LATINA Style Business Series Chicago.
By Tania G. Davila. Photos by Daniel Ayala
On Saturday, October 7th, entrepreneurs, Latina professionals, and community leaders gathered at the 19th Annual LATINA Style Business Series, held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile hotel. The award-winning program marked its 128th stop — where participants had the opportunity to network, and learn about business ownership and career development.
Attendees were welcomed with a networking breakfast and opening remarks from Patricia Mota, president of HACE; Robert E. Bard, president & CEO of LATINA Style, Inc., and Lory Burgos, Sr. Consultant, Enterprise Diverse Marketing, Nationwide.
The business series workshops focus on ways to take your business to the next level, build a strong business, or start one. Participating in the Accessing Capital: Building Strong Businesses panel discussion was Lorena Hernandez, Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, BMO Harris Bank, who served as moderator. Speakers included: Yolanda Ruiz, Senior Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service; Carole Harris, Lead EDS, Illinois District Office, Small Business Administration; Ana Marie Inmon, Agency Owner, Nationwide; and Janice Lopez, Managing Director Entrepreneurial Services, Director, Women’s Business Center.
According to Ruiz, good record keeping is essential for a business owner to monitor the progress of their business, prepare financial statements (key to securing loans) and file their tax return(s). All of this cannot be done alone and a reputable accountant to do it is recommended. “Do your best and hire the rest,” shares Ruiz.
The Successful Marketing Strategies: Promote Your Business and Yourself panel was led by Judith Ruiz-Branch, Public Relations, Community Outreach Coordinator, Better Business Bureau. Panelists included Delia Gutierrez McLaughlin, President & CEO, Coda Consulting Group; Salina Rivera, CEO, MIYAN Media; and Alfredo Morales, Area Manager, AT&T.
“Recruit top talent—hiring the right people helps to contribute to your company’s expansion and minimize costs,” shares Gutierrez McLaughlin. The panel elaborated on the personal and professional marketing strategies each panelist has implemented within their respective professions to achieve maximum success.
“Use the organizations that you are part of … that you spend and invest time, and ask how you can participate,” says Rivera.
Karyn Seibert Roeling, CPCU, CIC, President, Seibert Insurance Agency, moderated the Cyber Attacks: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business session. The Entrepreneur Spotlight: Learning Strategies for Success panel was moderated by Patricia Mota. Among panelists were Tera Vazquez, President & CEO, Guy Brown, and Nissan supplier; Ana Marie Inmon, Agency Owner, Nationwide; and Olga Camargo, Managing Partner, TOROSO Investments, LLC.
“Moderating the Entrepreneur Spotlight panel enabled us to engage in a meaningful conversation with dynamic, dedicated business owners, who are building the next generation of Latino leaders and workforce,” says Mota. “While everyone learned so much about what to do and not to do when building or managing a business, each panelist’s personal purpose heightened the importance of authenticity and hard work to ultimately achieve success.”
“U.S. Latinas are the backbone of our Latino community and are the single most powerful force that can change the trajectory for the next generation and lift it out of poverty and create wealth,” states Camargo. “With Latinas leading small-business growth in the U.S.—significantly impacting economic activity for all—it is imperative that we not only help them grow their business but also protect their assets by putting their best interest first.”
During the awards luncheon, guests were greeted by United States Treasurer, Jovita Carranza who delivered the keynote speech. U.S. Treasurer Carranza serves as a principal advisor to Secretary Mnuchin. A Chicago native and Founder of JCR Group, she previously served as the Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration under President George W. Bush, where she received a bipartisan unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. At the SBA, she managed more than 80 field offices across the country and a portfolio of direct and guaranteed business loans, venture capital investments, and disaster loans worth almost $80 billion.
LATINA Style recognized Delia Gutierrez McLaughlin as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” for Chicago. Gutierrez McLaughlin is an entrepreneur that works to envision, evolve and elevate IT minority businesses to unlock the power of today’s diverse marketplace as well as a tireless STEM Advocate and a lifelong student. She partners with Fortune 500 clients, manages relationships and navigates through the corporate tunnel to discover how technology can reach new customers, deliver outstanding experiences and grow the bottom line.
“Today, as I receive this award I reflect upon the values, the trials, the tribulations, the victories, the near victories, the defeats and the fights yet to come,” says Gutierrez McLaughlin. “I am undaunted in my quest to further Latino IT MBEs because throughout my 20 plus year career in corporate I consistently saw opportunities for MBEs to have a seat at the table — we aren’t just symbolism, we are substance.”
“Thank you for your generosity, LULAC has a wonderful time and it was a great pleasure collaborating with LATINA Style,” shares LULAC IL Deputy State Director for Young Adults, Blanca Vargas. “We are very proud of you! Let’s continue collaborating in the years to come!”
Thank you sponsors and partners!
Thank you Title sponsor: Nationwide. National Sponsor: Parents Step Ahead. Gold Sponsors: NISSAN, AT&T, and UPS. Leadership Reception Sponsor: Hyatt. Media Sponsor: CapitalWirePR. Community Partners: HACE, ALPFA Chicago, Women’s Business Center, Women’s Business Development Center, LULAC Chicago, SHPE, NAWBO Chicago, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Little Village Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, WPO, Better Business Bureau, IRS, and SBA.
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