College supports effort to boost Hispanic leadership advancement.

Recent studies show that Hispanics represent the fastest growing workplace population, with dynamic growth and purchasing power estimated at $1.3 trillion by 2014. Yet, according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey, 74% of Latinos polled said they either didn’t know of a national Hispanic leader or thought there wasn’t one.

To help correct this perception and drive real change when it comes to the advancement of Hispanic leadership in corporate America, the College of Business Administration partnered with the California-based Center for Hispanic Leadership (CHL) to host the kick-off of the Hispanic Leadership Tour.

“Hispanics can play a critical role in corporate growth and expansion initiatives, but the challenge is that most corporations haven’t learned how to manage and develop their Hispanic leaders,” said Glenn Llopis, CHL founder and chief executive officer.

Glenn Llopis

Held on the Florida International University (FIU) campus, the one-day Hispanic Leadership Tour event focused on what corporations can do to locate, mentor and nurture Hispanic talent. Participation in the event was a natural fit for the college.

“We are fortunate to have a large and diverse Hispanic student population and a long history of building relationships with corporations that recognize the strengths that these talented and hardworking individuals bring to the workplace,” said Joyce J. Elam, executive dean.

Insightful panel discussion gets to the heart of the matter.

Moderated by Luis Casas, director, marketing, communications and recruiting, one of the afternoon’s executive roundtable sessions brought together three executives to answer questions such as: Why aren’t there more Hispanics in Fortune 500 executive positions? What role should Hispanics be playing in the executive suite? And is Hispanic marketing a niche or mainstream activity?

Moderator Luis Casas with panelists Francisco Bethencourt, Luis Vargas and Miriam Muley at one of the executive roundtable sessions

Panel participants included Francisco Bethencourt, director, Hispanic Market Strategy, Pepsi Beverages Company; Miriam Muley, CEO, The 85% Niche, LLC; and Luis Vargas, director, Neighborhood Marketing Hispanic, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.

“This forum provided an excellent opportunity to bring together Hispanic leaders to discuss the reasons behind the under-representation of Hispanics in executive leadership positions,” Casas said. “We also talked about the important role education can play in changing this scenario.”

Following the event, Casas continued the discussion in an interview on CNN Dinero.

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