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JA N/FE B 2015 VO L 08 N O 31

PRIDE OF DETROIT

THE LIONS GAIN GROUND AMID THE CITY’S RESURGENCE

VIVA LA CAUSA

Fernando Chávez carries on his father’s fight for justice and makes his own mark on immigration

*Business insight from executives in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS

LUIS PEREZ CFO, DETROIT LIONS

EAST vs. WEST Reality TV realtors face off in a million-dollar matchup


COMING JUNE 2015 thealumnisociety.com

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contents

JAN/ FEB 2015

99 Legal is local. Larissa Zagustin keeps Viacom compliant in new markets. 100 Yahoo capitalizes on the overindexing Hispanic demographic with diverse mobile offerings.

FACES Pat Pulido Sanchez and Manny Sanchez are partners in their prime, leveraging their success for good and making time for one another.

101

What Brown can do for Europe: grow smallbusiness exports and, in-turn, the continental economy.

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

104 How to make goodwill good for business: a case study of Sodexo USA. 106 Northrop Grumman does its part to close the STEM gap by grooming Latino talent.

LIFE + STYLE

INDUSTRY

FASHION

TRENDS

10 Angel Sanchez’s spring collection pops with color and light.

56 California’s priciest properties are in short supply, allowing one agency to thrive through the recession.

12 High-fashion high-tops from fourth-generation shoemaker Alejandro Ingelmo.

60

Mid-sized Hispanic businesses find their escort to the next level in equity investors.

SPACES

14 PUBLIC Hotel: a “simple chic” gem on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

63 Always aware of sequestration, biodefense company Emergent aims to diversify.

FINDS

20

Tequila takes a page from viticulture’s book and garners international attention.

66 AARP shepherds seniors through the age of technology.

TOP PHOTO: SHEILA BARABAD, BOTTOM PHOTO: XIMENA ETCHART

76

Electronic Arts uses analytics to score big points with gamers.

78 Telecom demands niche expertise from general counsel.

71 Motivated by her mother’s struggle, Marie Cosgrove worked her way to the front of Balanceback.

83 Jose Boza reveals how to generate return on your social media investment.

27 ABC’s commitment to diversity pays off with a slew of successful new series. Music Television lives up to its name, creating buzz for up-and-coming acts.

31 The story of a corporate soldier who defected for his own crusade on the Internet frontier.

MARKETING A-list agency LatinWorks’ key to winning the HispanicAmerican consumer.

Bank of America comes out as an LGBT ally.

TRAJECTORY

110 How Yaneris Rosa’s culture helped her define a career in legal. 111 Aixa Velez returns to her roots, mentoring others as she once was.

TECH

68 The story of a self-made realty tycoon and reality TV star.

24 “There’s more to us than tequila and tacos.” Actress Paola Nuñez on the portrayal of women and Hispanics on-screen.

29

75 How a business helped its owner through bereavement.

80 “Consumers are forcing their vendors to have open-source products and services. It will happen, but the vendors will go kicking and screaming.”

ENTREPRENEURS

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

73 “Most firms back up the bus and unload as many high-paid consultants as possible. We act more like a SWAT team.”

109

ON THE PULSE

114

Fernando Chávez advocates for one of the nation’s most contentious populations: undocumented immigrants. 119 “We cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines and watch health care bankrupt America.” 122 What the Democratic Party must do to earn New Jersey’s Hispanic votes.

MARKETING

87 The link between money transfers and moviegoers. 90 Give the people what they want: multicultural food.

WORLD VIEW

94

Alex Zozaya built an empire on Latin America’s beaches. How he shops Central America to high-end travelers.

124 One organization dismantles the barriers to higher education for firstgeneration Hispanic-Americans. 127 NCLR works to resonate with more than just Hispanics.

+MORE CITYSCOPE

128 How Hispanics are contributing to Detroit’s comeback story. FEATURE

97 The differentiation is in the details. How Epson used a nuanced approach to win business in Mexico.

98C Robert Nuño is a lifelong consultant helping Miami’s Hispanics reach their goals.

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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motivated to tackle big challenges facing communities around the world with a successful track record of 20-25 years of accomplishments in their primary career recognizing the value of engaging with Harvard to prepare for their next phase of life’s work

The Advanced Leadership Initiative is a year of education, reflection, and student mentoring led by a unique collaboration of award-winning Harvard faculty from across professional schools. The program is dedicated to educating and deploying a new force of experienced, innovative leaders who want to address challenging global and national problems. Inquire now for 2016.

Results-driven counsel. Exceptional client service. Nationwide.

• Business and Finance • Litigation • Real Estate • Intellectual Property • Public Finance

Visit the website to be inspired by the possibilities: advancedleadership.harvard.edu or email the fellowship director: john_kendzior@harvard.edu

www.ballardspahr.com 4

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

PHOTO: SHEILA BARABAD

Seeking 37 Great Leaders...

Outstanding performance is driven by experience, ingenuity, and a solid understanding of our client’s perspective.

EXPERTS WEIGH IN

on the cover Staff photographer Sheila Barabad traveled to Detroit to spend the afternoon with Lions CFO Luis Perez. See more images from the shoot online at hispanicexecutive.com.


feature THE

SPORTS ISSUE

ON THE FAN EXPERIENCE:

FORTUNE 100 Look out for execs from Disney, UPS, Bank of America, Honeywell, and Kroger tagged with this emblem. FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

34

The playmaker behind the Detroit Lions’ finances helps a struggling team and city rebuild.

40

Redskins pro scout Alex Santos on building a championship team.

42

How the Chicago Bears are converting the city’s fútbol fans to football fans.

45

NBA marketing guru Jason Quintero takes us behind basketball branding.

47

Baseball honors its past with a contemporary take on diversity and inclusion.

50

Do we, as a nation, finally “like” soccer? FC Dallas is our case study to find out.

JAN/ FEB 2015

CARLOS OSEGUERA PAGE 43 | OMAR MINAYA PAGE 49 | LUIS MIGUEL GARCIA PAGE 54

WEST COAST VS. EAST COAST Reality TV stars Mauricio Umansky (left) and Luis D. Ortiz (right) show us the world of luxury real estate on opposite coasts.

p. 56, 68 JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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Understanding and appreciating each others’ diversity

At Bank of America, our employees are our foundation. They are the reason we’re able to make connections around the globe. It is also through these connections that we’re able to champion an environment of diversity and inclusion; one that celebrates our teammates, customers, clients and communities for everything that makes them unique. Visit www.bankofamerica.com/diversity Life’s better when we’re connected® Bank of America and its affiliates consider for employment and hire qualified candidates without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, protected veteran or disability status or any factor prohibited by law, and as such affirms in policy and practice to support and promote the concept of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, in accordance with all applicable federal, state, provincial and municipal laws. © 2014 Bank of America Corporation. | ARGJXWQQ | D&I-091114


index PEOPLE + COMPANIES LatinWorks

A B C

AARP

66

Luciano, Ernesto

84 100

94

Argent Associates

80

Arredondo, Alberto Arriaga, Luis

97 101

Auger-Domínguez, Daisy

27

Balanceback

71

Bank of America Merrill Lynch 109 BMO Harris

111

Boza Agency

83

Boza, Jose

83

Calemzuk, Emiliano

31

Camarena, Carlos

22

Castellón, José

106

Castro, Alex

76

Charriez, Laston

87

Chávez Law Group

114

Chávez, Fernando

114

Chicago Bears

42

Cleveland Browns 43 Colón, Angel

90

Corporate Creations International Inc.

75

Cosgrove, Marie

71

Cruz, A.B.

63

D E F

Delos Reyes, Elaine

42

Detroit Lions

34

Disney/ABC

27

Douglas Elliman Real Estate

68

Electronic Arts

76

Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

63

Epson

97

Estes, Tomas

20

FC Dallas

50

G H I

Garcia, Luis Miguel

54

Holguin, Rochelle

29

Honeywell Ingelmo, Alejandro

Major League Baseball Manetta, Betty Marquez, Monica Martinez, Christopher Mayorga, Jessica

104 73 128

Minaya, Omar

Horwood Marcus & Berk

79

Huttenlocher Group

36

47

The Kroger Company

90

80

The Western Union Company

87

Umansky, Mauricio

56

109 73

UPS 101

127 128 49

VWXYZ

Velasco, Cesar

66

Velez, Aixa

80

Viacom

Muñoz, Carlos

84

Viacom International Media

127

Networks

New York Red Bulls 54

Villalpando, Cesar

Nieves, Gabriel

15

Washington Redskins

Nitel

78

Yahoo

Northeast Regional Council

29 99

M N O

64 67

40

Northeast Regional Council

100

Zagustin, Larissa

99 60 94

of Carpenters

131

Northwestern Mutual 98A

P Q R

Northwestern Mutual 98C

ADVERTISERS

45

Photo Finish Records

30

PricewaterhouseCoopers

62

PUBLIC Chicago 16 A B C

Redico

Ortiz, Luis D.

68

Argent Associates

82

Oseguera, Carlos

43

Balanceback

72

Ballard Spahr 4 Bank of America 6 P Q R

36

McCarthy Tetrault LLP

Zozaya, Alejandro

104

86

Levy Restaurants

Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP

Zaldivar, Luis

24

121

LatinWorks

119

106

98C

132

Kaiser Permanente

Marketing Lab 89

122

Nuño, Robert

JP Morgan Chase

111

Northrop Grumman Nuñez, Paola

J K L

50

of Carpenters

Ortega, Alberto

48 110

56

Moya, Ray

Oklahoma City Thunder

Honeywell

20

Morales, David

National Council of La Raza

HireVue

The Agency

Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Harvard 4

Tequila Ocho M N O

BMO Harris Bank

Palladium Equity Partners, LLC 60

Bodman PLC

Perez, Luis

34

Boster, Kobayashi and

PUBLIC Chicago

14

Associates

112 36

38

S T U

S.A.F.E. Management

39

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox

64

StoneTurn Group Texas Tech University

74 108

117 88

Pulido Sanchez Communications 17

Bromley

Pulido Sanchez, Pat

17

Cacique Inc.

Quinones, John

47

Chávez Law Group

117

Vamos Bears

44

College Board

126

Vanacore Music

30

Washington Redskins

41

Quiñones Perez, Arlene

122

Quintero, Jason

45

Rios, Paul

78

Rodriguez, Frank Rosa, Yaneris

Core Risks Ltd.

92

64

VWXYZ

75 110

110 12

StoneTurn Group Suero, Camilo

Acevedo Buontempo, Shirley 124 Apple Leisure Group

Sodexo USA

S T U

D E F

Emergent BioSolutions

65

Epson

98

FC Dallas

53

San Diego Padres 49 J K L

Kaiser Permanente

119

Latino U College Access

124

Sanchez, Angel

10

Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman

17

Sanchez, Manny

17

GreenbergTraurig

61

Santos, Alex

40

Grupo Bimbo

92

G H I

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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letter from the editor

1

2

3

4

Bienvenidos a la nueva Hispanic Executive. Our team spent the past year revamping our magazine to ask the important questions—who, what, where, when, how, and most importantly, why?—and we’re excited to answer them in this issue. Who? We recognize Latino leaders to target a population that speaks on behalf of, but also to, the entire Hispanic community. What? The discussion among our executives is as business-based as it is encompassing of heritage, culture, and shared experience. There are stereotypes, yes. We are family-oriented and eat tortillas. We are young and use smartphones. But we are also outspoken and passionate about our causes. Just read what the fiery Mexican actress Paola Nuñez1 has to say about it. p. 24 Where? As this country, hemisphere, and world restructure to incorporate the new majority—the Hispanic population—Latino p.127 leaders must participate in shaping that environment. When? Our emphasis is on “now.” Let me direct your attention to our On p.114 the Pulse section. Never has it been more important for Hispanic leaders to take the steps necessary to have p. 34 influence on the critical issues at hand. Immigration is one of them. As María Elena Salinas says, “Immigration is the issue that moves the Latino vote.” Jorge Ramos says, “for us it’s personal,” and in this issue, Jessica Mayorga2 of NCLR agrees, “we consider it to be the issue of our time.” How? We constantly reach out to the Hispanic community, discover leaders, identify issues, and provide a first-class publication of our results. For this issue, HE contributor Tina Vasquez interviewed Francisco Chávez,3 son of César UP NEXT

8

Sales & Account Management

Managing Editor KC Caldwell kc@hispanicexecutive.com

Director of Strategic Partnerships Krista Lane Horbenko krista@hispanicexecutive.com

Copy Editor Michelle Markelz michelle@ hispanicexecutive.com

Managing Director Philip Taylor

Staff Writers Mary Kenney

Chávez, in-person at his Los Angeles law office. He spoke with passion about immigration reform, the narratives that exist around the undocumented, and how he wants most to be remembered for carrying his father’s legacy into this era. He feels his opportunity to do so has only just begun. Our feature section looks into much-loved pastimes, investigating the business behind the sports. Luis Perez,4 our cover story and CFO of the Detroit Lions, revolutionizes business from the back end as he ingrains the team in the city’s recovery. Throughout the book each feature should give more than just a snapshot of who these executives are and what they do; we hope they spark a discourse about strategy, new technology, and industry trends from these top-level insiders. That brings us to why. We want to create a magazine that starts and continues discussions and networks with, among, and because of our executives. It is our hope that our reader is ready and willing to participate. Así que, orgullosamente y humildemente, we introduce the new HE. Like Fernando Chávez, we are at a beginning, marching in the right direction. Adelante.

Correspondents Matt Alderton Zach Baliva Olivia Castañeda Joe Dyton Julie Edwards Anthony Kaufman Nash Keune John Larrabee Kelli Lawrence Becky May Meng Meng Urmila Ramakrishnan Tina Vasquez Art VP of Production/ Creative Director Karin Bolliger Designer Elena Bragg Senior Photo Editor/ Staff Photographer Sheila Barabad

Associate Director Griselda Reyes Underwrites Director Justin Joseph justin@guerrerohowe.com Account Managers Kyle Evangelista Griselda Reyes Daniela Scarpetta Sales Executives Eric Delgadillo Stacy Kraft Client Services Director Cheyenne Eiswald Senior Client Services Manager Rebekah Pappas Administrative Reprints Director Stacy Kraft stacy@guerrerohowe.com PR Director Vianni Busquets vianni@hispanicexecutive.com

Publishing

Director of Recruiting and Retention Elyse glab

Guerrero Howe, LLC

Staff Accountant Mokena Trigueros

CEO Pedro Guerrero

Executive Assistants Lauren Kiddy Cassie Rose Receptioninst Amanda Paul Subscriptions + Reprints

guerrerohowe.com Office 825 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60642

For a free subscription, visit hispanicexecutive.com/sub. Printed in the USA Reprinting of articles is prohibited without permission of Guerrero Howe, LLC. For reprint information, contact Stacy Kraft at 312.256.8460 or stacy@guerrerohowe.com. Hispanic Executive® is a registered trademark of Guerrero Howe, LLC.

KC Caldwell | Managing Editor

BEST OF THE BOARDROOM 2015

Our second annual spotlight on Latinos in the corporate boardroom focuses on the directives and strategies that are connecting corporate America to Hispanic America. President of the Executives’ Club of Chicago Ana Dutra guest edits as we feature leaders helping American business capitalize on its fastest-growing customers.

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Editorial

Hispanic Executive is proud to be an official media partner and member magazine of the USHCC and HACR


FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

life+style A cultural resource for the contemporary Hispanic executive

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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life+style

FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

INTO THE LIGHT

t is safe to say that just about every fashion lover’s dream is to be successfully based in a major fashion city—New York, Paris, Milan— as a designer, photographer, model, or equally creative professional. Angel Sanchez lives that dream. He launched his brand in 1989 in Venezuela, became a fashion sensation in Latin America, made the “tough decision” to move to the United States The making of a in 1997, and has proven himself a huge success among runway elite. high-fashion phenom Sanchez was born and raised in the by Olivia N. Castañeda city of Valera in Trujillo, Venezuela. Other than himself, Sanchez’s mother is the only other member of his family dedicated to fashion. Making special-occasion dresses in her own store, she is still the best seamstress and patternmaker he has ANGEL ever met. “GrowSANCHEZ ing up, I always FASHION DESIGNER liked sketching ANGEL SANCHEZ and helping my USA mom at her store,” he says. Sanchez began his career in architecture in Caracas after studying post-modern architecture at Universidad Simón Bolivar. During that time, he continued sketching for his mother’s business. “Fashion was keeping my attention more than the architecture,” he recalls, so he transitioned, already educated by his mother’s wisdom on fabrics, female Before making a garment, Sanchez will sketch an idea, put together his ideal fabrics, proportions, and and present the sketch to his team to create a canvas. Sanchez then cuts the fabric, drapes it over a mannequin, and moves to the table to transfer paper patterns. cutting techniques.

REMEMBERING OSCAR DE LA RENTA 10

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

A permanent judge on Project Runway Latin America, Sanchez is the Michael Kors of the Latin American version of the hit reality TV show. Sanchez (right) is photographed with (from left to right) fellow judge Ariadne Grant, season one winner, Jorge Duque, and show host Eglantina Zingg. “My goal is to not judge or criticize the young designers.” says Sanchez. “It’s not about being on TV. It’s about being positive, constructive, and giving them good feedback to take home and use for their own careers.”

With his mother as his business partner, he set up shop in the garage of his family home in Valera. “I sent the sketches [from Caracas] by fax, and she made the dresses,” Sanchez says, chuckling at the memory. The rest is history. Angel Sanchez USA is now headquartered on fashion avenue (7th Avenue) in New York City. Famous for his aesthetic, Sanchez marries his love of architecture and discipline for perfect lines in his fashions. His women’s wear has been described as elegant, timeless, feminine, architectural, and modern with a dash of sexiness. “In terms of proportions, every cut and every line has some type of connection with architecture,” he says. After having made a name for himself in evening and bridal-wear, this year Sanchez takes a break from the romantic night and creates vibrant, daylight-inspired silhouettes. He debuted his brilliant spring/summer 2015 collection, Into the Light, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and gives HE insight on the fresh, new line.

“Luxury to me is not about buying luxurious things; it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.” Oscar de la Renta (1932—2014)


FASHION

Angel Sanchez Spring/Summer 2015 “Into the Light” at New York Fashion Week 1

2

3 1. This mid-waist, ankle-length skirt is silk organza with blue embroidery, and the flowing white blouse is made of silk gazar—Sanchez’s favorite fabric to work with. “I love the lightness of this fabric and the way I can build my ideas with it,” he says. 2. Despite the “very, very short” skirt, this look demonstrates Sanchez’s signature sexy-yetsophisticated style. “My client is very social. She’s a woman with a lot of personality and likes for people to notice her.” His A-list clientele include Gisele Bündchen, Iman Abdulmajid, Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Hurley, and Taylor Swift.

3. The pink fabric is cotton doublefaced. “One of my favorite pieces,” says Sanchez. “I love the slits on the skirt.” He mentions that anytime he has a question about a fashion technique, to this day, his mother, who continues her own work, is always there with helpful advice. For this collection he also developed the accessories, using new colors for his repertoire: yellows, pinks, and blues.

4

5

“This collection came from the idea of how to see the light, the sky.”

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ANGEL SANCHEZ

Angel Sanchez

4. Here the architectural element is alive within the opening panels as the model walks. “This collection came from the idea of how to see the light, the sky. I wanted to use new colors and to see if I could make dresses for daytime, and forget about the night,” Sanchez says.

Atlanta-based illustrator Mengjie Di drew this illustration as a presentational sketch after Sanchez’s Spring 2015 collection was finished. “I take a picture of the dress and send it to her, and she makes her own interpretation,” Sanchez explains.

5. Both pieces are printed silk organza. The separates are available in sizes 0–14 and range from $1,500 to $7,000. “I’m very happy with this collection because it shows another face of my work,” says Sanchez. “I have the same kind of confidence doing daytime wear.”

“As a Latin designer, Oscar was my idol. His long life devoted to fashion and always impeccably renovated talent is and will be my greatest inspiration.” Angel Sanchez for HE

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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life+style

FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

FANCY FOOT WORK by Olivia N. Castañeda

ith a confident, “I’ve-got-this” attitude, Alejandro Ingelmo closed his books at Parsons The New School for Design and invested his savings (just one year’s worth of tuition) in a self-titled, high-end shoe line. The former Donna Karan intern instantaneously caught celebrity attention. His Italian-made women’s shoes claimed Madonna as their first A-list patron. A year later, 2007 saw the launch of his collection for men, an assortment based on what he wanted for his own wardrobe. “You know I couldn’t wear the heels, so I had to make my own shoes,” he jokes. Ingelmo’s artistry for shoe craftsmanship and business acumen are rooted in his ancestry. He comes from a long line—four generations deep— of footwear designers. In the late 1800s, his great grandfather Donato Ingelmo was the town’s cobbler in Salamanca, Spain. Later in the early 1900s, when war broke out creating dangerous living conditions, his grandfather Cristobal Ingelmo relocated to Cuba, where he established his company, Ingelmo Shoes. When Fidel Castro came into office in 1959, Ingelmo Shoes, along with most other businesses, was discontinued. Ingelmo’s family then moved to Coral Gables, Florida, where Alejandro was born and raised by hard-working parents who continued to work in shoe distribution. The bold designer sits down with HE to talk family tradition, tattoos, and fashion faux pas.

ALEJANDRO INGELMO Accessory Designer Headquartered: Manhattan, NY

Founded: His first women’s shoe collection debuted in the fall of 2006. About: Known for classic silhouettes in exotic materials, Ingelmo designs men’s and women’s footwear and has a cult following among fashion editors and celebrities.

REMEMBERING OSCAR DE LA RENTA 12

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

What is it like to carry on your family’s trade? Is there a level of expectation? Shoe designing is in our blood. If you were to say my last name to somebody who’s Cuban and from my grandfather’s or great grandfather’s era, they often have amazing stories. One guy told me that he had a pair of my grandfather’s shoes and saved them for his wedding. I’ve heard stories of people who would save all their money to buy those shoes. When you hear that growing up, it means something and sinks in somehow. That kind of emotion is really cool, and if I’m able to evoke that in a product I design, that’s true satisfaction. What’s your day-to-day uniform? I’m pretty basic and simple. Right now I’m just wearing black jeans, a gray T-shirt, and a leather jacket. How many tattoos do you have and where are they? Oh, it’s a lot of them, and they’re all really big pieces—on my chest, arm, and my whole back. There’s one that says “el corazón con que vivo” by the famous Cuban poet José Marti. One depicts the Virgin Mary and the praying hands on the other side. I designed the pieces on my front, which are more abstract. What do you do for fun outside of work or to relieve stress? I do a lot of CrossFit. In the winter I snowboard in Switzerland, visit my family in Miami, and just eat good Cuban food. Who is the woman you design for? I definitely think that she’s a woman who’s strong-minded and modern. There are women who buy the Christian Louboutins for the red sole, but I try to create something new every single season. I know there are women out there

“The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.” Oscar de la Renta (1932­—2014)

“Oscar de la Renta was always an important


FASHION

who understand quality, but it takes a very specific woman to not just follow trends, but to truly understand the beauty of design.

INGELMO’S

Alejandro Ingelmo insists that every modern woman should have the following three types of shoes in her closet: pretty flats, black pumps, and cool sneakers.

What are your fashion pet peeves? All shoes from spring/summer 2015 season.

A woman who can’t walk in high heels and unmanicured toenails. Franca Flat

Who is your muse?

Nude/ Rosegold

I don’t really have a muse. I mean, I think it’s really hard to just pinpoint one person to be everything. It’s not so much a person; it’s more of a vibe. I’m inspired by architecture, technology, matters of the world, and the way things are made. I take in all those visuals and create.

Tron Pump

What are your plans for the next five to ten years?

Black Mesh

I want to expand retail to Madison Avenue in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami. Internationally I’d like to be in markets such as South America and Asia. I’d even love to design children’s shoes someday. I further want to break into small leather goods like wallets, evening clutches, and belts.

Tron Sneaker Iride Croc

Tom Ford recently said that it’s okay to wear sneakers with a formal suit. Do you agree? Of course! I’ve been saying that all the time I’ve been designing sneakers. I’m glad to hear that he’s caught on after a couple of years.

PORTRAIT: JOSE MARQUEZ

What’s the best fashion advice you’ve received?

Always make sure you have the right accessory. That’s an important part in making an outfit. You don’t need five items, just two good pieces. What’s your advice for getting out of a fashion rut?

Definitely see something new. Get out, travel, and have new experiences to get inspired. Which trends are you excited about for the spring 2015 season? The trends are a little bit softer this season: a lot of whites, a little bit sexier with a little more femininity. We really worked on that this season, so it’s nice to see similar concepts on other runways.

role model for me. I admired the longevity of his career and the passion he conveyed so effortlessly in his designs. American fashion has lost one of its great talents.” Alejandro Ingelmo for HE

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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life+style

FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

IN A PUBLIC PLACE HE’s staff writer, Mary Kenney, takes a private tour inside the chic Chicago hotel by Mary Kenney, portrait by Sheila Barabad

THE PUMP ROOM The Pump Room, shown here, was encapsulated in LIFE magazine’s spreads in the 1930’s and ‘40’s with photos of entrées on fire and elegant couples in cozy U-shaped booths—the same that hosted celebrity guests including Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, and Mel Brooks. Phones at certain tables allowed journalists to call in the latest news and read whatever they’d typed up over dinner.

14

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015


SPACES

THE LIBRARY AND LOBBY Every piece of the hotel is designed to set you at ease even as it sparks your interest—from the library’s flickering fireplace to the soft gray blankets draped across wraparound couches to pictures on the wall reminiscent of Vermeer (they are actually modern photography: one features the subject with bubble wrap on her head, another with a wig of aluminum cans). Schrager hoped his hotel would capture simple, chic luxury. The decor is reminiscent of the furnishings and atmosphere of Schrager’s own home in New York City.

boveground, Ian Schrager’s Chicago hotel is a collection of soothing grays and beiges, of backward-ticking clocks, fireplaces, and soft golden lighting. But Gabriel Nieves does not start his daily walk aboveground. He begins far below the suites and conference rooms and lobbies, beneath concrete and marble and wide pipes. He navigates the underground maze of lockers, kitchens, and an assortment of other rooms devoted to the hotel’s upkeep with apparent ease. “I got lost a few times when I first got here,” he admits. Nieves, the hotel’s director of human resources, joined PUBLIC hotel group in April 2014, nearly three years after PUBLIC Chicago opened in the former Ambassador East hotel. Owner Ian Schrager wanted PUBLIC to embody luxury and leisure at prices the average visitor could afford. Rooms at PUBLIC start at $150, ranging up to more than $1,500 for some of the penthouse suites. Nieves’s role is part of an extensive and varied network to make Schrager’s dream a reality along Chicago’s Gold Coast. Nieves has always lived in Chicago, and slid seamlessly into the framework of the very Chicagoan hotel. He

the baby?” “Que pasa? ”—Nieves jogs up the stairs and into the GABRIEL NIEVES main lobby. He takes a left into DIRECTOR OF HUMAN the Pump Room. RESOURCES Not a utility room as its name PUBLIC HOTELS suggests, the restaurant is one of the most historic spots in Chicago and a huge draw for the hotel. It echoes the colors of the lobby and library, but its white-gold and sage accents as well as its giant, illuminated resin globes take guests back to the restaurant’s 1920s roots. When Schrager bought the space, he announced plans to completely redecorate, but he left the naming of the restaurant to the public. Once polled, Chicagoans overwhelmingly answered, “the Pump Room.” Schrager incorporated his idea of affordable luxury into the space by asking Jean-Georges Vongerichten to design the menu. For less than $100, a couple can share cocktails, pretzel-dusted calamari and local dishes like slow-cooked halibut and prosciutto-wrapped pork chop. has more than a decade of experience in Nieves heads back out of the Pump labor and human capital management Room and into a small elevator. The staff under his belt. After threading through members swirling around him blend into the locker rooms and kitchens, greetthe background, but the fact that they aren’t dressed in stuffy pressed uniforms is ing workers by their first names, both in notable. Nieves, himself, wears jeans and English and Spanish—“O-wen!” “How’s

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FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

SPOTLIGHT: Schrager is probably bestknown as the cofounder of Studio 54, a groundbreaking New York nightclub that was one of the city’s most popular from 1977 until 1981, but his career has expanded far beyond his disco roots.

AVA TERRACE Recently, the hotel hosted the cast of Chicago Fire here to view the season premiere. It’s easy to see why they chose this terrace out of any place in the city that would have been glad to have them.

PROJECTS

Schrager and Rubell opened Morgans, their first hotel, in 1984. Their goal was to capture the energy of their nightclubs to create “boutique hotels,” an idea that reshaped the hotel industry. Schrager introduced the idea of “lobby socializing” in the hotel space, promoting a chic lobby as a place for guests to network. Schrager sold Morgans Hotel Group and founded Ian Schrager Company in 2005. His company develops residential and hotel brands, including PUBLIC Chicago. PUBLIC is Schrager’s first hotel since the 2008 recession. Its design remains “cheap chic,” focusing on affordable luxury.

WWW.PUBLICHOTELS.COM

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HE staff writer Mary Kenney tours a conference room with Gabriel Nieves.

a tweed jacket. His strategy at PUBLIC is to instill a sense of service in all of his employees but with professionalism that is friendly and disarming rather than overly proper and ceremonial. Nieves carries a plastic card in his pocket—one that every employee owns­—that outlines PUBLIC ideals. The first of these: “I know that service matters most.” The elevator pings as it reaches the 17th floor, and Nieves walks into Ava (seen above), one of the event rooms (all of the conference rooms are named for Schrager’s children—Sophia, Ava, and Louis. Several rooms bear their initials, SAL). Stepping out on to the outdoor balcony, the city of Chicago climbs up like the tiers of a cake, with buildings circling on all sides and one wedge that opens to the deep blue of Lake Michigan. Nieves takes a seat on a small couch overlooking the Gold Coast. If there is such a thing as Schrager’s dream of “simple chic,” this is it.

PORTRAIT: IAN SCHRAGER COMPANY; PHOTOS: SHEILA BARABAD

Schrager cofounded his first club, Enchanted Garden, in New York City’s Queens borough in 1975. Its success led him and his partner, Steve Rubell, to Manhattan, where they opened Studio 54, which gained great fame. The space was a former opera house and CBS studio, so the owners were able to transform the nightclub into something completely new every night. Schrager’s next project, Palladium, also focused on a dramatic multimedia environment.


FACES

MEET CHICAGO’S SUPER COUPLE

by Mary Kenney, photos by Sheila Barabad

he couple had talked about marriage before that night, of course. Pat Pulido knew the question was coming, and she assumed her then boyfriend, Manny Sanchez, was planning to pose it over an intimate dinner, where the two could enjoy great food and high emotions. “Well, it was far from that,” Pat says with a chuckle. Pat had flown in from St. Louis to attend an event with Manny at the Chicago Club. The 120-plus-person gathering was a combination 50th birthday party for Manny and an announcement that he was receiving the Raoul Wallenberg Award for humanitarian service (which now draws an eye from its shadowbox on the wall of his office). Unbeknownst to guests—and to Pat—the event would also serve as a public venue for a proposal. “I go to the mic,” Manny recalls, “and I asked, ‘How, when, and where?’” The audience was confused, so he repeated himself, “‘How? Hopefully, like this. When? Now. And where? Here! Pat, will you marry me?’” and took out a ring box. Everyone was stunned, Pat included. She stood up beside him, grabbed his jacket, and said, “How could you do this to me?” She took the box without opening it, said, “yes” into the mic, and only later did she remember to look at the ring. Manny, founder and managing partner of Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman LLP, and Pat, president and CEO of Pulido Sanchez Communications, embody the idea of a power couple. Both belong to multiple boards across the country and are heavily involved in philanthropic and political matters within Chicago. Asked how they manage it all, their answer isn’t a grand mystery. “We’re partners in life,” Pat says.

Pat Pulido Sanchez (left) and Manny Sanchez

SANCHEZ, DANIELS & HOFFMAN LLP

PULIDO SANCHEZ COMMUNICATIONS

Attorneys: 35

Full-Time Employees: 4

Specialties: Practices include employment law, professional liability, and civil rights litigation.

About: Pulido Sanchez Communications increases brand visibility and market share with traditional strategic communications and the integration of innovative, social media technology and digital and community business engagement. Clients include the Consul General of Mexico and HACR.

Location: 333 West Wacker Drive

About: Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman is one of the nation’s largest certified minority business enterprise law firms and is Chicago’s largest minority-owned law firm.

Location: 333 West Wacker Drive

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FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

“It sounds so hokey, but it’s true. We’re partners as a couple, as parents, politically, ethically, and in our pride in our Latino heritage.”

MANNY Managing one of the nation’s largest certified minority business enterprise law firms is no small task; it’s a long list of responsibilities. Manny’s firm handles a number of practice areas in tort, contract, commercial, employment, and statutory controversies. He is one of just five Latinos in the prestigious Commercial Club of Chicago, the oldest business club in the city. He sits on the boards of the Economic Club of Chicago, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Steppenwolf Theatre, Ounce of Prevention, Gems World Academy Advisory Board, and various other organizations that involve work with children, the arts, and Northern Illinois University (NIU). He was appointed to NIU’s board of trustees in 1995 and served again in 2001. “Known for his passion, ambition, intellect, and extraordinary devotion to his alma mater, ” the college’s website boasts, “Mr. Sanchez is the quintessential alumnus of NIU.” Manny’s reach stretches beyond Chicago’s borders, as well. In 2011, he received an appointment from President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he serves on the early learning subcommittee. When Manny met Pat, he hadn’t planned to get married again. His firm was thriving, and he’d built a full, enviable life in Chicago. Now, when he tells the story of his proposal, he still gets choked up. “I didn’t think it would happen again,” he reflects. “But I’m so happy. I’m married to this beautiful woman, and our life together is wonderful.” Ask him what’s coming up next, and you won’t hear a plan to slow down any time soon. Manny wants to increase the visibility and profile of Latino business leaders, focus on early education for Latinos, and continue to support comprehensive immigration reform. This is the legacy he wants to leave, and he’s well on his

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way. “I want to see a generation of Latino power couples,” he says. “There’s a dearth today, but in the next generation, you’ll see many more.”

PAT Pat moved from St. Louis to Chicago after she and Manny were engaged, but she’s no stranger to the Windy City. Her first position with Anheuser-Busch Companies was as corporate relations manager in Chicago. Today, Pat has more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications, which she leverages as president and CEO of her own firm, Pulido Sanchez Communications. She serves on the corporate boards of ITxM/LifeSource Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, Academy for Global Citizenship, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. Pat had thrived as a working single mother for seven years and married Manny when her daughter was 10 years old. That role came with “a lot of learning curves,” and it didn’t stop once Pat was married. “My career has had ebbs and flows, like anyone’s, and navigating how to support one another when we both have

had such demanding careers has been challenging at times, but we ultimately found the right balance.” Pat’s firm works with a number of high-profile clients to use applications such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to strengthen a company’s brand and interact with its consumer base. Among these clients are the Consul General of Mexico, Crown Imports, and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). Though Pulido Sanchez Communications started as a traditional strategic communications firm, it has grown to include an arsenal of tools, such as focus groups, strategic planning, and the integration of innovative social media technology. Like her husband, Pat has a number of personal goals and a focus on strengthening the Latino community. “I want to continue on my path to make my work more meaningful,” she adds. Pat recently invested in DonorPath, a Chicago-based technology company that provides innovative software for nonprofits to manage, grow, and sustain their donor base. She will soon serve as the Chair of the Capacity Building Fund at the Chicago Community Trust for


FACES

“We’re partners as a couple, as parents, politically, ethically, and in our pride in our Latino heritage.” Pat Pulido Sanchez

“I want to see a generation of Latino power couples. There’s a dearth today, but in the next generation, you’ll see many more.” Manny Sanchez

MANNY AND PAT’S PICKS:

The Sanchezes love a restaurant where people know them, hold a table for them, and always offer great food. Their top Chicago picks:

GIBSONS BAR & STEAKHOUSE

A “classic fare” chophouse 1028 N Rush St

DonorPath. Pat hopes to leverage her experience, relationships, and networks to help the company make a social impact. She wants to apply her entrepreneurial mindset to help DonorPath’s technology spread to nonprofits that need it. “The Latino community is extremely underresourced and underrepresented in both classrooms and businesses,” she says. “Through my venture philanthropic work, I want to bring more awareness to the need for technology in the Latino community.”

MR. and MRS. Step into the Sanchez home in the Chicago suburb of Lisle or their condo in the city, and you’ll see a collection of artwork and knickknacks from around the world. When the two travel, they interact with the world around them and pick up mementos along the way. At home they’re comfortable enough in one another’s company to focus on each other and keep to themselves. The couple’s average weeknight is spent in their Chicago condo, and it drifts between the mundane—Manny picks up something from Mariano’s, Pat cooks, and they watch TV together—to the glamorous—a political, civic, or philanthropic black-tie event after work, during which both weave effortlessly through a crowd that knows them well. Fridays involve a trip to the country club for dinner or

JELLYFISH

A late-night Pan-Asian small plate, sushi, and sake restaurant 1009 N Rush St #2

TAVERN AT THE PARK

A cozy, contemporary pub next to Millennium Park 130 E Randolph St

CHICAGO CUT STEAKHOUSE

A modern steakhouse with a patio overlooking the river 300 N LaSalle St

cocktails with friends, and they finally relax once they’re out in the suburbs for the weekend. Well, in theory. When we met one week in October, their schedules seemed like a whirlwind, and it was one of many such weeks they’d experienced in the last year. First they attended a gala thrown by the Kevin Spacey Foundation in Washington, DC and enjoyed a concert given by Spacey to support youth in the arts. Then they headed to New York City for dinner at the Rockefeller Center, joining guests including former

president Bill Clinton, and participated in a powerful discussion on the global role of education. Next, they spent two days in Orlando, Florida for a golf outing and dinner hosted by the Kate and Justin Rose Foundation, which fights childhood hunger and supports early education. In between all of these appearances, Manny and Pat drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to visit their daughter, Andrea. Manny and Pat each mean many things to many people. That their week was focused on social welfare as well as their family is indicative of their commitment to improving the lives of families everywhere. They don’t use the term “step-child,” though both had their own children before their marriage. They are just a family, and they’ve worked hard to cultivate their personal relationships despite heavy outside pressures. “Women always ask me, how do you make time to make it all work?” Pat says. “It didn’t happen overnight, and it involves a lot of respect for one another and for each other’s work.” Manny and Pat are a fixture in Chicago’s philanthropic, civic, and political activism scene, and one rarely appears without the other, unless they need to make simultaneous appearances for different organizations. Both recognize the other as a partner in business and philanthropy as well as in their marriage, and they serve on boards and in capacities that complement rather than overlap or work against one another. That’s not to say they’ve never been competitive. Manny is a lawyer, and Pat is in business; there was natural competition between them in the beginning. “Then you grow comfortable with each other,” Pat says, and she smiles at Manny. “You want to see each other succeed and grow.” When the two married, they chose excerpts from poems to include in their wedding vows. Among them, Pat selected a verse that included the phrase “utterly content.” “Those words are so perfect to me,” Manny says. “It’s so important to have that sentiment in your life.” Pat nods. “And I am,” she agrees. “I am utterly content.”

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FASHION | SPACES | FACES | FINDS

TEQUILA OF THE FUTURE Tomas Estes, otherwise known as the tequila ambassador to Europe, opened some of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the European Union. Now he is partnering with one of the world’s most experienced distillers to revolutionize the way tequila is produced by Julie Pennell

What comes from your heart is more important than what comes from your head,” Tomas Estes says to his bartenders and waitstaff during an afternoon tequila training session at Cafe Pacifico, one of the three Mexican restaurants he owns in London. The group of young and eager employees watches intently as he talks and passionately gesticulates. Estes makes an effort to know every employee’s

TOMAS ESTES COCREATOR TEQUILA OCHO

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name—perhaps that’s why they greet him with huge smiles, handshakes, and hugs when they see him in the restaurant throughout the day. Over the past 40 years, Estes has opened 18 bar and restaurant properties from Amsterdam to Sydney and cocreated Tequila Ocho, an innovative brand inspired by the wine making process. He has been appointed Mexico’s official tequila ambassador to Europe and published a highly revered book, appropriately titled The Tequila Ambassador, that is selling for eight times its original price on Amazon because it’s so highly in-demand. Growing up in East Los Angeles, a city that is home to the second-largest population of Mexicans after Mexico City, Estes was introduced to Mexican food and culture at an early age. As a teenager in the ‘60s, he would sneak over the border to visit Mexico. “Compared to LA,” he says, “Mexico was full of life, feeling, and soul. I was fascinated with it and all the forbidden fruits it offered.” After getting a degree in education from California State University, Long Beach, Estes became a teacher and used his

Each bottle of Tequila Ocho promises a unique flavor. Ocho is the first tequila to designate both the year it was produced and the precise field from which the agave was sourced. Each is noted on the front label to confirm their authenticity.


PORTRAIT (OPPOSITE): FREDDIE FARINE

FINDS

summers to travel. During a visit to Amsterdam, he fell in love with its radical liberality. He remembers feeling like Amsterdam was a place where he could learn a great deal about himself and decided he wanted to live there one day. He needed an idea to support his dream, and his mind naturally turned to a venture involving his love for Mexico. “I saw a hole in the market and decided to open up a Mexican restaurant in Amsterdam,” he says. In 1976, he rented a “not-sonice” space right on the edge of the city’s De Wallen red-light district and fixed it up with the help of his former wife (who became his business partner), a past student, (who became his chef), and friends who helped his vision become a reality. The restaurant was empty for the first few weeks after opening, but slowly people started trickling in, and it soon became the place to dine in Amsterdam. Celebrities such as Tina Turner and the members of Queen (who received a Gold Record award there) came to experience it. Even Blondie’s Debbie Harry once waited three hours for a table. After his success in Amsterdam, Estes opened up more Mexican bars and restaurants in multiple locations including London; Paris; Cologne, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Sydney. In 2002, a group of 40 tequileros (tequila promoters) traveled to London with the then-president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Estes, who helped plan the trip, offered to host them at his restaurant. During a reception, Francisco Javier Gonzalez García (son of Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada, founder of Don Julio tequila) awarded him the title of ambassador of tequila on behalf of the Mexican National Chamber for the Tequila Industry. And isn’t it only fitting that the tequila ambassador has his own tequila brand? Estes was approached by legendary master distiller Carlos Camarena to create a brand of tequila together. Inspired by the idea of terroir (the French word for natural influences like soil, exposure, and wind, used mainly in wine making), Estes had the idea of using a single-vineyard

CUATRO

It’s estimated that Tomas Estes’s bars and restaurants have served more than eight million margaritas through the years. Experience one yourself at any of these four locations:

CAFE PACIFICO This cantina features homemade Mexican food and a large bar. The decor is basic and a little rustic, a little exposed, giving it the feel of Estes’s original concept in Amsterdam. 5 Langley St., London, UK › cafe-pacifico.com

EL NIVEL The idea for this cocktail bar was conceived less than a year ago to celebrate agaves in elegant refinement. The second-floor space is decorated with original pieces of artwork and fine upholstered chairs.

Agave for Tequila Ocho is harvested from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, producing a fruitier flavor.

28 Alto, Maiden Lane, London, UK › elnivel.co.uk

LA PERLA LONDON The focal point of this property is the bar that spans a large portion of the length of the building. A gathering of tables sits toward the back for those who want food with their drinks. 28 Maiden Lane, London, UK › laperla-london.com

LA PERLA PARIS An elegant bar sits atop a marble floor in this refined space. The small kitchen serves traditional Mexican food. 26 Rue François Miron, Paris, France › laperla-paris.com

Growing the agave is mostly the responsibility of Carlos Camarena, but Estes makes trips to Mexico four times a year to visit his partner.

approach to give batches of tequila a different taste based on where their agave is grown. The result: Tequila Ocho, which launched in Mexico in 2008. “The approach to making Ocho is very much like slow food,” Estes says. “The goal is to make the tequila as agave-flavored as possible—there are no artificial flavors involved.” The agaves have come from 11 different ranches to date, giving each batch of tequila its own distinct taste. Camarena

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likes to say that Tequila Ocho looks to the future, a time in which tequilas get closer in concept to wine. Estes explains that the tequilas that come from Tequila Valley in the Mexican state of Jalisco are more masculine with an earthy and herbal taste, while those like Ocho, which come from los altos, the highlands of Jalisco, are more feminine with a fruity and floral taste. Unique-tasting tequila isn’t the only

good thing to come from this venture with Camarena though. Estes says his partner, whom he visits in Mexico four times a year, inspires him each time. “I might have an appointment scheduled with Carlos for an hour, but it will last all day. That’s because he’s right there with you when you’re with him. It’s a much more human relationship than commercial.” Interestingly, the thing that Estes appreciates about Camarena is what Estes’s

employees appreciate about him. After giving his bartenders and waitstaff an uplifting pep talk at the tequila training, he answers one last question about the best advice he’s ever received when it comes to business. A spiritual healer in Portland once told him, “You have gone to Europe for a purpose, to show there’s a different way to do business—with love, not fear,” and that, Estes says, was the biggest career reinforcement of all.

TALKING

Managing editor of HE KC Caldwell (left in photo) spoke with Carlos Camarena, Estes’s partner (right); and his wife, Monica Camarena (center), over tequila, ceviche, and tacos at Dove’s Luncheonette in Chicago. Camarena owns the distillery that produces Tequila Ocho, along with Tequila Tapatío, his more traditional tequila brand. Give us an overview of what your distillery is like. First of all, the distillery, La Alteña, is completely family-owned, and has been for 77 years. My mother, my sisters, my wife, and I now run the distillery together. It is located in the highlands of Arandas in Jalisco, Mexico. From one distillery we make two completely different types of tequila, Tapatío and Ocho. What are the biggest differences between Tapatío and Ocho? Tequila Ocho is more conceptual while Tapatío is traditional. The process of making Tapatío honors the past—it has been the same since my grandfather owned the distillery. Tapatío tries to keep a consistent flavor, a flavor that someone might recognize

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upon tasting it. With Tapatío, the distillers modify the process to make sure the flavors are consistent. Tequila Ocho is the opposite and its process looks to the future. It uses the idea of terroir. Tomas and I developed a new way to elaborate the tequila. We use agave plants from different fields, and we don’t modify the flavors at all. We instead allow the agave plant to express specific flavors, depending on where the plant was grown. That is what terroir means: letting the flavor express itself depending on where its materials come from. Vintners use this process widely with their grapes to elaborate flavors for wine. In this case, we use it with agave. Every time we use a different origin, we find very different flavors. That is what makes each bottle of Tequila Ocho unique.

That is tough. It’s like asking, “How do you describe the flavor of a tomato?” Everyone knows what a tomato tastes like, but it’s hard to describe the flavor. If I had to describe the flavor I would use words like peppery and earthy, with a hint of caramel. Each plant gives us different flavors, and for Tequila Ocho, we allow those flavors to be expressed.

How would you describe the flavor of agave?

How has Tequila Ocho been received?

How does your partnership work with Tomas Estes long-distance? Basically, I am the distiller. I chose the fields, the plants, and oversee production. Tomas represents the brand globally. He is the public relations person while I am behind the scenes. I make the stuff, and he moves it. I am the producer; he is the promoter.

It has been incredibly well-received, and it is growing at a rate we are very happy about. Last year we had a 50 percent growth rate yearover-year on a global scale, and we’re expecting at least the same level of growth this year. We’re constantly being introduced in more countries, and the brand is getting a very good reputation. Right now, we’re exporting to about 15 countries, but it is sure to be 25 very soon. Our market in Europe is growing more quickly than in the United States, and we’re also growing into Asia and Africa. These are not necessarily huge tequila markets, but they are markets in which the brand is appreciated. When you are at home and celebrating, what is your favorite type of tequila to drink? All of them. All my tequilas are like my children; I don’t have a favorite. I love them all for different reasons. Sometimes, one really excels in behavior and character. Depending on my own mood, sometimes I get along better with one than with another, but I love all of my tequilas— my Blanco as much as my Añejo, as much as my Reposado, as much as any bottle of Ocho. Which I chose really depends on the occasion.

PHOTO: SHEILA BARABAD

life+style


arts+ entertainment The entertainment industry, from the perspective of its creatives

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arts+entertainment

Queen of SCREEN by Urmila Ramakrishnan

Paola Nuñez will not be kept quiet. She was only 12 years old when she began her acting career in theatre and just 16 when she made her television debut. Now, she is a renowned actress of international fame, writer, and producer in the world of telenovelas. In an exclusive HE interview, the Mexican actress is vocal about the stereotypes that plague roles for Hispanic actresses and her hopes to change their on-screen portrayal. She recently took her career to the United States via Telemundo’s hit Reina de Corazones and sits down with us to talk telenovelas, ambitions, and petty theft.

I started acting as a little girl. I was very, very shy growing up, and I always felt trapped inside this shy girl. I wanted to be outgoing, fun, and crazy, and the only way I could express that was by doing this wacky character. I discovered I could just hide behind a character and feel comfortable in that space. In 1998, I moved from Tecate, Mexico to live with my cousin in Mexico City. I studied acting and started working in commercials before getting into telenovelas. What’s it like being an actress in a telenovela living in Mexico? Telenovelas are huge in Mexico. It is more likely that two Mexican people have seen the same telenovela than the same movie. It’s funny, nobody knows you if you’re in movies, but if you do telenovelas, everyone knows you. They think they really know you, too! They laugh and cry

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with you because the soaps are all about being overly dramatic. What is it about telenovelas that captivates that audience? Working people just want to come home and watch them as a kind of catharsis—so they can relax and so they can feel. When I see people on the street, they just want to hug me. In this genre, the leading lady is always the suffering victim, and she’s always crying. Viewers love that. Can you pinpoint the moment of your success in Mexico? Money was a huge struggle starting out. I remember ransacking my cousin’s apartment just to find some spare change. I used to go to this one supermarket for years. When I first got there, I actually stole raisins because I didn’t have enough money to pay for them. They caught me, and it was so embarrassing. I never did

PORTRAIT: CHINO MORO

What got you into acting?


Paola Nu単ez Actress, Producer, Writer

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You recently made your move into the United States market. What went into that decision? I think Mexico is great, but it’s not Hollywood. Mexico is small, and I’m fed up with TV talking about drug dealers. I wanted to do something I really enjoyed. When I decided to make the move, everyone was telling me I was crazy to want to start from zero—from scratch. I just thought, “I don’t give a damn.” I’m at the point in my career where I have to come out of my comfort zone and do something else. I have to try without regrets.

You’ve acted, produced, and dabbled in writing. What topics or messages are you looking to portray in your roles? I love portraying struggle—the constant pain of trying to be better and the pressure that society puts on us to change who we are. Growing up, I was constantly told that I had to change who I was. I love the phrase, “We suffer by what the mind tells us.” I think that showing suffering causes us to consider how we can progress. Talking about happiness and being nice to each other is great but can’t really teach you to change. We each have a dark side, and we are fighting with it all the time. I guess I like writing about inner demons. Is there a role that you’ve done that really embodies that? The movie I produced, Dariela los Martes. The main character was based on my suffering. We decided we didn’t want the movie to be about romance. It started with the concept of two people just seeing each other once a week, so they wouldn’t fall in love. But, as I started to write about this girl, I developed chronic insomnia. Most people don’t know how difficult insomnia is. You literally get sick because of it. I just started to write about that, and that’s how the movie slowly became about how insomnia can ruin a relationship. Why is it important for you to act in roles that portray strong women? I love strong, courageous, independent, badass women. That’s the kind of woman I see every day. That’s the woman I admire and want to

Paola Nuñez and Eugenio Siller, stars of Reina de Corazones

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

What do you want to see for Hispanic women in the industry? Women in Mexico are still represented as submissive. I know we’re not that any more at all. Women in Mexico are independent, working women. They are gaining power. By displaying these submissive, victimized women, it’s showing a society doesn’t want to give women power. They try to keep us quiet in Mexico, but I’m not going to be quiet about it. I want to make a difference by portraying a different kind of leading lady—not just the victim, not the girl that’s going to die if she doesn’t have her man, but a strong woman who can have her own dreams. I want to see women in the industry show they can have success without a man. What’s the biggest challenge that comes with that? I feel women aren’t culturally portrayed often enough as we really are. Everything’s a cliché. I remember reading a script that offended me so much, I couldn’t even finish it. There was a scene with an American and a Mexican during Christmas. The Mexican woman was putting taco ornaments on a Christmas tree. The man asked what she was doing, and she said, “That’s what we do in Mexico, we put little tacos on the tree.” I was like, “Come on, really?! We just don’t do that!” People still see us as the serape-wearing, taco-eating Mexican. We’re so much more. I want to see women who truly portray the Hispanic girl. There’s more to us than tequila and tacos.

“They try to keep us quiet in Mexico, but I’m not going to be quiet about it … I want to see women in the industry show they can have success without a man.” Paola Nuñez

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be. One of my favorite roles is an assassin in the upcoming Fox Telemundo miniseries Cien Años de Perdón. I love her because she’s like the girl next door. She could be eating at McDonald’s next to you, and you wouldn’t know that she just killed a man. I just love that kind of role.

Photo: Telemundo

it again. Then in 2001 I was at the same supermarket and suddenly, everyone was saying “Hi” to me and calling me by my name—even the cashier and the shelf stocking man recognized me from TV! That’s when I knew I made it.


FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

True Reflection Television titan ABC takes it cues from vice president Daisy Auger-Domínguez to ensure its content and creators reflect an increasingly diverse audience

Photo: ©ABC/Craig Sjodin, portrait: Christopher Auger-Domínguez

By Zach Baliva

It was like a mini United Nations. The class of 1988 at the American School of Santo Domingo that had 25 students of 10 nationalities and languages laid the foundation for Daisy Auger-Domínguez’s career and personal commitment to diversity. Her in-between status of Dominican-Puerto Rican gave her an appreciation for individual complexity. She did not grow up trying to fit people into neat, little boxes. Auger-Domínguez remembers the feeling of being stereotyped. When she moved to the United States as a junior in high school, she was instantly labeled as Hispanic. The term seemed to refer to a homogeneous group often defined by poverty and lack of education. “Nobody seemed to think about the diversity of experiences and cultural nuances in the Hispanic/Latino community,” she recalls. Auger-Domínguez pushed back against that notion and insisted on creating her own identity. The struggle left her with a disdain for limiting the potential of others and a passion for diversity and inclusion. At Bucknell University, while studying international relations and women’s studies, Auger-Domínguez found that she initially related more closely to other international students than to US-born students. “Living in that in-between status afforded me periods of reflection. I have the ability to hone an understanding of people and institutions in broad ways, inclusive of background, experience, thought, and

perspective,” she says. When she served as president of the Latino student club, some of her best friends were leaders of the Asian, South Asian, and African-American student clubs. “We crossed invisible boundaries and developed a multicultural awareness that broke away from traditional silos,” Auger-Dominguez explains. As she moved into the professional world, Auger-Domínguez developed her own philosophy of diversity and human capital. In her current role, vice president of talent acquisition and organization and workforce diversity at Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG), Auger-Domínguez helps the iconic company weave diversity and inclusion into all business functions. Her responsibilities include ensuring that DATG creates and produces programming that authentically reflects and appeals to its diverse audience. Great storytelling is

Daisy AugerDomínguez

Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Organization and Workforce Diversity DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP HEADQUARTERED: Burbank, CA FOUNDED: 1996 FOLLOW-THROUGH: From 2012 to 2013, Disney/ABC boasted 19 shows on which the director for 30 percent or more of the episodes was a woman or minority. ABOUT: Disney/ABC is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, comprising its entertainment, television news, television station, and radio properties, including ABC, ABC News, ABC Family, ESPN, A&E Networks, and Disney Channels Worldwide.

How to Get Away with Murder

With 11.8 million viewers, How to Get Away with Murder had the best series debut of the season.

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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Cristela

Black-ish

Disney/ABC’s business strategy, and the only way the company will draw people to its content and drive business success, she says, is by reflecting the full variety of America’s stories, faces, and voices on the screen and behind the scenes. ABC’s primetime lineup for 2014-15 includes 12 new series, featuring key contributions by diverse talent. Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) wrote, directed, and produced American Crime, which debuts in 2015. How to Get Away With Murder, starring Viola Davis (Oscar-nominated lead of

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

TOP: Cristela, created by stand-up comedienne Cristela Alonzo, who also stars in the series, had over 5 million viewers by midNovember 2014. BOTTOM: Black-ish was one of ABC’s first new series of the fall to receive a green light for a full season, debuting as the number one comedy.

the Help) under the production of Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers (winners of the Directors Guild of America’s 2014 Diversity Award), premiered in September along with Black-ish, a comedy about African-American identity. And Cristela, which began in October, tells the story of a Latina pursuing a career in law. Meanwhile, superstars Sofía Vergara and Kerry Washington make their returns on Modern Family and Scandal, respectively. From her office in Burbank, California, Auger-Domínguez has built a plan around

creativity, innovation, engagement, and relevance. Her team approaches recruitment of diverse talent with a hiring vision that centers on business strategy, internal education, awareness, and accountability. Those efforts have contributed to the Walt Disney Company (parent company of Disney/ABC) ranking in DiversityInc’s 2014 top 50 companies for diversity. During the course of her career, Auger-Domínguez has come to understand that even very bright people with tremendous potential are sometimes stifled by minimal access to networks within companies. “When unrealized talent remains disenfranchised and on the sidelines,” she says, “individuals can lose their will or potential to achieve greatness, and companies lose tremendous commercial value.” In early 2014 Auger-Domínguez and her team launched the Hispanic Creative Resource Group, a network for colleagues in programming, casting, marketing, and development. The employee resource group has the dual benefit of supporting employees and leveraging their insights for the business. Through a series of idea-generation programs, the group has already helped Disney/ABC’s content creators explore themes that resonate with Hispanic audiences and create more authentic and relevant content. Auger-Domínguez is now working on several other initiatives including programs to address unconscious bias in sourcing, recruitment, and development programs that are critical to sustaining momentum and driving action. Diversity and inclusion programs can only ring true if they are supported by senior leaders, which Auger-Domínguez says is the case at DATG, where diversity of thought, experience, and background is a core business strategy. She says leaders in other companies need to think about identifying and harnessing the next generation of leadership. Most mornings, Auger-Domínguez loads her daughter in the car, drops her off at school, and muses about how her six-year-old, whose father is of French and Italian descent, is being raised in a multicultural family. Auger-Domínguez hopes her daughter will develop global cultural sensitivities. “If my plan works,” says Auger-Domínguez, “she will grow up in a world where diverse cultures are more accurately represented in the media.”

Top photo: ©ABC/Bob D’Amico, Bottom photo: ©ABC/Adam Taylor

arts+entertainment


TMI

How MTV uses targeted music integration to put artists in front of viewers and the network ahead of its competitors

by Urmila Ramakrishnan

This is how a band gets propelled into stardom: Four siblings from Toluca Lake, California form a music group and write and record a song called “Cool Kids.” The group, Echosmith, uploads its song to a blog. It is discovered by a member of MTV’s music integration group looking for the “next big hit.” The listener thinks the song would sound good on the hit TV show Awkward. Fans of the show love the song and decide to buy it. The track sees a 90 percent increase in single sales after the second episode airs. Echosmith becomes an “artist to watch” and gains mainstream fandom. It isn’t surprising that getting recognized by MTV can be a musician’s big break. The music brand’s creative approach through music integration connects audiences to musicians through multiple platforms to benefit every aspect of business.

Since MTV’s music integration group’s inception in 2009, the team has increased from two to about 25. The team searches blogs and labels and takes pitches from labels and publishers to find music. It sifts through a vast number of songs to find music that resonates with programming. After that, the team presents the music to the producer of a show in a manner that fits the vision of that title. That results in either a music license or a deal with the artist, manager, label, or publisher. Rochelle Holguin has led creative music integration for MTV brands for almost two years, and she focuses on connecting the music heard on shows to online and social platforms. Take the band Echosmith as an example. Holguin and her team integrated them by placing several songs from their album Talking Dreams within the TV show Awkward. They took the integration further by having the band mentioned in the episode and creating specific Echosmith signage that highlighted the band and their involvement in the show. “We tried to tie together a whole picture of what an artist can do on our platforms through the multitude of MTV’s music integration and marketing efforts,” says Holguin. Combine that with embedding the band in the storyline, social media channels to connect potential fans with the artist, and editorial content about the

CAUSE + EFFECT MTV’s Awkward premieres its fourth season with “Cool Kids” by Echosmith as a featured song.

Bottom photo: Nicole Nodland

Single sales jump 90 percent within 24 hours. The band’s album Talking Dreams sees a 30 percent jump in sales after the airing of the second episode of Awkward. Echosmith’s Twitter following grows 150 percent per week on average.

Echosmith

Rochelle Holguin

Vice President of Music, MTV brands MTV HEADQUARTERED: New York City, NY FOUNDED: 1981 ABOUT: MTV is an American music television channel owned by the MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom.

band, and you create a comprehensive marketing strategy that is ahead of its competition. The formula is actually quite simple. If an MTV artist becomes successful, MTV has established a seamless benefit for the artist, audience, and network. The network benefits by continuing to market itself as a music brand. The artist profits from exposure to millions of new fans. And through music discovery, the audience is introduced to artists it may not have been otherwise. “There are so many messages out there around music, and it’s difficult for audiences to filter through the amount of music and pop culture they’re consuming,” says Holguin. “MTV builds a place where our audience can come discover music on a daily basis.” By establishing itself as a music network, MTV creates a cache of artists, like Hozier, to bring to new audiences. The artist’s song “Like Real People Do” was featured in a March episode of MTV’s Teen Wolf and saw a 2,300 percent increase in single sales the week after the placement. By bringing such artists into the MTV catalogue, the company is able to lead audiences into new realms of pop culture and discovery. It increases the volume of content for the consumer while marketing itself as a cutting-edge music brand.

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arts+entertainment

CAUSE + EFFECT MisterWives’ song “Vagabond” debuts as the Finding Carter theme song. “Vagabond” is the number one Shazam song on the night of Finding Carter’s premier. MisterWives’ EP Reflections sees a 92 percent increase in sales in the first six weeks of the Finding Carter marketing campaign During the season, MisterWives tops the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart. “The band gains more than two million audio and visual streams during the Finding Carter season and sees a 10,000 percent increase for the single “Vagabond.”

Music integration comes in many forms. It can be a theme song, the musical score of a show, a Spotify playlist, or collaboration with an artist for original content. MTV leads the competition in music integration by leveraging its unique legacy as a music-first network. “Unlike an any other network, music is always part of our conversation,” Holguin says. “We are always strategic about how we present music to our audience. We understand how our audience engages—and how they want to engage—with music. We use all of our platforms to make sure that happens.” Because viewers recognize MTV as a music-centered brand, the network has an advantage in cultivating cutting-edge integration that is unique to its brand and targeted demographic. It’s able to use social media—like a Fifth Harmony Instagram takeover—to establish a more intimate connection to its viewers. “It’s about being aware and understanding how our audience is consuming music on multiple devices,” Holguin says. “Our brand understands the platforms our viewers are using and how to convert that to benefit both MTV and the artist.”

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Vanacore Music is proud to congratulate Rochelle Holguin for her recognition as an exceptional leader in Hispanic Executive. Rochelle’s taste for great music has made it a pleasure to work with her on a wide variety of projects for MTV. As a multi-award winning music production company, we’ve created some of the most listened-to music in unscripted programming. With year’s of collaborative experience with Hollywood’s TV producers, we’ve been able to craft our own style of music for hundreds of shows that include Undercover Boss, Snooki & Jwoww, Big Brother, Catfish, and many more. Today we continue to create the perfect sound that will breathe life into your memorable story.


BOLD moves Emiliano Calemzuk, former corporate soldier, is poised with a plan to capture one of the biggest, yet most overlooked, audiences in the United States

By John Larrabee

F

or a long time Emiliano Calemzuk was a rising star in Rupert Murdoch’s empire, 21st Century Fox. But the corporate life is now far behind him. By early 2015, he plans to have launched “a next-generation media company,” creating shows that are watched on computers, tablets, and other devices, as well as TV. Basically, he is looking for opportunities that are nontraditional. The 42-year-old native of Argentina resigned from Shine Group (one of 21st Century’s TV production studios) in 2012 with the goal of launching an independent venture. He’d been watching and studying the rise of new digital technologies— chiefly mobile devices and high-speed

Internet—and like many others, he believes the future has arrived. People have more opportunities to watch content than ever before and are therefore consuming more content more quickly than ever. The TV production veteran realized that imminent changes in technology foretold great opportunities for new companies to emerge. “I think the changes will favor nimble start-ups over big conglomerates,” he says. Calemzuk is looking at the world as his playing field; its viewers are his to win. His new venture will be an international organization, with Europe and Latin America being his principal markets outside of the United States. “Digital distribution will be a big part of what I do,” he says.

Emiliano Calemzuk Independent producer

HEADQUARTERED: Los Angeles, CA ABOUT: Emiliano Calemzuk has worked in the television industry for 15 years, primarily as an executive at various divisions of 21st Century Fox. Today Calemzuk makes his home in Los Angeles, but he’s always been a citizen of the world. He speaks five languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and English) and as a Fox executive, he managed operations in more than a dozen countries.

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East Los High

East Los High is one of the most-watched series exclusively on Hulu, especially among Latino viewers. The show is the channel’s first English-language series with an all-Latino cast.

Over the past two years, Calemzuk tested his plan by helping to launch two series—East Los High and Los Cowboys— seen exclusively on the Internet channel Hulu, which offers a mix of free and paid-subscription video content. Both are English-language shows that focus on young Latinos living in Los Angeles. East Los High, directed by Carlos Portugal, is a teen drama. Hulu renewed the series for a third season in July of 2014 and Hollywood Reporter named it a top 10 show of the summer. Los Cowboys, a reality show created by Alex Corral, premiered in October 2014. It follows a group of urban cowboys who compete in la charrería, the Mexican rodeo. With his new venture Calemzuk expects to produce more shows that focus on second- and third-generation Latinos in the United States, a strategy he predicts will attract strong audiences. “This is the millennial generation, the next American mainstream,” he says. “We’re talking

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about young people who grew up in the states but retain facets of Latin culture. They’re the fastest-growing segment of the American population.” Calemzuk jumped into the television industry soon after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. His first job was with Hero Productions in Miami, where he led the launch of HTV, a music television network. In 1998 he joined Murdoch’s organization—then known as News Corporation—as associate director of marketing and promotions for Fox Latin America. Soon he was rising in the empire’s ranks, becoming general manager of Fox Kids Latin America, then vice president of Fox Latin American Channels. In 2002 the company moved him to Rome. As president of Fox International Channels Europe, he managed operations in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Turkey, and parts of Eastern Europe. “Audiences are different in terms of cultural views, but for the most part

people everywhere laugh at the same things,” he says of that experience. “Everyone around the world likes a good story.” In 2007 he was promoted again to president of Fox Television Studios, a division that produces programming for broadcast and cable networks. Prompted by belt-tightening at the networks, he found a new way to reduce costs: several shows intended for American TV were filmed in other countries where production costs are lower, but with American writers, directors, and principal actors. “With the financial pressures we’re now facing, I thought this could become a trend,” he says. “Now other companies are doing it. It has taken off.” Calemzuk left Fox in 2010 to become CEO of Shine America, the US division of global production and distribution company Shine Group. After working 12 years at a big corporation, he welcomed the opportunity to work at a smaller independent outfit. That’s not how things worked out, however. The founder and CEO of Shine Group is Elisabeth Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s daughter. A few months after Calemzuk stepped in, she sold the operation to 21st Century Fox. “I was back with them,” he says. “After so many years at a big conglomerate, I felt I had to do something on my own.” Calemzuk says he had also been hoping to cut back on business travel, to spend more time with his wife, Paola, and their daughter, Yael. At the same time, he found himself thinking back to an episode that occurred almost 20 years earlier, when a car accident put him in a coma for a brief time. “I wouldn’t blow that out of proportion,” he says, “but it does make you realize that life is short, and you’ve got to make choices.” He made the decision to leave his corporate post. As he embarks on this new venture, it seems Calemzuk has no shortage of vision and decisions to make. Time will tell if programming geared toward Latino millennials will take over primetime, but among Hispanics (who overindex in mobility use), Calemzuk seems to have struck the perfect combination of the right place, time, and audience.

Photo: Hulu/Todd Williamson

arts+entertainment


SPECIAL FEATURE Page #

Name

Position

Organization

34

Luis Perez

Chief Financial Officer

National Football League | Detroit Lions

40

Alex Santos

Director of Pro Personnel

National Football League | Washington Redskins

42

Elaine Delos Reyes

Director of Fan Marketing and Research

National Football League | Chicago Bears

THE BUSINESS

Just as coaches follow a playbook, the leaders strategizing behind the scenes of professional sports have a plan of attack for 2015. With this lineup of executives, we find out what makes a winning corporate roster and how to score points from the front office this season.

OF SPORTS 45

Jason Quintero

Senior Manager of Game Presentation and Entertainment

National Basketball Association | Oklahoma City Thunder

47

John Quinones

Vice President of Recruitment

Major League Baseball

50

Cesar Velasco

Senior Director of International Marketing & Communications

Major League Soccer | FC Dallas

Omar Minaya San Diego Padres

PAGE 54

Carlos Oseguera Cleveland Browns

PAGE 49

PAGE 43

ALSO: MAJOR LEAGUE EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON THE FAN EXPERIENCE Luis Miguel Garcia New York Red Bulls

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feature

“When I got [to Detroit], I could just tell there was something different going on.” LUIS PEREZ

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LIONS’ SHARE THE

Detroit’s NFL team considers itself a citizen of the rebounding city. Its CFO is on a quest to help the team better serve its loyal fans and celebrate the shared successes of their hometown. by Zach Baliva, portraits by Sheila Barabad

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feature

Ford Field: Home of Bodman PLC’s main office

Congratulations to

Luis Perez Luis Perez

Bodman PLC is proud to be a longstanding partner of the Detroit Lions. We salute

Luis Perez

for his contributions to the local Hispanic community.

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for all you do in our community!

For all your insurance and risk management needs, please contact the Huttenlocher Group.

We are proud to partner with Luis Perez and the Detroit Lions

Contact:

Jim Huttenlocher

248- 681-2100 HGWay.com


D

etroit’s football fans are nothing if not loyal. Although the Lions last playoff win came in 1991, the team’s supporters have kept their hope and passion alive. The franchise is inextricably linked to Motor City. And like Detroit itself, the Lions are on the verge of a rebirth. There’s a new coach, a new owner, a star-studded lineup, a quarterback in his prime, and a high-octane offensive line. And then there is the Lions’ chief financial officer (CFO) Luis Perez, who takes on much more than even his C-suite title suggests. Perez was born in Cuba, grew up in New Jersey, pursued an accounting degree, passed the exam, and started working for a large firm that served the Philadelphia Phillies. That kicked off Perez’s career in the sports arena, spanning three major leagues in which he’s developed a reputation as an outside-of-the-box thinker. Now with his second NFL franchise, Perez is leading efforts to use local vendors, eliminate paper tickets, enhance the fan experience, and promote authentic community outreach. Perez joined the Lions in 2011 as part of a front-office reboot. “Changes had started on the field, but the business side still needed to catch up,” he explains. “We needed to revamp operations to capitalize on a winning football team.” A leadership group (including prominent vice chairman William Ford, Jr.) brought in five new vice presidents and two senior vice presidents. Together, the new guard is working

PHOTOS: DETROIT LIONS/GAVIN SMITH

DETROIT LIONS’ WINS [2007-PRESENT]

2007 -2008

2008 -2009

2009 -2010

2010 -2011

2011 -2012

2012 -2013

2013 -2014

2014 -2015

Just like the city of Detroit, the Lions hit hard times in 2008 but things are markedly improving. *Data for the 2014-15 season only accounts for games played by November 16, 2014.

LIONS GROWTH BY THE NUMBERS Between 2008 and 2013: Concession sales at Ford Field climbed

20%

Ticket sales increased by

17%

Between 2008 and 2010 (during the recession) the Lions’ stadium never sold out. However, over the past three years the team has sold out all home games.

Top: Lions fans have packed home games for the last three seasons with tickets selling out each year. Bottom: Residents of Detroit voted to fund a new, domed stadium for the Lions in 1996. Ford Field was completed in 2002.

to change the way Lions fans interact with their team. On any given Sunday during the football season, Detroit’s Ford Field hosts around 65,000 visitors. “We’re going to make an impression,” says Perez. “The only choice we have is what that impression will be.” The Lions’ product, the fan experience, can either entice the fans to return or drive them away. Those who return may buy merchandise, visit the team website, or sign up for season tickets. But reaching individual fans is only half the battle. Perez is also targeting another overlooked crowd: the corporate client. “For years, we were just playing football without positioning ourselves with a second important subsector of our fan base. Individual fans are very loyal, but we were irrelevant to our corporate customers. We’ve changed that,” he says. Today, the Lions are providing those business partners a platform that will help them meet business objectives and drive value back to their organizations. “We’re

Stadium capacity peaks at:

Lions average attendance:

Average ticket price:

64,500

63,800

$68

Gate receipts accounted for nearly 1/5 of the team’s reported $254,000 revenue in 2013.

Expected additional growth in ticket sales for the 2014-15 season:

5%

not just selling a 30-second commercial or a single piece of signage. We’re partnering with companies and building relationships, so they can really invest in our platform,” Perez says. Lions’ sales employees interact with clients to understand their individual needs and then build a plan to help achieve specific goals from brand awareness to foot traffic. Last year, for example, the Lions helped take partner brand Unifi to new levels. The US-based global textile

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La Fortuna Favorece a los Valientes For those executives making decisions about property assets, we provide the resources to support decisive, effective action. Fortune favors the brave, but brave decisions are more confidently made with unparalleled insight into the market. This is why we are committed to serving our customers fearlessly.

feature

LUIS PEREZ

Chief Financial Officer

DETROIT LIONS HEADQUARTERED: Detroit, MI FOUNDED: 1934 STATS: The Lions have won four NFL national championships. Their last championship win was in 1957. ABOUT: The Detroit Lions are an American professional football team in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League. (NFL).

ASSET MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION RETAIL SERVICES

“WE’VE THROWN TRADITIONAL SPORTS COMMUNITY RELATIONS ON ITS SIDE.” LUIS PEREZ manufacturer that licenses to companies like Nike, Ford, and the North Face, had a previous deal with the X Games. Unifi uses recycled plastic bottles in its Repreve fabric line and is now the official sustainability partner of the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford endorses the hashtag campaign #MakeASmartThrow and other efforts that educate fans on the importance of recycling while increasing awareness for Repreve. The partnership was launched during a training camp practice where Stafford replaced his red practice jersey with a lime green version, and the franchise encouraged consumers to look for brands made with Repreve. Journalists from outlets like CNN and Wall Street Journal covered the event.

Building the Best in Real Estate

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hether involved in on-field or front-office work, those associated with the Lions believe the team can win the league’s NFC North conference in each of the next several seasons, and Perez and his team are hard at work to make sure the organization can capitalize in multiple ways. Like

many CFOs, he oversees departments like finance and IT—but in a move that bucks tradition, he’s also managing ticket sales. In 2013, the Detroit Lions became the first NFL team to leave Ticketmaster when they signed a deal with a small operation known as Veritix. “We took this risk because we strongly believed that the way we were ticketing our product had been unchanged for way too long,” says Perez. The Lions wanted to personalize the experience and find another way to engage the fan. Veritix is more of a back-end operation, which means fans who call to order tickets deal with the team directly instead of a Ticketmaster call center. That gives the Lions another chance to manage their brand. Perhaps more importantly, the team can now track who actually uses the ticket. That information will help drive marketing strategy. “We now know exactly who is here, and we’ll soon be able to follow their behavior once they’re in the stadium,” says Perez. Furthermore, fans can access the stadium through a smartphone app, which will be integrated with the Lions’ point-of-sale system. In an accompanying move, the Lions became the


S.A.F.E. MANAGEMENT first NFL team to move to variable pricing tickets, dropping preseason prices by 70 percent and charging a premium for the most popular games. While secondary ticket resellers once purchased unused Lions tickets and reaped huge profits, Perez is helping his franchise recapture that revenue. These and other efforts appear to be working. Recently, Perez has put in motion some initiatives to make Ford Field feel more like downtown Detroit by working with food-and-beverage partner Levy Restaurants to lure iconic Motown food brands to the stadium. He’s struck deals with some of the city’s most famous restaurants, including Russell Street Deli and Slows Bar-B-Q to provide food in premium levels of the stadium. The club level now resembles main street D-town. “We’re not just decorating the stadium with brand signage,” Perez explains. “We’re actually bringing the companies here to cook and sell authentic products. If you want Slows without the 90-minute wait, come to Ford Field.” The team is purchasing food and other items from local farmers and vendors as much as possible, even if doing so may affect profits. The Lions are in talks with Aetna, who has shown interest in sponsoring these initiatives.

I

n addition to internal improvements, Perez knows an NFL team has a greater responsibility to its community. That’s why he’s helping the Lions make an impact outside of Ford Field. “We’ve thrown traditional sports community relations on its side,” he says. While most teams hold celebrity golf outings and write grants to partner with organizations, the Lions are finding new ways to drive impact in the places that need it the most by creating a completely different community relations endeavor. The team has hired a senior director of community relations with a background in public policy, who has helped identify three important issues affecting the city of Detroit: health and wellness, job creation, and neighborhood redevelopment. Instead of just writing checks, the Lions have identified partners already working in those three spaces. “We can bring our platform to experts already working in the community, and we can leverage our resources to help them change Detroit,” says Perez. The city has few chain grocery

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Slows Bar-B-Q is a local favorite in Detroit. One of Perez’s initiatives to make Ford Field reflect the community involved bringing in local vendors serving their novelties on site.

stores, forcing the urban poor to buy processed foods from convenience stores. The city also has Eastern Market, the country’s largest urban farmers market. The Lions hold events there and are even creating pop-up markets that will bring mini farmers markets to poor neighborhoods. Appearances by Calvin Johnson and other athletes draw media attention and families alike. Candidly, Perez shares that he had other offers on the table when he accepted the Lions job. He took the opportunity in Detroit because he wanted to be a part of something special. “When I got here, I could just tell there was something different going on,” he says. People in Detroit aren’t stuck on hardships in auto manufacturing or the economic crisis; they’re looking to the future. The Detroit Lions have been part of the city since 1934. Its fans have watched a city become the nation’s fourth-largest, rise as a center of innovation, and then experience a dramatic fall. But now, hope is starting to build again. Entrepreneurs and businesses are coming back. And through it all, one thing remains at the heart of Detroit— the Lions.

· Guest Services Personnel · Ushers · Ticket Scanners · Directionals · Premium Space Concierges and Attendants

· Licensed Security · 24/7 Facility Security · Event Security · Courtesy Teams · Unparalleled Leadership · Management · Directors · Supervisors

“Success is finding the RIGHT CLIENTS and KEEPING THEM”

Congratulations Lou on your continued success and well-deserved recognition! It has been our pleasure to serve under your guidance for almost 15 years. We wish you all the best as you continue your leadership. With Deepest Respect and Admiration, Your Friends at S.A.F.E. Management. Bodman is one of Michigan’s largest business law firms with more than 150 lawyers in four Michigan offices and an affiliate office in Dallas, Texas. Bodman has a diverse client base in a variety of industries including financial services, automotive, real estate and construction, high tech, health care, and manufacturing.

www.safemanagement.net JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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AN EYE FOR TALENT by Joe Dyton

when washington redskins director of pro personnel alex santos finished his college football career at north carolina state, he had his eye on a coaching job. He was working at Vanderbilt University as a quality control graduate assistant when Hurricane Katrina hit. College scouts from the southern region sought refuge at Vanderbilt in the days after the storm. Santos was there when scouts began studying films of football talent, and they picked his brain for input. It was then he realized he had a knack for scouting and evaluating talent. Now, leader of the team tasked with recruiting for the Washington Redskins, Santos talks with Hispanic Executive about the art of scouting and what it would mean to be part of Super Bowl-winning franchise.

Can you give us an overview of your role as director of pro personnel for the Redskins? I manage the evaluation of active NFL talent to ensure we have the best possible players on our team or we are ready to acquire them if they become available. I assess our opponents, free agents, players that may get released, or possible trade prospects. I continuously update my emergency list so that I’m always one step ahead if a player needs to be brought in. Having current knowledge of all of the teams in the NFL in the event that players may become available is essential. What are some commonalities you look for in players regardless of position? Mentality is most important. I want players who have good football acumen and who are willing to work to be the best that they can be to help us win. They also must have a sense of team; it is impossible to do this on your own. Football is the ultimate team sport, so bringing guys in who buy into a team ideal or philosophy is ultimately what I look for.

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Are there any particular schools, conferences, or areas of the country that you gravitate toward when looking for talent? There are some conferences that have an abundance of talent. Some colleges have more talent than others, but overall, talent is widespread whether it’s Division I, II, III, or historically black colleges and universities. It’s rewarding to find a player from a smaller school or one that isn’t as highly touted who is able to make a contribution to the organization. Finding those players that are considered a steal in the draft or a college free agent is a great feeling. There is a lot of talent at the collegiate level, but the key is finding players who best fit the team’s needs. How do you determine which players could be steals in the later rounds of the draft? I always wonder how someone like Tom Brady didn’t get selected until the sixth round. [Finding the best players in the draft] isn’t an exact science. Every team has hit and missed on players in every round. We have an extensive evaluation process,

reviewing all of the information including athleticism, character, background, and medical history before making a selection. Obviously the Patriots hit on Tom Brady who, along with other players, has played a large part in that franchise’s success, and the rest is history. If everybody knew that Tom Brady was going be Tom Brady, he wouldn’t have been drafted in the sixth round. Injuries can make or break a team’s season. How much do scouts take into account a prospect’s injury history? How does a scout/franchise decide that a player’s talent outweighs the potential for injury? We have to maintain a constant balance between talent and injury history. There are lots of players that get banged up, some more than others, throughout their college careers or in the NFL. We try to find the balance between risk and reward and hopefully come to a consensus that is in the best interest of both the player and the organization.


Offensive tackle Trent Williams (left) and Director of Pro Personnel Alex Santos (right) at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

What’s been your favorite part of the job so far? The process we go through to find players. The film study and the dialogue we have among ourselves when one of our scouts brings up a player or identifies a player who can help us are the most exciting moments.

ALEX SANTOS

Director of Pro Personnel

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

HEADQUARTERED: Ashburn, VA FOUNDED: 1932 SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES: 5

PHOTO: NED DISHMAN/WASHINGTON REDSKINS

What has been the biggest challenge? Constantly scouting new talent when the need arises due to an injury. You want to address that need or fill that spot without much of a drop-off. You also hope that the player you bring in is an upgrade and will play just as well or better with the team. Injuries are obviously part of the game. Every team has them and has to find a way to overcome them. It’s a big challenge, but a welcomed one. What would it mean to you to help your team win a Super Bowl? We have three trophies in our lobby

ABOUT: The Redskins are an NFL team representing the Washington, DC area in the East Division of the National Football Conference.

now and we walk past them every day. I haven’t been a part of a Super Bowl-winning franchise, but it would be a great achievement. To bring a Super Bowl win to the nation’s capital would be monumental. We have a great fan base and a passionate owner in Dan Snyder. It would mean a lot across the board for the players, coaches, fans, and all of those associated with the team. Above all, it would truly be great to see Mr. Snyder someday hoist the Super Bowl trophy.

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TAKING FANS FROM

FĂšTBOL TO

FOOTBALL by Zach Baliva, photo by Sheila Barabad

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

ELAINE DELOS REYES

Director of Fan Marketing and Research

CHICAGO BEARS HEADQUARTERED: Chicago, IL ABOUT: The Chicago Bears are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League. NATION OF FOOTBALL LOVERS: A 2012 ESPN poll found that 25 million Hispanics in the United States are fans of the NFL.


pop quiz: what stadium held the second-largest crowd for a regular-season nfl game?

Giants Stadium? Nope. The Los Angeles Coliseum? Wrong again. Green Bay’s Lambeau Field? Not even close. To find the answer, you have to venture outside the United States. In 2005, 103,467 people flocked to the Cardinals-49ers game in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. That regular-season attendance record stood until the Cowboys moved into AT&T Stadium and played the Giants in 2009. The Mexico City game was part of a league-wide effort to build a Hispanic fan base. In 2002, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue asked the league to learn more about its Latino fans. Teams know that reaching the growing population is critical to long-term success, and no franchise is doing a better job engaging its Hispanic fans than the Chicago Bears. The Monsters of the Midway have partnered with La Ley 107.9 FM to broadcast all games in Spanish and have also launched a Hispanic engagement platform known as ¡Vamos Bears! Here, Bears’ director of fan marketing and research Elaine Delos Reyes shares what it takes to connect with the team’s Latino fan base.

From our Chicago-based viewpoint, it seems that Bears fans are so obsessive, it should be easy to build a fan base. Is it? We do have great and loyal fans, but we can never take them for granted. Yes, we’re sold out with 62,000 people in Soldier Field for 10 home games a year, but think about the national and international fans. Our job is to find authentic ways to engage as many of them as possible.

We noticed a spike in Hispanic Bears fans. We saw a 50 percent increase since 2005, and we asked ourselves, “How can we best engage?” We started talking to Hispanic media contacts and organizations like the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to understand more. We do about 30 fan surveys per year, so we started doing some in Spanish to get a pulse on what Latino fans think about the Bears. We wanted to learn how best to serve them. What did you learn? We learned that of all the professional sports teams in Chicago, the Bears have the largest Hispanic fan base, but that we had underserved them. In response, we spent a lot of time planning, and in 2012 we launched ¡Vamos Bears!, our official platform for Hispanic engagement and outreach. What is ¡Vamos Bears! all about? We wanted to bring the game and the league to Chicago’s Latinos in the form of a year-round platform to engage those fans and grow the game within the Hispanic community. We have a football curriculum, offer youth clinics, participate in community events, and host fan parties. In 2014, we did about 15 events, and that number will increase next year. We also broadcast every game in Spanish on La Ley radio and partner with La Raza newspaper to provide content. Hispanics are avid Web and smartphone users. What are you doing online?

For us, it’s all about the fan pipeline. Chicagoans are born Bears fans, and our research shows they become fans of the team before age 13. We want to engage them at every stage of life through various touch points— events, content, and other unique experiences.

We’re ramping up digital and social media efforts. Our media partners give us unique content on the radio and in print, but we also launched VamosBears.com with Spanish content. Some assume it’s enough to simply translate ChicagoBears.com, but we learned that bilingual users would like their Spanish content to be unique. In 2015, we’ll do much more digitally. We’re planning quarterly e-newsletters, sweepstakes, and contests. We’re also looking into a Bears vehicle that will drive around in different communities with interactive fan displays.

The Bears are leading the way when it comes to Hispanic fan outreach. Why?

Do you consider all of this “Hispanic” marketing?

And how do you do that?

LEAGUE EXPERT WEIGHS IN THE FAN EXPERIENCE “Building trust with our fans is of the utmost importance to us. The past few seasons, [the Browns] have not been the most successful team in the NFL, but our fans continue to stand behind us. We listen to them and adjust to make sure they are heard. We know that millennials will be more apt to seek out our mobile applications and social media and that our older fans prefer radio, TV, and newspaper. Our grassroots efforts focus on the greater Cleveland municipality, not just those areas that we think will help us sell tickets. In the end, if fans trust us, we win.”

CARLOS OSEGUERA

Director of Fan Experience and Special Events Cleveland Browns

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Bears center/guard Roberto Garza (right) in a game against rival Green Bay Packers. Garza is integral to the team’s outreach efforts with Hispanic fans.

Not really because it’s more of an outreach platform. We have partners who want to reach Latino fans, and we can add value there. The fan marketing and research department spearheads the effort, but it’s an organization-wide initiative. Do Latinos embrace the culture and history of the team differently? The NFL is all about family, tradition, and food. These core values also resonate with Hispanics. People in Chicago love the Bears, period. There are some ways we can market differently, but we want to be true to the team. Less than two percent of the league’s players have Hispanic roots. It must help that the Bears have players like Roberto Garza (in Chicago since 2005). Roberto is very involved in the community. Our Hispanic fans identify with him, but we’ve noticed that our fans also feel a connection to other players as well. It doesn’t hurt to have someone like Roberto support our efforts, but our goal is to ensure ¡Vamos Bears! connects our Latino fan base with the whole team, not just one player.

Las últimas noticias y más de sus Chicago Bears en

VAMOSBEARS.COM #VamosBears

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Major league teams are actually really open with each other and call each other to share best practices. Some were surprised that we’re doing so much data capture. A lot of teams aren’t currently doing that. For us, it’s about year-round fan engagement, not just during Hispanic Heritage Month. Also, a segment of our annual brand campaign is in Spanish. As we strategize about serving our fan base better, we want to make sure that ¡Vamos Bears! is a part of the larger plan.

PHOTO: CHICAGO BEARS

What are the Bears doing in the Hispanic outreach space that other teams are missing out on?


A STORM BREWS

IN OKLAHOMA CITY NBA entertainment expert Jason Quintero shares his methods for getting fans fired up for professional basketball in Oklahoma

By Julie Edwards

JASON QUINTERO

PHOTOS: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

jason quintero was in new orleans with nba team the hornets (now the pelicans) when hurricane katrina hit. Due to the damage

caused by the storm, the Hornets temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, which had no NBA team of its own at the time. After a couple seasons in the state’s capital, the Hornets made their return to Louisiana, but the Sooner state left its charm on Quintero, who was in charge of creating fan experiences as the Hornets’ game presentation manager. When Oklahoma City (OKC) debuted its NBA team, the Thunder, in 2008, he readily came aboard to manage entertainment. Quintero is responsible for all nonbasketball entertainment aspects of home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena: that means music, lighting, video production, oncourt contests, the mascot, blimp operations, pregame and half-time talent, the public address announcer, two emcees, as well as four entertainment teams (the Thunder Girls dancers, Raindrops (kid) dancers, Thunder Drummers, and Storm Chasers). Quintero discusses how he engages new NBA fans with Hispanic Executive.

Senior Manager of Game Presentation and Entertainment

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

HEADQUARTERED: Oklahoma City, OK TEAM: 170 full-time and 300 part-time employees during the season ABOUT: Founded in 2008 when the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City, the Thunder is an NBA team.

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You’ve had a unique experience marketing professional basketball. How does that influence the way you generate excitement for the Thunder? My experience has always been focused on brand building. When the Hornets moved from Charlotte to New Orleans (2002), we had to figure out how to get a football town to embrace a basketball team. When we moved to Oklahoma City (OKC) after Katrina, we had to rebrand the team for that city, where a lot of people had never seen an NBA team play before. We created a “Stinger H” logo that put the emphasis on the team, instead of the city. Then the Hornets moved back to New Orleans and had to start over once again. The “new” New Orleans team was rebranded with a new logo influenced by the local culture. That logo became known as the Fleurde-Bee. When the Thunder was being launched, and I joined the new team in Oklahoma, all that branding experience came in handy. I was able to bring the new team some tried-and-true methods based on my past experiences. Tell us about some of the innovative methods you’ve used to engage the fans in OKC. One of the ways we engage fans is through texting, giving them a sense of ownership of the show. We use text-tovote, for example, to choose the music played during the Kiss Cam segments. We also have a text-to-win giveaway, where fans can win prizes such as a signed basketball or even a trip to an away game. How are you incorporating social media into the fan experience? This past season, we used the #WeAreThunder hashtag to encourage fans to show their Thunder pride through photos. We showcased three of the photo submissions during a social media

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Rumble the Bison, the Thunder’s mascot.

THE THUNDER IN THE COMMUNITY Since 2009, the Thunder has given out nearly

100,000

books to kids on the Rolling Thunder Book Bus to encourage literacy and a love of reading.

The Thunder has handed out

691,714

T-shirts during home playoff games. Volunteers put a shirt on every seat in the arena.

Since February 2009, team mascot Rumble the Bison has performed for more than

100,000

children, promoting literacy, a healthful lifestyle, and speaking out against bullying.

segment. This season we’re going to raise the bar and have fans submit videos of their Thunder pregame rituals and traditions. Despite being one of the smallest markets in the NBA, we have more than 6 million fans across all social media platforms. Our fans seem to really appreciate that we keep them engaged with all aspects of what we do and that we’re invested in the community. How do you connect fans with the players? Thunder players encourage fans to be more active with community involvement. When a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, Thunder players were on the scene helping with tornado relief. The players have made appearances at schools, hospitals, and fit clinics; served more than 2,000 meals at the City Rescue Mission since 2009; and have given away 36,800 pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving since 2008. How else are you generating fan excitement and support?

Upper Bowl Activation is a program designed to help the fans in the 300-level seats (Love’s Loud City) feel more engaged in the fan experience. We give away at least 100 Thunder shirts each game, caught on a dedicated fan camera. Then we have the Storm Chasers, who lead cheers and activate promotions and contests. For half-time programs, we book more than 30 national acts—among the highest numbers in the NBA. One of our most popular promotions is the MidFirst Bank half-court shot contest with a prize of $20,000. How do you measure fan loyalty and the success of your efforts? Our season-ticket retention rate is among the best in the league, but I measure fan loyalty beyond ticket sales. One of my favorite parts of this job is seeing the crowd’s reaction to the hard work and creativity of our staff. The reaction of seeing 18,000 fans responding to a video or mascot skit is priceless. Even in the off-season, people are wearing Thunder gear everywhere I look.


AMERICA’S OLDEST SPORT

TAKES A NEW APPROACH TO

DIVERSITY

Since he was named vice president of recruitment for Major League Baseball in 2008, John Quinones has managed a number of strategic talent acquisition initiatives to build a team that’s diverse in various ways. He sits down with Hispanic Executive to talk about the legacy of diversity in America’s pastime and how MLB is continuing that tradition while staying relevant. » by Mary Kenney

PHOTO: LOOK MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PRINTS & PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION

In 1947 Jackie Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first player to break the nearly 60-year color barrier after the sport was segregated in 1889. His legacy is one of baseball’s greatest milestones in racial equality.

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TURBOCHARGE YOUR RECRUITING.

Save time and money and find the best candidate for the job.

Our roots go back to April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in baseball’s major league. That was a milestone moment not just for baseball, but our country. As MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has said many times, baseball is a social institution with great social responsibilities. We have a responsibility to build on these ideals as well as Jackie’s legacy. In 1998, Commissioner Selig authorized the creation of MLB’s diverse business partners program to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority- and women-owned businesses. In 2012, MLB established the Diversity Business Summit, an annual two-day event that allows job seekers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with MLB clubs at both the major and minor league levels. We’ve had three summits, and they’ve been amazing successes. The last summit, cohosted by the Yankees, was held in New York City on Jackie Robinson Day. Baseball is a historic part of American culture. What is Major League Baseball doing to honor baseball’s past while aligning the league with contemporary notions of diversity? As a continuation of that history, Major League Baseball remains committed to bringing diversity to all aspects of our game. Recently, the league announced that former outfielder Billy Bean would be our ambassador for inclusion. In this capacity, Billy will provide guidance and training on efforts in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in baseball. We also established a partnership with Athlete Ally, which works for LGBT equality in sports. My role in recruitment carries over into that work, of course. We work on inclusion with our suppliers, but also with our employees and those seeking to join our ranks.

From A to Z, the recruiting process is easier, faster, and more effective — turbocharged. hirevue.com 48

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

You have a long career (20 years) in human resources management. How is the work different in a major sports league? The biggest difference is sheer volume.

JOHN QUINONES

Vice President of Recruitment

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HEADQUARTERED: New York City, NY ABOUT: Major League Baseball comprises 30 teams in two divisions. Founded in 1869, it is the oldest professional sports league in North America.

It’s immense at times. For entry-level positions, we can get 1,500 applications over a 14-day period. The number of people who want to work in the sport is impressive and we work hard to identify the best of the best. What are you looking for? We select approximately 100 interns each year for our summer program. The intern class comprises college juniors and seniors, law school students, and MBA students. The internship program is the primary feeder for entry-level jobs, so keeping diversity in mind early is key to building a more diverse staff. I’ve managed the internship program since I started with MLB, and we’ve increased diverse representation year over year. That’s all done through education and outreach. Are you looking for applicants who are passionate about the sport? It’s a baseline assumption that if you’re applying to MLB, you’re passionate about sports—and probably about baseball. I’ve always been a baseball fan, but to be

PHOTO: TAYLOR BAUCOM/MLB PHOTOS

Let’s track the narrative of diversity in Major League Baseball (MLB). Where did it begin, and where is it today?


LEAGUE EXPERT WEIGHS IN THE FAN EXPERIENCE

successful in this realm requires more than knowledge of baseball stats. We want candidates who understand the business of baseball as well as the game. Does your workload change in the off-season? I’m in the league office, which provides support to all of the clubs, and from a recruiting standpoint, we’re busy yearround. In December, we start recruiting for the summer internship. We receive roughly 3,000 applications over a fourmonth span. We have to review those applications, screen and interview candidates, make recommendations to our hiring managers, and then on-board them. We also need to review all of the department project proposals to ensure that our interns will be provided with meaningful learning experiences (such as an executive speaker series, departmental overviews, and a few fun activities including, of course, outings to baseball games). During the summer, we work closely with the supervisors and interns to make sure that the program exceeds the high expectations that have been set. My office also

fills three or four full-time positions each month, so that’s another constant. What do fans overlook about the behind-the-scenes work when they watch a baseball game? Fans see the output of thousands of daily employees putting on a worldclass event nearly every single day. The industry is filled with talented people who show a lot of pride and work incredibly hard to make sure the game goes off without a hitch. This goes on nearly every day for nine months. People behind the operation—game-day staff, security, ushers, sales, operations, and more—work so hard, and they all touch the game in some way.

HireVue helps companies and recruiters find and hire talented people. We’ve created an entirely new kind of technology that we call a digital interaction platform. It’s a SaaS platform that helps you find the best talent and promotes meaningful interaction with candidates using video-enriched communications. So we make recruiting faster, easier, more cost-effective, and we help companies find great candidates who are a perfect fit for their organizations. Make business personal again. For more information, visit http://www.hirevue.com

“Putting fans in seats is the name of the game. Whether those seats are in the stadium or watching the broadcast on the couch at home, every fan is important. Regardless of the location, players who are exciting to watch will always attract a diverse fan base. I’ve been responsible for player evaluation and acquisition through the years for teams in Texas, Montreal, New York, and now San Diego. While I may not be involved specifically on the marketing and business side, everyone who works in sports is focused on putting fans in the seats. It’s through broadcast viewership that we reach fans we normally might not (people outside of our home city, kids whose parents are watching the game, or long-time fans who can no longer attend in-person). That being said, having played professional baseball in the minor leagues and having worked on the baseball operations side throughout my career, I can certainly say that live fans will always be critical. Players and coaches all feel the energy of a big crowd watching and supporting them and feed off that energy.”

OMAR MINAYA

Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations San Diego Padres

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STRIKING T WHILE THE IRON IS HOT The US Men’s National Team saw a surge of patriotic support during the 2014 World Cup. But now that the players have returned to their respective clubs, can Major League Soccer maintain the quadrennial hype stateside and seize its place in the American sports market? by Zach Baliva

Uruguayan David Texeira, forward for FC Dallas, was acquired as a young designated player for the club in February of 2014. He, along with other international talent, is helping raise the profile of Major League Soccer in the United States.

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

he light in Cesar Velasco’s home office is on, but outside his window it’s cold and black. It’s two in the morning, and Velasco is on the phone. Eight thousand miles due west, it’s 11:00 a.m. local time in the United Arab Emirates—and that’s what has Velasco up so early. He’s working out a deal to take his team to the region for preseason camp. If there’s one thing Velasco has learned since stepping into his role in 2011, it’s that no two days will ever be the same. The former soccer player born in Mexico is now a senior director of international marketing and communication for FC Dallas. Orchestrating soccer activities around the world is as tricky as it sounds. Velasco, who talks quickly and lets his passion for the sport escape into each conversation, paces back and forth as he looks at a dog-eared calendar. FC Dallas is part of FIFA-sanctioned Major League Soccer (MLS), the highest level of the sport in North America. Its 19 teams (scheduled to expand to 22 by 2016) start tune-ups in early February and play through October, followed by playoffs. The MLS Cup then plays through the first weekend in December. In the offseason, players compete in international tournaments or scatter to their homes around the world. In the wake of the 2014 World Cup, Velasco is doing what all his counterparts are doing league-wide: trying to capitalize on the unprecedented surge in the sport’s popularity and seize the opportunity to engage life-long fans. Rabid and casual fans alike looked on across the nation as the United States’ World Cup team fought low expectations and mounting injuries to escape the formidable “group of death” pool until its dramatic 2-1 knockout loss to Belgium. More than 26 million Americans watched that game. The question is, where to go from here? Do we, as a nation, finally “like” soccer—a sport once believed to be too foreign and too slow to catch on here? Can MLS compete with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League? Can the league support stars like those in La Liga (Spain’s top professional soccer league), Serie A (La Liga’s Italian counterpart) or England’s


And since Velasco fights for share in a market that hosts the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers, and some of the top college teams in the nation, the pressure is on.

W CESAR VELASCO

Senior Director of International Marketing & Communications

FC DALLAS

HEADQUARTERED: Dallas, TX FOUNDED: 1996 as the Dallas Burn TEAM COLORS: Red, blue, silver, and white NICKNAMES: Hoops, Red Stripes, or Toros ABOUT: FC Dallas plays in Frisco, TX’s Toyota Stadium and is a charter member of Major League Soccer.

Premier League? Can North America attract those players who will in turn drive stadium attendance and lucrative television deals? Velasco says yes. In fact, MLS is well on its way, he says. In May, MLS announced new television agreements with ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision that will televise league games through the year 2022. Each outlet will air one MLS match of the week, while ESPN and Fox Sports will televise doubleheaders on Sundays at 4 and 7 p.m. (eastern standard time). More households than ever before now have access to league games, and Velasco says that will only help increase the sport’s popularity. “Everything is pointed in the right direction. We now have more fans who understand the sport and recognize who the key players are. Now, they can watch those players in action in a league that’s growing in terms of size and quality,” he explains. Listen to anyone involved in MLS talk for more than five minutes, and you’ll likely hear mentioned the year 2020. That’s when MLS hopes to be known as one of the world’s top five soccer leagues. To realize the goal, advocates like Velasco are working around-the-clock to find new ways to bring fans into the stadium to follow these fledgling and previously unknown teams.

hen Velasco pushes through the crowds to greet the FC Dallas team bus at an away game, his mind takes him to a similar scene, three decades ago, when he was inside that bus, nervously bouncing a soccer ball off his knee while wearing his nation’s green, white, and red. After working his way up on youth teams, the young goalie was selected for Mexico’s pre-Olympic team in the 1980s. As the players step off the bus, Velasco can identify with his FC Dallas players, having a deep understanding of this stage in their lives. First out is a 20-year-old goalkeeper from the Mexican National Team. Velasco rushes to accompany FC Dallas star goalie Richard Sanchez through the crowd. Velasco calls Sanchez one of the best keepers he’s ever seen. Located in Frisco, Texas, the club’s home, known as Toyota Stadium, is much more than a sports arena—it’s a soccer oasis. The $105 million, 145-acre multipurpose campus houses a 20,500-seat pro soccer stadium, 17 tournament-grade fields, and the youth development academy. Since opening in 2006, the complex has attracted more than a million annual visitors. And while all parts of the complex are crucial to the team’s long-term success, Velasco has a special passion for the amateur training facilities. “We are attracting the most talented young players in the nation who want to train here for a shot to realize their MLS dreams,” he says, adding that top prospects are now choosing soccer over other sports. While universities once developed the league’s future stars, 80 percent are now trained by MLS franchises, like Richard Sanchez was at FC Dallas. Talent is key. FC Dallas, like any other team, is constantly scouting players not just in North America but around the world. And that’s the challenge: Velasco and his colleagues have to convince players to bring their talents to MLS instead of other leagues. “We are on our way, and today, most MLS teams have one or two legitimate stars,” he says. “When international players come here and realize the competitiveness of the league and

THE EVOLUTION OF SOCCER IN DALLAS 1967

Lamar Hunt forms the Dallas Tornado, one of the first professional soccer teams in the states, after attending a World Cup match.

JUNE 6, 1995

The Dallas Burn is founded as one of 10 charter members of Major League Soccer.

OCTOBER 29, 1997 After defeating D.C. United, the Burn claims its first major championship, the U.S. Open Cup.

2003

Hunt Sports Group, owned by Lamar Hunt, acquires the Burn and announces plans to construct a soccer stadium to house the team.

APRIL 2, 2005 FC Dallas debuts its new name on opening day at the Cotton Bowl.

AUGUST 6, 2005

FC Dallas plays its first game in its new stadium.

2010

FC Dallas earns its first Western Conference title with a 3-0 win against the LA Galaxy.

2014

FC Dallas plays the 19th season of the team’s existence.

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the popularity of the sport are growing, they see the potential in staying here and growing with the league. Most come and never leave.”

F

C Dallas was an original member of Major League Soccer when the league was formed 20 years ago. Over the following 13 years, the franchise tallied 180 regular-season wins and made 10 postseason appearances. The team moved into FC Dallas Stadium, MLS’s third soccerspecific stadium, in 2005. There was a time when the average American sports fan couldn’t name an MLS star, but all that changed in 2007

when the league announced a blockbuster deal that sent Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy. The deal—reportedly worth $250 million—paid instant dividends as the California franchise saw season-ticket holders top out at 11,000. Recent reports show the upward trends are continuing. In 2014, ESPN’s annual sports poll found MLS soccer was almost as popular as Major League Baseball with fans ages 12–17 for the first time in the poll’s 20-year history. About 18 percent of responders in the age group self-identified as avid fans of both leagues. In 2012 the poll ranked MLS second only to the National Football League for fans ages 12–24.

FC DALLAS’S INTERNATIONAL RECRUITS

Stats represent achievements through the end of the 2014 regular season.

#7 BLAS PÉREZ

#1 RAÚL FERNÁNDEZ

#11 FABIÁN CASTILLO

#28 VICTOR ULLOA

POSITION

Forward

POSITION

Goalkeeper

POSITION

Forward

POSITION

Midfielder

Panama City, Panama

HOMETOWN

Lima, Peru

HOMETOWN

AGE

HOMETOWN

HOMETOWN

29

Cali, Colombia

Chihuahua, Mexico

HEIGHT

6’1”

AGE

22

AGE

22

WEIGHT

178 lbs.

HEIGHT

5’8”

HEIGHT

5’11”

WEIGHT

150 lbs.

WEIGHT

165 lbs.

AGE

31

HEIGHT

6’1”

WEIGHT

174 lbs.

Signed with FC Dallas on January 3, 2012, in just three seasons the Panamanian forward has risen to fourth-all-time (tied with Carlos Ruiz) in goals scored for the club with 31 goals in 64 starts. He currently leads the team in assists with six in 24 starts this season. He has 13 in his MLS career. Perez has scored 29 goals in 64 appearances for the Panamanian National Team.

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Since 2002, MLS has seen clothing sales explode by 100 percent. Eighteen years ago there were three ownership groups in the league; today there are 21. These stats have Velasco excited. “If you look at our growth since the creation of the league, the momentum soccer now has will not stop. We’ll see faster acceleration with generational change,” he says. In the United States, generations of kids who grew up playing EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise are playing youth soccer with immigrants from nations where soccer is king, and the Hispanic population in the United States is expected to triple by 2050. The kids who watched Brazil win the World Cup in 1994 are today the

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Named to his first MLS all-star game in his first season with FC Dallas, Fernandez signed on January 10, 2013. In 26 starts for FC Dallas last season, the Peruvian National Team member made 88 saves and earned seven shutouts. Fernandez has appeared 25 times for the Peruvian National Team since 2009.

As an 18-year-old, Castillo signed with FC Dallas on March 7, 2011. The winger is among Dallas’s leading scorers this season (10 goals) and has 20 goals and 16 assists in 91 career starts. Castillo is arguably the fastest player in MLS. He has matured quickly this season under the guidance of his coach and countryman Oscar Pareja.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Ulloa grew up in a suburb of Dallas (Wylie, TX) and was signed to a homegrown contract by FC Dallas as an 18-year-old in 2010. The former captain of the successful FC Dallas Academy team, Ulloa led the FC Dallas Reserves in minutes played for three consecutive seasons before getting his shot with the FC Dallas first team in 2014. The defensive midfielder has started 26 consecutive matches for FC Dallas this season.


fathers who play and watch the sport with their children—and they’re doing so in record numbers. Almost 25 million Americans play soccer, and 15 million of those are under the age of 18. Despite the huge increases, getting fans to the stadium remains a challenge. In 2014, a match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC drew more than 64,000 fans, but the league’s average attendance was 18,704. A Chivas USA game in a Los Angeles suburb drew less than 4,000 to a stadium that seats 18,000. Velasco says the key to success lies in identifying and then engaging real fans. “Almost half of our fans didn’t watch the Super Bowl, and most can’t tell you anything about the Indianapolis 500,” he says. “They are unique fans, and they probably follow at least one league outside of the U.S.” Once Velasco identifies that segment, he goes after them and looks to “build bridges that make them feel a part of the club.” Dan Hunt, FC Dallas’s president and owner, chats weekly with fans on Facebook and is often spotted interacting with fans during home games. The goal, Velasco says, is to create an authentic and consistent fan experience. With five supporter clubs (the Dallas Football Elite, Dallas Beer Guardians, Lone Star Legion, Red Shamrock, and El Matador), each FC Dallas fan can find a place in the stadium to call home.

I

t can be hard to keep up with Velasco because he’s never in one place for very long. “This is never a nine-to-five job,” he laughs. “There’s not a routine. Whatever you put on the calendar won’t happen the way you think it will,” he says. If you try to reach him during the day, you might catch him ushering the media into a press event, spell-checking a game recap, or talking to leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth community about business development. Or maybe he’ll be on the phone arranging a friendly against an international team or talking to leaders from other soccer leagues. But game day is what Velasco lives for. Although kickoff is at 8:00 p.m., he pulls in to Toyota Stadium and rushes into his office early. As he logs into a computer, he’s already on his phone checking the weather. He takes a swig of coffee as he looks at his watch: 2:05 p.m., about six hours until game time. Velasco and FC

SPONSORSHIP SURGE FC Dallas’s corporate sponsorship department ranks number one in growth for MLS between 2012 and 2014. Between 2012 and 2014: Attendance increased by

20%

Total sponsorship revenue rose

85% 30

Current number of corporate sponsors for FC Dallas:

Dallas staff load up official social media outlets and start communicating with fans. They share where the team is, who they’re playing, which players are active, what the key match-ups are, weather information, kickoff times, and details about stadium promotions and giveaways. The rest of the staff arrives, and together they push tickets, answer requests from the media, prep the press box, write game notes, and visit broadcast teams. Three hours before the opening whistle, Velasco is out on the concourse interacting with sponsors. Inside the stadium, his staff is putting final touches on everything from locker rooms to concession stands. The gates open, and ushers tear tickets and hand out promotional items while the fans storm in. “WE! ARE! THE HOOPS!” Velasco hears the familiar chant echoing around the stadium and checks his watch. 7:58 p.m. For 45 minutes, his work is done, and Velasco becomes a fan. “Once we hit game time, it’s a celebration. It’s all about soccer. There are no promotions and no time-outs. We all are watching the game,” he says. After stoppage time, he helps organize on-field activities and manages on-screen entertainment and promotions until second time kicks off. After the game, Velasco rushes down to help clear the field. Then, he walks through the tunnels and up the stairs where he’s greeted by an array of cameras and reporters. The press will interview

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feature

“The momentum soccer now has will not stop. We’ll see faster acceleration with generational change.” CESAR VELASCO

S

occer fandom in Dallas is ramping up but can Velasco—and the rest of Major League Soccer—really sustain success, or will the post-World Cup frenzy fade? Some experts aren’t so sure. Stats guru Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com says just two percent of respondents to the Harris Poll listed soccer as their favorite sport this year compared to three percent in 1985. A similar Gallup poll saw numbers rise from two percent in 1981 to just four percent in 2013. Most of the goals scored in the World Cup were kicked by athletes who don’t play in MLS. The United States’ most popular player, Tim Howard, plays in England. Still, Velasco isn’t swayed. He knows efforts are paying off. MLS attendance is up across the board, having grown by more than 11 percent over the last five years. “We’re not looking to simply capitalize on a four-year event,” he says. “We see a big jump with every World Cup, but we’re looking for consistent growth.” Players from around the world are coming to MLS in increasing numbers. Only a few teams in Europe are made up of superstars. The rest, like most teams in America, have one or two well-known players. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, (Ricardo) Kaká, and Jermain Defoe represent MLS’s household names. Two new teams join the league in 2015, and David Beckham is continuing to work on his plan for an expansion club in Miami. For those who remain unconvinced, Velasco extends an invitation: “Come to Dallas. Watch a game live,” he says. “You’ll be hooked.”

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Fans in the South Ward Supporters section of Red Bull Arena

LEAGUE EXPERT WEIGHS IN THE FAN EXPERIENCE “The long-term success of MLS will, in many ways, be subject to how successful individual MLS clubs and the league as a whole are at delivering an exciting product to viewers at home or through mobile and digital devices. The Red Bulls strive to become the best soccer club in North America with both an on- and off-the-pitch approach. We have one of the top youth training programs in the country with tens of thousands of kids in the tristate area who participate throughout the year. This builds our fan base, naturally. We are also increasing fan engagement through innovative sporting and lifestyle content on our digital platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube). Having an exciting-to-watch soccer team delivers a quality product to our fans, but we go even farther to evaluate the off-the-pitch fan experience. We ensure excellence in access to the Red Bull Arena, parking, and pre- and postmatch activities to engage with our fans. To increase our season-ticket holder base and to generate value for our corporate partners, we are constantly looking at ways to enhance loyalty and retention rates through the use of mobile devices. Without a doubt, the delivery of live sporting events will continue to be a key driver for consumers. Nationally, the New York Red Bulls are among the MLS clubs being broadcast during any given season. Increasing our fan base outside of the tristate area and generating league excitement will lead to an increase in overall MLS stadium attendance. That is an important goal of ours.”

LUIS MIGUEL GARCIA

CFO New York Red Bulls

TOP PHOTO: BRIAN NEVINS

both coaches before heading to the home team and visitors’ locker rooms to talk to the players. That’s when Velasco will return to his office to help prepare press releases and game notes. With those underway, his staff conducts fast postgame reports with all the department heads and reviews any special activities or incidents. Hours earlier Toyota Stadium was lit up and roaring with fans. Now it’s dark and silent. When Cesar Velasco logs off his computer and reaches to swipe his car keys from the office desk, it is just past midnight.


TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

industry Top-level insight and updates on business in America

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TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

The New Gold Standard In California, luxury real estate has become the investment of choice. The Agency thrived on that niche market throughout the housing crisis and continues to sell the Golden State to the highest bidder

W

hen the founders of the Agency were trying to register their website, TheAgency.com was already taken—by the CIA. That’s the story cofounder Mauricio Umansky likes to tell people, anyway. It’s an anecdote that might not be strictly accurate (Umansky has the good sense not to look too far into it), but it does underline the archetypal, somewhat brash, all-encompassing nature of the luxury real estate brokerage. Amid a recovering, but still-struggling American housing market, the Agency stands out. The joint venture of Mexican-born Umansky, the number six realtor in the United States (number one in California) of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame; his father and business partner, Eduardo Umansky; Billy Rose, a talent agent-cum-realtor to the stars; and San Marino real-estate wizard Blair Chang, the Agency has closed more than $1.5 billion in sales in just over three years of business. In California, where the Agency has carved out significant territory, square feet are still relatively cheap compared to

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

New York City and London (Umansky estimates that prices in Los Angeles are about 30 percent of those in New York). But that hasn’t stopped the Agency from netting an average of $3,131,113 per sale. The Agency owes some of its consistent growth to Umansky’s first business, a fashion line he started right out of college. “I go back to those days a lot,” he says. Though the clothing line did make upwards of $30 million in sales, Umansky recalls some of the mistakes he made as a 20-year-old CEO managing a fledgling brand. “We didn’t have a long-term delivery plan or any kind of sales plan,” he says. This taught Umansky the value of the sort of comprehensive marketing plan he’s put in place at the Agency. Umansky recently returned from multiple trips to China, following the dictum “Global is the new local.” Foreign investment was one contributor to the Agency’s longevity through the Great Recession, when local buyers were sitting on the sidelines. Bloomberg reported that in 2013 absentee owners bought 27 percent of California’s homes priced at a million dollars or more. The Agency markets itself around the world, increasingly attracting foreign

buyers who are made anxious by the political, social, and economic uncertainty in their homelands of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. For those looking for a solid, brick-and-mortar investment, the United States is a safe haven. The Agency opened up shop in Shanghai, securing a foothold in Asia. Stateside, its Las Vegas office complements its growing California presence, which now extends to Beverly Hills, Westside, Brentwood/Venice, and Los Cabos. And Umansky expects to open more offices in Palm Springs and Marina del Rey because while the bruise of housing depreciation lingers in many parts of the country, the real estate recession has abated in California’s high-end neighborhoods. DataQuick reported that sales of California homes for a million dollars or more rose 9.1 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2014, while total sales across all price categories in the state fell 7.4 percent. Domestic buyers are reentering the market, but there’s still a relative lack of supply in the area. New building was more or less halted for the last six years by the economic downturn. Even outside of the

PORTRAIT: ERIK NELDNER

by Nash Keune


TRENDS

MAURICIO UMANSKY CEO, Cofounder THE AGENCY HQ

Los Angeles, CA

FOUNDED

2011

AVG. HOME SALE

$3,131,113

WORTH OF HOMES SOLD IN 2013

$28 billion

The Agency is a full-service, luxury real estate brokerage and lifestyle company.

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industry

TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

Top Sales by the Agency:

1201 LAUREL WAY Beverly Hills, CA

Sold for $31,000,000 (recordbreaking sale for price-persquare-foot in California) An architectural masterpiece owned and developed by Richard Papalian and designed by Michael Palumbo, along with architect Marc Whipple 6 BD / 10 BA

1232 SUNSET PLAZA West Hollywood, CA

Sold for $23,980,000 Hagy Belzberg-designed compound estate PHOTOS; CAROLWOOD: DAVID ZAITZ, LAUREL WAY: ART GRAY, SUNSET PLAZA: DAVID ZAITZ AND JIM BARTSCH

8 BR / 9 BA

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015


TRENDS

$16,805,930* The number of homes listed for one million dollars or more in Los Angeles: 1,949*

* Source: national real estate brokerage Redfin ** Figures represent sales data from October 2014.

recession, the growing antisprawl sentiment in Los Angeles (LA) has made builders averse to building too far outside of the urban core. This flood of demand matched with straitened supply has predictably set off a local boon, making luxury, high-end real estate a seller’s market. The Agency caught publicity for its listing of Walt Disney’s former home, the Carolwood Estate in LA’s Bel Air neighborhood, for $90 million. The sale price took a reduction, but $74 million is still impressive. Umansky and his fellow cofounders talk a lot about the firm’s culture. “We don’t accept real estate agents,” he explains. Instead, the firm looks to fill its limited number of openings with experts in “storytelling” and “curating lifestyles.” That’s why you’ll find homes staged with a Lamborghini in the driveway, not so subtly suggesting the details that complete the picture of opulence. This approach is partly inspired by Umansky’s fashion business, selling items that were built around a customer’s self-image (or desired self-image)—the backbone of the Agency’s technique.

A look at LA’s current inventory of homes worth one million dollars or more**

PRICE RANGE IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Average price of the 100 most expensive homes in Los Angeles:

$50-85

4

$20-50

12

$10-20

$5-10

$1-5

59

132

1,745 NUMBER OF HOMES LISTED FOR SALE

For Umansky and his partners at the Agency, the image they desired is the one they have created. Brash as their confidence may appear (they are perfectly honest that they are as selective of their clients as buyers are of property), it is their calling card and what buyers count on when searching for their patch of the Golden State.

CAROLWOOD ESTATE Bel Air, CA | Sold for $74,000,000 | Formerly the Disney Estate | 8 BD / 17 BA

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industry

TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

Equity investments spur next-level growth for Hispanic businesses

LUIS ZALDIVAR Managing Director PALLADIUM EQUITY PARTNERS, LLC HQ

New York City, NY

FOUNDED

1997

Palladium is a private investment firm with interest in mid-sized companies, particularly those with Hispanic leadership or catering to the Hispanic market.

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

An entrepreneur, business pioneer, or someone who has built a company from the ground up might dream of being approached by the team from Palladium Equity Partners. Palladium Equity Partners, LLC is an equity investment firm that specializes in providing capital to founder-owned, mid-sized companies. Its main investment strategy is to acquire companies by buying a controlling share and then grow the business in partnership with the owners, management teams, and industry leaders. For a company owner, that means money and expertise to help business grow. Although owners must hand over control to their new investment partners, they gain liquidity and a big cash payoff for years of hard work. What makes Palladium different from other investment firms? It’s primarily scouting for opportunities among Hispanic-owned businesses and businesses that target the Hispanic demographic. “We don’t only invest in Hispanic companies, but it’s a special focus of ours,” says Luis Zaldivar, one of Palladium’s four managing directors. He’s been with Palladium for more than 10 years. Zaldivar got his first insights into Hispanic-owned enterprises as a youngster. His grandfather founded a Cuban restaurant in New York City called Victor’s Cafe. “Hispanics are forming businesses at a faster rate than non-Hispanics,” he says. “We see that as a significant opportunity.” Hispanic entrepreneurs opened twice as many businesses than the national average in the 2000s, according to US census data. However a large percentage of

by John Larrabee

“Everyone benefits from a healthy capital market. We’re the first firm of our size, with our expertise, that has a focus on the Hispanic community. That’s something Hispanic entrepreneurs can see as positive.” Luis Zaldivar

those businesses stay small, with fewer than 10 employees, according to a recent study by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Texas. A major obstacle, according to the Texas study, is lack of management and leadership expertise. Palladium seeks to address that issue when making investments. The firm has built a network of more than 1,000 executives throughout the country—many leaders from Fortune 1,000 companies— to help identify and evaluate investment opportunities. They’re typically tapped for the boards of acquired companies and contribute to their management. Equity investment firms like Palladium, as opposed to venture capital firms, typically avoid start-ups. They’re


2005 Palladium closes its third fund with $775 million in investment capital.

2010 Palladium announces the acquisition of Jordan Health Services, one of the largest home health-care providers in Texas.

2011 Palladium announces its acquisition of Teasdale Quality Foods, Inc., the largest producer of canned hominy and beans in the western United States. Jordan Health Services combines with another Texas health-care provider, CIMA, which operates four hospices in the state.

2012 Palladium announces the acquisitions of Hoopeston Foods, Inc.; Zateca Foods, LLC; and Greeley Trading Company. The food companies, all known for their bean products, become Teasdale add-ons.

2014 Palladium closes its fourth fund. The fund generated so much interest from investors that the firm increased the initial $1 billion cap, closing with $1.14 billion in capital.

Oct. 1, 2014 Palladium announces an investment in Pronto Insurance, a leading provider of nonstandard auto insurance focused on the rapidly growing Hispanic market in Texas.

Oct. 29, 2014 Teasdale sells for roughly $200 million to Snow Phipps Group LLC.

W O R L D W I D E ˚ O F F I C E S 3 0 T H A N

Luis Zaldivar, a Harvard Business School grad, joins the firm as a vice president. He serves as a director with several companies in which the firm has invested, including Teasdale Quality Foods, ABRA Auto Body and Glass, and Hy Cite Enterprises.

to join Hispanic Executive magazine in recognizing the many accomplishments of our friend Luis Zaldivar.

We admire and respect your dedication to

M O R E

2004

|

Palladium Equity Partners, LLC is founded.

We are pleased

the success of Palladium Equity Partners and

A T T O R N E Y S

1997

Luis!

your great work

1 7 0 0

Palladium’s milestone achievements

interested in firms that are ready for the sort of growth they can drive. “These aren’t early-stage companies,” Zaldivar says. “They’re typically mature businesses that need capital for growth and to provide liquidity for shareholders.” Visit Palladium’s New York City office, and you’re sure to catch a few conversations in Spanish. The firm’s investment team boasts at least nine different Latin American nationalities, and more than two-thirds of the professionals at Palladium speak Spanish. They attend trade shows that draw Latinos and volunteer with cultural and charitable organizations such as Ballet Hispanico and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The Palladium team has been able to build relationships with Hispanic business leaders, and they have their ears open to what’s going on in the community. But that’s only a small part of why the firm looks to invest in Hispanic companies. As Zaldivar notes, it’s a smart business focus. Hispanic buying power now exceeds one trillion dollars, says the Selig Center for Economic Growth. Since it was founded in 1997, Palladium has invested more than $1 billion of capital in more than 20 platform investments and more than 50 add-on acquisitions. The firm now manages more than $2.5 billion in assets. It focuses on companies that have $10–75 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization—especially those in the business services, consumer, health-care, food, industrial, manufacturing, energy, media, and financial industries. To grow a platform company, Palladium sometimes also buys smaller businesses in the same field (called add-ons) and makes them part of the larger enterprise. After several years of growth, a platform company is sold to return value to the investors. It could go to a larger corporation, another private equity firm, or Palladium could do an initial public offering and make it a publicly traded company. Palladium’s acquisition of Teasdale

BRUCE I. MARCH DONN A. BELOFF

O V E R

A Través de los Años

Florida Roots, Global Reach.

TRENDS

Congratulations

in the Hispanic Community.

WWW.GTLAW.COM

Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2014 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. Contact: Bruce I. March in Fort Lauderdale at 954.765.0500. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 24064

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You get good at doing

There is a process to everything we do and it starts with identifying the right questions and the important place to begin. Knowing where to start and what to ask comes from experience and discipline of thought. This is just the beginning of what we provide to our clients. Our local and global deal strength is derived from our deal professionals in 35 cities in the US and across a global network of firms, including Strategy&, which spans 75 countries. The result is deals capabilities that include a unique combination of frontend strategy and deal origination, diligence, and post-deal value capture. In addition, our network firm PwC Corporate Finance provides investment banking services within the US. For more information, visit www.pwc.com/us/deals © 2014 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

62MW-15-0481-Hispanic HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JANMagazine | FEB 2015 Executive Ad v2.indd

1

9/22/2014 12:24:05 PM

TRENDS

Foods, Inc., a California company founded in the 1930s, illustrates the process. The company is the largest producer and marketer of canned hominy and beans in the western United States, and many of its brands are targeted to Hispanic consumers. Palladium purchased a controlling share of the fourth-generation, family-owned enterprise in September 2011. The firm brought in a new CEO and set up a board of directors, recruiting some retired food company execs to fill the slots. A year later Palladium acquired Hoopeston Foods Inc., a Midwestern company that produces various bean products. Three months later, the firm also acquired Zateca Foods, a company that processes precooked dehydrated beans. Both Hoopeston and Zateca became Teasdale add-ons. In October of 2014, Palladium announced the sale of Teasdale for approximately $200 million. Why does Palladium focus on founder-owned businesses? “There are a lot of them in the United States, so there’s a lot of opportunity,” Zaldivar says. “Many of them are looking for private equity. Maybe they have limited resources. Maybe they don’t have the expertise they need to take their company to the next level. Perhaps an owner wants to step back but doesn’t have a next generation to take over. They may see an opportunity ahead and realize they need a partner.” The reasons are many and unique to the individual that is selling his or her business. “Our goal is always to return capital to the investors,” Zaldivar says. What often happens with Hispanic-owned businesses is that owners are reluctant to move to the next level because they have limited knowledge or feel they have limited access to markets and capital. A firm like Palladium challenges that thinking, providing both the capital and expertise to move up. “Everyone benefits from a healthy capital market,” Zaldivar says. “We’re the first firm of our size, with our expertise, that has a focus on the Hispanic community. That’s something Hispanic entrepreneurs can see as positive.”


TRENDS

After an acquisitive decade, a diversified company emerges Emergent BioSolutions has been steadily expanding its portfolio since 2003. It is now poised as a pharma leader in both federal and commercial spaces by Anthony Kaufman

Before A.B. Cruz III had ever heard of Emergent BioSolutions Inc., he received a full dose of the pharmaceutical company’s premier product: BioThrax, the only anthrax vaccine used by the US government. “When the threat assessment came through, and among the threats was anthrax,” says the retired US Navy admiral, “the order came down that we were required to be vaccinated, so I got in line.” Today, as Emergent’s executive vice president and general counsel, Cruz is no longer a patient; he’s helping grow Emergent as well as the prominence of BioThrax. When he joined the company in December 2013, Cruz was new to the pharmaceutical industry but was attracted to the company for a number of reasons. He saw Emergent’s mission, “to protect and enhance life,” as an extension of his career in military service. He also gravitated to Emergent’s rapidly growing profile. Since its founding in 1998, Emergent has grown both organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. Cruz points to two key deals completed recently: In early 2013, the company expanded its biodefense offerings by acquiring Bracco Diagnostics Inc.’s health-care protective products division, which produces RSDL, a decontamination lotion that removes and neutralizes chemical warfare agents. And in 2014, Emergent closed on its biggest acquisition, that of Canadian-based Cangene, which specializes in therapeutics with applications in biodefense, transplantation, oncology, and hematology.

The Cangene purchase was instrumental for several reasons: it increased Emergent’s workforce and expanded its global footprint. Emergent’s revenue-generating products expanded significantly, up to nine from two. Perhaps most importantly, it moved the company further towards its goal of penetrating the commercial market, rather than serving ostensibly as a government supplier. Indeed, one of the realities faced by government contractors, according to Cruz, is the shifting whims of federal funding. “While the US government is currently committed to biodefense and preparedness efforts,” he says, “sequestration and scarcity of funding is always a possibility in the industry.” In its efforts to grow, Emergent must also grapple with the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry. According to Cruz, Emergent distinguishes itself from its competitors by focusing on developing and acquiring late-stage development products as opposed to those in the highrisk/high-reward area of early-stage development. Emergent also tailors its portfolio by focusing on the areas of oncology and hematology. Like many other pharmaceutical companies, Emergent operates in a highly regulated environment. “It has become increasingly complex and very stringent,” says Cruz, citing a litany of examples from the recently passed Sunshine Act, which requires pharmaceutical companies to report payments or other transfers of value given to US physicians, to teaching

A.B. CRUZ Vice President and General Counsel EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS, INC. HQ

Rockville, MD

GROWTH

From 2009 to 2013, total revenue for the company increased from $235 million to $313 million, while assets nearly doubled, from $345 million to $627 million.

FOUNDER FACT

One of the original partners in Emergent BioSolutions was the late Admiral William J. Crowe Jr., a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton.

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company, offering specialized products to health-care providers and governments to address medical needs and emerging health threats in the areas of infectious diseases, oncology, autoimmune diseases, and health-care protective products.

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TRENDS

A Través de los Años

The critical acquisitions that helped Emergent break into the commercial market 2003 Emergent acquires Antex Biologics.

2005 Emergent adds Microscience, a British vaccine company, to expand its presence into Europe.

2006 Through Vivacs, a German biotech company, Emergent earns a product development footprint in the German market.

2010 Emergent partners with Temasek Life Sciences to develop a broad-spectrum pandemic flu vaccine and therapeutic. In the same year, it acquires Trubion, which gives Emergent potential therapies for cancerous and autoimmune diseases.

2012 Emergent acquires the exclusive right to manufacture and sell VaxInnate’s pandemic influenza vaccine candidate in the United States.

2013 Emergent expands its biodefense product offerings by acquiring a division of Bracco Diagnostics that produces a chemical warfare neutralizing ointment. Later that year, one of Emergent’s products, Otlertuzumab, shows positive results in combination with other drugs for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other cancers of the blood. In December Emergent announces acquisition of a Canadian-based company, Cangene, solidifying its position in the biodefense market with three additional US government-procured therapeutics.

hospitals, to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and to SEC regulations—not to mention foreign countries’ own rigorous guidelines. “Being a US government contractor, there are further regulations that flow under federal acquisition regulation,” says Cruz. “This is just a sampling. The regulatory regime in the biopharmaceutical industry certainly isn’t trending towards being any less onerous.”

“While the US government is currently committed to biodefense and preparedness efforts, sequestration and scarcity of funding is always a possibility in the industry.” A.B. Cruz

Despite hefty regulations, Cruz is confident about Emergent and its representatives’ ability to comply. “We have to make sure that we’re above the line and all of our agents get strict guidelines on what they can or can’t do,” he says. As part of Cruz’s efforts to expand and shape Emergent, he also steadfastly believes in fostering a diverse workforce along ethnic, racial, and gender lines. One way he plans to achieve this goal is by modifying the guidelines for law firms that support the company to make clear that Emergent’s expectation is that their attorneys are indeed diverse. “As a global company, diversity in our workforce is an imperative,” he says. For Cruz, it’s not simply about breaking glass ceilings; it’s about yielding more productive and vetted ideas. “Having a diversity of thoughts leads to better decision making,” he says. “It may take a little longer, but you get more thought-out decisions in the end.”

Since 1998

Since 1998, Emergent has been protecting the nation against biological agents and emerging health threats, and developing and manufacturing products that enhance patients’ lives. Emergent BioSolutions — Committed to protecting and enhancing 50 million lives by 2025. www.emergentbiosolutions.com Follow us @emergentbiosolu

2014 In August, Emergent signs a licensing agreement with MorphoSys to codevelop and commercialize ES414, a prostate cancer drug candidate. That same month, the company makes a pact with the US government valued at $18.9 million over three years for a therapeutic created for the treatment of complications due to smallpox vaccination.

Core Risks Ltd. (CRL) provides diverse consulting services to life sciences companies around the world. Let our experts help you develop practical solutions to your company’s unique problems. Our array of offerings includes Compliance Services, Enterprise Risk Management, Information Governance, Business Continuity, and Supply Chain Management. To learn how our experts can help you, visit: www.corerisksltd.com

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Seniors get tech savvy by Kelli Lawrence

david morales wasn’t looking for aarp when it found him.

He was Discovery Channel’s principal attorney for all of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, which involved him in e-commerce and digital platforms. Serendipitously, AARP needed a technologically versed expert on its legal team— both for its print-to-digital transition and an expansion of its media outlets. This resulted in Morales taking on complex, challenging projects, rooted in AARP’s advocating nature but branching out in numerous, updated ways. He discusses some of these with Hispanic Executive.

David Morales in AARP Studios, where elements of Life Reimagined and Takei’s Take programming are produced.

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AARP has a history of trailblazing for the 50-and-over community. How is it maintaining that reputation today? With people no longer retiring at 50, we want to make sure they have the tools and resources to help discover possibilities, prepare for change, and make important decisions about their future. One innovative way we’re doing that is with Life Reimagined, a subsidiary of AARP that helps people navigate various life stages, challenges, and obstacles through programs, seminars, applications, and courses. We established the Life Reimagined Institute, which brings together thought leaders such as Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose and Repacking Your Bags. They collaborate with Life Reimagined to create curriculum that the everyday person can use to navigate obstacles.


TRENDS

Another initiative is our ongoing relationship with George Takei. He is the star of our YouTube series Takei’s Take, sharing his point of view, tone, and wit about issues and trends related to technology and social media.

video and social media content to our members. So we’ll continue to make our voice heard on multiple platforms.

Why is it important for AARP to digitize and innovate on the Web?

AARP will continue to make an impact with its members and the over-50 population by offering technology training and workshops for understanding mobile technology and applications. Through AARP TEK (technology, education, and knowledge), in partnership with our state offices, individuals have access to tools that can help them understand how to navigate their smartphone or any other device. We also offer information on fraud and identity theft. It is important for people to feel comfortable enough with technology to know how to protect themselves. Through our Mentor Up program, younger individuals train older people how to use technology. The program has been hugely successful.

For A ARP, digital engagement is critical to our long-term growth and success. We want to meet our members and the public where they are, and they are increasingly moving online for tools and information. A lot of nonprofits see us as being innovative and ask us how to use social media, sponsorships, and other mediums to deliver their mission. How is AARP responding to that online migration? AARP recently released RealPad, a tablet created with the 50-and-older generation in mind. We’re also preparing to launch AARP Studios, which will be dedicated to delivering fully integrated digital

DAVID MORALES Senior Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel

PHOTO: NICOLAS GOUFFRAY

AARP HQ

Washington, DC

FOUNDED

1958

GLOBAL FOOTPRINT

offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands

MEMBERS

approximately 38 million

EMPLOYEES

approximately 2,400

MULTICULTURAL MARKETS AND ENGAGEMENT

A dedicated team within AARP is led by company executive Lorraine Cortés-Vasquéz. The group ensures that the interests of multicultural audiences age 50-plus are integrated into everything AARP does by developing tailored initiatives intended to impact diverse communities.

AARP began as a health insurance broker for elderly Americans, specifically teachers. It came to include travel, financial, and automotive benefits among others.

Outside of social media, how does technology figure into AARP’s future?

What trends do you see developing within the nonprofit sector? I think you’ll see more strategic partnerships between nonprofits and for-profit organizations—actual joint ventures. Typically, nonprofits have the expertise and for-profit organizations have the financial capabilities. There are many ways to structure these deals, but the key is to avoid a disproportionate share of the risk and reward between the parties and the nonprofit using its assets to improperly benefit the for-profit partner. What’s one great thing about being part of AARP’s legal team these days? AARP Foundation’s relationship with NASCAR comes to mind, as we are the first nonprofit to sponsor a race car. Our collaboration with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon’s Chevrolet provides much-needed support and awareness that helps raise money and collect food (at race events and across the country) to support local hunger-relief organizations, in particular serving older Americans. “Drive to end hunger” is the theme, and we have been very effective with food collections, raising money, and building awareness.

We proudly join together in congratulating our client and friend

David C. Morales SVP & Senior Associate General Counsel

AARP

for his outstanding contributions to the legal industry and his demonstrated commitment to equality and diversity. Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP is a full-service, AV-rated commercial firm with 20 areas of practice and offices on Long Island and Manhattan. 400 Garden City Plaza Garden City, NY 11530 516-873-2000 450 Seventh Ave., 15th Floor New York, NY 10123 212-239-2000

STRENGTH IN PARTNERSHIP www.moritthock.com

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ENTREPRENEURS

King of the Hill, Top of the Heap Self-made top real estate broker and reality TV star Luis D. Ortiz lives the American Dream selling the city where he’s built his brand by Matt Alderton

I

t is not unusual for tourists visiting New York City to go home with soreness from a few days spent craning necks skyward. After all, everything in New York is tall, from the downtown towers to the bridges over the East River to the video screens in Times Square and even the trees in Central Park. Also notably taller in New York are the prices—especially those in residential real estate, which are the highest in the nation, according to a May 2014 analysis by real estate website Trulia. It calculated the affordability of for-sale homes in the 100 largest US metro areas and found that just two percent of homes in Manhattan are accessible to middle-class families— fewer than any other market in the country. In fact, the median sales price for a

LUIS D. ORTIZ Licensed Real Estate Salesperson DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE HQ

New York City, NY

OFFICES

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4,000

Douglas Elliman is the largest residential real estate brokerage in New York and the fourth-largest real estate company in the United States. It has offices in New York, Florida, and California.

condo in Manhattan was $910,000 in the second quarter of 2014, according to New York real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. (By contrast, in Akron, Ohio, the median was $119,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.) Prices are even steeper in Manhattan’s thriving luxury market. Representing the top 10 percent of sales, it boasted a median sales price of five million dollars and an average price per square foot of $2,617 in the third quarter of 2014. Although prices like that would likely give Akron buyers nosebleeds, they won’t last forever, suggests New York City real estate broker Luis D. Ortiz. Faced with a glut of inventory (44 new residential developments launched in New York City in 2014 alone) and a growing cadre of cautious buyers, New York will witness a more stable market in 2015 and beyond, he predicts. “Right now we’re in a very strong seller’s market,” says Ortiz, one of three New York brokers starring in Bravo’s hit reality TV series Million Dollar Listing New York. “Everyone wants to buy in New York, but inventory is very low. As a result, people are paying over [asking price] left and right. Records are being broken every day. That entices developers to build new inventory to satisfy demand, which in the future, will cause prices to stabilize.” The suggestion of “stabilizing” prices might send some luxury brokers into a tailspin, but not Ortiz.

Behind the Sales of

Million Dollar Listing After his second season on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York, Ortiz’s business tripled. The show has been a great vehicle for introducing him to new clients. However, he’d still like viewers to meet his family. “There was a scene [in Season 3] when I came to my parent’s house in Puerto Rico,” Ortiz recalls. “There was a party for all my uncles, and we shot for five hours. We got drunk, we danced, we sang. None of it ever made it into the show, but I think if the world got to see those five hours, they would know everything there is to know about me.”

“I’m able to adapt,” he says. “When the market is a seller’s market, I sell. When it’s not, I buy. Life is full of opportunities.” It’s not surprising that Ortiz embraces changes in the market. He has embraced them throughout his life. Originally from Puerto Rico, he left home at age 16. “One of the most exciting feelings, to me, is nervousness—like I would experience while giving a presentation in front of the class, or finally dating a girl I liked after eight months of trying,” he says. “I wasn’t feeling that way in Puerto Rico anymore. I wanted to feel something new again.” So one day, he told his parents he was going to the beach but had actually left a note in his dining room saying he was leaving Puerto Rico. He landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he worked days as a stockroom clerk and nights as a janitor. After two years in South Florida, however, he felt the same flat feeling that had weighed him down in Puerto Rico. So, he once again pressed the reset button on his life, this time setting off to study film direction in New York. He graduated from the New York Film Academy in 2007 and subsequently directed two films, the last of which he considered a disaster. That’s when he discovered real estate. “When I decided I didn’t want to do film directing anymore, I was living on a friend’s couch on the Upper West Side,” he recalls. He found an apartment advertised as a “brand new” two bedroom,

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Luis’s Dream Real Estate West Village Retreat: Private outdoor space in New York is scarce. One day, Ortiz would like to be among the lucky few who have it. “I would like to own a townhouse on Perry Street or West 10th Street in the West Village,” he says. “I want a tree-lined street with a nice roof deck, a garden with trees, and a fountain. I think that would be a nice place to live.” A New Neighborhood Ortiz currently lives in northwest Chelsea, where he has a front-row seat to the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, a city-led effort to create a new residential neighborhood adjacent to the Hudson River on Manhattan’s far west side. The area’s anchor project—a 28-acre, mixed-use development consisting of new office space, retail, restaurants, and condominiums—would be an ideal residence, according to Ortiz. “Hudson Yards will be a new neighborhood in Manhattan, and that’s probably the last time that will happen in history,” he says. “I want to be part of that.”

92 Laight street is home to River Lofts. The 67-unit, 13-story Tribeca property was built in 2004. Units in the building are going for about $2,500 per square foot. This 2,128-square-foot condo listed by Douglas Elliman boasts Hudson River views, seven rooms, three beds, and three baths.

two bathroom in the heart of the financial district for $2,400 a month on Craigslist. In truth, it was a studio apartment with a temporary wall made of plasterboard down the middle of it, renting for $2,800 a month. “It was a scam, but for some reason that apartment made me feel so good,” recalls Ortiz, who decided to rent the apartment with his twin brother, Daniel. Unfortunately, neither was qualified to sign the lease. Undeterred, the brothers co-opted their father’s name—also Daniel—to secure a bank loan with which they could prepay six months’ rent. The broker of the apartment said, “You just brokered an impossible deal because you’re clearly not qualified. You should try real estate.” Three weeks later, Ortiz obtained his

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real estate license. Three days after that, he made his first deal, the commission on which was $3,000. “Everything I made I spent on advertising, which ended up putting my competition out of business because every time someone clicked a link on Craigslist, the ad was mine,” says Ortiz. “Most people do real estate for money. I never aim for that,” he says. His optimism and work ethic are why market changes don’t scare him. Not even the most controversial ones, like a tax recently proposed on pied-à-terres in the city. The tax aims to counteract absentee homeowners who negatively impact the local economy by claiming its residential space, leaving it vacant, and spending their disposable income elsewhere. Although

he’s “not too happy” about the proposal, Ortiz admits, it’s not likely to scare away the foreign investors who constitute much of his client base. “New York City has become the new Swiss bank; there’s international money coming in from all over the world,” he explains. “There’s a perception that New York is the greatest city in the world, so people with money in unstable countries put it here, knowing that even if the market goes down in the short term, it will continue to go up in the long term.” Tax or no tax, seller’s market or buyer’s, Manhattan’s status promises perpetual job security for opportunistic brokers. “Buyers are trending towards being a little more careful—when they’re not being as aggressive, inventory sits on the market a little longer—but there will always be iconic buildings that attract a constant stream of buyers,” like 15 Central Park West, the Woolworth Building, and the Four Seasons, Ortiz says. “I’m successful because I understand that; I know where there’s value, and that knowledge makes me an asset to my clients, regardless of the market.”


ENTREPRENEURS

Restoring Balance One CEO’s quest to bring relief to millions who suffer from dizziness disorders by Tina Vasquez

MARIE COSGROVE As a business and marketing executive, Marie Cosgrove has worked with some of the most recognizable Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx and Sprint. As CEO of Balanceback, considered the leader in fall prevention, her enthusiasm for her work has zeroed in on a very particular, often-misunderstood segment of the medical industry: balance disorders. Her company specializes in building vestibular instrumentation that diagnoses dizziness disorders. More specifically, Balanceback manufactures and distributes medical diagnostic and balance rehabilitation medical devices, providing clinicians, hospitals, and government facilities with technologies for those who struggle with balance disorders. Dizziness is one of the most common complaints in ambulatory care. According to the Vestibular Disorders Association, approximately 69 million Americans have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that eight million American adults suffer from chronic problems with balance, and 2.4 million suffer from chronic problems with dizziness. Far too often, patients are improperly diagnosed for dizziness. Cosgrove says Americans routinely have CT scans ordered, though fewer than one percent of the scans performed in emergency rooms reveal serious, underlying causes for dizziness. It’s an unfortunate and dangerous phenomenon—one that Balanceback’s CEO takes personally. “My mom suffered from vestibular disorders and her dizziness went improperly diagnosed for many years,” Cosgrove

says. “Fortunately, I had the opportunity to distribute the Balanceback product and introduce her to a neurologist who incorporated the Balanceback technology in a nearby clinic to properly diagnose her.” Today, Cosgrove’s mother is free from dizziness disorders and enjoys an active lifestyle. The technology that assisted the CEO’s mother is Balanceback’s patented intuitive videonystamography (iVNG) system, a quantitative series of tests that differentiate between central nervous system (CNS) disorders and vestibular disorders. The system produces a detailed report that enables clinicians to locate the root cause of dizziness. Its accuracy has been documented by Yale and Georgetown among other top-level universities. Cosgrove says the iVNG technology is a standardized, recognized, quantifiable diagnostic tool capable of differentiating between peripheral vertigo and CNS vertigo. It also assists in identifying which side of the vestibular system is abnormal in peripheral vertigo cases. “It represents the next generation of testing and has many advantages over other VNG and [Electronystagmography] systems,” Cosgrove says. “The iVNG device is used worldwide— in China, India, South America, Europe, and the Middle East—which gives you an idea of its broad applicability.” Holding a C-suite position hasn’t always been the goal for Cosgrove, but it suits her. She joined the medical field as an

Chief Executive Officer BALANCEBACK HQ

Dayton, OH

FOUNDED

2003

Balanceback specializes in technology that helps properly diagnose and address the root causes of dizziness.

Patented Balanceback goggles used in intuitive videonystamography testing help differentiate between peripheral vertigo and central nervous system vertigo.

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Do you experience: – Dizziness – Vertigo (spinning) – Imbalance – Tinnitus (ringing) IF SO, YOU MAY SUFFER FROM A TYPE OF VESTIBULAR (INNER EAR) DYSFUNCTION.

Learn more at vestibular.org sponsored by balanceback

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Technology in Treatment A look at the tools driving Balanceback’s revolutionary approach to dizziness disorders iVNG testing This standardized diagnostic tool differentiates between peripheral vertigo and CNS vertigo. It also assists in identifying migraineassociated vertigo, basilar invagination, multiple sclerosis, tumors, trauma, and stroke. D2 Technology This cutting-edge testing technology scores changes in visual-gross motor coordination, reaction time, and cognitive processing skills. It also enables patients to improve reaction times, take in and process visual information, exercise and strengthen the visual system, and improve eye-hand coordination. Intuitive Therapy Platform This state-of-the-art equipment aids in fall reduction; concussion management; musculoskeletal injuries; and knee, ankle, hip, and lumbar spinal issues. Practitioners are able to quantify a patient’s balance and proprioception, and this numeric value allows the practitioner to monitor the patient’s clinical progress. This number can also be used to quantify the patient’s progress and help the practitioner determine when the patient has reached maximum medical improvement.

independent sales distributor and medical device consultant. At the time, she says, there were few minorities and women in the field of diagnostic medical equipment. Despite the lack of representation, she quickly became the top medical device consultant in the nation, bringing new technologies to hospitals, clinics, universities, and military bases. When the opportunity arose for Cosgrove to purchase all assets of the company in 2010, she leaped at the chance and never looked back. Her enthusiasm for the field remains in the face of a constantly shifting regulatory environment. FDA regulations and public insurance changes have directly impacted clinicians and medical device manufacturers. “The new medical device tax directly affects our bottom line, impacting reinvestment into research and development,” Cosgrove says. “Keeping up with new FDA regulatory requirements mandates that we continually invest in our own audits and quality manufacturing procedures.” Cosgrove says public insurance cuts are also affecting clinicians, with many selling their private practices and moving towards salaried positions with larger hospital groups and hospital-owned clinics. “The cuts limit the risk clinicians are willing to take to invest in newer medical diagnostic technology, which limits patients’ options in finding clinicians who have the tools that can help resolve their conditions,” she says. Despite these challenges, Cosgrove is incredibly optimistic about Balanceback’s future and intends to continue pushing forward as an industry leader. “ We provide value-driven, evidenced-based technology for optimum patient care for those who struggle with balance disorders,” Cosgrove says. “We will continue to collaborate with world-renowned clinicians, clinician educators, and engineers to research and develop new technologies to provide health-care providers, hospitals, government facilities, and senior-care facilities with the world’s most advanced technology to improve patient care, reduce hospital readmissions, and lower costs.”


ENTREPRENEURS

An inventive approach to intellectual property Employees and clients alike can sense StoneTurn’s unique commitment to efficiency and empowerment by Zach Baliva

CHRISTOPHER MARTINEZ Cofounder and Partner STONETURN GROUP HQ

Austin, TX

FOUNDED

2004

StoneTurn comprises experienced accountants, economists, and consultants to provide behind-thescenes advice, deep financial analysis, and full-service dispute resolution support to corporate and individual clients alike.

Christopher Martinez can trace his interest in intellectual property back to Luke Skywalker. While the Colorado native was getting his CPA certification, he started working for Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic in the Bay Area. There, he saw firsthand how the company behind the iconic Star Wars franchise was creating value through the films’ characters and licensing out various properties. The experience sent Martinez on a fact-finding mission. He hunted down all the books, mentors, and resources he could find on the subject of intellectual property. He then began consulting and taking on roles of increasing importance within companies like Deloitte & Touche and AT&T over a period of 10 years, during which he became one of the nation’s top intellectual property (IP) experts. He was working with AT&T to set up its IP holding company and commercialize IP when three of his former Deloitte & Touche colleagues came to him with an idea. They wanted to start their own consulting firm. Martinez was intrigued. In the spring of 2004, the four of them left their respective positions and started StoneTurn Group. StoneTurn was built to be a different kind of consulting firm. “Profits are important,” Martinez says, “but we wanted to focus not just on dollars and cents, but on the quality of the work.” He and his partners believe that the narrow focus on billable hours held strictly by the big firms gives them a short-term advantage while StoneTurn can win loyal and long-term clients through a measured approach to consulting. A decade removed from its start, StoneTurn has grown to include eight offices (seven in the United States and one in London), 12 partners, and 72 employees. Martinez describes the growth as methodical

Trade Technology As a leading and progressive firm, StoneTurn seeks ways to leverage new technologies into its services. Here are some unexpected ways various industries can use technology and consulting services together. Litigation StoneTurn’s digital forensic specialists set up predictive models to help clients screen for certain behaviors within organizations that may signal embezzlement or other illegal activities. Criminal Cases StoneTurn can back up servers, hard drives, cell phones, and other devices and maintain them with a clean chain of custody so that copies of these drives maintain integrity if they must be turned over to law enforcement. Consumer Analytics Information organized by the firm’s data analytics group helps clients predict market behavior and look retroactively at trends to gain a competitive advantage.

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and steady. Over the past 10 years, he’s held fast to one word that continues to define the atypical firm: expertise. “Most firms back up the bus and unload as many high-paid consultants as possible. We act more like a SWAT team, bringing in select, high-level people instead of throwing many inexperienced people at the problem and later sending an outrageous bill,” he explains. While other skilled and proficient partners have broadened the firm’s reach, Martinez continues to leverage more than 25 years of experience in IP matters. He advises companies concerning the management and commercialization of their intellectual assets based on knowledge and capabilities gained from his years as vice president of knowledge ventures for Fortune 50 company AT&T. Intellectual Asset Management recently included Martinez on its list of respected experts in economics and named him among the top patent damages experts on its Patent 1,000 list. Additionally, Martinez helps companies settle intellectual property disputes and is in high demand as an expert witness. Some people can communicate to a jury but don’t have a true mastery of the subject matter, he explains. “We as a firm, and me as a person,” says Martinez, “actually have a deep understanding of our subjects and have learned the trade of being a good witness.” StoneTurn’s carefully built atmosphere has allowed partners and colleagues to flourish and become industry-leading practitioners. While big firms overwork employees, Martinez and his founding partners take a different approach. “We felt like we could empower people and make this a better place to work,” he says. “I had to keep 20 people busy to justify my existence when I worked at a large firm, but that’s not the case here.” While the big firms ask their employees to generate 1,900 (or more) billable hours a year, StoneTurn dramatically reduces that number to avoid burnout and turnover. Instead, Martinez encourages his associates to set three significant professional development goals each year. Some seek a new certification, some learn a language, some gain experience in a new area of the practice, and others author industry articles. As a result, StoneTurn

Complex Business Litigation Forensic Accounting Forensic Technology Intellectual Property Remediation & Monitoring

100 Congress Avenue Suite 2100 Austin, TX Tel: +1 512 469 5577 www.stoneturn.com

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“Most firms back up the bus and unload as many high-paid consultants as possible. We act more like a SWAT team, bringing in select, high-level people instead of throwing many inexperienced people at the problem and later sending an outrageous bill.” Christopher Martinez

Group’s attrition rate is approximately less than half that of the industry. StoneTurn Group’s leaders have created a company built on more than the bottom line—and it’s a company that attracts and retains employees. “I could have stayed in the mainstream, driven the bus, and brought home pots of gold … but my cofounders and I wanted to create a place where we could offer our clients the best possible solutions and our coworkers great opportunities,” Martinez says. Today, StoneTurn is growing in its own calculated way. Martinez says they turn down work that’s not in the firm’s “sweet spot” but still increase head count by about 10-15 percent each year. Having honed their skills over more than a decade, Martinez and his colleagues have built a working alternative to the traditional big consulting model.


ENTREPRENEURS

The Transcendent Business Frank Rodriguez began Corporate Creations to fill a void in the market. It would go on to help him find closure after hardship by Mary Kenney

F

rank Rodriguez bought his lunch two days a week at a local sandwich shop. He was in his third year at a corporate law firm when that sandwich shop changed his life. Rodriguez had always admired the shop’s owners, Michael and Ali Arnow, because they were once engineers who had the courage to leave steady jobs and become entrepreneurs. The Arnows, who knew Rodriguez as a customer, came to him in 1992 because he specialized in private placements and the purchase and sale of businesses. The Arnows wanted to discuss the cost of incorporating their sandwich shop. Since most law firms do not educate their young lawyers about the economics of practicing law, Rodriguez did what he was trained to do and simply quoted them his hourly rate. Unsatisfied with the nebulous range in which the cost of his services fell, the Arnows asked Rodriguez to get back to them with a more specific number. The next day, Rodriguez learned a valuable lesson. When the Arnows came back to his office, he quoted them $850 (equivalent to $2,500 for the same service today) based on the advice of a more experienced lawyer. The Arnows stood up and walked out of the office. As they stood at the threshold, Rodriguez asked, “Why are you leaving?” Michael Arnow replied, “I don’t like being ripped off,” and left. Rodriguez realized the quote was an excessive amount to charge for the incorporation of a small business. That realization was a transformational moment and led to his decision to launch Corporate Creations in January of 1993

to provide incorporation services at reasonable prices. Many of his first clients were lawyers who outsourced their incorporation work to help their own clients save money. Corporate Creations reinvented the incorporation services industry by private labeling those services for law firms. Over the years, the business has grown into the third-largest provider of registered agent and compliance services nationwide for Fortune 1,000, Forbes Global 2,000, and private companies. Its revenue qualifies the company for inclusion in the Hispanic Business 500. Rodriguez had another transformational experience when he learned his 38-year-old brother, Johnny, died in a kayaking accident on the Zambezi River in Africa. The news was devastating. For about one year starting on April 8, 2005, the day of Johnny’s death, Rodriguez stopped working and took a sabbatical. During that time, based on the advice of some wise friends, he focused on three activities to help him heal. “I fed my mind by reading books, watching films, and having interesting conversations,” he says. “I fed my body by exercising five days per week. And I fed my soul by helping others through volunteer work, such as mentoring high school students.” In 2006, Rodriguez and his wife started the Corporate Creations Foundation to manage their philanthropic activities. The sabbatical was impactful on a personal level and on a business level. At the end of a year, Rodriguez realized that Corporate Creations had made a higher profit during the year he stopped working than

FRANK RODRIGUEZ Founder, Chairman, and Chief Legal Officer CORPORATE CREATIONS INTERNATIONAL INC. HQ

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

FOUNDED

1993

GIVING BACK

Corporate Creations Foundation donates at least five percent of its endowment every year.

Rodriguez founded Corporate Creations from his bedroom. It is now the largest minority business enterprise that provides registered agent services in the United States.

in any previous year, thanks to the efforts of a great team. “The success of Corporate Creations transcended me,” he explains. “When you take care of your team, they take care of your clients.” That epiphany has freed much of Rodriguez’s time to focus on his staff and strategy rather than on daily operations, allowing the business to thrive.

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In the Game

How Electronic Arts uses data to interact with gamers in real time by Zach Baliva

when he was just seven years old, alex castro worked out a deal with the manager of an electronics store. Castro would answer

the customer’s tech questions, and the manager would permit him to write simple programs on the store computers. The hobby turned into a passion and eventually a career. Today the vice president of product management at Electronic Arts, Castro has worked alongside CEOs like Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Besoz, and now Andrew Wilson at some of the world’s most influential tech companies. He chats with HE about his first computer, how Electronic Arts is using big data, and who’s watching your touchdown dance in Madden NFL.

When did computers first interest you? I saw a computer magazine in my dad’s briefcase in 1981 and started going to the library to type in the programs I read in the back of the magazine. I knew then that I wanted to work with computers. Did your parents encourage this? Oh, for sure. My dad went to RadioShack one day and came back with a Tandy 1000 computer. I remember it cost him $1,742, which was a significant portion of his income. My mom was not happy about spending that kind of money. I remember them having a heated discussion as I went to bed that night, but my dad kept insisting that it was for me, for my future. Did it seem real then? That you could make it a career? Someone along the way told me I’d have to be good at math, so I started caring about school. I even formed programming teams, which was my first foray into leadership. It wasn’t like it is now with lots

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of students interested in the field. To form these groups, I had to search math and science classes for four or five other geeks. I opened the yellow pages and called some local tech companies to sponsor us. When it came time to apply for college, I saw a scholarship advertised in the back of a magazine and got accepted to Cornell. After completing my undergrad, Microsoft paid for me to get my masters. That launched you into an era where you worked with some pretty amazing leaders. What was your time there like? The first time I realized I was actually smart was when I was at Microsoft. I had a manager who praised my intelligence—I always thought I was just working harder than anyone else. At Microsoft, I worked a long side a ma zing individuals like Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and others who helped me ch a nge my self-perception.

ALEX CASTRO Vice President, Product Management ELECTRONIC ARTS, INC. HQ

Redwood City, CA

FOUNDED

1982

3 DEGREES OF SEPARATION

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak was on EA’s first board of directors.

MADDEN-NESS

EA has sold more than 85 million copies of Madden NFL since the game’s debut in 1988 as an MS-DOS-based computer game.

Founded in 1982, EA has emerged as one of the world’s biggest video game publishers, thanks to hits like Madden NFL, FIFA, SimCity, Medal of Honor, and Rock Band.

EA’s FIFA title is one example of how the publisher is excelling in the mobile space. Meeting its gamers where they want to play with uncompromised quality and entertainment, no matter the platform, EA has earned a loyal international fan base for the game. In 2013 FIFA sales across platforms accounted for more than a quarter of the company’s net revenues.


TECH

The Tide of Technology Castro makes his market predictions for the integration of technology in business and video games. * Cloud computing will continue to be huge. If I owned a small business, and I didn’t have an army of brilliant engineers, I’d look at things like cloud platforms, so I could operate at a scale once impossible for a smaller company. * Mobile is no longer an add-on—we’re living in a mobile-first world. We’re going to see more sensors, more automation, and more connected devices. One day, the computer won’t be the main way we leverage technology. * We have yet to see the same impact of mobile gaming on the business side, but that’s coming as we start to see major companies prepare for the fundamental changes mobile brings. It will be about enabling employees to access the information they need to do their jobs in new and more efficient ways. * Social Media will have the biggest impact in driving tighter real-time relationships between us (the publishers) and our gaming community. * When talking about changing the way video games are played, I don’t know when and how it will happen, but I know we can’t ignore what Oculus is doing in virtual reality. NOTE: Facebook acquired virtual reality gaming startup Oculus for two billion dollars in 2014.

And from there you went to Amazon?

SCREENSHOT: COURTESY OF ELECTRONIC ARTS, INC.

Yes, to work on cloud infrastructure. I saw Jeff Besoz accomplish some incredible things with infrastructure and data and algorithms that still influence what I’m doing now. How so? Electronic Arts (EA) is the granddaddy of video games, but we continue to operate in a world that’s changing fast. It’s no longer about putting a disc in a box. People are interconnected and playing on mobile platforms. We need to understand what’s happening, what players are doing, and what’s working well. In the same way Amazon can recommend books, suggest other

products, or send a personalized email, we need to leverage data and algorithms to create an enhanced and personalized customer experience. That’s why Amazon is so successful, and that’s where video games are headed. What does that look like in practice? We’re collecting data on user behavior to perfect how we interact with gamers and protect the experience they have. Maybe we can identify when someone builds an automated robot to cheat and ruin a multiplayer experience for other gamers. Or if someone is playing SimCity 4 and gets stuck, we want to know. If our data shows that they’ve not reached certain milestones after two weeks, we know they’re not engaged and are likely to drop off and never return. That’s an engagement problem. What would you do in that case? If we see this as a pattern in the data, we want to analyze why. Is the game too complex? Do users not understand that other game functions will open up as they progress? We can react. We can send them a targeted, personalized message via e-mail, text, or in-game messaging to entice them back. Maybe we use a video that shows them how to build a power plant, or maybe we give them 10 free coins to use in an online marketplace. So if data allows you to react to gamers, have you been able to harness any predictive capabilities? Data is important to our marketing efforts because if we can identify people who already have an interest in our games, we can let them know when we have a new version or another game they might purchase. We take all the data we have and give players predictive scores based on how likely they are to do certain things. How do you gather all this information? Is it all through online gaming? Mostly. We collect “events.” We know when people log in, how long they play,

what levels they achieve, how many awards they win, and what they purchase. That game play info goes up to our servers in the cloud. My team is here to give EA the same kind of processing power and intelligence that companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have in a way that lets us interact with users individually while protecting privacy. The obvious question, then, is does this change game play? We’re really careful about that. We have a new CEO, Andrew Wilson, who is a gamer, and whose mantra is, “Players first.” We have adopted that attitude by keeping the focus on what’s right for the player. If we do that consistently, we’ll make money along the way. What’s the biggest way the rise of mobility is changing the industry? We’ve just started seeing mobile gaming outpace consoles for the first time, especially in parts of the world where people aren’t rushing out to buy every $500 console that comes out. Those people have smartphones and Internet-connected devices, and those become the game platforms. They will be a big part of our future. But how can you shrink a huge EA title to work on a three-inch screen? That’s the wrong way to think about it. You’re not taking a console game and making it smaller because it’s fundamentally different. That line of thinking puts the technology first and the player second. We focus on creating a great experience on a mobile platform. The interaction with the game may have similar elements, but it’s different. I think our FIFA team really nailed it with this concept. What’s next? For the last few years, the overall tech industry has been very focused on collecting this massive wave of data that’s never existed before, but we need to figure out how to do smart things with the data we have. We’re at an inflection point, and it’s going to be exciting.

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TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

Counsel evolves with

technology

PAUL RIOS General Counsel NITEL HQ

Chicago, IL

FOUNDED

1997

GROWTH

Inc. has recognized Nitel five times as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

VERSATILITY

Nitel has developed expertise to cater to a variety of clients and industries including carriers and service providers, regional banks and credit unions, finance and trading, health care, manufacturing, government, and education.

by Joe Dyton, photo by Sheila Barabad

the role of an in-house counsel has changed in the past 20 years or so. Previously, the most challenging issues were typically sent to outside counsel. But heightened attention to risk management has broadened the role of the general counsel over time. Companies in the tech sector now require in-house legal experts who are adept at anticipating and mitigating risks with expertise specific to their company. Paul Rios knows this to be true as the first general counsel for telecommunications provider Nitel. His hiring reflected the founders’ desire to establish an in-house legal function to partner with the business and network groups. Rios sits down with HE to expand on industry trends, Nitel’s 2015 expansion plans, and how legal is helping the company grow.

What are some trends that you see driving the telecom industry right now? One trend is the mobility of the workplace. That’s an important one for us to anticipate and be able to support. Customers are going to have a very broad-based need for telecommunications. At one time it might have been more of a circumscribed thing, but now each office flows traffic differently. Companies are using video conferencing as well as standard Internet protocol. And they want the ability to manage their network, facilities, and traffic. That’s an area in which we want to empower our customers, so that they can get the most out of the products they purchase. How does Nitel cater to those new demands? We have an iPhone app and Web portal that our customers can use to manage their networks in a more proactive way. How does legal respond to these trends? As we get more creative and more

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flexible—in terms of the products that we can offer customers—and customers become more savvy and demanding of what they expect from us, the contract documents need to reflect those developments. We need to be flexible without taking on undue exposure. I get involved in conversations around performance metrics for a particular service and then have to craft service-level agreements that reflect what we’re committed to providing in response to our customers’ demands. It’s a matter of sitting down and having conversations about latency and jitter and other metrics that come into play when customers ask, “How well does this product work?” As the telecommunications industry changes, do you think the general counsel role will as well? If so, how? I think that with the diversification of telecommunications products, people who function in a role like mine will have no option but to grow their knowledge and familiarity with changes in technology because they’ll have to reflect them in contracts. I think that is an ongoing challenge, but it’s one that can be enjoyable if you’re engaged in the industry.

Nitel is a provider of telecommunications network services with more than 130 partner network providers across the country.

What does Nitel’s growth strategy look like for 2015? Historically, Nitel had been a reseller of telecommunication products on other carriers’ networks. In 2012 Nitel launched its own network, which gives it a broader reach, more flexibility to add a wider set of products, and a better client experience. We continue to expand our network by implementing numerous network-to-network interconnections (NNIs) across the country. These NNIs allow us to leverage existing last-mile fiber assets to expand the available end-to-end solutions that we can offer our customers. As we move into 2015, expanding our own facilities is our focus. How do you envision legal supporting Nitel’s growth plans? I support the contract processes on two fronts: on the vendor side when we contract to purchase services from other carriers and on the sell side. The latter is where I reflect the flexibility that we offer our customers and provide the standard protections that any carrier would need. I need to have some knowledge of the technology that we are selling, so I can reflect in the contract documents the technology and the business selling points we are providing to our customers while maintaining a legal perspective.


TECH

HORWOOD MARCUS & BERK CHARTERED CONGRATULATES

PAUL RIOS ON HIS MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HISPANIC AND LEGAL COMMUNITIES.

ยกFELICIDADES! HORWOOD MARCUS & BERK CHTD combines the resources of a national and sophisticated commercial law practice with the entrepreneurial atmosphere and creativity unique to a smaller law firm. HMB attorneys have served as trusted business and legal advisers to middle-market businesses, Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, individuals and families throughout the United States for almost 40 years.

500 West Madison Street, Suite 3700 Chicago, Illinois 60661 312-606-3200 www.hmblaw.com

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Is the real age of connectivity yet to come? by Michelle Markelz

BETTY MANETTA Founder, President & CEO

if you’ve found the shortest route to a friend’s house, paired your mp3 player with your car’s audio system, or used the touch screen on an atm, you’ve used machine-to-machine (m2m) technology. It is so ubiquitous in consumer technology that when two machines

don’t sync seamlessly, it prompts us to ask something akin to, “It’s 2015, and they still haven’t figured this out?” M2M (and its Internet-connected iteration referred to as the Internet of Things) have just as much expectation from corporations and entire industries looking to automation and interconnectivity as a cure for inefficiencies and a treasure map to consumer behavior. Companies like Argent Associates are the arbiters of M2M and help businesses find the solutions that will elevate their operations. Argent CEO Betty Manetta and COO Ray Moya talk to HE about the boom we’re about to see in the demand for their services and how the technology rat race isn’t quite as full-speed-ahead as we may imagine.

RAY MOYA Chief Operating Officer & VP of Technology

ARGENT ASSOCIATES INC.

SNS Telecom published a report recently that predicts M2M and the Internet of Things will be a $196 billion industry by the end of 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent over the next six years. To what can we credit that kind of growth? It’s a combination of a few things. One, the explosion of devices and their interconnectedness are driving the need for communication among machines for business and personal use. Two, given the dynamic nature of mobile applications and video streaming, networks are becoming more self-optimizing. Networks will need to dynamically reroute traffic to

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ensure quality service—that’s where M2M comes in. Three, the amount of data collected by these devices is creating a wave of analytical tools. These are the areas where companies and people are making a lot of money. I think what’s happening in the health industry is going to be huge, and they’re just getting started. You have fitness-based apps, and the health insurance industry has already started looking at how to give discounts to healthy people. They need to capture data to monitor people’s health, and they need M2M to collect and associate that data with other things (like behaviors and events) to make relationships

HQ

Edison, NJ

FOUNDED

1998

GROWTH

Named the fastestgrowing woman-led company in America in 2010, Argent manages $1.2 billion in assets.

FOOTPRINT

The company’s infrastructure spans 400,000 square feet among 11 facilities.

Argent Associates, founded by Betty Manetta, is a certified minority- and female-owned company. Argent is a supply chain and technology services company utilizing cutting-edge products and services to increase efficiency and create competitive advantages for businesses.


TECH

that didn’t exist before. Those associations are very valuable, and their permutations are even more so. What is the marketplace for M2M technology like right now? Who have been the early adopters, and who still stands to benefit from it? M2M has been adopted in several verticals. In my house, for example, I have a smart meter tracking my utilities. Smart cars are already being implemented. In 2010 only one percent of the health-care industry was using M2M; that’s scheduled to grow to three percent by 2020. Whereas telecom’s adoption rate, which was three percent in 2010, is estimated to be around 17 percent by 2020. You’ll see those numbers shifting, but adoption is determinant on being able to extract and interpret data, not just collect it. The hottest and fastest growth still remains in smart buildings, which had an adoption rate of 12 percent in 2010 and are estimated to be at 27 percent by 2020. Tech companies must have M2M capability to introduce new products. Selling a tech product requires that I’m able to talk to it, so I can service it. The product is designed to send me information so I know the health of it. I want to be ahead of the customer’s problems. If I take that to the next step and look at what I can do with the data; that gets into the Internet-of-Things (IoT). That creates a competitive advantage. M2M has been used quite extensively in the manufacturing arena as well to monitor inventory, especially when a business has items on consignment. We use it in smart vending machines that track consumable items or access-/asset-controlled cabinets. Supply chain and warehouse management seem to be the most obvious business applications for M2M. We’ve heard Amazon’s low costs attributed to top-notch inventory management. But small businesses

“A lot of consumers of M2M solutions are forcing their vendors to have open-source products and services. They don’t want to be held hostage. It will happen, but the vendors will go kicking and screaming.” Betty Manetta

information, providing a holistic view with analytics. Could cloud-based, open-source solutions alleviate that? Cloud-based solutions are more accessible, but some entrepreneurs are understandably afraid that someone will steal their data. Cybersecurity and uncertainty about where data is going plagues small businesses. A lot of consumers of M2M solutions are forcing their vendors to have open-source products and services. They don’t want to be held hostage. It will happen, but the vendors will go kicking and screaming. It’s no different in telecom. How so?

aren’t managing football-field-size warehouses of product or making the amount of transactions that big companies are. Has it been difficult to articulate the value of data collection and M2M solutions to those entrepreneurs? A lot of small businesses are struggling to find the competitive advantage of M2M in their operations. If you’re a building manager trying to utilize M2M technology with your systems (elevator, HVAC, and lighting for example), having them all talk to each other is a great concept, but you need access to their software, which is a big obstacle. Companies have proprietary source codes, and they don’t want to share them with each other, but that’s the only way for the machines and systems to communicate. When you have a multivendor network whose components aren’t compatible, you need a third party like Argent to intervene. We come in, cloudbased, to pull data and marry it with other

Some of the biggest legacy players in the telecom industry want to untether from their wire-line networks and hardware, but because they are regulated, they have to continue supporting those legacy systems. The Apples and the Googles of the world don’t have legacy systems. They’re not regulated. That’s what makes it an unfair playing field. That seems like an opportunity for niche providers. The telecom giants need the talent of small vendors. Most of them have foundries and are looking for small players to create new apps, new M2M solutions. It’s a big trend and a way to get products in their portfolios faster. Some large carriers have been selecting small, niche companies to play in that next generation of software development. Speaking of telecom companies, as mobile carriers’ traditional channels (voice and data) become saturated, there have been projections that they will begin encroaching on the M2M space. How does Argent plan to compete? Small business is like David of David and Goliath. If you’re afraid of Goliath you

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Argent Associates, Inc. is an award-winning systems integrator that provides innovative technology, products, services, and supply chain solutions to enterprise and government customers. We specialize in delivering solutions in logistics, warehousing, and monitoring through state-of-the-art quality systems that provide real-time information.

• Vendor Managed Inventory (3 & 4PL) • Asset Tagging/RFID • Reverse Logistics • Warehousing & Logistics • Staging & Kitting

TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

“I’m not sure any technology will ever be secure enough. Before people were hacking wireless networks, they were tapping phones. ” Ray Moya

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

Do you think we’ll ever reach a point of certain security on the Internet? I’m not sure if any technology will ever be secure enough. Before people were hacking wireless networks, they were tapping phones and wire lines. As people are creative in creating new things, they’re just as creative in breaking into things. What’s next for Argent?

probably shouldn’t be in the ring. You can focus on competitors, and then you get distracted. Betty’s a very forward-looking leader. She has vision to see what life will be like in three to five years and how we’ll get there before everyone else. That’s what has driven us to make this company successful. Do you foresee a future where Internet-connected solutions will render unconnected M2M services obsolete?

• Engineering, Installation, Optimization • Technology Audits • SeeControl IOT Platform • Smart Buildings • In-Building Wireless

with a hole in it where someone can get in and manipulate it. That’s one of the issues of smart buildings. Two-way communication raises a security flag. If a machine is receiving a message, how does it know it’s authentic?

The ubiquity of wireless connectivity has overcome wire line, that’s absolutely true. You can leverage wireless technology much more easily and more affordably than wire-line technology. But the trade-offs will continue to determine the demand for each. If I want to monitor the power consumption in my office, for example, I can get a one-way communication meter. However, if I make the technology too sophisticated, too IP-centric, I end up

In-building wireless solutions will become a larger market. As video applications become the dominant traffic on the cell network, carriers will need to off-load it. This will drive growth in in-building small cells†. We plan to be a player in this market. Small cells are key to off-loading the traffic from the macros or big towers. They are self-optimizing and will create a seamless experience, so when you move within the building or in and out of the building, there’s no interruption of service. Having this technology in a building will allow owners and businesses to create a competitive advantage. We’ll also keep moving on the path of M2M and IoT. We’ve made additional investments in companies because we see the exponential growth there. Part of our plan is to make sure that young folks in high school and college understand the implications of the marketplace and the skill sets they need in the coming economy. Tech will be the fourth thing you have to know when you get out of school in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic. † Small cells are fully featured, short-range mobile phone base stations used to complement mobile phone service (including data traffic) from larger macro cell towers.


TECH

Storytelling Through Social Media by Becky May

before he opened his own agency, jose boza got a crash course in publicity promoting for parties in south beach, miami. A friend

convinced him to trade his business major for communications, and today he is the founder of Boza Agency. He chats with HE about social media and its role in corporate public relations.

manage too many social media channels. Companies always try to go with the popular kid (in this case, Facebook or Twitter) even though they may not be the best platforms to reach the customer. Another issue is consistency. You have to continually provide content that people will be interested in, will make the phone ring, and will draw interest. Finally, companies wait too long to respond to a customer’s question. People go to social media for immediate feedback, and this is a company’s opportune moment with a consumer to shine and resolve issues. How do you convince people social media is vital? Before analytics, we could say that social media spread awareness about a product, but we had no data to back it up. Now we can track how a sale is a direct result of a social media campaign. Any board director will understand the importance of something if you show them return on investment. How have media relations evolved, especially for a Hispanic-facing agency?

How has social media changed the way you and your peers handle public relations? There was a time when I wanted to get out of public relations. Media outlets were downsizing and there were fewer people to reach. When social media came around, it opened up a whole new world. I could contact an editor in Wisconsin and tell him about my product without having to get a reporter—who may not be interested— to relay it to him. Social media has integrated public relations, advertising, and marketing into one. Everything we do in public relations now includes a translation for the Web. What makes Boza Agency’s social media presence successful? We take an authentic and real-time approach. We try to avoid the advertising sales approach on social media. People want to know that there is someone real behind that particular social media profile to help and answer them immediately.

JOSE BOZA Digital Boss and Founder BOZA AGENCY HQ

Miami

MANPOWER

five employees

CLIENTELE

Boza Agency has worked with clients such as Food Network, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Univision, Telemundo, Huffington Post, and Glamour en Español.

Boza Agency is a bilingual public relations, social media, and digital marketing firm.

There was a time when Spanish-language TV stations were only targeting Spanish-speaking viewers. Language and culture evolve into public relations and result in successful client campaigns. What works in New York isn’t going to be the same as what works in Michigan. There has to be a mix of cultural understanding and sensitivity before rolling out a client campaign targeting Hispanics or any other minority group in the United States. What do you expect the social media landscape to look like in five years?

They don’t want generic answers. What’s the point of having someone answering these questions when you can set up automatic responses? Social media has taken a major role in daily customer service for companies. What are some common mistakes companies make with social media? The most common mistake is trying to

Years back it was MySpace, then Facebook and Twitter, and now it’s Snapchat and Instagram. All I can say is that people love imagery. The main social networks hitting high interactions are utilizing imagery and video. I also think people will have a better understanding of what social media is. There are many corporations that are finally realizing that social media isn’t a fad, it is critically important to a company’s overall success and growth.

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Marketing to a Mind-set LatinWorks relates to Latinos by deftly acknowledging their heritage while honoring the complexity of Hispanic-American culture by Joe Dyton

CARLOS MUÑOZ Vice President, Group Account Director

Since LatinWorks opened its doors in 1998, the Austin-based advertising agency has built a client roster of Fortune 500 companies including PepsiCo, Target, Mars, and Anheuser-Busch. Its secret? A strong understanding of the dynamics within the Hispanic market and unparalleled creative. Carlos Muñoz has been central to winning big accounts for LatinWorks including Ford and Chrysler in places such as Mexico, Colombia, and Europe. A key part of his role within the company focuses on cultural branding. “Multicultural is a big word that we sort of throw around lightly,” says Muñoz, “but the United States is undoubtedly a multicultural society.” Which means that despite today’s ability to communicate freely and despite the sheer amount of information people can access, subcultures often remain distinct within the overall culture. One of the challenges marketers often have lies in determining how to insert the trends and views of those subcultures into mainstream American culture. Take the Hispanic consumer, for example. It’s not like Latinos in the United States are living like Latin Americans, says Muñoz. “They live like Americans with Latino heritage.” Part of what has worked for Muñoz and his LatinWorks team is its outside-the-box

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thinking. Rather than sticking to an all-encompassing formula, Muñoz says the company prefers to work case-by-case to find its target market insight and utilize the team’s own instincts. “We tend to market to a mind-set and not to an origin,” Muñoz says. “And that mind-set for the Hispanic-American is global in perspective and multidimensional.” Hispanic-Americans have roots abroad, but they’re also established in the United States, Muñoz explains. That complexity is something LatinWorks excels at reflecting in its work. A prime example of this method is LatinWorks’ launch of a Mexican beer in the United States. Muñoz wanted to avoid any stereotypical characteristics and challenged his team to find a way to impact digital and retail in a positive manner. The campaign incorporated a fleet of about 50 green-and-white Volkswagen Beetles driving around the United States. They looked just like the VW Beetle taxis that were prevalent in Mexico many years ago. Just as the beer was marketed as something of a Mexican delicacy in the states, the cars were an eye-catching and recognizable way to reinforce the idea of “bringing the best of Mexico to the United States.” LatinWorks is increasingly incorporating unique and entertaining elements

LATINWORKS HQ

Austin, TX

FOUNDED

1998

EMPLOYEES

175

GROWTH

In 2013, LatinWorks’ revenue grew by 32 percent.

RANKING

A certified minorityowned (CEO Manny Flores) enterprise, LatinWorks has become one of the most in-demand creative agencies in the country. Advertising Age ranked LatinWorks ninth on its 2014 agency A-list.

LatinWorks is a full-service advertising agency, specializing in cultural branding. Affiliated with the Omnicom Group, it serves clients such as PepsiCo, Target, Lowe’s, Marriott, Jack Daniels, Capital One, and Domino’s in the multicultural space.


MARKETING

Carlos Muñoz’s team handles strategic development, client relationships, and creative execution. He is responsible for overall management on LatinWorks’ Anheuser-Busch, Mars, and Humana accounts.

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TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

Notes from Music Marketing Muñoz’s talents have recently been utilized beyond the walls of LatinWorks. His work caught the eyes of the music industry and earned him a spot on the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Conference panel. “The reality is the music industry is looking for other revenue streams. Certainly, partnering with brands and agencies is a good way to get to that,” says Muñoz. By the same token, “advertisers and agencies are looking for different ways to connect with consumers, and music is a very good way to do that.”

such as the taxi stunt to its brand campaigns. “Being able to take cultural cues from something that is very close to our core consumer is interesting to me, and I thought that was kind of exciting,” says Muñoz. As the Hispanic population continues to grow faster than any other in the country, working with an ad agency like LatinWorks gives Muñoz an affirming sense that the Hispanic market is as desirable as ever. Brands all over the United States are looking for ways to grow as competition abounds. Many companies are turning to the Hispanic market to grow their consumer base and see LatinWorks as the firm to help them accomplish that goal. “Marketing to Hispanics is definitely low-hanging fruit in the sense that you’ve got certain areas of the country where the economy is being driven by the growth of the Hispanic population and the consumption habits of Hispanics,” Muñoz says. “There’s a real influence in the economy that drives market behavior in places like Texas, California, New York, and Illinois. Marketers who are not recognizing that are missing a big opportunity because if other markets decline, there are sectors where the only area of growth is Hispanic.”

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It was interesting for Muñoz to see the level of marketing expertise that a lot of musicians and their management display. “It goes beyond the power of the label. Being able to create a name and a following for themselves through alternative means was very impactful for me.” That level of connection and innovation in the music world is something he says LatinWorks can definitely borrow.


MARKETING

Western Union finds points of passion to earn Hispanic business Marketing executive Laston Charriez’s top piece of advice is to “stay curious,” a credo that guides him in his mission to understand and win this key consumer base by Mary Kenney

I

t takes Laston Charriez no time at all to recall his favorite childhood book. “Curious George,” he says. Since he can remember, Charriez has been curious about everything around him, a trait that drew him to marketing. He worked in his family’s drugstore, and as he watched people shop, he wondered what inspired them to make their selections. Why did some brands earn loyalty while others did not? What words or promises appealed? What was going through all of those customers’ minds? Charriez asks himself these same questions as the senior vice president of marketing for the Americas region at the Western Union Company, but this is different from any other marketing position he’s held. Western Union, a leader in global payment services, has a dual focus on the sender and receiver that most companies don’t. Customers can choose a number of means to make their transfers; Charriez identifies what triggers them to choose Western Union. “We know that what the consumer cares about most is getting money there quickly and reliably,” he says. Tracking how the senders and receivers interact with Western Union offerings

is an ongoing and complex process. Charriez’s team does extensive research to delineate what he calls “points of passion.” These points describe why any given consumer or group makes certain choices. Understanding these can affect everything from marketing to product development. Many Hispanic individuals send money internationally to friends or family members, Charriez explains, and they choose Western Union because of its practicality and convenience—their “points of passion.” For Hispanic consumers, Charriez knows that offering mobile technology, different speeds of delivery, and many locations is key. There are also more specific considerations Charriez keeps in mind. For example, Mother’s Day is a huge event for Western Union, and that is especially true among Hispanic consumers. “I tell you,” he says with a laugh, “they don’t send money for dad. Poor dad. Mom is number one.” Knowing that, Western Union can work to prepare itself for high traffic that day and can offer special programs and deals for its regular customers. In 2013, Western Union identified an unassuming opportunity in a Minnesotan macaw. The animated film Rio

LASTON CHARRIEZ Senior Vice President, Americas Marketing THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY HQ

Englewood, CO

FOUNDED

1851

REACH

Western Union’s network includes more than 500,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories.

Referring to itself as “money-moving ambassadors,” Western Union is a 160year old company in the business of money transfers.

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The Rio Deal In its first major film partnership, Western Union worked with Twentieth Century Fox to promote Rio 2 (2014), a 3-D, computer-animated adventure-comedy, as well as its own services to the Hispanic market. Timed to coincide with Mother’s Day gift giving, the campaign supported United States-to-Mexico wire transfers.

WHO When looking at the movie-going audience by race or ethnicity, Hispanics were the most frequent moviegoers, as they represented 18 percent of the moviegoing population but accounted for 25 percent of all movies seen.

WHERE The collaborative global marketing campaign was iterated in TV, radio, point-of-sale, digital, and out-of-home advertising; social media; a smartphone game developed in partnership with Google for the US market; and a fly-home-on-us sweepstakes.

(whose protagonist, Blu, is the aforementioned Midwestern bird) was very popular among Hispanic consumers. When Twentieth Century Fox announced the filming of Rio 2, Western Union moved to make a deal with the studio. Western Union appears in commercials and posters promoting the movie and sponsored the movie’s launch and Miami premiere. “Being able to identify an affinity for family-friendly entertainment led to a great campaign,” Charriez says. “That’s why it’s so important to know our consumers.” Knowing a group’s passion points is important, but Charriez also makes a point to know what is being said indirectly about the company. Customers may be polite in surveys, not spelling out how they feel about a marketing campaign, but

WHY Going to the movie theater seems to carry a particularly positive cultural significance for Hispanics, as they were considerably more likely than non-Hispanics (86 percent versus 77 percent) to view going to a theater as a way to spend time with family and friends.

if something insults them or doesn’t make sense, they’ll talk about it on social media or among friends. Charriez’s job, and the job of his team, is to track talk about Western Union products and services that happens outside of the company as well as in internal surveys. They have to stay upto-date about how people feel about Western Union, and it’s rare that real opinions are dropped in their laps. It may seem like an insurmountable task to keep up on every thought of every potential consumer throughout the Americas, but Charriez has one piece of advice that helps him: “Stay curious.” He mentors MBA students in Denver, and he often tells them to go back and read Curious George. “Learn something new every day,” he advises “—about anything. If you’re not, you’re not working hard enough.”

Laston, We’re proud to be your partner.

From Launching to

Birds Colored

Blue

We’re With You.

marketinglab.com 612.329.4804 © 2014 MarketingLab All other logos, trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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TRENDS | ENTREPRENEURS | TECH | MARKETING

FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

Food Fight America’s leading supermarket chain is utilizing analytics to stake its claim in the multicultural market by Zach Baliva

ANGEL COLÓN Director of Multicultural Development THE KROGER COMPANY HQ

Cincinnati, OH

FOUNDED

1883

LOCATIONS

2,638

REVENUE (FY2013) $98.4 billion EMPLOYEES

375,000

The Kroger Company (named after its founder Barney Kroger) is the largest supermarket chain and third-largest fuel station operator in the United States.

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Ten years ago, finding ethnic food in a major supermarket was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Companies that stocked foreign-produced items offered limited selections often relegated to a small aisle in the back corner of the store. But all that is changing, and one grocer— the nation’s largest—is leading the way. Over the last decade, Kroger has been expanding its offerings with a focus on improving ethnic food options in more than 2,600 stores. In 2008, the company created a new position and tapped Angel Colón as its first head of multicultural business development. As a kid in Puerto Rico, Colón split his time between the baseball field and the grocery store. When he wasn’t laboring on the pitching mound, he was stocking store shelves, loading trucks, and building displays. After summer jobs with Goya Foods, he joined the company and started what has become a 27-year career in the industry in which Colón has held almost every possible position. The pedigree, he says, gives him unique insights into his latest role at Kroger. “I worked for a producer of Hispanic foods sold in the United States,” he says. “This helped me understand the entire business, and I saw early on the importance of quality products, innovation, and the desire to meet customer needs.” Kroger made a bet back in 2008 that Colón’s expertise could help the company attract and retain a growing base of customers from Latin America and other

countries with unique palates—but he’s also reaching average Americans with appetites for foreign foods. “Targeting only multicultural customers is a mistake. Instead, we are engaging all of our customers with a multicultural approach, and that lets us leverage the growth, influence, and popularity of ethnic foods,” Colón says. Multicultural marketing in the United States is often siloed because companies view these efforts as separate from their overall marketing strategy. Colón says that’s not the case at Kroger, where he works with business partners across all divisions to make sure multicultural efforts are aligned with core business strategies. The key, he has found, is communication. “We have to share data and progress with stakeholders and demonstrate how multicultural marketing and our efforts in ethnic foods support business growth.”


MARKETING

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BRYAN WADE © KROGER TELEVISION 2014

Leveraging data gathered from loyalty cards, Kroger merchandises its stores based on actual customer information. Colón emphasizes the importance of incorporating cultural foods throughout the store to both meet the demands of multicultural customers and introduce Americans to new products.

Throughout his career, Colón has grown accustomed to being the only Hispanic in most meetings, departments, or teams. He came to the United States at age 17 and learned to change his culture and language. “Multicultural people in this country endure a lot, but I think that’s helped me grow and learn,” he says. “Now I can use those experiences to help Kroger relate to customers in an authentic way.” The cornerstone of Kroger’s marketing strategy is its customer loyalty card, which allows the company to gather data and analyze consumer behavior. The card has allowed Kroger to provide personalized rewards to customers who shop at company stores. This one-to-one marketing will drive Kroger in the future. Although the grocer often employs more traditional means to gather consumer insights— Colón, who once traveled the country to observe customer habits across 18 divisions, preaches the value of spending time talking to customers and associates—the loyalty card tracks information about what customers purchase in a concrete way. “We’re leading in data,” says Colón. “We leverage data more than our competition and merchandise our stores based on actual customer information instead of making guesses or basing every decision on a narrow focus group. We know what, where, how, and when people shop, and we have actual customer behavior insights.” Armed with the data, executives can make better merchandising and procurement decisions to optimize assortments based on who is shopping in a specific location. In many stores, Kroger is

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Grupo Bimbo – Today, we are the most important Baking Company in the world on the basis of brand positioning, production volume and sales; we are also the undisputed leader in our field in Mexico, Latin America, and the United States. Our mission is to “nourish, delight and serve our world”. Grupo Bimbo is proud of the partnership with Angel Colon and the Kroger Multicultural Team. We congratulate Angel on his tremendous achievements and look for continued success in building customer loyalty through MultiCultural marketing at Kroger!

“The days of international foods for international customers are gone. International food is for everybody.” Angel Colón

integrating ethnic and traditional food products. By placing Maseca corn flour (a Mexican product used for tortillas) next to white flour, Kroger allows multicultural customers to see the entire assortment while Americans get exposed to an international choice. Before Colón’s arrival, Kroger had a handful of stores that were engaging international shoppers. The efforts, however, lacked cohesion. Today, Colón and Kroger leadership have built a centralized team aligned with the company’s strategic direction. “It’s hard to move the world with two hands. We have a lot of talent around Kroger that continues to make this happen,” he says. Together, Colón and his associates are helping Kroger understand the potential of obtaining multicultural customers and engaging all customers with ethnic foods. They’re also working on expanding a strategy for inclusion on marketing and promotional materials. In the coming years, Colón hopes to close the multicultural gap and gain more share in the international category by putting international food on more tables across the country. Today, when Colón walks up and down the aisles of a Kroger store, he sees something very different. Ethnic foods are no longer hidden in back corners or shoved to the side. “The days of international foods for international customers are gone. International food is for everybody,” he says. Changing demographics are changing American cuisine. Experts predict the Hispanic food and beverage market to grow from $8 billion to $11 billion in the next two years alone, and salsa has topped ketchup as the nation’s number one condiment. The potential is there, and if Kroger can engage all customers, the company will retain its spot atop a notoriously competitive industry.

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MARKETING

8/27/14 6:12 PM


world view Cruzando fronteras: a look at the strategies driving business across borders

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No Rest for Apple Leisure Group Apple Leisure Group is taking no time to rest on its laurels. The hospitality powerhouse accelerates its vertical integration and expansion in Central America by Zach Baliva

I

n September of 2013, signed contracts in hand, Alejandro Zozaya stood at the helm of an empire. His company, Apple Leisure Group (ALG), one of the largest players in the travel industry, had just completed its acquisition of CheapCaribbean.com. The sixth subsidiary in a network serving 1.6 million guests each year, it was another step in Zozaya’s nearly vertical 12-year climb. In 2001, Zozaya founded AMResorts, a hotel brand management, sales, and marketing company. He was already a respected expert in the travel and hospitality arena. Over a decade later, Zozaya spearheaded the effort to form the Apple Leisure Group conglomerate by making

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business model. The fruits of that strategy, ALG’s large distribution network combined with property management and marketing, have earned the group an sister companies of AMResorts and Apimpressive market share: 12 percent of ple Vacations. all American tourism to Mexico and the The two were a natural fit. “I knew a Caribbean. few things about the US high-end market, Following an influx of equity afwhere AMResorts and Apple Vacater Bain Capital purchased a ALG’s tions both had good market share,” stake in the company in late subsidiaries, says Zozaya. “I knew we could 2012, Zozaya spent much of Travel Impressions, work well together.” At the base 2013 developing Apple LeiApple Vacations, and CheapCaribbean.com, of the group, AMResorts boasts sure to meet guests’ every delivered 10 percent a family of picturesque properneed throughout the travof all US travelers to ties marked by award-winning el life cycle, from booking the Caribbean in 2013. amenities. Today, the company’s to destination. The acquiportfolio holds 37 resorts. Apple sition of B2B tour operator Vacations channels business to those Travel Impressions from Ameriresorts and others through booking and can Express (which included American Express Vacations) and online leisure reservations. wholesaler, CheapCaribbean.com, creZozaya has further nurtured the endeavor by adopting a vertically integrated ated a distribution trifecta. Rounded out


ALEJANDRO “ALEX” ZOZAYA Chief Executive Officer

APPLE LEISURE GROUP HEADQUARTERED Philadelphia, PA

PORTRAIT: COURTESY OF APPLE LEISURE GROUP, RESORT PHOTOS COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE RESORTS

ABOUT Apple Leisure Group is a leading hospitality company leveraging the expertise of six innovative companies to deliver exceptional value to savvy travelers and strong property performance to owners in Mexico, the Caribbean, and other top destinations. ALG’s success hinges on the company’s strategic rebranding partnerships with hotel owners, especially those with distressed properties during the recession. Since its inception, the company has rebranded 23 properties in Mexico and the Caribbean.

by destination management company Amstar dmc and the exclusive Unlimited Vacation Club, Apple Leisure Group emerged a unique brand focused on serving upscale North American travelers with more value, sophisticated products, and elegant experiences. After Zozaya reached a summit in 2013, he wasted no time constructing a higher one. Not content with $3 billion in annual sales, Apple Leisure Group is riding the wave of growth through 2016 and beyond. In 2014 ALG announced plans to incorporate 10 new resorts—a rate of growth greater than 20 percent for the year. Zozaya is taking the company deeper into Central America and looking to expand into even more exotic places. Most recently, AMResorts announced plans to open in Panama, but the move has been years in the making. The company placed its scouts in the region in 2007,

Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun opened August 2008

An adults-only, all-suite luxury oasis, this AAA Five Diamond resort is set between 500 acres of stunning unspoiled beach and the rain forest on Mexico’s Maroma Beach, recognized by Travel Channel as the “world’s best beach.”

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Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya opened December 2008

Mexico’s famed Paraiso de la Bonita resort became the first property under the Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts brand. Situated on 14 acres of private beach and lush gardens, the ultra-luxury, boutique beachfront resort has earned the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award for 11 consecutive years and is one of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica opened November 1, 2014

Occupying a private white-sand beach cove surrounded by dense jungle, this 447-room family resort features seven world-class restaurants, bars, a nightclub, Core Zone for teens, and Explorer’s club for children, plus a Dreams Spa by Pevonia.

By the end of 2016, AMResorts will operate 40 resorts, totaling more than 15,400 rooms in 21 markets.

Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort opened November 15, 2014

AMResorts’ sophisticated, adults-only Secrets brand launched this all-inclusive property in November 2014. Situated on 2.3 miles of gated beachfront property on the Yucatan Peninsula, many of the 424 rooms have an ocean view. The resort also features a signature Greg Norman golf course.

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working with developers and government leaders to ascertain infrastructure and explore potential. Zozaya has helped Panama reposition itself as a vacation destination and convinced city planners and managers of other regions to add supermarkets, airports, and other infrastructure that makes development more attractive to investors. The CEO travels frequently to regions of interest to meet with ministers of tourism and even presidents of countries to discuss development plans. Other top priorities include Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and even Haiti. Zozaya looks for locations that appeal to American customers, are accessible by flights of less than five hours, and that he believes can support development. In some countries, ALG has distribution (booking and reservations) but no AMResorts-branded hotels. In others, it may have hotels but limited distribution. If nothing exists, the company considers building from scratch to create destinations when its goals are aligned with those of governments and other developers. Sometimes, building interest is just a matter of marketing. Although Panama is just south of tourism hot spot Costa Rica and has similar weather and landscapes, Panama never developed its beaches. Zozaya’s teams have worked with officials to improve outreach efforts and are developing their first hotel in the country, Dreams Buenaventura Panama Resort & Spa, scheduled to open in 2016. Apple Leisure Group is succeeding because it has been willing to take risks where others are hesitant. “We have developed best practices that we can apply if we see that the ingredients are right for us to enter a new market. Others tend to wait to see if ALG can do it before they take action,” says Zozaya. The vertical business model allows ALG to move forward with internal travel agents and marketing efforts while delivering a strong and consistent product. In doing so, ALG is introducing Central America and other underexplored regions to travelers throughout North America. For the business that sells leisure, there is no rest in sight. Zozaya’s continued ascent with ALG shows no signs of stopping, but as he climbs higher, the view from the top only gets better.


Epson projects a new image southward Five years ago Epson’s results in Latin America were modest at best. The company’s recent surge in growth is based on a nuanced understanding of regional differences by Jennifer P. Roig

To some international corporations, Latin America is often perceived as a bloc. Epson, though, has been working hard on its strategy of expansion, knowing that there are considerable cultural, economic, regulatory, and political variations that inf luence business practices, consumption, and trade. The company synonymous with printing and imaging technology relies on its general director at Epson Mexico, Alberto Arredondo, to help carry out that strategy. And Arredondo is seeing results in the form of unparalleled growth. Today the brand leads in most markets (video projectors, point-of-sale printers, and large printing formats) with market shares above 40 percent in most of these business units. Arredondo says Epson analyzes market conditions nation by nation. “Some countries are more price-sensitive, such as Brazil and Colombia; others like Mexico are brand-driven,” he says. “We respond by differentiating in terms of price for the same product, or by designing and introducing a product that responds to the requirements of a certain market.” Arredondo is uniquely qualified to advance Epson’s expansion strategy in Latin America. Having had an international career; traveling extensively; living in Mexico City, Bogotá, and Miami; and holding various positions driving regional markets and business units, he gained considerable knowledge about the different cultural perspectives and business practices that exist in the Latin American region. He landed once again in

Mexico two and a half years ago with the mission of finding out why Epson Mexico hadn’t grown over the previous six years and why it had the lowest market share (just 17 percent) in the video projector segment, even though the market was actually growing as a whole. His arrival marked the beginning of a process that led to revamping all sales, marketing, and operations while dramatically changing the organizational culture. “For many years Epson’s structure in Latin America allowed subsidiaries to be very independent,” says Arredondo. Each general manager was given a revenue and profit target and determined his/her sales, marketing, pricing, and organizational strategy to achieve those targets. The corporation would provide the products, and each subsidiary took care of the rest.” That allowed marketing materials in Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico to look very different, and caused the company to appear to lack vision. “In order to

ALBERTO ARREDONDO Vice President of Channel Operations and General Director at Epson Mexico

EPSON AMERICA INC. HEADQUARTERED Pinecrest, FL MANPOWER The Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world. ANNUAL SALES Seiko Epson Corporation ended its fiscal year on March 31, 2014 with sales of $12 billion. ABOUT Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group is a global innovation leader producing ink-jet printers, printing systems, and 3LCD projectors for industrial robots, smart glasses, and sensing systems.

Known for its imaging technology, Epson introduced largeformat printers in Latin America to the benefit of advertising and graphics industries.

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Exceed Your Vision. At Epson, our vision is transforming how people share ideas & information simply, visually and in ways they never thought possible. To achieve this we continually strive to exceed our customers' vision and expectations.

Epson is honored to have our very own Alberto Arredondo recognized in Hispanic Executive.

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Schools benefiting from government funding have been a big driver of growth for Epson’s projector market in Latin America.

Latin American countries, consolidating reach the next level of efficiency in perits number-one position across the region. formance, consistency in messaging, and The increasing demand stems from gova higher position in the market, we needed ernments in many countries equipping to shift from a very fragmented organization to a regionally centralized one,” says schools with updated technology as well as private schools and corporations investArredondo. At the same time, though, Eping in tools used for teaching, conferences, son wanted to maintain flexibility at the and presentations. execution level to allow its leaders to reAnother growing business unit is spond to local needs and market practices. large-format printing, extensively used Currently almost every business unit in the advertising and graphics induswithin Epson is well-positioned in Latin America. In the printing market, the comtries. Mobile printing solutions are also gaining relevance in Latin American pany is ruling with its InkJet technology, stores, restaurants, and supermarkets. especially after introducing the EcoTank solution (a printing technology that uses But Epson is highly interested ink tanks instead of traditional ink carin yet another area: textile Epson has tridges.) “Through market research printing. A year ago it ingrown its video and interviews with customers, we troduced its first subliprojector business such that it now has an realized that individuals and busimation printers for garaverage market share nesses that use printers were not ments. “We have seen above 50 percent in most Latin American rapid growth in every happy with the traditional cartridge countries. country mostly because technology,” says Arredondo. “They wanted a more economical and durable this solution allows a more personalized design, giving solution.” With EcoTank, users can print clothing designers much more freedom,” up to 4,000 pages in black and white and says Arredondo. 6,500 in color. EcoTank is one key reason Moving forward, Arredondo enviEpson is growing at a fast pace in a stagsions further efficiency and results from nant industry. continued attention to the differences Epson has grown its video projector and demands of a diverse Latin American business such that it now has an average region. market share above 50 percent in most


Global media gets a local perspective Larissa Zagustin draws upon a varied background to help secure deals that will expand Viacom in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets by Zach Baliva

In 2014, Viacom executives were looking to fill the general counsel role responsible for business and legal affairs in its Americas cluster. The region is an important one for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). One of the world’s leading multimedia entertainment companies, VIMN is home to such powerhouse brands as Nickelodeon, MTV, Paramount Pictures, and Comedy Central. As such, further expansion into the Americas is a key priority. Last October, the company announced that it would entrust that key position to homegrown talent Larissa Zagustin. Having joined Viacom in 2003 as the company was taking great strides to expand, Zagustin developed unique international insights and transactional expertise. She’ll now use those 11 years of experience to lead overall business and legal affairs in the Americas with her teams in Miami, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo. Zagustin’s distinct background helped prepare her for success on the international stage. She was born to a Russian father and American mother in Caracas, Venezuela but moved to Vienna when her father accepted a position in the embassy. Having such a cosmopolitan upbringing, Zagustin has always had a passion for travel and learning the nuances of different cultures. Eventually, she returned to Venezuela, earned her law degree at la Universidad Central de Venezuela, and started working at a leading law firm in Caracas where she was involved in major cases regarding the privatization of steel and other key industries. Zagustin, who grew up bilingually, speaking English at home and Spanish outside of the house, moved to the United States in 1999 and she spent just two years earning her second law degree. Upon

LARISSA ZAGUSTIN Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The Americas

VIACOM INTERNATIONAL MEDIA NETWORKS HEADQUARTERED New York City, NY EMPLOYEES 10,580 2013 REVENUE $13.79 billion BRANDS MTV, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike, VH1 GLOBAL SUBSCRIBERS Approximately 700 million GEOGRAPHIC FOOTPRINT More than 160 countries and territories

graduation, she started a master’s program in taxation and, at the same time, began an internship with Viacom. A few months later, Viacom offered Zagustin a full-time job, and she put the master’s degree on hold to accept. “I had a tremendous opportunity with a great company, and I couldn’t pass it up,” she remarks. Zagustin joined the company during a time of intense growth as pay TV began expanding into foreign markets. Five years later, she would become a vice

president and then a solicitor to the United Kingdom. Since that time, Zagustin joined Viacom’s international headquarters division (based in Miami) and has led negotiations in high-stakes business transactions to secure distribution, joint ventures, and partnerships to expand VIMN’s brands into foreign markets around the world. “All of these transactions deal with different business practices and cultures,” she explains. “My varied background helps navigate these issues.” In 2007, Zagustin helped Viacom complete an important joint venture in the fast-developing market of India amid heavy regulations. The partnership with the Indian company, Network 18, was the next important step in Viacom’s growth in Asia and created a structure for future Viacom content, brands, and original properties tailored to the local culture. Zagustin helped keep Viacom in compliance with laws and regulations, and she also addressed operational agreements. The key, she says, is ensuring that from a business, legal, and regulatory perspective, the organization is managed with consistency, regardless of location. In some markets, VIMN looks to accomplish its business expansion and goals by creating partnerships that target growth, including joining content and brands that can cover a large spectrum of demographics. “We look for strong and complementary media brands to achieve further reach together,” says Zagustin. As executives analyze markets on an international platform, they look to determine if they should forge ahead alone or work with local players establishing joint opportunities and identifying synergies. In a way, Zagustin’s new role represents a homecoming, as she returns to the Americas operations in Miami, where she graduated from law school. “The international role has really helped me prepare because I’ve learned how to see the big picture of how the company interacts worldwide. I’m bringing that perspective to the business side as we move more into the Americas,” she says, adding that she’ll focus on making sure her teams are united to share best practices with other internal teams. All regions, she says, should work together to drive revenue for shareholders. “Viacom is a global company,” she explains. “That’s global, with a local perspective.”

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Yahoo prioritizes searchengine diversification Yahoo may be well-known for creating one of the first Internet directories, but it is much more than a search engine. Under the leadership of CEO Marissa Meyer, the Internet company acquired photo-sharing service Flickr and microblogging-social networking platform Tumblr. The two acquisitions have proven key assets in Yahoo’s pursuit of the rapidly growing and highly connected Hispanic market. General counsel for the Hispanic Americas division, Ernesto Luciano, chats with HE about how Yahoo continues to innovate while keeping pace with competition. By Joe Dyton

A lot of people are moving from their desktops and getting information from their mobile devices. How is Yahoo dealing with this shift?

ERNESTO LUCIANO General Counsel, Hispanic Americas division

Why is it important for Yahoo to target the US Hispanic audience?

YAHOO

We know Hispanics tend to use mobile devices with more frequency than non-Hispanics, just by virtue of being such a young demographic. Hispanics have a purchasing power upwards of a trillion dollars and are more likely to make purchases based on word-of-mouth recommendations. Latinos like to share information over social media about purchases and preferences more than any other demographic. This all stems from the cultural custom of being inclusive of family and that inclusiveness now extends to social networks. Yahoo wants to be part of their daily habits, from waking up to checking the weather, finance, news, and sports updates.

HEADQUARTERED Coral Gables, FL FOUNDED 1994 TRAFFIC Desktop and mobile properties averaged 800 million users per month in 2013. ABOUT Yahoo bills itself as a facilitator of the world’s daily habits, including e-mail, entertainment, news, and sports. Through partnerships and original content, the Internet company offers applications such as Flickr and Tumblr as well as feature entertainment.

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We’d like to be known as a mobile company, and we’ve invested a lot of resources and attention to get there. Clear manifestations of that mission are our mobile apps (including the Yahoo Mail app and Yahoo News Digest). Our weather app has also received various awards for its look and feel.

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

There is so much online content it’s tough to monitor it all. With platforms that allow user posting, how does Yahoo protect itself from copyright infringement? Yahoo has deep and profound respect for copyright holders and media rights. We use content in creative ways, but also respect the rights of those creators. When we receive claims from third parties of infringement carried out on Yahoo sites, we take those claims very seriously. Our customer-care team investigates the matter, and if something comes up that’s not within our guidelines, it is escalated to the legal team for us to take a look and determine the best way forward. How does the pace of evolution on the Internet affect the way Yahoo expands in Latin America? My role requires me to stay up-to-date on international policy. For example, if we’re going to launch a new product, I have to think about how that might impact copyright or privacy laws throughout the Americas. I’m working on projects today that have only come into play within the last 18 months or so. I have to be conscious that products released both in the United States and in Latin America comply with the differing judicial precedents region to region. That being said, I have been observing Latin American governments and feel confident addressing the legal issues related to our industry on an international scale. What do you see as the biggest challenge for you and your team in the next year or so? Competition. We’re seeing many of the big players in the industry show up to the party and ramp up their efforts to target the US Hispanic and Latin American markets. Recruiting is also a challenge as companies work hard to attract and retain top talent. At Yahoo, we have a renewed focus to create the best work environments and offer perks like free smartphones, updated computers, and food. In the last few months, we’ve seen a spike in the number of applications we receive­—upwards of 17,000 résumés in a single week. On average, about 10 percent of our new hires each quarter are boomerangs, meaning previous Yahoos who return.


FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

LUIS ARRIAGA President of West Europe District UPS

Small business exports could unlock big potential for Europe’s economy The world’s largest courier is helping Europe’s mom-andpop shops go global. At the head of UPS’s West Europe division, Luis Arriaga’s team pushes local business into the forefront of exporting, one shop at a time

PHOTOS: YORICK JANSEN

By Meng Meng

I

n early 2010, Yoox, an online retailer launched by Italian entrepreneur Federico Marchetti, shipped its first batch of handpicked Gucci shoes to the United States. While Yoox created buzz by selling end-of-season luxury goods to Europe’s bargain-hunters, Marchetti, a

powerful fashion influencer, sought customers beyond his home continent. He created a fashion e-commerce giant with his “invisible” partner, United Parcel Service (UPS). Yoox (net worth two billion dollars) has benefited from UPS’s fast-paced inventory-and-logistics network as the

international shipper banks on the potential of European small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). For Luis Arriaga, a 23-year UPS veteran and the president of its West Europe district, the Yoox success is not idiosyncratic. A logistic solution he and his team crafted for this once-unknown luxury seller can be applied with precision to millions of SMEs flanked by weak economic growth and slumping consumer spending in their home markets. “Small business has become the growth engine for Europe,” says Arriaga. The European Commission confirmed, finding in 2013 that 21.6 million SMEs employed 88.8 million people and generated €3.666 trillion in added value. In other

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world view

UPS HEADQUARTERED Atlanta, GA TRACK RECORD UPS receives an average of 47.5 million daily tracking requests. A DAY IN THE LIFE UPS delivers an average of 16.9 million parcels and documents each day. ABOUT UPS is a global corporation facilitating international trade and transportation of packages and freight to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

need to define the potential opportunity of serving a market and the potential cost of supply chain. Arriaga’s team examines the cost in every step of exporting and swiftly leverages UPS resources to minimize expenses incurred. In most cases, UPS plays a role beyond a logistic middleman. In the early stage of Yoox’s global expansion, UPS’s warehouse in New Jersey slashed inventory expensArriaga and his team have innovated ways to reduce cost and increase safety of exports for small and mediumsize businesses by educating exporters and engineering packaging for fragile goods. es for the retailer. For century-old Portuguese wine company Jose Maria da Fonwords, SMEs in the European Union (EU) companies might lack the crucial elements seca, UPS solved transportation concerns made up 99 out of every 100 businesses, for competition in the overseas market: by ramping-up support, from accelerated created two out of every three new prispeed and cost-efficient supply chain. customs clearance to electronic invoicvate-sector jobs, and contributed 58 cents “Many customers make product withing, making it possible to ship last-minute of every euro of value added in 2013. out understanding who they are competorders in two days. UPS is set to clinch that niche market ing with in the overseas market,” Arriaga Local manufacturers have fueled the that has yet to become a battleground for says. “Once they define their product, growth of UPS in West Europe. The company has expanded its Cocommercial shipping. Although creditwe come in with the solution. It is The ed as the real backbone of Europe’s gross time and resources that matter.” logne, Germany logistics hub, European small and domestic product, burgeoning small For years, Europe’s SMEs where hourly packaging capacmedium-size business has been a highly fragmented had been held back by lengthy ity is now humming at 53 packbusiness sector market that includes all manner of enterexporting procedure, the fear ages per second. Arriaga says he expects to add 740,000 new jobs prises, from Belgium’s high-tech sector to of goods being damaged or lost, is aware of local competitors in 2015. trying to offer similar services, France’s wine makers. and limited knowledge of marbut with UPS, SMEs get the conArriaga sees business opportunities kets. UPS is helping them overin the mom-and-pop shops. “While mecome those obstacles. Arriaga’s team nectivity of more than 12,500 access dium-size businesses are more likely to designed boxes that protect fragile prodpoints in Europe. export,” he says, “there are more micro ucts. He also recently launched educaSMEs present an exciting opportunibusinesses.” 19,745,690 more, to be extional workshops and a tool kit, his latest ty for UPS, and research suggests their inact. Micro businesses make up more than effort to bring more SMEs into the exportcreased globalization holds great potential 92 percent of enterprises in the EU. They ing business. “We inspire [SMEs] to export for the EU economy as a whole. The Eurorival large businesses in employment to particular locations and educate busipean Commission projects the value add(creating 29.1 percent of jobs versus 33.1 ness owners on destination countries for ed to the union’s economy increases by 1.4 percent) and lead SMEs in value added. their goods,” he says. percent when total SME exports increase Arriaga, a Tecnológico de MonterArriaga approaches every exporting by 10 percent. Arriaga says UPS will conrey-trained engineer, has a penchant for case with two considerations. He begins tinue to encourage businesses to export and educate them on how and where to streamlining every process with a scienwith supply chain management. A custist’s precision. After joining UPS right tomer’s inventory must correspond to ship, making itself an invaluable facilitaits consumer demand. Next, customers out of college, he realized that many small tor to Europe’s small-but-mighty SMEs.

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talent Plotting the path to Hispanic leadership

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Sodexo Makes A Business Case

For Giving Back by Mary Kenney, photo by Sheila Barabad

“[Giving back] is about supporting business development, promoting the brand, and developing value within our communities. Any business that wants to grow needs to care.” Alberto Ortega

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DEVELOPMENT

Ask Alberto Ortega why community nonprofit tens of thousands of dollars that can be put to relations is so important for a multiuse elsewhere. In return, Sodexo’s brand becomes well national company like Sodexo, and his known to fund-raiser attendees, among them, Chicaanswer might surprise you. Faced with go’s business elite. Another, similar partnership is with that question, corporations often have La Casa Norte, which gives a home—“It’s a home, not a dry and practiced answer, using words like “giving a shelter,” Ortega emphasizes—to youth and families back,” “providing solutions,” and “public partners.” experiencing homelessness. “La Casa Norte’s goal is to But that’s not what Ortega is saying. end hunger; that aligns perfectly with Sodexo’s goals.” “What I love about what we do is that it creates The SAM model, which Ortega began in Chicago, a shared value model,” he says smiling. “Call it what is expanding within the company. Sodexo USA took it is. When we partner, it’s a win for us, and it’s a win notice of Ortega’s work and asked him to work with for them.” other company leaders in cities across North AmeriSodexo is a French food services and facilities ca—among them Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York— management multinational. It serves sectors into promote networking as Ortega has. Ortega stresses cluding private corporations, government agencies, that this isn’t just a way for the company to give back, schools, hospitals, military bases, and correctional fathough that is certainly a benefit. There is a clear valcilities. Ortega is Sodexo USA’s director of community ue for the business. “It’s about supporting business relations. A Chicago native, he’s been key in creating development, promoting the brand, and developing Sodexo’s extensive partnerships throughout the city value within our communities,” Ortega says. “Any with groups he’s already connected to outside of the business that wants to grow needs to care.” workplace. He serves on the Leaders Council of ChiOrtega admits that it hasn’t always been easy to get cago United, regional advisory board of LIFT-Chicaleadership on board with his ideas, particularly when go, board of La Casa Norte, and cabinet of United Way he was new to the business. He had to prove that his of Metropolitan Chicago. He is the vice president of idea was not just tenable, it would also be profitable. ALPFA Cares and on the leadership council of Chicago That may be easier going forward since Ortega has helped the company secure enviCommons. He has been honored by the Hispanic Association on Corpoable contracts with groups such as rate Responsibility (HACR), ChicaHarper College and Northern IlliHe had to prove that go Jobs Council, and Diversity MBA nois University by leveraging dihis idea was not just and Latino Leaders magazines, but versity and inclusion as a differentenable, it would he doesn’t focus on his accolades. “I tiator. The continued expansion of live here,” Ortega explains. “I care Ortega’s community partnership also be profitable. about Chicago. I want to make it a goals will allow Sodexo to leverage That may be easier better place.” the power of the collective, he adds. moving forward since Sodexo’s business lends itself Executive sponsorship is key to well to Ortega’s strengths in netenterprise-wide expansion. Ortega has helped working and promoting partnerThere is still much to do. Ortethe company secure ships. Its extensive offerings that ga travels frequently and is workenviable contracts … support events and public meeting on creating the structure, proing spaces mesh well with Ortega’s cesses, and governance framework by leveraging diversity to direct how people across the naview of what a good business can do and inclusion as a by partnering with nonprofits and tion can establish relationships like small businesses: help people reach those he’s built in Chicago. Rohini differentiator. their potential. Anand, Sodexo’s senior vice presiTo do so successfully, Ortedent and global chief diversity offiga uses a system he calls SAM, which stands for cer, asked Ortega to create a sustainable model of the scan, assess, and magnify. He begins by scanning program. Each region has its own set of leaders and an environment for opportunity, then assesses management styles, and Ortega’s model needs to be how it aligns with business goals, and finally magadapted to all of them. Ortega doesn’t seem worried. nifies opportunities into possibilities that grow He has the experience, the SAM system, and the powthe business. This ultimately allows for a positive er of the collective on his side. Another key to his success is that he’s very honest with his coworkers about impact on the community. He’s making strides. what he is trying to do. “We’re making strategic partOne of Sodexo’s major partnerships is with LIFT-Chicago, which helps people train and netnerships,” Ortega says. “We’re improving our commuwork for jobs in their communities. Sodexo supnities, and that all comes back. We all grow stronger ports LIFT-Chicago’s annual fund-raiser, saving the together.”

ALBERTO ORTEGA Director, Community Relations Sodexo USA

SODEXO HEADQUARTERED

Paris suburb of Issy-lesMoulineaux, France

FOUNDED 1966

EMPLOYEES 380,000

REACH

34,000 sites in 80 countries

RANKING

DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity ranks diversity management among corporations and abroad. Sodexo ranked number one in 2010 and consistently ranks in the top 50.

ABOUT

Sodexo is an international company based in France that provides food services and facilities management strategies and implementation. It is the secondlargest employer among all French multinational corporations.

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DEVELOPMENT | TRAJECTORY

Inside Job Engineer-turned-diversity director José Castellón is a statistical anomaly. At Northrop Grumman, he’s working to make high-achieving Hispanics in STEM the norm by Joe Dyton

Science, technology, engineering, and math, widely known as STEM fields, have yet to reflect the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States. José Castellón is working hard to buck this trend. Castellón has worked with global security company Northrop Grumman since 1982 and spent most of that time working in an engineering capacity. He interned as a lab technician performing tests on electronic units before joining the company’s electrical design integration department in 1985. He earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford. He has worked on satellites that were designed and built for NASA and the Department of Defense. Lately, though, Castellón has taken on a different side of the company. In 2009, he was approached by Northrop Grumman’s corporate office to gauge interest in creating an enterprise-wide Hispanic employee resource group (ERG). A summit was formed with other Hispanic employees, and One Adelante was created a year later. This group gave Hispanic employees an opportunity to come together across organizational and geographical lines. Castellón served as the group’s chair for three years. “This is where I became a born-again Hispanic,” says Castellón, who had spent the first 20 years of his career with Northrop Grumman trying to fit into the company’s culture rather than distinguishing himself as a member of the Hispanic community. After joining Northrop’s ERG, though, he established himself in both realms and ignited in himself a new passion for the importance of diversity within his company. “After 31 years in engineering, I felt the timing was right to see if I could pursue my passion in diversity and inclusion,” he says. In 2013 Castellón took his current position as global diversity and inclusion director within the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector.

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Castellón’s successful engineering career makes him a rarity in the larger Hispanic community, where interest in pursuing STEM careers is comparatively low. The main reasons for the lack of Hispanics in STEM fields are socioeconomic, he explains. “Hispanics have one of the lowest median incomes in the United States,” Castellón says. “As a result, Hispanic families have challenges meeting their daily needs, which inhibits their ability to think about and plan for long-term careers and professions. This results in a lack of role models in STEM fields.” Despite the challenges, Castellón is confident there are ways to raise the number of Hispanics in STEM fields. For him, it begins and ends with education. He wants to see a nationwide program that gets Hispanic students interested in STEM careers at an early age. By early, he means elementary and middle school. “Otherwise, it’s too late to get their attention,” he says. It will take a team effort between schools, parents, the private sector, and universities to make a program like this happen and work. Northrop Grumman supports a variety of efforts to get more minority students interested in STEM. The company invests in STEM outreach programs at local schools in underserved communities, including areas with significant Hispanic populations. The company also sponsors and recruits Hispanic candidates at conferences, such as the annual conference held by Great Minds In STEM at Northrop’s Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Conference. Within its own walls, Northrop Grumman encourages participation in employee resource groups like One Adelante, where employees can develop their leadership skills and get exposure to senior management. The Hispanic population is currently underrepresented in STEM fields but it doesn’t have to stay that way. According to Castellón, it’s a matter of getting the word out and letting students know that careers in these areas of expertise are attainable.

JOSÉ CASTELLÓN Global Diversity & Inclusion Director

NORTHROP GRUMMAN HEADQUARTERED

Falls Church, VA

FOUNDED 1994

EMPLOYEES

Approximately 68,000

RANKING

In April this year, Northrop Grumman was ranked 28th on DiversityInc’s annual Top 50 Companies for Diversity. The company was the top-rated aerospace and defense company and was also named one of the top 10 companies for employee resource groups and veterans.

ABOUT

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products, and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.


PORTRAIT: ROBERT BROWN/NORTHROP GRUMMAN

DEVELOPMENT

BEST PRACTICES:

HERITAGE MONTH EVENTS

EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS

Northrop Grumman provides support through more than 11 heritage month events across the country featuring company-wide webcasts with live audience opportunities.

Northrop Grumman believes that creating a workplace that fosters diversity and inclusion is pivotal to boosting innovation, productivity, engagement, and profitability. In 2013, more than 14,000 Northrop Grumman employees engaged in 14 employee resource groups (ERGs) in 173 chapters across the company. Here are some pride points of One Adelante, its Hispanic ERG.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT The professional development series provides employee-designed and -led sessions that assist participants with exploring career skills. These include critical thinking, executive presence, and functional and domain competencies.

EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP A champion for each employee resource group provides advice and guidance to members. Employees get the opportunity to work alongside executives who provide visibility, leadership, and professional development opportunities.

One Adelante, Northrop Grumman Hispanic employee resource group

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Texas Tech University‌ Desde aquí, es posible Texas Tech University is dedicated to creating and supporting an environment that allows members of the university community to be academically and professionally successful. Through outreach and service, the university prepares faculty, staff, and students to be ethical leaders in a globally competitive world. Recognized by Education Trust for our high degree attainment of Hispanics, The Best Colleges as best college for first-generation students, and Hispanic Outlook as a top 50 institution for Hispanic students, Texas Tech University... Desde aqui, es possible.

The Rawls College of Business understands the importance of diversity in business and its influential role in moving the world forward. At the Rawls College, our commitment to this cause is distinguished. Through our various student organizations, recruitment initiatives and scholarship opportunities awarded to our student body, we have allowed ourselves to attract a diverse range of students and build them into innovative and ethical leaders of the future.

www.ttu.edu


DEVELOPMENT FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

Coming Out In the Workplace Bank of America takes a bold stance on LGBT awareness and equality by Olivia N. Castañeda Monica Marquez left Texas in search of a place where she could better blend in. Despite all she had accomplished (including a bachelor’s degree of science and a master’s degree in education administration) the guarded conversations and fear of being exposed had become stifling. So she moved to New York with the hope that she and her partner, Alaina, could live with a bit more subtlety. Almost 2,000 miles later, the women realized how universal the struggle for gay professionals is. Marquez could not be out in the workplace of her first job in New York. Now a champion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) professionals, she is ensuring that her colleagues at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and those she can influence at other companies, do not have the same experience. The banking and financial industry has historically been a leader in the relatively short lifetime of the movement for sexual orientation and gender identity respect. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2014 corporate equality index ranked the industry second for the number of perfect ratings its member companies earned for LGBT equality. (Bank of America was among the perfect scorers in 2013 and 2014.) Despite those positive trends, The Power of “Out” 2.0: LGBT in the Workplace, a report by the Center for Talent Innovation, found in 2013 that 41 percent of American LGBT workers remain closeted in the workplace. That leaves much work for Marquez and like-minded allies in the movement to create supportive environments for LGBT professionals. She and other Latinos made some big progress in 2013 at the ALPFA convention, which hosted the organization’s first panel on LGBT topics in the workplace. What started as small talk between Marquez and former ALPFA CEO Manny Espinoza, developed into an official initiative to educate Latinos and other professionals about being gay in the workplace. “From a cultural perspective, Latinos tend to be conservative,” says Marquez, so the Latin-focused professional development organization had to address both mainstream and cultural notions. The inaugural panel focused on breaking down barriers to communication between LGBT employees and their colleagues, as well as

capitalizing on the strengths of the LGBT experience. The panel made its return in 2014 with standing-room-only attendance. Marquez moderated the panel for the second time. It included representation from Hilton Hotels and Resorts and the Federal Communications Commission speaking about being comfortable and confident in oneself and being an effective agent for change. The topic of discussion was being able to bring your whole self to the job in order to integrate into the workplace. The Power of “Out” found that being open about one’s sexual orientation allows LGBT professionals increased productivity, business opportunities, and leadership platforms and creates trust among their coworkers and managers. “When an employee is not being their whole self and is uncomfortable sharing about themselves,” says Marquez, “managers may think that there’s something off and mistake that as a lack of trust.” The panelists shared their personal experiences reflecting these findings. The findings resonated with Marquez, as well, who makes a supportive community crucial criterion in her professional life. Seventy-seven percent of LGBT job seekers take into account a company’s LGBT-friendly benefits, found The Power of “Out.” Despite that fact, many companies don’t realize how much visual cues [of support] make future potential employees feel comfortable and at ease during the interview process, says Marquez. “When I came to interview with Bank of America, it was very comforting to know I would be supported and welcomed to talk about my partner.” At Bank of America, the Ally Program has earned praise by the National Business Inclusion Consortium. Allies (those who are supportive of and accept all teammates or who personally advocate for LGBT inclusivity) display a tent card demonstrating their visible support for their teammates. Featuring allies and out employees across the company, a YouTube video the program produced in 2013 shares the testimonials of employees who have felt the benefit of the bank’s open and accepting culture. Marquez is responsible for the global investment bank’s leadership development program and uses that platform to continue raising awareness of LGBT issues and supporting LGBT employees across the company’s various affinity groups. Partnering with Bank of America’s Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA), Marquez and other leaders of the LGBT network are reaching out to the employee resource group’s 6,500 members across the country. “It’s the bank’s goal to make sure we create an environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and that we all share a collective responsibility for that,” Marquez says. “One of the best ways to do so is through education and awareness.”

MONICA MARQUEZ Senior Vice President

BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH HEADQUARTERED

New York City, NY

MERGED

2009

ABOUT

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the corporate and investment banking arm of Bank of America.

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Diversity of Opportunity

talent

DEVELOPMENT | TRAJECTORY

FORTUNE 100 COMPANY

Rooted in Culture Corporate counsel Yaneris Rosa relates her heritage to every step on her career path by Becky May

Distinguished Performance At Honeywell, people are our ultimate differentiator and having employees with varied backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and cultures supports an inclusive high-performing environment. Diversity is critical to our company and its success. Our more than 130,000 employees are proud to be a part of a company that’s making our world safer and more secure, more comfortable and energy efficient, and more innovative

Yaneris Rosa will always remember that intimidating day in the sixth grade when she advanced out of her English-asa-second-language classroom to join her English-speaking peers. Although she was leaving her comfort zone, it was a turning point. She realized that not only was she going to be able to fully transition into the United States, but also excel in her new country, eventually becoming a living example of the American Dream. Rosa and her mother left their native Dominican Republic seeking a better life in April of 1992. The transition to America was not easy, as they adjusted to a new culture, language, and way of life. Her mother who never received a formal education and spoke limited English started working as a hotel housekeeper to make ends meet. Her daughter was instructed to focus on her studies independently. From an early age, Rosa’s mother instilled the importance of education in her daughter. She had big dreams for her only daughter. Despite the discouragement of many who told her that she would never get into an Ivy League institution, she applied, was accepted, and enrolled at Cornell University. After four successful years, she continued her studies at Harvard Law School and received her juris doctorate in

and productive. Honeywell congratulates Yaneris Rosa on all of her achievements.

For more information, visit www.honeywell.com © 2014 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.

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YANERIS ROSA Assistant General Counsel | Honeywell

2007, becoming the first in her large extended family to earn undergraduate and law degrees. During her studies, Rosa found ways to stay connected with her culture. She served as the cochair of Quisqueya (Cornell Dominican Students Association) and the Association of Students of Color and Language Expansion Program. Staying in touch with her heritage was equally significant in Rosa’s professional development. It was that cultural desire to explore her Afro-Caribbean background that led her abroad her junior year to study in Ghana. Rosa returned to Ghana during law school to complete a month-long Harvard Law human rights clinic. Upon graduating, she started her legal career with Simpson Thatcher as a fulltime corporate associate, a position that laid the foundation for her current corporate practice. She also served as a member of the Simpson Thacher diversity committee advisory council and concurrently carried a heavy load of pro bono matters that included asylum cases and other immigration matters. After a few years at Simpson, Rosa made the transition in-house, becoming associate general counsel for Planet Payment Inc. She would play a vital role to the company, assisting with its initial public offering being listed on the NASDAQ. She recalls the day she was invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell along with her Planet Payment colleagues. Rosa’s legal practice at Planet Payment supported complex technology solutions, which prepared her for her current role as the assistant general counsel of the Honeywell Security Group, a division of Honeywell International Inc. She partners with business leaders to further the growth and success of Honeywell’s product line, including assisting Honeywell’s Latin American team to facilitate expansion strategy. At Honeywell, Rosa serves on the Legal and Government Relations Diversity Council, an organization that aligns with her commitment to support and actively promote diversity in the legal profession. She is passionate about education initiatives, especially those that provide opportunities to children from underprivileged backgrounds. She has served on boards of several nonprofit organizations and she is involved with mentorship programs for students. Rosa explains, “I’ve been blessed with tremendous opportunities and feel it is my duty to pay it forward.”


TRAJECTORY

Coming Full Circle

PHOTO: ROSAILEEN BERMEJO

Few things in life can feel as gratifying as a full-circle moment. No one knows this better than manager of internal communications for BMO Harris Bank, Aixa Velez by Tina Vasquez

AIXA VELEZ Manager of Internal Communications BMO Harris

When Aixa Velez was a senior in high school, she was nominated for a scholarship through the Posse Foundation, a renowned nonprofit promoting college-access and youth leadership development. (Deborah Bial, a MacArthur Award recipient whose work with diverse urban students has been praised by President Barack Obama, founded the Posse Foundation in 1989.) Aixa Velez was one of only 12 students to receive a full-ride scholarship to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “It was life-changing in a lot of ways, especially as a Latina who didn’t fully understand the process of applying to college,” Velez says. She now finds time to contribute to the same organization that opened so many doors for her. Utilizing her love for the written word, she has served as Posse’s writing coach. Velez has always loved writing. She remembers as a little girl being endlessly entertained by nothing more than a pen and notebook. It wasn’t really a surprise when she became a journalist out of college. But she found the 24-hour news cycle exhausting with little reward, so she decided to return to school and get her master’s degree. She attended grad school at DePaul University while also holding down two full-time internships, one of which was with Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank. “As an intern, I was able to explore the company and its culture; I liked what I saw,” Velez says. Velez joined BMO Harris at an interesting time. Just six months after she was hired in April of 2012, BMO finalized the largest merger in its history with Harris Bank and M&I Bank, effectively doubling its

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talent

Aunque manejes tu pequeño negocio solo, no deberías sentirte como si lo estuvieras. Nuestros Representantes para negocios pequeños siempre están para ayudarte. Habla hoy con uno.

Todas las solicitudes, divulgaciones y acuerdos estarán en inglés. Los préstamos y líneas de crédito están sujetos a aprobación bancaria y crediticia. BMO Harris Bank® es un nombre comercial de BMO Harris Bank N.A. miembro de la FDIC.

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DEVELOPMENT | TRAJECTORY

US footprint overnight. Throughout the merger, she was responsible for developing and leading the communications effort for the personal banking line of business, guiding 6,000 employees through the transition. “I learned so much,” the 28-year-old laughs. “Getting 6,000 people on the same page and helping them understand their jobs and the company culture wasn’t easy, but through strategic planning and collaboration, we empowered employees through the conversion. We worked a lot of hours, but it was worth it.” It wasn’t just the merger Velez jumped into. Just months after joining the bank, she became vice chair of BMO Harris Latino Alliance, one of the bank’s many employee resource groups. The Latino Alliance was also a key player in a larger, cross-functional team that helped the bank launch a Latino banking initiative in September 2013. The Latino banking team has increased efforts to grow awareness among Latino households. The bank launched Spanish-language collateral, radio ads, and billboards and increased the number of bilingual team members. BMO Harris won the “2014 Corporation of the Year” award by the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and the “2014 Community Partner Award” from Latinos Progresando. “BMO’s commitment to diversity was a strong pull for me,” Velez explains. Before committing to BMO Harris full-time, she took a microscope to the bank’s core values. “I asked, ‘Do they have a position on diversity? How are they inclusive?’” says Velez. “I’m very proud of the culture we’re cultivating for Latino employees.” Her two and a half years with BMO Harris have been both fast-paced and fulfilling. Velez became invested in being a mentor partly because she found a great mentor herself, a fellow Latina who has been in the field for more than 20 years. Velez says her mentor has helped her navigate her career and be the best she can be, which is priceless in a profession where Latinas are still few in number. Velez mentors other Latinas and women of color through organizations like Posse and ColorComm: Women of Color in Communications (she was a member of its inaugural group in Chicago). Velez handles sponsorships for the young organization, which focuses on volunteering, panel discussions, and networking events, among other activities. “So much of what I’m passionate about is uplifting other women of color in my field,” Velez says. “If we can connect, help each other, and act as a sounding board for one another, that is a very powerful thing.”

THE POSSE FOUNDATION Posse is one of the most comprehensive and renowned college-access and youth leadership development programs in the United States. The organization is committed to developing the next generation of leaders, offering the best and brightest urban high school students the opportunity to excel at top-tier colleges and universities, while also enabling the organization’s partner institutions to meet their diversity goals. As a former Posse scholarship recipient, Velez attended the University of Wisconsin– Madison and continues to work closely with the organization.

COLORCOMM ColorComm positions itself to be the premiere organization for women of color in communications, offering women in public relations, corporate communications, and media relations the unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another to enhance their personal and professional development. Aixa Velez handles the young organization’s sponsorships, which includes Golin, Edelman, the Coca-Cola Company, and BET Networks, among others.


on the pulse Tackling today’s issues facing the Hispanic community

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on the pulse

IMMIGRATION

Fernando Chávez carries on his family legacy, taking up the cause of this generation’s Hispanic Americans by Tina Vasquez

T

he iconic eagle emblazoned on the signage outside Chávez Law Group might be just an image to some. But in historically Latino Montebello, California, just east of downtown Los Angeles, the chance of meeting someone unfamiliar with the insignia’s homage to the United Farm Workers (the storied agriculture union cofounded by civil rights activist César Chávez and Dolores Huerta) is pretty slim. Many of the city’s residents have come to trust Fernando Chávez, son of César Chávez, and the man behind the national law firm that carries on his father’s cause. With affiliate offices in 22 states and attorneys specializing in everything from employment law

César Chávez, civil rights activist, dedicated his life to improving treatment, pay, and working conditions for farm workers.

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CHÁVEZ LAW GROUP HEADQUARTERED: Montebello, CA FOUNDED: 2003 ABOUT: Chávez Law Group is a national law firm known for immigration, civil rights, personal injury, employment, and social security work. It was founded by Fernando Chávez, son of labor rights activist César Chávez.

and medical malpractice to personal injury and immigration, the Chávez Law Group is dedicated to fighting for fairness and justice. Given its lineage, however, it is the firm’s work around immigration issues that is making it a recognizable name in beyond Montebello. According to 2013 numbers released by Pew Research’s Hispanic Trends Project, there are 11.7 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. The attorneys who advocate for their rights have proven to be just as crucial as activists and organizers in helping undocumented immigrants combat the exploitation they often face. Chávez says that when he began his firm in 2003, immigration wasn’t the hot-button issue it has become today. Chávez does not specialize in immigration issues as an attorney, but he considers himself an immigration rights advocate. At his Montebello office there are three attorneys

who specialize in immigration. Using his success, resources, and innovative techniques, Chávez has continued his family’s legacy of activism with a contemporary focus. His firm is not suddenly specializing in immigration because of its current status as a hot topic. Chávez specializes in personal injury and rarely— if ever—takes on a case strictly related to immigration, though often those coming to him with the most egregious personal injury claims are undocumented. Such was the case with Antonio Lopez Chaj, an undocumented immigrant living in Los Angeles who made international headlines when he was severely beaten by a security guard in a Los Angeles bar on April 19, 2010. The beating left him permanently brain-damaged and physically deformed. His injuries were so grave doctors were forced to remove a portion of his brain and skull. As a result, Chaj cannot speak and requires assistance 24 hours a day. In July of 2013, Chávez and fellow attorney Federico Castelan Sayre helped Chaj obtain what is believed to be the boldest judgment in the history of the South Bay Court—which is notorious for conservative decisions. The court awarded Chaj $58 million in economic and medical losses, future medical expenses, and lost

earnings, in addition to pain and suffering. In a statement after the judgment, Sayre said Chávez Law Group is dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of undocumented immigrants— and there are endless opportunities to do this crucial work.

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hávez is keenly aware that cases related to immigration are only set to increase, and as his firm continues to expand and open new offices, he has gone out of his way to hire the best and the brightest who can tackle even the most complicated immigration cases. When looking to hire a team for Chávez Law Group’s new Los Angeles (LA) office, which opened in April of 2014, Chávez was seeking young, passionate, energetic lawyers—and whom he hired speaks volumes about the integrity of his firm and its dedication to equal rights. In mid-October, Chavez stated, “I strongly believe Obama is going to make a move on immigration before leaving office, and we want a great team in place in Los Angeles before it happens.” Ninety percent of those who applied for positions in the LA office were Spanish-speaking Latinas between the ages of 28 and 32. The office, therefore, is almost entirely run by Latinas who are smart, motivated, believe in the system, and are


FERNANDO CHรVEZ Founder Chรกvez Law Group

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dedicated to helping US immigrants. Many law firms are expanding their services to take on immigration-related cases. Technically, this is a smart move, given the quickly changing dynamics of the country, but too often immigration cases are treated as publicity-fueling, money-making endeavors rather than actual commitments to fighting for the civil rights of one of the country’s most vulnerable communities. What complicates the issue further is President Obama’s public support of immigration reform contrasted by his administration’s quiet deportation of more undocumented immigrants than any administration in US history. And each year it only gets worse. In October of 2014, the Department of Homeland Security reported that the Obama administration deported a record 438,421 undocumented immigrants in fiscal year 2013, resulting in more than two million deportations since President Obama took office in 2008. Chávez has ideas about what is in store for immigration reform, but even with a niece in the White House (Julie Chávez Rodriguez, granddaughter of César Chávez, is the White House deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement), one can only speculate on the future of the bill. After a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate with promise in 2013, it met its demise in the House of Representatives last summer. It was never brought to a vote. Months later in early September 2014, President Obama announced he would postpone action on his promise to remake federal immigration policies through executive authority until after midterm elections. Yielding bicameral Republican control

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of Congress, the election results suggest continued gridlock. Republican majority in both houses will have an effect on any legislation involving social reform, and most importantly for Chávez’s clients, immigration. The president announced he would use executive action on November 20, 2014, extending protection to immigrants. It was risky, however. Speaker of the House John Boehner had expressed that any executive action by Obama on the issue of immigration would “poison the well” for Congress to move forward with reform. In an ideal world, Chávez says, comprehensive immigration reform would provide undocumented people with a pathway to citizenship. Deciding on a cutoff is the biggest challenge, he admits, but Chávez also says he feels strongly that those who have no substantial criminal record, who work hard, and who have been contributing to this country’s economic growth deserve to be given a pathway to citizenship. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) does not offer citizenship, and the asyet-to-pass Federal DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act only promised residency. “Look, I know this kind of change isn’t going to happen tomorrow or even next year, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a pathway to citizenship,” Chávez says. “The process to obtain citizenship if you’re from Mexico can take decades. I’ve never spoken to an undocumented person who was opposed to standing in line or playing by the rules, but we’re at a point where the line—and the rules—are unreasonable and dehumanizing.” Chávez is gearing up his firm with the expectation that, at the very least, President

“I’ve never spoken to an undocumented person who was opposed to standing in line or playing by the rules, but we’re at a point where the line—and the rules—are unreasonable and dehumanizing.” Fernando Chávez

Obama will expand the guidelines for DACA, making it beneficial to a wider range of people. In its current form, DACA is only helpful to young, undocumented immigrants who were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 and who entered the United States before the age of 16. The two-year-old policy gives recipients work authorization, a two-year reprieve from deportation, and a driver’s license. Needless to say, it’s an offering that has been life-changing for the almost 600,000 individuals who’ve been granted deferred action. DACA has also unfortunately opened the doors for exploitation. The paperwork required to apply for it, which largely requires providing proof of residence in the United States, is $465 and is relatively easy to complete without the assistance of a legal professional, but the legal profession has been preying on those desperate to be granted deferred action.

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a r t of the rea son Chávez’s firm has become such a trusted source is the same reason so many get turned away: he refuses to take someone’s money if he can’t do anything for them. In the past year, his firm’s website has received 18,000 inquiries, but only 150 have led to clients. “Often, people are reaching out to us for things we can’t help them with or for services

they don’t need us for,” Chávez says. “It’s not fair to charge a fee if we can’t help. This isn’t about making money. Do I make a great deal of money? Yes, but the goal is to provide legal education and a service that benefits the client. I can’t, in good conscious, take money from hard-working people knowing our firm can’t help them.” Chávez’s firm could be making a nice chunk of fees off the undocumented immigrants who come in seeking assistance applying for DACA, but Chávez does his best to dissuade those who come in requesting assistance with their paperwork. “We recently had a client come in with his two daughters, one a student at Stanford and the other a student at UC Berkeley. He wanted help with DACA, and I told him, ‘You have two intelligent daughters going to top universities! Why are you here? Save your money and have your daughters do the application,’” Chávez laughs. Chávez recently inked a deal that will prove to be transformative for undocumented individuals that come into his office. Chávez Law Group will be the only firm he knows of utilizing advanced Web-based technology to cut down the costs clients pay for immigration services. Chávez suspects that if and when President Obama hands down his executive order, it will be broad enough to impact millions, and he wants


to be in a position to help finance the application process for undocumented individuals who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. The specifics are still in the works, but he’s hoping to be able to offer an Internet-based program for filing fees and attorney fees to be paid at a low monthly rate. “There are lenders offering loans to undocumented people, requiring nothing to qualify, but the interest rate is sometimes as much as 45 percent,” the attorney says. He wants to protect them. “Advisors are already asking me about the risk, what if we don’t get paid back for financing the application process? I’m not worried about it.” Chávez insists he’s not worried because he’s familiar with the communities he serves and is willing to take a chance on them. He understands his latest idea might not be an initial money-maker, but in the larger scheme of things, it’s a risk that will ultimately pay off, and not just financially. “I see it like this: What other event will be this important to an undocumented person? What’s more important than being able to work without fear, get a driver’s license, get a social security card, legally file tax returns in your own name, or obtain benefits without being ostracized for doing so?” Chávez says. “There are big events in life: marriages, births, deaths. For an undocumented person, being able to live without fear of deportation and work without being exploited are major life events. I’m confident they wouldn’t default on a payment to a firm that helped make those things happen. I trust the community we serve.”

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alking through the Montebello office, it’s clear something else is in the works. Cutting through the center

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Robert F. Kennedy (middle) offers César Chávez (right) bread in a symbol of support at the end of Chávez’s 1968 hunger strike for farm workers in Delano, CA.

of the building are six small rooms that are in the process of being outfitted with computers. The purpose: Chávez will make attorneys available for Skype sessions with clients across the country applying for documentation. His logic is simple: Speaking to a lawyer every day—or even every month—is incredibly pricey. Why not utilize the Internet to cut down on the cost to clients? “When entering the agreement to finance application fees, I was asked if I was going to ask for collateral and I thought, ‘Oh god, what collateral? Titles of cars?’” Chávez recalls. “I’ve found that I don’t need that kind of collateral, not the kind that’s tangible. The collateral we have is the gratitude so many of our clients have for receiving assistance without being robbed for the services they require.” Each client will be given a code, enabling them to access their file online 24 hours a day. This will allow clients to see where their application is in the process or what’s still needed to complete it. “If you think about it, it’s such an obvious idea, but to my knowledge no one else is doing it,” Chávez says. The system will allow clients to e-mail or Skype with the attorney helping them from anywhere in

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the country, unhindered by time constraints and billable hours. “We’ve done the math; this can save clients hundreds if not thousands of dollars,” says Chávez. “We’re aware technology might be an issue for some, but kids can help their parents utilize the technology they’re already using.” The firm is also making strides in the immediate community. Recently, Chávez struck a deal with the local school board to make use of an adult center by offering online consultations about legal rights. The program has the ability to reach 35,000 students, who can log on at any time and seek legal opinions on various issues. Being unconventional and thinking outside of the box has simply become a part of how Chávez’s firm operates—and it appears to run in the family. Last year at a Labor Rights Week event at the Mexican Consulate office in downtown San Jose, California, Chávez’s son Paul struck up a conversation with a woman who was seeking back wages from her former employer; the claim was a mere $300. Most firms wouldn’t touch such a case, as they’d make almost no money on it. Chávez felt similarly, but told his son to help if he felt compelled. Eight months later, Paul

reported that he’d settled the case for $6,000. It turned out the woman’s former employer also failed to give her work breaks. Inspired by Paul’s work, the Chávez Law Group now has a wage and hour practice through which it takes on cases with smaller claims that other firms aren’t interested in pursuing, and it’s proving to be a successful addition to the business. “I’ve learned you can’t be afraid to go against the grain. As a matter of fact, I’ve learned that you’ll often be rewarded for it,” Chávez says. “Our wage and hour practice is a win-win for clients and the firm.” Chávez ex pla ins that claims of this nature are often made by undocumented people earning low hourly wages. Exploitative employers see them as disposable people who, if not paid or given breaks, are afraid of complaining because they don’t want to lose their jobs or risk deportation. “There is a lot of abuse at the hourly income level,” Chávez says.

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he attorney understands why his profession has a bad name and is aware that legal professionals can be as exploitative as employers. Notario fraud has swindled many immigrants out of money and damaged their chances for immigration relief. Because notarios falsely identify as legal consultants, their unfortunate association with upstanding, well-meaning attorneys has tainted the relationship between immigrants and legal professionals. Chávez recommends having a good understanding of attorneys’ limitations and their area of expertise before choosing to work with them. If you have a very complicated immigration case, for example, it would be best to work with

someone who specializes in immigration issues; not a jackof-all trades attorney who does a little of everything. “Ask a lot of questions, and look for someone who’s honest and has a good reputation in the community. I’d also recommend being very careful about what you’re paying for. Just because someone is helping you with an application, doesn’t mean they’re an attorney,” Chávez says. When speaking to Chávez, it’s clear the work he does isn’t just a job. Of course, as the founder of the firm, he has to worry about the bottom line, but at no point does that seem to dictate his firm’s willingness to do the right thing. He understands that his approach helps him attain things money can’t buy: trust, respect, and loyalty­—increasingly rare attributes, especially in his field. Much of this can be attributed to Chávez’s understanding of the weight his family name carries for so many immigrants who feel honor-bound to a once-unknown farmworker whose tireless work helped a marginalized, vulnerable community obtain the rights they should have been granted all along. It is also clear the attorney is proud to be his father’s son. When asked what he hopes to be remembered for, his answer is simple: “I just hope people think the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: At the time of press, President Obama had just announced the details of his executive orders on immigration, which plan to expand work visas and halt deportation for roughly four million undocumented immigrants who have been in the states for at least five years or are parents of US citizens. Both must pass a background check and pay taxes for temporary amnesty in order to “get right with the law.” These orders may date some of the statements made by Chávez and the writer.


HEALTH CARE

Kaiser Permanente welcomes Obamacare, challenges peers to take ownership of the health-care crisis by Kelli Lawrence

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rowing up as a Mexican immigrant in the United States, Cesar Villalpando thought about health care more than the average youngster. His family lived without medical or dental insurance, accumulating nonurgent

health needs until the next trip back to Mexico. “It wasn’t until I played sports that I even knew what an annual physical was,” he notes. “That really opened my eyes to the tiered nature of health care.” Now an executive leader at Kaiser Permanente—an organization noteworthy for

developing integrated health care well before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law— Villalpando has seen those different tiers from countless angles. He shares his insights with Hispanic Executive. HE: Since you began your tenure at Kaiser Permanente, what changes have you seen, both good and bad, in the health-care industry? CV: Health coverage and health care are still out of financial reach for too many families. You see all the examples of families forced to choose among groceries, housing, and health care. America should not be about that. The ACA is really a culmination of this pattern that’s been there for years. As consumers are becoming more sensitized to the health care they’re getting for their money, they’re getting much sav vier. You hear the term “consumerism” sweeping over health care.

KAISER PERMANENTE Photo: Bill Horton/Kaiser Permanente

HEADQUARTERED: Oakland, CA FOUNDED: 1945 PHYSICIANS: 17,000 MEMBERS: 9.5 million

CESAR VILLALPANDO Senior Vice President & Interim Leader of Enterprise Shared Services Kaiser Permanente

IT INVESTING: The nonprofit spent about four billion dollars on its electronic medical records, which aid in coordinated care and advance predictive care. ABOUT: Kaiser Permanente is an integrated, managed-care consortium that has offered health-care coverage for 70 years.

Individuals are getting more involved in choosing their coverage, and much more information is available now about the price of health care and the quality. At the end of the day, it’s really about empowering the consumer. I think it’ll make us that much more accountable and responsive to the people we serve. At the risk of oversimplifying, why do you think it took the ACA for that to change? Right now health care consumes almost 20 percent of the gross national product. That’s crowding out those basics like groceries or housing I talked about earlier. But I think we finally reached the tipping point where consumers, businesses, and the government, said enough is enough. We have to do something substantially different to change that trend. We cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines and watch health care bankrupt America. How is Kaiser Permanente in particular approaching the new health-care landscape? We are a prepaid, integrated model. That means when you choose Kaiser Permanente, you get medical insurance, which we call health plan coverage, and you get hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and phlebotomists. The idea is that by having this team of people under one roof, they are working seamlessly to provide you with the best care possible. It has proven to be much better than traditional, disorganized, feefor-service health care. What are the tangible benefits of comprehensive care for the patient? If you’re a member of Kaiser Permanente in Northern

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California, for example, your risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who are not Kaiser Permanente members is reduced by 30 percent. The chance of experiencing a stroke is 40 percent less. Chances of dying from cancer: 10 percent less. These are just some of the many examples in the prevention field. In the areas of infectious disease and hospital-acquired infections, we’ve made such advances that if you happen to be under the care of a Kaiser Permanente physician, your likelihood of experiencing severe illness from a hospital infection is reduced by anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. Can you give an example of this? There is a deadly infection known to spread in hospitals that leads to sepsis. Kaiser Permanente looked at a large population of patients to track when they were confirmed to be septic. After looking upstream to monitor their symptoms, we designed sophisticated models of the early signs of sepsis or soon-to-be sepsis. That led to more aggressive testing and faster intervention with IVs and drugs, ultimately reducing the chance of death from that highly fatal disease. In that area alone, we reduced the sepsis mortality rate in our hospitals by 50 percent. We then published studies on that practice and made it nationally available. Many other institutions have adopted it. Talk more about the challenges one might experience with the “traditional” approach to health care. It’s what I call old-fashioned health care: the fee-for-service mentality where the more complex or invasive the treatment received, the more that

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“We cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines and watch health care bankrupt America.” Cesar Villalpando

institution/provider can bill. I think the ACA actually does a good job of flipping that equation and providing incentives for health-care providers to be more about prevention and not just after-the-fact intervention for an injury or illness. Facets of the health-care industry that have traditionally worked in a highly disaggregated fashion are trying to quickly come together to build partnerships and behave the way Kaiser has for 70 years. They’re going to have a lot of challenges, but at the end of the day, this is what’s best for the individual consumer. As interim leader of enterprise shared services, how is your division impacting care for members? My charge specifically is to embed robust, shared-services practices that allow the organization to deliver consistent, high-quality service to our customers. When you visit a Kaiser Permanente doctor, more likely than not you can leave the doctor’s office, walk down the hall, and have your prescription filled. That’s a good example of a shared service. My job is to make sure we capitalize on our size, have the best process for filling that prescription locally, and negotiate the best drug prices possible, so we can pass those savings along to our patients. What new technologies is

Kaiser using to facilitate the process of integrated health-care systems? Kaiser deploys the largest database of electronic medical records in private industry, allowing our clinicians to help members manage their care through almost all the different health-care settings. For instance if you were in the hospital, we have access to the care delivered to you while in that hospital, the follow-up doctor’s office visit, the prescriptions you’ve received in the pharmacy, and any lab tests you had done­—all in one record. So you can imagine the advantage this provides to the patient and the clinician to enable coordinated care. Our members also have a wide array of tools that allow them to interact with us in the manner most convenient to them. This year we expect to deliver about 17 million e-visits between members and their clinicians. It’s not for everyone, but for those patients who prefer that style of engagement (e-mailing their caregivers), that’s completely available to them. How rapidly is the affordability factor being addressed? I’m assuming the ACA is facilitating this in a way that just couldn’t happen previously? Within our organization there’s a strong commitment to lead the industry—to change this paradigm around making health care more affordable to

all—so there are a lot of changes already happening within Kaiser Permanente as well as in the industry as a whole. We lead by not supporting narrow networks that limit the choice of which doctors you can see or which hospitals and pharmacies you can go to. We don’t think that reducing healthcare costs should be about reducing options for our customers. We strive to transform how care is delivered, to improve quality of life for every individual, and we plan on doing so by using technology very aggressively to drive down cost and make health care more economically accessible to the average person. Call us disrupters or call us protagonists on this journey, but this is absolutely what is needed in health care, and we want to set the example because we know if we do that, we’re large enough that we will provoke our peers in the industry to follow suit. Are the more traditional providers warming up to the ACA, or do they still see it as something of a death knell? A very large percentage of organizations out there are still looking for ways to work around the ACA. But again— we (the health-care industry) did this to ourselves. This is something that we caused, so those organizations are in denial. They won’t last long if they don’t change their mindset. When Kaiser Permanente recognized what was happening in the health-care industry, we welcomed the change and became strong advocates for the ACA even though we, too, would have to make significant changes. But that is part of the DNA of our organization—to look at ourselves and say, “How can I lead in this opportunity?”


HEALTH CARE DESIGNED FOR YOUR LIFE. HEALTH CARE DESIGNED FOR YOUR LIFE. At Kaiser Permanente we have one simple mission — keeping you healthy. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for over 60Permanente years. At Kaiser we have one simple mission — keeping you healthy. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing

for over 60 years. With care and coverage working seamlessly together, Kaiser Permanente is uniquely designed to be your partner in tu care saludand — coverage both insideworking and outside the doctor’s office. You’ll find doctorsiswith a passion for your salud With seamlessly together, Kaiser Permanente uniquely designed to be yourwho partner dedicate their you. Doctors who understand as aYou’ll person, also know you like be treated. in tu salud —time bothtoinside and outside the doctor’syou office. findand doctors with ahow passion fortoyour salud who

Care and their coverage make your easier. Choose Kaiser Permanente. dedicate time together to you. Doctors wholifeunderstand you as a person, and also know how you like to be treated.

Care and coverage together make your life easier. Choose Kaiser Permanente. En Kaiser Permanente, pensamos que nuestras comunidades necesitan salud para crecer. Visit kp.org/vivabien En Kaiser Permanente, pensamos que nuestras comunidades necesitan salud para crecer. Visit kp.org/vivabien


on the pulse

POLITICS

In the Hot Seat Hispanic voter insight from New Jersey’s Democratic chairperson by Mary Kenney

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rlene Quiñones Perez is the first Latina—Democrat or Republican—to chair a political party committee of a New Jersey county. Being the Hunterdon County Democratic chairperson (an office she has held since June 10, 2014) comes with significant challenges, of course, but it also comes with the opportunity to campaign for leaders who reflect the values of Hunterdon’s constituents. Perez sits down with HE to discuss the political climate in New Jersey, her path to politics, and mobilizing Latino voters. HE: What are the major issues the New Jersey Democratic Party is tackling right now? AQP: The New Jersey Democratic Party is dealing with many of the same issues that have been plaguing this state for years now: unemployment, affordable educational opportunities, Hurricane Sandy recovery, and the shape of our economy, including our downgraded credit rating. The Democratic Party continues to work with leaders throughout the state to identify solutions to these long-standing problems. How does the Democratic Party in New Jersey work with the Latino community? The New Jersey Democratic Party has made significant strides to embrace the

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Latino community through Latino-ba sed voter programs, which focus on mobilizing the Latino vote. By conducting Latino polling and phone banking in Spanish and English, the party has been able to develop a message that speaks to the issues that impact and affect our community. What do you consider the issues of highest importance to the Latino community? The Latino community faces many of the same issues that affect all communities: affordable health care, unemployment, economic growth, educational opportunities, and immigration. An issue that is overlooked by many is the importance of politics and the role politics play in our daily lives. What does the impact of politics look like on a dayto-day basis, specifically for Latinos in your state? Elected officials formulate bills, propose policies, advocate their views to benefit their constituents, and appoint individuals to hold powerful

ARLENE QUIÑONES PEREZ Chairwoman Hunterdon County Democratic Committee

positions. The Latino community in New Jersey alone represents 19 percent of the citizens but makes up only a small percentage of elected officials across the state. In Hunterdon County, especially, the Latino community must be involved to ensure they are represented on the local level. Who makes the decision to put sidewalks on your street, so kids can safely walk to school or to the school bus? Who appoints the

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY POPULATION: Approximately 128,000 COUNTY FACT: The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 19th-highest per-capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the third-highest in New Jersey). HUNTERDON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE: In a primarily Republican county, the committee identifies and supports qualified Democratic candidates for local office and offices statewide.

judges on the municipal, state, and federal levels? These decisions are made by elected officials or by people who were appointed by elected officials. When decisions are made that will affect my life or that of my family, I want to be involved. What drew you to politics? Thirteen years ago, I began my political career as a canvasser for a gubernatorial campaign. Working on a campaign and believing in a candidate were some the best professional experiences I could ask for at such a young age. However, 13 years ago [Latinos] had significantly less political representation, and we were constantly overlooked for important policy-making positions. Today New Jersey has a Latino


From the Campaign Trail

CONSTITUENT DEMOGRAPHICS 2013 Percent of the Population That Was Hispanic or Latino: New Jersey 18.9% | United States 17.1% Percent of Firms That Were Hispanic-Owned in 2007: New Jersey 8.7% | United States 8.3% Average Annual Rate of Growth in Number of Firms from 2007 to 2013: Hispanic-owned 7% | All US firms 3%

2013 Registered New Jersey Voters: 9% Hispanic 91% Non-Hispanic

“Some of my best learning experiences occurred during my first campaign to elect a governor for the state of New Jersey. On a campaign, you learn what working really is. You work all day and all night, and you work for a purpose. When I was at the Center for American Women and Politics speaking about being the first Latina county chairperson in New Jersey, a young college student came up to me and said, ‘I never knew someone in your position could look like me.’ That’s what keeps me going when I am burnt out—the opportunity to influence another young leader to be politically involved.” Arlene Quiñones Perez

Hispanic Voter Breakdown for the 2013 Incumbent Chris Christie (R)–Barbara Buono (D) Gubernatorial Election: HISPANIC VOTERS 4% Other 45% Buono

51% Christie

HISPANIC FEMALE VOTERS 3% Other 53% Buono

44% Christie

Sources: US Census Bureau; New York Times: 2013 Exit Polls; Hispanic Businesses & Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in the New Economy 2013 Report

US senator, two Latinas in the state senate, and seven Latino members of the New Jersey Assembly, including the Speaker of the Assembly. Are you seeing the Latino community’s political involvement changing? The Latino community continues to make great strides politically, but we still have much to accomplish. We are proud to have elected US Senator Robert Menendez to Congress in 1992. He was then appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate in 2006. The Latino community is now the largest minority in New Jersey, and our political importance will continue to increase significantly. What is the work that still needs to be accomplished in engaging Latino voters? To truly be a party for the Latino community, the Democratic

Party must embrace the Latino community not just at election time, but year-round by, conducting voter registration drives, educating voters, and bringing the Latino community into the political process through elected positions within the party. What does it mean to mobilize the Latino vote? The Latino community is a large voting block, and when we mobilize, we can swing an election for a specific candidate. What we as a community need to continue to understand is our political power—and not just around election time. We need to capitalize on our political power and force issues that are important to our community to ensure that we are at the table throughout the year when important decisions are made about policies that affect our community.

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EDUCATION

Latinos are attending college at higher rates. Still, few apply to four-year institutions. In one New York county, an entire generation of college-bound Latinos is striving for something greater by Mary Kenney

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SHIRLEY ACEVEDO BUONTEMPO Founder, Executive Director Latino U College Access, Inc.

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hrongs of students clad in familiar red and white robes sat in front of the small stage. Their tassels swayed as they glanced at one another or shifted for a better view of the podium. Over a loud speaker, the crowd was introduced to Kevin Tejada, one of Fox Lane High School’s leading scholars of 2013—an especially impressive distinction considering just five years earlier, Tejada had come to the United States from Guatemala speaking almost no English. The crowd cheered as he walked forward. He stood before the class of graduating seniors and referenced the fairy in Peter Pan. “We all know the story of Tinkerbell, who needed others to believe in her. Sometimes, I feel like Tinkerbell.” He laughed with the crowd. “Do yourselves a favor, and walk with those who believe in you, and who you believe in.” Tejada was the first student to participate in Latino U College Access, a nonprofit created by Shirley Acevedo

LATINO U COLLEGE ACCESS, INC. HEADQUARTERED: White Plains, NY FOUNDED: 2012 ABOUT: The mission of Latino U College Access is to increase college enrollment and success among first-generation Latino students. The nonprofit provides mentorship, information sessions, workshops, and volunteer assistance with college applications and more to support Latino students and families.

Portrait: Mimma Fiorino

The Admissions Ambassadors

Buontempo. She founded the organization in 2012 to increase college enrollment of first-generation Latino students. Based in White Plains, New York, Latino U serves Westchester County, an area with significant wealth disparity, experiencing the same demographic shift as the rest of the country. The 2010 census indicated Westchester Hispanics had a nearly 44 percent increase in population growth since 2000. Composing 26 percent of the student population, Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the county’s schools. Seven districts have a student body that is 50 percent or greater Hispanic. It’s a perfect place to scale Latino U’s model and demonstrate how it can empower a community. In Latino U’s first year, 750 students and parents attended information sessions put on by the organization. The number of college acceptances its participants receive grows in volume and prestige each year. “The Latino community has the aspiration and desire to succeed, and they recognize the value of education to obtain the American Dream,” Acevedo Buontempo says. “The college application process isn’t like it was a decade ago; you need someone to help


you in order to get through it. We’re here to help.” A number of factors contribute to the comparatively low percentage of Latinos enrolled in higher education, but interest isn’t one of them. “Studies indicate that 90 percent of middle- and highschool-age Latino youths want to go to college,” Acevedo Buontempo reiterates. “But then something happens before their senior year of high school that often derails that desire.” Acevedo Buontempo studied this problem while working on her master’s degree and has observed it firsthand in her work as Latino U’s executive director. She has come to the understanding that being a first-generation student shapes the way Latino youth regard and are able to succeed in college, sometimes in unexpected ways. “For the students we serve, it’s not their grades or academic ability that prevents them from reaching their goals,” she insists, “it’s the complexity of admissions and the financial aid process that leads to poor choices and decisions.” Without the guidance of an adult who has attended higher education, college resources can be a mystery. College-bound students need access to resources like SAT preparation and essay coaching as well as guidance to navigate college applications, financial aid processes, and scholarship forms. Without knowing how or where to find these tools, students often apply to less selective institutions, or even lose their drive to apply completely. That process is what Latino U seeks to unravel, using classes, mentorship, and programs that inform, guide, and

Latino U College Access By The Numbers

100

percent of Latino U students with volunteer coaches have applied and have been accepted to college.

Parents and students attend a Latino U informational session discussing a college path at Mount Kisco Public Library in Westchester County, NY.

The national dropout rate for Hispanics has been reduced by more than ½ in the last decade. support both students and parents. The group puts on sessions that explain, in both English and Spanish, facets of the college search it would be impossible to know without firsthand experience. Students today need to know the difference between choosing a four-year or a two-year institution, the importance of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the hallmarks of an excellent application essay. “We see so many ‘A-ha’ moments during our presentations,”

Acevedo Buontempo says. “It’s eye-opening for both parents and students.” Latino U’s programs have three goals: inform, guide, and support. The group doesn’t stop at simply telling students how to apply. Students are paired with volunteer college coaches, and Latino U keeps in touch with students even after they’ve begun their studies to ensure that they have the information and tools to continue to succeed in college. Partnerships with local public libraries, universities, and businesses have enabled Latino U to deliver programs in more communities. While they have been on a small scale, the program’s impact has already been significant. Students in the Latino U program have successfully applied to colleges and received scholarships to attend state, private, and Ivy League universities. In the spring of 2014, Sandra Camilo Rosado received her acceptance letter from Boston University. The first in her

750

parents and students attended Latino U information sessions in its first year.

100

parents and students have attended FAFSA boot camps and completed the application.

50

students attended Latino U ACT/SAT preparation and took one of the exams.

85

percent of participating families and students “strongly agreed” the program was informative and helpful.

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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on the pulse

More than ¼ of students in New York’s Westchester County identify as Hispanic or Latino.

By providing rigorous instruction, meaningful assessment, and access to opportunity—both inside and outside the classroom—the College Board is committed to ensuring that students are ready for college and careers. With the help of our membership, we nurture and propel students to make the most of the opportunities they’ve earned. From K–12 to higher education, we partner with members and other missionbased nonprofit organizations that share our passion and dedication.

The College Board:

Delivering Opportunity Learn more at deliveringopportunity.org www.collegeboard.org

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015 14b_9767_HispanicExec_Ad_DeliverOpp_print.indd 1

We at the College Board depend upon collaborations with our dedicated partners on the ground to help us make college dreams a reality for every student who has earned the opportunity. For low-income, first-generation Latino youth, few organizations have met the challenge with such staggering success as Latino U College Access -- no wonder, with Shirley Acevedo Buontempo at the helm. A community hero and educational visionary, Shirley represents the very best in the field. – Ángela María García Executive Director, College Planning The College Board

© 2014 The College Board. 14b-9767

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family to attend college, she moved to the United States from Ica, Peru when she was eight years old. Rosado is one of many students contributing to the rise in Hispanic graduation and college attendance rates. And those rates are projected to continue growing. Latino U is a major undertaking that will take a lifetime of work. Knowing that might feel overwhelming for Acevedo Buontempo and her colleagues, but the work is more than just work, she says—it is her life’s passion. Meeting the families and students is what motivates her, inspires her, and keeps her and her team going. “The benefits of this work are huge, not just for our students and families … but for all of us,” she says. “This is the most important work that I could possibly be doing.”

9/29/14 1:02 PM


REPRESENTATION

NCLR: Immigration is the issue of our time by Mary Kenney

T

he National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has received criticism in the past for being too exclusive, or not inclusive enough of non-Hispanics. Jessica Mayorga knows a different reality. Working in New Orleans to promote NCLR’s 2013 annual conference and National Latino Family Expo, her team asked local authorities how the council could make inroads before the event. They heard repeatedly that New Orleans’s Vietnamese community was often overlooked. In response, NCLR partnered with another organization to translate all promotional materials into Vietnamese and invited the community to attend. On the last day of the expo, two busloads of Vietnamese children from a summer youth program arrived at the conference. “Even though we’re focused on Hispanic issues, we want to build bridges with other communities,” Mayorga says. “It’s great to see our event as a vehicle for that kind of unity.” Hispanic Executive sits down with Mayorga to hear about her work with nonprofit NCLR. She opens up about the council’s role in the 2016 elections, and key issues the group will tackle in the near future. HE: Why should people across the nation know about NCLR? JM: Too many people don’t know what we stand for, where

JESSICA MAYORGA Senior Director of Marketing National Council of La Raza

we’re going, or how we provide a voice for Latinos on the national stage. We have critical initiatives in education, health, immigration, and so much more. It’s highly important to engage with communities and remind families that we serve as an extension of their voice. We help Latino families by making sure they are provided equal opportunity and treated fairly. We’re constantly addressing new issues and needs and making

partnerships that directly benefit our community. How is NCLR’s visibility expanding? We have three signature events each year (the NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo, the NCLR Capital Awards, and the ALMA Awards). These events really help the general public understand what we do. We bring thought leaders together who want to be part of important national dialogues. At our conference, we have town halls where we tackle major issues in health, education, the economy, and more. We want NCLR to become a household name. Our events are wonderful vehicles to connect with communities. W hat about expa nding NCLR’s digital presence? At our 2014 conference, we unveiled Immigo, a mobile app we created in partnership with the Verizon Foundation to provide nonprofits and other users with information about the immigration process. The app will provide trusted information to people who want and need it. How has Janet Murguía’s tenure as president and CEO of NCLR shaped the organization? She takes issues to heart, and it’s easy to see why she is widely considered the voice of the Latino community. She

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA HEADQUARTERED: Washington, DC FOUNDED: 1968 ORIGINS: NCLR was founded to represent Hispanic civil rights across the nation and now reaches 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. PRESIDENT AND CEO: Janet Murguía

KEY ISSUES: Immigration, education, civil rights, and employment opportunities AFFILIATE MEMBER NETWORK: 300 organizations ABOUT: NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

reminds us on a regular basis that NCLR is not just an organization. It’s a cause. It’s shaping our future. 2015 will celebrate Janet’s 10-year anniversary with NCLR, so it’s fitting that the annual conference will be held in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. A homecoming is a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years of her leadership. NCLR keeps an extensive and up-to-date Web page on the latest news and statistics regarding immigration reform. Why is this important? It’s a timely issue that has a great impact on families—Latinos and non-Latinos alike— and our nation. We consider it to be the issue of our time. The more information we can share about immigration reform and our stance, the more people will understand why it’s important. Will immigration be the biggest topic discussed at the next annual conference? It will continue to be a key issue. The most prevalent themes and topics for our conference can vary depending on current legislative, political, and cultural events. We expect that immigration reform and progress in congress will continue to be a theme discussed and woven into our workshops and general sessions. Will NCLR play a major role in the 2016 elections? We expect to play a major role in fostering civic engagement, voter registration, and getout-the-vote efforts. In 2012 we launched the Mobilize to Vote campaign, and we registered great numbers of Latinos to vote. We are positioned to make a significant difference again in 2016.

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cityscope

Detroit, Michigan

SHIFTING GEARS IN MOTOR CITY

With its hard times in the rearview mirror, Michigan is rolling forward. The state’s Hispanic chamber of commerce is helping its members seize opportunity in the resurgence by Zach Baliva There’s no way to sugarcoat it: times have been tough across the state of Michigan. First, there was the automotive crisis, then there was Detroit’s bankruptcy. These and other issues have taken their toll, prompting one-fourth of Detroit’s residents to leave the city. But now, for the first time in years, things are looking up. Housing prices are rising, crime is down, and economic development has started ramping up again. Camilo Suero, executive director of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MHCC), believes there are good reasons for optimism. As Michigan and its largest city both rebound, the MHCC

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

is helping its minority members take full advantage of every new opportunity. Suero came to Michigan to pursue his MBA and stayed because he liked the work ethic and culture in Detroit. Now, as MHCC’s new leader, he’s looking to help others tap into that atmosphere. “It’s all about connecting certified-minority-business enterprises with corporations. Every day we look to become a stronger bridge between the two groups,” says Suero. “Many Michigan businesses, especially corporations, have to fill minority purchasing mandates,” he adds, and the chamber’s members feed

CAMILO SUERO Executive Director Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


PHOTO BY IVAN CHOLAKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

cityscope those supplier diversity initiatives. Since most corporations will only purchase from certified-minority businesses, the organization promotes ways to obtain the necessary certification through the local minority council. When economic difficulty hit Michigan, many fled its major cities, but the Hispanic population in Detroit actually grew. That—together with the recovery—has Suero excited. “Our members are educating themselves, starting new businesses, and moving up,” he says. While Latinos once huddled in Detroit’s Southwest neighborhood, they are now getting higher-paying jobs, buying homes, and moving into more affluent communities. As a community, Hispanics in Michigan are at an inflection point. Detroit elected a Latina, Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, to the city council for the first time in 2013. Additionally, Governor Rick Snyder announced in 2014 his plans to lure immigrants to the state through a proposal to hand out 50,000 employment visas and thereby drive job creation and economic growth. Michigan is still a mecca for the automotive and engineering industries, and the MHCC is likewise anchored in these sectors. Recently, though, both the state and chamber leaders have placed a major focus on attracting large companies in IT, staffing, technology, construction, consulting, and other nonautomotive sectors. “This is where purchase orders are written that benefit minority owners,” says Suero. Helping members get their hands on those purchase orders is a key focus for the chamber. Once a year, the MHCC holds its matchmaking event. In 2014, the day saw 80 certified-minority companies paired with 40 corporations and generated hundreds of solid leads for member enterprises. Additionally, the MHCC has great relationships with local sport teams for community outreach and business opportunities. Some members supply the teams with services such as facility management and catering. “Having three of our four professional sport teams in Detroit creates a constant flow of visitors throughout the year, generating jobs at the stadiums and local businesses primarily in the food and hospitality sector,” says Suero. In 2014,

MICHIGAN POPULATION

9,883,640

PERCENT OF THE POPULATION THAT IS HISPANIC

4.4%

HISPANIC-OWNED BUSINESSES

approx. 11,000

PERCENT OF ALL BUSINESS THAT IS HISPANIC-OWNED

1.3%*

DETROIT POPULATION

713,777

PERCENT OF THE POPULATION THAT IS HISPANIC

6.8%

HISPANIC-OWNED BUSINESSES

1,079*

PERCENT OF ALL BUSINESS THAT IS HISPANIC-OWNED

2.1%*

Grand Rapids Lansing Detroit Kalamazoo

Ann Arbor

*Data is from U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007 Economic Census, the most recent economic report available.

Hispanic-owned businesses in Michigan Retail

Restaurants

26% 45% 8%

Other

21% Services

In Michigan, Hispanic-owned businesses generate

4

$

billion in gross receipts.

Southwest Detroit has 43,902 residents and 14,502 children age 18 and younger. By 2010, 57.2% of the total Southwest Detroit neighborhood was Latino. Source: 2010 US Census

LUIS PEREZ FEATURE P. 34

the chamber collaborated with Ford Field for a special Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Hispanic leader in Detroit Luis Perez , Detroit Lions CFO, assisted with the venue. The chamber is proud to have two prominent Hispanic decision makers occupying high-ranking roles in sports—Al Avila, vice president and assistant general manager for the Detroit Tigers, and Perez. Now, the state of Michigan is well into its recovery, and Suero says the chamber needs to take advantage of that. He’ll respond accordingly. “We can’t be everything to everyone right now, but we can take our resources and figure out how to make the most impact based on the business life cycle,” he says. The chamber is adding initiatives to educate minority owners who are looking to access capital and either start or grow their own businesses, and balancing that with help for established businesses, so they can help drive the economy forward. In doing so, the MHCC will strengthen its position in the community and continue to represent the interests of Hispanic business professionals in Detroit and across the state of Michigan.

JAN | FEB 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM

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no lo sabíamos

[We didn’t know until this issue . . . ]

92%

Micro businesses make up more than 92 percent of enterprises in the European Union and rival large businesses in employment (29.1 percent of jobs created versus 33.1 percent).

P. 101

600,000

Almost 600,000 individuals have been granted deferred action through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Obama’s executive action intends to shield up to an additional four million undocumented immigrants.

P. 119

P. 114

The median sales price for a condo in Manhattan was

Experts predict the Hispanic food and beverage market to grow from

910,000

$

8 billion to $11billion

$

in the next two years alone.

And salsa has officially topped ketchup as the nation’s number one condiment. P. 90

In 2005, a record 103,467 people flocked to the Cardinals-49ers game in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. That highest regular-season attendance record stood until the Cowboys moved into AT&T Stadium and played the Giants in 2009.

The hottest and fastest growth in M2M technology remains in smart buildings, which had an adoption rate of 12 percent in 2010 and are estimated to be at 27 percent by 2020.

in the second quarter of 2014. (By contrast, in Akron, Ohio, the median was $119,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.)

Prices are especially steep in Manhattan’s thriving luxury market. Representing the top 10 percent of sales, it boasted a median sales price of five million dollars and an average price per square foot of

$2,617

12% 27%

in the third quarter of 2014. P. 42

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HISPANIC EXECUTIVE JAN | FEB 2015

P. 80

P. 68

MANHATTAN: MANDRITOIU/SHUTTERSTOCK, SALSA: BAIBAZ/SHUTTERSTOCK, AZTECA STADIUM: JESS KRAFT/SHUTTERSTOCK, KETCHUP: MELICA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Health care consumes almost 20 percent of American gross national product.


Š2014 JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Supplier Diversity

For 20 years, JPMorgan Chase has been committed to the development and utilization of diverse suppliers through our award winning supplier diversity program. Our mission is to help make an impact in the communities we serve and we are proud of our progress over the past two decades. We work for diversity while diversity works for us. For information on our supplier diversity program and to register on our supplier portal, visit jpmorganchase.com/supplierdiversity.

Profile for Guerrero

Hispanic Executive #31  

January/February 2015, #31. The Sports Issue. The Voice of the Leaders of the New Majority. hispanicexecutive.com

Hispanic Executive #31  

January/February 2015, #31. The Sports Issue. The Voice of the Leaders of the New Majority. hispanicexecutive.com

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