Our 2018 Conference & Career Expo was a celebration of more than our 30 years of impact as an organization. Since our founders built the National Society of Hispanic MBAs in 1988, which would later grow into Prospanica, Latino influence in the United States has expanded exponentially. It was fitting and exciting to celebrate in Milwaukee, a city that has witnessed its own Latino population triple since 1990.
Conference attendees were a mix of students, professionals and Prospanica leadership from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and this diverse body reported an excellent experience. We pride ourselves on consistently delivering industry-leading content to our attendees, and this conference proved no exception. Through our post-conference survey, which received a greater volume of responses than recent years, attendees gave the breakout sessions a 4.6 out of 5. Additionally, 9 out of 10 attendees would recommend the Prospanica Conference & Career Expo to others!
We plan to build on this success for 2019. We’ll host next year’s conference—SIN FRONTERAS: New Leaders, Next Gen Ideas—in Orlando, FL, a metropolitan area that is 30% Hispanic. The face of the corporate boardroom is changing, as are the nation’s demographics. Everything from the way we communicate to the products we consume has undergone dramatic change. We want to prepare this generation of Latino leaders for the unknown landscapes they’ll impact and highlight the innovation that happens on a daily basis. Start planning now to be there.
PROSPANICA CONFERENCE PLAY-BY-PLAY
This year’s conference was filled with powerful and insightful professional development sessions that inspired attendees and generated a palpable positive energy at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, we had two Career Management sessions focused on discovering our intrapreneurship skills and broadening our knowledge of investing. On the topic of Leadership, presenters took attendees on a deep dive into assessing their leadership styles and using creativity to solve problems. A group exercise involved dividing participants into smaller groups to see which team could build the tallest structure using a TinkerToy construction set!
During the Opening Luncheon, Prospanica National recognized a select number of chapters for their excellent performance throughout the past year. Cari Dominguez, Corporate Director at ManPowerGroup, provided the keynote talk at that luncheon, delivering a candid and moving account of her impressive career journey, which led to high profile roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, including Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards and director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Wednesday’s professional development sessions concluded with tracks on Business Trends, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where attendees received practical advice on how to transform their personal brand using LinkedIn, as well as how to secure the necessary funding to start-up a business venture.
Afterwards, Conference attendees participated in a Corporate Networking Reception, where Prospanica leadership, sponsors, guest speakers and panelists greeted each other before heading out to dedicated Hospitality Suites hosted by: Ford, Google, BASF, ManpowerGroup, Brown-Forman and Medtronic.
The second day of professional developments sessions proved just as robust as the first. In Career Management, attendees heard from experts on corporate social responsibility; in Leadership, how women can be assertive without being labeled; in Entrepreneurship, the most up-to-date status of Latino businesses in the U.S.; and in Business Trends & Innovation, an exploration of how to respond to the workplace shifts we will continue to experience in years to come.
Thursday’s lunch keynote speaker, Ana Dutra, shared that Latino professionals need to take advantage of their distinct values and talents and to lead by being their authentic selves. Thursday was witnessed the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Career Expo, where Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made a Proclamation of the City that named September 13, 2018, as Prospanica Day.
Prospanica’s Career Expo Floor opened all day Friday for students and professionals to engage and interact with recruiters from major Fortune 500 companies. Many set up face-to-face interviews and expressed their satisfaction with having several tangible employment opportunities to explore.
From Left to Right, Thomas Savino, Prospanica CEO, and Judith García Galiana, National Board Chair, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as he hands over a Proclamation of the City. Then Judith Garcia Galiana cuts the ribbon during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Career Expo. Behind her from Left to Right, Thomas Savino, Tom Barrett, and Samantha Maldonado – Milwaukee Chapter President.
The conference provided a platform for women to exercise their leadership and help define
and implement the roadmap to career success for Hispanic professionals nationwide.
Attendees enjoyed a full program of professional development and leadership workshops geared towards
career advancement among topics such as creativity, innovation, planning, management and investments.
The Philadelphia, Silicon Valley, University of Puerto Rico--Cayey and DFW Chapters
were recognized for their Chapter Excellence. Congratulations!
Chapter Excellence recipients also included DC, Philadelphia and Oregon. Congratulations!
Prospanica’s Career Expo offers students and professionals an opportunity to directly
engage with major Fortune 500 companies seeking diverse talent from across the U.S.
Prospanica’s Corporate Advisory Board is formed by senior level leadership
representing different industries within the private sector:
The 2017 Chapter of the Year, Prospanica Philadelphia.
Prospanica’s National Board members. From Left to Right: Pat Perella, Julio Rocha, Karen Flores (National Vice Chair), Thomas Savino (Prospanica CEO), Judith García Galiana (National Chair), Russell Bennett, Carmen Heredia-López and Larry Montes (National Treasurer).
THE 2018 BRILLANTE AWARDS
The Latino Arts Strings Program opened the 2018 Brillante with a musical journey through Latin America and the Caribbean.
And our Brillante Awards Recipients are…
The Brillante Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence was given to Diana Canto-Sims, Designer of La Vida Eyewear, for designing the only eyeglasses made for Latinas by a Latina. She founded La Vida Eyewear after identifying a problem at her eye clinic. Her patients, who are predominately Latinas, oftentimes did not fit in the current eyewear styles because the designs were not created for them. Her clinic won the 2016 Prevent Blindness in America Practice of the Year Award, and Diana is relentlessly committed to educating her patients and innovating eyewear products.
Esperanza College won the Brillante Award for Educational Excellence. They are a joint venture of Esperanza and Eastern University, dedicated to strengthening our Hispanic community. Its mission is to enhance the knowledge, skills, and outlook of individuals so that they can live even more thoughtful, positive, productive, and purposeful lives. Esperanza College achieves its mission through the integration of faith, reason, and justice in its pursuit of excellence.
Global technology company Intel is the recipient of the 2018 Brillante Award for Corporate Excellence. In 2015, Intel Corporation made the biggest diversity commitment to that date by any corporation, committing that by the year 2020 it would match market availability of its diverse workforce. Intel is on track to meet that commitment this year, two years ahead of schedule. All in all, they have increased the representation of Hispanics in leadership positions from 3% to 35% over the last three years.
Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, President & CEO of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA), was recognized with the Brillante Award for Community Service Excellence. During her successful career in the corporate sector, Dr. Díaz-Claisse did outreach in the community and realized that few Hispanic students had known successful Hispanic professionals who had obtained higher education. Díaz-Claisse knew that the many role models like her could show Latino students that they could achieve their dreams if they worked hard and stayed in school. She decided to walk away from her corporate job and founded the nonprofit to address this need. In 2008, HISPA launched in New Jersey with the goal to recruit 100 role models in 100 hours. Under her leadership, the organization has since grown to over 2,500 role models; has expanded its programming to San Antonio, New York City, and South Florida; and has inspired more than 10,000 students.
The Brillante Award for Member Excellence was received by Raquel M. Arredondo, Associate Director for Outreach, Engagement & Professional Development for Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, Office of Graduate Career Services. In this role, Raquel drives initiatives and strategies to develop relationships with employer partners and to connect students and faculty with co-curricular, internship, and employment opportunities. In addition to her outreach initiatives, Raquel has developed and delivered a number of professional development workshops, including Foundations of Career & Professional Development, a credited course she designed for graduate students.
Richard Montañez, VP of Multicultural Sales & Marketing across Pepsi North American divisions,
delivered a powerful keynote speech during the 2018 Brillante Gala.