Tell us a little about yourself and/or your business.
I am the President & CEO of LAEDA a community economic development organization headquartered in the City of Camden and serving the southern counties of NJ (Camden, Burlington, Atlantic, Gloucester and Cumberland). LAEDA pursues three strategies with the goal of revitalizing emerging communities; entrepreneurial training and counseling, commercial district revitalization and commercial real estate redevelopment.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
An annual opportunity for my culture to proudly present the accomplishments of its people.
How has your Hispanic Heritage influenced your life and who you are today?
Growing up, my parents instilled the importance of service to our community and to embrace the Puerto Rican culture.
What challenges do Hispanics face in business? What resources do you think would help overcome them?
Hispanics face many challenges in business; access to capital, training and mainstream networks that can support their growth. Organizations like LAEDA support this effort to a certain point. Work must be done to transform the capital access process to remove unnecessary if not exclusionary barriers.
How are you personally celebrating Hispanic Heritage month?
We celebrate Hispanic Heritage by spending extra time with my parents and creating opportunities for them to share our culture story with my children.
What is a Hispanic tradition you would want to pass down that your parents have passed down to you?
Each year around Christmas we all come together as a family to make Pastelles. It's hard to explain but they are delicious. We've put a hold on this because of COVID19, get vaccinated!
What is one thing you would like other to know about your Hispanic Heritage?
Hispanics value family and close friends. Take the time to get to know your Hispanic clients personally and you will have friends for life.