We officially launched the AmplifyLatinx PowerUp Latinx Biz, a first of its kind collaborative, innovative movement focused on activating Massachusetts’ untapped economic potential by increasing growth and economic opportunity for Latinx-owned businesses in Massachusetts. PowerUp’s mission is to create visibility for Latinx-owned businesses, meaningfully connect them to existing resources, and recognize them as an influential consumer market that must be engaged by our entire business community.
We look forward to advancing the PowerUp movement to unleash Massachusetts’ untapped economic potential.
Video produced by EmVision Productions
JULIO RICARDO VARELA
In The Thick, Co-host
Latino Rebels, Founder
As Digital Media Director for Futuro Media, Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela works with the Latino USA team to promote the show’s episodes and expand its social reach. He is a frequent contributor to the show and the editor of the show’s official site, LatinoUSA.org. He also co-hosts In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa. In 2011, Julio founded LatinoRebels.com, one of the top U.S. Latino media sites in the world. Previously, he was digital producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” and his work has been featured in many global outlets, including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, MSNBC, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He has made numerous national TV appearances for Latino USA and Futuro Media.
In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Julio with its inaugural DALE (pronounced like Pitbull would say it) Award, given to “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.” A native of Puerto Rico, Julio spent his childhood between San Juan and the Bronx. He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe. Julio graduated cum laude from Harvard College.
NATALIA OBERTI NOGUERA
Founder & CEO, Pipeline Angels; Creator & Host, Pitch Makeover
Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder & CEO of Pipeline Angels. Pipeline Angels is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Natalia is also Creator & Host of Pitch Makeover, a podcast on pitching and investing that spotlights startups launched by women, non-binary people, and men of color. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale, as well as an MA in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Natalia serves on the boards of Walker’s Legacy, Women 2.0, and iRelaunch.
Inc. Magazine selected Natalia as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” Latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. StartOut, a network of LGBTQ entrepreneurs, honored Natalia (a cis queer Latina) with the 2017 Nixon Peabody Trailblazer Award, “recognizing an entrepreneur whose pioneering approach or vision has set a trend for an entire industry.”
Director, The Civic Innovation Project
Faculty, Boston College Carrol School of Management
Lourdes began her career as an attorney representing government entities in the US at the law firm Palmer & Dodge (now Locke Lord, LLP). Following that work, Lourdes helped co-created the public finance business division at Fidelity Investments, as a Vice President of Municipal Finance. At Fidelity, Lourdes managed the growth of the company’s public finance division in the US, established and managed Fidelity’s first New York office for public finance, and helped developed Fidelity’s national education program to educate investors with respect to the municipal market. Following Fidelity, Lourdes’ professional experiences include serving as General Counsel and Vice President of Research of the investment management company, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, serving as Director of International & Institute-wide Initiatives at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and holding leadership and consultancy roles in other organizations in the private, academic, and non-profit sector.
Currently, Lourdes serves on the faculty of the Boston College Carroll School of Management. Lourdes also serves as director of the Civic Innovation Project (CIP), a global thought leadership initiative focused on using technology to advance city-to-city learning that she founded and launched in 2015 via a Public Sector Leaders Forum in partnership with the Microsoft Corporation. The CIP has been recognized with a State of Boston Innovation Award in 2015 and was recognized by Gov CIO Outlook Magazine in 2017 as one of the Top Ten emerging innovative technology platforms in America focused on government citizen engagement.
In addition, Lourdes serves as Governor Baker’s appointed Chair of the Massachusetts State Finance and Governance Board, serves as a senior advisor to the CEO of the Lincoln Institute, has served as an appointee of the Mayor of Boston to the board that has oversight with respect to the City of Boston’s audit and finance matters, serves on the board of the Rappaport Center for Law and Policy, and serves on the board of United Way. Lourdes is also a published co-author of, Finance for City Leaders, a book published by the United Nations Press in 2016.
DR. MARIANA MATUS
Co-founder and CEO at Biobot Analytics
Dr. Mariana Matus is CEO and Cofounder at Biobot Analytics where she leads scientific and technological development. Dr. Matus holds a PhD in Computational and Systems Biology from MIT, and her doctoral dissertation explored how to build a smart sewage platform to collect public health data with sub-city level resolution. She was born in Mexico City and holds a BSc in Genome Sciences from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and a MSc in Biotechnology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Co-founder & CEO of PlaceMe
Named “Hult Entrepreneur to Watch” by Bostinno in 2014, Clara Arroyave is the co-founder and CEO of PlaceMe, a Boston-based co-living company offering fully-furnished housing at flexible lease terms with an all-inclusive rent. She has been able to grow the company to over $1.2MM ARR in less than 2 years.
Prior to PlaceMe, Clara was Boston General Manager at RentHop, a Y-Combinator company in the real estate tech space. Before that, she was a co-founder and CMO with GoTrotter, another real estate tech start-up in the relocation space.
An active member of the Boston start-up community, Clara serves as advisor, board leader, and growth consultant and focuses on strengthening start-ups with solid value propositions. She works mainly on strategy and performance improvement in the real estate tech space.
Clara is also a first-cohort Fellow of Latinos for Education, a nonprofit who prepares Latino Leaders to serve on Education Boards nationwide. She currently serves as Board Member at Breakthrough Greater Boston.
She received an MBA from Hult International Business School, where she won two innovation awards in the consulting and entrepreneurship clubs.
JOSE DE LA ROSA
Founder and CEO, Guardian Healthcare
Jose de la Rosa settled in the city of Boston in 1989, he attended Northeastern University and earned a degree in health care management. Jose co-founded Guardian Healthcare, a home health organization that services the elderly and people with disabilities in their own homes, providing bilingual and cultural competent nurses, therapists and home health aides to patients across the state of Massachusetts.
Under Jose’s leadership, Guardian Healthcare has been recognized by several organizations including but not limited to: ALPFA Excellence in service to the community award (2016), Small Business Administration’s minority-owned business of the year award (2016), Fortune Magazine/ICIC Inner City 100 business of the year award (2016), and ICCC Urban Impact award (2016)
Jose de la Rosa has also received recognition by: LULAC’s Hombre Incredible award (2016), Boston Business Journal Power 50 award (2016), El Planeta Power Meter 100 (2014, 2015, 2016), and ILC Immigrant business owner of the year award (2017).
Under Jose’s leadership, Guardian Healthcare has expanded to several cities in Massachusetts, addressing cultural and language barriers that keep many immigrants from accessing healthcare services. Guardian Healthcare also launched Family Caregivers, an Adult Family Care service and most recently, a private care division.
Founder & CTO, Drift
Elias Torres is focused on building the best engineering organization in Boston. His team at Drift is building software to help people live, work and create better together. Anywhere, anytime, on any device.
He is obsessed with finding the best talent, sculpting company culture, and getting things done.
CEO, Latinc Corporation
Claritza currently serves as Vice President of Technology Risk Management at State Street Corporation. She is also the Founder and CEO of LatInc Corporation, an information technology company that developed the first mobile app LatInc.us for Latino students and professionals to connect, mentor, find jobs and development opportunities. She is also a Professor of Information Technology at Boston University and Cambridge College. Previous to these posts, Claritza held several Sr. IT executive positions at very prestigious organizations both in the government and private sectors.
Claritza’s professional profile and personal journey has been featured in national and local media; she has been distinguished with multiple important awards including the “Women to Watch” from the Boston Business Journal, 100 most influent Latinos in MA, “Excellence in Technology” by the MA Governor Baker and as “Distinguished Alumni” by Boston University. Her portrait is featured in the “Dreams of Freedom” Boston’s Immigrant Museum as a successful immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Claritza holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering from INTEC and Boston University and several graduate certifications in technology, leadership and public administration.
Founder and CEO, Flowetik
Zamawa Arenas is a marketing strategist and entrepreneur intent on making a difference. She started Flowetik to help leaders of social enterprises, nonprofits and small business grow and scale their missions through smart, practical brand marketing.
Prior to founding Flowetik, she spent 15 years as co-owner of Argus, a full-service marketing and branding agency doing work that matters.
Zamawa came to the U.S. over two decades ago after successful stints in journalism, PR, and cable broadcasting in my native Venezuela. Upon completing a Masters at Boston University, she was faced with the choice of going back home or continuing my career in the States. She would stay, she decided, only if she could do work that had social impact. That commitment has guided her ever since. She began by launching Eurocinema, the first international pay-per-view movie service on the internet in the late nineties. Long before Netflix or Hulu or Paypal, they were streaming art-house films online. Skeptics questioned whether a service like that could ever work. History proved them wrong.
Outside of work, she volunteers her time as a trustee of the Boston Public Library and serve on the boards of the Boston Foundation, Boston Chamber of Commerce, and Eastern Bank. She’s also proud to be a MassChallenge and Babson WinLab mentor, and a founding member of the Latino Legacy Fund. Most recently, Zamawa was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to serve on the State Workforce Development Board.
She enjoys: a mindful yoga practice, sunny beach days, and discovering new places.
Chief of Economic Development, City of Boston
John F. Barros has served as Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Chief of Economic Development since 2014, and brings with him a passion for sustainable community development while fostering economic inclusion and equity for all Bostonians. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Barros served 13 years as Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), the largest urban community land trust in the country. He successfully lead neighborhood revitalization efforts, focusing on community wealth creation, and producing permanent affordable housing. Mr. Barros has also held positions at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, providing insurance for initial public offerings for dot-com startups, including Priceline.com.
Mr. Barros earned a B.A in Economics and African/African-American Studies from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University. Mr. Barros is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate in commerce from Suffolk University. Mr. Barros is a leader in Boston’s community development, and has served as a member of the Boston School Committee, the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change, and Co-Chairperson of the Center for Community Builders. John is a member of the 2005 Fellows class in the South African-United States Center for Leadership and Public Values, and in 2007 was named a Barr Foundation Fellow.
MARCELA MERINO DOMINGUEZ
Senior Analyst, Pacesetter Initiative
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Marcela has more than 10 years experience in economic development, research and strategy consulting. She has worked closely with public, private and nonprofit organizations to help address social and economic challenges in the US and abroad. Currently she works as a Senior Analyst at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for the Pacesetters initiative, a collective private effort aimed at increasing opportunities for small ethnic minority owned businesses.
Prior to joining the Boston Chamber, Marcela worked at Harvard Business School (HBS) as a Research Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness led by Professor Michael Porter, and at HBS online education division. She also worked at McKinsey Research Center where she supported multiple engagements related to US competitiveness. Marcela currently serves in the board of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) as the Chief Content Officer, and holds a Master in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University (MAIEF 09), an MBA from Nebrija University in Spain, and a business degree from UNITEC in Honduras.
Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Bank
Bob is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank and the largest independent community bank headquartered in Massachusetts, with $11 billion in assets and over 120 offices.
Bob is involved extensively in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of The Dimock Center, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Jobs for Mass, and The Lowell Plan. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, the Northern Essex Community College Foundation, the Board of Corporators of Lowell General Hospital, the Advisory Boards of the Lawrence Partnership and JFK Library Foundation, and is a member of the City of Boston’s Women’s Workforce Council, Environmental League of Massachusetts’ Corporate Council, and ALPFA Boston’s Corporate Advisory Board, in addition to providing support and guidance to numerous other non-profit organizations.
Named after the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Bob’s passion for advocating for social justice causes and sustainability issues is the result of a personal and professional journey that began early in his life. Bob has been recognized by The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, The Partnership, Get Konnected!, Color Magazine, the Massachusetts Immigration & Refugee Advocacy (MIRA), Asian American Civic Association (AACA), Association for Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting (ALPFA), El Planeta, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, The Theater Offensive, The Ad Club, and MassINC for his work in championing diversity and social justice.
Deputy Chief for Access & Opportunity and Community Affairs Office of the Governor of Massachusetts
Following Executive Order 559 by Governor Baker, Jabes was appointed in 2015 as Deputy Chief for Access & Opportunity to serve in the Governor’s senior team. Jabes leads the strategic diversity efforts on personnel and procurements for the Baker-Polito Administration. In early 2017, Governor Baker expanded Jabes’ scope to include Community Affairs.
Jabes has a record of establishing and growing innovative, win-win partnerships between major employers, leading non-profits and government institutions while convening the investments of millions of dollars towards these partnership ventures. He has success leading and collaborating with teams that achieve results in dynamic, fast-paced and innovative settings that serve multiple stakeholders.
Previously, Jabes held senior management roles at Year Up and ALPFA, where he led both organizations’ transformational growth in millions of dollars, increased the engagement with Fortune 1000 companies and expanded the outcomes-based efforts of these premier national organizations. He started his career at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and John Hancock Financial Services, where he held various roles of increasing responsibility while managing a portfolio of millions in corporate grants, sponsorships, employee matching gifts and volunteer programs.
Jabes holds a MBA from Boston College, a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelors from Brandeis University. He is an active alumnus of the Next Generation Executive and the Fellows programs from The Partnership Inc., as well as the Emerging Leaders program. He has served on leadership roles in various boards, such as Conexion, The City School, ALPFA, and Ecologic. He serves on the Advisory Committee of Eastern Bank’s Foundation for Business Equity.
Jabes immigrated to the US from Guatemala at the age of 9 years old and lives in Boston.
State Representative, 15th Suffolk
Chairman of House Ways and Means
Jeffrey Sánchez has represented the communities of Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Brookline as state representative since 2003. A product of Boston’s public housing and graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Sánchez has focused on ensuring access to universal healthcare, violence prevention, and affordable housing throughout his tenure. He currently serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is responsible for crafting the state’s annual budget, as well as legislation affecting the finances of the Commonwealth.
Senior Program Associate for Jobs & Economic Development
The Boston Foundation
Corean Reynolds joined the Boston Foundation in 2016, where she serves as Senior Associate for Jobs & Economic Development. Her work focuses on allocating investments to nonprofits in the Greater Boston area that focus on women and minority-owned entrepreneurship, building skills to obtain careers that promote generational wealth, and STEM education efforts. Prior to the Boston Foundation, Corean supported Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Corean witnessed the effects of neighborhood deterioration and its impact on community residents and local businesses—an experience that inspired her to become an advocate for community. She utilizes this passion for advocacy through her service as a member of English for New Bostonians program committee and as a steering committee member for the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund and PowerUp Latinx Biz initiative. Corean received a B.S. in Urban Planning and Regional Planning from Michigan State University, making her one of the less than 2% of multiracial women nationally to do so. Corean is a classically trained Soprano and has performed internationally from the age of 11.
Identify and map growth oriented Latinx owned businesses in Massachusetts
Facilitate connections among Latinx entrepreneurs through curated networking opportunities and an online digital platform
Access Existing Resources
Foster relationship building and access to existing business resources, such as capital, education, mentors, accelerators, and growth opportunities
Advance a policy agenda focused on driving economic opportunity and growth for Latinx businesses
We invite Latinx businesses, resource partners and sponsors to join us. You’ll be inspired by successful Latinx entrepreneurs and business leaders innovating in key industries driving our economy, learn how the broader MA business community can play a role in advancing Latinx business growth, and why doing so matters to our shared future.
- In Boston, Latinx-owned businesses average less than $100,000 in annual sales, compared to $644,000 in annual sales for all privately-owned firms
- Latinx business often operate in silos and lack connections to capital, management expertise, business networks, human capital, and partners necessary for growth
- Existing resources and programs for entrepreneurs are not inclusive or adept at connecting to the growing Latinx demographic