D is for diversity: Latino Leaders Magazine begins a Diversity Initiative in partnership with ALPFA.

Author:Ferraez, Jorge
Position:Cover story
 
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Diversity, the "D" word is starting to become a reality for many in Corporate America. The concept that years ago was just an illusion or a good goal to have, a politically correct posture, has started to move from plans and wish lists to organizational charts and business campaigns. Everyday, more and more companies realize the value of Diversity. Either propelled by their Board of Directors or by a visionary CEO, the benefits and actual needs to become diverse are clear and present. It is usually in two directions: one that goes to the inside; establishing a Diversity Office, working the H.R. departments to recruit and get diversity suppliers, making the C-Suite a more "multicolored" pack and establishing policies and strategies to secure a continuity.

The second is an exterior route, which means multicultural marketing efforts, with the basic simple principle of "mirroring the market they serve," conquer underserved minority markets and probably most importantly; understanding the Hispanic markets. For many corporations, expanding to these markets is not only a way to grow, but it may also mean their only way to grow.

Today, Latino Leaders Magazine is making a pledge to promote and cover Diversity at all levels, because it is directly related to the advancement of Latinos and the community at large. As one of the most relevant publications in the Hispanic market, we will start devoting space and content through initiatives like this, to talk, cover, publish and promote actions from corporations directed to grow Diversity levels.

We will keep this initiative until the concept of Diversity is no longer an issue for corporations, because it is already the norm, not the exception.

As part of our Diversity Initiative, Latino Leaders has partnered with ALPFA, the Association of Latino Professionals for America, one of the most dynamic and relevant organizations promoting and establishing strong foundations in diversity. Founded in 1972, ALPFA supports over 48,000 Latino students, professionals, and entrepreneurs through its 43 professional chapters across the country.

In addition, ALPFA has more than 145 student chapters at major colleges and universities. Its mission is to empower and develop Latinas and Latinos as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy.

As one of the first steps toward our collaboration, we were able to interview the following five C.E.O.s from five of the companies that support ALPFA and it's mission. The privileged access Latino Leaders was granted to this collection of Corporate Captains has no precedent in the Hispanic print industry and resulted in a series of fantastic conversations about Diversity for all of them and their corporations. Their visions, lessons and experiences are a treasure in journalistic terms.

We truly appreciate the opportunity speak with them and the concepts we were able to discuss with them.

MASS MUTUAL'S GROUNDED LEADER

Roger W Crandall, CEO of the insurance giant, believes that their key to diversity lies in making partnerships with organizations like ALPFA.

Roger Crandall, CEO of Mass Mutual

Forward thinking President/CEO Roger Crandall centers himself before his day begins with exercise and meditation; it makes perfect sense for the leader of Mass Mutual to set the standard for health and clarity be fore addressing the myriad of duties that accompany the two top spots. With AIM since 1988, Crandall assumed the CEO-ship in 2010 after being president for two years prior. Crandall's 27 years with AIM accounts for over half of his life; only 50, he is invested in every sense. Strategically open-minded, Roger Crandall's belief in getting as many qualified opinions and information direct from the source has resulted in the most diverse board of the top tier firms; with half of the board comprised of women and people of diverse ethnicity'. The Mass Mutual Way; a hands-on management technique begins with a huddle; his executive leadership team does that weekly. Leading by example, Crandall's layered chair titles include "chairman of Mass Mutual's diversity leadership council. "Now, that's official.

Intensely practical, Mass Mutual CEO and long-time champion of diversity, Roger Crandall looks for synchronicity in alliances. ALPFA resonates with Mass Mutual's "lean and productive" philosophy.

"Our partnership is very important because we share many of the same goals and values, ALPFA is committed to improving the quality of life for Latinos through education and leadership development, which aligns strongly with our purpose to help Americans achieve financial security. At Mass Mutual, we focus on providing people with the education, tools, and solutions they need to take action and prepare for the future. We also recognize that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of our population at 54 million strong. It's Mass Mutual's responsibility to anticipate and respond to their financial needs. We've been able to do this on many fronts thanks to our relationship with ALPFA. We've worked with them both nationally and locally on just about all aspects of our strategy to reach the Latino market; this includes recruiting, mentoring, professional development, financial education, and enhancing the effectiveness of our employee resource groups."

"Some of our most senior executives--including our chief financial and chief diversity officers--also sit on ALPFA's national boards, providing strategic guidance and support. In all, we've had a very productive relationship with ALPFA during the last five years, and we're excited to do more in the future to work with the Latino community.

"Mass Mutual has led the diversity marathon well before this became a "must," Mass Mutual has long retained one of the most desirable board mavens at their table; Patricia Diaz Dennis. As chair of Girl Scouts of America, which recently took the lauded stance for total inclusivity, Diaz-Dennis' diversity legacy is forever leveraged. "Patricia is our longest serving board member with more than two decades at Mass Mutual, and she's been a tremendous asset. In addition to her professional experience as a lawyer and the perspectives she brings as a woman and a...

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