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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.”

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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.

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Driscoll’s appoints two Latinas as new board members

The Greenwich, Conn-based RSR Partners recently assisted fresh berry provider Driscoll’s in the recruitment of two Latinas as new board members.  

RSR Partners assists in board members recruitment

RSR Partners was founded by Russell S. Reynolds Jr. in 1993, and offers any number of vertical specializations, including consumer goods and services, hospitality, industrial, financial services, retail, board, CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, chief information officers, chief marketing officers, sport leadership, risk, board recruiting, board advisory, management consulting and more.  

Gretchen Crist, who leads the firm’s human capital and consumer goods and services practices, conducted the search for the two new board members. With over 20 years of experience as a senior human resources executive in private equity and public company environments, she has recruited numerous professionals into top human resources roles as well as C-suite and senior executives into various leadership roles. 

Latinas Giannella Alvarez and Graciela Monteagudo join Driscoll’s board 

With the help of RSR Partners, Giannella Alvarez, former CEO and director of the board at Beanitos, and Graciela Monteagudo, the former president and CEO of LALA U.S., were recruited as Driscoll’s new board members. Two very accomplished Latina professionals, they both bring a plethora of expertise and experience to the board. 

Giannella Alvarez, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Giannella Alvarez (Photo: Business Wire)

Giannella Alvarez brings to the Driscoll’s board 35-years of experience across a wide range of industries in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, having led multi-billion-dollar brands for Fortune 100 companies including Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company in senior executive positions. She served as Group President and CEO for Barilla Americas, a Division of Barilla S.p.A., as well as President and CEO of organic food start-ups, including Harmless Harvest Inc. Named one of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board Directors by Women Inc., Alvarez is also an experienced public company board director. She brings a deep expertise in marketing, innovation, business scaling and global expansion as well as a passion for food, health and wellness, sustainability and equality, with her experience as an Advisory Board Member of New York University’s Stern School Center for Sustainable Business.

“Giannella is a highly creative and decisive leader who has a proven track record of talent building and energizing organizations across countries, customers and channels,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO. “Her significant on-the-ground international experiences will serve as an invaluable asset as Driscoll’s continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.”

Graciela Monteagudo, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Graciela Monteagudo (Photo: Business Wire)

Graciela Monteagudo built her 30-year executive career at multinational Fortune 500 companies across the consumer products, healthcare and retail industries. She has significant experience in general management roles, previously leading multi-billion-dollar corporations including SVP and Business Unit Head for Sam’s Club in Mexico, and President, Americas and Global Marketing for Mead Johnson Nutrition Americas. She most recently served as CEO and President of LALA U.S. a leading Hispanic Dairy Company owned by Grupo LALA, one of the top 10 dairy companies in North America. Monteagudo is an experienced public company board director who has also been spotlighted in the 2019 Latino Leaders Magazine Latinos on Board report and the 2020 Best of the Boardroom feature of Hispanic Executive Magazine. She brings to the board a diverse perspective regarding domestic and international markets, digital marketing/ecommerce , Hispanic and Latin American consumers, as well as a demonstrated capability in strategic planning, M&A, diversity/inclusion and cultural transformation.

“Graciela’s expertise in addressing the Mexican consumer and retail environment will be invaluable to Driscoll’s as we navigate increasing consumer demand in this important growth market,” shared Reiter. “Her experience in consumer brands, especially in the health and nutrition sector, will bolster Driscoll’s capability and success in markets around the globe.”

You might be interested: 7 Benefits of having women in companies

The new board appointments collectively bring strong brand growth expertise and a clear future-looking vision that will help Driscoll’s accelerate its mission, which is to delight berry consumers with the best tasting berries today and for many years to come.

About Driscoll’s 

Driscoll’s is the global market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage, Driscoll’s is a pioneer of berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries™. With more than 900 independent growers around the world, Driscoll’s develops exclusive patented berry varieties using only traditional breeding methods that focus on growing great tasting berries. A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow baby seedlings that are then grown on local family farms. Driscoll’s now serves consumers year-round across North America, Australia, Europe and China in over twenty-two countries. As a fourth-generation grower and the son of one of Driscoll’s founders, J. Miles Reiter serves as Chairman and CEO.

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Latinas in Business all hands in for a brighter future

What an incredible journey this year 2020 has been! Challenges like the pandemic, an economic crisis and social unrest gave Latinas in Business the opportunity to reach and impact more lives of Latinas across the country than ever. It’s now December, and we are closing a year that has been everything but boring, ending it with a mix of good news and bad news.

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Good news first

Good news first, the COVID-19 distribution of vaccines has started around the country and the world so there’s hope that soon we will be on our way to the “new normal.”

Covid19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. (Photo credit Kirsten Luce for The New York Times)

You might be interested: COVID19 Vaccination marks historic day in New Jersey

Latinas in Business has grown exponentially this year, and achieved many of the goals we had for FY 2019-2020 including extending our national footprint and completing our Executive Board.

After some hesitation due to the shock of the ”first wave,” we immediately recognized the Power of Collaboration as the beacon theme for this year.

We quickly pivoted our programs to virtual encounters and in July we launched the Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit virtually, with the participation of national and international organizations and over 700 views.

We ended the year with a tremendous opportunity to lead A National Conversation with Latina Leaders, 23 supporting organizations, and the presence of Keynote Speaker Maria Elena Salinas. We reached over 2400 viewers!

You might be interested: Maria Elena Salinas to be Keynote Speaker at Regain Our Latino Power virtual event

Strengthening the digital presence of our publication, LatinasinBusiness.us, we reach now almost 12,000 subscribers, publishing up to 5 times a week. So far 38 Latinas have been featured on our Spotlight Latina Leader of the Month. We also reached over 1800 members nationwide.

We launched our paid membership program and our affiliate marketing programs, intended to provide editorial and promotional value in a community that needs more help than ever!

Bad news second

My thoughts go first to all those who lost their loved ones this year. If death always seems unfair, losing a love one because of leadership inadequacy and negligence is not only unacceptable but also should be accountable. The worst legacy of the current Presidency is the continuous emotional roller coaster that has put the country and the world through, undermining the values and traditions this country and its governing system was built on.

Latinxs die in isolation covid19, latinas in business

Photo courtesy Graham Ruttan – unsplash.com

You might be interested: November 1 National Day of Remembrance of Latinxs killed by Covid-19

For frontline workers, my warmest wishes to those who have selflessly put their own lives on the line to save others, to protect even those who acted irresponsibly. They are the s/heroes that have, in many cases, left their own homes and families to protect those of others.

For real small businesses, especially Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs, this has been a year of death or survival.

According to recent news, Latino companies that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program saw a 21% drop in revenue from February through September while their costs for PPE and other safety measures rose and continue to remain high.

Additionally, they extended their spending to stay open and ended with a negative 11% margin. They are now cash flow negative and are on the brink of going out of business, the annual Latino Small Business Biz2Credit survey reveals.

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In a glooming and already unequal environment -even before the pandemic-, from solopreneurs under the risk of losing their homes to small enterprises letting go of all their hired labor, it is estimated that around two-thirds of Latino businesses will close their doors for good.

The  recently announced $900 billion package will not rescue these businesses. The additional funding might last 3 months at the most, and this amount will not get them through the end of the pandemic.

You might be interested: Immigrant mixed-households to receive stimulus checks

Although we have great hope that the new Administration will return this country to sanity and to world leadership, we are still not at the end of the tunnel. So don’t count your money until it is in the bank!

The best for last

Lastly, we recruited 6 unstoppable Latinas, corporate, entrepreneurs and community leaders in their own right, for our Executive Board of Trustees. What an honor to be on this journey with such amazing ladies!

We will continue to push hard to advocate for the economic empowerment of Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs and working women who had lost their jobs and/or their childcare, and are dealing with enormous levels of stress and uncertainty.

latinas in business, executive board

You might be interested: Introducing Latinas in Business Inc. Executive Board Members

We are inviting you to participate in an unique opportunity to contribute to aid this problem, and help these businesses return to work. We are scaling our budget to include our Founding Corporate Advisory Board, a group of volunteers from prestigious partners to help us achieve our LATINA$GROW Recovery Fund Program.

Susana G BaumannDetails for this program are being discussed with some powerful allies and influencers, and we would be happy to share additional information with you if you’d be interested in being a part of our efforts.

Not one organization will be able to achieve all the work that needs to be done, so more than ever, the power of collaboration continues to be the only way out. We are in this together, we will get out of this together!

How the future looks

I foresee a great future for our ambitious goals. Only 2 years into our nonprofit status, we are already stepping on solid ground to grow at national and international levels.

Please consider to support this unique vision from Latinas in Business Inc., an organization that has proven to be here to stay. Join us in this fantastic venture to continue impacting the lives of thousands of Latinas and other minority entrepreneurs, professional and corporate women who are struggling to succeed in this economic crisis.

Let’s bring our future to a great start in 2021, and as always, thanks for your continuous support!

Thanksgiving, Latinas in Business

A Thanksgiving message from Latinas in Business

Thanksgiving became a new tradition for our family when we arrived as immigrants from Argentina 30 years ago. We embraced it as one of our favorite Holidays, a more relatable spiritual tradition about being grateful and sharing food -also a way of showing love in our Latin American traditions- than exchanging lots of presents or singing carols we hardly knew.

It is now November and Thanksgiving opens the Holiday Season. What an incredible year we are living this 2020!

As we celebrate this holiday, at Latinas in Business, we have many reasons to be grateful for. It is almost a miracle that we have grown in a year like this one, and achieved many of the goals we had for FY 2019-2020.

Thanksgiving, Latinas in Business

Latinas in Business Executive Board

Who would have thought that challenges like the pandemic, an economic crisis and social unrest would give us the opportunity to reach and impact more lives of Latinas across the country.

After some hesitation due to the shock of the ”first wave,” we immediately recognized the Power of Collaboration as the beacon theme for this year. We quickly pivoted our programs to virtual encounters and in July we conducted our first virtual Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit, with the participation of national and international organizations and over 700 views.

Strengthening the digital presence of our publication, LatinasinBusiness.us, we reach now almost 12,000 subscribers, publishing up to 5 times a week. So far 38 Latinas have been featured on our Spotlight Latina Leader of the Month. We also reached over 1700 members nationwide.

You might be interested: Thanksgiving a tradition Latinos learn to cherish

We ended the year with a tremendous opportunity to lead A National Conversation with Latina Leaders, the presence of 23 supporting organizations, and our Keynote Speaker Maria Elena Salinas. We reached over 2400 viewers!

Regain our Latino Power, Thanksgiving

And we are not done yet! As you saw in our cover, we have recruited 6 unstoppable Latinas, corporate, entrepreneurs and community leaders in their own right, for our Executive Board of Trustees. What an honor to be on this journey with such amazing ladies!

It is only fair to also mention the excellent work of our team, starting with Victoria, recently promoted to Editor, who started three years ago as our editorial intern; Maria Jose, our new Social Media Director; and Sharisma, who recently joined as Outreach Coordinator. These ladies are helping expand the Latinas in Business blueprint in so many directions, with great content and laser vision.

I foresee a great future for our organization. Only 2 years into our nonprofit status, we are already stepping on solid ground to grow at a national and international levels.

Join us in this fantastic venture to continue to impact the lives of thousands of Latinas and other minority entrepreneurs, professional and corporate women who are struggling to succeed in this economic crisis.

Let’s do this together! And as always, we are very grateful for your continuous support.

The Latinas in Business Team 

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