Last week in Phoenix, Arizona, I had a blast attending the three day U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Conference. I had an opportunity to visit my friend Rick Ryan, and had a lovely bite (and a Mango Margarita) at long time Scottsdale Old Town favorite Los Olivos Mexican Patio Sunday evening, the USHCC held its Welcome Reception “La Gran Bienvenida” at the Coca-Cola Sundeck in the Sun Devil Stadium. There, we enjoyed live Mariachi music by the all women Mariachi Rubor, they performed old and new favorites including some Selena’s songs.There we ran into serial entrepreneur, Chicago based Mike Anguiano. Mike and I attended the Google and The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth Digital Excellence Program inaugural cohort back in 2015 and it was great to see him still thriving and connecting suppliers to corporations, with one of his many companies, SupplyHive™, a software company that analyzes, rates, and scores corporate suppliers at scale. Now this one needs to be filed under, do a good job all the time because you never know when you will run into a past client! We chatted briefly with Jason Trimiew , Director, Global Diversity at Meta and LaMecia Butler, Program Manager at Facebook. Back in 2016, we were one of the selected SF Bay Area diverse suppliers and worked with the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, where Jason and LaMecia both directed or approved our jobs! Love to see people who genuinely believe in the economic impact that hiring diverse small business has on the communities we serve! Also pictured, Small Business champion and supporter Mark L. Madrid with the U.S. SBA. Monday’s agenda included a keynote address by the President and CEO Federal Reserve Bank of the New York. From his speech, notable soundbites “Inflation also has a disparate impact across ethnic groups. Economists at the New York Fed found that since 2021, Black and Hispanic households have faced higher inflation than the national average” and expected “rise in unemployment rate by the end of 2023” You can find the entire speech here:https://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/speeches/2022/wil221003Later that evening, I introduced Mr. Williams to Arturo Cazares and talked to him about the LBAN/Latino Business Action Network and Stanford University Graduate School of Business joint SLEID program and how it has help many Latino owned companies, including ours, to scale and connect us with capital providers including lenders and for others VCs.I was able to attend a panel discussion “Cannabis: A Rising industry in The Hispanic Business Ecosystem”, there Ann Torrez, Arizona Dispensaries Association, Corrina Miramontes, Canna Co IC, Raul Molina, The Mint Dispensary, and Duke Rodriguez, Ultra Health did a great job of sharing the wins, and the on going fight to operate with legalization within some states, but federal limits and how the conversation needs to be centered about educating the public and removing the stigma of cannabis use and the many benefits for medical and recreational use. I know this is a hot topic in the trucking industry as we learn more about the use of cannabis and work to attract and retain talent.Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion “Evolutionary Practices in a New World of Work: Culture Technology and Security Panel”, Moderated by Roberto Martinez , Braven Agency. Elizabeth Agosto, BNY Mellon, Lili Gangas, Kapor Center and Jessica Garcia, M. Eng, Tozuda brought an energizing conversation about Latinos and tech. Agosto spoke about scaling and working on processes, procedures and asking for help. The importance of cybersecurity when 63% of the world connects to the internet and to work on safeguards and how we can look at our organization and things that we can do right now to secure our digital access. Ganga spoke about going to our cities and towns and asking our elected local and regional leaders about digital equity, broadband access and device access for those in our communities. Garcia spoke about how we need to stop thinking of ourselves as outliers, we are the “new status quo”, we are what founders look like and how we, Latinos, create value, grow jobs for the communities, and bring dividends to our investors or stakeholders.To close the three day conference, USHCC had Cesar Conde, Chairman NBCUniversal News Group give the keynote address. Conde quoted the recent Latino Donor Collaborative The 2022 LDC U.S. Latino GSP Report ™ finding that “The U.S. Latino GDP is $2.8 trillion, and if they were an independent economy alone, they would be the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.8 trillion, ahead of the GDP of countries like France, England, India, Brazil and Russia.” He spoke about how Latinos are reshaping the workforce, and consumer base and how NBC Telemundo is trying to provide content to all demographics. You can access the report here: https://www.latinodonorcollaborative.org/original-research/2022-ldc-u-s-latino-gdp-reportHere’s my last picture of the conference, I am wearing a Theia Couture “Kaylee” dress from my online pop up only shop @preciosadivasf www.preciosadiva.com and I am standing next to Maria Fernanda Reyes always the connector, who introduced me the ladies, including Ying McGuire President and CEO of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDCHQ), we chatted about the upcoming conference in exchange in NOLA. See you there?