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Angela Arboleda

Angela Arboleda embracing Latinos with activism, advocacy and opportunity

No matter the role or position VP of Government & Community Affairs at Herbalife and CHLI Board Member Angela Arboleda has held throughout her intense professional career, undoubtedly her dedication to the Latino community has been her first priority.

Angela Arboleda

Angela Arboleda, Vice President Government and Community Affairs, Herbalife at the 2016 The Latino Coalition Small Business Summit

From being an activist in Latino organizations to becoming their advocate in government, and finally lobbying for a company that promotes a healthy lifestyle, Angela has always worked around her passion for defending the interests and well-being of Latinos.

The Arboleda family

Angela Arboleda American Latinas

Angela Arboleda

Angela Arboleda is no stranger to taking a stand for her beliefs. She belonged to a family that was involved in and familiar with humanitarian efforts –her father was an UNICEF officer who moved the family from Colombia to Mexico when Angela was 10 years old.

They lived in Mexico  for nine years to then relocate to Sierra Leone. She finally arrived in 1993 to the United States to be enrolled in a small junior high school in Connecticut.

“Although I am a Colombian by blood and birth , I feel a deep emotional connection with Mexico due to my upbringing there during my teen years,” Angela told LatinasinBusiness.us in an exclusive interview.

She then moved to Washington DC, a town she never left, graduating from the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 1998.

“As an international student, I believed I was going to finish my studies and return home to apply there my acquired knowledge, but I made the US my home –I guess I was tired of being a ‘transported child’,” she shared.

During the summers, Angela found internship jobs at labor unions and later after graduating got her first jobs at the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Feminist Majority Foundation where she was lead organizer for political and corporate campaigns, ballot initiatives and political rallies.

“I was raised by socially inclined parents who always helped the less fortunate,” she said. “I soon discovered I had a natural talent for organizing and working with people. However, I also noted that although these unions and activist organizations where trying to represent minorities, their higher-level positions continued to be mostly held by White men. Even in the feminist organizations, White women were still at the top. I kept asking myself, ‘Where are the Latinos?’”

Angela Arboleda the years of activism

angela-arboleda-youth-and-crime-cspan

Angela proudly identifies, feels and lives as a Latina. “I am Latina and matters of equality are very important to me,” she stated.

In pursue of her activism, she joined the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) where she rose to be Director of the Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Policy. At the time, Raul Yzaguirre was the President of the civil rights organization.

“During that time, I had the opportunity to see closely the unique challenges Latinos faced in the criminal justice system. They might find many of the same burdens Whites and Blacks do when they enter the system. However, immigration status, language barriers and difficulties in understanding how to navigate the system are unique obstacles Latinos encounter, with little help from their families and their communities,” Angela explained.

Working in several publications, in 2004 Angela co-authored Lost Opportunities: the Reality of Latinos in the U.S. Criminal Justice System, the first book to focus on Latinos in the justice system.

Arboleda is grateful for her mentors’ guidance in researching the topic but also very proud that her early vision took a stand about a matter that continues to be one of the most important issues of our times. “I’m very proud that my work is still a huge contribution even after 16 years of being published,” she asserted.

Angela Arboleda and her advocacy years in Congress

While working at NCLR, this Latina leader and activist recognized the importance of working inside the system to help push a cause. Her actions did not go unnoticed. Through one of her mentors, she was introduced to the office of then Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

Senator Harry Reid Angela Arboleda

“They were looking for someone with experience and connections but also immersed in the Latino community. They realized I was not afraid of speaking up and I, on the other hand, realized, ‘I could totally work for this Senator!’,” Angela recalls.

But most importantly, the whole situation just worked out as a miracle. “I had received my green card the day before. I would have never had the opportunity to work for government without my residency,” she recalls.

As Senior Policy Advisor for Latino and Asian-American Affairs for the Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Arboleda advocated around issues of immigration including the Senate approval of the Dream Act and economic policy. She also served as the Senate liaison to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

“I remember walking around the Capitol and thinking, ‘This is happening to me!’ I was just happy to be a small part of history,” she said.

Staying connected with the same organizations she used to work with on the ground –LULAC, NAA, NCLR and others–, she helped raise the political profile of Latinos during her seven years in the Senate.

The Herbalife call

Angela Arboleda

CHLI Board Member Angela Arboleda hosts the Herbalife Fellows Leadership Session

When a company’s reputation is on the line, bringing in the best and the brightest to diffuse the situation is a smart move. However, when the best and the brightest is a recognized and outstanding member of the community in question, then it is a brilliant strategy.

“In 2014, Herbalife was undergoing some challenging times and they were looking for someone with my background, connections and insertion in the Latino community. When I was offered the vice presidency of Government & Community Affairs at Herbalife, I had all sorts of negative reactions from friends and colleagues,” Angela recalls.

She looked at the company, what it stood for and the alleged claims against it. “I loved the concept of an amazing company that helped people to stay fit and healthy while offering those who wanted it, the opportunity to earn extra income,” she summed up.

As a mom of two and a woman on the constant go, Angela found in Herbalife products a healthy solution for her rush hours and frequent lack of time to cook balanced meals.

“I try to instill in my children the love for our culture, our food and our customs; but when we don’t have the time to bake ‘patacones’ or puree some fresh fruit, I’m fortunate to always have the healthy shakes and protein bars at my disposal. I also love the fact that the company makes an effort to offer local flavors in different countries, respecting local customs and beliefs,” she shared.

Angela Arboleda a member of the NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus

naaselfiethon-angela-arboleda-raul-yzaguirreDuring her time working with Raul Yzaguirre at NCLR, Angela was exposed to the New America Alliance (NAA). “I had met Pilar  [Avila] then but when I was recruited by Herbalife, we were immediately connected. I began representing Herbalife at the NAA Wall Street Summit,” she said.

“Being a member of the American Latina Leadership Caucus is very important to me. It offers a support system that helps the young and up and coming Latina leaders learn from more seasoned and often glass ceiling breaking Latinas,” Angela explained.

The Caucus is an equalizer of opportunities to access circles of influence, C-suites and board openings, according to Arboleda.

“We need to see more Latinas and Latinos in higher positions. In my experience, people tend to recommend or provide opportunities to people belong to their same circles or who have common values. The Caucus is an excellent place to nurture and groom Latinas to gain access to those circles of influence and acquire the knowledge and experience their talent deserves,” she concluded.

 

 

Luis Moreno Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Latino talent

5 Ways to leverage Latino talent in your organization to its full potential

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 LatinasinBusiness.us! 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 in 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 moral, 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!

 

Luis Moreno

Luis Moreno new contributor to LatinasinBusiness.us

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 LatinasinBusiness.us! 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!