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Alice Rodriguez: Overcoming obstacles and the power to succeed in business and life

The 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit (WEES) was a day full of inspiration and empowerment. With inspiring guest speakers, panels from industry leaders, and interactive deep-dive workshops, the event centered on giving entrepreneurs the tools to THRIVE! post-pandemic. One of the main moments at 2021 WEES was hearing from Keynote Speaker, Alice Rodriguez, Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Alice Rodriguez

Keynote Speaker, Alice Rodriguez, Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“She is a person who is raising the bar for Latinas in Business and I’m absolutely grateful for her presence here,” said Susana G Baumann, President and founder of Latinas in Business when she introduced Alice.

With over 30 years of extensive banking experience at JP Morgan Chase and positions in business banking, consumer banking, Alice Rodriguez serves a leading role in community engagement initiatives and localization strategies. 

“Congratulations for this wonderful summit, and all the wonderful content you are providing to Latina entrepreneurs is so important,” says Alice Rodriguez while opening her speech. 

Below, Alice shares three key aspects from her presentation to empower YOU to succeed. 

“Lessons learned from my Sheroe”

“Behind every great woman there is another great woman,” Alice begins.

Alice’s great “sheroe” was her mother, Alicia Nuñez Ramírez who had the most impact on her life. 

“This was a woman who came to this country when she was 15 years old,” Alice shares. “My grandfather died when she was 12 years old and my mother came to a family of 12 and it was very difficult for my grandmother to raise all of those children by herself. So she sent her children away to live with another family while my mother ended up living with an aunt in Texas.  She met my father who was from the US and they started our family.” 

Growing up, Alice saw how her mother overcame a lot of adversity. “She had this very strong ability to never get flustered, which I learned from her and I believe she was completely ahead of her time.  She was a strong independent Latina that just did not take a no for an answer and I recognize that I stand on her shoulder. She came here with a middle school education and it didn’t stop her from learning. She taught me everything, how important family is, values, faith, how to create your own success and take a risk. She was always figuring out how to get over those barriers.” 

One of the most important lessons she taught Alice was “‘Life is not fair’ so you can’t sit there and see how things don’t go your way. You have to figure out how to get back or what you need to do in order to change the path that you are currently on,” Alice says. 

She continues, “When I think about my mom and Latinas today… Latinos are making such an impact in this country. According to a Neilsen report, every generation of Latinas are making great progress when it comes to education. For Latinas that are 50 or older, 13% of Latinas have a Bachelor’s Degree. If you are between 35 and 49 that number goes up to 18% and if you are between 25 and 35 years old that number is 19%.” 

Alice Rodriguez’s mother did not read or write. She had a seventh-grade education. Then Alice was the first in her  family to graduate from College. Finally, two days ago Alice’s youngest daughter who’s now 29 graduated from her 3-year residence in John Hopkins. 

“I am a real example of those statistics on the great strides that Latinas are making. It’s not just education, it’s also what we see in politics,” says Alice. “There’s no question that Latinas are making a very big impact in entrepreneurship.”

Alice Rodriguez speaking virtually at the 2021 WEES.

You might be interested: Congrats to all our 2020 – 2021 Latina Leaders Awardees!

Amazing statistics on Latino power

“I want to share with you really important statistics that are not shown in the media. Everybody knows we have 61 million Latinos in this country, a number that is growing very fast and the economic activity that Latinos are providing to this country is significant. If we say ‘Latinos are their own country’ it will be the 8th largest in the world. Larger than Italy, South Korea or Brazil. The labor participation for Latinos has been extremely strong.”

Alice continues, “A large number of baby-boomers are retiring every month. If you were a country that didn’t know where your population is going to come from you would be extremely worried.  The good news is Latino participation is growing and this is where I became super optimistic about the real economic power that Latinos have and how we need an equal system.” 

“As we look at Latino-owned businesses in this country, there are 5 million and growing and Latinas are growing 6 times faster than the overall coverage. Which brings me to what I am doing in the Hispanic US Chamber and JP Morgan Chase as the Head of Community Impact. At the Chamber we see this economic power and we know that is real and we are working very hard in what we call the 3 Cs: 

  1. Capital: We recognize that Latino-owned businesses really need to have this access to capital and also the work that we are doing with the administration, with banks is extremely critical. 
  2. The second C is connections. I don’t have to tell this group how many organizations out there are very focused in really engaging minority suppliers and this is a really great opportunity to have all of you prepared to be able to do business at a larger level and so the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is really providing those introductions so those procurement opportunities are available at the Federal level, al the local level and obviously at the corporate level. 
  3. And the third C is Capacity Building; so we are very blessed to have 250 local chambers that we are working very closely every day and we recognize not every chamber has the same capabilities so our ability to build capacity with them has been critical. It includes more webinars, more content, etc.

“In JP Morgan Chase. I had a very long career and what I’m doing today is one of the most impactful assignments I ever had. We have to be sure that we are bringing the power to our local communities, how we can help with that mentoring, with that coaching, with that advising. We are very excited about the programs we put in place and more importantly we believe that this five-year commitment that we made is really going to be an opportunity to provide more access to many Latinas in businesses in this country. 

I want to leave you with a few takeaways

Alice concluded her presentation with a few key takeaways that every entrepreneur and business owner could use to help them grow and THRIVE! in business and in life. 

“Really take care of your financial health,” is Alice’s first recommendation. “Knowing the details of your business and really understanding your own credit and where you are in income perspective. Spend the time. There are lots of resources to help with that.”

“The second is that you have to love a lot of paperwork, if you don’t like it you just have to get over it,” Alice continues. “Be sure that you have the right CPA, that you have an accountant, that you have a lawyer, that you have a banker and more important that you have a relationship with the banker. This is critical and we discovered during this pandemic how critical it was in order to get the resources that were available.” 

Third, is no surprise to any entrepreneur. “Network, network, network. It’s important to keep up with the people that you meet, understanding what their background is because you never know when you are going to need that person. Even if that person can’t help you, they can always connect you to the right person that perhaps can help you.” 

Finally, more important than anything else is self-care. Without taking care of yourself, everything else will unravel. 

“I think as Latinas, as women, we want to do it all,” says Alice. “But we just are human beings like everybody else and if we don’t slow down and really take care of ourselves, physically, mentally we are not going to do anyone any good and we are certainly not going to do our professional lives any good. Take that time. Some people meditate, some people exercise, some people just don’t do anything. Pick whatever works for you but more important, take care of yourself.” 

2021 WEES

Final Lineup of Stellar Speakers to support THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit

Announcing final lineup of stellar speakers for the Latinas in Business THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit  (2021 WEES) to support Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs. 

2021 WEES

THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit Speakers Lineup.

We are pleased to announce our final lineup of speakers for the Latinas in Business THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit (2021 WEES), a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs to Learn. Connect. Succeed!  

With THRIVE! as our motto this year, the 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit will center on key areas of growth to connect and empower women business owners with tools and insights that will propel them forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will feature various panels with industry leaders, inspiring guest speakers, deep-dive workshops, and our signature peer-to-peer networking sessions and post-panel discussion forums.

The event takes place on June 10, 2021 from 1:30pm to 6:30pm in a Virtual Space, followed by the Latina Leaders Awards ceremony from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus (by invitation only).

Register now at https://2021wees.eventbrite.com/

Announcing Final Lineup of speakers for THRIVE! 2021 WEES 

Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College

Michael J. Smith, Co-Host – Michael J. Smith is the President of Berkeley College. Since his appointment as President in 2015, Mr. Smith has been unwavering in his commitment to student success. 

Under the leadership of Mr. Smith, Berkeley College has expanded its reach among diverse communities, including through prominent Latino and African-American organizations. In addition, the College has been recognized for its volunteer and community service contributions, and was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. 

Before joining Berkeley College, Mr. Smith was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of MetLife Realty Group. He is also an accomplished public servant. He was twice elected to represent the 55,000 residents of District 3 on the Westchester County Board of Legislators from 2012 to 2015, serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Capital Projects during the 2014-15 legislative term. 

Mr. Smith is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Fordham University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Fairfield University.

Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager.

Lucy Pinto, Opening Keynote Speaker – Lucy Pinto is the Grow with Google Program Manager. 

As the Grow with Google Program Manager, Lucy works to level the playing field for communities who face digital divides and barriers to digital resources by providing them with the digital tools and resources to succeed. 

Additionally, Lucy is a thought leader, a consultant, and a partner who helps teams at Google audit and anticipate inclusion needs as well as implement strategies to make better products, processes, and services. 

Currently, she manages the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program which delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. Prior to her role as Program Manager, Lucy served as Diversity Systems & Programs Design Manager at Google, and Business Inclusion Program Manager. 

Lucy received her B.B.A in Management and International Business from the University of Georgia. 

Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Managing Director, Global Corporate Banking, Bank of America Securities.

Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Closing Remarks – Patricia Pacheco is a managing director in Global Corporate Banking at BofA Securities, the institutional broker dealer business of Bank of America. 

Pacheco is responsible for Latin America and European large corporate subsidiaries with $2bn above in global annual sales based in North America. In this capacity, she manages a $60M portfolio and has driven more than 316% growth in revenues since 2014 when she joined the firm. 

Pacheco has been actively involved in leading many Hispanic and employee network initiatives throughout the course of her career. She currently serves as co-chair of Bank of America’s Hispanic Latino Executive Council and emeritus chair of the firm’s Hispanic Network Executive Advisory Board (HOLA NY).

Pacheco holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Manhattanville College with dual majors in international business and Latin America studies.

Alice Rodriguez, Managing Director, Head of JPMC Community Impact and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman. 

Alice Rodriguez, Keynote Speaker – Alice Rodriguez is the Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Head of JPMC Community Impact Organization. 

Alice Rodriguez has over 30 years of extensive banking experience with JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors. She has held executive positions in Business Banking, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management. Her most current role is Head of JPMC Community Impact Organization. 

She provides strategic counsel and serves an integral leadership role in community engagement initiatives and localization strategy. In this capacity, Alice collaborates with Corporate Responsibility to bring together the best of business, philanthropy and policy efforts to drive inclusive economic growth. Alice leads the Community Impact team that is driving the firm’s a $30B commitment to advancing racial equity.

A trailblazer in her field, Alice has a natural tenacity, tempered with a steadied approach in both life and business. In a career spanning three decades, she has put people and purpose first, supporting community efforts beyond her corporate responsibilities. A lifelong commitment to minority-driven causes has earned her numerous board appointments and accolades including her current role as Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Alice holds a BBA in Management from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit

Assemblywoman, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Latina Leaders Award Ceremony Remarks – Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman/District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. She is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), which serves to promote economic diversity in New York State.

Bichotte Hermelyn, a former Wall Street banker, engineer and small business owner, has leveraged her experience in the free market to push public-private partnership initiatives across the state.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she championed bills to jump start the economy and improve equity for minority and women-owned small business owners. Bichotte Hermelyn hosted a webinar and participated in several panels with MWBE stakeholders to help them navigate the Coronavirus crisis and access resources, including grants and loans, and helped with strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. 

She provides annually, a platform that promotes networking, education, and resources for existing or potential MWBEs through a series of workshops at the National Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Conference. Under her leadership, the number of certified MWBE firms in New York State has more than doubled. The state has also set a goal of utilizing MWBEs for 30% of all state contracts, the highest rate in the nation. 

Bichotte Hermelyn holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and four undergraduate degrees in mathematics and engineering. She is currently a Juris Doctorate Candidate at Brooklyn Law School.

You might be interested: Vogue Senior Editor Latin America Jose Forteza and Univision Correspondent Daneida Polanco to support THRIVE! 2021 WEES

2021 WEES

Register now for this must-attend event! Only 3 days left! 

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Alice Rodriguez confirmed as 2021 WEES Keynote Speaker

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Alice Rodriguez to be Keynote Speaker at the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit, speaking alongside other National Leaders to support Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs. 

Alice Rodriguez, 2021 WEES

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Alice Rodriguez confirmed as 2021WEES Keynote Speaker.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Chairwoman Alice Rodriguez has been confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the virtual Latinas in Business 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (2021 WEES), a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs to Learn. Connect. Succeed!  

With THRIVE! as our motto this year, the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Summit (#2021 WEES) will center on key areas of growth to connect and empower women business owners with tools and insights that will propel them forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will feature inspiring guest speakers, various panels with industry leaders, and deep-dive workshops, as well as our signature peer-to-peer networking sessions and post-panel discussion forums.

The hybrid event takes place on June 10, 2021 from 1:30pm to 6:30pm in a Virtual Space, followed by the Latina Leaders Awards ceremony from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus (by invitation only).

Register now at https://2021wees.eventbrite.com/. 

2021 WEES Keynote speaker Alice Rodriguez

2021 WEES Keynote Speaker, Alice Rodriguez, Managing Director, Head of JPMC Community Impact
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Alice Rodriguez has over 30 years of extensive banking experience with JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors.  She has held executive positions in Business Banking, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management.  Her most current role is Head of JPMC Community Impact Organization. She provides strategic counsel and serves an integral leadership role in community engagement initiatives and localization strategy.  In this capacity, Alice collaborates with Corporate Responsibility to bring together the best of business, philanthropy and policy efforts to drive inclusive economic growth.    Alice leads the Community Impact team that is driving the firm’s a $30B commitment to advancing racial equity. 

A trailblazer in her field, Alice has a natural tenacity, tempered with a steadied approach in both life and business. In a career spanning three decades, she has put people and purpose first, supporting community efforts beyond her corporate responsibilities. A lifelong commitment to minority-driven causes has earned her numerous board appointments and accolades including her current role as Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Don’t miss our inspiring panels with industry leaders, deep-dive workshops, and more!

Other National Leaders that have been confirmed to support the event are Thomas Savino, CEO, National Prospanica; Damian Rivera, CEO, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America); and Ron Gonzales, President and CEO, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. They will be sharing ideas on “Enlisting Men’s Support to Expand and Grow your Network.” 

Three successful women entrepreneurs will also be sharing their experiences about “Turning Adversity into Success,” a common path they have traveled, although in different industries. They are Maria Piastre, President, Metallix Refining; Marvina Robinson, founder, Stuyvesant Champagne; and Jessie Gabriel, founder, All-Places. 

“The support from leaders of this caliber show us that Latinas and other women entrepreneurs are a striking force in the US economy, and they cannot be left behind. Organizations and leaders around the country need to work together to keep them not only surviving but also thriving during the difficult pandemic economic transition,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

You might be interested2021 WEES Speaker Jessie Gabriel: How she became the go-to legal firm for women

During the Latina Leaders Awards Ceremony, Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer, NYC Office of the Comptroller Scott Stringer will receive the 2021 Small Business Champion Award. The LIVE segment will be broadcasted to all virtual audiences from Berkeley College in NYC. 

2021 WEES

Register now for this must-attend event!