Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates more than 60 million Hispanic Americans. The celebration starts on September 15 and ends on October 15. This year, Connections Marketing decided to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by eating delicious Mexican cuisine. The whole team ate great food while enjoying each others company.
In addition to having a meal together, we decided to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by interviewing two of our team members. Rick Rivero is the founder of Connections Marketing. His mom and dad were first generation Americans and his dad immigrated from Ecuador at the age of 18. We also interviewed Marisol Murillo, the Digital Media Coordinator for Connections Marketing. Both her parents are originally from Mexico.
We asked both Connections Marketing members questions about their heritage and careers.
What can an organization do that you believe is crucial for fostering a more inclusive environment in the business world?
Rick – If many members of your staff are from different backgrounds and ethnicities it organically creates a culture of inclusion.
How does Connections Marketing embrace diversity and inclusivity?
Rick – We pride ourselves on hiring individuals with various ethnic backgrounds. Starts with me being a minority as my father is from Ecuador. Add Marisol Murillo who is 100% Mexican. In addition we have Joe and Ariene who are Filipino and Native American.
How have you felt supported/welcomed by connections marketing?
Marisol – The most recent example of when I felt supported/welcomed is when we went out to eat for Hispanic heritage month. It was nice seeing how my coworkers were excited to try new Hispanic dishes. Overall, it was fun to enjoy a delicious meal with familiar foods and great coworkers.
What does your heritage mean to you?
Rick – I think heritage can give you a good sense of who you are and where you can go. My grandma went through a lot raising 6 kids on her own after my grandfather died and finding ways to get most of her children – including my dad -to America. The strength she showed I carry with me to this day, because running a business is hard, but what my grandmother went through is way harder than anything I’ve experienced.
Marisol – I think heritage is something that is passed down from those who came before you (like parents, grandparents, etc.). The thing that is passed down can be a belief, recipe, practice, or culture. Heritage can affect how a person grows and sees the world around them.
Can you tell us about your family’s heritage and how it has influenced your life and career?
Rick – My mom was born here, but her mom and dad were first generation Americans and my dad came here from Ecuador at the age of 18. I was fortunate to see the hard work of my parents and uncles and how that hard work paid off. As a result I work hard everyday to ensure all of the efforts they did to make sure their kids had a better life is not wasted.
Marisol – My parents were immigrants and always emphasized how important education was because they believed that a good education would lead to a good job. So, I did my best in school and went to college. Then, when I was in college, I heard about Connections Marketing. I started as an intern for Connections Marketing, then I did freelance work, and then I was hired full-time. I think working this comfortable 9-5 office job can be connected back to what my parents taught me. If it weren’t for my education, my career and life would have definitely been different.
How do you feel that your career has been shaped/affected by your heritage and experience as a hispanic woman in today’s business world?
Marisol – I think that more companies are looking for people who can speak multiple languages. The more languages a person can speak, the better they look when looking for a job. I’m grateful for being bilingual because I feel that being able to communicate in Spanish and English has made me more versatile as an employee. Being more versatile allows me to try out different tasks and learn more things while still working for the same company.
What message or advice would you like to share with young Hispanic entrepreneurs and professionals?
Rick – It’s not easy, but if you work hard and genuinely care about your clients you will see a successful business. Also when first starting your business take advantage of programs available to Latinos such as being certified as a MBE (Minority Business Enterprise).
At Connections Marketing we are proud of our diverse and dynamic team and we are always striving to create an inclusive environment where everyone is valued and welcomed. It was a wonderful experience celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and highlighting our employees and we will continue to honor and celebrate our diverse team all year long (not just one month out of the year)!