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Latinas in Business Inc. Welcomes New Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and Board Members

Today, Latinas in Business Inc announced the change of role of Danay Escanaverino from Board Member to Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, and the appointment of two new Board Members: Fatima Pearn and Jennifer Garcia. The new Directors will be sworn in during the October Executive Board Member meeting.

“Our Board of Directors is comprised of women who are leaders in their trade and communities. We are grateful that they have decided to join us in our mission,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc. “These new directors will add tremendous value to our organization by aiding to produce the strategic growth we need, while complementing the goals we have worked incredibly hard to accomplish.”

latinas in business, latinas in business board,

From left: Jennifer Garcia, Danay Escanaverino, Fatima Pearn

Danay Escanaverino is the CEO of LunaSol Media, a digital agency she has owned for 9 years to help brands connect with Hispanic consumers online. She is also the Founder of LatinaMeetup, a free community that celebrates, elevates and connects Latina professionals in an effort to build Latina wealth and influence. Her goal is to help Hispanic entrepreneurs expand their reach through her expertise and services and specifically expand the Hispanic market and unite and support Hispanic businesses. 

Fatima Pearn is a seasoned banking professional with more than 15 years of experience providing commercial lending, mortgages, lines of credit, leasing, business development. Her goal is to manage and develop an organization’s Business Banking team by applying her vast management and banking experience to strategically drive growth initiatives.

Jennifer Garcia is the Chief Operating Officer at Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), responsible for the successful and scalable operations of the organization. She manages national strategic partnerships, lead sponsors, and oversees program operations. She works in tandem with the CEO to set the strategic vision, innovative programs for entrepreneurial economic growth, and access to capital.

Jennifer is also the Founder of Fluential Leadership, which provides business and leadership consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. She is passionate about developing business leaders and empowering them with the tools to scale.

Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia tells you how to leave a secure job to launch your dream business

Jennifer Garcia is a multi-faceted business professional and leadership coach with a passion for empowering people and transforming businesses. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), a collaboration with Stanford University driving research, providing education, and cultivating a growing ecosystem of 800 scaled Latino and Latina entrepreneurs across the United States and Puerto Rico, who contribute nearly $4.9 billion in annual revenue. 

Jennifer Garcia, founder of Fluential Leadership. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

Jennifer is also the founder of Fluential Leadership, a business and leadership consulting firm focused on elevating small-to-medium-sized business performance through developing and executing growth strategies, recruitment, and retaining talent.

Cutting the ‘golden handcuffs’ to start business from zero 

Like many entrepreneurs, Jennifer was driven to start her own business out of a desire to pursue her passion and make an impact. For fourteen years, Jennifer worked in the finance industry and in a variety of leadership roles at Bloomberg, a global financial data provider. Through her work, she recognized her strength in developing people, transforming teams and departments. 

Her work at LBAN has also allowed her to continue elevating Latino businesses to the next level by creating growth pathways. Jennifer’s passion for helping women and Latino business owners and leaders grow is what ultimately led her to launching her dream project, Fluential Leadership in 2018. 

Jennifer wanted to make a greater impact and use her expertise as a leader and consulting coach to help others achieve their own career goals and dreams. 

“I positioned myself to equip business leaders and elevate small-to-medium-sized businesses, which are the driving force in the U.S. economy,” says Jennifer. “I have a unique perspective with a long corporate career, first-hand experience as a business owner and a birds-eye view supporting businesses through LBAN and Fluential Leadership. I’ve learned that there are systematic challenges and barriers for women in professional careers, and in entrepreneurship.”

Launching Fluential Leadership was the first step for Jennifer was both exciting and challenging. She was stepping into the unknown and leaving the comfort, certainty, and stability of her career. 

“I stepped away from a successful career, a secure job inclusive of all the benefits provided by a top-tier corporation. I often describe it as the cutting of ‘golden handcuffs’.  The challenge was going from zero to one, building from scratch, doing the role of a CEO, CMO, CFO, content writer, content deliverer, and much more,” says Jennifer. 

entrepreneur, leadership, mentor

Jennifer Garcia mentoring at an event. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

However, these initial challenges only helped to further fuel Jennifer’s passion and determination. Launching Fluential Leadership afforded her the opportunity to pursue something she was passionate about and build something that was all her own. She says there were many long days and nights, but she put in the time and effort, determined to make an impact and follow through on her dream. 

“Each of our journeys are unique, our entrepreneurial dreams or careers are personal, and so is the price that is paid for it,” she says. “It’s important for me to understand my ‘WHY’. Why am I doing this? Why am I putting in the long hours, why did I step away from a secure career?  It is that understanding that sustains me through the season.  And I do remember that seasons change.”

Owning your story

Like the changing seasons, life can be unpredictable. However, change is good and necessary for any progress or growth. Every entrepreneur is on their own personal journey and that journey becomes your story. Where you started from, how you worked to get to where you are today, where you stumbled and failed, and where you succeeded. 

“My story is my unique strength, and so is yours,” says Jennifer. “It is my story and experiences that shaped who I am today, how I approach business, and the lens in which I propel other business leaders. I grew up selling Christmas trees and firewood on the side of the road with my father, not around the dining room table discussing stocks and bonds or venture capital. The conversations and the work I do today with my kids, with women professionals and business owners, has the ability to empower and elevate leaders, creating exponential and generational impact.  Regardless of my starting line, my purpose is consistent and that is to move the needle for women, business leaders and the Latino community.” 

business, leadership, mentor, storytelling

“Don’t mute your story. Let the world know!” (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

For entrepreneurs, both established and aspiring, embrace your story and own it. Your story is what will set you apart from others. Your story is uniquely yours. 

“Don’t mute your story,” says Jennifer, “let the world know!” 

Writing your story, telling it to the world, and following through on your dreams can be daunting and even downright terrifying. But the alternative is never trying, never sharing, never starting. Jennifer took a chance on her dream, stepping away from the comfort of a corporate job to build something new. 

You might be interested: Employees are quitting in record numbers to start their own business

To the aspiring entrepreneurs looking for that final push, Jennifer says, “Go for it! Jump and grow wings on the way down. There will always be logical reasons why today is not a good time to start your business or aspire for the new career move.  I’ve found that opportunity doesn’t always present itself in opportune times and we just need to embrace it.  Learn what you can from the season.  To borrow a few lines from the powerful poem by William Arthur Ward:

Believe while others are doubting

Plan while others are playing

Begin while others are procrastinating

Work while others are wishing

Persist while others are quitting

2021 WEES

THRIVE! What to expect from deep-dive workshops at 2021 WEES

Don’t miss out on these fantastic deep-dive workshops and our signature peer-to-peer networking sessions at the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit!

2021 WEES, deep-dive workshops

Register for the 2021 WEES to participate in deep-dive workshops in three key areas: Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation.

This year’s 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit theme is, “THRIVE! Imperatives Shaping the Future of Women Entrepreneurs.” The theme is reflective of the changes and trends generated by the COVID19 pandemic and the event will bring together corporations, minority women entrepreneurs, and students to take advantage of tools and insights that will propel YOU forward to THRIVE in the “new normal.” 

This must-attend hybrid event will feature a variety of deep-dive workshops in three key areas: Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation. Then, after each workshop session, take part in our signature Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions, where you will have the opportunity to engage with the Workshop Facilitators and share your own best practices in a collaborative group learning discussion. 

2021 WEES

Register Now to save your spot so you too can gain the tools to THRIVE! 

Join us for our Deep Dive Workshops! 

Are you ready to THRIVE? Make the jump to a better you by joining us for our deep-dive workshop sessions. Choose your path from PERSONAL POWER, FINANCIAL WELLNESS, and BUSINESS INNOVATION. 

SESSION 1 Workshops

PERSONAL POWER – Taking Care of Your Inner Self: The Road to Resilience (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM) 

How to harness your potential by learning how to manage stress, personal care, and relationships. These insights will help you empower your business, career, and life beyond the pandemic.

 

Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN)

FINANCIAL WELLNESS – Getting to Series A: Advancing your Business to the Next Stage of Growth (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

You may have launched your business with seed capital, which was invested by friends, family, or your own savings. Now it’s time to attract investors for the next stage of growth. Learn what Series A can do for your business, if it’s right for you and how to go about securing this crucial funding for your next stage of growth.

Speaker: Jennifer Garcia, Iterim CEO, LBAN

BUSINESS INNOVATION – Sustainability and Digital Transformation: Upgrading your Tech to Optimize your Business Performance (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

Google is not just a brand; it is a verb! Have you tried to “Google” your business?” Have you ever wondered how potential customers can find your business online but never dared to try?

In this workshop, you will learn how Google Search works and how you can improve your website’s visibility with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The session also introduces products like Google My Business, Google Trends, Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and more.

You might be interested: 2021 WEES: Announcing THRIVE! Men’s panel speakers 

SESSION 2 Workshops

Speaker: Dr Ginny A. Baro, PhD, Executive Bound, Author, Healing Leadership

PERSONAL POWER – The Sandwich Generation: Thrive while Homeschooling, Caregiving and Running a Business (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

A recent study found that school closures, stay-at-home orders and balancing family responsibilities disproportionately affected working moms more than fathers. In this workshop, we will learn ways to tackle the tough decisions, unique anxieties and challenges women still have to face while trying to balance many priorities as we approach a post-COVID world.

Speaker: Dr Ginny A. Baro, PhD, Executive Bound, Author, Healing Leadership

FINANCIAL WELLNESS – Why Am I Not a Million Dollar Company? Understanding Alternative Sources of Funding  (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

After years of running your business, do you find yourself asking, “Why Am I Not a Million Dollar Company?” Ask the Experts instead!

You know you need capital to expand, hire and prototype new products. We’ll explore funding options to help you grow your business to where you always knew you could be: a million-dollar company.

BUSINESS INNOVATION – Bottom Line: Sustainable Practices that Increase Your Business Bottom Line  (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

Integrating sustainable practices into a company’s operations can not only motivate employee engagement and encourage technological solutions, but it can also actually save the company money. Find out which sustainability practices you can readily implement without increasing your overhead and boost your company’s bottom line.

Take center stage with our Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions

Each workshop session will be followed by a networking and group discussion session. Take center stage at this multi-participant discussion with the Workshop Facilitators! Attendees have the opportunity to engage with the Facilitators and each other by sharing their feedback and voicing their reactions to the content.

Participants are encouraged to share their own best practices with the group related to the topic discussed on the panel. This Peer-to-Peer Sharing is a tried-and-true collaborative learning experience that helps everyone expand their business knowledge.

The time to THRIVE is now! Register for #2021 WEES today!

Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

Latina leaders share post-Covid recovery resources for Latina and minority small business owners and entrepreneurs during virtual event.

Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery event recap 

During our March 19th virtual event, “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends”, panelists shared various business recovery resources for Latina and minority entrepreneurs and business owners. 

The event ran from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST and consisted of two panels of Latina Leaders and entrepreneurs and chats with guest speaker Damaris Diaz and Keynotes speaker Stacie de Armas. 

Speaking about the event President and CEO of Latinas in Business, Susana G Baumann, said, “After this very challenging year, it is important to regroup and think strategically about how to recover and protect our businesses and essential workers. I am very grateful for the response of these amazing Latina leaders that will provide the knowledge and resources needed for our community not only to survive, but to excel.”

The event’s first panel, Funding and Resources for Latina Small Business Recovery, featured guest speakers Jennifer Garcia, Christina Fuentes, and Wendy Garcia, who each provided a variety of resources for Latina and minority entrepreneurs and business owners. 

Panel 1 Guest Speakers: Jennifer Garcia, Wendy Garcia, and Christina Fuentes.

Funding Resources for Latina Small Business Recovery  

Jennifer Garcia, is the Interim CEO at Latino Business Action Network (LBAN). LBAN’s mission is to strengthen the United States by empowering Latino business owners to grow. Under her leadership, she oversaw four successful cohorts of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education (SLEI-Ed) Scaling Program empowering nearly 300 Latino and Latina entrepreneurs to complete this prestigious program. 

During the panel, Jennifer shared a variety of resources including information on the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education Scaling Program. The program helps entrepreneurs develop a growth mindset to help take their business to the next level. Through the program, participants will join a powerful network of Latino entrepreneurs and will have an experienced mentor to challenge and support them while helping them apply the curriculum to their business. Participants will also learn about funding and capital options, financial management, and go through various exercises to prepare them for a conversation with capital providers. 

The program is currently accepting applications for their next cohort which begins May 5th, so Apply Now

Latina entrepreneurs and business owners can access additional resources from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Research department. The goal of SLEI research is to understand the state of Latino entrepreneurship by analyzing data and shaping research in this field. The SLEI’s most recent report highlights the impact of Latino-owned employer businesses in the U.S. economy and compares their experiences to those of White-owned employer firms in the United States. 

The full report can be read here

You might be interested: Key Insights from the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report 

Entrepreneurs interested in gaining additional resources and insights should also register for Latino Business Action Network’s (LBAN) upcoming FREE virtual 6-part series: Resources That Matter for Latinx Entrepreneurs During These Times of Uncertainty. The series will cover important topics such as economic market forecast, capital access, customer acquisition, resource building, and networking.

Christina Fuentes, Managing Director – Community Development within the Community Development Division at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Christina is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing initiatives that support community development,  such as incentives and loans along with brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, and small business services including traditional financing, technical assistance, partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI)  and COVID-19 recovery programs. 

Christina shared resources for NJ businesses impacted by Covid-19. For businesses looking for grants and PPE products, visit https://business.nj.gov/covid for the latest, up-to-date information. 

Additionally, NJ small business owners can visit NJEDA’s site  for resources such as low-cost financing options, lease incentives, industry specific programs, and more. 

For those looking to get assigned to a Small Business Services Liaison or with specific questions, contact smallbusinessservices@njeda.com

Wendy Garcia, is the Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and managing diversity related projects across all bureaus of the agency. She also leads the Comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion – a group comprised of national, local, corporate, and government experts seeking to increase supplier diversity in the public and private sectors.

Wendy shared a plethora of resources available to entrepreneurs and business owners from the M/WBE University site. Comptroller’s M/WBE University is a series of workshops designed to increase access to the Comptroller’s Office and citywide opportunities for M/WBEs. Materials from all past classes are available for download at the site.

PDF of Resources for Small Businesses Owners & M/WBE’s Impacted by Covid-19 (click to download).

National Conversation with Latina Leaders, Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery,

Announcing speakers for must-attend National Conversation with Latina Leaders event

Announcing nationally recognized speakers for the “Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery: Resources and Trends” virtual event, to discuss what’s next for Latinas and other minority owned small businesses who have experienced extreme hardship during the Post-Covid economic crisis. 

Latinas in Business Inc. announces an extraordinary group of speakers from around the country for their second virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event titled “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends”. 

National Conversation with Latina Leaders, Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery,

Join us for our second virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event,“Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends.”

The event takes place Friday, March 19 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST – 9:00 am to 11:00 am PST on Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. For free registration to this event visit https://latina-small-business-recovery.eventbrite.com. The event is open to all entrepreneurs regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. 

The President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc, Susana G Bauman states, “After this very challenging year, it is important to regroup and think strategically about how to recover and take charge of our businesses. I am very grateful for the response of these amazing Latina business leaders that will provide the knowledge and resources needed for businesses not only to survive, but to excel.”

Panel 1. Funding and Resources for Latina Small Business Recovery

Guest speaker: Jennifer Garcia

From CA, Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN). LBAN’s mission is to strengthen the United States by empowering Latino business owners to grow. Under her leadership, she oversaw four successful cohorts of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education (SLEI-Ed) Scaling Program empowering nearly 300 Latino and Latina entrepreneurs to complete this prestigious program. 

Guest speaker: Wendy Garcia

From NY, Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, is another confirmed panelist. Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and managing diversity related projects across all bureaus of the agency. 

Guest speaker: Christina Fuentes

From NJ, Christina Fuentes, Managing Director – Community Development within the Community Development Division at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Christina is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing initiatives that support community development,  such as incentives and loans along with brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, and small business services including traditional financing, technical assistance, partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI)  and COVID-19 recovery programs.

Panel 2.  Trends Impacting Growth in Post-COVID “New Normal”

Guest speaker: Rosario B Casas

From Bogota-Colombia, Rosario B Casas, a Colombian born serial entrepreneur and award-winning women-in-tech advocate has been confirmed as one of the panelists for the event. She is the Co-founder of XR Americas, a NYC headquartered software company, using spatial computing for workforce skills development, as well as the Co-Founder of Business Creative Partners (BCPartnersTech) leading digital adoption and transformation for Hispanic owned businesses. Additionally, she is self-admittedly obsessed with finding more women and Hispanics using technology to solve key global challenges.

Guest speaker: Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon

From NY, Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, the Managing Partner of Avante Capital, is currently responsible for identifying, executing, and managing investment opportunities. Ivelisse is a longtime advocate and champion for women, minorities, and the underserved and underrepresented. She holds leadership roles in several local and national non-profit organizations and even launched a philanthropic organization called We Will with her two sisters, to support and empower underserved women and minorities in the areas of healthcare, education, and financial literacy. 

Guest speaker: Lucy Pinto

From NY, Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager, works to level the playing field for communities who face digital divides and barriers to resources needed to grow. She manages the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program which delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. The program has trained over 60,000 businesses on digital tools. work on initiatives that invest in communities that are underrepresented online to untap their potential, help them succeed, and drive bottom line impact. 

“Although it is evident that throughout the United States, Latino entrepreneurs have encountered extreme difficulty, it is important to note that they have been extremely resilient and have adapted their businesses to navigate these ever-changing conditions,” Baumann continued. 

Join us and all our supporting organizations in bringing solutions to America’s backbone, small businesses, and especially minority women and Latina-owned businesses, their talent, innovation and their constant sense of purpose to support their communities. 

Click HERE for registration. You won’t want to miss this event!