An attendance of over 350 business people and more than 70 exhibitors made the 24th Annual Convention and Awards Luncheon of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) once again a great success.
A full day of activities, workshops and exhibit expo included the presence of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who talked to the needs of Hispanic businesses in New Jersey in a friendly and open address. “I will give you my cell number so you can call me and tell me how we can help you. You pay for it so you better take advantage of it,” she said to a cheering business audience.
She also announced that The Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD) recently approved a $85,000 grant for the SHCCNJ to provide technical assistance to small businesses in New Jersey.
Carlos Medina, President of the SHCCNJ, enhanced the economic power of Latinos in the Garden State. “We have 70K registered Latino businesses in New Jersey contributing 10 billion to the economy. We must acknowledge that Hispanic businesses continue to grow even during the last Great Recession, creating jobs and opportunities for millions of families and communities in the country,” he said.
Awardees for this year Annual Convention included Business Advocate of the Year Michellene Davis , Barnabas Healthcare System; Latina Trailblazer of the Year Vanessa Deleon, VDA Designs, Healthcare Advocate of the Year James R. Gonzalez, University Hospital; Businesswoman of the Year Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC; Legislator of the Year Hon. Vincent Prieto, Speaker of the General Assembly; Attorney of the Year Anna Maria Tejada, Kaufman, Dolowich, Voluck; Business of the Year Carlos & Constance Vega, Jersey Italian Gravy, LLC; and Restaurant of the Year Juan Zaldivar, Lola Latin Bistro.
The highlight of the day was, however, the Latinas in Social Media panel, a team of six thought-provoking Latinas in business with a combined direct following of over 18K and hundreds of thousands of indirect followers. Reina Valenzuela, CEO Starfish Global; Jazlyn Carvajal, Latinas in STEM; Claudia Krusch, trendylatina.com; Barbara Trujillo Gomez , B&B Fit, LLC; Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC; and Susana G Baumann, Director
LCSWorldwide and Editor-in-Chief LatinasInBusiness.us, provided an eager to learn audience some strategies, tips and guidance to grow their businesses through social media. The panel also invited the public to follow the presenters with their Twitter handles and grow their own following.
During the panel, SHCCNJ Board Member Luis O De la Hoz spoke to the audience about the importance of attending this type of events. “You have to show up! All of you that are here have now made contact with these wonderful Latinas in Social Media who will help you grow your business. Those who are not here have missed this great opportunity to network and meet people who would benefit their businesses,” he said.
Carlos Medina was grateful for this year great success, “Thank you all for making both the panel and the entire event such a success. I certainly felt a little extra energy and love in the room this year and many attendees expressed the same ‘vibe.’”
In case you missed the panel, here are the panelists Twitter handles:
Moderator Claudia Krusch @ckrusch www.trendylatina.com
Panelist Susana G Baumann @sbaumann342 @LIBizus, latinasinbusiness.us/
Panelist Jazlyn Carvajal @LatinasinSTEM @jazcar03, latinasinstem.com
Panelist Hipatia Lopez @EmpanadaFork, empanadafork.com
Panelist Barbara Trujillo-Gomez @BarbaraTGomez, bandbfit.com
Panelist Reina Valenzuela @Soylamar, starfishglobal.com
Organizer Luis O De la Hoz @LuisODLH @FNHCNJ www.latinosmallbusinessowner.com