In one of my first Publisher’s Letters, I remarked that we have the unique opportunity to scan our networks of successful Latinos to recommend them for board positions. That it was our duty to do so.
Who better than Latinos to advocate for other Latinos?
And this is true at every level. From the C-suite to the boardroom, from middle management to entry-level positions, there is always a Latino waiting (and ready) for their “big break.” Often all they need is someone else to believe in them, and another Latino’s recommendation is the proof that someone does.
This issue’s letter will be my final one, as I will now be focusing my efforts on expanding Hispanic Executive’s digital presence including its podcast The Latino Majority. But I am proud to introduce a new member of our team who has spent years embodying this belief: our new managing editor, Michele Cantos Garcia.
A New Yorker of Ecuadorian heritage, Michele has been reading Hispanic Executive since graduate school. After earning her degree, she devoted her career to providing leadership and in-demand skills training opportunities to Latinos and other underrepresented groups in the tech sector.
And as fate would have it, the first issue of the magazine she has overseen as managing editor is the one you are holding in your hands—an issue about the extraordinary Latinos and Latinas who are leading us through the digital age.
The tech leaders featured in this issue inspired us with their unmatched creativity, their drive, and their deep expertise. But above all, they impressed us with their ability to imagine a better future—for themselves and everyone around them.
Our two-time cover star Tony Jimenez, who is beating out companies like IBM, HP, and SAIC for government IT bids, takes far less satisfaction in MicroTech’s half-billion-dollar business and far more in the knowledge that the leading-edge technologies his company is creating allow him to provide life-changing support and benefits to employees.
Spotify’s Elizabeth Nieto spends every day advancing the music streaming platform’s mission of “unlocking the potential of human creativity” and working to ensure that Latinos (and other underrepresented groups) feel welcome and empowered.
And Emblematic Group’s Nonny de la Peña, known as the “Godmother of VR,” believed in technology’s ability to enable immersive journalism even back when headsets were held together by “lots of duct tape and paper clips.” Today, her work lets audiences everywhere step into stories through virtual and augmented reality.
That kind of vision, that belief in a better future, is essential to creating new products, new services, and new businesses, whether in the tech industry or beyond it. But it is also what motivates us to continue identifying and nurturing Latino talent, even when confronted with pessimistic narratives founded on myopic statistics that tell us we are making little and slow progress. We advocate for others, and pass the baton to new leaders, because we understand the transformative power of small collective efforts. And through our actions and the stories of success we tell, we change the narrative from “there’s not enough” to “here we are” and incrementally author our community’s destiny.
As Michele takes over the magazine and our editorial direction, she will be penning a letter of her own to introduce each issue. She will also be on the hunt for more of our community’s untold stories . . . for those extraordinary Latinos hiding in plain sight who are worthy of elevating and being advocated for.
But we can’t tell those stories, nor change the narrative about Latinos in America, if you don’t put in the effort. Certainly, in advocating for and supporting others but also in promoting yourself. And so, my final words in this letter are this: make yourself visible. As the former CEO of the Girl Scouts, Sylvia Acevedo, told me on season 3 of The Latino Majority podcast, we must focus on being the very best at our craft, and the best in our industry. Show up, share your goals and achievements, and bring your fellow Latinos along.