Atlanta leaders challenged to define future of the 'new Latino identity'.

Author:Tabeilone, John

Latino Leaders Publisher Jorge Ferraez recently invited Atlanta's influential Latino corporate executives, professionals and elected officials to discuss strategies for fostering advancement of the Hispanic community and the challenge of leveraging future leaders who could create wealth and jobs. Sponsored by Coca-Cola and Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright and hosted by Coke executive Humberto Garcia-Sjogrim, the meeting drew 30 attendees who addressed the "New Latino Identity."

John Wright, Managing Partner of Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright said, "Meeting new people who encourage you to view and live life differently inspires me. The opportunity to collaborate and connect with people from different cultures, backgrounds and industries is rewarding and brings value to my generation and generations to follow. Our mission is to help protect and grow wealth of business owners, individuals and families by demonstrating the value and impact of integrated, comprehensive financial planning. Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright is honored to be among a distinguished group of leaders who are helping to elevate the conversation and challenge one another to take action by identifying key goals and increasing collaboration."

Ferraez spurred the conversation, stating, "It's very seldom that we can have the opportunity to gather a small group of leaders in the community and discuss important issues that later can be translated into initiatives, ideas ... or, why not start a new project, or the genesis of something new that will happen in the future; or, just a good night of reflection and friendship. Our objective is to listen to voices like yours."

He added, "What are the most important things for you to advance yourself in the Latino community? One of those is education importance and the other is wealth creation."

Consensus from the first exchanges dictated collaboration; the larger question lies in the details. The audience concurred that Latinos are entrepreneurial by nature, but need support and guidance.

"Unfortunately," said Gigi Pedraza, "90 percent are sole proprietorships."

Ferraez agreed: "We need to scale up to become million or billion dollar sales companies with assets. So, how do we go to this upper level to be more expansive?"

Wright, said, "I would just think about the 'power of one.' Find the one entrepreneur who has created 'scale.' That individual has to be altruistic, generous, and wants to give back. That individual can...

To continue reading