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T H E M A R K E T I N G I S S U E : G U E S T E D I TO R C A R LO S C ATA T U R N S A S P OT L I G H T O N T H E I N D U S T RY A N D T H E E V O LU T I O N O F T H E C M O J U LY/AU G 2015 VO L 08 N O 34



Veronica Juarez opens roads across the nation for the exploding ride-sharing service

LA EXPLORADORA Nickelodeon turns to Lourdes Arocho for big global expansion on products for little ones




For Business For Communities For A Reason

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes, and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how the CVS Health Supplier Diversity program is shaping the future of health care at

Supplier Diversity


Every person is unique, with their own vision of tomorrow. At Mercer, our 20,000 diverse colleagues around the globe are proud to make a difference for more than 100 million individuals and their futures. Their health. Their wealth. Their careers. Their lives. It is how we help make their tomorrows, today.


JULY/ AUG 2015







ELISA PADILLA The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center SVP and CMO turns her award-winning marketing eye toward welcoming the New York Islanders to Kings County.


EDUARDO CONRADO Motorola Solutions’ chief innovation officer blends marketing and IT to cater to the customer’s needs and drive growth.

ANNIA ZAVALA The Hispanic market corporate VP helps New York Life reach the fastest growing market in the most effective ways.



REMBERTO DEL REAL Delivering marketing solutions to BMO Harris Bank requires both creative and financial know-how.


PAUL ASENCIO The New York Mets’ SVP of corporate sales combines creativity and digital savvy to cater to fans with smartphones and advertisers seeking unique ways to connect.


CHRIS MONTENEGRO MCGRATH Mondelēz counts on McGrath to develop longterm sustainability solutions for the global market.

ON THE COVER Staff photographer Sheila Barabad traveled to NYC to spend an afternoon at Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets, with Elisa Padilla. See more images from the shoot online at




Download on the app store or visit for online content


JULY/ AUG 2015


WORLD VIEW 101 Freeman CFO Julio Ramirez brings his vast international experience to the company responsible for producing the world’s largest trade shows.

ComEd’s Fidel Marquez gives us an inside look at Chicagoland’s power grid and its most recent transformations.


Motorola Solutions is a leader in mission-critical communications, and Manuel Cuevas-Trisán is helping it protect privacy and civil liberties in major cities worldwide. 109 Felix Santana talks about engine giant Cummins’s worldwide growth acceleration. 113 Alcatel-Lucent’s Osvaldo Di Campli is capitalizing on opportunities to leverage innovation and technology in Latin America and scaling profits.



Lyft’s Veronica Juarez is on a mission to bring the revolutionary ride-sharing service to every major city in the United States.

78 When he moved back home to Albuquerque, Walter Barela both returned to his roots and began anew by founding his family-run hotelmanagement firm Peak Hospitality.

55 Interpublic Group’s Eliseo Rojas produces impressive revenue growth as chief procurement officer for the advertising conglomerate.

80 Georgina Fabian saw a need for a global legal firm that could represent small business clients both domestically and internationally—and filled it by fouding IBLG.

62 City National Bank of Florida CEO Jorge Gonzalez on how to grow during a recession and the wealth of opportunity South Florida has to offer.


66 Bain Capital’s Adriana Rojas is a company asset, a true class act, and a role model for other young Latina lawyers. 70 Marisa Brutoco brings a passion for international development through communication to Google/YouTube.



From the supreme court to Marriott International, Michael Martinez’s law portfolio is the complete package.

Adolfo del Valle, big data director for Travelocity—and now Expedia—combines his love of travel with an expertise in IT. 85 One of the few chief nuclear officers in the country, Luminant’s Rafael Flores is committed to excellence. 87 Carlos Jofre analyzes data to help Norwegian Cruise Lines offer the best services in the travel and leisure sector. 89 Pedro J. Lopez-Baldrich on CDTi’s cutting-edge technology that will reduce car emissions and, ultimately, help protect the earth’s atmosphere.


High fashion general counsel Fabio Sylva gives us a peek inside his stylish New York City loft.



Three Mercer Execs weigh in on diversity in the workplace and a revolutionary new study on gender equality in business. 117 Julio Portalatin, CEO 118 Cindy Gentry, Senior Partner 120 Marcelo Modica, Chief People Officer 121 The national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, Cynthia Mares, outlines the opportunities and programs offered by HNBA.


Alex Dominguez, director of real estate for Chick-fil-A, is devoted to philanthropy and helping City of Refuge shelter the homeless in Atlanta. 136 Alberto Yepez, managing director of Trident Capital and chairman of the board for HITEC, invests capital in innovative ideas and time to mentor the next generation.


United Health Group’s VP of Latino health solutions, Russell Bennett, talks strategy to insure the Hispanic community and improve health on a broad scale.



HPGM president and CEO Griselda Aldrete on what it takes to transform an organization and how she put the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee on the map.


Nickelodeon has Lourdes Arocho in a new international role in which she collaborates on fun and educational products designed for a global audience.


Supplier diversity manager for CVS Health Raul Suarez-Rodriguez takes a personal approach to developing winning partnerships with small businesses. 126 From our partners: Northwestern Mutual’s Irving Hernadez guides multigenerational families toward financial security.

ON THE PULSE 130 Cristo Rey High School in Silicon Valley partners with Cisco to cultivate knowledge and excitement around careers in technology. 133 CIO of Miami-Dade County Angel Petisco helps make Miami one of the country’s smartest cities.



events CALENDAR JULY 11-14, 2015 2015 NCLR Annual Conference Kansas City, MO

AUGUST 2015 Q3 HITEC Executive Summit New York, NY

SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2015 2015 USHCC Annual Convention

HITEC PANEL DISCUSSION HITEC Q2 Miami Summit, May 5, 2015 Hispanic Executive managing editor KC Caldwell attended the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) Q2 leadership summit in Miami and conducted a panel on social media and cultivating a strong digital presence. Panelists included HITEC leaders featured in the May/ June 2015 issue of Hispanic Executive, Ileana Rivera, Myrna Soto, Andre Arbelaez, and Haden Land. The discussion centered around how and why our panelists use and deal with social media as a way to promote their brand and connect with their network. Atendees were encouraged to participate on Twitter:

Houston, TX

@_pepe_gomez Don’t be afraid of creating your on-line persona “Take your selfie seriously” @HispanicExecMag @HITECLeaders — Jose R (Pepe) Gomez

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

@HispanicExecMag “Build your network, establish a presence, leverage your entire brand” -Haden Land on the importance of using social media #hitec2015 — HE

Hispanic Executive managing editor KC Caldwell (right) with May/June cover stars (from left to right) Ileana Rivera, Andre Arbelaez, and Myrna Soto.

Hispanic Executive‘s Uniting Powerful Leaders Dinner Phoenix, AZ Series Sponsored by:

@HispanicExecMag “It gives us the opportunity to blend two worlds together” -Myrna Soto on using social media in her professional and personal life @HITECLeaders #hitec2015 — HE @HispanicExecMag “As a technology leader & a mother, it’s not about using everything, but understanding how it all works” -Ileana Rivera #hitec2015 — HE

@Myrna_Soto Best selfie of the day- Taken at the conclusion of our Hispanic Executive Magazine panel during the HITEC Q2 summit. Audience selfie! — Myrna Soto



events Q&A With Cid Wilson

(From left to right) Alberto Ortega, Ana Dutra, and HACR president and CEO Cid Wilson.

Nelson Diaz, Jose Luis Prado, and Alejandro Silva pose for a picture.



On April 24th, Hispanic Executive took a moment to honor its March/April guest editor—Ana Dutra, CEO, Executive’s Club of Chicago—during its “Best of the Boardroom” reception, which took place at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead during the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)’s 23rd Annual Symposium in Atlanta, GA. The reception was co-sponsored by Morgan Stanley. The evening was also a celebration of Hispanic Executive‘s March/April “Best of the Boardroom” issue, which highlighted Latino directors who sit on Fortune 500 corporate boards, with Monica Lozano, board member of Bank of America and The Walt Disney Company, on the cover.

“Best of the Boardroom” issue guest editor Ana Dutra was recognized as Hispanic Executive’s guest of honor and a valuable advisor to the editorial team.

Susan Reid, human resource executive at Morgan Stanley, speaks on diversity on behalf of the financial services firm.

(From left to right) Alberto Ortega of Sodexo, “Best of the Boardroom” honoree Nelson Diaz, and HE’s KC Caldwell.

How did HACR’s 2015 Symposium compare to previous years? Were there any notable attendees that were attending for the first time? We are pleased that this year’s HACR Symposium set a new attendance record. Many new companies attended the Symposium, which was an indication of high interest by an expanding number of companies in working with us to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America. Over the course of the entire weekend, which included our 2015 annual programs and Symposium, we were honored to have many notable attendees including Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of ADP; Julio Portalatin, CEO of Mercer LLC; Alan Gershenhorn, chief marketing officer and number-two executive at UPS; John Miller, CEO of Denny’s; Deborah Gillis, president and CEO of Catalyst; and our CEO roundtable featuring Ralph De La Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions and Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. The feedback from the attendees was that the conference was energetic, engaging, and empowering. * Visit hispanicexecutve. com to read more of our exclusive conversation with HACR CEO Cid Wilson.




Goodman Real Estate Group Google/YouTube Hernandez, Irving




Aldrete, Griselda


Arocho, Lourdes


Asencio, Paul


Azzie, Anne-Marie


70 126

Hispanic National Bar Association 121 Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee 143 International Business Law Group



Santana, Felix Silva, Fabio

109 14

Suarez-Rodriguez, Raul


Trident Capital


UnitedHealth Group



Barclays Center


Wilson, Cid

Barela, Walter


Yépez, Alberto


Zavala, Annia


Bennett, Russell


BMO Harris Bank

46 136

Interpublic Group of Companies 55


Jofre, Carlos


Juarez, Veronica


Brooklyn Nets


Lopez-Baldrich, Pedro J.


Brutoco, Marisa







Cata, Carlos Chick-fil-A


Cisco Systems, Inc


City National Bank of Florida City of Refuge

62 135

Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. 89


Mares, Cynthia


Marquez, Fidel



Marriott International


Conrado, Eduardo


Martinez, Michael


Corrales, Anna




Coulson, Katty


Miami-Dade County


Modica, Marcelo




Mondelēz International


Cuevas Trisán, Manuel


Montenegro McGrath, Chris



Motorola Solutions


CVS Health


Motorola Solutions


DDR Corp.


New York Islanders


New York Life Insurance Company D E F

Del Real, Remberto Del Valle, Adolfo



New York Mets






Northwestern Mutual

Di Campli, Osvaldo


Diaz Jr., Guillermo


Dominguez, Alex


Norwegian Cruise Lines

126 87


Fabian, Georgina


Padilla, Elisa


Flores, Rafael


Peak Hospitality




Gentry, Cindy Gonzalez, Jorge

118 62


17 98 74 84 68 54




Alanis, Serrano & Doblado Angelo & Banta Atrium Staffing Baker Botts LLP Bank of America Merril Lynch BMO Harris Bank Celadon Trucking Cisco Systems, Inc Crane Worldwide Logistics Crowell & Moring LLP Cummins CVS Health

77 64 56 53 102 48 111 132 110 74 108 3


Deluxe Delivery Systems DLA Piper DLA Piper Fisher-Price Brands Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP

Petisco, Angel


Pond, Randy


Portalatin, Julio


Ramirez, Julio


Rojas, Adriana


Rojas, Eliseo


Mercer 4 Microsoft 123 MZI Group 60 New York Life Insurance Company 48 Northwestern Mutual 125, 128


57 74 90 94 68




Freeman Company




Cristo Rey San José High School 130

Jackson Lewis Jakks Pacific, Inc. Jenner & Block LLP Kenshoo Kirkland & Ellis LLP Kirra Consulting


Bain Capital

Bohler Engineering



Global 4PL 107 Greenberg Trauig LLP 65 Greenberg Trauig, LLP 72 Greenspoon Marder 63 Greenwich Associates 48 Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility 148 Holtec International 86 InDeplo 114

Phillips Nizer LLP 19 Playmates Toys Limited 96,97 Process Point 79 RCB Capital Markets LLC 107 Rubie’s Costume Co, Inc. 95


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 17 Sungard Availability Services 88 The Hackett Group 103 The Monument Group LLC 54 Trident Capital 11 UnitedHealth Group 147 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico USA 81 USHCC 2 UTi Worldwide 108


Venable LLP Winston & Strawn LLP

76 106

The Importance of Building Cybersecurity Companies Cyber attacks are a danger to everyone. They don’t discriminate. They affect governments, multinational corporations, local businesses and individuals. These attacks will only become more frequent, more sophisticated and more destructive as we move to adopt new technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT). Trident Capital Cybersecurity’s priority is to help create a safer, more secure world. We want economic vitality, and a stable, resilient cyberspace and infrastructure. That’s why we’re investing in and building premier cybersecurity companies. And we’ve been doing it for decades.

As investors in cybersecurity we are focused on the following areas:

Securing the Internet of Things (IoT)

Next Generation Identity Platforms

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Secure Payments and Fraud

Our Portfolio Companies:

High Impact Organizations We Support:

For more information contact: J. Alberto Yépez, CoFounder and Managing Director 650.289.4400



letter from the editor Editorial

Sales & Account Management

Editorial Director Kathy kantorski

Director of Strategic Partnerships Krista Lane Horbenko

Managing Editor KC Caldwell Associate Editor Steven Arroyo Correspondents Matt Alderton Zach Baliva Luke Blanco Topher Bordeau Olivia Castañeda Joe Dyton Julie Edwards Anthony Kaufman Kelli Lawrence Meng Meng Jessica Montoya Coggins Bridgett Novak Urmila Ramakrishnan Julie Shaeffer Tina Vasquez




The law issue is back and more impressive than ever. We feature general counsel and firm partners who are true defenders of justice and community role models. Stay tuned for an exclusive with USHCC president Javier Palomarez.


Associate Directors Griselda Reyes Kara Thomas Content & Adertising Managers Ty Attiek Daniel Lopez Underwrites Director Justin Joseph Senior Account Manager Sara Colombo Account Manager Jennifer McEachin Client Services Director Cheyenne Eiswald


Senior Client Services Manager Rebekah Pappas

VP of Production/ Creative Director Karin Bolliger

Client Services Assistant Katie Richards

Senior Designer Elena Bragg


Senior Photo Editor/ Staff Photographer Sheila Barabad

Brand Director Vianni Busquets


Reprints & Circulation Director Stacy Kraft

Guerrero Howe, LLC CEO Pedro Guerrero

Director of Recruiting and Retention Elyse Glab Staff Accountant Mokena Trigueros Executive Assistant Cassie Rose

Receptioninst Amanda Paul Subscriptions + Reprints

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KC Caldwell | Managing Editor

Managing Director Philip Taylor

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

For a free subscription, visit 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 Hispanic Executive® is a registered trademark of Guerrero Howe, LLC.


If you think that being a leader in the marketing industry requires you to be everything to everyone, you have never been more right. Working alongside our guest editor, Carlos Cata, opened my eyes to the evolving marketing role and the skills required for delivering growth in this digital world. Cata has his finger on the pulse of the marketing industry as managing partner of the global executive search firm CTPartners. He showed me how the role of a CMO—or that of any other ad, sales, or marketing leader today— requires extensive financial, digital, and business expertise and now often incorporates chief growth officer and chief information officer, in addition to chief marketing officer duties. This all-encompassing skill set is very much on display in those featured in this marketing issue, beginning with Elisa Padilla. The CMO and SVP for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center is soon welcoming NHL’s New York Islanders to her portfolio. This smart, inner-city Latina forged her way in a male-dominated industry to the very top of the game. Let her welcome you to her major cool, major innovative, major-league Brooklyn. Then, as you read through the remainder of this issue, note the secrets to success brought up repeatedly by our executive leaders. They are mentors. They learn from their teams. Their careers have taken twists and turns, often crossing over various industries, all culminating in a collection of skills and experiences needed in a leadership role. Because they are living proof of its value, they are advocates for diversity in corporate America. Julio Portalatin, CEO of Mercer, puts it best: “Diverse people, diverse opinions, diverse skill sets, diverse backgrounds—all lead to more thorough decision making... We know this, but putting the right practices in place is where the struggle is.” Read how Mercer is doing just that. I am amazed by the drive demonstrated by the executives we feature issue after issue. They don’t settle at having achieved the American dream of prosperity; they add their voices, energy, and knowledge to driving that dream for future America. All of us on the HE team simply feel fortunate to be a part of writing that narrative and framing these leaders of Latino America.

life+style A cultural resource for the contemporary Hispanic executive






Fabio Silva, a native Mexican and New Yorker of 12 years, gritted his way through an unconventional path that’s led him to a career as a major fashion-house general counsel. He gives us an up-close and personal peek into his stylish city life by Olivia N. Castañeda, photos by Sheila Barabad







Fabio Silva loves New York City for allowing him to live and breathe fashion even in everyday life. Here, he shares the three spots that most inspire him.


Silva says his neighbors on Fredrick Douglas Boulevard are more likely than downtowners to get dressed up for the evening. “I want to be the Bill Cunningham of Harlem. There is more interesting fashion coming out of Harlem than south of 110th Street.”


Silva currently has 21 Olivetti Lettera 351 typwriters in his growing collection, which he refurbishes and finishes himself, including this fuschia lacquer-painted model.

The space is full of colorful oversized pillows and cushions—hand-sewn by Silva himself—as well as his growing collection of self-customized Olivetti Lettera 351 typewriters. Silva describes himself as “one of those people that love to tinker.” He’ll often disassemble the vintage machines, sand them down, and spray-paint them in hues like fuschia or orange, finishing with a coat of shiny lacquer. “I bought a typewriter to get me past my writer’s block, and ended up falling in love with them as design pieces,” he says. “During the ‘60s and ‘70s, typewriter manufacturers started getting truly innovative with product design—but the home computer’s arrival ended all that.” An admitted homebody, Silva most enjoys spending time in his own space. At the end of the day, he loves to unwind with a glass of wine in front of his fireplace, cook dinner, and lounge on one of his oversized leather chairs. “In 13 years living in New York City, I’ve ordered take-out once. I believe that if you’re going to eat at home, you should cook at home. I take great pleasure in making a meal.”

“I enjoy spending time here—even if I’m not looking for anything in particular. Often the fabrics inspire the project.” These interactions typically culminate in ideas for at-home projects.”


“Nothing is better at reminding me why I love this city than the view of Manhattan from over the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Brooklyn Bridge


orn in a pueblito southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico, Fabio Silva immigrated to the United States at the age of four. Despite a humble and challenging upbringing, Silva kept his sights set high, obtaining a law degree from Stanford Law School and beginning his career as a legal associate in Washington, DC, before moving to New York City. But his next move was something far more unusual for a young lawyer: he went back to school, to Parsons the New School for Design, to get a degree in fashion design. Thus began Silva’s journey in establishing himself as what he is today—a fashion attorney. It began with an internship at Burberry that grew into a full-time post as an intellectual property counsel. Silva worked his way up to becoming vice president of legal at Burberry, serving as the British company’s lead attorney in North America. He went on to in-house positions at Tory Burch and and is now VP of legal affairs for a major Italian fashion house. Last year, Silva won the National LGBT Bar Association’s Out & Proud Corporate Counsel award. He feels that living in New York City and working in fashion houses has provided him a free environment to be “out.” “Without the ability to come out and take pride in who I am, I would not have been able to function with the level of confidence that is required in a corporate environment,” Silva says. “I have to remind myself that it’s not that easy in other industries and in other parts of America.” Silva now feels comfortable, established, and at-home in New York City. Already a successful attorney, he has the luxury to focus some energy on developing his personal interests instead of worrying about climbing the corporate ladder. In many ways, Silva is the quintessential single and successful New Yorker, owning a 1,400-square-foot loft-style apartment in Harlem. For the past seven years, he’s converted it into a comfortable haven that allows his artistic side to run wild with design.

Congratulations to Fabio Silva on his many accomplishments and continued success. Breaking down barriers is a core value at Jackson Lewis. Creating workforces and inclusive initiatives that reflect the diverse communities we serve is what we do.

With 800 attorneys practicing in major locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis provides creative and

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Skadden congratulates Fabio Silva. We are proud to join Hispanic Executive magazine in recognizing Fabio’s many achievements.

strategic solutions to employers in every aspect of workplace law. To learn more about our services, please contact John J. Porta at or visit us at


Los Angeles









New York



Palo Alto


Hong Kong


Washington, D.C.


São Paulo




Jackson Lewis P.C. • Long Island Office 58 South Service Road, Suite 250 Melville, NY 11747 • 631.247.0404 JULY | AUG 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM




“It would be so easy to go broke in New York City if you don’t pick up some serious DIY skills.”

Q: What genre of music can we expect to hear coming from one of your stereos on any given evening? I was a teenager in the ‘80s, and I still listen to so much ‘80s music. It was such a fun decade for both music and fashion. It was the decade that launched the music video, and I watched more than my fair share of them. It’s a little embarrassing, but you’ll find me mostly listening to ‘80s music. Q: What is your favorite dish to cook for a dinner with friends? My sister gave me a slow-cooker a few years ago, and for a while there I was slow-cooking everything. I discovered that a slow-cooker is the best way to make barbecue pork spare ribs. Simply brown the ribs in a large skillet, throw them into the cooker over a quartered onion, pour in some barbecue sauce, and six to eight hours later you have a falloff-the-bone crowd-pleaser. My friends also love my salsa. My specialty is cooked salsa. I put tomatoes, onions, garlic, habaneros, and tomatillos in a big skillet and almost burn them. I then throw the grilled vegetables into a blender with salt and other spices, and the result is this amazing cooked salsa. It goes quickly. Q: If there was a fire—God forbid—and you could only salvage one item from your home, what would it be and why? It would be my father’s camera. Before he left to the United States in the early 1970s, my father was a studio photographer in Mexico. A few years ago, I took my mom back to Mexico to visit family. While there I learned that my father, prior to leaving for the United Sates, had left his belongings in storage with an uncle. A search of the storage room unearthed my father’s large-format camera—the same camera he had used as a portrait photographer in the ‘60s. The camera is irreplaceable, so it would no doubt get scooped up on my way toward the fire escape.



Fabio Silva

What might speak most to Silva’s personality, though, is the fact that he enjoys doing everything himself. Whether it’s installing a new sink, putting up a new light fixture, or simply cleaning his home, there is hardly a thing he won’t do himself. “Aside from enjoying working with my hands and taking great pride in doing things myself, it’s also about remaining independent. It would be easy to go broke in New York City if you don’t pick up some serious DIY skills.” In the workplace, Fabio has successfully remained anti-suit—an impressive feat for someone who has been an attorney for over 15 years. He wants to feel uninhibited, innovative, and most importantly, comfortable. A typical work outfit for Silva includes a sports coat and skinny jeans with dashes of color in the form of a belt, bag, hat, scarf, or eyewear. “I’m all about the accessories,” he says. “Over the years I’ve managed to grow quite a collection.” Besides working long hours typical of a

general counsel, Silva has one major summer project: to finish renovating his apartment. He will be working tirelessly on repainting, installing new light fixtures, hanging drapes, and refurnishing the study. Silva says the creative process can be time-consuming, and projects will often stall while he’s waiting to be inspired. “I spend so much time at home and love to entertain, so it all has to make sense. The colors, the furniture, the art, the lighting, and the accent pieces all need to work together and flow,” Silva says. When it comes to his personal and professional life balance, Silva says something that any young, modern executive can understand: “Unfortunately, personal life or pursuing artistic endeavors have taken a back seat as my priorities have been on my career for the past 15 years,” he articulates. “Striking a balance is something to always work towards. Not finding it only becomes acceptable when you’re enjoying what you’re doing.”

Local Presence. Global Reach. We Lead The Way in Fashion Law. We take pride in the fact that for nearly 70 years, leading fashion industry designers, manufacturers and retailers have partnered with the lawyers of Phillips Nizer LLP. We provide our clients with experienced advice and counsel from business transactions to licensing and defending intellectual property rights, from retail and commercial real estate leasing to employment advice, from international tax advice to succession planning. Our clients around the world appreciate that our attorneys value their business and take the role of trusted advisors seriously. ...................................

We extend our warmest congratulations to our client and friend, Fabio Silva, on his recognition by Hispanic Executive for his professional accomplishments in fashion law, an acknowledgment that is well-deserved.

mefiifmp=kfwbo LLP New York • Hackensack • Garden City • East Hampton | Resourceful Representation® Attorney Advertising

BIG leaders in marketing





Elisa Padilla of the Brooklyn Nets

Eduardo Conrado of Motorola Solutions

Paul Asencio of the New York Mets



IDEAS with guest editor Carlos Cata

IN MARKETING The marketing industry has always had to evolve faster than technology usage to reach the consumer effectively, meaning skill sets at the leadership level must evolve as well. Whether bringing hardcore sports fans to a new market, innovating marketing through IT, or prioritizing sustainability, these industry leaders represent what the marketing role has become: being everything, staying on top of every area of the business, and driving growth inside and out.






Chris Montenegro McGrath of Mondelēz International

Annia Zavala of New York Life Insurance

Remberto Del Real of BMO Harris Bank



Q&A leaders in marketing

with guest editor Carlos Cata by Ruth E. Dávila, photo by Sheila Barabad

arlos Cata has his finger on the pulse of marketing. As managing partner of global executive search firm CTPartners, he searches high and low for talent—for clients spanning Fortune 500, midsize, or private equity-backed firms—he interfaces with diverse marketing leaders on a daily basis. And as guest editor of Hispanic Executive’s marketing issue, he connected us with some fascinating article subjects. Having started his career with multibrand giants such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft, Cata grasped the dynamics of big business early on. Later, as a business founder in the food industry, he learned how to drive new business forward. That combined experience led to his career as a search exec, matching candidates with companies’ underlying needs, topline goals, and overarching culture. Here, the Cuban-born Cata takes a look at the new—and old—skill sets demanded by marketing organizations. Hint: Leadership and relationship-building still keep you afloat, but it takes digital savvy to surf the tidal waves. HE: You came from Cuba in 1968 as a toddler. How has your immigrant experience shaped your story as a professional? CC: My father instilled in us the classic mantra of education. Hard work, good grades, and an achievement mindset defined me: I graduated magna cum laude from undergraduate, then in the top 10 percent of my MBA. Even though I’ve worked for big global firms, I very much have an entrepreneurial mindset. I helped start Frontera Foods, a gourmet Mexican foods company. I feel that lot of Cubans and Latinos have a risk-taking mentality; it’s the ability to bet on yourself. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll figure it out. It’s an insatiable drive. You never phone it in. You wake up every morning with this paranoia that you’re starting at zero. It’s the fuel that drives you.

Carlos Cata Managing Partner CTPartners



HE: Your first job out of business school at Duke was with Kraft Foods in brand management. How has that field evolved over the past couple of decades? CC: 20 years ago, brand management was the art of defining consumer

insight-driven marketing communications and programs for the mass market. Today, with the advent of the Internet and digital and analytics, there is a shift from mass marketing to personalization. Before, we spent a lot of time trying to get the product right and the advertising right because we were pushing our content and communications one way. Today, it is a two-way dialogue—it’s intimate. It requires understanding what’s relevant and how trends, mood, and societal factors are impacting almost on a real-time basis. HE: How are data and analytics changing the marketing landscape? CC: There are two places where data and analytics live. One is data architecture, data quality, data management, which sits in IT. The CIO’s dimension looks at what data we have, how to manage it, ensure its integrity and quality. Then, as it relates to how to use data and target it, the CMO takes over. This side is about customers, markets, efficient growth strategies. Technology has enabled a much faster, deeper capability in terms of processing mass amounts of transactional information. What I’m finding is that all top CMOs are staffing their organizations with not only the “historical” market research and insights team, but modelers and analytic or data scientists to harness and bring strategic meaning behind the data. HE: In that new landscape, what has become the top priority for marketing organizations? CC: Marketing today is about connecting the dots between raw data to meaningful information to unique insights to an actionable strategy. How do you connect all those dots to ensure you have a seamless integrated customer experience? That’s a big deal right now. HE: Which skills make marketing executives stand out to recruiters in the current climate? CC: The classic stuff—strategic marketing acumen, understanding communication, the ability to put together strategy—is still important. Beyond that, I look for an innovation mindset and someone who is extremely tech-savvy. It doesn’t mean you have to be the digital evangelist. You need to know

“CMOs are being tapped more than ever to be the chief growth officer... They have to ingest the voice of the consumer, make sense of it, and develop programs that integrate it in a seamless way.” Carlos Cata how to manage a team that understands how you connect in the digital ecosystem. Those who stand out understand how to unearth and collect true, unique insight in real time, and how to foster an environment of innovation to bring about a new solution. It’s also about leadership. Historically, maybe creativity mattered most for a marketer; the “idea leader” reigned the day. But that definition of a marketing guru is gone. Now, it’s a true leader that can cast vision, manage complexity, and integrate a multitude of moving parts to drive the growth strategy.

executives fail not because they are not smart, strategic, and brilliant; they fail on the soft skills.

HE: It sounds like the CMO’s seat has shifted within the C-suite. How so? CC: CMOs are being tapped more than ever to be the chief growth officer. They are expected to help us define how to drive our growth agenda. For that, they need an insatiable curiosity to see what’s on the landscape. They have to ingest the voice of the customer and market into the company, make sense of it, and develop programs that integrate it in a seamless way. The CMO is an extension of the CEO to help translate market trends and expectations into compelling, relevant strategies to win.

HE: Most tips for job applicants target up-and-coming professionals. What’s your advice for seasoned executives navigating the job interview process? CC: I’m still surprised that even for high executive roles, people don’t prepare for interviews. They think they have a track record of success that speaks for itself. But even for senior executives, it’s important to prepare. Know the company and its values. What’s perhaps more insightful is the need to show your authentic self and be really genuine. That resonates. Corollary to that is showing vulnerability. Everyone is just pitching and selling in the younger crowd. But in the upper ranks, it’s about being true to where you are and who you are, sharing how you failed and how it made you stronger. Vulnerability is a hidden strength if communicated well. Talk about how you built capability, how you developed people. It’s a pivot— less about yourself and more how you’ve created capabilities for others and the organization.

HE: As a recruiter, do you have any go-to tactics to identify whether the candidate will be a match? CC: I try to focus on their values and what drives them at their core. I like to get a sense of how they set a vision and enable an organization to achieve breakthrough results. I find out how they treat people. How do they manage up, across, and down? I look at relationship-building: how they build and engender relationships, what kind of style they have—authoritative or more collaborative. That’s what’s critical to the art of what we do: mapping the culture fit. It sounds so cliché, but fit is everything. A lot of

HE: You’ve had the opportunity to interview and engage with some phenomenal businesspeople. What stays with you from those experiences? CC: I’m more impacted by experiences of the heart—more so than the leadership from the head. When people have shared their personal stories—and in many cases their personal tragedies, how they overcame them, and how that influenced who they became—those are my moments of pure inspiration. When you drill down to the true humanity of someone, that is what inspires me. It makes me leave the room thinking, “I want to be a better person.”



leaders in marketing


Elisa Padilla, chief marketing officer and SVP for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center and creator of the Nets’ award-winning advertising campaign “Hello Brooklyn”, is pushing the brand into icon status by Tina Vasquez, photos by Sheila Barabad



Elisa Padilla SVP and CMO Brooklyn Nets



leaders in marketing

f success is a culminant point in a career that fully encompasses all past experiences, then Elisa Padilla is living her dream. Padilla’s first job out of college was as an assistant to a woman who ran marketing for a NBA franchise. Seeing her in action, Padilla realized then that this was the job she someday wanted. True to her mantra—“if you can dream it, you can achieve it”—she made it happen for herself. Padilla grew up in inner-city New York without easy access to educational opportunities. “I’m a Hispanic woman who grew up with blue collar parents,” Elisa says. “I achieved this through hard work and intellectual property. It means a lot.” Padilla became chief marketing officer just four and a half years after joining the Brooklyn Nets. To ask Padilla if women are well-represented in her industry is to ask a loaded question. The short answer is no, not many women—especially women of color, and especially Latinas—reach that C-suite level. Over 20 years ago when she started in her field, her boss and mentor was the only woman in a meeting. Today, that has not changed—Padilla is almost always the only woman in the room. However, “I strongly believe the people who work with me don’t view me as just the only woman in the room,” she says. “I’ve proven I work hard and I deliver. I know that makes a difference.” “The way I like to see it is that there is huge opportunity for minority women in the sports industry,” she continues. “My parents always taught me that if you work hard, success will come. If you deliver results, you will get returns. I’m not saying optimism will change everything. I know many women who are working in what is basically an old boys’ club.” After obtaining her MBA in 2002, Padilla decided to take a very intentional approach to her career, ensuring that every step was made with the goal of being as diversified a marketer as possible. The woman she worked for right out of college came from a consumer packaged goods background, not a sports background. Padilla recognized the strength that comes with having a varied background to bring to the table, and today says she owes her success to having taken the approach of seeking out different experiences. Diverse experience is something the chief marketing officer continues to seek out. Her leadership style is all about collaboration, an approach that requires listening to different opinions and committing to hearing from as many people as possible. “Whether you’re my assistant or the CEO of a company, I’m going to give what you say the same weight because you’ve experienced the world differently than me,” she says, “which means I have something to learn from you.”



The Brooklyn Nets Founded: 2012 Home: Barclays Center, at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn, NY. Team colors: Black & White About: The Brooklyn Nets is an NBA basketball team. A member of the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, the Nets advanced to the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Prior to its relocation to Brooklyn, the team was the New Jersey Nets.

Padilla insists that leadership is decidedly not something that came naturally to her. She was one of six children, and the youngest girl. “In my family, there were four in front of me who thought they were the president of the house—and they behaved that way,” Padilla says. “Leadership was something I had to learn. Every step in your career will teach you something, if you let it. I learned from good bosses and bad bosses, what worked and what didn’t.” In her dual role as SVP and chief marketing officer of both the Nets and Barclays Center, Padilla has proven herself a capable leader time and time again. The multipurpose indoor arena that serves as the Nets’ home base hosts concerts, conventions, and, starting later this year, will also be home to the New York Islanders NHL hockey team. Events ranging from the MTV Music Video Awards to WWE championships and hundreds of concerts have been hosted at Barclays. According to Billboard Magazine, Barclays Center even surpassed Madison Square Garden as the highest-grossing venue in the United States for concerts and family shows the year that the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Many in the marketing industry still remember the simple yet highly effective marketing campaign she developed when the Nets first made their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012. On black and white billboards sprinkled across the borough, the words “Hello Brooklyn” announced the team’s arrival to their new home. That year, “Hello Brooklyn” won gold in the Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign category at the Sports Media Marketing Awards. Padilla says the reason

“My job is to think about where people work, live, and play and then figure out how to evoke an emotion that drives an action.” Elisa Padilla



leaders in marketing

Top Expert Takeaways Cata Weighs In

The Brooklyn Nets is a great brand story. It is hard to believe that this brand was created only three years ago. Already it feels like an iconic name and destination in the New York metro area. How many new teams get that level of prominence, scale, and arena recognition in such a short period of time? Surely, many things fueled the early success, but what strikes me about this success story is Elisa herself and the skills she brings as a CMO. Her story is peppered with leadership values and beliefs that define her success and her approach as a marketing leader. Those values have not only made Elisa successful, but they also define the very recipe companies of any size are seeking in CMOs. The following are some best practices out of Elisa Padilla’s leadership playbook. Hard Work and Drive: Many Latinas carry this in corporate America, and it’s the notion that hard work, performance, and results will achieve positive outcomes. Where there is the greatest headwind, you will also find the most lift. Optimism: Not blind optimism, but a pragmatic view of “the possible.” Diverse Experiences: Take risks. Go lateral to broaden. Experience different functions, different industries, and different business conditions. It may take more time, but it makes you a deeper and more robust leader. Intellectual Curiosity: Believe that you can learn something from anyone, regardless of where they sit organizationally. Be a continual learner. Remember that learning first requires listening. Humility: I love how the “Hello Brooklyn” campaign spoke to Brooklyn. It touched the soul of the city and made the team part of it—versus the other way around. Authenticity: Elisa is not only building a new brand based on the soul of a city and franchise, but will also soon be renovating and building upon another classic brand in the New York Islanders. She will certainly find success in defining the true core of what each stands for today and tomorrow. — Carlos Cata, Guest Editor



When the NBA’s Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012, rebrand-planning and buzzbuilding fell on the new Nets’ chief marketing officer, Elisa Padilla. The Brooklyn Nets’ brand launch was a one-of-a-kind campaign featuring teaser billboards that said nothing more than #hellobrooklyn, driving the conversation to digital platforms. “Hello Brooklyn” won gold for Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign at the Sports Media Marketing Awards.

it worked and resonated with people is because it was humble. “It wasn’t talking at Brooklyn; it was talking to Brooklyn,” she says. She also suspects part of the magic was that the campaign was evergreen. “Five million people have visited Barclays Center since 2012,” Padilla says. “To them, we’re still saying hello.” The Nets only made their move three years ago, which means that from a marketing standpoint, they’re still in their infancy. In the years since the move, Padilla and her team have focused on growing the brand and its fan base, with the goal of turning casual fans into hardcore fans. Even more ambitious, Padilla wants to put Barclays Center on the map as a must-see national destination. “Barclays Center is still growing, and I’m confident we’ll accomplish my ultimate goal, which is to turn it into a classic landmark,” she says. “When you come to New York City, you want to see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty. For me, the ultimate success would be to hear tourists saying, ‘I have to see Barclays Center!’ We still have a ways to go, but our numbers tell us we’re well on our way.” Given what’s been in the works, Padilla is right; they may not be far off. She’s also heading up the marketing for the New York Islanders’ move from Nassau Coliseum in

“I’m confident we’ll accomplish my ultimate goal, which is to turn [Barclays Center] into a classic landmark. Elisa Padilla


Home to: The Brooklyn Nets NBA team (since 2012) and the New York Islanders NHL team (since 2015). Architect: Barclays Center is designed by the firm SHoP architects, with initial concepts for the arena designed by Frank Gehry.


Capacity: For basketball, 17,732; for ice hockey, 15,795; for concerts, 19,000

Externally, an oculus extends over a 5,660-square-foot plaza outside the main entrance to Barclays Center with an irregularly shaped display screen. The arena’s location below grade allows people in the outdoor plaza to view the scoreboard.

Venue: The first event held at Barclays Center was a Jay Z concert in September 2012. Since then, it has played host to musical artists Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Pearl Jam, Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Marc Anthony, the Who, Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, and hundreds more. Barclays Center is also known for hosting boxing matches, the Atlantic 10 Men’s College Basketball Conference, the MTV Music Video Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Long Island to Barclays Center. Given that this is a wildly popular and locally beloved hockey team, the real challenge is to not isolate the fans, Padilla says. This next move will be very different from the Nets’ move. We’re talking about a niche sport with very hardcore fans. “Part of our work is opening the fans’ eyes to the fact that this is really just a physical move from point A to point B, and at point B there’s a beautiful, technologically-advanced arena offering great service and wonderful amenities. Everyone at Barclays Center was trained by Disney, known for being the best,” Padilla says. The chief marketing officer contends that she and her team aren’t looking to shake up the Islanders; they’re keeping the same colors, the same logo, everything. This is just about making a home for them and having two teams under one roof. With both the Nets and the Islanders, Padilla is taking the same 360-degree marketing approach she always does. It’s more of a philosophy, actually. “If you boil it down, my job is to think about where people work, live, and play and then figure out how to evoke an emotion that drives an action,” she says. “That’s marketing in a nutshell. Getting a message out that’s relevant and that resonates with people enough to evoke an emotion? Well, that’s the hard part.”



leaders in marketing


Eduardo Conrado Chief Innovation Officer Motorola Solutions



CHANGE MAKER Marketer and engineer Eduardo Conrado has telecommunications giant Motorola Solutions behaving like a nimble startup since taking on the role of chief innovation officer by Matt Alderton, photos by Sheila Barabad


ewton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion. Eduardo Conrado is the latter object. Literally and figuratively, he’s spent his life so far in a state of perpetual movement— across disciplines, business units, and even geographies, all of which has prepared him perfectly for his current role as senior vice president and chief innovation officer of Motorola Solutions, a spinoff of former parent company Motorola Inc. Motorola Solutions provides telecommunications products for enterprise and government clients. “I began working at Motorola 23 years ago and worked my way up,” Conrado says. “It doesn’t feel like that long. Time flies.” Newton’s law states every act of motion begins with an external force. For Conrado, that initial force took place not when he joined Motorola, but when his family moved to the United States from Nicaragua in 1978. “There was a civil war in Nicaragua, so we moved to the United States when I was in junior high school,” recalls Conrado, who subsequently studied industrial engineering at Texas Tech University. “My first job was as an industrial engineer at Texas Instruments, where I designed manufacturing lines for one of their sites. When I was there, however, I realized I wanted to branch out into more of a business or marketing role.” Conrado decided to pursue his interest in marketing in 1989 when he enrolled full-time in the MBA program at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. “I had come from Latin America and lived in the US, but I was most interested in learning more about Europe. So while I was at Thunderbird, I applied for a program to get a second MBA at ESADE [Business School] in Barcelona,” says Conrado, who studied marketing

Motorola Solutions Headquartered: Schaumburg, IL Founded: 2011 Revenue: $5.9 billion in 2014 annual sales Number of employees worldwide: 15,000 Global reach: Offices in more than 60 countries and more than 100,000 customers in over 100 countries Company description: A successor of Motorola Inc., Motorola Solutions is a telecommunications company offering communications solutions for government and business, including two-way radios, pagers, and mobile broadband, among others.

at Thunderbird and finance at ESADE. “I met my wife at Thunderbird, and she moved to Barcelona with me. After I graduated, we moved for a year and a half to Norway, which is where my wife is from, and that’s where I got hired at Motorola.” Conrado subsequently moved back to the US and commenced an international career in market research, analyzing opportunities for Motorola in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. “For the first 10 years of my career, I moved around every one or two years to a different business unit within Motorola,” says Conrado, who cites as a particularly memorable assignment his stint on Motorola’s joint ventures team. The team is responsible for seeding technology startups around the world in order to accelerate uptake of Motorola’s solutions. After a spell working for one such startup in Argentina, Conrado joined the product marketing team at Motorola’s Chicago headquarters, where he made his mark aggregating and unifying disparate marketing functions. “When I moved to Chicago, marketing was a distributed function. Motorola had no chief marketing officer (CMO), but I felt we could do a better job positioning the company if all our marketers reported to a single marketing head,” Conrado says. “De facto, I became the head of marketing for all the company’s B-to-B businesses.” When Motorola, Inc. split into two businesses—B-to-B-focused Motorola Solutions and consumer-focused Motorola Mobility—in 2011, Conrado became chief marketing officer of the former prior to assuming his present position as senior vice president and chief innovation officer in January 2015.



leaders in marketing

“The CMO role has evolved to that of a marketing technologist. As a marketer, it’s your job to understand the customer. Being comfortable with technology makes it easier to understand the challenges and opportunities our customers are facing.” Eduardo Conrado 32


“Everything I’ve done previously has led up to this,” says Conrado, whose constant forward motion—from engineering to marketing; from one line of business to the next; and from Latin America to the United States and Europe—has made him an innovative thinker by design. “When you move internationally at an early age and continue having diverse experiences throughout your career, as I have, it allows you to understand things from different points of view. That ties back to innovation because innovation is all about looking at things a little bit differently.” Although Conrado no longer has direct oversight of marketing, being a marketer during the transition from an analog to a digital society prepared him well for his current responsibilities, which include management of Motorola Solutions’ chief information office, chief technology office, venture capital investment business, and design group. “In my job, I think about innovation in three different ways,” Conrado says. “One is using technology to transform our business processes, which has a lot to do with IT systems running in the background. Two is creating products that solve customer challenges, either by inventing something in-house or by leveraging an investment we’ve made in another company. The last piece is the concept of design thinking: investing not just in technology, but in the experience the customer has interacting with that technology.” His marketing background has been a key enabler in all three areas. “Having a blend of both technical and creative skills has helped me a lot,” explains Conrado, who says CMOs make ideal innovators. “The CMO role has evolved to that of a marketing technologist. As a marketer, it’s your job to understand the customer. Being comfortable with technology makes it easier to understand the challenges and opportunities our customers are facing, to develop appropriate solutions, and to communicate those solutions’ benefits.” Simply put: CMOs are problem solvers, and a chief innovation officer is nothing if not a problem solver. Specifically, Motorola Solutions takes a two-pronged approach to problem solving.

Top Expert Takeaways


1 2 3

Cata Weighs In

Trust technology to transform business processes. This has a lot to do with IT systems running in the background. Believe they are making life easier. Create products that solve customer challenges. Achieve this either by inventing something in-house or by leveraging an investment made in another company. Invest in design thinking. Investing not just in technology, but in the experience the customer has interacting with that technology, makes a difference.

“It starts with engaging the customer to define what their problems are, and it ends with applying technology to solve them,” Conrado says. “When you blend those two together, you’re creating the art of the possible. You’re reimagining the way things can be done.” Motorola Solutions initiates the discovery phase with activities like ridealongs. “Our designers or ethnographers go on ride-alongs with our customers—police, fire, utility companies—to better understand the issues they’re facing,” Conrado says. “Our CTO said it best: In many cases, customers aren’t going to tell you what they need, but they’ll show you.” Conrado’s current focus is on the execution phase, which demands not only new systems, but also a new corporate culture. “What I would like to do is infuse design thinking across everything that we do as a company so that we’re not just making products for the verticals we serve, but looking holistically at what the customer experience is across all facets of working with Motorola Solutions,” he concludes. “Since I took this role, I’ve actually spent most of my time outside the company. In the past six weeks, I’ve visited more than 30 startup companies, six venture capital firms, half a dozen non-competitors who are innovating in different segments, and a dozen customers who I consider innovators. Seeing how others are doing things allows me to have an outside perspective that I think is really valuable because there is no monopoly on good ideas.”

In many respects, Eduardo represents the face of the new marketing leader. Although his role has recently expanded to chief innovation officer, he embodies the profound shift we are seeing in marketing from brand and creative leaders to technologists and analysts that can fuse the market shifts to winning strategies that are relevant. We are living in the age of the new agile CMO, and Eduardo represents a peek into the future. Future CMOs will have widely diverse experiences early in their career like Eduardo did. They will be part engineer, part technologist, part IT leader, part brand builder, and part innovation leader. The reason? Simple: because they will have to. The ever-changing and complex nature of both B-to-B and B-to-C markets will demand it. The following are some key takeaways to consider for career development. Diverse Experiences: The linear path is not always the direct path. Eduardo demonstrates that different functions, different geographies, and different business units help broaden your perspective and give power to see things differently and attack opportunities and problems from multiple lenses. Fusion: Fusing IT and marketing is not common... yet. But at Motorola, Eduardo has been able to combine the needs of the frontline experience with the back-end operational requirements to pull it off. Today, they have expanded that to include technology and innovation. His role is replacing classic silo thinking with an integrated and aligned view—a view from the customer’s perspective, not from traditional organization charts. Marketing Technologist: Being digitally savvy and tech savvy is a new marketing requirement. This cannot be more true for marketing leaders today. While it may not go all the way to having IT and technology reporting directly into you as it does with Eduardo, having some tech skills in your roster is a prerequisite in the industry today. Design Thinking: This is a brilliant, simple, and progressive notion. Apple has made it famous for good reason. When you integrate product, technology, and consumer behavior and experience into what you provide (product or service), you are putting the customer first. And here is a little secret—they want to be put first. If you ‘get them,’ they will buy you, praise you, and advocate for you. — Carlos Cata, Guest Editor



leaders in marketing

Paul Asencio SVP, Corporate Sales and Services New York Mets



METS FANS MOBILIZE As increased mobility impacts fan behavior, the New York Mets’ Paul Asencio and his ad sales team are finding new ways to reach a captive audience by Zach Baliva, photos by Sheila Barabad


aul Asencio realized one thing when he took the CPA exam: he didn’t want to become a CPA. In 1998, when he heard that the New York Mets were in need of a salesman from a friend who had just struck a sponsorship deal with the Major League Baseball team, Asencio did not hesitate to apply. The Brooklyn-raised, Ohio Wesleyan-educated accounting major and college athlete landed the job and has been with the team ever since. Today, he is senior vice president of corporate sales and partnerships. Simply put, Asencio’s job is to create partnerships that generate revenue for the club and a return on investment for partners. An increasingly important part of his role involves paying mind to social media and mobility. These have changed the way that teams interact with baseball fans. “Our partners aren’t relying on traditional means like signage on the outfield wall anymore. Integrated media assets are what now spark their interest,” Asencio says. “They want to be able to interact with fans so fans can touch, feel, and talk about their product.” The atmosphere has changed at Citi Field and other MLB stadiums. Fans have grown accustomed to watching a live game with smartphones in hand. They take pictures, tag each other, look up facts and statistics, upload information, and send messages, all while watching the game. For Asencio, that changing

The New York Mets Founded: 1962 Ballpark: Citi Field (2009-present), Shea Stadium (1964-2008), Polo Grounds (1962-1963) World Series Champions: 1969, 1986 About: The New York Mets play in the National League East division of Major League Baseball and are based in Queens. The team replaced the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers and wears orange, blue, and white in homage to the original New York National League Teams.

fan behavior represents a huge opportunity for innovative advertising. His team looks to add to the experience in a natural and organic way. “We call it ‘surprise and delight’ because if we do modern ad sales correctly, we can actually enhance the fan experience,” he explains. For example, advertisers like Citi and Verizon find direct ways to build fan interaction by partnering with the Mets. Verizon monitors and responds to tweets to invite users to visit the Verizon Studio in center field. Citibank gives rewards and discounts to fans that swipe a Citi card in the ballpark. “Partnership sales in MLB today is all about more exposure in more and unique ways,” Asencio says. Another interactive advertising opportunity was put in place this year when the Mets added a strike-out board to the left field facade that tallies strike-out totals and displays the type and speed of each pitch. Most fans enjoy this extra information, and the sign’s sponsor benefits from curious fans seeing its brand each time they want to know how fast Jacob DeGrom or Matt Harvey throw. 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting season at Citi Field in Queens. Matt Harvey’s return from Tommy John surgery gives the team a true ace in a rotation bolstered by a hard-throwing and young bullpen. First baseman Lucas Duda is the team’s newest young hope after his breakout season in 2014, and veterans David Wright and Curtis Granderson, who both underperformed last year, will look to bounce back to All-Star form. The front office has built a combination of raw talent and veteran leaders, and Asencio is hoping to capitalize on what he calls a “perfect storm.” At the start of Spring Training, the team’s ticket sales were already up 20 percent. No matter what form advertising takes, Asencio and his team look to be true corporate partners. They’ve created a signature partnership program to attract top clients like Budweiser, Delta, Verizon, Geico, and Citi. Through the program, each partner selects its “signature” ballpark feature, such as the Verizon Studio, Budweiser’s enormous center field sign, or Delta’s high-end club behind home plate.



leaders in marketing

“We call it ‘surprise and delight’ because if we do modern ad sales correctly, we can actually enhance the fan experience” Paul Asencio





leaders in marketing



Top Expert Takeaways Cata Weighs In

“Partnership in MLB today is all about more exposure in more and unique ways.” Paul Asencio

But when Geico asked for TV presence, Asencio showed the full potential of advertising with the Mets. Since the team owns a majority share of New York’s SportsNet television network, he’s not just selling the Mets—he’s selling TV ads, too. Sales teams work with production crews to zoom in on signs or logos to enhance a sponsor’s in-stadium promotion, creating a high-value package deal. In 2014, after polling fans, the Mets redoubled efforts to make Citi Field a popular weekend destination. “Most fans said they would pick Saturday nights to see a game, so our goal is to make every single Saturday night great and sell out each and every time,” Asencio says. Promotions, concerts, and fireworks attract fans. And while Saturdays are also popular, the entire weekend matters. Every Friday is a “Free Shirt Friday.” On Sunday day games, kids can run the bases, meet Mr. Met, or party on Mets Plaza with a DJ, inflatables, and balloon animals. Asencio has been with the Mets for 17 years and he still looks forward to every home game. On game days, he arrives at 9:00 a.m. and works a full business day. Around 5:00p.m., he meets guests and escorts them to the field, where they’ll meet players and watch batting practice. Then, he’ll have dinner at one of the ballpark clubs and make his way to a seat to watch the game. “I still get a thrill every time I come here and smell the hot dogs and the freshcut grass,” he says. “It just never gets old.”

Paul is a great example of a new-age marketer: a leader that understands his brand asset and leverages technology and an integrated experience to build upon the emotional connection with the brand. I love to see examples of how traditional brands and experiences are being transformed via digital technology and new platforms to connect how consumers consume information and entertainment today—and what better and more traditional forum than the great American pastime, baseball? As we think about marketing leadership, there were four elements that caught my eye from how Paul is leading the New York Mets. Leveraging Integrated Media: The Mets understand how to leverage not only the stadium experience, but how all that ties to branded media, TV coverage, and digital connectivity. He understands that it all needs to coordinate and work together to deliver a seamless experience and message. It’s not only OK to watch the Mets; he wants you to feel the Mets and the emotional connection of being in a ballpark, sharing an experience, and hopefully watching your favorite team win. Digital Connectivity: Good leaders get that the experience is complemented with a smartphone in hand, and instead of fighting it, they embrace it. It’s the essence of creating an omni-channel experience that retailers and banks and anyone with a storefront is trying to tap into. Paul recognizes that people are consuming information and entertainment in a different way. It used to be that the only digital you would see in a stadium would be the instant replay on the Jumbotron. Now, with a thumb and a few clicks, you can view schedules, stats, replay, and predictions, all before you spill the ketchup from your hot dog on your jeans. Expanding the Frame of Reference: In marketing speak, this means expanding the field in which you think you compete. Paul and his team at the Mets view their competitive frame beyond a baseball game. This allows them to bring family entertainment to the park and make it about more than just pitches and hits. They create an atmosphere of family wholesome entertainment. It’s those memories that create the emotional ties to the brand and to a favorite team for life. Passion: I love that Paul loves what he does, that he still loves the game, the smell of hot dogs and fresh cut grass. The best marketers I have met over the years love their product and bring those values and energy to push the envelope and innovate. — Carlos Cata, Guest Editor



leaders in marketing


Mondelēz International marketing exec Chris Montenegro McGrath delves into sustainable growth strategies by Urmila Ramakrishnan, photos by Sheila Barabad

Mondelēz International Headquartered: Deerfield, IL Founded: Oct. 1, 2012 Number of employees worldwide: 100,000+ Global reach: Products marketed in 165 countries 2014 revenue: $34 billion


hris Montenegro McGrath is the vice president of global public affairs and sustainability and well-being for snack company Mondelēz International, which owns some of the world’s most recognizable brands like Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate. McGrath’s role is critical in creating marketing strategies that empower the consumer and the company to grow healthfully. She delves into sustainable growth strategies with HE and discusses marketing in broad, global terms.

HE: Your title is a mouthful! Can you break down your role and responsibilities for us? CMM: I grew up in the marketing function with Kraft and now Mondelēz, leading brand P&Ls and then new product innovation teams for many years. Today, I co-lead the corporate and government affairs function of Mondelēz. I am responsible for our entire external stakeholders agenda—from governments to NGOs to social investors. I also lead our sustainability and well-being strategy. I’m particularly passionate about how these two areas help drive our business growth. It’s about how we can make a positive impact to some significant issues that our business is facing. HE: Can you expand on how sustainability and the external stakeholder agenda work together to drive growth? CMM: Sustainability has been a main focus for Mondelēz since 2005. We concentrate on what will drive the growth of our



business and where we can make a positive impact in the world. For example, we created a program called Cocoa Life. As one of the biggest purveyors of cocoa, we want to make sure the supply chain is strong and sustainable. This program consists of thousands of small-holder farmers. They are dealing with a variety of issues. We look at how we can bring innovative new solutions and communicate what we’re doing to have a more positive impact on a broader scale. We’re investing $400 million into this program that works with the cocoa farmers on the ground to help improve both their productivity and empower the communities to be more resilient. That’s how we use our scale to help drive more overall impact, even beyond our own business. We believe in the power of big and small, too. On the large scale, we encourage all of our more than 100,000 employees to volunteer in some kind of community service. We also have the Joy Ambassadors program, where we send 10 employees from around the world and various functions to cocoa farms in Ghana for

Chris Montenegro McGrath VP of Global Public Affairs and Sustainability and Well-Being Mondelēz International



leaders in marketing

two weeks. They go out and live and work with some of these Ghanaian farmers and work in the cocoa communities. We tailor the program from what we hear the cocoa communities need. HE: What is the health and wellness factor of your role? CMM: We’re on a mission to empower consumers to snack mindfully. We work with nutrition and behavioral experts to understand what mindful snacking is and how consumers can live it. We see it as a big opportunity because we see healthy snacking as one of the fastest growing parts of our business.

HE: How does all of this drive growth for the company? CMM: I sit on different leadership teams, which has been terrific in bringing in the lenses of sustainability, wellness, and mindful snacking to the conversation. Having a seat at the table is one great way to make sure our growth aligns with an integrated approach. We also established global nutrition targets that we set for ourselves as a company between now and 2020. In terms of revenue growth, we want to see healthier options as well as focusing more of our portfolio on product options with 200 calories or less. HE: Is marketing for the packaged foods industry



Mondelēz is investing

$400 million into a program that works with

cocoa farmers to help improve productivity and empower communities to be more resilient.

changing? If so, how do you adapt? CMM: With social media, we’re seeing more transparency in the market today. It’s very important to our consumers and stakeholders. Mondelēz International is not going to pretend to have all the answers to complex problems like climate change. We partner with experts to find answers. Sometimes things don’t always work the first time, but it’s about continuing to iterate and coming up with new solutions and being transparent about that. There’s also a strong focus on social media and digital platforms. We look at where our customer base is,


HE: How does Mondelēz’s overall marketing strategy differ from region to region? CMM: We have global power brands, so campaigns should feel similar all over the world. In a global campaign like Wonderfilled for Oreo, the messaging, look, and feel is aligned globally, but it’s then tailored to fit local customs and behaviors. It’s more than just translation; it’s “glocalization.” There are some changes that make sense to consumers, whether it’s different snacking behaviors or global purchasing patterns. Having a little bit more granularity in understanding customer insights and motivation can tailor the execution and strategies for new product innovation, too.

Top Expert Takeaways Cata Weighs In

What is clear about both Chris’ role and Mondelēz’s strategy is that they are playing the long game. As a marketing leader who has developed into a public affairs and sustainability leader, Chris is at the heart of making the world and consumers’ lives better. Sure, Mondelēz wants to sell more products and build stronger brands today, but what is equally important to them is that they do it in a way that creates a longterm platform that is authentic and genuine.

“The world is so small and connected today. We’re very aware of our ability to grow as a business and have a positive impact on the environment and society.” Chris Montenegro McGrath

When I think of marketing and brands, it always comes down to trust and a promise. At the core of trust is integrity and intent. And it is clear through Chris’ work and leadership that they care and seek to build that trust on a global basis. They care about their value chain, they care about farmers, and they care about their consumers on a global basis. In essence, her role seems to be about building that circle of trust with consumers and suppliers across multiple fronts. Suppliers: The Cocoa Life and Joy Ambassador program trust her to protect and respect their supply chain. Healthy Snacking: Mondelēz commits to a nutrition platform and future products developed around healthy alternatives and healthy eating habits.

and we make sure to target them in the most appropriate way. Last year, we hosted our first Google Hangout on mindful snacking with Mondelēz International executives and nutrition experts. We posted clips on YouTube and Facebook and tweeted about it. We hope to continue to expand this into a series of conversations between our brands and our consumers. The world is so small and so connected today. We’re very aware of our ability to grow as a business and to also have a positive impact on the environment and society. It really goes hand in hand.

Glocalization: Chris and her team bring the best global solutions to all regions and design the execution in a way that honors local traditions. Social Connectivity: Creating social media listening posts encourages a conversation for feedback and learning. — Carlos Cata, Guest Editor




future leaders making waves in marketing

Marketing to Insure the Community by Julie Schaeffer


eing Hispanic in Mexico doesn’t make you a target demographic for marketing campaigns. Latinos in the US often say, “I didn’t know I was Latino until I came to the United States.” Annia Zavala not only identifies with that— she leverages her experience to help New York Life Insurance Company effectively reach the Latino market in the US. HE: When was your role created within New York Life Insurance Company, and how has it evolved to what it is now? AZ: The Latino market became a board priority for New York Life Insurance Company in 2008. It expanded its Hispanic marketing function from two to more than 70 employees across the United States. We identified a thirst for information about financial protection among the Hispanic community. Latinos on average underutilize financial products and services, and consequently often miss out on the opportunity to generate and protect multi-generational wealth for their families. My role can help guide the Hispanic community toward getting the right tools. HE: How did you get into Hispanic marketing?



AZ: After college, working as a PR director with the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) in Austin, I had an eye-opening experience. There were organizations like Aetna, Coca-Cola, and New York Life with Latino initiatives. I saw that and thought, “These companies have people who travel to different cities to educate the Latino community? I want a job like that!” HE: And you knew the market well from your upbringing? AZ: Yes, I was born in Brownsville, Texas, but grew up in Mexico, where my parents are from. It was a small town with limited opportunities, but I come from an entrepreneurial family who taught me the importance of thinking big. During the summers, my parents would send us traveling, and when I graduated from high school, they decided to move the family to the States so we could go to college. To this day, I can’t thank them enough for that decision. HE: What was your first job in Hispanic marketing? AZ: I stayed at TAMACC for two years, but when my mom got ill and died of cancer, my life changed forever, and I

moved back to Mission, Texas, where my father and three younger siblings lived. I stayed for two years, working for a real estate company. In 2009, I got a call from New York Life, which was looking for a Latino marketing associate in San Antonio. It was exactly the position I wanted, but I wanted to move back to Austin, and I was blessed in that the company saw something in me and opened the position in the Austin office. We had 12 agents targeting the Latino community, educating them about financial services, but there were 460,000 Latinos in Austin. My job was to grow our agent base. HE: How did you go about achieving that? AZ: I made partnerships with local organizations. I was a member of every Latino association you could think of. I’d go to their meetings, educate people about careers with our company, the importance of financial planning, and bring them in to interview. Our Austin office became one of the company’s fastest growing Latino offices in the country, and in 2012 I was approached about the corporate vice president position. Today I oversee the south central region, managing 34 offices in 14 states with a team of seven associates.

New York Life Insurance Company Headquartered: New York, NY Founded: 1845 About: A Fortune 100 company and one of the largest life insurers in the world, New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), and Standard & Poor’s (AA+).

HE: What have you identified as good ways to grow the company’s Latino business? AZ: The first thing is, look for cities where there are opportunities. For example, we had an office in Orlando, where there’s a huge Latino presence, but we didn’t have enough Latino agents. We hired an associate who, as I did in Austin, educated the community about our Latino market initiative. Once on our team, we help agents by finding opportunities through marketing resources like seminars and events. With offices that don’t have full-time senior associates, we travel there and work with the local management to get air cover for the Latino market. HE: Why is the Hispanic market so important to New York Life? AZ: We realize we have to mirror the communities we serve. There are over 52 million Latinos in the United States today who represent $1.5 trillion of purchasing power. But often they come from countries that don’t have the products we offer here. Sometimes there’s a certain level of superstition regarding life insurance. They

Annia Zavala Corporate VP, Hispanic Market New York Life Insurance


don’t understand that it’s one of the avenues to financial independence. So in 2008, our board made it a mission to educate the community. We have amazing stories in states like Alabama, and there is a great opportunity in heavily Latino markets, like Florida. HE: What have been some of the challenges? AZ: We have to overcome some barriers. Sometimes people look at insurance and say,

“No, thanks, I’m not preparing to die just yet.” And you can’t overcome that through an ad or the Internet; you have to do it in person. I actually hired my sister, who had been an accountant for seven years, into this career, but it was a hard sell. She told me she wanted a change, and when I suggested she work with us, she said, “Me? Sell life insurance? I’d never do that!” And that was my sister. I explained why the job was important; I helped

her understand why a family like ours would want someone who spoke Spanish to help learn about life insurance. Today, I’m so proud to see her success in the company. Our agents come from all backgrounds, and most of them never thought they would be in this career. HE: Is that why you find the job rewarding? AZ: Definitely. When the client calls and says he or she has

been diagnosed with an illness or suffered an accident, we can say, “You will be OK.” Losing a loved one is unbearable, as I know myself, but knowing you’ll be OK makes a difference. That’s what makes me and our agents wake up every morning and get out there in the community. We are dedicated to growing Latino leadership in the financial sector, which is much needed in our industry. We change lives. Not a lot of people get to say that.




future leaders making waves in marketing

Banking on Collaborative Marketing How Remberto Del Real delivers BMO Harris’s commercial and business banking message to its customers by Urmila Ramakrishnan, photo by Sheila Barabad


rowing up in Chicago, Remberto Del Real remembers seeing his father walk out into the frigid winter air to install HVAC systems for people’s homes and businesses. It wasn’t an easy job, but Del Real Sr. put in the long hours and did it regardless of challenging conditions. He wasn’t afraid of rolling up his sleeves. And although his chosen line of work isn’t as physical as his father’s, neither is Del Real. Del Real is the marketing lead for commercial and business banking at BMO Harris Bank. His is a story of self-made success. He was the first in his family to go to college, and his experiences have



BMO Harris Bank Headquartered: Chicago, IL Founded: 1882 Number of Employees: 14,500 Reach: 600 branches and 1,300 ATMs in the US About: BMO Harris is a member of the Federal Reserve System and is owned by BMO Financial Corporation, a holding company owned by Bank of Montreal.

taught him to be a pioneer in the marketing industry. Starting a career in marketing straight out of college was like navigating uncharted waters, he says. “Now, I know to be collaborative, and I have a great network.” Del Real’s collaborative and creative approach to business and commercial bank

marketing has kept BMO current in targeting existing and potential clients. On an average week, he’s working with his team on more than 50 events and sponsorships. Del Real and his team also develop thought-leadership content, which utilizes the expertise of BMO’s bankers. The content is distributed online and to the bank’s clients. He also oversees sponsorships and client events targeting C-level executives. One such event coming up this fall, an annual event, targets female executives. Del Real brings in outside speakers who speak to the issues relevant to the audience. This type of event helps BMO’s bankers develop strong relationships with clients and prospects, contributing ultimately to the bank’s success. “For us, marketing needs to be intuitive, and it needs to have that human touch,” Del Real says. “That’s something that our bankers do every day, and it’s something that adds value.” With marketing becoming increasingly digital, Del Real chooses platforms that make the most sense for BMO. “It seems like there’s a new and different platform every day,” he says. “I need to monitor what platforms work for my company. Digital has definitely changed the landscape for companies as they think about how they go to market. There’s constant change, so there’s also constant opportunity.” Del Real recognizes the importance of increasing the bank’s presence on social media. Before Del Real joined BMO, the commercial bank wasn’t even on LinkedIn.

Responding to the fact that many of the company’s clients utilized the platform, Del Real began creating content for that audience. “If you think of our audience, they’re the financial decision-makers and the CEOs,” Del Real says. “Social media is giving us another opportunity to reach our audience. People can sign up to follow us. Digital marketing allows us to target the folks that we really want to get in front of—unlike a billboard that everybody sees. We use those ‘billboard dollars’ on the web, so we can be a lot more focused in terms of who we reach. We can redirect our advertising dollars when reaching out to our middle market decision makers.” Del Real sees social media as an increasingly viable way to communicate directly with clients and prospects and get their stories out. With smart social networking, BMO can effectively demonstrate how their product or service fills a need, and it allows customers to tell the bank the needs they would like the bank to address. Commercial bank marketing is a relatively new field, and Del Real thinks marketing departments will continue to grow as more strategic partners. The way Del Real sees it, marketing today focuses on letting customers get the word out by sharing their experiences and their stories. Having heard stories from customers about how the company helped them, BMO’s advertising team created the “We’re Here to Help” campaign. This year, the bank will roll out a campaign focused on that message, from all perspectives of banking. At the end of the day, Del Real says that successful marketing

“Social media is giving us another opportunity to reach our audience. People can sign up to follow us. Digital marketing allows us to target the folks that we really want to get in front of—unlike a billboard that everybody sees. We use those ‘billboard dollars’ on the web, so we can be a lot more focused in terms of who we reach.” Remberto Del Real

Remberto Del Real VP, Head of Commercial and Business Banking Marketing BMO Harris

is all about knowing the customer’s need. “You need to be in line with what your business is trying to do,” Del Real says, adding that marketing is often thought of as an area of business in its own bubble with great ideas— but these ideas must extend to the rest of the company. “If you’re not in line with what your commercial bank is trying to do, then you’re not going to be successful. I’ve stayed in business and commercial bank marketing because it allows me to help our bankers build relationships and differentiate our products and services to help us stand out from all other options. And that’s what keeps me energized.”





Solutions beyond banking. We believe they should come standard.



Greenwich Excellence Award



for International Service Small Business Banking

BMO Harris At BMO Harris Commercial Bank, we have expertise in more than twenty industries. And, we make it a point to know each inside and out. That’s how we help make your vision a reality.

Do well by doing good.

Congratulations to Remberto Del Real and the entire team who work to improve their customers’ experience every day

Together let’s explore promising sales career opportunities for you at New York Life. We are looking for English-Spanish and English-Portuguese bilingual professionals.

For more information on how to join our team, please contact us at EOE M/F/D/V

Life Insurance. Retirement. Investments.

Banking products and services subject to bank and credit approval. BMO Harris Commercial Bank is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC.



industry Top-level insight and updates on business in America





by Anthony Kaufman



Lyft’s Veronica Juarez negotiates with governmental officials and navigates technology to open new roads for the ride-sharing service




Being an integral part of an innovative startup is never easy, and Veronica Juarez has arguably the toughest job at Lyft. As director of government relations for the ride-sharing company, Juarez is responsible for negotiating with city officials and regulatory agencies to convince them of the benefits of allowing the new service into their areas, potentially disrupting long-established transportation options. But Juarez, who forged her own major at Stanford University and spent a decade working in California and Texas politics, is not one to back down from challenges. “If you want to build something that pushes the limits, you can’t give in to the idea that this is how it’s been done before,” she says. “You have to push your mode of thinking.” When Juarez joined Lyft in June 2013, the company was operating in just six cities. Today, it has expanded to more than 65 municipalities, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Washington, DC. “The first 13 months were such an incredible wild ride,” says Juarez, who worked closely with Lyft’s executive team to green-light markets and start building coalitions to “walk with us and forge new paths in transportation,” she says. “On Monday, we would talk about what cities we’d be evaluating, and then I’d be on a plane to those cities later in the week.” Juarez’s central role is to educate. “Our mission at Lyft is to fill all the empty seats on the road,” she says, “connecting people, creating community, and


San Francisco, CA


June 2012


400+ (100,000+ drivers)


2 (SF and NYC)


65 cities

Lyft is a privately held transportation network company. The company’s mobile app facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride to drivers who have a car.

TRANSPORTATION NATION Orlando, Denver, Philadelphia, and Portland are the most recent cities to have launched Lyft. Look for the service’s friendly mustache emblem in cities nationwide.





“Our mission at Lyft is to fill all the empty seats on the road.” Veronica Juarez

VERONICA JUAREZ Government Relations Director Lyft

building the most efficient transportation system. Throughout the legislative process, we educate policy-makers on our mission and potential safety regulations so that we’re on the same page when it comes time to vote. When I walk into a room to meet with local leaders,” she continues, “typically, these people have never heard about Lyft. My goal by the time I walk out is for them to see the value that Lyft can bring to their community and broader transit system.” But Juarez admits it can be difficult. “Governments are looking for ways to regulate, and we’re working for ways to innovate,” she says. “Inevitably, there’s going to be some natural tension between the



two.” However, by walking a line that is both “respectful and collaborative,” they have been able to enter cities that were initially resistant to Lyft. “It’s only going to be successful if we do it together,” she says. For example, Austin, TX, was initially not ready for Lyft when the company first approached the city, according to Juarez. But she insisted that the tech-savvy and traffic-heavy metropolis would be a natural fit. After a spate of drunk driving incidents, residents began to press government officials on expanding the city’s safe transportation options. “We built a team on the ground and began starting the conversation: ‘You have a problem, we have a solution,’” Juarez says. There was some

initial pushback, but now Lyft is widely accepted in the city. Because of the increased options, drunk driving in the city has been cut in half, according to Juarez. However, in Juarez’s nearby hometown of Houston, Lyft had to leave the area after driving there for several months. “That’s a very good example of a city that doesn’t immediately see the value that Lyft can offer residents,” she says. “As my hometown, it was disappointing that we couldn’t make it work.” Though she challenged the city government’s new restrictive policies and argued the financial benefits of their enterprise—“What other company leaves 80 percent of its profits with the local



As Lyft’s first Director of Governmental Relations, Veronica has been instrumental in Lyft’s emergence as a leader in the evolving peer-to-peer rideshare industry—an industry that is revolutionizing how people commute and travel.

Hometown hero Veronica has her roots in Houston, Texas, where she became a proud graduate of River Oaks Elementary School. Houston is also home to the founding office of Baker Botts L.L.P., celebrating 175 years as a full-service, leading international law firm.



Congratulations to our client and friend

VERONICA JUAREZ Director of Government Relations Lyft, Inc.

For the recognition of her many accomplishments by Hispanic Executive

Public affairs specialists in advocating for free markets, ridesharing and the Texas consumer.

Our team is proud to represent Lyft in Texas,

and memorable rides. Kirra Consulting, LLC Los Angeles, CA 877-651-6672 54


Veronica Juarez

welcoming, affordable

Kirra specializes in advising organizations on public affairs and public policy issues bridging the gap between business and government.

“What other company leaves 80 percent of its profits with the local economy?”

leading the way for



economy?”—Lyft ceased operations in Houston as of last November. Still, Juarez hasn’t given up. She continues to lobby Texas on new regulations that would cover the entire state. As Juarez helps steer the company’s expansion plans, she’s also deeply involved in increasing their customer base in existing markets. In Los Angeles, for example, Lyft’s second largest market, they’re doing a lot of outreach into communities of color, both Hispanic and African American. “This is a passion project of mine. I believe this can work and be replicated across the country,” she says. Lyft also prides itself on the level of diversity that exists within its ranks. About half of the company’s top 30 executives are female. According to Juarez, this happened organically, without outside pressures. “It’s really simple,” she says. “When you think about what you’re trying to do—connect people in their cars and encourage them to share their seats—that’s not an exclusive experience, and if you want to appeal to every group across the board, you have to build a team that represents that diversity.” Going forward, Juarez believes that immense opportunities still exist in the personal transit space. Noting that transportation is the second largest household expense for US citizens, she suggests that working families could do so much more with their earnings if they abandoned that first or second vehicle. “How liberating and empowering that would become,” she says. “And for low-income families, who will spend up to one-third of their income on transportation, they could be spending that money on school, afterschool programs, or college.” Simply put, “it can improve quality of life,” Juarez says.


Big-Picture Consolidation Eliseo Rojas, the first chief procurement officer at Interpublic Group of Companies, is leveraging the agency’s size to consolidate purchasing and reduce costs by Julie Schaeffer


ELISEO ROJAS Chief Procurement Officer Interpublic Group

n 2006, Interpublic Group, one of the world’s largest holding companies of marketing and advertising agencies, hired its first chief procurement officer and implemented a global sourcing program. “The opportunity to start with a blank piece of paper and build from scratch was really exciting,” says Eliseo Rojas, who filled the role. Rojas, who graduated from Columbia University and started his career on Wall Street, had been with global procurement firm Cendant for two years when he got the call. His role at Interpublic Group (IPG) would be to take advantage of the holding company’s size to consolidate purchasing. Under the IPG umbrella are nearly a hundred advertising agency brands, including such well-known names as Deutsch, Foote Cone & Belding (FCB), Lowe, The Martin Agency, McCann, R/GA, and Weber Shandwick. Across those agencies, 47,400 employees purchase products and services on behalf of thousands of clients. Consolidating those purchases would save a great deal of money. That’s where Rojas came in nearly ten years ago and continues to reduce costs for IPG. “We take a look at the spend across regions, categories, and brands, and consolidate contracts in order to bring our agencies pricing they wouldn’t be able to get on their own,” says Rojas, who points to the pooling of insurance contracts outside the United States as one example. “By consolidating more than 600 insurance contracts under two providers, we significantly reduced spend on insurance purchased








New York, NY


1960 with McCann-Erickson and MCannMarschalk as its two subsidiaries






100+ countries


$7.54 billion


Internationally, the largest advertising conglomerates, called “the big four,” are Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP.


outside the United States, supporting the organization in a way that brings value to our clients and shareholders.” In the past five years or so, digital changed the advertising industry permanently. “TV is still big, but now every young person has a device of some sort,” says Rojas. “Our agencies have to reach those individuals, as they always have, but now they have to reach those individuals with a message designed not just for that individual but also specific to that medium.” In terms of reaching the individual, Rojas refers to the growing Hispanic market in the United States. “Clients are putting pressure on agencies to better understand the Hispanic market, which holds tremendous economic potential,” he says. Rojas himself is a native of Peru and came to the United States in 1973 as a teenager, not speaking a word of English. Since 1970, the Hispanic population has increased by 592 percent—more than 10 times the growth rate of the US population as a whole, which has grown by 56 percent over the same period. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, Hispanics made up more than half of US population growth. According to the US Census Bureau population


Interpublic Group is one of the world’s largest holding companies of over 100 marketing and advertising agencies.

program design


Interpublic Group’s Major Geographic Regions by Revenue 2014 in US dollars

best practices Latin America $470.4 million


United Kingdom $688.3 million

Continental Europe $804.7 million


6% 9% 11%


13.5% Asia Pacific $922.5 million




Other $457.2 million


United States $4.18 billion


“Clients are putting pressure on agencies to better understand the Hispanic market, which has tremendous economic potential.” Eliseo Rojas

projections, the Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, or roughly double what it is today. To assist with messaging, all of IPG’s agencies now include digital skills as a core competency. In addition to automating media buying, for example, “IPG has created a media lab where clients come in and test some of latest technologies to see if they would have a significant impact on how products are presented to general market,” Rojas says. One challenge here is ensuring that IPG understands the business challenges facing agencies with different clients and requirements—and ensuring that agencies understand what the global sourcing and chief procurement function bring to the table, then translating that understanding into deals that benefit clients and, ultimately, help IPG drive margin expansion. “We continue to focus on reducing costs across the organization because clients are rightly putting a lot of pressure on our agencies to ensure they’re delivering the latest services, but at an appropriate economic level,” Rojas says. Recently, Rojas’s group has expanded its horizons and looked into additional ways it can bring value to IPG’s agencies. “We’re looking more at what we can do to help the organization increase its top line, so revenue generation is where our focus has been over the last couple of years,” says Rojas, explaining that this may involve anything from bringing services inhouse when IPG has competencies to introducing agencies to suppliers and other corporate partners so they might win new business. Still, the biggest key to success is simply listening, according to Rojas. “I really have to understand what agencies, who are really our internal clients, need and what I can do to help them grow their businesses,” he says. The challenge with

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such a widespread organization, whose global reach spans well over 100 countries, is getting that message across. To that end, Rojas and his team invest significantly in travel, especially outside the United States, in Europe and Asia, to meet face-to-face with stakeholders at agencies and ensure they can help them with their challenges. “It’s a win-win,” Rojas says. “When you deliver on clients’ needs, you gain credibility, and then people are more willing to listen to the next deal you bring to the table.” Atrium is focused on contingent workforce management for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies. Expertise includes staffing, employer of record payrolling, independent contractor engagement and intern program management. Leveraging its Applicant-Centric ™ philosophy, Atrium partners to design custom programs, mitigate employment risk, achieve compliance, create savings, and accomplish diversity goals.

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FIDEL MARQUEZ SVP, Legislative and External Affairs and Chief Governmental and Community Relations Officer ComEd




Modernizing the Electric Grid Fidel Marquez on his long tenure at ComEd and the utility’s vision for the future as told to Julie Edwards, photos by Sheila Barabad

I was born and grew up in south Chicago and attended Bowen High School—which is where my interest in engineering began. I earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. While I was in school, I was lucky to get an internship at ComEd. I did that for three summers before starting my career here. One of my strengths is my breadth of experience at this company. I started in engineering and over the last 34 years had assignments in HR, did an IT project—before it was even called IT—worked on the financial side, on the customer side, in operations, and I’m now on the government side and in public affairs. So, I have a broad understanding of the business. My current title is Senior VP Legislative & External Affairs and Chief Governmental Affairs & Community Relations Officer. My responsibilities include developing and nurturing relationships with ComEd’s key stakeholders. I also serve as the face of ComEd in emergency/crisis situations such as the recent tornadoes in northern Illinois. One of my most valuable skills is the ability to explain complex subjects like the electric industry in terms that lay people can understand. Economic development is one of my areas of responsibility. We have been working with economic development councils and other groups and have been able to attract more than 60 data centers/server farms to the Chicagoland area. We

leveraged a variety of resources such as generally lower energy prices than in other cities and availability of water for cooling the servers to attract this business. Bringing business to northern Illinois is good for the economy and ComEd. My team includes 135 people—from senior lobbyists in Springfield to external affairs managers in the community to account representatives to the corporate relations group. I would say my leadership style is situational. People, circumstances, and conditions vary, and you need to take everything into consideration to determine the best approach. My leadership approach has evolved over the years. My first leadership job was very task-oriented, very technical. So, it was about getting things done. My assignments now are broader. So a lot of my time is spent strategically, setting long-term goals and attracting and developing talent—moving the organization forward. A lot of economic factors and trends impact our business. In the economic downturn of 2008, growth came to a halt in the United States, and Chicago wasn’t spared. Businesses cut back on production, which had a direct impact on ComEd. Other things that impact our business: the speed at which technology is evolving. And customers want renewable sources of energy, local sources of energy—like rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines— or fuel cells for commercial customers.


Chicago, IL




3.8 million in northern Illinois


$4.56 billion

ComEd is an energy delivery company. Part of Exelon Corporation, ComEd manages more than 90,000 miles of power lines in an area covering 11,400 square miles and includes more than 400 municipalities.

That is challenging and changing the way the electric grid has been operating for the last 120 years. Until now, large central power plants generated electricity and sent it where customers needed it: to a business, factory, or residence. Now, sources of power may be on someone’s rooftop or in their backyard. Energy is flowing to consumers—but also sometimes from consumers back to the grid. We have to complete these transactions from a financial perspective—as well as operate the grid. People who install solar panels can bypass the grid to some extent. But there are cloudy days and nighttime, so people can’t totally disconnect from the grid. The problem is that people who can’t afford to install solar panels—or who live in condos or apartments—are subsidizing the grid costs for the people who have solar panels. We’ve introduced legislation to address that issue. Our goal is for everyone to pay their fair share for the grid.




> Electrical and Mechanical Construction

> Utility Projects

> Energy Infrastructure

> Facility Services

> Design Build

MZI Group, Inc. | 1937 W Fulton Street | Chicago, Illinois 60612 p 312-492-8740 | e


“Since 2012, there have been more than 3.3 million customer interruptions avoided due to the smart grid. More than 3000 jobs have been created, fueling economic growth. And our storm response has improved by 30 percent.” Fidel Marquez

Another factor affecting ComEd is climate change, which has made the weather more violent and unpredictable. Weather events can damage infrastructure. Customers want infrastructure that is more resilient in the face of huge storms, especially for critical facilities such as hospitals and water systems that need to keep operating in a catastrophe. We started building out the smart grid here in northern Illinois. We’re now in our fourth year. Our goal is to improve reliability. Thousands of smart switches have been installed on the grid that can isolate problems during a storm. In the past, 2000 customers might have lost power due to a storm; now, a couple of hundred might. Since 2012, there have been more than 3.3 million customer interruptions avoided due to the smart grid. More than 3000 jobs have been created, fueling economic growth. And our storm response has improved by 30 percent. We’re also installing

smart meters to enable customers to better manage their energy bills. The design lets customers conserve energy, which saves money. Smart meters help them better understand their energy usage. Customer expectations also impact our business. Social media dominates today. Phones as a form of contact are being replaced by texting, Facebook, Twitter, etcetera—and customers wanted to communicate with us that way. So, we had to adapt. A project I worked on that I am particularly proud of is our mobile app to get information to customers on their smart phones. I led the development of that app and it has really sparked an incredible wave of innovation here. We started looking at things more creatively and in a more customer-focused way over the last three or four years. Every day brings new challenges. I have found that the key is to develop anticipatory skills, what I call “looking around the corner.” You have to try to anticipate

what will happen next in the industry, the country, the world, with technology, consumer trends—they all affect businesses. Of course, you’ll never be able to anticipate everything. You have to be able to assess and respond, look at many perspectives to give a good response. We’re currently working on a project called Utility of the Future to plot out what the future looks like. That includes our role in creating that future as well as how will we adapt to changes in technology and customers’ expectations and desires. We want to remain a critical part of the economy and community for years to come. MZI Group, Inc. is a Hispanic and veteran company with a strong business relationship with ComEd. As a diverse business partner with ComEd, Fidel has been a great advocate for our business and the many other diverse businesses working with ComEd. We are driven to produce the best service for ComEd and its customers by innovating the design and productivity of its systems, making the future a smarter way in using energy.





Dawn of a New Day (BANKING)

Out of the frying pan, into the fire? It could have felt that way when veteran banker Jorge Gonzalez moved from Wachovia to City National Bank of Florida in 2008. Instead, he brought CNB a whole new light by Kelli Lawrence



that had first appealed to Gonzalez—“It seemed like it coincided with my DNA, so I stuck around,” he says of his decision to go into banking—and it was his ability to see an opportunity in every crisis that has allowed CNB to become one of the largest financial institutions in the state. The current numbers for CNB speak for themselves: more than $4.1 billion in deposits, nearly $6 billion in assets, 470 employees, and 26 banking centers between Orlando and Miami (compared to only 18 back in 2008). Gonzalez credits strong client relationships, good communication as they worked to “find mutual solutions in the best interest of everyone involved,” and customer loyalty for allowing CNB to thrive during the recession. Drawing a comparison to Florida’s most common natural disaster, “most banks went through a category five,” Gonzalez says, “but I think we have a clientele that weathered the storm better than most... I


Miami, FL








$5.6 billion

City National Bank of Florida is a community bank with banking centers throughout Florida including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, the Treasure Coast, and Orlando.

feel like we only went through a category three.” Hurricane analogies aside, Gonzalez and his team have worked tirelessly since 2008 to strengthen CNB in a variety of ways. One big area of focus is diversification; CNB now strikes a fair balance between small and medium corporate clients, a private client group, personal and business banking, and commercial real


There’s a part of Jorge Gonzalez that keeps it very simple when explaining why southern Florida has such a successful banking industry. It’s the part that looks around at the state’s inherent beauty, the part that feels the sun and warmth Florida has to offer. “It’s not a bad place to come spend a week to do business,” he muses. But he’s been a banking fixture in the region long enough to know there’s much more to it than that. A Miami native, Gonzalez spent two decades in various capacities—including regional president for Southeast Florida—with financial services giant Wachovia before it was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008. That was when he became president and CEO of City National Bank (CNB) of Florida, a position he’s held ever since. Of course, that also means he took over at CNB as banking entered one of its darkest economic hours in recent memory. But it was the quick-moving, growth and sales-driven nature of the industry


Greenspoon Marder Law congratulates Jorge Gonzalez, President & CEO of City National Bank, on his accomplishments within the community. His passion and dedication inspire us all. Greenspoon Marder Law has been committed to providing sophisticated and innovative client services for over 30 years. Our goals are to understand the challenges that you face and craft creative solutions designed to help you achieve your long-term strategies. JORGE GONZALEZ President and CEO City National Bank of Florida

Aventura | Boca Raton | Fort Lauderdale Miami | Naples | Orlando | Port St. Lucie Tampa | West Palm Beach JULY | AUG 2015 HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM




“There’s so much potential in a market that’s growing very rapidly, has global visibility, and is seeing capital flow into it from all over the world.” Jorge Gonzalez

Congratulations Jorge Gonzalez on being featured in this month’s issue of Hispanic Executive!

FINANCE REAL ESTATE CORPORATE LAW COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SunTrust Center 515 East Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 850 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

(954) 766-9930 | 64


estate (the overwhelming favorite among most financial institutions in southern Florida). Another focus is on technology, in which CNB has invested heavily. Gonzalez sees it as a crucial component of the banking business as they attempt to develop multiple channels of communication with clients. “You really have to have a cohesive platform to be able to deliver products and services to current and future clientele,” he says. Cybersecurity is a term that goes hand in hand with technology nowadays, which means it’s of great importance to CNB as well. As might be expected, Gonzalez strives to keep on par with bigger banks regarding such critical matters. But that’s because CNB chooses to be selective with its focus, listening closely to its clients rather than providing an unnecessarily broad offering. “You can’t be everything to everyone,” Gonzalez stresses. “You have to select your clientele, understand exactly what it is they want and need, how they want it, how they need it, and then deliver it. For us, it’s a reverse engineering of the


strategy based on what the market is demanding.” No matter what’s going on in the market at any given time, he sees banking as a people-driven business—and conducts business accordingly. Employee recruitment, employee retention, and a thorough understanding of company culture are all paramount to Gonzalez’s vision of people working towards a common goal for CNB. Conversely, the people that CNB serve— the communities, to be more specific—motivate Gonzalez and his team to improve at every turn. After all, the more the bank grows, the more it can give. “We’re extremely dedicated to giving back to the communities we do business with,” he says. “And we spend a lot, both in dollars and manpower, giving back to organizations that help make our communities better.” For all of CNB’s impressive growth, Gonzalez is confident there is plenty more to come. Between South Florida being one of the more prolific banking markets in the state and CNB itself possessing a relatively small market share (“maybe one and a half to two percent,” he says), the bigger opportunities are a backyard away. “That bodes well for us,” Gonzalez says. “We can leverage our plan, our market potential, our infrastructure, and our people without having to go far beyond our current footprint. There’s so much potential in a market that’s growing very rapidly, has global visibility, and is seeing capital flow into it from all over the world. “Banks tend to have a short memory,” he adds. “And as soon as the competition picks up, some banks have a tendency to lose a little discipline. So at City National, we spend a lot of time talking about how we’re not going to sacrifice quality and control for growth. We’re going to do what’s right... and the growth will come.” Greenspoon Marder Law is a full-service business law firm headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With a team of more than 160 attorneys in 11 offices across Florida, we serve Fortune 500, middle-market public/ private companies, start-ups, emerging businesses, and entrepreneurs across the United States. For more information, visit:


Building a Stronger Community Greenberg Traurig joins Hispanic Executive in honoring Jorge Gonzalez of City National Bank for his leadership, philanthropy and contributions to the growth of our community.

Miami Roots, Global Reach. RICHARD J. GIUSTO | SHAREHOLDER 333 SE 2ND AVENUE | SUITE 4400 MIAMI, FL 33131 | 305.579.0500

G R E E N B E R G T R A U R I G , L L P | AT T O R N E Y S AT L AW | W W W. G T L AW. C O M Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2015 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. 24957





Class Act Bain Capital’s Adriana Rojas on becoming an in-house leader and her passion for empowering other young Latinas as told to Julie Edwards


Boston, MA




Approximately 950


13, with locations in the US (4 offices), London, Munich, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Dublin, and Melbourne


Bain Capital has invested in some of the world’s best-known brands including Staples, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Bright Horizons, and Dunkin’ Donuts.


Bain Capital Children’s Charity has benefited over 350 organizations that support and care for children.

Bain Capital, founded by politician Mitt Romney and partner Bill Bain, is a global alternative investment firm. It specializes in private equity, venture capital, credit products, and absolute return investments. Bain Capital invests across a range of industry sectors and geographic regions.



I am the oldest child of two Colombian immigrants who never went to college. Even so, education was the most important thing in our household. We went to parochial school and private school and there was never a question of what was next—we knew we would go to college. I got a scholarship to Boston College and took out some loans to pay for the rest. Graduating from college and then furthering my education was a big deal to my family, who sacrificed so much. After college, I took a job as an assistant buyer for FAO Schwarz in New York. I worked there two years, then decided to go back to school. I had always thought it would be interesting to be a lawyer, and several of my friends went to law school. So, I applied to and was accepted at Boston College Law School. My first job was as a corporate associate for a midsize law firm in Boston. I did that for a couple of years but didn’t love it. Then I spent almost two years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Boston called Neighborhood of Affordable Housing. I helped people modify their mortgages so they wouldn’t go into foreclosure—I helped them understand what they were signing. Most clients were native Spanish speakers, so it was a challenge learning all of the legal documents and trying to figure out a way to translate it into “non-legalese” Spanish. It was very different from working at a law firm. I’m a people person, so I enjoyed working closely with the clients. My work involved a lot of negotiating with banks, and I found that

my law firm skills were transferable. It was rewarding work, but it was very draining, too. So, I started looking for a new job. A recruiter got me an interview at Bain Capital. I didn’t hear back from them for about six months—but the recruiter assured me they were still interested. They eventually did call me back for a second interview. Now that I’ve been working here for a while, I see that’s just how they do it. They take their time and interview extensively to make sure it’s a good fit. Bain Capital is a private investment firm, now in its 30th year. The company started as a single-fund, single-asset class firm and now manages about $80 billion in


ADRIANA ROJAS Assistant General Counsel


Bain Capital

assets. My title is assistant general counsel. I’m in the Capital Markets Group, which includes the three public side business units: Absolute Return Capital, Brookside Capital, and Sankaty Advisors. My responsibilities include monitoring and reporting securities positions as well as managing the review of all research/ service contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and general contracts that come in. In the five years I’ve been here, my responsibilities have continued to expand. This firm really lets you explore new areas to see what interests you. There’s flexibility to do that. For example, we used to use outside vendors and outside counsel

to handle filings, but I had that function moved in-house. I provide training on this. It is much more efficient. Now, I’m starting to get into fund formation work. There’s a whole team involved. The team comes up with ideas for new funds, then we [the legal team] work with outside counsel on drafting the documents for those new funds. This job is different every day. That has helped me develop the ability to think outside the box and has made me see how important it is to really consider the effects of my decisions. I’ve also learned that you can’t always know everything. So, it’s okay to say you don’t know the answer

to a question, but you will get back to them later. One of my biggest challenges in life was that, since my parents didn’t go to college, I didn’t have role models for professional careers in my family. I had to find mentors and advisors who understood my background. I have had some very good mentors. There are so many smart, wonderful people working at Bain Capital. I want to learn as much as possible from them. I also joined ALPFA [the Association of Latino Professions for America], which has a large membership in Boston. I found several good mentors there. I’m now on the national board for ALPFA.



Fried Frank proudly supports our good friend and partner

Adriana Rojas of Bain Capital

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP 68



“My main focus is helping young Latinas. They should shoot for the moon. They can’t let themselves be limited by preconceived notions or by people telling them they can’t do something... I want them to know that everything is possible for them.” Adriana Rojas

I feel it’s important for me to mentor and give back to the community, too. When my law school reaches out, I’m happy to go talk to the students. But my main focus is helping young Latinas. I want to convey the message that they should shoot for the moon. They can’t let themselves be limited by preconceived notions or by people telling them they can’t do something. I tell them it takes a lot of work, and they’ll need help along the way—from friends and mentors pushing and pulling them up. And I tell them not to be afraid to ask questions. I want them to know that everything is possible for them. I work with students at Esperanza Academy, an all-girls school for grades five through eight. The school is funded totally through donations. One of the things I do is invite the girls to Bain Capital when we have “shadow” days. The girls come to work and see all the opportunities available to them. I also run in the Boston Marathon for the Bottom Line organization, which helps first-generation students get into college. Because of my background, I bring a different perspective to Bain Capital, and I think it’s appreciated. This is truly my dream legal job.”





Full Stream Ahead by Bridgett Novak

marisa brutoco, who began her career with the world bank, now serves as corporate counsel for google/ youtube. She sits down with HE to talk about her unusual career

path and why she is passionate about leveraging technology and digital media to create meaningful connections.


Mountain View, CA





Google is a global, online search engine and advertising platform.


San Bruno, CA




YouTube was purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

YouTube is an online platform that allows people to post, watch, and share videos.

You started your career right out of college at World Bank. How did you end up there? I was a major in international relations at Stanford. I worked with an advisor at Stanford, [former US ambassador to Russia] Michael McFaul on democratization and had focused on political and economic development, which led to an internship at the World Bank. While in DC, I spent time working on good governance’s impact on better economic outcomes and studying with Joseph Stiglitz, the World Bank’s chief economist (from 1997 to 2000), who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. It sounds like engaging and meaningful work. Why didn’t you continue on that path? Everyone at the World Bank had their master’s degree, PhD, or JD, so I felt I needed go back to school to continue my education. I didn’t want to teach, and I wanted to have different options to continue to work on international issues, so law school seemed like the best choice. Was it during law school that you interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies? Yes. I continued similar work that I had done at the World Bank with a focus on preventive diplomacy, specifically civil wars in energy rich regions, including



advising Congress on an oil pipeline in Africa. I knew after that experience that I wanted to practice international law, not just international policy. After law school, you worked in the Palo Alto/Silicon Valley offices of two firms, which must have put you at the epicenter of some exciting deals. Tell us what that was like. I wanted to do intellectual property law, since I realized that technology was the quickest and possibly one of the best ways to foster international development. I had always wanted to be on the transactional side of IP, so after a year of doing IP litigation at Dechert, I took a job as an associate in the technology-transactions department at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. I got to work with some of the major high-tech companies in the Valley. I also helped develop our group’s sports digital media practice. I worked on a startup called Yardbarker, which was a large sports blog network that was acquired by Fox Sports, and a sports digital media investment and consulting business that was co-founded by Ronnie Lott, a former San Francisco 49er, and Issac Vaughn, a former partner at the firm. Why did you leave Wilson Sonsini? I had been there just over four years. Apple had been reaching out to me for a while, and I really enjoyed the business aspect of the deals I was working on. So I took a job in-house as corporate counsel for iTunes. I worked on commercial contracts, licensing and distribution agreements for video content. It was a great first in-house job, and I wasn’t planning on leaving so soon, but then I heard about the Google/YouTube position. I thought I’d be able to work on more diverse initiatives and have a broader platform—and still be with a great cutting-edge company. It has proven to be all that and more. You’ve had the opportunity to do pro bono work on top of all that. What makes you passionate about that type of work? I have done a lot of pro bono work, focusing on youth development, education, and the arts, advising nonprofits such as Students Rising Above, All Stars Helping Kids, and the San Francisco Museum for


MARISA BRUTOCO Corporate Counsel Google/YouTube






Around the Corner Across the World

“I have done deals with Congress and ensured that the White House and State Department are able to use our live streaming functionality.“ Marisa Brutoco

Our 1800 attorneys from 37 global offices come together with a single purpose: to help visionaries achieve their goals. We salute Marisa Brutoco and applaud all that she has accomplished with Google/YouTube.


Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2015 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. Contact: Ian Ballon in Silicon Valley at 650.328.8500 or Scott Bornstein in New York at 212.801.9200. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 25110



Modern Art. I also did IP work for Santa Clara University. Doing this work was a continuation of an interest in pro bono that was sparked at Stanford Law with the Stanford Community Law Clinic and my dedication to public service that began when my father started a national nonprofit when I was younger, Lifesavers Foundation for America. Now I continue that commitment via my board service, including Stanford Law School’s Board of Visitors, Santa Clara University’s Institute for Sports Law and Ethics, and Stanford Athletics’ Board of Directors. Let’s talk more about your current role. You’ve been with Google/YouTube since August 2010. What projects have you most enjoyed working on? One of my focus areas continues to be premium sports content. I worked on numerous deals regarding content for YouTube, Google Play, and Google Search’s Onebox with the major sports leagues from the NBA to MLB, college conferences like the Pac-12, networks like Fox Sports, and the US Olympic Committee. I also focus on live streaming. I handled the deal to live stream the Red Bull Stratos jump, when Felix Baumgartner took a helium balloon 24 miles into space, jumped out, and became the first human to break the sound barrier without any form of engine power. The jump was viewed live by over 9.5 million people, the most concurrent views ever on YouTube. Another exciting project I worked on was the video meeting between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

in October 2011. The Dalai Lama wanted to visit the Archbishop for his 80th birthday, but the South African government wouldn’t issue him a visa. So he used live Hangout on Google+, which was using YouTube’s live streaming technology. The video is still available on YouTube. In addition, I have done deals with Congress and ensured that the White House and State Department are able to use our live streaming functionality. It has been great to see people like my former advisor, Ambassador McFaul, promote the use of social and online media to communicate directly with people and promote diplomacy in a digital era. Which brings us full circle. Your role with one of the world’s leading technology companies is enabling you to break down barriers and facilitate communication and change in disparate places, which was one of your goals when you worked in international development. That’s right. Additionally, we have launched our YouTube nonprofit program worldwide, worked with education partners from Coursera to the UC system, and helped various news outlets make their content worldwide and live streamed if they choose to do so. In these cases, we have used our technology to give people access to all types of content, to enable people to learn about different world views, and to be exposed to the ideas of influential leaders as well as people like themselves. It’s an honor and a challenge to try to make things like that happen.


Lodging Giant Litigator by Bridgett Novak

prior to joining marriott, michael martinez was assistant us attorney and a partner at three different law firms, including

Crowell & Moring, where he represented individual government defendants, among others, and won compensation for victims of terrorism. Now, the senior VP and associate general counsel for Marriott International brings his Supreme Court-level legal experience to one of the world’s most diverse companies. Martinez talks shop with HE—getting into what its like to go up against the government of Iran, giving insight into the Marriott culture, as well as the challenges facing the hospitality industry.

Before we talk about your current role at Marriott, can you tell us about the $353 million judgment you won against Iran? The case, Sutherland v. the Islamic Republic of Iran, was filed on behalf of Thomas Sutherland and his family. Sutherland was kidnapped by Hezbollah in 1985 while serving a term as dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut and held hostage in horrific conditions for six-anda-half years. Evidence showed that the Iranian government had been providing financial support to Hezbollah and fomenting unrest in Lebanon, including the 1983 bombings of the US embassy and Marine barracks. The Sutherland family collected approximately $58 million. The balance of the judgment was for punitive damages, which the Sutherlands chose to forgo. How did you get the case? Another lawyer referred the case to me. He knew that I had represented numerous government officials while an Assistant US Attorney and had argued a case before the US Supreme Court. After the Sutherland case, one of my partners at Crowell & Morning and I got a reputation for representing victims of terrorism and ended up handling about a dozen more cases.

You also argued two cases before the Supreme Court. Tell us about those. Kimberlin v. Quinlan involved a federal prisoner’s claim that he had been unlawfully segregated and thus not able to tell the media about his alleged sale of marijuana to vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle. It was filed against Bureau of Prisons director J. Michael Quinlan and another person. After oral arguments, the Court, to my disappointment, issued a one-line order remanding it back to Circuit Court. Ashcroft v. Iqbal was a case brought against multiple US officials over the holding of illegal aliens at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after 9/11. They were held until it was determined they had a right to be in the country. Dennis Hasty was the MDC’s warden at the time and my client. We were successful in getting the Supreme Court to issue a landmark decision, which is cited in countless motions to dismiss.

MICHAEL MARTINEZ SVP and Associate General Counsel Marriott


Bethesda, MD




Nearly $14 billion


Marriott operates, manages, and franchises hotels comprising 19 brands, 4,100 properties, and 690,000 rooms in 80 countries.

Marriott International is an American diversified hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels worldwide.

What led to your decision to go inhouse? A friend I’d worked with in the US Attorney’s office recommended me for the job at Marriott. I thought it would be challenging and interesting, and Marriott has a reputation for being a great company



innovation that comes from knowing your business.

GIVE HIM A HAND. DLA Piper joins Hispanic Executive in recognizing Marriott International Executive Mike Martinez for his contributions to the community.


Jenner & Block LLP is Crowell & Moring is proud to partner with more than one-third of the Fortune 100, as we help them handle their most pressing disputes and solve their most complex regulatory challenges. We make it our priority to know our clients’ businesses, and we work hand-in-hand with the executives and in-house legal teams who drive innovation at their organizations. More than two-thirds of Crowell & Moring lawyers are litigators, and our Regulatory Department includes 100 former government officials who have held positions from the White House and Capitol Hill to nearly every federal agency. We help the companies with the greatest vision see the path that will get them there.

pleased to recognize Mike Martinez of Marriot International for his inspiring vision, intellect, and leadership.

DLA Piper Marriott Client Service Team

Holly Drumheller Butler, Robert J. Mathias, Mark Muedeking, Michael P. O’Day and Ian Taylor, The Marbury Building, 6225 Smith Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209 | Stephen P. Davidson and Christopher P. Hall, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 | Richard Marks,500 Eighth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

DLA Piper LLP (US) is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. Further details of these entities can be found at | Attorney Advertising





leadership development program 15 years ago. We have annual diversity objectives that are monitored throughout the company. Our CEO, Arne Sorenson, has called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and we just signed on to a brief calling on the Supreme Court to make gay marriage legal. These issues are not only important for business—they involve basic human rights.

*SED DE SABER™ is an educational tool available to all Marriott associates. It is an electronic learning system developed by Retention Education, LLC. It uses storytelling, voice recording, games, and review exercises to build and improve English language skills. The English as a second language (ESL) curriculum is combined with Leapfrog’s Quantum Pad Plus Microphone™, allowing the learner to record, playback, and compare his or her voice to the word or phrase being learned to improve pronunciation skills.

to work for. I applied, met with the general counsel and several senior executives, and was offered the job. I had worked in government and private practice for many years. This job gave me the third leg of the stool in a well-rounded legal career. So how do you like working inhouse? Is Marriott, in fact, a great company to work for? Absolutely—on so many scores. In

fact, Marriott has been named one of the “world’s most ethical companies” by Ethisphere for the past five years. In 2015, the list included companies from 21 countries. How does Marriott score when it comes to diversity and inclusion? Marriott is one of the best companies in the world when it comes to diversity. We launched our diversity and inclusion program 25 years ago and our women’s

What does the company do to attract and retain Hispanic employees? In general, there are tremendous opportunities for Hispanics in the hospitality industry—not just in the hotels themselves, but in construction, finance, HR, marketing, and administration. On program I particularly like is the Sed de Saber* program, launched by Marriott in 2006, which teaches English to Spanish-speaking employees and Spanish to English-speaking employees via a portable device. There has been a 65-percent increase in English proficiency throughout the company since it started, which has enhanced communication between managers, employees, and guests. The result is increased employee confidence and promotability. In 2013, Marriott opened a new hotel every day, on average. And in June 2014, the company opened its 4,000th hotel, the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. Is the growth rate being maintained in 2015? Yes. There are various deals in the company’s pipeline, especially in China, India, and Brazil. We also have a lot of development underway in the Caribbean and Latin America. In addition to new development, Marriott also grows via acquisitions. Our portfolio includes 18 brands, the broadest in the lodging industry. We recently purchased the Protea chain for $200 million,

“[Mariott’s] CEO, Arne Sorenson, has called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and we just signed on to a brief calling on the Supreme Court to make gay marriage legal. These issues are not only important for business—they involve basic human rights.” Michael Martinez





Michael Martinez for being recognized as an industry leader and innovator. We applaud Michael on his achievements and are extremely proud of our partnership with Marriott International. Venable’s hospitality legal team provides counsel in many areas, including acquisitions, property development, labor and employment, ownership and management agreements, dispute resolution, and litigation.


“As litigators, we can help structure deals and defend cases in ways that will minimize litigation in the future, not just for Marriott but for others throughout the hospitality industry.” Michael Martinez

which made us the largest hotel company in sub-Saharan Africa and nearly doubled our presence in the Middle East and Africa, and the Delta Hotel chain in Canada. We also expanded our Autograph Collection, via, for example, partnerships with the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and the Algonquin in New York. Is the company placing an increasing emphasis on the luxury end? Nearly 25 percent of our portfolio is in the luxury and lifestyle category, including the Autograph Collection, the JW Marriott, and, of course, the Ritz-Carlton. But we will continue to offer a broad array of choices. What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the hotel industry? The burgeoning DIY culture and resulting rise of businesses like Airbnb is one. Another is the growing number of Generation X-ers and millennials. To try to appeal to them, we’ve created more social spaces and created an app that allows guests to check in and out remotely. Then there are online travel agencies. When you book online instead of going directly to the company or hotel, you pay the online agency a fee that gets carved out of what the hotel would normally make. That is a challenge for us. What types of cases do you tend to handle for the company? Most of our larger cases involve management disputes. These were particularly prevalent during the economic downturn when hotel owners weren’t making as much as they had hoped. But whatever type of case we work on, I always tell my team that we should keep our eye on the big picture. Don’t just defend a specific case; try to handle it in a way that shapes the law favorably for us. As litigators, we can help structure deals and defend cases in ways that will minimize litigation in the future, not just for Marriott, but also for companies throughout the hospitality industry. Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC. Our lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of business law, litigation, intellectual property and government affairs around the globe.



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Familial Virtues for the Family Business by Tina Vasquez

walter barela has been in the hospitality industry since childhood. In 1959, his parents owned a motel on the historic Route 66. During

college, Barela worked at a Hilton, thinking it was a temporary gig to help pay for school. At 19, he became a front office manager, and by 23, he was holding a corporate position. In 1999, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native decided to return home to put down roots. This meant raising his children near his parents and forming Peak Hospitality with his brother. Barela claims to not be the most natural leader, but his first-hand experience and integrity have made him a widely respected, self-made executive VP and COO of his own hotel-management firm. Peak Hospitality (named for Sandia Peak in Albuquerque) manages hotels for 40 investors while also handling day-to-day operations. Here, the entrepreneur talks to HE about what differentiates Peak and the approach he takes to leading his team.

What would you say is Peak Hospitality’s critical differentiator as a hotel management firm? The way we started says a lot about who we are as a company. We’re very much a family business. I came back to Albuquerque because I wanted to be a part of my kids’ lives and live near my parents—my mom is now 90. It wasn’t just passion for the industry that led us to form the firm; it was a creation out of necessity. I said to my partner, my brother, “I know you want to come home, too.” Just to round things out, our sister, who owned Group II Design in LA, made the trek home and has been integral in helping us keep down the cost of construction and renovation with her purchasing power and creative designs. Did you find that growing up in the industry was helpful? Definitely. People often say they have an entrepreneurial attitude, but with us it’s not just lip service. We grew up in the industry, we know this industry from the inside out, and we took that knowledge to form our own business. We take hotels



that aren’t the best on the market and we ask ourselves, “How do we make them successful?” What has been the key to making these less-than-desirable hotels successful? It goes back to how our parents raised us. When we were kids—and this is a very Latino thing—my mom would say, “You may not have new clothes, but your clothes are clean and ironed.” And if you’re Latino and someone comes to your house, the first thing you do is offer them something to eat and drink. So that’s what we focus on: cleanliness, having positive, friendly employees, and offering great coffee and food at our breakfast bar. I often joke that Latinos are hospitable by nature. We’re built for the hospitality industry. Across the hotels you manage, there are 160 employees, and that doesn’t include employees in your corporate office. Was leadership something that came naturally to you? Not necessarily. We all learn along the way, though there are some people

who are natural leaders. I like to lead by example. I believe it’s not enough to listen; you have to acknowledge. You can come into my office and I can keep looking down and say, “uh-huh, uh-huh” when you talk, or I can put my pen down, look you in the eyes, and listen to what you’re saying. It’s about respect, and I take the latter approach. Would you say respect is the most important thing when it comes to being a leader? Completely. Because I was such a young manager early on in my career, I was leading people who were much older than me. I had to be careful how I navigated things. I made my mistakes along the way, like everyone else, but building mutual respect is the most important lesson I learned. There’s a big difference between being a boss and being bossy. When it comes to working with your investors, what are the approaches that have been most effective? Number one is being honest. I grew up a Hispanic kid in Albuquerque with my word being the only thing I had to hang my hat on. Your reputation is everything. We say what we mean; we’re honest; we walk the walk. We’re also very conservative in our budgets. Even the bank said that to us. I never want to over-promise and under-deliver. Companies like Airbnb are proving to be very successful. How are these changing the industry? A lot of companies view Airbnb as a threat because it’s competition— especially in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. It definitely fills a need. But look: Companies like this aren’t paying taxes,



Audit Advantage would like to congratulate Walter Barela and Peak Hospitality. Just like Walter, we understand the importance of managing your business effectively That’s why we developed Audit Advantage.

WALTER BARELA Executive VP and COO Peak Hospitality


Albuquerque, NM




Currently NM, AZ, and TX, with new developments in SC, CA, and CO.

Peak is a hotel-management firm that endeavors to minimize the stress of transitions and acquisitions by properly assessing the property, its positioning, and the staff.

they’re not properly litigated, and there isn’t any business liability. We saw the same thing with hostels, and when lawsuits started to happen, that industry changed. I think we’ll see the same thing with this trend. Do you see this trend of staying with “local hosts” instead of hotels as a threat to your company or industry? I don’t feel threatened by it. We’re offering a very different experience, and it’s not horrible to give people access to popular markets. I believe this trend is very specific to millennials. They have a very different way of thinking, and our industry is still figuring out how to market to them. We’re working on options to offer them as we speak.

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International Legal Launch

by Bridgett Novak


GEORGINA FABIAN President International Business Law Group



eorgina Fabian’s first day working at a US law firm was September 10, 2001, in New York City. The next day, the World Trade Center towers came down. Since her US visa was not quite finalized, she was unable to work for a month, and, thus, ended up experiencing first-hand some of the frustrations of working in a country other than her homeland. But she persevered, and after over a decade of success in several prestigious international law firms, the energetic, bilingual Mexican and US-licensed attorney founded the International Business Law Group (INTBLG). Fabian was raised in Mexico—her father was a trial lawyer. She received her law degree in 1995 from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City and worked as an associate at Basham, Ringe y Correa (also in Mexico City), handling domestic and international litigation and commercial arbitrations, investor-state proceedings, and international business agreements. “At Basham, I worked mostly with international clients, in both Spanish and English, who had business dealings in Mexico,” she says. “I wanted to learn more about how business entities were structured, to provide counsel in the different jurisdictions in which my clients operated, and to practice law in the US.” To better prepare her for that, in 1997, she got a master’s degree in comparative law at New York University (she is currently licensed to practice in Mexico, New York, and Illinois). After finishing her commitment to Basham, she returned to New York to



Chicago, IL




8 attorneys in Mexico; 6 in the US


Commercial and investor-state arbitration, business litigation, entity formation, business immigration in the US and Mexico, labor and employment, intellectual property, and bankruptcy.

INTBLG provides comprehensive global legal representation, focusing on business law and financial matters, for domestic and international clients.

work for Debevoise & Plimpton. In 2004, she took a job in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown. One of her specialties, in all three law firms, was Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), helping parties resolve disputes through methods other than litigation. “I did a lot of community and business mediation, international commercial arbitration, and investor/ state arbitration,” she says. Acquiring experience as a US attorney “presented its own challenges,” she admits, “since in addition to concentrating on the cases and laws involved, I had to attune myself to the cultural needs of the clients.” After almost five years at Mayer Brown, she launched INTBLG, which provides high-quality legal services to public- and private-sector entities and individuals, especially those seeking legal representation across multiple jurisdictions. “I wanted to create a firm where I could help business owners who were just starting out and didn’t have access to legal services,” Fabian explains. In the beginning, INTBLG focused mostly on ADR cases. Since then, it has evolved into a full-service law firm,

handling a significant amount of business-related arbitration and litigation, as well as transactional corporate law matters. And now that it has a proven track record and a growing client list under its belt, it is starting to attract a different clientele. “We’re established now, with more credibility, so we’re starting to get work from bigger companies with more revenue. Non-Hispanic businesses are also reaching out to us,” Fabian notes. Thought most of INTBLG’s clients are based in Mexico and the US, many of them have businesses in other parts of the world, including Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. INTBLG serves them via what Fabian calls their ‘Counsel Worldwide Network.’ “Since the inception of my career, I established a network of attorneys around the world. We, therefore, have local counsel we know and can collaborate with whenever a client requires representation in a market outside the US or Mexico.” Most of INTBLG’s client companies do not have lawyers on staff, so Fabian and the rest of her team perform tasks that are more typical of in-house counsel. “We function like general counsel for most of our clients,” Fabian confirms. “We work with them as members of their team. We go over their business structures and plans, enlighten them to the types of issues they’re likely to face, advise and guide them, and help them grow.” “More and more of our clients are focusing on prevention, to avoid future litigation,” she says. “Businesses today know that the smart thing is to get legal advice in the early stages, when they’re just starting a business or growing their company, drafting a contract, entering a new market, developing a new product, or considering a new venture. Our motto for all our clients is ‘plan, prevent, and succeed.’”

La UNAM - USA en San Antonio, Texas, favorece la integración multinacional a través de la enseñanza de lenguas, la difusión cultural, la extensión académica y las relaciones con organismos educativos en los Estados Unidos.

UNAM - USA in San Antonio, Texas, promotes multinational integration through language instruction, the diffusion of culture, academic extension and relations with academic institutions in the United States.

“I wanted to create a firm where I could help business owners who were just starting out and didn’t have access to legal services.” Georgina Fabian





Where Technology and Travel A Meet Expedia’s Adolfo del Valle analyzes the data and concludes that engineering and technology careers are ripe with opportunity for Latinos by Anthony Kaufman



fter years of working as an engineer, technology specialist, and consultant at companies ranging from Microsoft to Verizon, Adolfo del Valle found a wellmatched career in the online travel sector. In this business, Del Valle has progressed from data warehouse operations manager to director of enterprise data warehousing at the Expedia organization, which now includes Travelocity. Besides the fact that the company headquarters was just five minutes from his home, “the position combined my two passions: technology and travel,” he says. Born and raised in Peru, Del Valle moved to the US to attend college at the University of Utah, where he studied economics and IT. He went on to work all over the country, from Washington to California and eventually Texas, where he also earned an executive MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Though Del Valle’s role with Expedia in “data warehousing” might sound overly technical, he describes his objectives in simple terms: “to collect massive amounts of data, centralize all of that data, and make it readily available so management teams can use it to make informed decisions and find insights to move the business forward.” In addition, one of the main goals, according to Del Valle, is to improve ecommerce website functionality and gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs. When Del Valle started at Travelocity in 2008, he led a small team of six data warehouse developers, database administrators, and programmers. Over the next six years, his team expanded to as many as 32 people. He was leading data architects, developers, and project managers working in operations, database development, and analytics across three continents: in Bangalore, India; Krakow, Poland; and the US. One of Del Valle’s chief challenges is the massive amount of data coming from multiple sources that he



Bellevue, WA/ Dallas, TX



Expedia, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an online travel company in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments: Leisure and Business. It provides travel products and services to leisure and corporate travelers, offline retail travel agents, and travel service providers through a portfolio of brands, including,,, Classic Vacations, Travelocity, Expedia Local Expert, Egencia, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, eLong, and—as well as trivago,,,,, Asia Web Direct,,, and Arnold Travel Technology.

ADOLFO DEL VALLE Director of Enterprise Data Warehouse Expedia, Inc./Travelocity





Tech Growth in Latin America In 2015, IT services in Latin America are expected to grow by about 10.5%: more than 2.4 times the rate of the global average projected 2015 growth of IT services in Latin America projected 2015 growth of IT services globally

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“The growing presence of technology corporations in Latin American countries will encourage those living there to become more involved in the field.” Rafael Flores

and his team must process every day. He must also be quick to evaluate and adapt to constantly evolving technologies. “You can’t stand still,” he explains. “There is a constant need to keep learning and adapting to new technologies, and you have to be able to implement them successfully before your competitors to be able to gain an advantage.” On the other hand, he warns, “We can’t just buy it because it is the latest [technology],” he notes. “We need to understand how it can make our business better.” Del Valle has also had to contend with a recent seismic shift in his industry; earlier this year, rival online travel agency Expedia purchased Travelocity. As with any transition that involves merging multiple teams together, working through this was difficult, as he and his team faced concerns about downsizing and reorganizing. “Through all of the transitions, I did my best to be honest with the team as to what was going on,” Del Valle says. “And I worked hard to keep the focus on how important it was for us to ignore the noise of change and deliver the highest quality work on time and on budget in order to enable a successful transition.” And this is exactly what he did. Over the last year and a half, Del Valle and his

Source: International Data Corporation, 2014

team stayed focused on migrating data from old platforms to new technologies as well as to Expedia platforms. “Though this may seem like a simple task, change like this requires a lot of coordination between us, the sources that feed us data, as well as those who access our data,” he says. “Projects like this require detailed planning and execution to ensure no gaps are left where we could lose information or create inaccuracies in the data.” Del Valle prides himself on completing the work ahead of schedule and accurately. As Del Valle looks ahead, he sees his role only becoming more crucial as “big data,” data science, and analytics become an increasingly vital part of every business. While data storage systems have become cheaper over the years, the challenge moving forward, according to Del Valle, “is who is going to build the best applications to interpret, process, and present this data that continues to grow exponentially while also becoming more complex.” Despite the fact that the jobs in data management and analytics are growing in number and importance, Del Valle admits he doesn’t see a lot of other fellow Hispanics in his field. “Tech corporations need to continue pushing hard in our schools to promote technology, math, and science,” he says. He also would like to see more Hispanic participation in the field. “There are good engineering schools in Latin America to supply corporations with graduates, and I’d love to see more Latin American locations as offshore alternatives,” he says. “The growing presence of technology corporations in Latin American countries will encourage those living there to become more involved in the field,” he says. Del Valle, of course, stands out as a perfect example of what’s possible. As a kid growing up in Lima, he was “mesmerized by what was going on in technology and the first microcomputers,” he recalls. “The more I learned, the more hungry I was to go out and explore.”


The Uncommon Core How Rafael Flores and the tight community of chief nuclear officers apply passion to their role of continuing the evolution of nuclear energy by Topher Bordeau


In general, nuclear energy is available and accessible; it now feels common. That’s a credit to a small cadre of nuclear engineers who are anything but common. Of the 437 nuclear reactors in operation worldwide, 99 are in America. Just 26 chief nuclear officers (CNOs), run those facilities. Those 26 CNOs form a tight-knit community. But unlike many insular communities of like-minded people, the CNO community is constantly evolving. It is as dynamic and innovative as the very energy each CNO is responsible for harnessing in a safe and effective way. Rafael Flores, chief nuclear officer for Luminant, is a member of that community. Flores, a 1979 graduate of Texas A&M, oversees the safety and operation of a two-unit nuclear power plant in Texas called Comanche Peak. Flores works with his team of vice presidents to maintain their responsibility for the operation of the plants. Safety and reliability are his number-one priorities: The state of Texas needs to be able to rely on Flores to keep the plant operating safely, and Luminant needs to be able to trust Flores to run the plant in a way that has a positive effect on their energy business. “I have vice presidents who report to me and oversee the operation and maintenance of the plants as well as the modifications that continually add margin to the safety and reliability of the plant. It is also important to continue to look at controlling the overall cost by looking for process improvements,” Flores says. “In addition, it is important that I stay involved with the industry to ensure we, as a plant, learn all we can from our peers.”

Chief Nuclear Officer Luminant

As SVP and CNO at Luminant’s Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Rafael Flores directs the safe, reliable, and cost-effective operation of the plant in compliance with all laws and regulations. He is also a member of the American Nuclear Society, representing Luminant as a mentor for other nuclear leaders.

Flores’s graduation date from Texas A&M has particular importance in his work and in his role in the industry: the 1979 Three Mile Island accident inspired the nuclear industry to launch the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. “This is a group that oversees nuclear power in the United States and promotes excellence in operations,” he says. “It’s not just about minimum standards; they’re pushing to

be operating at a much higher level.” The entire nuclear industry funds the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, which operates as an independent group that oversees the nuclear community. Flores’s role as a CNO involves him with the Institute. He provides advice and suggests improvements to ensure the industry’s commitment to excellence continues.




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“Our charter is very clear: it’s about producing a clean, safe reliable source of power... It’s about really producing excellence and making sure we continue to earn the trust and confidence of the public so they know that we’re doing the right thing all of the time.” Rafael Flores

Flores is able to do that at a comprehensive level, thanks to a seminal opportunity early in his career. “When I first arrived at the Salem plant in New Jersey with PSE&G, I was very lucky to get an opportunity to get into a license program,” he says. “That gave me the chance to develop and build on my college education by learning how an actual nuclear power plant works and all that’s involved in operating one.” The 18-month course ended with Flores passing an eighthour written exam and a plant exam run by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to earn a license to operate that plant. “That really grounded me at a fairly young age in fully understanding all that is involved in running a nuclear power plant,” Flores says. “The program taught me everything about how a plant works— not just the nuclear part, but the secondary side where the power is actually produced and then distributed to the grid, as well. It really helped me to grow.” Flores later earned another license to operate Comanche Peak. (Nuclear licenses are specific to the plants at which they’re issued.) Continuing education is a theme that pervades Flores’ career. For the past 10 years, Flores has served on the Texas A&M Nuclear Engineering Advisory Council, where he takes all of his experience and education and reinvests it into the education of future CNOs. If all of this education—of himself, the industry that surrounds him, and his future peers—seems redundant, it’s not. It reflects the scope of the responsibility that Flores maintains. “Our charter is very clear: it’s about producing a clean, safe, reliable source of power. It’s not just about meeting standards. It’s about really producing excellence and making sure we continue to earn the trust and confidence of the public so they know that we’re doing the right thing all of the time.”


Dallas, TX




4,000 employees

Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. With Texas roots that stretch back over 130 years, Luminant has played an integral role in the evolution, growth, and progress of Texas, and today helps power one of the world’s largest electric markets.


Cruise Controller

Carlos Jofre knows that changing business strategies can be scary—he’s been there countless times in his career—and is using his experience to guide Norwegian Cruise Lines through a major acquisition by Tina Vasquez

Carlos Jofre jokes that he’s so science as his major right off passionate about Norwegian the bat, inspired by countless CARLOS JOFRE Cruise Lines’ affordable offerarticles about how computers Director of Data Warehouse and Data ings, people often mistake him were going to rule the world— Integration for a sales associate. He’s actuexcept after graduation, he Norwegian ally the director of warehouse found himself unemployed for Cruise Lines and enterprise reporting—but four months. In retrospect, it off the top of his head, he can was just bad timing. It was the tell you the port closest to you, the price start of the Gulf War, and the economy was in a recession. Once things turned of the cruise, and the amenities offered. around, Jofre landed at Motorola’s pag“What can I say?” he says, laughing. “I’m excited about what we offer.” ing division, which he says was one of the most exciting jobs he’s ever had. Jofre joined the company in January of 2004, coming off the heels of a stint at “At the time, there was a big explosion Motorola where he was contracted to rein mobile devices,” he says. “Because of vamp Computer Aided Manufacturing what I learned there, I’m able to enter ev(CAM) systems with cost-cutting projery new organization with a sense of disects in their North American distribution cipline and experience that I don’t know centers. He’s had a lot of success in the IT if I would have gained otherwise.” Part of the reason it was such a pivotworld but was initially worried he entered the wrong field. Jofre declared computer al experience was because Jofre was just


Doral, FL



Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings currently operates cruise ships under three distinct brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.





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a 25-year-old kid throwing around ideas with the company’s senior engineers. It built confidence—something that’s been helpful at Norwegian. “It can be difficult to convince others of the benefits of new solutions. I learned that so much of this job is knowing how to talk to people, and that requires confidence,” the director says. So much of how Jofre leads is influenced by his early days in IT. Meetings are open forums. He wants his team to feel at ease speaking to him, comfortable throwing around ideas. Listening, he says, is the best way to ensure equality and quality. That being said, Jofre says leadership is not something that came easily to him. Being put in the position to overlook others isn’t a task he took lightly, but learning how to be an effective, approachable leader was a matter of trial and error. “Trying to be very authoritative just doesn’t work, especially not in IT,” Jofre says. “I see myself as more of a coach. I try to cultivate a team environment. The work we do is so complex that people can sometimes tune out. I’ve found that really emphasizing a collaborative environment has been helpful.” Having a collaborative, smooth-running IT department became all the more important in November of 2014 when Norwegian acquired the brand Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises; it became Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Jofre says that when they were going through the transition, there was a shift in leadership and uncertainty surrounding strategic initiatives. Things are decidedly different now.

Jofre says the new brand has been well-received, and while part of its success is certainly owed to the IT department, Jofre isn’t one to pat himself on the back. The merge meant considerably more work, engineering, merging systems, etcetera. They’re still mapping out the direction, but the right information is getting to the right people at the right time—an achievement in and of itself. Of all the obstacles IT faces, Jofre says the biggest challenge is ensuring his team is resilient and able to deliver—within reason—no matter the circumstances. Norwegian’s IT department is working with seven different systems. If something happened to one of those systems, he and his team would still need to ensure important information could be accessed by the right people. “My biggest asset is really my people,” Jofre says. “I work with exceptional people who always deliver. How many people can say that?” Moving forward, Jofre wants to focus on a project that could make things at Norwegian even more efficient. He’s in the process of adjusting new business intelligence and the data foundation to predict large amounts of data. If, for example, the company was thinking about changing their lobster vendor, opting to choose a vendor closer to their port of call, the only way they’d currently know the financial impact is by making the change. “The goal is to use analytics to help the company make better decisions, minus the trial and error,” Jofre says. “It will be a while before this is in place, but when it is, it can really change how we operate and cut costs. It’s very exciting.”


Engineering for Clean Air Pedro J. Lopez-Baldrich, general counsel and VP of administration for CDTi, describes the innovative and cost-effective methods the environmentally conscious tech company is contributing to a clean-air effort, helping it meet increasingly stringent EPA standards


by Meng Meng

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases tougher standards for auto pollutants, carmakers are forced to find solutions to further reduce the emissions of the automobiles they manufacture—generally met by using more precious metals in the catalytic converter. Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (CDTi) develops better solutions. Most catalytic converters currently on the market rely on precious metal components to convert toxic exhaust gases to non-toxic gases, but CDTi is making a big bet on a proprietary clean emissions exhaust technology that will “dramatically reduce the cost of attaining more stringent clean air standards,” says general counsel and VP of administration Pedro J. Lopez-Baldrich. It is a mid- to long-term bet. Starting in 2017, the EPA will kick in Tier 3 of its Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards

Program, further slashing light vehicle pollutant standards by 70 to 80 percent. The EPA’s program will give CDTi an even bigger cost advantage, according to Lopez-Baldrich. The company filed more than 60 patents last year to secure its lead in high-efficiency catalyst products. “The success of having a patent advantage shows that we are on a path to be able to better engage in the marketplace,” Lopez-Baldrich explains. “By developing a patent portfolio, the idea is that people will be interested in licensing opportunities and maybe co-developing with us.” Started by a group of material-science postgraduates two decades ago, CDTi holds an array of cutting-edge innovations and is now developing strategies to monetize them. Lopez-Baldrich leads the team that structures patents, unlocking a

In October, 2014, CDTi was awarded two new patents covering new technology that replaces costly platinum group and rare earth metals in catalytic converters.


Oxnard, CA




Honda, Ford Motor Company, Renault, and General Motors

Honda is CDTi’s largest customer, having contributed approximately 50 percent of its revenue last year. In 2014, the Company launched DuraFit™, a product line of replacement diesel particulate filters for heavy-duty diesel trucks. CDTi’s intellectual property includes approximately 170 issued patents and 150 pending applications.



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says. In countries like Thailand and Chile, Lopez-Baldrich saw pollution coming from cars because emission regulations had not been implemented due to costs. The EPA calculated that automobiles cause more than half of the air pollution in the US, while the World Health Organization pointed to car exhaust as a major lung cancer trigger. “This technology is expected to reduce the catalyst cost, arguably making it more affordable for carmakers. It will help alleviate emission and pollution issues around the world,” LopezBaldrich says. A s genera l cou nsel PEDRO J. LOPEZBALDRICH for the Oxnard, CaliforGeneral Counsel nia-based manufacturer and VP of and technology developAdministration ment company, Lopez-BalCDTi drich works with engineers to identify key technology for licensing potential. The vast market in licensing the proprietary company still has a long way to go to retechnology. lease the bulk of its research and develThe company’s newest breakthrough opment into the market, but with foundatechnology platform has the potential to tional patents, CDTi is underway testing reduce or even eliminate the need for exthe application on vehicles and gleaning pensive platinum group and rare earth data that is expected to present carmakers metals used in catalytic converters. CDTi with long-term solutions and alternatives calls the technology Spinel. to relying heavily on expensive precious Spinel intends to solve a dependency metals. on foreign-sourced metals, which are exLopez-Baldrich, who joined CDTi in pected to dramatically increase in demand 2013, says he was attracted to the compaand cost in the near future. Carmakers ny’s positive environmental impact. Prispend billions of dollars annually on plator to joining CDTi, Lopez-Baldrich led the legal department for Patagonia, the inum group metals mined in South Africa and Russia and for Chinese-sourced rare California-based outdoor retailer with a earth metals used in the manufacture of rising voice in environmental protection. catalytic converters. CDTi’s Spinel techHe recalls feeling pride when the mannology boasts a formula that contains very agement of Patagonia walked away from small amounts of precious metals in the many business opportunities purely becatalyst, which coats the honeycombed cecause they would have negative impacts on ramic substrate inside of a catalytic conthe environment. “Through that experiverter. ence, I realized that having environmental Lopez-Baldrich, who has traveled exconsciousness is really important to me,” he says. Lopez-Baldrich would love nothtensively in Southeast Asia and South ing more than to be part of a major moveAmerica throughout his career, says the technology carries major advantages bement in helping to protect the atmosphere yond the US market. “It has a very strong and believes CDTi technology will be a key environmental message behind it,” he factor in that movement.

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




LOURDES AROCHO VP, International Consumer Products Nickelodeon



d For expansion outside of the US, programming juggernaut Nickelodeon turns to Lourdes Arocho, VP of international consumer products, who excels at putting fun into the business of play by Kelli Lawrence, portraits by Sheila Barabad




Lourdes! We proudly celebrate your success in inspiring imagination and endless adventure for children around the world.

NICKELODEON HEADQUARTERED New York, NY FOUNDED 1981 REACH Nickelodeon brands reach 1.1 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 160 countries and territories, via more than 80 locally programmed channels and branded blocks. PORTFOLIO The company’s portfolio includes television programming and production around the world, plus special events, consumer products, digital offerings, recreation, books, feature films, and pro-social initiatives. ABOUT Nickelodeon, one of the most globally recognized and widely distributed multimedia entertainment brands, is home to hit series such as SpongeBob SquarePants,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer, iCarly, Rugrats, Victorious, Fairly Odd Parents, Big Time Rush, Drake and Josh, All That, Blue’s Clues and the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards.

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ew York City is where Lourdes Arocho lives and works, but it’s far from the only city in her scope on any given day. The massive cable network where Arocho has worked since 2007 just keeps on growing. The network, of course, is Nickelodeon. When Hispanic Executive first profiled Arocho in 2012, she was VP of toys and games for its consumer products division. The following year, she took on a newly created, similar role for the network, but in an international capacity. “While I’m still focused on our global partnerships with toy companies like Mattel, Lego, and Mega Bloks, it’s about managing the relationships outside the US now,” she explains. Those would include many more relationships than originally expected, as it turns out. Shortly after shifting to an international focus, Arocho’s role expanded to include specific European-based partnerships for key strategies and initiatives. A few months later, the categories of “food” and “health/beauty” were added—and even more recently, her role was expanded to include publishing and home entertainment. “It all just changed again,” she says of her updated responsibilities with an incredulous laugh. Consequentially, Arocho oversees an ever-evolving team. She went from working with 12 in her previous Nickelodeon position to only two when the international role began, but her new team has grown with each corresponding expansion—currently, it’s back up to 12. And, by necessity, it’s geographically scattered, so adaptability and strong communication skills have never been more imperative to Arocho. “For me, that means instead of those drive-by hallway conversations you might have [with someone working in the same building], I need to make sure I’m constantly engaging at every opportunity I can,” Arocho says. “I take the time to take into consideration the context of each situation, and the individual... I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all strategy to leadership, especially when leading such a diverse team as this.” Nickelodeon’s journey and progression over the past two decades has indeed been diverse; the channel is now seen in more than 160 countries and territories, including Turkey, Pakistan, the Philippines, Greece, and Brazil. A country manager presides over each local channel, overseeing consumer products. The people who report to Arocho sit in those markets and hold different roles reporting within the international licensing structure. “It’s very important for me to hear from those who report to me with that extra piece [of knowledge], hearing not only what their expectations are, but collaborating on the right timing,” says Arocho. “I need those insights.”

“I need to make sure I’m constantly engaging at every opportunity I can. I take the time to take into consideration the context of each situation, and the individual... I don’t believe there’s a onesize-fits-all strategy to leadership.” LOURDES AROCHO

Rubie's would like to thank

Lourdes Arocho of


Arocho lists her three favorite consumer products right now: Half Shell Heroes. This new preschool product line from Playmates Toys expands the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the first time. The entire line is designed with preschoolers in mind and includes figures, playsets, vehicles, plush, and role play for younger Ninja Turtle fans.

for the wonderful years of partnership and continued support

Rubies Costume Co. Paw Patrol costumes. Preschoolers will be able to dress-up as one of their favorite pups: Chase, Skye, or Marshall. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Machines line of die-cast vehicles and playsets. Playmates have created a fantastic diecast vehicle line, each with their own Turtles character or mutant. Kids now have a whole new way to play with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Rubie's Costume Company The leader in licensed costumes and accessories • 516.326.1500 © 2015 Viacom International Inc. Nickelodeon, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.





2 4



In her line of work, “the right timing” is all about consumer products—and when, in the calendar year, they are available for sale to the public in each part of the world. “Prior to this, I only had to worry about one market, but now I have to think about how this rolls out market by market,” she says. “I have to make sure to inform our key global partners of the rollouts and what key content looks like, making sure they’re not only supported from a content standpoint, but from other lines of business so [that] we have a coordinated effort across retail.” When it comes to the Nickelodeon programs that generate the majority of consumer products, the following properties take the top honors: 1 Dora the Explorer/Dora and Friends. On the air since 2000, the Peabody-winning Dora the Explorer has long been popular with the preschool crowd. The animated hit is all about adventures, challenges, and problem-solving, led by the bilingual main character Dora, her talking purple backpack, and animal buddies such as a monkey named Boots. In 2014, Dora the Explorer was joined by the spinoff Dora and Friends, featuring a slightly older Dora living in a city, going to school, and at the center of a group of close friends. “Instead of animal friends, she has real human friends,” Arocho explains. “Instead of the rain forest, she’s in a new city. Instead of ‘map,’ she has a map app on her smartphone. So that gives us new elements and new characters, and we’re able to take that and translate it into a new refreshed look for consumer products.”

SpongeBob SquarePants. The animated antics of he who “lives in a pineapple under the sea” and his wide assortment of friends will air its 200th episode 2

this year, having been a part of Nickelodeon since 1999. DVDs, video games, and theme park rides are just a small fraction of all the SpongeBob merchandising that has hit the shelves over the past decade and a half, resulting in some $8 billion in revenue thus far. And if all that weren’t enough evidence of SpongeBob’s ongoing success, consider this: Sponge Out of Water, the franchise’s latest feature film release, has netted more than $300 million at the box office this year. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With its parent company, Viacom, acquiring rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2009, Nickelodeon developed a CG-animated reboot of the late-1980s smash hit by 2012. Based on the $3 billion it has already generated since then, success might be even sweeter the second time around. As Arocho acknowledges, the fact that the original Turtles audience is now grown up and raising kids of their own is a huge bonus. Playmates Toys, which developed action figures and related products during the first TMNT go-around, is now partnered with Nickelodeon in the updated version—and has in fact produced a line called Half Shell Heroes for the preschool set. It’s “what we call in the industry ‘pre-cool,’” Arocho says. “It’s for the kid that loves the Turtles, loves the camaraderie, loves the brotherhood, but is really too young for action figures. Or maybe Mom is uncomfortable with them being in the action figure aisle. This is a chunkier toy for small hands, geared toward that younger kid. It’s phenomenal looking. I’m really proud of what Playmates has done.” 3

4 5 Two other, relatively new Nickelodeon series are also important to Arocho for their success and consumer product potential. Paw Patrol, a preschool-target show about the adventures of a pack of seven pups,




“STEM is all the rage right now with parents, so all this new content gives us an opportunity to create really great product lines to support it." hit the airwaves in the fall of 2013. And Blaze and the Monster Machines, which features talking monster trucks and a tech-savvy eight-year-old named AJ, launched in fall 2014 and is already developing a following. Arocho points to Blaze’s encouragement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills when explaining its success, and anticipates it will play a hand in successful product marketing as well. “STEM is all the rage right now with parents,” she says, “so all this new content gives us an opportunity to create really great product lines to support it.” While citing toy and game development as the best parts of her job—“it’s really fun seeing something go through all the stages, from a rough concept to a 3-D mold,” she says—Arocho is devoted to understanding the need for all the products she oversees to be in the right places at the right times, and how that fluctuates from country to country. “It’s rewarding to work with [country managers] hand in hand and learn their key challenges, key opportunities, and how our global partnerships will work within their brand strategies,” she says.



The key to reaching that reward? Connectivity. “I recently got feedback from a member of my team that’s based in the UK,” Arocho recalls. “She’s been in her role for a number of years and said to me, ‘I used to feel like I was in isolation, and I love that I don’t feel that way anymore.’" “That, to me, was probably one of my best accomplishments all year,” she says. “Beyond all else.”

About Playmates Toys: With a history of nearly 50 years, Playmates Toys is today among the most well-respected and innovative marketing and distribution companies in the global toy industry with a proven history in the creation of imaginative products as well as the development and management of profitable, long-term brand franchises. Playmates offers an extensive line of products across multiple categories, including action figures, die cast vehicles, preschool, role-play and dolls. Playmates has been the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES master toy licensee for over 25 years and is proud to work with Nickelodeon on the #1 selling male action brand. From its offices in Hong Kong and California, Playmates designs, develops, markets, and distributes its products in over 60 countries worldwide. For more information, visit or http://facebook. com/playmatestoys.

Leading Financially, Focusing Internationally Freeman Company CFO Julio Ramirez on global growth, increasing diversity, and taking risks


by Jessica Montoya Coggins

The Freeman Company has been a leader in “face-to-face marketing” since the company was founded in 1927. With five offices in the UK and 70 offices in North America, Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. The company currently produces over 57 percent of the 250 largest US trade shows and has grown exponentially since it was founded, boasting total revenues of $1.9 billion in 2014. Advertising Age recently ranked the company as world’s largest event marketing company. As the executive vice president and chief financial officer, Julio Ramirez juggles a wide array of responsibilities for Freeman. In addition to being in charge of accounting and financial planning, Ramirez is also focused on global expansion and providing support to the mergers-and-acquisitions team. “A lot of my time is spent as an advisor to the CEO, president, and executive committee and working with and mentoring our leaders in finance around the company.” Ramirez was raised in South Florida, and after receiving a master's in professional accounting from the University of Miami, he entered into public accounting at KPMG, where he ultimately became a partner in the assurance practice after 11 years. At a time when minorities were a rarity in accounting firms, the promotion was a major professional development for Ramirez. Along with 12 other consulting partners at KPMG, Ramirez cofounded the Hackett Group, a premiere strategic advisory firm in 1997. He had a pivotal role with

JULIO RAMIREZ Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer Freeman Company




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the international growth of the company, facilitating expansion in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In 2009, Ramirez became the vice president and treasurer, global tax and strategic planning for Molson Coors Brewing Company, the fifth largest brewer in the world. He was one of four members of the executive team that successfully negotiated and financed the acquisition of StarBev, a major brewer in Central and Eastern Europe with operations in nine countries, for $3.5 billion. Ramirez's international experience has proved invaluable to Freeman as the company is focused on growing its reach around the world. When he joined Freeman, which is headquartered in Dallas, Ramirez was immediately relocated to Birmingham, England, for several months to help facilitate Freeman’s recent acquisition of an events service firm in the UK. Ramirez’s knowledge about international development has been pivotal to Freeman’s expansion vision. “Our growth is really accelerating, and with growth comes significant challenges and opportunities. Those challenges include redesigning the back office operations to create scale, optimizing global procurement, and finding opportunities to drive greater shareholder value.” With so many years of corporate finance and business experience, Ramirez is also very interested in making sure that more Hispanics can attain high-level positions within the Fortune 1000. “Diversity is not just the right thing to do, it makes very strong business sense,” he says. Ramirez believes it is imperative for companies to reflect their customer base and the communities in which they operate. “Our industry is quickly evolving and the demographics are changing. The next generation will be more diverse.” According to Ramirez, Freeman has taken several initiatives to ensure that diversity is a company commitment. Ramirez is also very impressed with the third generation of the Freeman family, vice chair Carrie Freeman Parsons, who has passionately championed women’s leadership development within the company. With all that Ramirez has experienced over the years, he can naturally offer a wealth of helpful advice to Hispanics who are looking to make an impact in

THE FREEMAN COMPANY HEADQUARTERED Dallas, TX FOUNDED 1927 EMPLOYEES 4,500 OFFICES 70 offices in the US, 5 in the UK ABOUT Freeman is the leading global partner for integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, including expositions, corporate exhibits, and conventions, and offers a full range of marketing solutions from strategy and creative to audio/visual, logistics, event management and measurement.

In October 2014, Julio Ramirez was named executive VP and CFO of Freeman Company. Ramirez brings a considerable wealth of knowledge and international experience to the position, specifically related to strategic planning and finance.

“Our industry is quickly evolving and demographics are changing. The next generation will be more diverse." JULIO RAMIREZ

the business world. Though a majority of CFOs traditionally evolve from the fields of finance and accounting, Ramirez sees that trend shifting towards broader business experience. For him, the role of CFO is becoming more akin to what he provides at Freeman: going beyond a financial advisor and “playing a critical role in framing and driving strategy and being a catalyst for enterprise change.” Though Ramirez encourages those interested in pursuing a CFO career path to still have a strong foundation in finance and business, he also recommends acquiring experience in capital markets, information technology, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning. It’s a huge asset, he believes, to have as much exposure as

possible to different functional disciplines, industries, and businesses of varying sizes. Taking calculated risks is also something Ramirez believes can be a CFO differentiator. Companies are looking beyond CFO candidates that “played it safe” and “worked up the ranks” for candidates that are more entrepreneurial and willing to take career risks. Ramirez sees the advantages of a CFO candidate that started a new business, participated in a business turnaround, or worked on an IPO. “All business is global," Ramirez adds. "The more international experience you have, the better.” For Ramirez, that international perspective has allowed him to achieve paramount success in his current role as CFO.




MANUEL CUEVAS-TRISÁN VP of Litigation, Data Protection, and Employment Law Motorola Solutions



Promoting Global Trust by Protecting Privacy Manuel Cuevas-Trisán helps Motorola Solutions establish appropriate privacy safeguards for managing highly sensitive information by Julie Schaeffer, photos by Sheila Barabad


orn and raised in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican father and Spanish mother, Manuel Cuevas-Trisán always had a curiosity about other cultures and a love of travel, which ultimately led him to Motorola. “I always wanted to be operating in an international, multicultural setting,” he says. Cuevas-Trisán’s path to Motorola was not atypical for an attorney. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, he returned to Puerto Rico for law school, thinking he’d settle in his native island, and began working as legal clerk in the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals. After developing an expertise in labor law, he joined the labor and employment-law department of McConnell Valdes, the largest full-service law firm in Puerto Rico. Several years passed, and an opportunity arose to join the staff of one of his clients, Motorola, which was then a major manufacturer of pagers and other communications devices in Puerto Rico. At Motorola, Cuevas-Trisán gained exposure to many areas of law. When the company’s Puerto Rico pager plant shut down, he moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he continued to focus on labor


and employment law for nine years. By 2007, however, he was ready for a change and relocated to the company’s headquarters in Illinois to work as a commercial contracts attorney supporting global procurement. In 2009, he became lead counsel in charge of the legal team that supported Latin American mobile device sales. He then returned to his roots and became the head of employment law in 2012, established the company’s privacy and data protection legal practice, and in 2014 became the head of litigation. “My formal title is vice president of litigation, data protection, and employment law,” he says. For Cuevas-Trisán, it’s an exciting role in an exciting company. Motorola Solutions has evolved from the pager manufacturer it once was. The successor of Motorola Inc., it was divested from the consumer pager and cellphone business in 2011, and today serves only mission-critical public-safety and industrial organizations—police and fire departments, for example, as well as emergency first responders, command and control centers, transportation, and mining businesses. Motorola Solutions services are used all over the world in this capacity. “We provide the equipment and services that allow those entities to function successfully,

ABOUT Motorola is an American data provider, offering telecommunication solutions and infrastructure and mission-critical communication products to Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.




Winston & Strawn congratulates Manuel Cuevas-Trisan on his accomplishments. We are a proud partner of Motorola Solutions. Winston & Strawn is an international law firm with 18 offices located throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. More information about the firm is available at



from walkie-talkies to highly complex, data-rich and intelligence-based communications systems,” Cuevas-Trisán says. As a result, the company manages very sensitive information, and there is an increasing business need for it to establish appropriate security controls and privacy provisions—thus the creation of the company’s privacy and data protection legal practice in late 2012, which was a unique challenge. "The other practices I led were mature, with established processes and a clear understanding among internal clients,” he says. “The privacy and data protection practice required me to create a structure from the ground up with few resources, and we had to consider the legal issues involved in managing customer information in a non-consumer context.” By that, Cuevas-Trisán means that most people consider privacy and data protection to be consumer rights, but Motorola Solutions doesn’t serve consumers directly. “Making the business case that we needed to be concerned about this in a B-to-B context was a challenge,” he says. “In addition, because many of our customers are public agencies that handle extraordinarily personal information about their constituents, we have to balance the private interest in protecting privacy and civil liberties with the public interest in ensuring safety in our cities.” Ultimately, Cuevas-Trisán is establishing a program that touches every aspect of the organization, from research and development to human resources. Motorola Solutions now has a cross-functional privacy committee that oversees internationally certified privacy policies. It became only the 22nd company in the world to obtain authorization of its binding corporate rules (BCRs) in the European Union, which allow multinational corporations to make intra-organizational transfers of personal data across borders in compliance with EU data-protection law—and Cuevas-Trisán and his team accomplished it in just over two years. Today, the company has been distinguished for its privacy and data protection practices, receiving the highest marks in its industry segment for privacy protection practices by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index two years in a row. “It’s a work in progress,”says Cuevas-Trisán, who has also been tasked with

“We have to balance the private interest in protecting privacy and civil liberties with the public interest in ensuring safety in our cities.” MANUEL CUEVAS-TRISÁN

other company leaders to find ways to simplify the way the company does business. “We need to be swifter and more nimble, be an easier company to do business with, because we’re much smaller now and don’t have the same scale of Motorola Inc.,” he says. "My colleagues and I are now working on simplifying our policies. We’re asking ourselves, for example, ‘Do we need 20 different policies on educational assistance because we’re in 20 countries?’ Maybe there’s a way to come up with a framework that allows us to reduce complexity and streamline decision-making. That’s how we create value for the business.”

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Not a weak link in the chain Meet some of the thousands of professionals at UTi who everyday, deliver client, supply chain and transportation solutions for our clients. Our people collaborate with our clients to deliver value to their businesses, competitive advantage to their supply chains, and the assurance they need, knowing that on our team, there’s never a weak link. To find out more about which UTi solution best suits your needs and view our team videos, visit

From improving the speed and accuracy of supplychain logistics, to lowering the cost of operating our engines, to our corporate mission of hiring a diverse and highly capable workforce, Cummins is redefining efficiency in every way possible. The result is superior value with greater customer satisfaction, from the moment Cummins-powered equipment is ordered – through ongoing service and support for years to come. For more information, please visit

©2015 Cummins Inc., Box 3005, Columbus, IN 47202-3005 U.S.A.



Growth Accelerator for the Global Marketplace Felix Santana on his role as corporate director for global logistics at Cummins and the company’s vision for powering the future as told to Julie Edwards

FELIX SANTANA Corporate Director for Global Logistics







CUMMINS HEADQUARTERED Columbus, IN FOUNDED 1919 EMPLOYEES 46,000 GLOBAL REACH Cummins sells in 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributors and approximately 6,000 dealers. TOTAL REVENUE 2014 $19.2 billion ABOUT Cummins is a corporation that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and powergeneration products. Cummins also services engines and related equipment, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission control and electrical power generation systems, planning and digital services.

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When I started at Cummins, I felt it was a good fit for me—and my background was attractive to them. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic and came to the US to study engineering at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula. I went from a nice beach to snow nine months of the year, but it was a great school. My degree is in mechanical engineering. After college, I worked for Chrysler, Johnson Controls, and Delphi. Working in automotive was a good learning experience, but I wanted an industry with growth potential. Cummins is a global power leader. It’s a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute, and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies. Our business units are engines; components, such as mufflers, filters, fuel systems, turbo technology; power generation for hospitals, data centers, etcetera; distribution; and our newest business unit, electronics. There isn’t a country in the world where you wouldn’t find our products. Over the last 10 years, our revenue has gone from $10 billion to $19.2 billion, and we believe we can reach $30 billion in the near future. I am the corporate director for global logistics, which is a new position at Cummins. I am responsible for logistics, transportation, and warehousing across all of the business units. I work with the leaders of the business units. About 45 people report either directly or indirectly to me. In the past, each business unit had its own logistics team. Now we look at the whole enterprise. My team supports the supply-chain function. Our supply chain vision is to establish reliable, market-driven supply chains to enable profitable growth for Cummins. We strive to be very customer-centric. I also help develop new talent for the supply chain. Previously, a lot of the transportation work was outsourced. While we still outsource the actual execution, we are now managing how and when it should be done. The focus of our chairman and CEO, Tom Linebarger, is profitable growth. We concentrate on five 'growth accelerators': adopting a growth mindset, developing


“We’re constantly moving parts all over the world. There is no manufacturing facility that has 100 percent of its parts sourced in that country.” FELIX SANTANA

leaves the warmth of the Dominican Republic to study engineering in the Upper Peninsula at Michigan Tech

hired by Chrysler, first as an engineer, and later promoted to program manager joins Johnson Controls as plant manager and begins MBA at Michigan

from a multinational company to a global company, achieving supply-chain excellence, delivering customer support excellence, and investing in leadership development. Staying focused on these growth accelerators will help us compete effectively and achieve our targets. In terms of the supply chain, to be successful globally, we need an enterprise-wide logistics system, one that features integration within and between the business units. There are two revenue streams for our engines. One is OEM; most truck manufacturers in the US use Cummins engines. Recreational vehicles and buses also use our engines. The other is the off-highway market: excavators, earthmoving equipment, oil rigs. On the power-generation side, we sell to countries with diesel-generated electricity. Africa is a big market for us. Google is a big customer for backup power—and hospitals as well. Cummins even supplied the power for the last World Cup in Brazil. Eight out of 10 of our customers use Cummins engines and make some of their own engines. This represents an opportunity for growth—getting them to use more Cummins engines. Geographically, Africa and Australia hold great potential. There is a lot of mining in Australia, which represents a big potential market for our products. One factor that works to our advantage is stringent emissions standards. Our products surpass all the latest EPA standards. Our growth over the last 10 years has been partially due to that. Customers switched to our products when their old products failed to meet the standards. We’re constantly moving parts all over the world. There is no manufacturing facility that has 100 percent of its parts sourced in that country. If we don’t get products on-site on time, we can lose a customer. Suppose, for example, a mining

company has to wait for parts. That downtime can be very expensive. For many years, Cummins was multinational, but not global. In the past, if we needed to calculate something like company-wide spending on ocean freight, we had to get numbers from every business unit, each of which used its own providers. Now we’re doing strategic partnerships and creating a global network—using fewer providers and better coordination, which results in better prices and more efficiency. Our engines, filtration, controls, fuel systems, and after-treatment make Cummins a leader in clean diesel technology. Our commitment to innovation has allowed us to deliver exceptional fuel economy to both our on- and off-highway customers. And we keep working to make our engines even more fuel efficient and further reduce CO2 emissions. We also support biodiesel development. All Cummins engines are equipped to run on a 20-percent blend of biodiesel with no adaptation required. Playing a critical role in the supply-chain transformation journey. Without an effective supply-chain strategy, our growth would be limited. For example, during the recent work stoppages at the West Coast ports, some companies had to close to wait for parts. But we were able to keep operations going by rerouting materials through Canada and the East Coast. That’s rewarding." C


takes ex-pat assignment to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to open manufacturing plant, serving four automotive companies

completes MBA in Finance at Sao Paulo University and gets married moves to El Paso to join Delphi to launch their six sigma program hired by Cummins to lead their global supply chain network

profiled in Hispanic Executive magazine as a logistics visionary







Celadon congratulates Felix Santana on his feature in Hispanic Executive.


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Providing the Foundation for an UltraConnected World by Julie Schaeffer

Alcatel-Lucent is the result of a merger of two telecommunications giants that have a long history in Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. Alcatel was a French conglomerate of companies specializing in telecommunications, satellites, and submarine cables whose predecessors date back to the late 1800s; Lucent Technologies was a US-based inventor and manufacturer of telecommunications products that was born from the divestiture of AT&T in 1996. The two companies merged in late 2006. Alcatel-Lucent’s president of Latin America and the Caribbean and growth markets, Osvaldo Di Campli, says the company is now focused on building innovated networks to increase connectivity. Di Campli walks HE through Alcatel-Lucent’s global growth strategy.

Give us an overview of AlcatelLucent’s game plan for Latin America and the Caribbean. We’re focusing on the three fundamental challenges our customers face: connectivity, reducing the complexity of their networks, and monetizing their investments. For that, we’re using the innovations from Bell Labs to increase connectivity through our ultra broadband strategy, moving network traffic at the lowest cost per bit, and introducing the benefits of virtualization and the cloud. And through our diversification, we are helping large enterprises in the health care, financial, manufacturing, and retail—among other vertical sectors—leverage a combination of telecommunications and IT technologies to improve their businesses, better serve their customers, and build their future. How is your experience helping the company achieve these goals? I joined the company from an affiliate in Argentina in 1993 and have since worked in the United States, several



countries in Latin America, and Europe, so I know the region extremely well. I have always been focused in turning business challenges into opportunities, and [I] manage risks and uncertainty in a creative way to deliver growth and positive results. What is the importance of the region for the corporation? From a macroeconomic perspective, I call Latin America the “worldwide citizen” because, while it doesn’t generate the revenues per subscriber that you might have in North America, the revenues aren’t as low as you might see in India, Africa, and other emerging markets. What has your presence in the region meant for its population? There’s a clear correlation between increased broadband connectivity and gross domestic product. A 10-percent increase in broadband connectivity leads to GDP increases in the range of three percent. And governments in the region are using telecommunication as a vector [to

grow], eradicate poverty, and bring new health care, education, and other critical services. What have been some of the challenges Alcatel-Lucent has faced in operating in LatAm and the Caribbean? The various global crises over the past five to seven years have impacted the region, and there are particularly challenging macroeconomic conditions in certain markets. There is a need for governments to create a regulatory environment that promotes sustained investment. And we also have to build an ecosystem of selected partners and strategic alliances to grow our reach into new segments and deliver superior value to fast-growing markets. But Latin America has managed to maintain average growth rates of three percent to five percent. And with more than 600 million people and a growing middle class, the region offers major opportunities to leverage innovation and technology to achieve sustainable growth and unleash the potential of its people.

ALCATEL-LUCENT HEADQUARTERED Miramar, FL FOUNDED 1898 EMPLOYEES WORLDWIDE 53,000 OFFICES WORLDWIDE 100+ IMPORTANT CLIENTS America Movil, Antel, CNT, Cable & Wireless, Lazus, Millicom, Oi, Setar, Telefonica, Telecom Argentina ABOUT Alcatel-Lucent is a leader in IP networking, ultrabroadband access, and cloud technologies.

OSVALDO DI CAMPLI President of Latin America and the Caribbean and Growth Markets Alcatel-Lucent




BPO,Information Technologies and Infrastructure

End to End Services

Indeplo is a Mexican Company with presence in several locations inside Mexican territory, mainly in DF and its metropolitan area. Also with presence in Ecuador and expansion plans to all Latin America and Spain.

CONTACT / (52)(55) 26-20-66-75 / (52)(55) 58-70-83-30 114


“With more than 600 million people and a growing middle class, [Latin America] offers major opportunities to leverage innovation and technology... and unleash the potential of its people." OSVALDO DI CAMPLI

What are your methods or philosophies for tackling these challenges? To help you face challenges, one of best things you can do is build strong teams. I believe in developing and betting on talent, moving people out of their comfort zone, and working across boundaries. You have to foster a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and openness in which people can tell you what you need to hear, whether you like it or not. You also have to be proactive in anticipating market dynamics and plan “what if” scenarios for unexpected situations such as mergers and acquisitions. Finally, go with your instinct: As a leader, you need to make tough calls, and people will tell you different things, but at the end, you have to own your decisions and follow through. You took on the leadership role in 2009. How has the company’s role in the region evolved since then? The year I took on my current role was unfortunately a bad time due to an economic crisis and a number of other issues that affected our business significantly. With full profit-and-loss responsibility, I decided to make changes in our organization and focus on our customers. As a result, I’m glad to report that I’m still here, and 2010, 2011, and 2012 were three of the best years we’ve had as a region, with double-digit growth, improved profitability, and a very solid team. During 2013 and part of 2014, we had a slow-down in the region, but we have focused on executing our company’s transformation and our diversification strategy. So, we’re back in a growth path and are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us. When things go well, it’s easier, but you prove yourself on the challenges.

talent Tracking companies with outstanding D&I initiatives and executives paving the path to Latino leadership





Three Mercer execs weigh in on “When Women Thrive,” a new study that supports their principles of diversity and inclusion in business



Emotionally Invested As a father and grandfather to two generations of daughters, Mercer’s Julio Portalatin is personally invested in the success of women Nearly 30 years ago, Julio Portalatin held his newborn daughter in his arms and wondered how he could make the world a better place for her. He wondered how he could ensure there were no barriers to her success, no matter what she chose to do. Last year, that same daughter gave Portalatin his first granddaughter. This time, he held the baby girl and thought about whether or not the world had really changed for women in the past 30 years. Much has been written about how having a daughter impacts the way men treat women, but studies like 2011’s “Like Daughter, Like Father: How Women’s Wages Change When CEOs Have Daughters” confirm that when a CEO is emotionally connected to the advancement of women, real change happens. For example, the study found that when a male CEO has a daughter, the average salary for a female employee within the company rises, and the gender gap begins to close. Portalatin’s commitment to diversity is twofold. As a father and grandfather to girls and as one of the few Latino CEOs of a global organization, he is personally invested in but highly cognizant of the fact that hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse talent isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. “When something is good for business, it’s good for shareholders and it will begin to pick up steam,” Portalatin says. “How many studies have there been proving that diversity is good for business? Diverse people, diverse opinions, diverse skillsets, diverse backgrounds—all lead to more thorough decision making. There is example after example that a business will be more successful—financially and otherwise—when it utilizes diverse teams. We know this, but putting the right practices in place is where the struggle is.” Respect for diversity is one of the core values of Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. Not only is it reflected in the company’s own workforce, from the executive team on down, but in the work it does for its clients. A prime example of this is the firm’s latest study, “When Women Thrive: Businesses Thrive”, which takes a

JULIO PORTALATIN President and CEO Mercer






decidedly different approach to the topic of gender diversity. Often, studies on this topic report the same dismal numbers, offering little in the way of solutions that provide tangible results. What Mercer’s team found is that standalone programs and siloed initiatives do not advance gender diversity, so what the study does is outline specific approaches that support the career, health, and financial well-being of women across every phase of their professional journey. “As a leading talent consultant working with

28,000 clients that employ millions of people, Mercer is invested in helping our clients thrive. Advancing female talent is something we know allows businesses to thrive, but we didn’t want to just add to the chorus of saying we need to do a better job at hiring, retaining, and promoting women. We wanted to offer deeper insights into how to get it right and provide a clear path for doing that,” the CEO says. The study outlines key ways that business can impact real change for women in the workforce. First

Mercer has offices in more than 40 countries and operations in more than 130 countries.


Mercer, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, is one of the largest consulting firms in the world with a focus on human resource and related financial services consulting.




and foremost, it confirms that broad, enterprise-wide focus is linked to sustainable change, meaning that organizations that focus on broad and holistic approaches to support female talent have more comparable talent flows for women and men than those that do not. Another key finding states that accountability is not enough; leadership needs to be engaged in promoting and managing diversity. “When Women Thrive” found that leadership engagement is essential, and leaders who are involved in diversity programs have more women at the top and throughout the organization.

Moving the Needle on Gender Diversity Cindy Gentry hopes Mercer’s “When Women Thrive” study results in real-deal systemic change for women in the workforce as told to Tina Vasquez

“Advancing female talent is something we know allows businesses to thrive, but we didn’t want to just add to the chorus of saying we need to do a better job at hiring, retaining, and promoting women. We wanted to offer deeper insights into how to get it right and provide a clear path for doing that.” Julio Portalatin

Perhaps surprisingly, the survey reports that not only are programs that support women’s needs not enough, but that they may actually slow the trajectory for women in the absence of proactive management of their careers. The concept of “actively managing” things like pay equity and diversity efforts is what leads to real, sustainable change, and that requires going beyond making passive commitments. “If nothing else, the study clearly pointed to the fact that the best of intentions don’t lead to better results,” Portalatin says. “If you don’t look at co-existing issues and get to the core of why these disparities exist, you’re not going to properly support women or diversity in general. Also, in terms of business, you’re going to fall behind. This study is a call to action. We must do more to ensure better business outcomes.”



In 2013, Mercer partnered with the World Economic Forum to develop a human capital index, which was essentially about figuring out how well countries are leveraging their human capital. What we found was that female talent wasn’t being utilized to its full potential across every age category in every country. It led to the question: If we took full advantage of female talent, what impact would that have on the GDP? In the US, specifically, it could boost the GDP by five percent, and in some countries it could boost the GDP by as much as 34 percent. There is a well-documented business case and a significant body of research for gender diversity, including better financial performance, such as higher returns on sales, equity, higher stock price, and operating results, etcetera. For this research, Mercer wanted to identify the policies, practices, and actions that businesses could undertake to move the needle, and that’s how the “When Women Thrive: Businesses Thrive” study came about. For a long time, employers have been offering well-intentioned but narrowly-defined policies such as resource groups, mentoring opportunities, etcetera. None of these are bad; however, they’re not having the desired impact. The building blocks of an effective gender diversity strategy for our study were health, financial well-being, and talent management. We know that women experience very different health issues, and they are the primary health decision-makers for their families. An effective strategy requires you to think about what programs will attract and retain women. On the financial side, women obviously experience pay inequity. Women earn less, and in 83 countries they make between 10 and 30 percent less than men. Women in the US also spend at least 12 years out of the workforce for caregiving. We also looked at investment patterns and found that women are more riskaverse. A fundamental pillar of a company’s gender

CINDY GENTRY Senior Partner Mercer

“Only broad, enterprisewide focus will move the needle.”


Cindy Gentry

diversity strategy is to have a dedicated team to analyze and address pay equity issues. Non-traditional solutions that impact a firm’s ability to engage and retain female talent should be considered. Actively managing female talent is fundamental to moving the needle. Any strategy that you adopt for women has to take into account where women historically get stuck in their careers. Their trajectories are so different than those of men, and if you don’t look at that and look at why, you’re going to miss a big piece of the puzzle. Our study focused on solutions that could be put in

place to address gender diversity. So much prior research defined the problem, but what do you do? You can’t just hire more women because without real, systemic change, you’re going to keep running into the same problems. On ly broad, enterprise-wide focus will move the needle. It has to be embraced across the organization, and you must have a holistic approach. I was somewhat surprised to find that just holding a leader accountable will not move the needle; only an engaged leader will be able to do so. Our CEO, Julio Portalatin, is engaged and has a personal commitment to diversity. From both a gender and racial lens, Julio knows that it is good for our people and our business. He’s not just a person holding a leadership position without compassion and commitment. We’ve read a lot about accountability, but not about passion and engagement. Just understanding the issues around gender parity and pay equity aren’t moving the needle. Doing something about these things moves the needle. Making the changes necessary to help women thrive requires persistence and passion. Change will not happen overnight. Companies need to make a long-term investment to see the results of gender diversity, and I’m here to tell you it’s really worth the investment.”




Mercer’s Marcelo Modica, says diversity isn’t just a selling point for clients by Tina Vasquez Mercer is a global consulting leader with 20,500 employees based in more than 40 countries. Given those numbers, it could be argued that the company’s “chief people officer” is one of the most central roles for success. Marcelo Modica is the man in that role, and much like how Mercer aims to help clients advance the health, wealth, and careers of their people, Modica endeavors to do the same for Mercer’s people. Here, the HR professional talks to HE about Mercer’s philosophy on diversity, the company’s decision to rename his role, and why the “When Women Thrive: Businesses Thrive” study is an important milestone for Mercer.

MARCELO MODICA Chief People Officer Mercer

What is Mercer’s philosophy on diversity, and how do you apply it in the work you do each day? Why do our clients come to us? We help define the future of the workplace and turn insights into action. For us, diversity is about staying cutting edge. The best teams are the most diverse. Diversity of thought is the foundation of our philosophy and the core of the work I do. From the perspective of Mercer and our employees, we want our company culture to be one where everyone feels welcome in the workplace, where everyone feels heard, and where differences are not seen as bad, but something to be respected and leveraged to advance our purpose. Many companies give diversityand-inclusion lip service without doing any of the work to make it a reality. How is Mercer different? For decades, the approach around diversity was that it was “the right thing to do.” That’s flexing the wrong set of muscles. If organizations are less diverse or inclusive of different views and experiences, they will likely suffer in the long run. For diversity to be lasting and meaningful, however, it must be a business imperative. Mercer is different because we know that people are at the heart of business, and we pull together teams of different people from different backgrounds and ask them to innovate. We celebrate their success and provide safe haven for failures—we learn from both. We’ve all heard the Einstein quote that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The only way to get a different outcome is to have different people bring the breadth of their experiences to a problem. It seems that having a “chief people officer” as opposed to a chief human resources officer is very deliberate. Why was this an important distinction for Mercer to make? What does it mean about your approach



to people and company culture? The story behind the title might be surprising. When our CEO, Julio Portalatin, was looking to hire a new head of HR, he wanted both a title change and a job change, elevating the role beyond the usual function. His view was that HR be an extension of our business. So, I’m responsible for HR, chief talent officer, and I believe HR needs to be a business practice at our firm. We want to cultivate the kind of work environment so that when our employees go home each evening, they want to come back the next morning. Why is Mercer’s recent study “When Women Thrive: Businesses Thrive” an important milestone for the company? There are a lot of studies that address pieces of our study, but we were able to bring together all the pieces to have a greater discovery, which hones in on the specific needs of women and provides the framework for action. Many rely on Mercer for its studies because in a lot of ways, they help identify issues that are coming around the corner that hadn’t previously been thought about. This study might provide insight before it’s too late to address the issue. What does the study say about Mercer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion? It’s says that diversity of thought and inclusion lead to great insights. The findings have been shared with the World Economic Forum, and that’s a platform on the world’s stage. There has been tremendous interest in the work we do, and I believe our approach to this—offering solutions— shows a commitment to moving the dial on women’s advancement. I’ll add that 70 percent of Mercer’s senior leadership is diverse, and 40 percent are women. Diversity isn’t just a talking point we sell clients on. We genuinely believe in its power. Broadly speaking, how do you hope the study impacts the business world? There are many companies and governments that are already thinking about these issues. We hope to partner with them to advance their success. For society more broadly, we hope the work raises awareness of the issues and opportunities and that the work can be a catalyst for change.


Walking the Walk

The Yes-Woman

Venturing to deliver a solution to every challenge, Cynthia Mares takes on presidency of the HNBA with the mantra sí se puede by Bridgett Novak

Cynthia Mares was never told to go to law school; she was simply driven to be a lawyer. The first in her family to go to college, Mares graduated from the University of Colorado–Boulder in 1979 with a degree in business administration. She worked in real estate for a year, then at the Social Security Administration, and then—after a six-month break to study Spanish at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico—as a computer-mapping specialist for an oil company. Secretly, though, she wanted to do more with her life and began to quietly pursue law school. Now, the national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) has enjoyed a career spanning over 25 years in public service—as a deputy state public defender, assistant regulation counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, and currently, as Arapahoe County public trustee. She talks to HE about how her role as president HNBA* has best defined her career to date.

CYNTHIA MARES National President Hispanic National Bar Association

What prompted you to go to law school? Did you have mentors who encouraged you? Unfortunately, I did not have any mentors. I just knew I wasn’t satisfied with my career. When I applied to law school, I didn’t tell anyone because I thought my dream was too big. I didn’t know any lawyers, nor did I really know what lawyers did. It was not until I passed the LSAT and * At her inauguration in September 2014, Mares became the 37th president of the HNBA and eighth Latina to serve in the post since the organization’s founding in 1972.




got my letter of acceptance from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law that I even told my parents. Is that one reason you’re such a big proponent of the importance of mentorships now? Absolutely, and it is definitely the reason why I’m so dedicated to the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and the HNBA. Having mentors is critical. I’m not sure how I navigated my way through law school, but it sure would have been nice to have mentors, not only for encouragement, but direction and advice. I tell students all the time that it does them no good to be shy about asking questions and meeting people in your field of interest. If you don’t know anyone personally, then ask around and find someone who can help you. If you want to be an engineer, meet engineers. If you want to be a lawyer, meet lawyers. Most professionals are happy to help aspiring students. The HNBA has several programs that mentor young people, correct? Yes. One for high school students is the Legal Education Action Program (LEAP), which provides full scholarships to 25 Hispanic high school students each year to spend one week on a university campus, meeting with national and international business leaders, lawyers, judges, state officials, law students, and law professors who serve as guides and mentors. The week ends with a mock trial competition. What other programs are designed to increase the pipeline of diverse law school candidates? Another is HNBA’s Law School–Sí Se Puede/Yes You Can. This four-year

Hispanics represent at least 17% of the US population.



program, founded by the Honorable Christine M. Arguello, a US District Court judge in Colorado, matches student-fellows with mentors who guide them through college, demystify the law school application process, and help them gain admission to the law school of their choice. The program provides skill-building workshops, immersion experiences, and a community of legal professionals committed to the students’ success. We intend to launch this in the fall and hope to enroll 15 students in each participating state. The HNBA also has partnerships with Microsoft (for law students interested in intellectual property law) and MetLife. The latter program sponsors receptions around the country, during which law students are introduced to potential mentors and have the opportunity to mingle with professionals in the legal community. There is also a division within the HNBA particularly for Latina lawyers, correct? Yes, the HNBA Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession was created in 2009 to serve as the advocate for Latina lawyers and law students and to address obstacles hindering their advancement in the legal profession. Just four percent of all US lawyers are Hispanic, and only 1.3 percent are Latinas, even though Hispanics represent 17 percent of the population. Thanks to Walmart, the Commission’s premier sponsor, we are able to offer a wide variety of educational and leadership training programs for Latinas. Some of our programming is for high school students; some is for established attorneys. The incoming HNBA president has the honor of appointing 25 members to the Commission for a one-year term.

Just 4% of all US lawyers are Hispanic.

Only 1.3% of all US lawyers are Latina.


Washington, DC


1972 as La Raza National Lawyers Association. The name was changed to Hispanic National Bar Association in 1984.


The HNBA is an organization representing Hispanics in the legal profession, including attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the US. Its current national president and CEO is Cynthia Mares.

“When I applied to law school, I didn’t tell anyone, because I thought my dream was too big.” Cynthia Mares

This year, I asked each commissioner to hold an event in their respective cities for young Latinas interested in law. The first was held in March 2015 at Fox Tech High School in San Antonio. The next one will take place in Denver. Could you also give us an overview of the programs HNBA offers to already-established attorneys? How long do we have to talk? We have so many! Last year, we offered our members a mini-MBA program. This year, at our annual Corporate Counsel Conference in San Antonio, we offered a Director Professionalism program to help senior attorneys get on corporate boards. This oneday training program sold out faster than any other program we’ve ever offered. Business development is increasingly important for attorneys, so we also unveiled the HNBA Business Development Institute. We also offered an enhanced speed-networking program. As I always say, we have something for everyone. We will be introducing a new program at our annual convention (in September 2015) for solo and small-firm attorneys. I discovered that some people weren’t joining the HNBA because they thought it was only for corporate counsel and big law firm associates and partners. That was especially troubling, since 70 percent of Hispanic lawyers are solo practitioners or work for small firms. So, we’re going to have a twoday track dedicated to these lawyers. We

** The CBAC was established in 1992 and is comprised of the top leadership of the bars of color: the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), National Bar Association (NBA), and HNBA.

are also offering an international law track, which I’m sure will be a hit. We’re also launching the HNBA National Lawyer Referral Service. This will be a searchable database on our website, allowing anyone to locate an HNBA member by name, practice area, and state of admission, and will provide their contact information. This is a much-needed benefit for our members and the general public. How politically active is the HNBA? In addition to our year-round advocacy, the HNBA goes to Washington, DC, twice a year to advocate for issues that affect our communities. One of the visits is as part of the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC)**; the other is HNBA’s annual Advocacy on the Hill. Which issues does the HNBA get involved in and advocate for? Some of the issues we advocate for include voting rights, economic empowerment, pay equity, immigration reform, the DREAM Act, diversity on the federal bench and other executive positions, and the Smarter Sentencing Act.


Hispanic National Bar Association

If you could pick one thing to be remembered for, either something you’ve already achieved or that you hope to accomplish in the future, what would it be? It would be my dedication to the [HNBA] and the creation of programs that actually benefit our members… to affirm that I listened and acted upon what our members really wanted. Microsoft takes pride in helping the HNBA fulfill its mission. Our legal professionals actively participate in HNBA committees, conferences, networking sessions, and CLEs. Jointly we created the HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute (IPLI), an exciting program aimed at inspiring Hispanic law students toward a career in intellectual property law. Together we are making a difference.




Fueling Supplier Diversity Raul Suarez-Rodriguez’s immigrant background plays a pivotal role for supplier diversity at CVS Health by Jessica Montoya Coggins When Raul Suarez-Rodriguez immigrated to the United States from Cuba, he had no idea that the challenges he faced, including the language barrier, would eventually become assets. He started in the restaurant business, but knew that he needed a professional transition. After completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Suarez-Rodriguez started working at CVS Pharmacy as a store manager in Florida during a time when the company was expanding its reach in the state. After four years in that role, he went after an MBA. Suarez-Rodriguez was then offered the opportunity to relocate to Rhode Island and work as a project leader in store operations. Moving far away from sunny Florida

RAUL SUAREZRODRIGUEZ Supplier Diversity Manager CVS Health



was no easy choice: “It was a big challenge,” says Suarez-Rodriguez. After a few months in Rhode Island, Suarez-Rodriguez began researching the company’s Supplier Diversity Program, an area he believed critical to success and innovation. He credits working with the Latino Mentoring Group at CVS Health for offering him networking and research opportunities into the area. In 2012, he was hired as manager of supplier diversity for CVS Health. Suarez-Rodriguez relishes this role with the company, particularly when it comes to working with smaller businesses: “One of the biggest responsibilities I have is to educate and mentor those suppliers that are trying to do business with CVS Health.” Suarez-Rodriguez oversees purchasing products and services from a wide range of small business owners across the country. While remaining focused on providing the best goods for a diverse consumer base, CVS Health is able to contribute to growing minority- and women-owned businesses. And Suarez-Rodriguez echoes those sentiments as he works to recruit diverse suppliers. To best serve its customers, patients, and clients, CVS Health maintains the current strength of its supplier diversity program. Suarez-Rodriguez stresses the importance in recruiting new businesses and hopes other companies place the same magnitude on investing in diversity. “Supplier diversity is an opportunity across the board,” he notes. About a year ago, National Grid and CVS Health announced a one-day business


Woonsocket, RI


1922 as Melville Corporation and 1963 as CVS






CVS Health is an American retailer and healthcare company. It is one of the world’s largest companies, ranked 12th largest in the United States, and provides pharmacy benefit management services to over 65 million Americans.

opportunity event at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. The event was designed to match smaller businesses with suppliers and to provide educational initiatives to advance skills. The event was a hit throughout Rhode Island, and Suarez-Rodriguez is hoping to take the concept to a national level. In tandem with the Professional Education Center at Roger Williams University’s School of Continuing Studies, CVS Health will be sponsoring a program specifically for minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. The curriculum, “CEO Master Series,” will aim to develop skills and best practices within the group of diverse business owners with a goal of securing contracts with major national corporations. Suarez-Rodriguez believes his Hispanic background plays a pivotal role in his position. “Being an immigrant and having faced the challenges of coming from another country, I can relate to those small businesses because I know what they go through,” he says. The work that Suarez-Rodriguez is doing with supplier diversity, therefore, is personal and meaningful; the small business owners he works with on a day-to-day basis transcend the job. “To me, they are familia.”


Northwestern Mutual realizes that money matters, but what matters more is you and your family. Your goals. Your interests. And the things you’re passionate about most in life. So we’ll be right there with you every step of the way, helping you discover what’s possible and guiding you with a long-term financial plan that turns your biggest goals into your biggest achievements. You and Northwestern Mutual—stronger together.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries.

from our partners

Guiding Multigenerational Families Toward Financial Security


rving Hernandez understands the struggles and successes of Latino families who have left their homeland for the United States in search of greater opportunities. Decades ago, his parents and brother moved from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to Brownsville, Texas, a border town where Hernandez, the second of four children, was born. After years of financial success in the clothing retail industry, his family was seriously impacted by the collapse of the Mexican peso. The business closed with no savings, no money set aside to help children



pay for college and no firm plans for financing a retirement. “My family could have really benefited from the guidance of a financial advisor,” said Hernandez, who has been assisting multiple generations of Latino families as a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual in Austin, Texas. Hernandez’s clients range from older adults who are thinking about retirement and business succession planning to first-, second- and third-generation Latinos with questions about their own and their parents’ financial future in the coming years. A business administration major who worked his way through college, Hernandez joined Northwestern Mutual after graduating from St. Edward’s University. His parents weren’t quite sure what his duties as a financial representative would entail. “But they were happy because they knew I was going to be helping people,” he said. He fell in love with the business when he recognized the parallels between his family’s life experiences and those of his clients. “I knew I had chosen the right profession when I realized how much a trusted financial advisor could impact a household and family throughout the years,” he said. Today Hernandez is helping Latinos by breaking down language and cultural barriers that prevent some individuals from planning for the future. “My primary goal is to build a relationship with clients,” said Hernandez, noting that Latinos want their financial advisors to embody the same qualities that define their tight-knit families, attributes such as trustworthiness and loyalty. “Latinos want to feel a personal connection with their financial advisor,” he said. “They also expect great service, which our team works very hard to deliver.”

At first, some clients are tentative because they mistrust financial institutions based on their experiences in Mexico. Others worry about diversifying, preferring instead to invest all of their money in a single asset. “Latinos typically prefer putting all of their investments into a tangible asset, such as a business or money under the mattress,” said Hernandez. “For some, it’s hard to make the move to an intangible asset that they can’t see or touch.” Despite the initial hesitancy, Hernandez believes more Latinos of all ages are recognizing the value of financial planning. “I’ve seen a shift in Latinos being more willing to listen and take action when it comes to their financial future,” he said. Even his parents, who moved to Frisco, Texas, and now own four medical spas, have come around. The first step toward financial planning involves a number of meetings to get a clear understanding of a client’s goals, whether it’s estate planning, paying for college, saving for retirement or designing a succession plan for his or her business. “These are some of the issues they’ve been thinking about for some time but haven’t addressed yet for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We’re so focused on day-to-day operations that our ability to be forward thinkers becomes difficult at times.” But planning ahead can provide individuals from multiple generations with peace of mind and financial resources as they move from one phase of life to another. For example, Hernandez enjoys helping people make the transition from pre-retirement to retirement knowing they are financially secure. These include clients who are setting aside the “antiquated mentality that their kids are going to take care of them when they’re older,” he said. They don’t want to financially burden their children, who may have their own financial obligations and may be living in various parts of the country. “It’s easier to care for aging parents in Mexico, where the cost of living is less expensive and family members all live close to one another,” said Hernandez. “But that’s not how it works in the United States.” Equally gratifying, he said, has been watching his clients’ children graduate from college without debt thanks to their parents’ advance planning. Now these young Latinos are turning to Hernandez for advice about their financial future. “We’re seeing a lot of the small seeds that were planted from the very beginning come to fruition, “ he said. “This multigenerational planning for families is exciting.”

“Latinos want to feel a personal connection with their financial advisor. They also expect great service, which our team works very hard to deliver.” Irving Hernandez Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities) and its subsidiaries. Irving Vonali Hernandez is an Insurance Agent of NM and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, (long-term care insurance) a subsidiary of NM, and a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), a subsidiary of NM, broker-dealer and member FINRA ( and SIPC (




Northwestern Mutual knows what it takes to succeed both on your balance sheet and in your life. It takes the right financial partner who understands how much you care about your future and your family, encouraging you to do the little things that add up over time, protect what you’ve earned and truly achieve long-term financial security. You and Northwestern Mutual—stronger together.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries.

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



on the pulse


Cisco partners with Silicon Valley high school to build the pipeline for Latino STEM leaders


risto Rey San José High School, founded in the fall of 2014 and located in the Silicon Valley area, is on a mission to end the cycle of poverty. The school’s founders believe the key to prosperity is education. It is affiliated with 28 other urban Cristo Rey Network education institutions that span the country, and unlike the average high school, an admissions prerequisite is that the student comes from a low-income family. Each school’s curriculum includes an adjunct to their academic studies called the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), in which four students team up to alternate daily at an assigned nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday. In its first year of operation, 129 freshman-level pupils make up the entire student body at Cristo Rey High School in San José; 92 percent are Hispanic and eight percent are Asian and black. Currently, there are 28 different corporate sponsors in collaboration with the high school for CWSP.

These corporate sponsors hire one team of students for the school year: September through June. Cisco, one of the school’s corporate sponsors, has exemplified what the program hopes to achieve. “Cisco has been very different from the typical experience. Their level of engagement and support of our students has been truly remarkable,” says Matt Bell, the school’s director of the Work Study Program. The global IT company with 70,000-plus employees has the following vision statement: “changing the way we work, live, play, and learn.” Anne-Marie Azzi, marketing manager at Cisco, says that the company’s interest in participating in CWSP is to share a passion for revolutionizing the world through technology with younger generations. CWSP is a STEM initiative with a goal of building the pipeline for Latino leadership in STEM. By sparking interest at an early age, companies will more likely to be able to recruit from this talented and passionate pool.

Guillermo Diaz (center) with Cristo Rey students (from left to right) Adrian, Miguel, Andrea, and Mark at a Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC).



Practicing what they preach, Cisco’s executive vice president Randy Pond sponsors two teams, contributing $30,000 per student. Pond has also smartly linked the program to Cisco’s Latino employee resource group, Conexión. “[The corporate sponsorship] is not a charitable contribution. This is a business expense for our corporate sponsors,” says the Rev. Peter Pabst, Society of Jesus, who is the president of the high school. The business pays 50 percent of each student’s tuition, the school contributes another 40 percent through grants and fundraising, and the families pay the remaining 10 percent of the total $15,000 balance. Another huge supporter of the collaboration is Cisco’s Guillermo Diaz Jr., senior vice president of IT. “Guillermo has just been the champion of this program,” Pabst says. Diaz helps the students make connections with other Cisco employees; building their confidence in the process and creating mentor-mentee situations. “Inspire exponentially” was Diaz’s phrase of the year for his students in 2014-2015 school year. “That means waking up everyday and inspiring ourselves and others through the use of technology,” he says. The student IT tea m at Cisco is lead by Katty

Coulson, who is the senior manager of Latin America information technology. Working in a high-energy environment amongst recently hired college graduates, the high school students assist in webpage development, blogging, and creating presentations. The second team leader is Ana Corrales, who is Cisco’s senior vice president of product operations. Managed by her team she calls “product operations central,” the students assist with events or product showcases that are targeted to the company. “It has been quite delightful,” Corrales says. “It’s a very rewarding experience to see [the students] grow.” She is recruiting the same students to return next year to continue building their skill sets and give them direct product experience the second time around. In addition to students gaining work experience, there is an “unexpected by-product,” as Pabst calls it, resulting from CWSP. The students feel excitement as they look forward to working in a professional setting and stand proud as their fellow adult colleagues treat them as professionals. They also enjoy having real-world responsibilities and having others rely on them in the office. From the beginning of the program to today, the students have developed into mature, confident, and courageous future Latino leaders.


by Olivia N. Castañeda

ANA CORRALES SVP of Product Operations Cisco Systems, Inc.



Senior Manager of Latin America IT Cisco Systems, Inc.

Executive VP Cisco Systems, Inc.

GUILLERMO DIAZ JR. SVP of IT Cisco Systems, Inc.

ANNE-MARIE AZZI Marketing Manager Cisco Systems, Inc.



Transforming Workplaces for Collaboration Combining great design, people, and technology to boost innovation.

Š 2014 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


CIO’s decision to partner with Cisco makes MiamiDade one of the smartest counties in the nation by Joe Dyton


f it seems like Angel Petisco has his hands in all technology-related systems in Miami-Dade County, it’s because he does. Petisco is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Miami-Dade County, a title he has held for the past six years. His civic IT expertise spans three decades. His first job with Miami-Dade County was in the data services division, helping modernize the County’s data center and upgrading the operating services. Petisco quickly moved up the ranks from unit manager, to division director, and then to IT department deputy director. When his predecessor Don Fleming retired, Petisco was the ideal candidate to replace him. “For me, from the very beginning even until present day, my interest in technology has been about the art of the possible,” Petisco says. “How can we leverage this capability to

do what we haven’t done before? That is what drove me to this field back then and what drives me today.” Recently, Miami-Dade County has partnered with the San Jose, CA-based network equipment giant Cisco to help serve its technology needs. One reason this partnership has worked so well is because Petisco sees Cisco as not just another vendor, but an actual partner—through good times and bad. For example, when Petisco had to upgrade the County’s legacy telephone systems, he didn’t have to request additional funding. Cisco helped him alleviate some of the cost by putting in a gateway that would aggregate traffic to their local carrier. It cost $800,000 to do this, but it saved the County $1.2 million by reducing outbound telephone line trunks going to the local carrier. Petisco was able to pass some of those savings along to some of his internal customers and use the original spend as a capital reinvestment fund. The fund allowed him to upgrade several telephone switches in County buildings, further reduce expenses, and improve the maintenance of the County’s telephone systems. “The partnership with Cisco allows me to address the replacement of aging technology without asking for additional capital,” Petisco says. “In the case of replacing the telephone

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY POPULATION: 2.617 million US SIZE: Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida and the seventh-most populous in the US.

ANGEL PETISCO Chief Information Officer Miami-Dade County

US PLACEMENT: Miami-Dade county is the southeasternmost county on the US mainland. DEMOGRAPHICS: Well over 50% of the residents in Miami-Dade county are Hispanic (according to the US Census). DIGITAL COUNTY: In 2014, Miami-Dade was named one of the top 10 digital counties in the United States by the Center for Digital Government.



on the pulse

Ways Miami-Dade County is making the most of technology


Speeding Up Home Inspections When Miami-Dade county residents have a home inspection scheduled, they’ll receive an email with the day and time of the inspection and a picture of the inspector, so residents knows what the inspector looks like. Inspectors are equipped with tablets and automatically upload results to the county’s database. Within a couple of hours, residents can go on the county’s web site and see the results in real-time data.


Saving Police Officers Time No longer will police officers have to worry about showing up to court only to find out the case has been rescheduled. Miami-Dade county’s IT team has implemented an electronic notification system that keeps officers apprised of trial schedules. Also, police officers now have a common arrest form that is used across the board by all police agencies in the county: an automated electronic form where they can fill out all arrest information from inside their vehicles as it is occurring. This allows for the suspect to be essentially checked-in, so that by the time the officer arrives at the correction facility, the officer can simply drop off the suspect with the correctional officer rather than having to spend time filling out several intake forms and processing the arrestee there.

system, [the partnership] actually returned some of the money back.” Petisco anticipates this is only the beginning for successful projects that will result from the partnership. Currently, Petisco is working with Cisco to help alleviate the County’s traffic congestion problem by encouraging public transportation. To make this option more appealing, the County provides free WiFi Internet access on some of its light rail systems and rapid bus routes. Another project currently forming from this partnership is the implementation of about 250 kiosks throughout the County and electronic signage on buses. Cisco will benefit from advertising what they’re developing, and the County will be able to provide free Internet access in the buses back to its network



1.2 million


Amount the County was able to save through partnering with Cisco when upgrading the county’s telephone systems.

1 million


Amount the County Parks Department was able to save by using sensors and advanced analytics to detect leaks, cutting water consumption 20%.

“(IT) is an opportunity-rich environment. You have the ability of working alongside folks who can make a fundamental difference in the way the County delivers services to its residents and the way technology enables the departments to provide those services to residents.” Angel Petisco

at no additional cost. It could provide the County with the ability to offer its web service to citizens on the bus, on the train, and 250 other proposed locations. “It gives us the ability to reach out in new ways we haven’t been able to thus far, mostly because of budget constraints,” Petisco explains. The partnership intends to allow Cisco to expand their marketing capability and Miami-Dade to reach a larger citizen base. “This type of change does not get done at a transaction vendor level; that’s something you do at a partnership level,” says Petisco. Outside of its Cisco partnership, Petisco has been able to help the County’s Parks Department from having to suffer a $1 million funding reduction by implementing smart data and analytics. The reduction would have cut summer programs for children. However, after a detailed analysis, he was able to identify that the Parks Department’s water consumption was too high by approximately $5 million annually, and sensors were used to detect leaks at a faster pace.

Those analytics, combined with smart planning, helped the Parks Department save 20 percent of their annual water consumption, which translated into the $1 million it needed to keep summer programs going. As for the future of technology usage in Miami-Dade County, Petisco sees it expanding to areas that are underfunded, like social services programs. Advanced analytics could help to develop cost-effective programs for residents, such as client profile management and benefits distribution. Other goals include improving tracking and responding more quickly to complaints like late trash pick-ups. “[IT] is an opportunity-rich environment,” Petisco says. “You have the ability of working alongside folks that can make a fundamental difference in the way the County delivers services to its residents and the way technology enables the departments to provide those services to the residents. At the end of the day, it’s a very powerful and comforting feeling that you’ve made a difference.”


Top Chick-fil-A executive and City of Refuge take a multi-faceted approach to help the homeless and disadvantaged in Atlanta by Tina Vasquez


ver his 22 years with Chick-fil-A, senior director of real estate Alex Dominguez discovered a deep passion for philanthropic work. In addition to being master of the real-estate domain, having represented everything from large retail centers to mobile home parks, Dominguez has directed his energy towards helping homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Here, the senior director talks to HE about his humble beginnings in Cuba and his philanthropic work with City of Refuge. HE: How has the way you were raised impacted your work ethic? AD: We left Cuba in 1968 with only the clothes on our backs. In the United States, there were 14 of us living in my aunt’s two-bedroom house. My father worked 60 to 70 hours a week, and on his first-ever vacation he took us to Sears to buy a lawn mower and an edger so that during his “free time” we could have our own landscaping business. My mom worked

from home as a seamstress and homemaker. My parents spent their whole lives working; so much of my work ethic comes from my parents. When I was younger, it was also rooted in survival, the understanding that I had to work harder because I was already at a disadvantage because I wasn’t from this country, I didn’t speak the language, and I was from the wrong neighborhood. HE: Were you interested in real estate before graduating from college and starting your career? AD: Not really, but the idea of having land or owning land is something that always interested me, and it’s something I thought about a lot growing up. I grew up on a farm in Cuba, born around the time Castro took over the island. I was born into the communist revolution. My dad had a grocery store, a five and dime, a cattle farm, and a dairy farm before everything was nationalized, so he lost it all. I did the math once; I think it was nearly $700 billion in real estate that became the property



HEADQUARTERED: Atlanta, GA REACH: Services span multiple areas of need within the 30314 area code—from providing food, clothing, and shelter to job training, placement, housing, health care, and education. ORGANIZATION PHILOSOPHY: The City of Refuge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to community development efforts that lead to the stability and sustainability of the local community. The mission of City of Refuge is to bring light, hope, and transformation to Atlanta.

ALEX DOMINGUEZ Senior Director of Real Estate Chick-fil-A



The idea is simple: partner with our clients, listen to their needs and use our technical expertise to accomplish their land





development goals. DDR owns and operates prime retail assets in stable and expanding markets where retailers continue to deliver growth for their stakeholders, and value and convenience for their consumers.

Goodman Real Estate Services Group is a commercial real estate brokerage company specializing in • SHOPPING CENTER LEASING • TENANT REPRESENTATION • INVESTMENT SALES • LAND SALES

Bohler is proud to partner with Alex Dominguez and the entire Chick-fil-A team.


The Offices of Legacy Village 25333 Cedar Road, Suite 305 Cleveland, OH 44124 DDR Corp. 3300 Enterprise Parkway, Beachwood, Ohio 44122 136



of the government. In college, I was honestly more focused on playing football than studying, but a real estate 101 class changed everything. It gave me the focus I was searching for. HE: What do you enjoy most about your work as senior director of real estate? AD: No matter how many deals I do, there are never two that are similar. I’m always dealing with new people, and their personalities are difficult or easy-going or anywhere in between. Every acre, every piece of earth is different. Codes are different in every city, county, and state. It never gets old. HE: You do a great deal of philanthropic work, including working with City of Refuge, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing transformation to individuals and communities in need. How did you get involved? AD: My wife Jaynie called me one day and said a neighbor had all of her things dumped out into her front yard. My better half is very conscious of others and she wanted to do something to help after we found our neighbor had been living without water or electricity. While searching for a place that could help

our neighbor, Jaynie came across City of Refuge, which is a homeless shelter that also provides medical services and opportunities for employment through the 180° Kitchen, a culinary arts training program led by three amazing chefs, one of whom cooked for two presidents. Our work with the organization started with our neighbor and has since branched out. HE: What other programs are offered by the organization? AD: City of Refuge’s transformation pathway includes programs that stretch from family formation through re-stabilizing adults. There are quite a few education, character development, and college prep programs for youth and children. One of its projects, the Kindred Spirit Home, is amazing. It provides housing for teen moms and teaches parenting skills. There is also a program that provides assistance to victims of sex trafficking, including long-term, trauma-informed care. The home’s NAPA Training Center is an auto-technician training program made possible by a $300,000 donation from NAPA; it guarantees a job upon graduation. City of Refuge also has a full medical clinic, a middle- and high

“My ultimate goal is to create a social innovation hub in Atlanta where multiple organizations working together can meet the needs of those most in need.” Alex Dominguez

City of Refuge’s 180° Kitchen is a place where good food and good causes are served daily. The kitchen services are open to the community, and a team of culinary arts students are trained here also.

school, and a pre-K program that supports both residents and community members. HE: What is your biggest takeaway from doing this work? AD: I’ve become very passionate about the concept of collective impact, which is essentially when multiple ministries come together to solve a problem by focusing on the same end goal. City of Refuge offers housing, medical services, job training, and educational opportunities, which is a more common-sense approach than

exclusively offering services for one thing. My ultimate goal is to create a social innovation hub in Atlanta where multiple organizations working together can meet the needs of those most in need. It would be a way to create real change. Thank you, Alex, for your friendship, personal mentoring, and the business opportunities you create for our company. You and Chick-fil-A allow us to perpetuate a corporate-services level of involvement in a broker capacity of which we are thankful and proud to provide. I am honored to be associated with you and Chick-fil-A. –Richard H. Edelman, Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC



on the pulse


With Trident Capital, Alberto Yépez’s cybersecurity investments make the world a safer place. Now, he says, it’s time to make the industry a more diverse one. by Luke Blanco


shot at notable success sometimes requires unconventional tactics. The road-less-travelled approach paid off for Alberto Yépez, a partner and managing director at Trident Capital, located in Palo Alto, California. He can proudly say, “Everyday I wake up, pinch myself, and ask myself if this is real,” he says. “But if you don’t take risks, you don’t get big rewards.” A fully engaged venture capitalist, the Peruvian-born Yépez attended Lima’s Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería where he studied electronic engineering. Afterwards, he studied electronic physics, computer science, and computer engineering at the University of San Francisco on a scholarship. After selling his cybersecurity company, enCommerce, Yépez emerged as an IT leader and focused his efforts on investing in other blossoming security companies. Aside from working at venture capital giant Trident Capital, Yépez is also affiliated with Warburg Pincus and Bain Capital, where he served as a board member and executive in many of their portfolio businesses.



TRIDENT CAPITAL FOUNDED: 1993 HEADQUARTERED: Palo Alto, CA SPECIALTY: Early stage cybersecurity investments and select growth equity CURRENT PORTFOLIO: 44 active portfolio companies that employ more than 5,000 people around the world. Includes AirTight Networks; AlienVault, BlueCat, HyTrust, and Mocana FUNDS: More than $1.9 billion raised across 7 funds COMPANY SUMMARY: Trident invests in software, services and Internet and focuses on companies addressing the major technology challenges facing today’s enterprise, including Cloud Computing, IT Security, Digital Monetization, and Healthcare IT.

But Yépez never forgot his beginnings, and he now passionately strives to increase diversity within the IT sector and beyond. Recruited immediately after college in 1986, Yépez worked for 10 years in Apple’s internal IT, product development, and business development departments. With his multiple contributions and leadership potential in mind, Apple senior management sponsored Yépez to attend the Executive Development Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. An entrepreneur at

heart, he left Apple in 1995 to start enCommerce, an information security company, in the wake of the Internet explosion, which grew and was sold at a handsome profit to Entrust in 2000. He continued with Entrust for about a year, leaving to focus on the cybersecurity space within the private equity and venture capital markets. After exploring opportunities for consolidation in the security market with Warburg Pincus, Yépez was recruited by Bain Capital to serve as executive chairman and eventually CEO of Thor Technologies. Shortly thereafter, Trident Capital led the second round of investment in Thor, building a leading player in identity management. Oracle acquired Thor at the end of 2005, Yépez

joined Trident Capital in 2008 as a venture consultant, and later rose to his current position. Yépez’s vigor permeates when he says, “What I do is a great platform. I’m very excited because I have an opportunity to make the world a safer place.” He does indeed deliver on his eagerness; at Trident Capital, Yépez co-leads cybersecurity investments and has had a seat on seven of their boards of directors. Throughout its history, Trident Capital has made 18 investments, 13 of which produced a four-fold return. Given his top-shelf skill set, various financial institutions and government agencies—including the US Department of Defense and its DeVinCI Program—regularly seek his know-how. Turning to his passion of helping other Hispanics rise to his level, Yépez stresses that “cybersecurity is a global market with lots of open, high-paying jobs requiring diversity and an understanding of broad issues.” Facing unique Internet security challenges in their respective countries, Latinos have keen insights into addressing cybersecurity issues. For this reason, at Yépez’s urging, Trident invested in Spanish company AlienVault. AlienVault provides what Yépez believes the market needs: simple, complete, quality, and

“Cybersecurity is a global market with lots of open, highpaying jobs requiring diversity and an understanding of broad issues.” Alberto Yépez

ALBERTO YÉPEZ Partner and Managing Director Trident Capital

affordable solutions that leverage the global community in establishing an open threat intelligence exchange for everyone’s benefit. Trident relocated AlienVault to the United States, bringing the company’s unique business plan onto the world’s stage while increasing AlienVault’s employee count from 30 to 250 in 2015. Admittedly, cybersecurity, and IT in general, is a nascent industry within the Hispanic community, but Yépez constantly pushes for more representation, specifically when it

comes to industry leaders and venture capital. As chairman of the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) for the past six years, Yépez drives HITEC’s strategy and commitment to giving back. Yépez is vocal about increasing minority partners and entrepreneurs in the National Venture Capital Association. Aside from these high-impact organizations, he stands by Business Executives for National Security, Endeavor Global, and the World Economic Forum.

For Yépez, the need for education is fundamental—not just for minorities, but for all future business leaders and entrepreneurs. Yépez reminisces on his career and echoes these sentiments when he says, “If I wouldn’t have had a technology degree, these opportunities wouldn’t have been afforded to me, especially for a person coming from Perú.” To this end, Yépez vehemently supports INROADS, a program placing high school seniors studying STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, and math)

disciplines in companies with the goal of developing their business skills. “We can try to bring minority leaders into the fold,” Yépez says, “but if they are not adequately trained, there is no talent base.” Firm in his beliefs that one should “never forget their roots, culture, and the people who provide help along the way,” Yépez continuously strives to give back. “Become a mentor and give someone a chance. When they grow professionally, it is the most rewarding feeling.”



on the pulse


Health Care, United UnitedHealth Group’s Russell Bennett on how he and his Latino Health Solutions team support and educate the Hispanic community on health insurance matters by Joe Dyton

RUSSELL BENNETT VP of Latino Health Solutions UnitedHealth Group





nitedHealth Group realized that it needed to do more than just sell health care to the Hispanic community. To truly reach the community, the corporation also needed to provide information, outreach, and an understanding of the matter. Russell Bennett was the man to spearhead the strategy. Bennett serves as the vice president of Latino health solutions for UnitedHealth Group (UHG). In this role, he leads a company-wide effort to develop Hispanic-focused materials, products where they are needed, and services to help ensure that UHG is providing its Hispanic customers top-quality service. His team’s outstanding efforts have been recognized with multiple awards over the past dozen years. Three of the awards he is most proud of are recognitions granted by the US Surgeon General, the National Hispanic Medical Association, and the International Community Foundation, each for different aspects of innovative work to improve the overall Hispanic health. Bennett and his team also make sure that the materials and services they provide are delivered in culturally sensitive and competent ways. It’s not just about translating materials into Spanish; it’s about delivering services with a bilingual excellence. Bennett refers to it as “trans-creation”: offering the same message, but not necessarily in the same words. “For years now, we’ve said, ‘Let’s see how this document looks when it’s trans-created to Spanish,’” Bennett says. “Is it giving the same message? Are people going to react to it

in Spanish the way they react to it in English? Are they going to learn the same things?” Bennett started in this role when about 13 years ago, UHG recognized the need to reach out to the growing population of Spanish-preference Hispanics in a different way. Bennett had previously worked as the founding executive director of the US-Mexico Border Health Commission. He had lived in Mexico for almost 30 years, which helped him develop a strong understanding of the culture. When USG was seeking someone to lead the formation of this unit, putting Bennett in charge made perfect sense. He is the Spanish language media spokesman for several of the company’s initiatives. “I think I fit the profile for understanding business, marketing, Latin America and the US Hispanic population,” he says. Bennett conducts presentations around the country on innovative ways to improve Hispanic health. He recently asked the National Hispanic Medical Association to develop a research paper on “Increasing Hispanic Enrollment in Health Coverage—Barriers and Successful Strategies.” The conclusions of the paper have informed various radio media tours and educational TV capsules Bennett has developed over the past few months. Companies of all sizes approach UHG because they know about its expertise to help them engage their Hispanic workers and families about their health. These companies want to know what Bennett’s team can do to give their Hispanic employees what they need to understand the importance of living a healthy

UNITED HEALTH GROUP HEADQUARTERS: Minnetonka, MN WHO IT SERVES: Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves 45 million people in health benefits. COMPANY DESCRIPTION: UnitedHealth Group is a diversified managed health care company dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers.

lifestyle and how to cost-effectively use their benefits. For example, many countries don’t have the same concept of urgent care that exists in the US. People will often go to the emergency room for issues that could have been solved with primary care. Emergency room visits are one of the most costly ways to receive medical attention. Bennett’s team helps companies assist their Hispanic employees to understand these type of situations. “If people don’t understand that they can actually choose their level of care, then the system suffers because they may not be getting the right level of care, when they’d be very happy to do it correctly if they understood it,” Bennett says. Educating the community about health care is a large part of Bennett’s job and his group’s initiatives make it happen. One of these initiatives includes placing health kiosks at work sites for employees, many of whom do not have Internet access either during the workday or at home. UHG provides health, lifestyle, and insurance information that can be used at the worksite, at home, or on the go.



on the pulse

MULTICULTURAL AND TRANSLATION SERVICES FROM UNITEDHEALTH GROUP UnitedHealth Group’s Multicultural and Translation Services (MTS) department was created because the changing face of America calls for the health care industry’s ability to provide the same level of service to a diverse consumer base. The MTS department plays an essential customer service role across the company by focusing on meeting the demands of members who request services in other languages. Limited in-language resources can contribute to cultural or language barriers, which can eventually lead to disparities in health care outcomes. MTS’s mission is to help close this gap for customers.

UHG is now expanding the kiosk initiative in other areas such as Hispanic-focused supermarkets and the feedback has been positive. At these Kiosks, people can print the articles and take them home. Shoppers might print out a healthy recipe or look up articles on a chronic disease. The website also contains fotonovelas, or animated photo stories that deliver health information in a more engaging way. UHG offers health insurance and also rewards those who are interested in the subject. In 2007, the company started a scholarship program through the United Health Foundation that grants scholarships to students studying in health care fields. The Diverse Scholars Program now awards $2 million per year, of which about $600,000 is targeted towards encouraging more Hispanic students to choose and

“I want to continue to innovate and really apply new communication technologies to improving Hispanic health.” Russell Bennett

complete health care careers. “I get to go to some of the scholarship awards events and to meet some of the students. It is inspiring to meet some of these young people and their parents,” Bennett says. “Some of them are the first ones in their family to go to college or into the medical field.” With the Hispanic population being the fastest growing segment in the US,

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50.1M Speak a non-English language at home

261.6M Speak English at home

Source: Pew Research Center 2011. Only languages with more than one million speakers shown







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Hispanics will account for 40 percent of the labor force growth by 2020. Bennett and his team are responding with services that will be increasingly important. And as the Hispanic population grows, Bennett would like to see the same for UHG’s innovative practices. Going forward, Bennett’s hope is that more Hispanic patients will be able to visit doctors virtually. Hispanics make up around 18 percent of the population, but only four to five percent of doctors are Hispanic. Bennett believes that if patients have the chance to see a doctor who understands their language and culture, even if miles separate them, it could go a long way towards improving health. Other innovative measures would include UGH expanding its bilingual health education kiosks and even engaging Hispanics more through social media channels—whatever it takes to get the right information to the right person at the right time. “I want to continue to innovate and really apply new communication technologies to improving Hispanic health,” Bennett says. “I think that tele-medicine and virtual visits are beginning to take hold in our company and will continue to grow.”

final thoughts

Meet the CEO who gave the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) the transformative makeover that put it on the map, elevating the organization to the national stage. by Olivia N. Casta単eda, photos by Sheila Barabad




final thoughts


he Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) organization has been around since 2001, but over the past three years, growth has been robust. Infrastructure has improved, membership has increased, and headquarters has relocated to Milwaukee’s downtown area to be near its key constituents. Today, HPGM represents not only Latinos working in corporate America, but also college students, offering programs to both demographics to either continue an education or jump-start a career from entry- to seniorlevel, up until retirement. It was the vision of president and CEO Griselda Aldrete to revamp HPGM into what it is today. She chats with HE about what it takes to restructure an organization and her passion for wrenching open the pipeline to Latino success.

Now that you’re in the final phases of a successful restructure, looking back, what was HPGM lacking before? When I began at HPGM in 2012, it was a two-person staff tasked with doing 150 things. That’s hard to do when you’re trying to grow and have an impact. The other issue was our location. From 2007 to November 2014, we were located at the Spanish Center, which is a social service organization on the south side of Milwaukee which also houses other nonprofits. Because of that, we were often confused with other social service agencies. I felt it was important for our Latino professional and business membership organization to move to a more business-central neighborhood. Moving to downtown was a very intentional move. I wanted us to have our own identity, and the move helped change the way people looked at us. HPGM’s scope has broadened. Who does the organization represent currently? Our key membership includes students, professionals, and corporate members. Today we have approximately 1,400 members total, with about 575 of those being students. We are partnered with about 57 corporations regionally in the state.



What is HPGM’s goal under your presidency? Our goal in Wisconsin is to change the outlook of Latinos in general. Latinos in the country are growing at a fast rate, and Wisconsin is not an exception. Historically, Milwaukee is a segregated city, and race relations have been strained for many years, so our organization is making an effort to change the perception of the Latino in our region. We want people to know that Latinos are a force to be reckoned with because they are educated and smart, and we are removing any barrier that would hinder success. What was your strategy to reach that goal? 2012 was really our year to step back, take a hard look at HPGM, and do a lot of organizational assessment. We became very focused and strategic. When I was hired I didn’t want to just manage a social organization. I wanted us to really think about what we wanted to stand for, what programs we wanted to be known for, and where we saw ourselves in the future. As an organization, we said, “Have we been successful? If yes, well, how do we measure success?” We surveyed our corporate members

and members who have been around since the beginning to really find out what they liked about the organization, what they felt was lacking, and then how to move forward. A very strategic plan to answer the question about pipelining Latino talent was implanted in the fall of 2012 when we actually began working with universities. We had never worked with students before. We asked some of the largest universities in the state what they are doing to help attract, retain, and recruit Hispanics and get them to persist at the college level. That was the beginning of the programming we developed for our students today. Give us an overview of some of the programs offered to both students and professional members. With our students, we have a fourpronged model, which is tiered depending on their school year. We track the academic success of our student members and provide financial literacy assistance. We help them understand loans and financial aid and what those will mean upon graduation. We also work on their online presence because we know that’s where this generation sort of lives, and we know corporations look at that to ensure that they’re hiring mature individuals regardless of age. We also have a mentorship program where our professional members mentor the student members and then we pipeline students in with internships. Our goal is for each student to have at least completed two internships before graduation. For young professionals, we developed a program where we teach skill sets necessary to move into mid-career. For our mid-career members, we just launched a program centered on affinity groups or employee resource groups. This is really to engage a different demographic of our membership to make sure that from a company standpoint we’re giving them an investment because we know affinity groups have been a huge topic of interest for corporations. Eventually, we would like to be able to offer C-suite executives

an avenue to pipeline them into private, corporate, or government boards. What has been the biggest gamechanger in HPGM’s makeover? Part of my strategy was growing our revenue to grow our infrastructure and team. April 2014 was the first HPGM Five Star Gala, and we raised about $300,000. With the new budget, we now have four full-time staff members, we added a second round of co-chairs, and expanded our reach to the programs for student chapters. We then had our second annual gala on May 9th, 2015, raising over $300,000, surpassing our fundraising goal. These funds will help launch our undergraduate scholarship program for 2016. How has working for HPGM translated your passion into a career? I became a professional member in 2007 after reporting for ¡Aquí! Milwaukee and interviewing HPGM’s first hired executive director. Later in 2011, HPGM opened the position, and I interviewed for it, but my first job offer was as program manager. I could see the potential that HPGM had, and my vision was to make it grow. I’ve now been with the organization for three years and have moved up from manager to executive director to now CEO. HPGM has helped me focus on my passion. I’m extremely invested in the success of Latinos, and I think education continues to be the universal equalizer for people. I’m a first-generation college student. My dad is a Mexican immigrant and my mom is from El Salvador, and they always told my sister and me that education would be the key to our success.

“I wanted us to really think about what we wanted to stand for, what programs we wanted to be known for, and where we saw ourselves in the future.” Griselda Aldrete

Post-makeover, what are you most excited about? I’m really excited about inspiring the next wave of Latino leaders, but most importantly, HPGM’s success is not just correlated with me. It’s my team and my board of directors who give me guidance and are my ambassadors in the wider community and in the corporate community.



no lo sabíamos

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


When the South African government wouldn’t issue the Dalai Lama a visa to visit Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his 80th birthday in 2011, he used live Hangout on Google+ instead


In 2015, IT services in Latin America are expected to grow by about



Lyft currently operates in


Latin America Global

US municipalities p.24 p.50

That is more than 2.4 times the rate of the global average

Barclays Center surpassed Madison Square Garden as the highest grossing venue in the United States for concerts and family shows in its inaugural year, 2012


The Nickelodeon channel is now seen in more than 160 countries and territories, including Turkey, Pakistan, the Philippines, Greece, and Brazil

There are 26 chief nuclear officers in America and 99 nuclear reactors

p.92 p.85




The Norwegian Breakaway is the largest ship based year-round out of NYC

Online support relevant to the Hispanic community puts bilingual health and wellness information at your fingertips – at home, work or on the go. Key features include: } Videos about health, insurance and wellness in Spanish or English } Health-related news } Recipes } Health insurance information, including Health Exchange basics } Tips about fitness and healthy living Visit or scan the QR code with your smartphone to get access to information to help you and your family maintain a healthy lifestyle, with special focus on the common health issues that are important to you.

Š2015 United HealthCare Services, Inc. Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through a UnitedHealthcare company. UHCEW735696-000

Hispanic Executive #34  

July/August 2015, #34. The Marketing Issue. Uniting Powerful Leaders.