How long have you been a member of the PMAHCC?
First got involved as a member of the Chamber way back in 2010. (6 years ago!)
Why did you join the PMAHCC?
Originally joined when I was a recruiter for Farmers Insurance. Joined in order to attract Hispanic/Latino professionals that may have interest in becoming small business owners by opening a Farmers Insurance Agency. Ended up recruiting myself and became the only full service Spanish speaking insurance agent in Western PA. I am the only one who can offer a full portfolio of insurance and financial products that speaks Spanish as a first language. Given the complexity of the business, I find that people are a LOT more comfortable with me....even if they speak English :)
What has been the greatest benefit of being a member of the PMAHCC?
Exposure and instant credibility. When I tell a person or business that I am on the board of the Hispanic Chamber, they instantly perk up. It's really started to help on the business side of things as well because clients want to work with someone that is not only committed to their career, but to making a difference in their community.
Is your company a member of the PMAHCC? If yes, what has been the benefit to having them be a member?
Our Agency has been a member of the Chamber for the past 3 years (ever since I started). Our Agency takes great pride in helping the growing Latino community of Western PA and we strive to be recognized as the one place where everyone can get great service! As of now I am the only Spanish speaker, but we aim to add more support staff very soon. Sky is the limit!
What is you advice to a Latino business owner that is new to Pittsburgh?
Surround yourself with a great team of individuals that will help you succeed. All business owners need Accountants, Lawyers, Insurance and Financial consultants, Payroll administrators and many other types of professionals that can help not only in the day to day, but can help ensure that the doors of the business will stay open! Many newly arrived Latinos think that they are alone and without help which is not the case. Another important thing to do is to get INVOLVED! Even if its in the smallest capacity, people will see that you are out and about; working for what you want! I've always said this and will continue to use this phrase: "People don't care how much you know.....they care how much you CARE!"