Contributors in different fields share their opinion and expertise with readers.

traveling for work to Zika virus areas

Effective strategies to tackle stress in the workplace with COVID19

Stress in the workplace is something we have all experienced, especially now that we have been working remotely or going into our workplace with so any precautions. Not all stress is necessarily a bad thing. Stress can drive you to meet a goal or take on a new challenge. But excessive stress can negatively impact your overall health and productivity in the workplace, especially in times of COVID-19.

traveling for work to Zika virus areas, stressed

Work related stress causes many paid vacation and leave days to companies every year

According to the World Health Organization the most common causes of workplace stress include:

  • Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time without recognition!
  • Not earning enough
  • More overtime due to staff cutbacks
  • Fear of being laid off
  • Being micromanaged
  • Pressure to perform to meet increasing expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction

Sometimes we don’t recognize when stress is hindering us. So ask yourself this… is my job interfering with my work performance, health, or personal life? It is also helpful to pay attention to warning signs including feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed, having problems sleeping, fatigue, consistent headaches and stomach discomfort.

No matter what you do for a living, or how stressful your job is, there are plenty of strategies you can use to reduce your overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work. Using these strategies consistently can help you stay happier and healthier!

First, focus on yourself:

  1. Shift how you think about stress. By changing the meaning or the control you give to your stress symptoms, you’ll change the way your body reacts. By choosing a different mindset, you can switch from paralysis to action.
  2. Track your triggers. Write down the situations that cause the most stress and how you responded including your feelings, your thoughts, who or what was involved, etc. This can help you identify patterns as well as your reactions so you can take control back.
  3. Reduce your stress by helping others but also set boundaries. Studies indicate that one of the best ways to reduce stress is to focus on others. To use this strategy in the workplace, seek out opportunities to mentor. But also be mindful of setting boundaries for yourself. That can include not checking email after a certain hour, setting aside specific blocks of time to check social media, and being able to say no, etc.


stress in the workplace, covid19

(Photo credit: Erik McClean,

You might be interested: Is working remotely a pain? Tips to be more comfortable and productive

Other important strategies that you can apply immediately:

  1. Start conversations on a positive note. When you begin a conversation with something positive, you improve the chances the other person will respond with something positive, too.
  2. Turn off news or social media alerts. In a world so saturated with news on various platforms it can become stressful keeping up with it all. This is an easy, but effective, way to reduce stress and more importantly take control of what you expose yourself to.
  3. Focus on your “Immediate step.” To reduce the stress caused by feeling stuck at work, find the smallest meaningful action you can take immediately to solve a problem.
  4. Take time to recharge your batteries. That could involve taking a 10 minute walk alone, or meeting a colleague for a quick coffee or tea. Or maybe taking an exercise class during your lunch hour to release the stress.
  5. Seek support. It is so easy to just deal with stress on our own. But having support to lean on can make all the difference. Do not be ashamed or afraid to seek help.
Erica Torres Pagano

Erica Torres Pagano from corporate America to Total Fitness Evolution

My name is Erica Torres Pagano and I am a proud wife and faith driven mommy to a very active little boy.

Erica Torres Pagano

Erica Torres Pagano is a fitness and nutrition coach

I was a Corporate America junkie and fitness instructor/fanatic until the last trimester of my pregnancy when everything changed for me. I went into preterm labor at 26 weeks, was laid off from my Corporate job and put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

Three weeks after giving birth, my son was admitted to the ICU for 23 days. The week we were finally able to bring him home we got into a severe car accident on our way back from the doctor’s office. I could seriously feel myself falling into a deep depression. The first year of my son’s life was spent back and forth to doctor’s offices, totaling about 8 different specialists. We couldn’t take him out anywhere other than the doctor, we couldn’t have any visitors except the home nurse and I felt like the world had just swallowed me hole.

It was at that point that he turned one that I realized I had to regain my fitness “groove.” I had to find a way to get myself back on track, to get fit and healthy again, but also still be present to nurse my son back to 100 percent health. I was NOT going back to 70 plus hour work weeks and knew I would not have the freedom I needed.

That need to be present, that need for flexibility and freedom drove me to teach group fitness again and start my own personal training business. I wanted to do it my way, on my terms. I also felt a burning passion to help others regain their fitness, while understanding their needs for flexibility and understanding just how precious their time was.

Erica Torres Pagano

Erica Torres Pagano

After a few years of pouring myself into my own business I knew I wanted to grow my reach so I also became an online health & fitness coach. Coaching has enhanced my personal training biz and given me access to increased personal development, a massive support system and the extreme satisfaction of helping people evolve a healthier version of themselves. And what is great is that I run my personal training and coaching businesses from home! I set my own schedule according to my needs!

Contact me! I love connecting with new people! Questions welcome!!

If you are interested in joining my online accountability groups or want to share more about yourself so I can help you get healthier please fill out this form!

P.S. My website is up and running please check it out at

10 highlights Susana G Baumann

Susana G Baumann advocating for Latina entrepreneurs’ innovation

Susana G Baumann is the Director of LCSWorldwide, a multicultural marketing consulting firm currently located in New Jersey, USA, and the Editor-in-Chief of her company’s new initiative,

Luis Moreno

Luis Moreno new contributor to

Luis Moreno contributor Latino talent

Luis Moreno, VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial and co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network

I’m so proud to introduce you to Luis Moreno, our newest contributor to! Luis brings impeccable credentials as a Latino talent thought leader in the Financial and Business communities.

The VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial, Luis is also the co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network, a 1,700-member organization that helps students and peers grow personally and professionally.

He was awarded NSHMBA MSP’s “Member of the Year” and has been named “Top National Champion of Diversity” by DiversityBusiness Magazine and “Top 100 Under 50 Executives and Emerging Leaders” by Diversity MBA Magazine.

Luis holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, is a Public Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and is a member of the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School. We are honored and grateful to have Luis on board!

Got Latino talent in your organization?

Among many other positive characteristics, Latinos are optimistic, enthusiastic, adaptable, and they grow up in highly relationship-based and collective environments. The culture is built around people and loyalty. Interpersonal skills play a big role in our culture. All of these characteristics and skills can be leveraged in any organization to improve results.

Luis Moreno Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Latino talent

L to R: Luis Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Gavin Hart, Ruth Elfering, Tomás Perez. Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Launch at Target Fields on February 10th, 2016. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

  1. Latino talent and retention

Latinos can be very loyal if they feel valued in an organization so they can help your retention rate if they are working under favorable conditions and being acknowledged and valued.

They make great employees and team members as they take great pride in the work they do and place high value in earning the respect and appreciation of others. These tendencies will usually be a strong motivation for a Latino employee to want to go the extra mile at work.

2. Latino talent in management roles

As managers and supervisors, Latinos have a general tendency to be in-tune with people matters, given the high weight that the Latino culture places on people.

So, Latino managers and leaders will pay special attention to how employees are feeling, whether they are being acknowledged and recognized. They will also be in tune with employees on their team, and make sure they have the opportunity for flexibility to achieve work-life balance and be there for their families, the most important aspect for Latinos.

Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno. Latino talent

L to R: Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

3. The female Latino talent

Organizations that promote the development and growth of female leaders can find in Latinas great talent and potential. Latinas grow up in highly social environments, which help them develop strong social and communication skills.

Latinas are determined, considerate, and caring, as they play a strong role in the Latino family, home, and community, values that they leverage professionally in the organization.

So, not only having Latinas among the leaders of the organization will help with the organization’s goals and results, but it can also help improve morale, motivation, well-being, and the work-life style balance for employees in the organization.

4. Latino talent in conflict management

When it comes to managing conflict and resolving issues, because of Latino’s natural tendency to build strong personal relationships, such relationships can help in establishing and effectively managing any necessary communication to resolve concerns.

Since Latinos, in general, have a tendency to be cheerful and optimistic, they can help the organization when it comes to having to communicate bad news, because they will try to find an angle of the story to communicate optimism and hope, which can at least help members get and assimilate the unfortunate news more easily.

  1. Latino talent and partner relationship management

Latinos can also help with the organization’s relationship with partners. Leverage Latinos in your organization to help build relationships and trust faster with customers, vendors, and partners, as Latinos have a passion for people.

Go through your list of external partners and see if you have any customers, vendors, or partners from or with operations in Latin America. That can make those relationship-building even easier and faster, as often people tend to feel comfortable doing business and managing matters with people with whom they can more easily relate to, identify with, and with whom they can share some commonalities, such as culture, language, and experiences.

Latino Talent NSHMBAs

L to R: Luis Moreno, Yrma Cova, Dylan Moreno, Tomás Perez. National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Annual Gala on December 4th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

Find the organizations that represent them

So, make sure you are leveraging the Latino talent in your organization to its full potential. You can have a treasure right there in your own team ready to be discovered! You can get valuable and useful information about Latinos, their contributions over time, and their benefits in the work place, through many great organizations in various fields which have been building a strong knowledge base and expertise and are happy to help you.

  • The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), recently rebranded as “Prospanica”. This fantastic organization has been in existence for 28 years, since its foundation in 1988. It has been working on increasing the number of Latinos graduating with MBA’s for over two decades. In 2015, NSHMBA extended its reach beyond the MBA community to undergraduate and high school-level students. They empower Latino professionals to achieve their full educational, economic and social potential. I am very proud to have been an active member for over 15 years.
  • In the STEM field, there is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), founded in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. They have built a really strong national organization of professional engineers, which serve as role models in our Latino community. SHPE has a strong network of professional and student chapters throughout the country and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with multiple of its members for great initiatives to support Latino Engineering students and professionals.
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which was started in 1968 and whose great mission is to improve Latinos’ opportunities for success in achieving the American Dream. They provide research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts to serve millions of Latinos in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing.

Also, there are amazing organizations at the local level, which partner with national organizations and can be of great help. For example in the Midwest, there are really strong organizations supporting Latinos, such as Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES), Neighborhood House, LatinoLEAD, and many others.

If you have interest in learning about more ways to leverage the Latino talent in your organization and would like some ideas, perspectives, and suggestions, feel free to contact any of these organizations or let me know. I will be more than happy to share some perspectives, insights, and ideas with you. We welcome your comments!


Ramon Santillan

BRAG the 4-letter word that leads to success

Ramon Santillan

Ramon Santillan is the founder of

We are delighted to welcome our new contributor and career coach Ramon Santillan Jr, and yes, we brag about it!

Ramon is the founder of  Before he was an Interview Consultant, he was a tax consultant for the world’s biggest accounting firm, the world’s biggest oil driller, and the founder of his own tax practice.

Ramon teaches his clients how to be more charismatic, feel (and look) more confident, and shows them the right way to “brag” about themselves during interviews.  He has been quoted by U.S. News & World Report, CBS, Yahoo!,, Chicago Tribune and many others as an interviewing expert.

His clients think he’s pretty great.  He tends to agree.

Ramon is a graduate from the UT’s Red McCombs School of Business, a graduate from the FBI’s Citizen Academy, a Certified Corporate Trainer, has been Historian, Vice President, and President for the ALPFA Houston Chapter, husband of one, father of two, and friend of many.

He loves reading and consistently reads between 48-52 books a year.  Tell him about your favorite book and he’ll add it to his Amazon Wishlist.

Ramon also enjoys writing about himself in the 3rd person.  He thinks it’s fun.


Is there a magic 4-letter word that leads to success?

You’re putting in the hours, you’re delivering the results, but it seems like everyone else is reaping the rewards.  Why is everyone getting better jobs, better promotions, and better clients?  You’re doing everything right except one thing:

You’re not bragging.

We are raised to see “brag” as a four-letter word.  “I don’t need to brag.  My work speaks for itself” you might think with a look of disgust.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case in the real world.  Assuming that people are focused on what you do leaves the burden of promoting yourself to other people.  If anything, making people responsible for knowing who you are and what you can do is selfish.  We are all busy with our home life, careers, and countless other things so why would we spend time worried about YOUR career?

The case for bragging

Group of Multi-Ethnic People Holding Sign Poles brag

I hope you’re starting to realize that as the CEO of YOU, YOU are your own best cheerleader.  Who better than you to talk about what you’ve worked on, the impact you’ve had or what your career goals are?  If you want other people to know how great you are, shouldn’t you tell them?  In your career, as well as in your life, you can’t take a passive role.  You have to actively participate.

I’m going to help you make the transition from someone who expects others to take notice to someone who takes an active role in her career in 3 easy steps.

When I’m working with my clients, whether it’s preparing them for an interview or to meet a meet a new client for their company, the vast majority of them have the most trouble with promoting themselves.  It’s hard to start talking about how great you are when you’ve had two or three decades of doing the opposite.

Step 1: Change your idea of what bragging is

I know “bragging” sounds like one of those words your mom would wash your mouth out with soap if she overheard you using.  I also know that if a particular word has a negative connotation and the more ingrained it is in your brain, the harder it will be for you to adopt certain behaviors associated with that words.  To avoid this, let’s replace “Brag” with “Promoting Yourself”.

Promote yourself brag

The Old Way/BAD!

“Elena is always bragging about how great she is.  Uggh, I hate her guts!”

The New Way/Good!

“Elena is awesome at promoting herself.  I wish I was more like her!”

See the difference?

Step 2: Know when to brag, promote yourself.

The reason we don’t like people who “brag” is because they do it all the time/everywhere.  They are what we call tone deaf.  Although you should talk about your accomplishments when you get the chance, you also shouldn’t do it every single moment.  I doubt your boss would care much to hearing you yap about how great you are when she’s knee deep in a last minute request from the people in the C Suite.

You see, the art of promoting yourself is knowing when and how to do it.  A good time to promote yourself is after you completed an important project.  People will be receptive to the work you’ve done, how your involvement impacted the project, and to any ideas on other projects you’ve like to be involved in.

Step 3: Always be ready to promote yourself

Promoting yourself isn’t limited from 9-5.  Sometimes the best opportunities to show others how great you are happen at networking events and other activities outside the office.  I eventually learned this, but one of the reasons I started my research into self-promotion was because I was tired of all the missed opportunities.

On more than one occasion, I would find myself in an elevator with a VIP of an organization with nothing to say.  As soon as they would exit the elevator and the doors would close again, I would kick myself for not even introducing myself.  These were people who literally could change my career path if only I had learned to promote myself.

Instead of trying to come up with something on the fly, I’ve learned to come up with several things I think people would be interested in hearing about myself.  I call it my “Bag of Brag” and it includes projects I’ve worked on, things I’m proud of, and other things I think people would find useful and interesting.  Before an event, I mentally go through my Bag of Brag so that if I bump into someone I’d like to meet, I can immediately reach into my Bag of Brag and pull out something.


Now that you know how to get ahead, use the steps to reach your career goals.  The steps are easy to follow.  The hard part is actually sticking to the plan since it may not seem natural to you…at first.  Once you start practicing and you start seeing the positive results, you’ll be ready to promote yourself at anything you do.


Joanna Renteria profile pic

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist and Influencer

Joanna Renteria profile pic

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist, Influencer

Joanna Renteria is a first generation Mexican-American born and raised in California. With a passion for journalism and the Latino community, she initiated her career in broadcast journalism, gaining experience as a story-teller and content creator at Univision San Francisco, C7 in Jalisco, México and MundoFOX in Los Angeles.

In 2014, Joanna received her M.A. in Mass Communication from the California State University of Northridge where she focused her research and thesis on the transition of television outlets and audiences to digital.

With a personal blog ( aiming a peak of nearly 900,000 visits one day, Joanna quickly realized the importance of connecting with the new generation not only digitally but socially. 

Upon completion of her graduate studies, she has worked as a social media consultant and strategist for brands, helping them build relationships with their audiences in the most prominent social media platforms that benefit their products. A hopeless writer, she also freelances from time to time, blogs occasionally, and tweets daily. 


Twitter: @Joanna_Renteria






Aquiles Larrea profile

Aquiles Larrea Jr. wealth management coach and contributor

Aquiles Larrea profileWelcome to our new coach and contributor Aquiles Larrea Jr. AIF®, who operates as the personal CFO for successful Latino and Latina executives and entrepreneurs allowing them to pursue their passion and purpose-filled life on their own terms.

Having witnessed his mother’s true-life challenges after she was laid off from a downsizing in the garment industry, Aquiles decided to go into wealth management to help others make smart financial decisions.

For the last 20 years, he has enjoyed helping clients transform their professional and personal lives through his unique wealth management systems and processes.

In 2002, Aquiles started his own independent firm, Larrea Wealth Management with the belief that providing private clients with a simple, elegant experience and a highly skilled team of experts could help them and their loved ones achieve new levels of accomplishment.

Aquiles put himself through college and earned a BS from St. John’s University. He also has a huge passion for Karate. He holds a Third-Degree black-belt in Shotokan Karate and was a member of the US World Cup Karate Team.

Aquiles lives in Manhattan with his wife, Rosabelle, and their two kids, Aquiles Jr. and Alexandria.

Aquiles Larrea Jr. AIF® may be reached at 212-390-8918 or