Welcome! Bienvenidas y Bienvenidos to our 2022 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit LIVE from New York City!
Why we chose “Success: What it Takes to Make it in America” as our theme this year? As an immigrant, a Latina, and a woman, I have reflected many times on what success means to me and what it takes to be successful in America.
America is obsessed with success. Many times equated to money and power, success seems to be the Holy Grail of business, something that is believed to exist but seems unattainable.
How do you know you are successful or when do you know you have success? How do you measure success?
Years ago, while debating this topic, a mentor told me to make two lists: on one side, I should list the amount of money and assets I had at that time. Well, that list came out very short!
On the other side, I should list all the actions I had taken and the results I had obtained while working towards my goals. I found that list not only extensive in actions, but it was outstanding in results!
However, the key to understanding success was not there. The mentor then said, “You have done more in your life here as an immigrant than many Americans do in their lifetime. I say that is a measure of success!”
Today we have gathered to talk about what makes all of you successful and to celebrate your success. No matter where you are in your journey, don’t keep looking at the future and worrying if you are ever going to make it.
Instead, I invite you to look back and reflect on where you were 5, 10, or 15 years ago and compare yourself then and now. Only looking back, you will see progress!
Don’t let anyone else tell you how to measure your success. Measure it in your own terms, within your own aspirations, and in the achievement of your own dreams.
My generation was not raised with the “follow your dreams” message; on the opposite, I was raised to always do the next right thing, and to follow traditions and rules. Needless to say, I was not “the type,” so I picked up myself and my family, and I did follow my dreams to America 32 years ago.
This organization, Latinas in Business, has been part of my dreams, and I stand proud today of what we have accomplished with your help and the help of many others. Starting from 0 to 1900 members nationwide, we have proven that Latinas in Business is an organization that is here to stay. And that is our measure of SUCCESS!
We want to thank you all for your continuous support and for your presence here today.
First and foremost, we thank Berkeley College and all the team, Linda, Kelly, Xiomara, and the crew who always put their best foot forward to make these events unforgettable; and to Diana Recinos, Berkeley College President for hosting us today.
My gratitude to the speakers, our Panelists (L to R) Gina Ference, Managing Director and Head of Business Development, Marketing and Client Relationship Management at OneTeam Financial; Andrea Martinez-Mejia, Chief of Staff for the New Jersey Department of Health; Rechelle Balanzat, Founder and CEO of JULIETTE Cleaners Technologies; Victoria Flores, Entrepreneur, WE NYC Mentor for the City of NY, Former Wall Street Executive, Co-Founder & President of Lux Beauty Club and Botanicals.
Our special recognition to SBA Assistant Administrator Natalie Madeira Cofield, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, for her presence here today. She is committed to accomplishing what is needed to provide female founders with a leveled playing field that is so necessary for them to continue striving to reach their dreams.
Now let me thank our sponsors. Without their support and enthusiasm, our events would not be possible!
First, I want to thank our Gold Sponsor Valley Bank, and Dorothy Kahlau, First Senior Vice President and Director of Women in Business at Valley Bank, and the connector that made this relationship happen, our Board Member Fatima Pearn.
Dorothy and all the team at Valley Bank deserve our gratitude for your faith in us. Valley Team, please stand up! Thanks, Nicole Radumski, VP Commercial Loan Officer, and NYC Women in Business Ambassador, for representing today the Valley Bank Women in Business Program.
We also wanted to thank another loyal sponsor, Investors Banks, for their support through all these years of building this organization, and my Guardian Angel Jacqueline Sansone, Vice President, and Branch Manager.
Our Reception Sponsor is Metallix Refining, a supporter and fan of Latinas in Business. Maria Piastre, thanks so much for your friendship, your kindness, and your faith in our mission!
Larrea Wealth Management, Juliette, and First Hope Bank, thanks for your kind donations to help us put together this beautiful event.
This year, we welcome several new Corporate Members: Metallix Refining, ADP, Essen Healthcare, and the Business of Women Entrepreneurs. Corporate Members are larger businesses and organizations that we promote all year long, with special perks and benefits during events and in our LatinasinBusiness magazine. We are extremely happy to be working with you and we welcome you to the Latinas in Business Inner Circle.
To my Executive Board members Albania Rosario, Founder and CEO, Fashion Designers of Latin America (L), and Fatima Pearn, Sr VP at First Hope Bank (R), the whole team at Latinas in Business, Ashley Hayes, Victoria Arena, Fe-licitty Branch (USA), Paula O’Rourke (ARG), and Antonella Pinero (MX), gracias!
And finally, many thanks to all our Media Partners who have helped us promote this event beyond our reach, bringing their own audiences to increase the value of our event. The power of collaboration, a principle that Latinas in Business stands for since its inception, has proven once again that we are in this together, and ONLY together we can achieve SUCCESS! They are Fashion Designers of Latin America, Latina Meetup, Interductus/ Renovad, Executive Bound, Brooklyn2Bogota, Americano Newspaper, NoticiasNewsWire, y Luna Sol Media, thanks for your reach and your loyalty in spreading the word!