Latinos Don’t Have Role Models? Say WHAT?! Behold Rita Moreno!

A cozy and very personal conversation with the incredible and iconic Rita Moreno took place in Los Angeles at The Grammy Museum, courtesy of NCLR (yes, the very influential Hispanic civil rights organization). Not only has Rita Moreno won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, but at the ripe age of 83, she is now also a published author.


Here Miss Moreno discusses growing up a Spanish-speaker in New York and the neglect she felt by nurses who didn’t speak Spanish, and how that experience compelled her to master the English language and become a wordsmith. She also shared intimate stories of the one-sided love she and mega star Marlon Brando shared for eight years. Ms. Moreno recapped that phase of her life by saying “I was madly in love with him, but unfortunately it was killing me slowly.”

nclr-event-rita-moreno-audience-conexion-networkingMs Moreno answers audience questions on acting, dancing, motherhood, the industry, life, family, and love — and of course, the insights of her vitality.


Thank you NCLR for the opportunity to be part of your event. We look forward to your upcoming Convention and Family Expo in July in Los Angeles.


Where’s the Money? Access to Capital Business Expo — Comp Tickets!


conexion-networking-events-access-to-capital-bankers-investors-mixer-entrepreneur-business-hispanic-market (1)When asked, most business owners will tell you that their biggest hurdle to growing their company is access to working capital. I, for one, could use all new computers, more square footage to work from, and at least six months worth of salary for my next two hires. Simply put, I need money. But fear not, I may have found us all a great solution.

For the last few years, the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) has been producing a very successful loan event for business owners in the San Fernando Valley (just north of Los Angeles). Many banks participate, but so do alternative loan providers, which is rarely the case in most programs.

Well, get ready, the event is coming to L.A., and it’s free to entrepreneurs through this blog post. Why? If the event is as good as it claims to be, all of us will tell others about it in the future.

So here’s the scoop; it’s called “Where’s the Money? Access to Capital Business Expo” and will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 8AM to 3PM, at the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown. You can only register for free by clicking here.

Event highlights:

  • Networking Breakfast
    Network with other Small Business Owners
  • Business Workshops
    3 Tracks Focused on Finding, Managing or Growing Your Business Capital
  • Finance & Resource Expo
    Connect with Local Bankers & Business Organizations
  • Loan Pavilion
    One-on-One Financial Assessments Available
  • Business Luncheon
    Get Inspired by a Successful Local Business Owner

As for the producers: VEDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining jobs and businesses in our communities by providing high-quality economic development services.

Remember, it will cost you nothing to find out if the event can get you the capital you seek.


Modern Day Mothers

Modern Day MothersThis snapshot of today’s mother tells a story of how we’ve evolved as a society, but it’s also a glimpse into the country’s future demographics, and future economics.

Stop Networking! How to Bring Connections To You

From a post by Yanik Silver of Young Entrepreneur Council, published September 27, 2012

5 ways to turn yourself into an authentic connector who is valuable to anyone’s network:

1. Don’t hog the spotlight. Connectors understand the necessity of creating value for others. If you want to be in the middle of the action, you must seek ways to enhance the lives of those surrounding you. The best connectors I know are extremely generous with introductions where they make sense. One of my favorite questions is, “What are you most excited about right now?” From that answer, I know who I can hook that person up with.

2. Be valuable. People value connectors for what they provide in terms of interaction and resource. In some cases, it’s because they create a space to bring together an elite group. And the person who is that “hub” is remembered when business deals are coming together. After all, how did these people get to the table in the first place? I’m always getting notes back or hearing from attendees of my seminar about deals they’ve created. Sometimes, they give me credit when I didn’t directly introduce them.

3. Be calendar-worthy. Everyone already has too much on their plates and their calendars, so why should they attend or be part of something you create? Anyone can start meetup groups, dinner meetings, or curated events, but it takes some creative energy to make the event worth attending. Once you have people’s attention, you can stop networking and truly start connecting.

4. Let loose. This connectivity needs to be genuine and fun—I may or may not have been known to don a green Speedo or dress up as a circus ringleader on occasion. However, that might not work for everyone. The appeal is in the authenticity of the fun, so it’s important to find your natural personality and allow it come through in your dealings.

5. Play mediator. I work with many entrepreneurs with type A personalities, so there’s inevitably some jockeying for top positions. When facilitating at a session, there’s a fine line between guaranteeing that everyone offers input and knowing when someone needs to be dialed down. If a situation requires you to step up, it’s best to start with humor and work toward a more direct approach when “calling someone out.” If one of the members takes too long with the microphone, I might hit a gong or shoot the person with a Nerf gun. He gets the point, and the crowd gets a laugh.

For a list of networking events, check out our calendar at:

Creating a Better World Through Business: At LATISM 2012

One late evening at my previous job, I received a call from the U.S. State Department saying they’d like our organization (the Latin Business Association) to share our insights into the U.S. Hispanic business market at the U.N. in New York City. Yes, I too thought it was a prank call. It wasn’t! And so I lost sleep for weeks thinking about what I’d say to Secretary Collin Powell who’d be attending the event.

I still think of those 15 minutes of fame at the U.N. as a highlight in my life. But it was only a few years later that I found myself hiking the Inca Trails, minutes from getting my first glimpse of Machu Picchu – perhaps lack of oxygen or lack of sleep – but I had a profound and nagging question in my head: when I’m gone, what will I be remembered for? Continue reading

October: SBA National Women’s Small Business Month Web Chats

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host a series of four web chats during the month of October – National Women’s Small Business Month – for women considering launching their own business.

Each week, the SBA web chats will feature prominent subject experts who will guide participants on best practices for putting together business plans, navigating challenges of entering competitive markets and establishing the foundation for a successful, profitable and long-lasting company.

On Oct. 4, at 3PM participants can join “Starting & Growing Your Business” with Erin Andrew, of SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. Participants can play an observer’s role from the comfort of their computers, and also post questions beforehand.

Continue reading