should definitely be highlighted on your résumé. Including specific feedback you’ve received and goals you’ve met can help you avoid needing to use “fluff” to fill out your work experience.

4. Don’t go overboard with keywords

Many companies and recruiters use keyword-scanning software as a tool to narrow the job applicant pool. For this reason, it’s important to include keywords from the job description in your résumé—but don’t go overboard. Recruiters can spot “keyword stuffing” a mile away.

5. Use common sense email etiquette

There are two types of email addresses you shouldn’t use on your résumé or when applying to a job via email: your current work email address, or an overly personal or inappropriate email address, like loverguy22@gmail.com. Stick with something professional based on your name in order to make the best possible impression.

6. When it comes to skills, quality over quantity

There’s no need to list skills that most people in the job market have (Think: Microsoft Office, email, Mac, and PC proficient), which can make it look like you’re just trying to fill up space on the page. Keep your skills section short, and only include impactful skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying to.

7. Choose to share social accounts strategically

Including links to social media accounts on a résumé is becoming more and more common. But it’s important to distinguish between professional accounts—like a LinkedIn profile or Instagram account you manage for work—and nonprofessional ones, like your personal Twitter or Facebook account. While it might be tempting to include a personal account in order to show recruiters who you are, you’re better off only listing accounts that are professionally focused. Save your winning personality for an in-person interview.

8. Use hobbies to your advantage

Not all hobbies deserve a place on your résumé, but some do. Hobbies that highlight positive personality qualities or skills that could benefit you on the job are worth including. For example, running marathons (shows discipline and determination) and blogging about something related to your field (shows creativity and genuine interest in your work) are hobbies that will cast you in the best possible light and might pique a recruiter’s interest.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Eva Longoria Honored With Beacon Award At 13th Annual ADCOLOR Awards Ceremony In Los Angeles

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Eva Longoria accepts Beacon Award onstage

Each year, the ADCOLOR Awards ceremony recognizes individuals making strides in the fields of marketing, advertising, public relations, media and entertainment, in diversity and inclusion.

For its 13th annual celebration—hosted by New York Times best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi and presented by Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft and Omnicom Group—honored philanthropist, actress, producer and director of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment (and Haute Living cover star), Eva Longoria, among others.

Each of the nominees and honorees are carefully and thoughtfully chosen from a large pool of change makers in each of their respective industries. The winner in each category is the one who represents ADCOLOR’s motto best, which is “Rise Up and Reach Back.” They are honored not just for the accomplishments in their own careers, but also how they are able to give back to their community. The organization’s goal is to “create a network of diverse professionals to encourage and celebrate one another.”

There is no better honoree to set the tone of Adweek’s inaugural Beacon Award than Eva Longoria,” said Lisa Granatstein, Editor, SVP, Programming, Adweek. “From her formidable seven-year-old Eva Longoria Foundation that empowers Latinas via STEM education and entrepreneurship to her leadership role calling for diversity in Hollywood, Eva’s remarkable accomplishments are both authentic and action-oriented.”

The inaugural Beacon Award honors talent who uses their celebrity as a catalyst to change the status quo in the quest for diversity and inclusion. In May, ADCOLOR and Adweek partnered on the first Champion awards and celebration recognizing the fearless leaders and rising stars in marketing and media who embody ADCOLOR’s call to “Rise Up. Reach Back.”

Continue on to Haute Living to read the complete article.

ABC’s GRAND HOTEL Star Justina Adorno joining cast of “Roswell, New Mexico”

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Justina Adorno in the kitchen posing with cookware and food

Latina actress and vegan/animal activist Justina Adorno will be joining the cast of the CW’s extraterrestrial drama “Roswell, New Mexico” in a recurring role when the show returns for its second season in early 2020. Adorno will play Steph, witty, sharp-tongued, well-educated young woman, who isn’t afraid to express her opinions – even though they tend toward controversial in some circles. Steph never apologizes for being her entire self.

Currently, you can catch her on the sizzling and provocative, Eva Longoria and Brian Tanen produced, ABC #1 new summer drama, “Grand Hotel” (airing Mondays at 10/9c after “Bachelor in Paradise” on ABC). Opposite Roselyn Sanchez and Academy Award-nominee Demian Bichir; Justina plays ‘Yoli,’ the self-labeled Queer daughter of the extravagant Mendoza family who owns the luxurious Riviera Grand Hotel in the seductive city of Miami Beach.

The summer series debuted as the highest watched summer drama series in four years when it made its premiere June 17th, 2019 on ABC. Leaving behind palatial Spain of the early 1900s for modern-day Miami, Executive Producers Eva Longoria and Brian Tanen‘s American adaptation of the internationally popular Spanish series “Gran Hotel” chronicles the extravagant lives of the Mendoza hotelier family, comprised of the charismatic ‘Santiago Mendoza’ (Demián Bichir), his glamorous second wife, ‘Gigi’ (Roselyn Sánchez), their adult children, and their luxury Miami Beach hotel the Riviera Grand. The series also follows the employees who work at the five-star hotel, offering a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story and transforms the concept into a glamorous Latinx-fronted series. The original drama has been described as “a Spanish Downton Abbey.”

Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior. ‘Yoli’, played by Adorno, is the kindhearted spitfire daughter of ‘Gigi’ who is constantly compared to her thinner and more beautiful twin sister ‘Carolina’ (Feliz Ramirez). She is used to being called ‘Gordita’ by her family but isn’t afraid to stand up to prominent guests who try to do the same

Watch the official trailer below!

Born in the Bronx, NY, Adorno got her elementary education as a student in Catholic school where she developed the understanding that the world was based on storytelling, either in a religious or a non-religious way. As a pre-teen she moved with her mother to South Carolina and attended a magnet program for acting called PCA (Palmetto Center for the Arts) where she fell in love with theater and later auditioned and attended South Carolina Governor School for the Arts and Humanities to fully begin her pursuit in acting. She attended Coastal Carolina University, graduated with her BFA in Acting and moved back to NYC. While in NYC, Justina booked a couple of national commercials and appeared in NBCs 2016 Diversity Showcase. She landed a few roles, one of them being the crime drama Netflix series, based on the Russian film The Major, “Seven Seconds,” where she played ‘Jasmine,’ a reoccurring role.

While living in NYC, she volunteered at local animal shelters and organizations such as Little Wanderers NYC and Animal Lighthouse Rescue NYC.

She resides in New York with her cats Catsby and Penni and enjoys painting, poetry, writing music and anything involving interior design.

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Convention is Coming to Albuquerque in September

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USHCC National Convention logo

The USHCC National Convention coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 29th – October 1st, 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, working 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.

Business Matchmaking:
Matchmaking sessions are designed to provide a platform for Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) to meet and engage in new business opportunities by introducing their companies and services to participating corporations. Tailored to help HBEs from across the country to meet with top corporations awarding contracts, the USHCC Business Matchmaking facilitates one-on-one meetings for Hispanic-owned businesses with procurement officials from industries ranging from energy, telecom, financial services and more.

There is no additional cost to attend the Matchmaking, a separate registration is required.

Business Matchmaking will take place on Tuesday, October 1st from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

New this year is the added Supplier-Ready program component to prepare all Business Matchmaking participants with educational webinars from supplier diversity professionals and helpful tips to maximize their business matchmaking experience.

View highlights from last year’s convention below:

Continue on to ushcc.com to read more.

Not Only Does This New Clothing Charge Your Phone, It Can Protect You From Viruses and Bacteria

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man wearing a suit being splashed with water

A new addition to your wardrobe may soon help you turn on the lights and music—all while also keeping you dry, clean, and safe from the latest virus that’s going around.

That’s because Purdue University researchers have developed a new fabric innovation that allows wearers to control electronic devices through their clothing.

Purdue University researchers have developed a new fabric innovation that allows wearers to control electronic devices through clothing.

“It is the first time there is a technique capable to transform any existing cloth item or textile into a self-powered e-textile containing sensors, music players or simple illumination displays using simple embroidery without the need for expensive fabrication processes requiring complex steps or expensive equipment,” said Ramses Martinez, an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Engineering and in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering.

The technology is featured in the July 25 edition of Advanced Functional Materials.

“For the first time, it is possible to fabricate textiles that can protect you from rain, stains, and bacteria while they harvest the energy of the user to power textile-based electronics,” Martinez said. “These self-powered e-textiles also constitute an important advancement in the development of wearable machine-human interfaces, which now can be washed many times in a conventional washing machine without apparent degradation.”

Martinez said the Purdue waterproof, breathable and antibacterial self-powered clothing is based on omniphobic triboelectric nanogenerators (RF-TENGs) – which use simple embroidery and fluorinated molecules to embed small electronic components and turn a piece of clothing into a mechanism for powering devices. The Purdue team says the RF-TENG technology is like having a wearable remote control that also keeps odors, rain, stains and bacteria away from the user.

“While fashion has evolved significantly during the last centuries and has easily adopted recently developed high-performance materials, there are very few examples of clothes on the market that interact with the user,” Martinez said. “Having an interface with a machine that we are constantly wearing sounds like the most convenient approach for a seamless communication with machines and the Internet of Things.”

The technology is being patented through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The researchers are looking for partners to test and commercialize their technology.

Continue on to Purdue University to read the complete article.

The Latin Business Action Network is recruiting Latinx CEOs for the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative

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Young Hispanic Businesswoman sitting in a office chairin Office

There is an educational opportunity coming up for any Latinx Hispanic-Owned Businesses. If you fit the criteria, you are encouraged to apply.

The Latin Business Action Network (LBAN) is recruiting 75-80 Latinx CEOs for the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI); its next session (a cohort 8) will run from October 8 – December 7 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

** You are expected to attend the in-person kick-off weekend on October 12th – October 13th, 2019 at Stanford GSB.

What is the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative-Education Scaling program?

The scaling education program is an immersive seven-week online program providing participants with valuable scaling frameworks, a diversified network of capital providers, business mentorship and a deep understanding of mobilizing resources for sustainable business growth.

For more information about the program go to: lban.us/stanford-latino-entrepreneur-leaders/

There are two visits to Stanford University Graduate School of Business (kickoff weekend and graduation).

Wells Fargo is one of the top sponsors of SLEI (this capacity building program has graduated more than 500 Latinx CEOs since its inception).

If you know or are a scaled Latinx entrepreneur (over $1 Million in annual gross revenues), please visit the recruitment/application page.

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

La La Anthony: Power Through Philanthropy

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La La Anthony fstanding on stage holding a microphone

By Brady Rhoades

So, La La Anthony, how do you become a movie star, TV star, producer, best-selling author, and fashion icon?

You might be surprised things don’t come so easily to the self-described Afro Puerto-Rican, considered one of the most beautiful and glamorous women in the world and currently starring in the much-anticipated final season of Power (first episode is Aug. 25).

“Hard work! You can’t fake that,” she said, in an interview Hispanic Network Magazine.

 

Anthony is affable. Movie star looks and chops with a girl-next-door approachability.

She’s never forgotten where she came from.

She started working as a radio DJ at 15, when she was very green and made mistakes that she learned from. Those mistakes were forgiven by radio executives at WQHT-FM, HOT 97.5 and 102.3 in Los Angeles because they saw her star power and her toil and sweat.

Also: humility, kindness, resilience and friendships.

Anthony has forged relationships with former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, and she’s sponge-like: she learns from those who forged paths before her.

“She embodies the type of woman I aspire to be,” she said of

Power Play Playbook by La La Anthony
La La Anothony attends the La La Anthony “The Power Playbook” book signing at Barnes & Noble. PRINCE WILLIAMS/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES

Michelle Obama. “I read her book, Becoming, in one day and it’s still one of my faves.”

“Renaissance Man” is a common term. Anthony is a 21st Century woman. She’s a realist when it comes to obstacles, but she’s not so big on putting limitations on yourself, and she wants other Hispanic women to think likewise.

“You can do anything you want,” she said. “But it doesn’t always happen overnight.”

And you don’t do it alone.

“Being kind goes a long way. People want to work with people who are nice and who they like.”

In an effort to make a difference in the lives of inner-city kids, Anthony formed La La Land, Inc. Foundation. Better schooling and greater opportunities for children are at the top of the foundation’s list of goals.

“I would love to continue to grow my philanthropy efforts to help inner-city kids through my La La Land, Inc. Foundation,” she said. “This is something dear to my heart. I would like to continue building the confidence of young inner-city kids by providing better schooling and opportunities that may not already be afforded to them. The youth are our future; anything I can do to help them achieve their hopes and dreams would bring me the most joy.”

Anthony, born in Brooklyn, New York, came to prominence as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live in the early 2000s. She was the host of the VH1 reality television reunion shows Flavor of Love, I Love New York, For the Love of Ray J, and Real Chance of Love, and was a dean on Charm School with Ricki Lake.

Anthony, 36, ventured into acting, landing roles in Two Can Play That Game, You Got Served, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, November Rule and Destined.

In 2011, she made her stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Love Loss and What I Wore. Anthony also starred in and executive produced five seasons of La La’s Full Court Wedding, one of VH1’s highest-rated shows, which chronicled the time leading up to her wedding to NBA star Carmelo Anthony.

In 2012, she launched MOTIVES by La La, at the Market America World Conference held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Her cosmetic line—for women of color—consists of mineral-based products for face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails.

La La Anthony speaking on stage onstage about her clothing line
La La Anthony attends her Denim Collection Launch at Ashley Stewart. CASSIDY SPARROW/GETTY IMAGES

In 2013, she created a clothing line, 5th & Mercer. No, you don’t have to look like her to wear her clothes. And you don’t have to be a billionaire.

In 2014, she released her debut book, The Love Playbook, in which she shares how she found love and success on her own terms. The book hit No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble Best Seller list and The New York Times Best Seller list. Anthony’s second book, The Power Playbook, was released in May 2015.

This year, she is wrapping up the sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed, StarzTV show, Power.

Any secrets about the final season of the crime drama series and what’s in store for Anthony’s character, Keisha Grant?

She laughs.

“Anything and everything’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s really going to be crazy.”

Power is a megahit; fans will surely be in mourning following the final season.

 
 

The show centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York night club owner who has it all, catering to the city’s elite and dreaming big. He lives a double life as a drug kingpin.

Initially, Anthony’s character, Keisha, did not have a starring role.

That changed.

Anthony has turned her character into a fan favorite. She gets involved with drug-dealing Tommy. She’s in over her head. We find ourselves rooting for her. We know in season six the bills are coming due.

Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony and has a son, stresses that she is not Keisha, and Keisha is not her.

La La and Power cast at a party
Rotimi Akinosho, La La Anthony,Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Lela Loren attend STARZ “Power” Season 4 L.A. Screening And Party at The London West Hollywood.

Keisha has plenty going for her—including a legion of adoring fans—but she has not lived the life Anthony has. She’s not as street-smart or as accomplished. She’s not in a position to “pay it forward.”

Anthony is.

So take heed, inner-city kids.

Here are three of Anthony’s secrets to success, emphasized through her foundation.

—Forget “fake it until you make it.” Work until you stake it, Anthony says;

—Be kind. Hollywood is big-time, yet it’s a small town, all in all. Besides, being kind helps you live your best life;

—Never give up.

Anthony never did, despite challenges that an Afro Puerto-Rican from Brooklyn would inevitably face.

“I believe in myself,” she said. “Who else will? I never believed the haters.