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Spring 2012

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MINORITIES ACCOUNT

for More Than Half of the Births in the US

Sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust

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PURSUING

the American Dream

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CELEBRATING THE

Adelante Awards


These events were all a great success, and a testament to the Hispanic Chamber’s commitment to creating a better region for all who live and work here. Dear Member/Readers The Hispanic Chamber’s 30th year has been busy, to say the least! Already this year, we have held a successful Job and Business Fair that connected job seekers with area employers, kicked off a Capital Campaign with the goal of purchasing our office suite and celebrated the Hispanic business impact on the St. Louis region at our Adelante Awards! These events were all a great success, and a testament to the Hispanic Chamber’s commitment to creating a better region for all who live and work here. But our work for the year is not done! We have several noteworthy upcoming events. Please mark your calendars for the Hispanic Speakers Series, which will be held in July. The keynote speaker at this event is sure to be a dynamic one, as the past speakers at this event have included Senator Martin Sandoval, George Paz and Linda Martinez. We will share details as this event is planned. Also, the HCC STL Foundation Golf Classic will be held on Thursday, September 13 at the Norman K. Probstein course at Forest Park. As anyone who has played in this tournament before can attest, this event is a lot of fun- one you will not want to miss! In addition to our special events, we also have our monthly Educational Forum series as well as our Business After Hours events. All of the information for these events is listed on our website – www.hccstl.com. I encourage you to participate in these, as they are a great way to take advantage of your Hispanic Chamber membership and connect with business leaders in the community. I would be remiss if I did not extend a special THANK YOU to Centene Corporation for kicking off our Capital Campaign with a very generous $100,000 donation. Being able to purchase our facility will solidify the Hispanic Chamber’s presence in the community, and we look forward to a successful campaign that will help us reach this goal. Also, both Pangea Group and Enterprise Holdings have contributed $15,000 each to our Campaign. If you are interested in learning more about the Capital Campaign, or would like to hear more about what your Hispanic Chamber membership can do for you, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you,

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Karlos Ramirez Executive Director

SPRING 2012 HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


Welcome New Members! By joining, the following individuals and companies have decided to make an investment in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and our community at large. We encourage you to find out more about them and, whenever possible, to use their services. If you would like more information about any of these individuals or organizations, please visit our website: www.hccstl.com £

Armesto Properties

£

Civil Rights Enforcement Agency

£

Eagle Bank & Trust - Bronze

£

Gabriele Schwartz

£

Hospitality Staffing Solutions – Friend

£

James Delgado

£

Loly’s Lawn Services

£

Maggie Bogowitz

£

Modesto Tapas & Bar

£

Nancy Cross

£

Pooley Accounting Services, Inc.

£

The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries

£

St. Louis Classical Guitar Society

£

St. Louis Diversity Awareness Partnership

£

UMB Bank – Friend

£

Wells Fargo Advisors - Silver

£

Women’s Impact Networking: Embracing Your Dreams

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Don’t Delay Dealing with

DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS As a small business owner, you do you best to meet your obligations to your customers. So it’s only natural to expect them to pay their bills on time, right? Unfortunately, the answer is not always. Most customers are conscientious about making timely payments, but others may require some extra effort. Though frustrating and time-consuming, collecting from delinquent accounts is not something you should put off or simply hope will work itself out. Every dollar of revenue counts toward keeping your small business afloat. Obviously, prevention is the best way to avoid having to deal with collections in the first place. Establish a standard payment policy and make your customers aware it before starting work. Your invoices should also clearly state when the total amount is due and the fee for late payments. 

And once those deadlines pass, you need to take action. Get the facts. Don’t assume the customer is entirely wrong. Contact them by phone or mail and ask politely for an explanation. It may well be that the invoice has been lost or is awaiting approval. A customer with cash flow problems may also request extra time. How you proceed depends on the situation and your experience with that account. You may feel confident enough to allow extra time or arrange installment payments. Make sure the customer clearly understands any compromise. Be flexible, but firm; and don’t hesitate to follow up.

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Take stronger action. If your initial collection attempts fail, it may be time to turn to an attorney or

SPRING 2012 HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

collections firm.  Terms for these services vary from a flat fee and/or percentage of the invoice amount to a retainer. The Commercial Collection Agency Association at www.ccaacollect.com and Collection Agency Research at www.collectionagencyreserach. com offer guidance on fees and guidance for choosing a collections agent for your needs. Or let it go. You may decide the amount of the overdue account does not justify the cost and effort to collect. If so, write it off as a bad debt and move on.  Don’t make the same mistake twice. Should customers with poor payment histories approach you about working for them or restoring credit, don’t immediately refuse unless you are absolutely certain they remain bad risks. Ask them to explain how their situation has changed and decide whether it makes sense to restore the relationship. As a precaution, insist on stricter terms such as advance payment or cash-only. For more assistance with collections and credit policies, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” sponsored by your Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, (314) 516-4220. SCORE is a nonprofit organization of volunteer business counselors who donate their time and talents to assist entrepreneurs in starting, growing and operating small businesses. The service is free and confidential. Call for an appointment or contact the St. Louis office of SCORE at (314) 539-6600 ext. 242 or by email at www.stlscore.org or www.score.org.


HCC STL Foundation and Gonzalez Companies Charitable Foundation Partner to Launch Scholarship Program The HCC STL Foundation is collaborating with Gonzalez Companies Charitable Foundation to award three merit and need-based scholarships to Metro students. The scholarships will be available to minority students pursuing a degree in a technical/scientific field, including engineering, architecture, computer, construction, business. “Gonzalez Companies is committed to improving the St. Louis region,” said Tony Angel, Senior Partner and Founder of Gonzalez Companies. “Since the Hispanic Chamber recognizes that a diverse region is a strong region, it makes sense that we would partner with them in this scholarship program. Ensuring minority students have access to the best education ensures their future within this region.”

Students studying at Washington University, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri- St. Louis, Lindenwood University, Ranken Technical College, Southern Illinois University —Edwardsville and Webster University are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Applications are available on the Hispanic Chamber website and will be due on June 30th. Scholarships will be distributed evenly and renewable each year.

Scholarships of $3,000 will be awarded to three students over college career.

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MINORITIES account for more than

half of the births in the US

For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau statistics recently showed that minority children under age 1 composed the majority of the U.S. population, slightly surpassing the birth rate for white babies. Minority births for Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and those of mixed race stood at 50.4 percent among children one year or younger through July 2011. The transition was expected, yet it left a symbolic mark. 6

SPRING 2012 HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


The white population has a college degree rate of 31 percent, compared to 18 for African-Americans and 13 percent Hispanics. The largest driver of all population growth, including that for births in the United States, are Hispanics. A trend is continuing in which Hispanics accounted for 56 percent of all U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2010.

The stakes of the Hispanic brain drain grow even higher as the world is defined by a technology, knowledge-based global economy. Demographics alone are not parlayed into political or economic power simply due to their heft.

The statistical indicator that non-white babies now outnumber white babies in the United States signifies a psychological tipping point.

Reaching the threshold of minority births surpassing the white birth rate should open eyes and spur renewed commitment from leaders in education, non-profit organizations and business sectors. Government resources to fund public education and the skyrocketing cost of higher education push the bar even higher for our upcoming generation of Latinos, more of whom will be U.S citizens and English-speaking or bilingual.

The Hispanic population growth is undeniable and should serve as a clarion call for the Latino community for whom the increasing numbers also portend challenges in education and workforce preparedness. Hispanics born in the United States now outnumber the Hispanic immigrants coming to this country. These children are U.S. citizens enabled with full rights yet the educational attainment of Hispanics overall continues to lag, which creates problems well into the future. The white population has a college degree rate of 31 percent, compared to 18 percent for AfricanAmericans and 13 percent Hispanics. The younger Hispanic generation is less likely to encounter limitations from their foreign citizenship or inability to speak fluent English, yet educational levels continue to underperform despite the population growth. The Hispanic high school dropout rate exceeds 25 percent, a factor that should be regarded by all Americans as a crisis for the fate of the country. The educational track record is lacking, so turning around the trend will take huge coordinated efforts within Hispanic leadership at all levels.

Opportunities trump the inherent challenges that await the rising Latino generation. But civic preparation must begin early and be sustained for years, first to reverse the longtime high school dropout problem and then to prepare the young adults to enter a modern workforce. The onus lies squarely within the Latino community. Many others can and should share in the common pursuit, but Latinos must rise to take the lead. For the business community, success of the fastest-growing population segment in the country will influence whether they will succeed in the future. We still have time to act. But it cannot be business as usual. The numbers tell a motivating story.

Gilbert Bail贸n, Editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gilbert became the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in May of 2012. Prior to that, Bail贸n had been editorial page editor of the Post-Dispatch since November 2007. He previously worked at the Dallas Morning News, where he was vice president and executive editor. Bail贸n also worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Los Angeles Daily News, The San Diego Union and The Kansas City Star.

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Pursuing the American Dream: How the Hispanic Worker will Grow our Economy By: Martha Garcia Kampen, Sr. Partner, KAMPEN CONSULTANTS Generational + Cultural Marketing StrategySM

In the previous issue of “En Contacto!,” I wrote of the growing economic opportunity of the Hispanic market for companies looking to expand their economic resource base. I told you about how the Hispanic market is the fastest growing in our country, with a 43% increase since 2000 to represent 16% of our U.S. population. You learned that the Hispanic market is really comprised of diverse groups of people from many different countries – all with a common bond of the Spanish language and heritage. I indicated that Hispanic-Americans are growing in significant numbers in the Midwest, growing to an expected buying power of $1.5 Trillion by 2015. I also cautioned that because of their varying degrees of assimilation and acculturation, the Hispanic market requires a sophisticated and savvy approach to effective communication from American companies. In this issue, we will concentrate on the potential of the Hispanic worker, and their role in growing our economy.

Due to their young age, improved education and strong desire to achieve the “American Dream,” Hispanics will be a significant force in growing our economy. Hispanic Americans are ideal candidates for employment, and generous consumers of products. There are several reasons why I make this claim. Here are a few: YOUNG FAMILIES: Contrasting the traditional American market of aging Baby Boomers, the Hispanic consumer skews young, with a median age

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SPRING 2012 HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

of 27. This market has been compared to the “Golden Consumer” Years of the 1950’s, (when the Boomers were young!), purchasing everything from new homes and furnishings, to children’s education and entertainment to groceries and family fun. This drive of consumerism fuels our determination for successful employment and career growth as well. To understand this phenomenon, however, it is prudent to delve deeper into well-established Hispanic cultural values. CULTURAL VALUES: We have all heard of the American Dream. Many generations of immigrants to the United States embarked on their journeys into American society in pursuit of this Dream. Hispanic Americans are no different. In fact, their behavior is reminiscent of early immigrants. Hispanics are generally a very positive people. We actually believe that hard works pays off; that tomorrow will be better than today, and that family and faith are of paramount importance. We are a determined people; we know how to persevere through adversity. We also take great pride in creating good output; whether it is a good product, great service or delicious meal. It is these values that compel the Hispanic worker to strive to be and do his/her best, resulting in a Strong Work Ethic. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: The United States experienced an influx of immigrants from Latin America in the 1920’s. Many families fled the ravages of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 – 1920, rarely sharing the horrors of the revolution where over 1 million Mexicans were killed with their children. These refugees aspired mainly to survive; to feed and house their children. Their children spoke English and Spanish, went to school and aspired to be Americans


in a society that denied them that opportunity —1930 repatriation, 1940 Zoot Suit Wars, etc. Their parents worked hard at whatever jobs they could find and did not complain. When others went on strike they remained loyal to the companies that gave them sustenance. This characteristic trait of perseverance, hard work and determination against great odds was handed down to their children. (Source: www.bilingualweekly.com by Richard Soto). EDUCATION: Hispanic parents realize that in order to achieve the American Dream of success and economic security, their children must learn English and do well in school. Education is valued and encouraged in the Hispanic household. Recent surveys indicate an improvement in the graduation rate of Hispanic males, in particular, in contrast to previous reports. Of course, improvement varies based on access to appropriate educational programs and opportunities in various communities. BUYING POWER & SPENDING HABITS: In our pursuit of the American Dream, Hispanics love to shop and provide for our families. In fact, last year, U.S. Hispanic purchasing power reached $1.1 trillion, according to estimations from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. That power is projected to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2015, the equivalent to a stand-alone economy with more buying power than Indonesia, Australia and the Netherlands and of all but 14 countries worldwide! Because of our strong value of family, we spend a significant portion of our income on our children. The Hispanic household typically outspends its non-Hispanic counterpart in the purchase and consumption of groceries, clothing, household goods, mobile devices, entertainment systems, entertainment & travel consumption, education and financial services. Of course, this love of buying requires a steady paycheck – hence our sense of loyalty to our employer! (Next issue of “En Contacto!” we will dive further into the Hispanic Consumer and Spending Habits; and how to Attract them as Consumers). THE HISPANIC WORKFORCE: Two years after the U.S. labor market hit bottom, the economic recovery has yielded slow but steady gains in employment for all groups of workers. The gains, however, have varied across demographic groups, with Hispanics and Asians, in particular, experiencing a faster rate of growth in jobs than other groups. The differences in jobs growth across groups largely reflect the differences in population

growth. From 2007 to 2011, the Hispanic workingage (16 and older) population increased by 12.8%. However, the white working-age population grew only 1.3%, and the black working-age population increased by 5% in this four-year period. Since much of the addition to the workforce is Hispanic and Asian, their share in employment growth is high. (Source: Employment Gains by Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Nativity The Demographics of the Jobs Recovery by Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Hispanic Center, Released: March 21, 2012). Nationwide, Hispanics make up 14.8 percent of the civilian labor force and 8% of the Federal workforce. Our economy is slowly recovering from what’s been termed the “Great Recession.” The Hispanic American is a forefront factor stimulating this growth – both as a worker and as consumer. Because the U. S. Hispanic population is younger than our general population, and growing at a much higher rate than our general population, they are prime candidates for any Employer who is looking to hire Hard-working, Dedicated, Humble, Serviceoriented, Respectful, Fast-learning and Loyal workers. These same employees will also turn-around and be great Consumers of products and services provided by our local community. This is a slam-dunk for economic stimulus – to those who know how to attract and satisfy the Hispanic American. ABOUT MARTHA GARCIA KAMPEN: Firstgeneration Mexican-American, Martha Garcia Kampen was raised bilingually and bi-culturally. Having studied in Guadalajara, Mexico, Martha launched her career in Hispanic Marketing to the U.S. With extensive experience in Marketing research, planning and implementation, Garcia Kampen provides Generational & Cultural Strategic Marketing consultation to businesses, Educational development on cross-cultural communications and trains corporate leaders and teams in the areas of Inclusion & Diversity. Garcia-Kampen is a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and will present “Tired of Fighting the Recession? Try a NEW Market: Hispanic Americans!“ through the Chamber’s Educational Forum on June 13. Contact Info: Kampen Consultants, LLC 745 Craig Road, Suite 212, St. Louis, Missouri 63141. 888-887-6536. Martha@kampen.com; www.kampen.com http://www.facebook.com/KampenConsultants Linked In: Martha Garcia Kampen Twitter: marthakampen

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The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis hosted our annual Adelante Awards on Friday, April 27. With over 300 people in attendance, the event celebrated the Hispanic Chamber’s 30th year and recognized the achievements of individuals, entrepreneurs and corporations in the metro St. Louis Area. At the event, we welcomed Carlos Izcaray, renowned Opera and Orchestra conductor, as the keynote speaker. Izcaray is a prize winning, Spanish-Venezuelan conductor who has received accolades throughout Europe, North and South America. Recognized by the international press, he is widely known as one of today’s most outstanding young conductors. At the event, Izcaray spoke about the importance of his Hispanic upbringing and culture, and how both of these have influenced his professional career. Father Lawrence Biondi, S.J., was the recipient of the Civic Award for his contributions in improving the quality of life of St. Louis community members and Centene Corporation was highlighted as the Hispanic Business Advocate of the Year for their active participation in fostering Hispanic business enterprises.

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SPRING 2012 HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley were on hand to present the Hispanic Chamber with celebratory proclamations from both the City and the County in honor of the evening. “I’m happy to say the 2012 Adelante Awards were a great success,” said Karlos Ramirez, Executive Director of the Hispanic Chamber. “The individuals and organizations that were honored have contributed so greatly to the community, we were proud to be able to recognize them at this event.”


THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS /CORPORATIONS WERE ALSO RECOGNIZED: H I S PA N I C C O M PA N Y O F T H E Y E A R : LA VALLESANA H I S PA N I C B U S I N E S S P E R S O N O F T H E Y E A R : E D M AY U G A , A M M C O M M U N I C AT I O N S H I S PA N I C C H A M B E R O F C O M M E R C E M E M B E R O F T H E Y E A R : CILEIA MIRANDA-YUEN, BELAS ARTES

C E L E B R AT I O N

H I S PA N I C E M E R G I N G B U S I N E S S O F T H E Y E A R : R I T M O L A T I N O STL, LLC (CLUB DANTES /WEW 770 AM) H I S PA N I C L I F E T I M E A C H I E V E M E N T A W A R D : CARL TRAUTMANN PRESIDENT’S RECOGNITION: G O N Z A L E Z C O M PA N I E S

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MEMBERSHIP SPONSORS

PLATINUM Centene Corporation

DIAMOND Regional Business Council

SILVER AT&T   Anheuser-Busch, Inc.   Emerson Electric Company   Gonzalez Companies, LLC   Monsanto    University of Missouri–St. Louis    Wells Fargo Advisors

BRONZE Eagle Bank and Trust   Hilton St. Louis Frontenac   Saint Louis University   US Bank   Vision IT

FRIEND Ameren    Armstrong Teasdale LLP    CB&E Construction Group    Commerce Bank    Crown Linen Service Dean Team of Brentwood    Drury Hotels    Emmis Communications St. Louis    Enterprise Bank & Trust Enterprise Rent-A-Car    Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis    Hospitality Staffing Solutions    McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. Missouri Job Corps    Midwest BankCentre    NextGen Information Services    Pangea Group    People’s Health Centers Prudential    Ranken Technical College    Regions Bank    River City & Lumiere Casino    Sheraton Westport Hotels Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP    St. Louis College of Health Careers    St. Louis Post-Dispatch    UMB Bank    United Way


2012 En Contacto Spring