Understanding, Reaching and Servicing the Hispanic Market

by Eduardo Crespo

(remember to RSVP for this session taking place 8/4)

There are many critical issues that must be dealt with before a company or institution decides to enter or expand in the Latino market. Rushing to translate ads is wasteful and embarrassing at times. This workshop presents a practical framework that begins with a historical perspective and ends with recommendations for “transitioning” to meet this new opportunity. The premise of this workshop is that, “business as usual”, is no longer valid to be successful in this market.


The framework is multi-dimensional and will benefit visionaries and thought leaders that work in leadership and management positions. Functional areas that are addressed include: branding, research, planning and forecasting, marketing, sales, PR, communications (offline and online), HR, diversity, customer service, training, community relations, and foundations.


 – Understanding the market from a practical perspective.

– How to identify and deal with biz and HR implications when transitioning to a non-monolingual organization.

– What is the upside market potential in relationship to the Hispanic market?

– Reflections on “Why should we change if we have been profitable all these years”?

– Hispanic vs. multicultural strategies, what will work for you?

– Should you communicate in English, Spanish or Spanglish?

– Assimilation vs. acculturation, an ongoing dilemma.

– Practical advice to avoid mistakes in rushing to tactics without doing due diligence.

– Cultural and linguistic considerations when servicing Hispanics.


Making Supplier Diversity Work

By Milton Benjamin

One of the goals of diversity inclusion programs is to provide opportunities for diverse populations to succeed in achieving personal financial goals, including financial stability and the accumulation of assets. There are many types of diversity programs within organizations that help individuals reach their objectives, including recruitment programs, training and development opportunities, and mentoring, all of which help individuals grow within the organization.

Supplier diversity programs have the same ultimate goal of providing enhanced opportunities for diverse companies to grow and achieve economic success. The interesting thing about a successful supplier diversity program is that it not only helps an individual business owner achieve his or her goals, but there is a multiplier effect in that a successful company hires more people and helps a community become stronger economically. We have found that those purchasing organizations that are committed, build a supportive infrastructure, and monitor execution achieve success.

What is the business case for supplier diversity? Using diverse suppliers can bring innovation, competition, pricing that produces savings for purchasers and profitability for suppliers. The changing demographics of our region and our country demand economic participation in ways that afford growing minority populations opportunities to acquire assets and in turn feed the local economy. Strong minority companies also are the source of new leaders who give back in ways that further strengthen communities.

How do organizations develop a successful supplier diversity program? There are many ways to go about it. A supplier diversity program is successful when various levels of an organization are involved. Each area may have its own objectives for its part in the program, but it takes a coordinated approach so that all internal objectives are achieved. As with any goal, commitment, communication, measurement and a strong connection to suppliers are key attributes of a successful program. Commitment starts at the top; communication throughout the organization and with suppliers must be effective; training and mentoring have an important role; key measures and monitoring are critical.

How do organizations and suppliers come together? This question also has a number of answers that depend on who in the organization is driving the supplier diversity effort. Purchasing Managers have an essential role, as they are the ones who most often interface with suppliers, even if they do not make the ultimate buying decision. Front line managers who do make buying decisions also can connect directly to suppliers. In many organizations with strong commitments to supplier diversity, there are Supplier Diversity Managers who develop relationships with suppliers and make introductions to the front line purchasers. A supplier needs to know how a particular organization works in order to find the best connection to open doors.

INE plays a significant role in helping suppliers and organizations committed to supplier diversity meet their objectives. In our workshop on the 28th we will have a dialogue with participants about their questions on supplier diversity and provide some insights on best practices, making the business case for supplier diversity, and how we can help an organization with developing a supplier diversity program.

Game On: Generationally On Point or Challenged?

The Road To Intergenerational Diversity In The Workplace

by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA

The wisdom of my late parents barely grazed me in my teens, danced in my head in my twenties and thirties, and has now become locked in place in my fifties.  What was dismissible years ago causes me moments of reflection (and terror) as the years go by and new generations unfold.

What is so stunning for me is realizing that the playmates of my adult children are now managing the workplace.  The very youngsters who were in school plays or in my carpool are leading organizations, managing hundreds of employees and making strategic decisions that impact whole communities.  It’s taken a gradual shift in my thinking to move me from seeing them in the sandbox to now negotiating with them in business conference rooms, and the process is far from over.

The game is new and exciting and the rules have changed.  Technology, once vast machines in cold storage rooms at MIT has become a daily Tweet, a Linkedin connection or a text message meant for an entire office to read.  Game On, and the question is, are you ready to embrace the generations who are already the emerging leaders of today?

During the upcoming workshop, “Intergenerational Diversity In The Workplace” we will blast off into the ageless world of generational similarities and differences that make our interactions so unpredictable.  If you’re a Baby Boomer unfamiliar with the sounds of Lady Gaga or Beyonce, how can you possibly build sound relationships with those twenty years your junior?  And if you’re a Millennial staffer scratching your head when the conversation shifts to Walter Cronkite’s reporting on the Kennedy assassination, think again. It’s time for an intergenerational tune up where cross talk and two way dialogue are the only way to move forward.

Using a multimedia approach, we will explore the five generational groups currently co-existing in workplaces across this region.  Hard hitting and fast pace, the goal is to see yourself firmly grounded in the time zones of your past and present as you collaborate, manage, and teach those younger…and older than yourself.

No one said it would be easy. But the ultimate goal is knowledge transfer from the oldest to the youngest…and back up to the oldest again.  It takes an open mind and a willingness to show some vulnerability.  And in the end you’ll share your new wisdom with those who rely on you to lead the way.

Put your game face on and let’s ride the generational wave of connection, communication and collaboration.

Game On!

**Homework Assignment:  Listen to the following interview and prepare for a stimulating discussion.  Here’s the link:



Carole Copeland Thomas is a global speaker, trainer, and thought leader specializing in diversity, multiculturalism, leadership and empowerment issues. She is the founder the Multicultural Symposium Series, and has worked with private and public sector organizations since 1987.  A strong advocate of the Commonwealth Compact, she is a frequent blogger and regularly posts on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Visit her website at:  http://www.tellcarole.com.

Segregated schools — not surprising

 Shocking, but not totally surprising:  56 years after the Supreme Court ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” most of America’s large cities educate their children in classrooms that are still grossly segregated — the Boston and Springfield areas included. And the results are not good. In Massachusetts, every one of the state’s 35 underperforming schools is in a largely minority, largely poor, urban area.
   The new Northeastern University study that documents these trends (available at diversitydata.org) rightly points out that the biggest problem is residential segregation. People of color are in the cities and whites are in the suburbs, which have more money and political power. This generalization is especially true in Boston, where the core city has barely 10 percent of the metropolitan population, while other large cities typically make up a third or more of the regional population. But Boston is not going to annex Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and Milton anytime soon.
   So progress requires redoubled efforts within the city school systems to offer quality education across districts and neighborhoods, combined with new initiatives to permit city-dwellers to take advantage of suburban resources.
   This will be hard politically, but Massachusetts’s justified pride in the top-rank performance of public school students statewide is tarnished by the stubbornly persistent racial gap that leaves too many students of color behind. Let’s hear from the candidates for governor on this.
    — By Bob