Archive for the ‘Life Stories’ Category

Black Tie

Posted: April 7, 2013 in Life Stories
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Last night my wife and I attended the Partners in Education Gala in Austin TX. It’s the organizations largest fundraising event of the year; they raise around $200K for Education. The Black Tie affair brings in top Educators, large Corporate Sponsors, Local Business Professionals & Elected Officials.

In preparation for the event, I went out looking for a new tie. After looking at a couple of stores I finally found two ties that i couldn’t decide between, so I got both! One was a blue striped tie the other a Black on Black modern design. The cashier said, “ooh, I like this black one!” I was pretty happy with my choices. When i got home, I asked my wife’s opinion about the ties and she said she absolutely hated the Black one, which is the one I was leaning towards. I went ahead and wore the Black one anyway.

All night I wondered if I’d made the right choice until we walked up to a bar for a drink. The bartender greeted us with a smile and took our drink order, then he noticed my tie! He said, “that’s a great tie sir”, my wife and I looked at each other and she told him that he just made my night. He told her that those ties are “In” right now, that actors and athletes are wearing that style of tie. I was as excited as he was and thanked him for the confirmation. He even kidded with me and said he’d trade me for his tie. I felt great & so satisfied at that moment that i just pulled my tie off and gave it to the young man. Instead of a tip he got my new tie, he said i made his night too!!

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2012 Reflection

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Life Stories
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So Excited to bring in the New Year! As we prepare to party the night away, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on another Great Year of life. On a personal level I’m so thankful for my health, my family, friends (new & old) and for my work. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me!

Some of my favorite & most notable moments of 2012 were:

Duck Dynasty Begins!
Dale Jr. Finally wins a Race!
Manny Pacquiao gets knocked Out
Floyd Mayweather goes to jail.
Andy Roddick Retires ūüė¶
Lebron Finally wins a ring
Obama is Re-Elected
and… The Mayans were Wrong!

It’s been a couple of weeks since the #LATISM12 Conference took place in Houston Texas. ¬†I can now take a moment and reflect on what parts of the 4 day event were the most impactful for me. ¬†There were so many interesting and influential people that shared so much; I felt like a sponge absorbing all of the great information and energy. Being a Sales Rep for a Fortune 50 company I focused primarily on the Business Panels. Although there were some Great Panels overall the one that really hit me was one Mediated by Elianne Ramos, “Social Media is about Relationships”.

Early in the conference I met Ted Rubin. ¬†A friend of mine asked if i’d met him yet and since i hadn’t he promptly introduced me. ¬†I wondered, “what’s special about this guy, other than his socks?”. ¬†I soon found out, he is definitely one of the most influential people that I’ve met, in and out of social media. In the short time that I spent getting to know him in the hotel lobby, i knew that I wanted to learn more. ¬†I found out that he would be part of the panel “Social Media is about Relationships” and i penciled it into my agenda. ¬†All of the Panelists and the Moderator were fantastic. ¬†What I learned in that One Hour Discussion is something that I’ve thought about every day since the conference.

The term “Return on Relationship” is very powerful, it’s a term that Mr. Rubin has trademarked and is releasing a book about next month. ¬†It doesn’t matter what business you are in whether you are a Marketing Rep, work in PR, you blog or are in Sales like myself ¬†#RonR is something that we should all live by. ¬†A few of the most memorable Ted Rubin quotes that I jotted down during the discussion that directly support the #RonR point of view were, “Social Media is not Media, it’s communication”, ¬†“Let’s take the word Friend back and let’s look people in the eye digitally”. ¬†Although this was a topic focused specifically for “Social Media” it’s the communication piece that really makes the difference when you’re building your brand. ¬†#RonR is now a part of my daily life, i can’t wait for the book!

 

With Barack Obama winning a second term as President of the United States, there are many comments buzzing around the web and social media sites. ¬†People want to share their opinions with the world and they seek approval from their friends. ¬†During this time you can really learn a lot about your “friends”.

Growing up in a small town in West Texas and Playing Tennis, most of my friends were Non-Hispanic. ¬†Although I never really felt out of place, I was always¬†conscious¬†about it. ¬†Most of the Hispanic people I knew were 3rd and 4th Generation Mexican Americans and many had lost touch with their roots and culture. ¬†Our environment really didn’t encourage us to be proud of our heritage, ¬†instead it made some of us ashamed of being Latino. ¬†There were jokes and rude comments about Mexicans all of the time. ¬†When you’re young and growing up in that environment you think it’s normal. ¬†Some people that never leave those small towns go their whole life thinking that it’s normal.

It wasn’t until I moved to Austin Texas and started working at a Fortune 50 Company that I started to meet Highly Educated Latinos from Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and countless other Latin American Countries. ¬†People that came from wealthy families and people that came from nothing. ¬†It was amazing to see these Prominent Latino Leaders within my company and within my community. ¬†The environment I grew up in had you believe that this was impossible. ¬†Most of the Immigrants that come to the US to work in these small towns are not highly educated. ¬†They come here to give their families a better life. ¬†Many of these Immigrants teach their children the values of hard work and they push them to go to School so that they don’t have to work as hard as them.

Many of my “friends” that I grew up with still have this mentality. ¬†They feel like they are better than us because that’s how they grew up and that’s what they learned from their parents and grandparents. ¬†I see comments that are hurtful and racist from people that i used to call friends. ¬†I know it’s Ignorance but it does sting sometimes, especially when you don’t expect it. ¬†All I can do is pray for these people and hope that they aren’t bitter for the rest of their lives. ¬†I on the other hand am now even more Confident and Proud of being a Latino, I want to shout it from the Roof Tops!!! Say it with me, YO SOY LATINO!!!!

Get Out & Vote

Posted: November 8, 2012 in Life Stories
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Voting is not about being a Republican or Democrat, Black or White, or voting for who your Daddy votes for. It’s about electing the candidate that supports the issues, topics & morals that you believe in. A President that will Unify our Country and make us Stonger.
Get out & Vote!!! #Latism

What an Extraordinary Event! I Honestly did not know what to Expect. This was my first #Latism Conference and it Definitely lived up to the Hype. The content that was presented by the Panelists and the Workshops was very detailed and informative. The People that I met ranged from top Journalists, Bloggers & Social Media Experts that have years of experience to college students that are just starting out! The different perspectives made the panels and workshops very interactive and interesting. The fact that so many top successful businesses are interested in supporting this great Latino Movement through sponsorship, not only confirms the strength of #Latism but it confirms the Strength of the Sponsors as well. It’s very inspiring to learn that these great companies care what we think and want to do more to help our communities.

In addition to all of the great interaction and learning that was going on we were also Motivated by some Great Speakers with Awesome stories of perseverance. Some of my favorites were @Ramon_Deleon who made you want to go the extra mile for people and pay attention to the little things, he also made me want Pizza! @Nely_Galan made you want to go all out to succeed at all cost, to buy buildings instead of shoes. Sandra Cisneros taught us the importance of being a Chingon(a) and how to get there!! I could go on and on but instead i’d like to invite you to experience it for yourself! Join us in NY next year for #LATISM13 and in the meantime get involved with your local #LATISM Chapters!

A very special thanks to all of our sponsors that made it all possible!

#GPlus, #ToyotaLatino, #adelante, #SWAvamonos, #Adelante #MeEncanta #Preparate13, #WiiU, #HasbroLatism, #ItCanWait, #LatinoList @Univision

Pasa la Torta!

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Life Stories

These day’s it’s pretty common to find a Movie Theater that serves a full menu with your favorite drinks. Almost every major city now has one of these establishments. When I was growing up Drive Ins were on there way out. I did get to go see a couple of movies there and of course my mom would have a whole Hielera full of goodies, but that didn’t last long. Once the Drive Ins closed the only choices we had were the Dollar Movies (older but new to me movies) and the Regular Movie Theaters which both offered Expensive Drinks, Popcorn and Candies. I remember my mom saying, “we’re going to watch a movie, pero no pidan nada”. My mom always had us covered though, just because we couldn’t buy anything didn’t mean we weren’t going to enjoy the movie and munch out! We went BIG too, not just candies and sodas, I remember my mom handing down the Tortas with Jamon and Aguacate, and a few Doritos in a sandwich bag. I also remember carefully opening a can of Soda so no one would hear us opening it! When I was a kid I thought we had it bad because we didn’t buy any of the Junk that was sold at the theaters but looking back at it now I know that we were the Lucky ones! By the way nowadays I’ll break down and buy some popcorn and sodas but occasionally I’ll still bring me a little something!

Whether you want to buy, sell or trade something you can always make a deal at La Pulga!¬† La Pulga is¬†simply a Flea Market but in Texas it feels like¬†a little Mercado in Mexico!¬† Other than¬†the great¬†bargains, you can¬†always find some great food!¬†I remember eating some great Fruta con Limon y Chile, Churritos¬†con salsa,¬†Raspas and some awesome Coctel de Camaron!¬† It’s a place where you can buy an Agua Fresca, some produce,¬†an outfit, a¬†new pet¬†and get your Windshield replaced at the same time?¬† It’s definitely a cultural thing and¬†we love it!¬† If you’ve ever wondered how people can afford Louis Vuitton Bags, Gucci Sunglasses and Crocodile Shoes wonder no more, Pulga’s make it possible.¬†Also if you’ve ever¬†left a piece of furniture¬†on the curb, chances are it was sold at La Pulga!¬† So if you ever want to get a little taste of Mexico, we’ll see you there!!

Que Dijo?

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Life Stories
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I don’t understand how learning something can be seen as a deficiency.¬† For some reason in our country, the Greatest Country of all, we don’t value bilingual or multilingual education enough to make it mandatory.¬† We’re so badass that we think everyone should just learn English.¬† Even the poorest Countries around the world teach a minimum of two languages.¬† I see some changes happening¬†and we’re trying to do our part to help but we¬†ALL need to get involved.¬† We were lucky though, even¬†if¬† we had to go through some phases of being teased and embarrassed, we learned two languages.¬† We had no choice, we grew up translating for our parents, grandparents and even family friends all of the time.¬† Most sentences started with, “Que dijo?”¬†or “Dile que…”.¬† It was normal for us, whether¬†we were at the grocery store, on the phone or¬†translating an important letter.¬† We learned to fight with the Cable Companies and Telemarketers at an early age, that’s why we’re so good at it!¬† Although I do remember when the Telemarketers got smart and hired Bilingual Reps!¬† I remember my dad saying, “Dile que no hablo ingles” and I said, “ya le dije” Dad: “y Que Dijo?” Me: “que el habla espa√Īol”, I can’t tell you what my Dad said next, but I can tell you he was Pissed when I handed him the phone.¬† Being bilingual has opened so many doors in my life and I’m just so very thankful that my parents always pushed us to be proud of our Heritage and our Language.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a big Documentary Fan.¬† One film that really sticks out to me regarding this topic is the Academy Award Winning HBO Film “Strangers No More”.¬† If you have an opportunity to watch it, do it, I highly recommend it.

Growing up Bilingual in America you learn a lot of crazy words and phrases.¬†¬†You hear both English and Spanish¬†words butchered all of the time.¬† You need to know a bit of¬†both¬†to make sense of it all, and even then it’s tough.¬† Like when my cousin¬†told me, “man, ando bien llanta”.¬† I was like, “what the heck is that?”¬† He said, “I’m¬†tired”.¬†¬†Or when my buddy Armando told me about this great sandwich place called Choloski.¬† I’d never heard of it, so when he told me¬†where it was¬†I realized he was talking about Schlotzky’s!¬†¬†I also remember my parents¬†taking us to a¬†nice park with a little Creek where we would spend hours swimming.¬†¬†The name of that place was “El Pee Pan”, or so I¬†thought. ¬†I always wondered why¬†people called it that but just assumed that it was just because a bunch of kids probably pee’d there.¬†¬†When I finally drove by there as an adult I saw a sign out front that read¬†“The Pig Pen”, it finally clicked!¬†This is a very small example of what we grow up hearing and as you can imagine it can be very entertaining!

Some of my other favorite words/phrases include Humenteer parties (Home Interior Parties), Feeling Sams (Ceiling Fans), Murmir(Dormir), Chootio (Shoot/Tiro)

Oh and my Chicano/Gringo Friends if it’s hot outside and you want to express how uncomfortable you are please don’t say, “estoy bien caliente”, just a piece of friendly advice.¬† That’s not what that means ūüôā