LSBS Columbus, OH

LATINA Style Business Series, Columbus, OH

By Gloria Romano-Barrera Photos by Serena Shi Photography

The 24th Annual LATINA Style Business Series (LSBS) concluded with its final stop on December 9th in Columbus, Ohio, at the Jeffers Auditorium of the Nationwide headquarters.

The award-winning program for Latina entrepreneurs began with welcoming words from Claudia DeLeon, Chief Operating Officer at La Mega Media Inc. and President at the Columbus Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Community Partners welcome message was virtually provided by Ramiro Cavazos; President, USHCC, and Alice Rodriguez; Board Chairwoman, USHCC Board. In addition, welcome remarks were delivered by Robert E. Bard, President & CEO, LATINA Style, Inc. Title Sponsor remarks were presented by Lu Yarbrough, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Diverse & Cause Marketing, Nationwide.

Launched in 1998 in partnership with the SBA, the award-winning business development program for Latina entrepreneurs provides participants opportunities to network, learn about business ownership, gain access to capital, and attend career development seminars geared towards Latina and women professionals and entrepreneurs. For the past 11 years, Nationwide and LATINA Style have partnered to deliver this program to the Latina business community.

“It is an honor for Nationwide to host the final stop of the 2022 LATINA Style Business Series at our company headquarters in Columbus,” says Nationwide’s Associate Vice President of Enterprise Diverse and Cause Marketing, Lu Yarbrough III. “Nationwide has a long history of supporting emerging and established entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. We’re proud to partner with LATINA Style, the Hispanic Chamber of Columbus, and our many esteemed experts to present a day of culturally informed content curated specifically with Latina businesswomen in mind.”

Participants have the opportunity to network, learn about business ownership and partake in career development seminars designed to benefit Latina professionals and entrepreneurs.

The first panel, “Business Resilience: Turning Your Optimism into Confidence for the Future,” was moderated by Juan Jose Perez, president, Nationwide Corporate Solutions. Speakers included Ryan Patton, Technical Director, Nationwide Advanced Consulting Group; Vincent Mora, Associate, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Legal Counsel; Valeria Aloe, Speaker, Author, and Founder of the Rising Together Movement.

The second panel, “Financial Recovery & Maximizing your Network and Resources,” was moderated by Audrey McKinley, President, Auto Network Consulting. Speakers included LaTanya Bacon, Senior Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service; Thalia Amador Lastra, Economic Development Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration; Crucita Flecha, Senior Attorney, Member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Flecha Law; Lilia Cabezas-Johnson, Head of Retail Investments Controls, JPMorgan Chase.

During the third session of the day, “The Power of Social Media,” panelists discussed the personal and professional marketing strategies used to achieve maximum success in their respective professions. Moderated by Christian Cisneros, Enterprise Social Media Manager, Nationwide, speakers included Dace De La Foret, Director of Enterprise Social Strategy and Engagement, Nationwide; Andy Nelson, Senior Vice President, Social Media, Conill; and Natasha Pongonis, Co-Founder and CEO, O.Y.E. Business Intelligence and Co-Owner, Nativa, Inc.