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Written by Andrea Franco
on October 28, 2019

HACR hosted its 24th Annual Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ in Washington, D.C., May 2-3, at the Mandarin Oriental. Hosted by Target Corporation, the symposium brings together a collection of the nation’s most influential Hispanic leaders and executives to discuss and identify effective strategies for advancing Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America. Along with this, the symposium acts as a stimulant to develop the future generation of Hispanic corporate leaders. The Annual HACR Symposium offers Corporate America direct access to the Hispanic community, talent, entrepreneurs, and leadership. In turn, this generates a professional environment to ensure corporate responsibility and market reciprocity for the nation’s Hispanic population.

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The 24th Annual HACR Symposium kicked off with the HACR Corporate Members breakfast with opening remarks from HACR President and CEO, Cid Wilson. During the breakfast, HACR recognized the support of its Corporate Members and presented the state of HACR, new Corporate Members, and the organization’s vision for the years to come. The first session of the day, “The Procurement Roundtable,” featured Manuel Diaz, associate director of Pharma R&D Quality and Compliance Operations at Janssen - Johnson & Johnson; Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders, senior vice president and enterprise services executive at Bank of America Corporation; José Nido, vice president of Global Supplier Diversity at Wyndham Worldwide; and Bob Stewart, vice president of U.S. Supply Chain Services at McDonald’s Corporation. The panel was moderated by Raymond J. Arroyo, managing director at Reffett Associates. Discussion topics focused on the latest insights and trends pertaining to Hispanic suppliers, capital formation, small business investment, and the expansion of diverse contracts and partnerships. After the session, participants enjoyed a networking lunch sponsored by Sodexo, Inc. and listened to one of their executives, Lorna C. Donatone, region chair for North America and CEO of Schools Worldwide. MGM Resorts International sponsored the second business session, “The C-Suite Roundtable,” where Yolangel “Yogi” Hernandez Suarez, vice president and chief medical officer for Humana’s Integrated Care Delivery Organization; Jorge Perez, SVP Finance & CFO for MGM Resorts Regional Operations; Kleber Santos, executive vice president of Consumer Banking for Capital One’s Retail and Direct Bank; and moderator KC Caldwell, managing editor of Hispanic Executive magazine discussed key leadership traits, skills they look for in executives, and opinions on Hispanic inclusion. Sponsored by ESPN, the last business session of the day was the “Industry Spotlight: Diversity and the Business of Sports” session featuring Michelle Bella, vice president of Sales and Consumer Marketing of ESPN Deportes; Tom Córdova, sports business executive and contributing columnist for Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal; Donna Dozier Gordon, director of Diversity & Inclusion for the United States Tennis Association; Oris Stuart, chief diversity and inclusion officer at the National Basketball Association (NBA); and Renee Tirado, senior director of Recruitment for the Major League Baseball (MLB). Moderated by Max Bretos, on-air talent for ESPN, this session focused on the level of diversification in the sports industry in America as well as the current state and future of Hispanic inclusion in the industry. That evening, participants networked at the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ Awards & 10th Anniversary Reception sponsored by Altria, General Motors Co., and MillerCoors.

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On Tuesday, the day started with the “Hispanic Inclusion at the Center of Innovation” business session with Emilio Gonzalez, executive director for Strategic Alliances at Verizon; Randy Huey, global executive at Dell; Dan Turton, vice president of Federal and Administrative Affairs at General Motors Co.; and moderator Robert Rodriguez, president of DRR Advisors LLC. Panelists exchanged views on the importance of leveraging internal and external partnerships to accelerate growth, staying true to the company’s brand, engaging with the growing Hispanic entrepreneurial sector, and how multicultural and Hispanic insights play a role in business strategies.

Next, a session sponsored by Denny’s, “Focus on Philanthropy” included Denise Clark, senior vice president and strategic philanthropy consultant for Wells Fargo’s Enterprise Strategic Philanthropy group; Lori George Billingsley, vice president of Community Relations for Coca-Cola North America; and Jill Van Pelt, senior vice president and chief people officer of Denny’s Corporation. The session was moderated by Alexandra Aquino-Fike, vice president of Development for Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP).

The HACR Symposium luncheon, sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Marriott, gave participants the opportunity to network and enjoy remarks from guest speaker Thomas E. Perez, U.S. secretary of labor. Perez spoke about his mission of giving all Americans an equal chance to get and stay ahead in Corporate America.

After lunch, the “Latina Power Executives” panel featured Yanela Frias, vice president of Finance at Prudential’s Individual Annuities business and Sonia Perez, president at AT&T Louisiana. This empowering session moderated by Natividad Hawkins, training consultant at UNICEF, gave women executives the opportunity to share their best career advice, as well as personal and professional journeys to the top of the corporate ladder.

The final business session of the day was the “Annual HACR CEO Roundtable.” Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the HACR CEO Roundtable featured Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation; Roger W. Crandall, president and CEO of MassMutual; Craig Menear, chairman, CEO, and president of The Home Depot; and Frederick Waddell, chairman and CEO of Northern Trust. For the ninth consecutive year, Telemundo’s Norma Garcia moderated this discussion and engaged the CEOs in a thought-provoking conversation regarding diversity and Hispanic inclusion at their companies.

That evening, HACR celebrated three decades of excellence and success at their 30th Anniversary Gala sponsored by Target Corporation. HACR has worked with companies across Corporate America to address the lack of Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards and in the C-suite. The 30th Anniversary Gala was an opportunity to salute the commitment of Corporate Members of HACR to diversity and Hispanic inclusion. 

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