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VOLUME 17, NO. 1 2014



DEAR HACR STAKEHOLDERS, We are excited to be in San Diego this year for our 22nd Annual HACR Symposium. Target Corporation is serving as our official Host of the Annual Symposium, Corporate Directors Summit™, and of the Corporate Executives Forum™ annual meetings. This year we also celebrate the eighth class of our HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ program and fourth year of our Corporate Achievers Summit. At the Annual Symposium, we have great speakers and programs, including a C-Suite roundtable with top-level executives, a discussion with the Alliance for Board Diversity, a presentation about supplier diversity best practices, and a special panel on the State of Latinos in California.

Participants will also have the opportunity to network with our Board of Directors, meet with new team members, and network with hundreds of corporate colleagues from around the country. On behalf of our coalition and corporate members, all of who support HACR’s mission ‘to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions,’ we ‘thank you’ for attending and supporting our work, as we together look forward to another great year! Sincerely,

Frank D. Alvarez Interim President & CEO



Margaret Moran League of United Latin American Citizens HACR Board Chair

The Honorable Lincoln Díaz-Balart Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.

Guarione Diaz Cuban American National Council HACR Board Vice Chair

Dr. Antonio R. Flores Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Ronald Blackburn Moreno ASPIRA Association, Inc. HACR Board Treasurer

Alma Morales Riojas MANA, A National Latina Organization

Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. United States Hispanic Leadership Institute HACR Board Secretary Janet Murguía National Council of La Raza HACR Immediate Past Chair Luis A. Vazquez-Contes American GI Forum of the United States The Honorable Rubén Hinojosa Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc.

Martha Montoya National Association of Hispanic Publications Cecelia Espenoza National Hispana Leadership Institute Rafael Fantauzzi National Puerto Rican Coalition Manuel “Manny” Gonzalez National Society of Hispanic MBAs Ignacio Salazar SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. Javier Palomarez United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Corporate Observer is a publication of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). HACR’s mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. Frank D. Alvarez Interim President and CEO Jennifer DuBois Executive Assistant Emma Etheridge Programs and Initiatives Manager Dr. Lisette Garcia Director, HACR Research institute Kevin Klich Senior Manager, Finance and Administration Jason León Senior Director of Corporate Relations, Communications, and Programs Cecilia Majors LCDA Program Manager Josh Silvia Senior Manager, Communications Ariana Solis Gomez Communications and Programs Associate




23rd annual hacr symposium: the power of hispanic inclusion™






WALMART LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW SERIES Over the next year, HACR will highlight leaders who are advocating for Hispanic inclusion. The Walmart Leadership Interview Series will be featured in HACR’s publications, website, and social media platforms. Twenty-five interviews will be published between November 2013 and November 2014. The interviews will highlight Hispanic leaders who are making a difference within their companies and communities, including representatives from Walmart. During the interviews, topics will revolve around the lack of Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America, best practices to improve representation within companies, personal insights to help increase the representation in Corporate America, and advice on how they’ve been successful in their careers.


“If you start trying to work on your next job before you get really good at your current job, that’s typically not a good success story. I am a big believer that what gets you to the dance is delivering exceptional results. At the end of the day, your work represents what you stand for. That should be representative of who you are and what you’re capable of.” Gisel Ruiz doesn’t need to be convinced that Walmart provides a realistic career path for those who want it.

available to employees and aren’t confined to those in the commercials or even her own story.

She’s lived it out. The Chief Operating Officer for Walmart U.S., Ruiz has made it from the store level to the C-Suite, and she’s been a witness to similar success stories throughout her tenure.

“The stories seen in these commercials are true stories. That’s the real Walmart,” she said. “The interesting thing for me is that I am in my 23rd year at Walmart. It’s not new. It’s existed as long as I’ve been here. I think my example is a great example of what’s possible in terms of your career building. I’ve worked with associates who started out with Walmart as a seasonal job at Christmas, and they worked their way up the corporate ranks.”

“I think what’s different today is that we’re starting to tell our story better,” Ruiz said. “We’re telling more people about the opportunities at Walmart... great career opportunities have existed for as long as I’ve been at Walmart and as long as the company has been around – more than 50 years.” And Walmart is using traditional ad spots and ad time to tell some of those stories. Recent ads have featured real Walmart associates discussing the opportunities available at the Fortune 1 global retailer. Ruiz says that these are reflective of the opportunities that are made



And Ruiz still looks forward to seeing them each time. It’s a reminder of where she’s come from. Even now, Ruiz says that caring for people and providing resources for them to create their own path up the corporate ranks is paramount in her job duties. In fact, they’ve been important for all of her career.

WALMART LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW SERIES Ruiz can comfortably speak to the values and ethics of Walmart, having held numerous leadership roles since joining the company in 1992 as a store management trainee.

truly ingrained in how our leaders lead. We serve customers from all over the world. [Diversity] is just part of who we are, and who we’ve always been. We are a company that embraces diversity.”

As a store manager, she interacted and was responsible for 350 associates. The store level provided Ruiz the ability to grow professionally but also to apply the lessons of her youth with her associates.

Currently, Latinos make up 13 percent of Walmart’s workforce. That’s an important number for numerous reasons, especially when considering the demographic shifts happening around the country. It also helps leaders like Ruiz learn how a Latino in California might view something differently then a Latino in Texas.

“The combination of how my parents raised me, and the values Walmart embodies and what the company expects from its leaders, made it a perfect match for what I wanted to do in my career.” Her parents were models of generosity and hospitality. Ruiz remembers times during her youth where her house was regularly occupied by cousins and other family members. Her house provided the right stability for friends and family to attend work and school. For Gisel and her sister, it provided an environment of focus and determination on their studies. “I had an upbringing with parents who were extremely supportive. Neither one of my parents had more than a sixth grade education,” she said. “My mom went to middle school; my father never went to a day of school in his life. “All while I was growing up, they had an amazing passion for ensuring that my sister and I got set up for success, especially through education. That was a major part of what they wanted for our futures.” The continued growth of Walmart means more opportunities for diverse talent. Despite Walmart’s roots as an American business, there’s no denying its global footprint and presence. Growth and global usually bring along with it a diverse talent base and a larger pool to draw from. Ruiz confirms that Walmart has had a strong diversity strategy since she has been with the firm. She has seen the program become ingrained in the company’s culture and not just part of a company program. “We continue to focus on our diversity programs and we execute them really well. However, what I am most proud of is that no one has to push to make sure the efforts are happening. It is

“First, it is a beautiful thing to be a Latino or Hispanic. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing to belong to a culture with richness in the characteristics of our people. It is something to be absolutely proud of.” Ruiz is actively involved in preparing Latinos, specifically Latinas, for their future. She has taken on several mentorship roles — official and unofficial — at Walmart. Currently, she leaders a mentorship circle for Latinas. The object of the year-long program is to provide inspiration and resources for Latinas who want to grow within the company. “The first thing I tell them is No. 1: Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. Be yourself. It’s a gift. Those very attributes that make you unique, make you stronger. Don’t try to conform or be something that you’re not. Be proud of who you are. Leverage those strengths. Work on the things you need to do better, but don’t try to change who you are.”

big believer that what gets you to the dance is delivering exceptional results. At the end of the day, your work represents what you stand for. That should be representative of who you are and what you’re capable of.” Ruiz’s 20-plus years at Walmart have no doubt been filled with examples of what’s possible when ambition and delivery meet. And her story — like the commercials — continues to highlight the possibilities of working within a large organization. But the Ruiz’ story isn’t just about her path. To her, it’s about the next generation of leadership and ensuring that she opens doors that were opened to her throughout her career at Walmart. “I think I have a personal responsibility to help people because I grew up in a family environment that showed me how necessary it is to help people, but also looking back there were so many people in my career who chose to help me, who chose to support me, and took the time to do that because they had an interest in me. It’s more of a personal responsibility than a professional one. It really is about giving back considering what you’ve received.”

She stresses that the only way to guarantee long-term success is to focus on the job you have now and to deliver on expectations. Too often, she has seen talented individuals get caught up in the idea of the next job and they don’t perform well enough to ascend to the next level. “A lot of times I think people get distracted by what’s next,” she said. “You have to trust that if you do your current job really well and you differentiate yourself well, that is good enough. “If you start trying to work on your next job before you get really good at your current job, that’s typically not a really good success story. I am a




JOIN CHCI FOR NEXTOPP Educating, empowering, and connecting young leaders for nearly 40 years, later this year the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) is proud to release CHCI NextOpp, a new powerful online version of its National Directory of Scholarships, Internships, and Fellowships for Latino Students. Students, parents, and educators can more easily search, save, and share life-changing opportunities across the U.S. based on their unique profile, location, and interests. The site also provides valuable materials to further educate students about the college-going process. CHCI is working hard to collect a robust list of opportunities for students to access in preparation for our national launch in May 2014. We are inviting corporate HACR stakeholders and network members to join this powerful online directory by providing internship, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities available at your company or organization. Don’t miss your chance to join us and be a part of this dynamic resource for young Latinos across the nation. Our printed National Directory reaches thousands of users each year, add your opportunity today to allow thousands of young Latinos to learn more about your organization and programs. To have your opportunity added or for more information, contact Evelyn Garcia Morales at

CHLI CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF “ADVANCING THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY’S DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT” This year, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) will host its 10th Anniversary Gala and Leadership Awards on May 8th 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C. Held each spring, the event brings together a diverse audience of national community leaders, corporate executives, elected and appointed officials, and prominent international representatives. CHLI will recognize two individuals for outstanding Leadership in Public Service and Corporate Leadership. CHLI is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress to advance the Hispanic Community’s Economic Progress with a focus on Social Responsibility and Global Competitiveness.



CHLI promotes its mission through leadership programs, Congressional Briefings and international engagement in areas of trade, energy, and technology. CHLI has funded over $1,000,000 in scholarships, internships, and educational programs to college students of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.

CNC HOSTS 17TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE “LATINOS AND THE AMERICAS: ENGAGEMENT AND OPPORTUNITY” CNC’s 17th National Conference, to be held on June 11-12, 2014 in Washington, D.C., will present a Hispanic-American perspective on U.S./Latin America relations across five plenary sessions and two luncheons with guest speakers. Nationally recognized leaders from the public and private sectors will speak and discuss issues in the areas of immigration, trade, commerce, medical tourism, women in leadership, and U.S. Latino representation in the development of U.S./Latin America relations. CNC conferences serve as a forum for networking among participants who share common interests and seek to expand their horizons through learning and sharing from each other’s experiences. Funds raised for this conference will benefit the work of CNC in the community. CNC is a nonprofit human services organization founded in 1972. Our mission is to provide outcome-oriented programs in education for atrisk youth, early childhood education and development, housing counseling, financial education, and social services to individuals in need, from all racial and ethnic groups. CNC has offices in Miami, FL; Washington, D.C.; and Union City, NJ and provides direct services to more than 12,000 individuals yearly.

CORPORATIONS PARTNER WITH HACU ON COLLEGE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has partnered with Deloitte, Sodexo, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, PBS, Aetna, Goldman-Sachs, BBVA Compass, Hormel, Wyndham, and Chick-Fil-A to offer corporate internships to college and university students under the HACU National Internship Program (HNIP). HACU corporate partners seeking to diversify their workforce will be providing summer internships to students pursuing degrees in accounting, agriculture,

HACR COALITION MEMBER & MEDIA PARTNER NEWS biological sciences, business administration, computer science, information technology, management information systems, culinary arts, economics, and engineering (mechanical, electrical, nuclear, aeronautical, software, civil, and industrial). The internships provide talented Hispanic and other minority students with opportunities to develop career and professional skills while receiving financial support to help motivate them towards graduation. Corporate and federal internship opportunities are offered through partnerships with HACU. Students not selected for a corporate internship are automatically considered for placement at federal agencies. More than 10,000 students have been placed in internship assignments since the inception of the program in 1992.

HISPANIC EXECUTIVE PARTNERS WITH HISPANICS IN PHILANTHROPY TO PRODUCE SPECIAL EDITION Hispanic Executive magazine is proud to partner with Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) to produce a special edition dedicated solely to highlighting the nation’s top Latino philanthropists, including illustrating best practices on strategic giving and more. This special issue was distributed at HIP’s 30th anniversary event in San Francisco, CA on March 6, 2014. Attendees include some of the nation’s top Latino donors, philanthropists, and leaders. “We are very excited to be partnering with Diana Campoamor and Hispanics in Philanthropy,” said Pedro A. Guerrero, president of Hispanic Executive. “Through this special collaboration, Hispanic Executive has produced a special edition that recognizes 30 of the many extraordinary individuals who are pillars in the philanthropic community. We are proud to lend our voice to convey the message of gratitude for what HIP president Diana Campoamor calls ‘our culture’s customs, compassion, collaboration, and philanthropic contribution.’”

LATINO GROUPS SET THEIR SIGHTS ON THE SOUTHWEST AS KEY TO INCREASING THE LATINO VOTE The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund are aiming big this election season, setting out to register a quarter of

a million new Latino voters in anticipation of the 2014 midterm elections. There are approximately 8.6 million unregistered Latinos in the U.S. who are eligible to vote, with another 64,000 young Latinos becoming eligible every month. Janet Murguía, president and CEO of NCLR, sees this untapped potential as a means of increasing the community’s influence on the political landscape. The nonpartisan campaign will focus primarily on the southwest using a large-scale register-by-mail program that will target eligible Latino voters in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. In addition to the broader Hispanic voting-age population, the mailings will target newly eligible 18-year-olds and registered voters who have moved and need to reregister. However, the groups won’t stop there. Plans are already being drawn up to expand registration efforts into Florida and California, two states with the highest Latino populations in the country.

SER-JOBS FOR PROGRESS NATIONAL, INC., IS TURNING 50! We hope you join our celebration at SER’s Annual Conference “Celebrating 50 Years of Service, Employment, and Redevelopment” during April 30-May 1, 2014, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. We could not be more proud to laud the transformation of millions of American lives by cultivating America’s greatest resource: people. The work SER provides is critical, not just to people, but to communities and the country as a whole. It impacts people’s lives such as a former veteran who found himself jobless and disabled before discovering a training program targeting seniors administered by SER. SER provided him with the training to land a good job. SER’s new strategy includes providing education and employment opportunities, particularly for those who have struggled within traditional educational settings. SER Career Prep Academy represents a crucial new educational opportunity utilizing the latest technologies to help students achieve their career goals. Helping the disadvantaged and building a better country is the basis on which SER was founded and on which it will continue to operate. We are excited about the future and what it means for America.







CMYK Form (preferred) LUNCHEON


Ford Motor Company



Ford Motor Company





Ford Fund Master 6/2003

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Ford Oval: CMYK Black

Text: Black Black













1:30 PM - 2:00 PM 22nd Annual HACR Symposium Kick-Off Kim Strong, VP, Diversity & Inclusion, Target Corporation Location: Presidential Salon B/C, Second Level

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Business Session: Has the Needle Moved? Why Diversity Efforts Have Stalled Keynote Speaker: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc Location: Presidential Salon B/C, Second Level

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Break

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Business Session: C-Suite Roundtable Jose Barra, SVP, Merchandising, Health & Beauty, Target Corporation Graciela Montgomery, Chief Human Resources Officer, Deckers Outdoor Corporation Michael Dominguez, SVP, Corporate Sales, MGM Resorts International Moderated by: Dr. William Klepper, Professor of Management, Columbia Business School Location: Presidential Salon B/C, Second Level Sponsored by:

5:00 PM – 5:15 PM Break

5:15 PM - 6:30 PM Business Session: Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) Partnership: 10 Years of Success! Ron Parker, President & CEO, Executive Leadership Council (ELC) Linda Akutagawa, President & CEO, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) Ilene Lang, Senior Advisor, Former President & CEO, Catalyst Moderated by: Patrick Prout, President & CEO, The Prout Group Location: Presidential Salon B/C, Second Level Sponsored by:

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Symposium Opening Reception Location: Presidential Ballroom Foyer Sponsored by:




8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Symposium Networking Breakfast Location: Celestial Ballroom Foyer, Lower Level Sponsored by:

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM Break

9:15 AM – 10:45 AM Business Session: Increasing Supplier Diversity – Challenges, Opportunities, and Best Practices Ron Alvarado, Partner & Chief Administrative Officer, SBM Management Caren Bowman, Diversity Sourcing Manager, AT&T Lucia Magdaleno, Supplier Diversity Manager, MGM Resorts International Moderated by: Dr. Lisette Garcia, Director, HACR Research Institute Location: Celestial Ballroom, Lower Level

10:45 AM – 11:00 AM Break

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Business Session: C-Suite Fireside Chat A conversation with Javier Goizueta, Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company, President of their Global McDonald’s Division Moderated by: Johana Suárez, Award Winning News Anchor, Telemundo Los Angeles Location: Celestial Ballroom, Lower Level Sponsored by:

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM Symposium Networking Lunch: A conversation with Eduardo Tobon, President, Diners Club International Location: Presidential Ballroom, Second Level CMYK Form (preferred)

Sponsored by: Ford Motor Company

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Break Black and White Form

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Business Session: The State of Latinos in California Panel Andre Arbelaez, President, Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) Ford Motor Company Diana Campoamor, President, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) Helen Torres, Executive Director & CEO, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Fidel Vargas, President & CEO, Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Moderated by: Blanca Garza, Award Winning News Anchor, Telemundo Bay Area Ford Fund Master Location: Celestial Ballroom, Lower Level 6/2003

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4:00 PM – 4:30 PM Break

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM HACR CEO Series: A Conversation with Donald Thompson, President & CEO, McDonald’s Corporation Moderated by: Norma Garcia, Award Winning Journalist and News Anchor, Telemundo Dallas Location: Presidential Salon A/B, Second Level Sponsored by:

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ Awards Reception Location: Presidential Salon C/D, Second Level Sponsored by:







“That kind of vulnerability is valuable. The world that we live in today is not homogenous. It’s a world of different views, upbringing and languages. The more fluent you are in terms of language, but also how you can comprehend the cultures around you, the more effective and the better you are in what you’re doing.” has worked within the Information Systems department. The Mexico-native has seen the spectrum of technology development and implementation, from company-wide adoption of email to using cloud-based storage solutions and communication devices. Despite his leadership within the IS department, Balestra says that it’s a little bit different than where the trained industrial engineer initially envisioned himself.

At nearly 20 years, Jorge Balestra’s tenure at Kraft Foods is a modern day anomaly.

Yet, since being recruited by Kraft out of college, Balestra’s leadership can be seen from Canada down to Argentina.

Contemporary wisdom says that staying at a company for longer than five years suggests a stale career, one free of fresh challenges or professional development.

Currently, based in Toronto, the Tecnologico de Monterrey grad, previously spent six years working out of the Kraft Headquarters near Chicago. Three countries in three decades might seem daunting to some, but Balestra seems to seek out the challenges and even enjoys learning and adopting many of the cultural nuances of the countries and cities he lives in. It’s not just a professional requirement. It’s something that he and his family strive to do.

Balestra, the Information Systems Lead for Kraft Canada, says his time with the global food giant, which has spanned working and living in three different countries, has consistently offered him the professional challenges that keep him engaged and interested. “There are other organizations out there in which your environment is not providing you new challenges after two or three years,” Balestra said. “In my case, in particular, I always had some of those within the same company in different parts of the organization. I’ve just continued growth within the organization, and it keeps life interesting for me. I can’t even say it’s been the same job, or the same people, not even the same country.” Since joining Kraft right out of graduate school in the mid-90s, Balestra

“Part of that, I think, is an ability or a passion I have in embracing change,” he said. “It’s something that I will not shy away from. I am someone who even likes to provoke that change, to really throw in the challenges out there and really move the needle. That’s something that has served me well.” When speaking to young professionals within and outside of Kraft, Balestra says that he consistently recommends that they be open and flexible in their careers and to not limit their potential by geographic boundaries. His own career

can be viewed as a new playbook for corporate leadership and success. What about the cultural tendency for Latinos to stay close to home? Said Balestra: “Physical distance has nothing to do with how close you are as a family. The broader you cast your net, the broader you expand your thinking and the more opportunities are going to be in front of you. Physical distance nowadays is different than it use to be. “In our culture, we need to make sure the parents, who are there making the biggest difference, really understand that they are preparing (their children) for something larger, and that their world can be larger. It could be more than a city. It could be a state, it could be a country, maybe an entire world.” That’s the mentorship advice he gives to other young professionals. More and more, he said, an open mind is becoming an imperative in a global economy where a diverse workforce is now the norm — and an asset — and not the exception anymore. “If you think about the world we live in, it doesn’t have a lot of boundaries,” he said. “If you think about the U.S. and Canada, you see more and more people coming together from different cultures, who have different ways of viewing things and with a lot of diversity. Once you learn the richness of that environment, and you appreciate that, at least for me, it becomes something I really enjoy. “That kind of vulnerability is valuable. The world that we live in today is not homogenous. It’s a world of different views, upbringing and languages. The more fluent you are in terms of language, CORPORATE OBSERVER


WALMART LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW SERIES but also how you can comprehend the cultures around you, the more effective and the better you are in what you’re doing.” To that end, Balestra maintains strong ties to Mexico as well as his fellow Latino professionals at Kraft through the Employee Resource Group, ¡OLA! (Organization of Latino Americans at Kraft) and Onward Neighborhood House, a charity that helps new immigrants get established in the U.S. He admits to being “geographicallychallenged,” but ever the technology proponent, Balestra said that it doesn’t stop him from actively participating and working toward the improvement of the Latino community, using video conferencing tools to stay engaged with the U.S. team. “Even though, I am here in Toronto, I care about the success of the Latino community that I am part of, wherever I am. It doesn’t matter if I am based in Toronto nowadays because who knows that could change.” Through ¡OLA!, Balestra says his colleagues and Kraft Foods can actively research, target and serve the Latino community. Acknowledging the changing demographics of Latinos in the U.S., he said that, as an employee, he has a responsibility to provide valuable insights to the leadership. Without first-hand experience, recruiting and marketing efforts might come across as hollow and disingenuous. According to Balestra, the group has highlighted three chief initiatives: 1. Caring about the development of Latino talent, making sure it’s developed and reaching its full potential. 2. There is a big Hispanic community that is out there and, as Kraft employees, we want to make sure that we help our organization be successful with our community and to provide what our community needs. With that, Kraft is going to be successful in the next generation. That’s where the demographics are going. 3. We want to promote inclusion, we want to collaborate with other groups like HACR, to make sure we are linked into the broader communities out there, while at the same time fostering the Latinos who are a part of Kraft.



Part and parcel of Balestra’s success within Kraft has been his commitment to living by the simple two-word mantra, “show up.” For him, to “show up” means to come prepared and to be the most productive, most passionate, most deliberate teammate possible. It also means inspiring and helping others realize their own paths and dreams, he said. “When someone has a lot of passion, and when someone has a passion for what they are doing, it’s really easy because that’s the way we were raised. It actually makes a big difference. Don’t be afraid to show up and to be who you are.” Perhaps it’s been Balestra’s passion and zeal that have helped him have such an impressive tenure at Kraft. Where others are avoiding the difficult choices and projects, Balestra consistently “shows up” and seeks them out and then aggressively completes them, moving thousands of miles in pursuit of them. This has kept him on top of the technology wave that will only continue to grow in the coming decades. It will also ensure that those he interacts with be unable to avoid Balestra’s passion. “So don’t hold on to the things as they were because they will never be that way. There is a constant evolution in what you do. You need to put some passion into what you’re doing. You need to care. If you care, good things are going to happen, and be much more energized. Passion is contagious. When people know that you care, it motivates them to care.”


The term board service typically refers to the duties one undertakes as a director on a publically traded company. For Nelson Diaz, a long-time lawyer and judge, that service is very much on behalf of the company’s shareholders. But Diaz also knows that in order to improve Hispanic inclusion on Fortune 500 boards — which is currently around three percent — directors must not waste the time or the seat they have. “I have a sense of the challenge and the history that went before us that allows us to sit at the table and based on that, I feel a great responsibility to use that opportunity to diversify wherever I can,” Diaz said. A director at Exelon Corporation for a decade, Diaz has demonstrated this focus on servant leadership well before he was asked to join a corporate board. He says developing the mentality necessary is a life-long process and how one leads on a board is indicative of the life they’ve lived. “If you look at a person’s commitment in the past, that tells you a story about where their heart is,” he said. “My background has been about opening doors for the disadvantaged, fighting for human rights and civil rights. It’s a pattern.” For decades, Diaz has been advocating on behalf of those lacking a voice. Currently a partner at Dilworth-Paxson, Diaz is informed by his upbringing, which included living in public housing in Harlem. Here, Diaz saw the disparity and also the lack of understanding cities and corporations had about minorities. This continued into college, where, despite putting himself through school, he still managed to ensure that minority students had an outlet and a coalition on campus. While at Temple University Law School, Diaz formed the first organization for African American and Latino law students. Throughout his legal career, including serving 12-years as a judge for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Diaz has always been an advocate for the underserved and underrepresented parts of his community. But, he says, it can’t just be noise. If you want to affect change, he said, it has to be intelligent.

WALMART LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW SERIES “You have to ask the questions without being judgmental,” he said. “It’s been great. Philadelphia was probably the worst cities in terms of diversity with Latinos. And now, we are probably one of the best cities in terms of diversity, with regards to the C-Suite and executive level.”

He credits Cisneros for opening up corporations’ eyes to the true worth and value of the Latino community and as result turning Univision into the network it is today. This, in turn, has had a greater impact on the Latino community as a whole, when corporations can’t ignore numbers.

but rather a director who is Latino and concerned about diversity. To avoid this, Diaz says he strives to know the business as well as the CEO at the helm. He must know the industry and its trends; reading a balance sheet must be second nature and asking tough questions is fundamental to the job.

That passion for change has carried onto the present, where Diaz is an active participant in asking questions to corporations about their Latino strategy (all without offending).

“It’s easy to find our people who can contribute,” he said. “That was the contribution of Henry for four years — many advertisers had no idea the top of market they had.”

“Whenever I have an opportunity,” he said, “to meet another board member or chairman or CEO, I always ask the question, do you understand the Latino marketplace? Do you have people in the company who specialize in that area?”.

Diaz believes it is incumbent upon other directors to join with other advocacy groups to bring about change, to not be the quiet one at the table, but instead to work together with other corporate directors, Latino and nonLatino, to have a top-of-mind database of ready-to-serve candidates.

The seat brings prestige, but more importantly it brings accountability. Diaz sees it as an even greater responsibility to deliver, so that other Latinos are seen as viable candidates for future seats. Now, when he opens his mouth and asks about diversity, nobody questions him. In fact, they are supportive and encourage it.

Diversifying a board and representing the best interests of the company’s shareholders are not mutually exclusive aims, Diaz says. In fact, the changing demographics mean that in order to realize long-term success, a diversity initiative and strategy need to be in place. For years, Diaz said he listened to various corporations say that they had a strong commitment to diversity, and yet they didn’t have any way to identify diverse talent even within their own companies. In those cases, Diaz quickly realized there wasn’t a cohesive strategy in place. Diaz says the talent is out there, and he doesn’t buy the notion that they can’t be found. He suggests the work of groups like HACR and the LCDA (the Latino Corporate Directors Association) is the key to selecting, developing and eventually recommending them for corporate boards. “The error is that they can’t find these types of people through headhunters,” he said. “You have to ask those questions. One of the reasons I am so committed to this Latino Corporate Director Association is because I have been trying to open doors for 30 years for Latinos because there are so many competent people around, but for some reason nobody can find them except us. In order to highlight his point further, Diaz points to the work of corporate and civic leaders like Sol Trujillo with Target, Henry Cisneros at Univision and the White House, and Federico Peña, former mayor and Secretary of Transportation.

“That’s where I think the work of HACR and LCDA is very important. They have a capacity for understanding the individuals who are becoming ready and being trained for those opportunities. The Latinos corporate directors, that’s what we want to do (get more Latino corporate directors). And we are using the avenues that we have through HACR … to identify people who are ready.” Diaz takes that to heart and actively meets with up-and-coming Latinos to 1) initially inspire them to reach for something greater and 2) to tag them as potential C-Suite and board positions. Because of this, Diaz is never at a loss for names when somebody asks for a recommendation. He’s done the vetting, and he is all too happy to give qualified Latinos the opportunity he has spent his life creating. “I know a lot of board members who never say a word,” he said. “And they were the nicest guys, but you never saw anything change. It’s important not to feel so secure, that you feel so comfortable that you just sit there and collect your fees.”

“I think I know the business as well as my CEO right now, so I can talk about every angle and the issues, and it’s important to know the business, because there might be talent elsewhere, and you can bring in some of our folks to give them opportunities. You have to shine in that boardroom so you can’t make those contributions.” Diaz’s life has been filled with a number of firsts for Hispanics. Even still, he knew being first meant that there had to be a second and a third. If not, what good was it in being first if it wasn’t to bring others with you? “When you do this, you can’t be selfish and think you are doing this for yourself. Moses never got to the promised land, but he got them close enough, and that Joshua took them the rest of the way. You have to feel that you’re doing it for the community and not for yourself.”

“When you do this, you can’t be selfish and think you are doing this for yourself. You have to feel that you’re doing it for the community and not for yourself.”

In meeting with young professionals, Diaz challenges them to find a mentor to learn from. He said that this mentor should be in the position they’d like to aspire to. But all of it would be shallow without delivery, and Diaz knows that better than anybody. Nobody wants to be the “Latino” director or the “diversity” guy,




YES, TAX TIME, AGAIN Need to file income taxes? Start early and experience the relief of completing your taxes before the April 15 deadline. We all look forward to celebrating special occasions throughout the year, but few people look forward to tax season and some dread preparing taxes. Don’t worry, there’s help, at no cost, and in various languages through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Low-and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those over age 60, can get help completing and filing their taxes at over 5,000 locations nationwide. Since 1968, trained and certified tax volunteers have helped more than 50 million taxpayers through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. If you’ve been procrastinating about your taxes, don’t wait any longer. Help is available, right now, from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. All Tax-Aide sites require taxpayers to present a photo ID of themselves, plus provide a Social Security card or other documentation that verifies each person listed on their tax return, including children. Taxpayer information is kept confidential. Find a location near you by calling toll-free, 1-888-2277669, or visit The website identifies various languages spoken by volunteers at different locations, however taxpayers are always welcome to bring someone who can translate for them to any Tax-Aide site.

ELIZABETH STREET CAPITAL INITIATIVE LAUNCHES WITH INITIAL $10 MILLION INVESTMENT TO GROW WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES The Tory Burch Foundation (TBF) and Bank of America recently announced the launch of Elizabeth Street Capital, an initiative designed to provide early-stage women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to low-cost capital, mentoring support and networking opportunities to grow their businesses, creating communities of women entrepreneurs. The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative launched with an investment of $10 million in low-cost capital from Bank of America and additional funds for operating expenses shared by TBF and Bank of America. The launch supports women entrepreneurs in Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas,



New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, but will expand to additional markets over the next two years. This unique partnership brings together TBF’s network of early-stage women entrepreneurs with one of the world’s largest financial institutions. The loans will be administered through nonprofit entrepreneurial loan centers (also known as Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs) that support low-and moderateincome communities. For additional information, please visit the TBF website at or the Bank of America website at elizabethstreetcapital.

BUICK ACHIEVERS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, funded by the General Motors Foundation, has entered its fourth year. As one of the largest scholarship programs in the nation, Buick Achievers places a strong focus on recognizing women, minorities, and students who excel in the classroom and give back to their communities. Many of these students are the first in their family to attend college. Since its inception in 2011, the program has awarded approximately $16.5 million to 3,300 students across the country. Among these students, nearly 230 are Hispanic and more than 1,500 recipients are the first in family to attend college. The program is open to high school seniors and current undergraduate students looking to obtain a college degree in science, technology, engineering, math, also known as STEM, or other eligible fields related to the auto industry. This year, the program will award 100 scholarships of up to $25,000 per year, renewable for up to four years, or up to five years for qualified engineering programs. Students from the United States and Puerto Rico are eligible. For future scholarship opportunities or for more information, visit


CISCO RECOGNIZED FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY BEST PRACTICE Cisco’s Latino Employee Resource Organization, Conexión, supports Cisco’s efforts to create an inclusive and diverse work environment where different perspectives drive innovation. Conexión provides professional development opportunities for Latino employees, supports corporate recruiting programs that recruit and hire diverse candidates, and engages Latino employees to give back to their local communities. Conexión’s members support government-sponsored initiatives such as US2020, industry STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs and original programs such as Program Escuela. Program Escuela targets elementary and middle school students and promotes the importance of pursuing higher education. In addition, the program communicates the many ways technology influences our lives. In 2013, Program Escuela reached 1,214 students in seven cities across Mexico, Spain, and the U.S. The program was made possible by Cisco’s TelePresence technology, which connects participants in a life-like video conferencing experience. Due to its positive impact on the community and its highly flexible and replicable model, the Mexican Institute recognized Program Escuela for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) with a Latin American CSR Best Practices for 2013 award.

DELIVERING QUICK MEAL SOLUTIONS TO LATINO HOUSEHOLDS Listo y Servido (www.listoyservido. com) is ConAgra Foods’ all-Spanish meal solution destination for the U.S. Hispanic consumer. The sight has seen tremendous growth with visits increasing by 266 percent to more than 1.6 million unique visitors this year. Listo y Servido is not only a recipe destination, but it is designed to help time-constrained consumers decide what meals they will prepare. Each recipe also comes with full nutritional information and serving sizes. The electronic newsletters are also incredibly popular and provide Latino consumers with great family meal solutions. The recipes are authentic Latino recipes delivering the true flavor of the Latino culture and take 45 minutes or less and using nine or fewer ingredients. The ConAgra Latino Network (CLN) has been diligently

promoting the website in their work and advocacy in the community with several of our community partners, including both national and local organizations! CLN members are also helping add to the more than 500 recipes available on Listo y Servido every day!

SOL CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY AND “SHINES” AS AN EMPLOYEE BUSINESS RESOURCE GROUP Established in 2003 with 90 members, 10 years later Sodexo’s Organization of Latinos (SOL) has grown to over 400 members and has become an important business resource for the company. The pillars are: 1. Professional development for its members 2. Recruitment and retention of Latinos within the enterprise; and 3. The strengthening of enterprise community partnerships that impact the Latino community. The year 2013 was filled with many accomplishments that had a positive business impact including Hispanic Heritage Month events to raise diversity and cultural awareness within the company and the “Focus on Your Career” professional development series focused on résumé essentials, the art of networking, and interviewing skills. The group will expand on these and other programs in 2014 and introduce new initiatives such as a mentorship program for summer interns.

TELEMUNDO MEDIA CONTINUES COMMITMENT TO HISPANIC COMMUNITY Telemundo Media, in collaboration with its corporate parents Comcast and NBCUniversal, continues its commitment to the U.S. Hispanic community. In the first quarter of 2014, Telemundo has already collaborated with leading, nationally recognized organizations, including LULAC, MALDEF, NCLR, and USHLI. Telemundo participated in LULAC’s National Legislative Conference and Gala in Washington, D.C., highlighting critical legislative issues affecting Hispanic Americans and recognizing key leaders who have served the Hispanic community. Telemundo’s Alba Mendiola, host of Enfoque Chicago, moderated a panel of Latina powerhouses at USHLI’s national conference and Telemundo sponsored



HACR CORPORATE MEMBER NEWS the Educational Achievement Luncheon, highlighting Telemundo’s longstanding commitment to education and community engagement. In addition, the National Hispanic Media Coalition recognized Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Telemundo for outstanding diversity practices at their Impact Awards Gala. Telemundo also welcomed one of HACR’s Corporate Executives Forum™ founders Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza as Vice President, Community Affairs, Hispanic Enterprises & Content at NBCUniversal to develop the company’s short-and-long term strategic direction and planning for community relations activities as they relate to Telemundo Media in concert with parent company Comcast’s external relations team.

TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA CONTINUES COMMITMENT TO THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY Toyota, the eighth largest company in the world and the leading automotive company on the Fortune Global 500 list, has long understood the importance of reaching out to the U.S. Hispanic population. With more than two decades of marketing to Latinos, Toyota was one of the first automotive brands to target the Hispanic consumer with a focused marketing strategy and dedicated agency. Recently, Toyota took significant steps to further strengthen its ties to Hispanics. By forming the Hispanic Business Strategy Group (HBSG), a team tasked with helping to maintain Toyota’s leading position among Latinos, Toyota seeks to increase visibility in the market and ensure the Hispanic perspective is fully integrated into growth strategies for all of its brands (Toyota, Lexus, and Scion). In December 2013, Toyota announced the launch of Total Toyota (T2), an initiative to foster closer collaboration among the company’s four disparate multicultural marketing agencies and better target diverse consumers. Toyota also announced that in 2014 it will boost its multicultural marketing.

WALMART CREATES OPPORTUNITY BY INVESTING IN AMERICAN JOBS Earlier this year, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon joined 280 of the nation’s mayors in Washington, D.C. to announce



a new $10 million fund for innovation in American manufacturing. The five-year program, funded by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, will collaborate with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and seeks to create new processes, ideas, and jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing footprint. The innovation fund is just one part of Walmart’s commitment to grow manufacturing and help rebuild America’s middle class. Last year, Walmart pledged to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. made products over the next 10 years. The company estimates that this pledge, in the 10th year, will result in Walmart buying an additional $250 billion cumulatively over the next 10 years. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that this $250 billion investment will create one million jobs, when the jobs in manufacturing, and related services are included. The company also announced that it will host its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver, Colorado in August 2014.

WELLS FARGO AND USHCC EMPOWER HISPANIC SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS Wells Fargo works with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) to provide resources to help Hispanic small business owners reach their dreams. Since 2001, Wells Fargo has committed $1.8 million, including a $700,000 grant in 2013, to support the growth and prosperity of Hispanicowned businesses and the wider Hispanic community. This collaboration provides access to educational opportunities and grants to start, maintain, and grow businesses. Through the USHCC Foundation’s Chamber Training Institute (CTI), chamber leaders across the country are able to attend a two-day, executive level workshop on various business topics that they can take back to their local chambers. Participants who complete the USHCC Foundation program receive a certificate from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business. As the nation’s number one small business lender for 10 years running, Wells Fargo has a track record of facilitating access to capital and providing financial services to Hispanic business owners. Since 1997, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $6.2 billion to Hispanic business owners. In addition, Wells Fargo has committed to lend a cumulative total of $55 billion to women-owned businesses by 2020.












THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK: HISPANIC INCLUSION ON CORPORATE BOARDS The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) announced the findings from its 2013 Corporate Governance Study (CGS) this past December. The new study revealed little progress for Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards over the last 20 years.

133 Hispanic individuals held 171 board seats in the Fortune 500.

Only four percent of Fortune 500 companies had two Hispanics on their board.

Latinas only hold 37 out of 5,511 board seats in the Fortune 500.

HACR’s 2013 CGS shows that although Hispanics have made certain gains in the number of seats held in the boardroom, those gains are still a small percentage of the overall total of eligible seats. Between 1993 and 2007, there was significant momentum in Hispanic representation in the corporate boardroom. However, 2013 data suggests the momentum has been lost and it is important to highlight these gains were minimal and not representative given the size and consumer strength of the U.S. Hispanic population.

Hispanics held three percent of seats in the boardroom of the Fortune 500.

To view the 2013 HACR CGS please visit HACR’s website,

70 percent or nearly 350 companies of the Fortune 500 did not have a Hispanic on their board.

Only two percent or 10 Fortune 500 CEOs are Hispanic.

For more insights on the CGS, follow HACR on social media by liking us on Facebook, connecting on LinkedIn, following us on Twitter @HACRORG, and viewing videos on YouTube.

The HACR CGS measures Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite and boardrooms in Fortune 500 companies. The HACR CGS is a publication of the HACR Research Institute (HRI), the research arm of HACR, which is devoted to objective research and analysis of Hispanic-related issues in Corporate America. Key findings from the study included:


The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is pleased to welcome Cecilia M. Majors as their LCDA program manager, the organization’s newest team member. In this role since January, she oversees the initiatives and goals of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), a newly formed organization in 2013 whose mission is to increase the number and influence of Latinos on corporate boards to enhance America’s economic competitiveness. Majors interacts directly with LCDA Board Directors and HACR’s Coalition and Corporate members to provide programmatic and strategic planning support. She also manages sponsor relationships to ensure goals are met. Furthermore, Majors works closely with HACR’s senior director of corporate relations, communications, and

programs on strategic planning and coordination between LCDA and HACR events including the HACR Corporate Directors Summit™. Prior to joining HACR, Majors was the associate manager of college programs at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). She graduated more than 250 participants from the CHCI Internship and Fellowship Programs and placed interns in congressional offices, monitoring their progress and providing leadership learning opportunities. She holds a BA in Sociology and Latino Studies from New York University. She is currently an Associate Board member for the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and is a Forte Foundation MBA Launch Fellow, where she is taking preparatory classes to apply for graduate school to secure her MBA.






JULY 19-22

Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities 19th Annual National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, D.C.

National Council of La Raza Annual Conference Los Angeles Convention Center Los Angeles, CA

APRIL 30-MAY 1 SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. National Annual Conference – Celebrating 50 Years Sheraton Dallas Hotel Dallas, TX MAY 8 Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Gala 10th Annual CHLI Gala & Leadership Awards Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington, D.C. JUNE 11-12 Cuban American National Council The 17th National Conference The Mayflower® Renaissance Washington, D.C. Hotel Washington, D.C. JULY 8-12 League of United Latin American Citizens 85th LULAC National Convention & Exposition New York Hilton Midtown New York, NY

SEPTEMBER 21-23 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention The Grand America Hotel Salt Lake City, UT SEPTEMBER 24-27 National Society of Hispanic MBAs Annual Conference Philadelphia Convention Center Philadelphia, PA SEPTEMBER 29 Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Trade & International Affairs Symposium Washington, D.C. SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 1 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Conference Washington, D.C. OCTOBER 2 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute 37th Annual CHCI Awards Gala Walter E. Washington Convention Center

JULY 18 Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Future Leaders Conference Washington, D.C.



2014 HACR Corporate Observer  
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