2020 National Hispanic Heritage Month
This Hispanic Heritage Month, the Council extends our gratitude to the millions of Hispanic Americans who enrich our nation. Your voices tell stories from motherlands around the world. Your values teach us that family and community come first. Your drive to overcome the odds represents the true American dream. Your contributions to the Council and our nation’s economy sustain us. Thank you for your commitment to our communities.
Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 through October 15, begins in the middle of the month because the 15th marks the independence days of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. We typically celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with cultural museum exhibits, joyous parades, lively concerts, and educational events across the country. Unfortunately, many of these events have been canceled or moved online due to the pandemic.
Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 comes at a difficult time for our community. Studies find that Latinos bear disproportionate cases of COVID-19, and their children are more likely to be hospitalized than their peers. The CDC attributes these findings to the social determinants of health, such as “housing, economic instability, insurance status, and work circumstances.” Furthermore, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that all minority-owned businesses (MBEs) struggle more than non MBEs because of the pandemic and economic crisis.
The Council sees your struggles and perseverance. We value your unique perspectives and contributions. We salute your dedication, service, and selflessness through this tough time. While we celebrate Hispanic Heritage, we also confront the current systemic inequities MBEs face. Let’s take time to reflect on a rich cultural past, assess present issues, and continue to work together and build a better future.
The Council supports all members and clients with resources and connections necessary for success. Be sure to check our COVID-19 resource page for continually updated information. We post the latest CDC notices, procurement opportunities, webinars, and resources. Check our calendar for up-to-date information regarding informative webinars and virtual sessions. Also, use our list of Certified Hispanic-Owned Businesses to find Hispanic businesses to support this month and every month.
Corporate Spotlight: Merck
Raul Suarez-Rodriguez currently serves as Director of Global Economic Inclusion and Supplier Diversity at Merck. In this role, Raul is responsible for driving diverse supplier inclusion, innovation, and economic growth through the lens of the company mission.
Raul advances Merck’s supplier diversity by partnering with internal business leaders and external advocacy groups to grow mutual value and create a lasting impact on the business and communities where we live and work.
Raul is recognized for his creative and innovative thinking and transformation efforts in Supplier Diversity.
Corporate Spotlight: BNY Mellon
Gladys Lopez is the Global Head of Supplier Diversity at BNY Mellon where she is responsible for supplier diversity, strategic planning, diversity sourcing and procurement, education, and outreach. Gladys holds a senior leadership role within BNY Mellon’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) organization, and, in this capacity, she is the supplier diversity liaison to the broader global financial services firm which employs over 50,000 people and in 2019 reported over $1.7 billion in assets under management.
Gladys has a strong background in supplier diversity, diversity and inclusion, strategic sourcing, and supply chain management. Before joining BNY Mellon, she held various positions in the public and private sectors, spearheading supplier diversity programs, overseeing subcontractor administration, and helping drive procurement programs. Most recently, Gladys led the Supplier Diversity program at Hilton, managing over 3,000 diverse suppliers and coordinating an annual outreach calendar of 35 events.
MBE Spotlight: Eliseo Rojas
ETR Business Solutions, Inc., is a Hispanic Owned consultancy firm which specializes in guiding small and mid-sized companies to profitable growth. The firm brings great minds together and provides the strategic guidance every company needs to consistently make better decisions, deliver better business performance, and generate greater ROI.
Under the leadership of Eliseo T. Rojas, founder and CEO, ETR’s purpose is to share knowledge and experience with under-served communities and help them achieve their objectives. ETR focuses on their clients’ most critical issues and opportunities: executive coaching, business strategy, marketing, sales, organizational diversity, supply chain, long term exit strategy, and more.
The firm has been part of the NY & NJ Council family since 2004. The Council has been a great partner and advocate for ETR. Eliseo and the ETR team are proud to have been instrumental in the launch of Council programs like CTAP, INSIGHT, and the Wells Fargo Academy.
MBE Spotlight: Gigi De Jesus
Salsa was founded in 2000 by Gigi De Jesus and certified as a minority-woman owned business in 2005. Over the years Salsa transitioned away from the fashion business to manufacture, distribute, and sell uniforms and supplies. Under the new name, Salsa Industrial Supplies, Gigi and her team earned a reputation as a reliable source for their clients’ facility supply needs. As a result of Salsa’s urgency and attention to detail, they are at the forefront of supplying New Yorkers with pandemic response and medical supplies during the current COVID-19 pandemic and are growing their national presence with municipalities and large corporations across the US and globally.
Gigi and the Salsa Industrials Supplies team give special thanks to their friends at The Council for their continued support throughout the years. The Council is an effective organization with an impressive team, and Salsa thanks each one of them for their help. They have been champions in introducing Salsa to corporate members and opening new doors.