Tag Archives: Latino

Johnny Rivera: The Latino Edge

Johnny Rivera

Johnny Rivera

Continuing to celebrate Hispanic heritage in the U.S., I’m promoting Latina(o)/Hispanic leaders in my blog.
Meet Johnny Rivera, Co-host for “Off the Kuf” FM morning talk radio show, Syndicated Writer, Social Media/Internet Marketing Guru, Network (Computer) Engineer, Web Developer, Owner of ThinkRivera Technologies. Johnny Rivera is very perceptive about people and has been blazing a trail on the Web for almost two decades.  Tweet with this Latino leader in
Twitter: @John_Rivera and become a friend on Facebook. Read John’s blog, The Latino Edge.

John, where did you grow up and how did your upbringing and environment contribute to the person you are today?

I like to say I was born in Brooklyn and raised everywhere else. It’s true. After my mother divorced my father, we moved to Puerto Rico for two years. My mom married my dad (step dad) who was in the Army. Traveling became the norm after that. When I was 18, I moved out on my own. I spent 11 years in the South and 8 years in the Mid-West. The extensive traveling gave me a deep understanding of different cultural dynamics within America and Puerto Rico.

Who were your role models as you were growing up and how did they affect you?

Over all, Jesus Christ is my primary influence. He taught me to be a man of compassion and substance. He also taught me to look at a person’s heart rather than their pocket (occupation). Jesus was a carpenter. To ascribe wisdom to Him according to His occupation would have been degrading.

At what point in life did you realize your inner strength and fortitude?

There is a point in time in everyone’s life where our mettle is tested brutally. This test is pass or fail. There’s no in between. Often it comes at the heels of suffering a great loss. For me, that life defining moment came twice: when my mother died in 2001 and the other during the Spring of 2008. On both occasions, it tested everything I am. It took faith in God, belief in myself, experience and sheer guts to keep moving forward. Those two events changed my life forever.

Given the recent study done on U.S. Latina high school students’ drop-out rate of 41% , what’s your advice for Latina(o)/Hispanic students who are in high school or college? (This report addresses reasons for 41 percent dropout rate among Latina high school students http://bit.ly/2aNrYz )

Stay in school. I am adamant about education. It may sound cliche but knowledge is power.

What’s your advice for those who may have already dropped out of high school or college?

Try everything you can to get back in, no matter how difficult.

Why did you launch your business?

I always had a penchant for business. My mother was a master haggler. Naturally I followed suit. I could either work for others or for myself. I blended both. I work for my customer but ALL the money goes into my bank account.

What is your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)?

Good question! I’ve never been asked that question before today. My UVP is, oddly enough, similar to the mega-band KISS. When anyone attends a KISS concert, you get good music and a great show that kicks you in between the eyes – all for one price. Their CD’s go platinum and their shows sell out everytime worldwide. Their marketing is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. When a client calls Thinkrivera Technologies, they get most everything under the sun – Network Engineer, Web Designer, Internet Marketer, SEO Guru, Information Architecht – I have the ability to design and build the foundation, the network and cutting edge website including content. Not only that, I have close to 15 years experience with Fortune 500 companies. More bang for you buck. That allows me to be head and shoulders above my competitors.

KISS also has its hands in everything you can think off – from lunchboxes to coffins. That’s what I am doing now. I have a successful blog, The Latino Edge, which by the way jumped from 7400 readers to over 11,000 readers within three days of the re-launch. I also have a book in the works and I write aritcles for seven publications. My articles have been read in places like India and South Korea. Recently, I’ve guested/co-hosted an FM radio show called “Off the Kuf” hosted by Tom Sumner. We’re developing the show to take it national.

Describe your ideal client or project or give one or two case studies so that people can clearly understand how you’ve helped clients.

When I do an order for a client, my main thrust is to do it as efficiently as possible. I cut out all the frills and most of the overhead. For one client, an elite private school, I re-worked the code to a vital computer program, saving them thousands of dollars. For CB Richard Ellis, I helped move their Help Desk from NYC to Seattle, Washington, all online. For another client, I re-negotiated contracts and cut unnecessary services saving him $70,000.

What other services does your company provide?

I also do contract negotiations and technical writing.

How does your Latino heritage help you achieve your goals?

I was raised to do what it takes to get the job done. Period. No excuses. No fru-fru allowed. When I look back in Puertorican history, that’s exactly what my heroes did.

How did you hear about Latinos In Social Media (latism.org)?

Through Facebook. At first I thought it was just another hack job. I was so wrong. I was so impressed with their commitment to the Latino community. There are some organizations that are cheap boloney. LATISM is filet mignon, hands down.

What would you like to say to companies who are thinking of marketing to Latina(o)s/Hispanics but aren’t sure of what to do first?

Some of us are members of the Hispanic Chamber of E-commerce (www.hiscec.com). It’s all in the R&D. There’s plenty of statistics available to give an immense insight on our market. Forget the stereotypes. That’s a big no-no.

What would you like people to remember about you after you’ve passed on (many, many years from now)?

“If a broke down kid from Brooklyn, NY made it, so can we.” Also, when the chips are down, don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.

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Filed under Hispanic Heritage, Lori Gama

Hispanic Heritage: Claudia Goffan, CEO Target Latino

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month,  I’m featuring Latina and Latino leaders in my Social Networking blog. I asked my friends, who, actually feel more like my primas y primos (cousins) than “just” friends, to contribute their thoughts on Social Networking with Twitter.

We’re kicking off the celebration of our heritage with Claudia Goffan, president and CEO of Target Latino.

Claudia Goffon

Claudia Goffan

Today, September 16, 2009, LISTA (Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association announced that it named Target Latino as its Agency Of Record. Congratulations, Claudia! And congratulations, LISTA, on choosing a smart, creative, thought-provoking Latina to market your organization.

1.Why do you use Twitter?

I started using Twitter after a good friend of mine, a total SEO genius, asked me to give it a try. I was horrified at the fact that I had to limit myself to 140 characters but I gave it a shot. About one day later, I was hooked. Not only did I see its value for me and my consulting firm but also for my clients. Everybody has a different social media goal, Target Latino’s social media goal is to inform and educate onLatino Marketing, Advertising and Latino issues.

2. How is Twitter different than other Social Media websites, such as Facebook?

Twitter has a sense of urgency that other social media

sites don’t have. Everything happens now. And you need to know how to take advantage of that.

3. Describe your niche and please share how long it took you to find it, after joining Twitter (or perhaps you knew what it was before you joined).

See #1 – My social goal and the ones for my clients is well defined before entering the social media arena.

4. What are your top three tips for our readers as they begin to build their Twitter tribe?

First tip: Define your social media goal. What are you
about? What do you want to share with the world? What are you trying to accomplish? Second tip: Always be courteous and return the follows – If you do not want to follow somebody, don’t but don’t follow them and then unfollow for the sake of getting followers (that’s being a tease) Third tip: Be patient. Imagine you are at a party. Not everything happens on your schedule, right?


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5. What are your top three “never, ever do this” tips?

Never, ever spam. Never, ever tease. Never, ever get carried by emotions and say the “wrong” thing.

6. When do you take your Twitter relationships to the next level, either through actually meeting in person; or collaborating.

I usually follow my instinct. And usually you have a pretty good chance of seeing who the person is by following their tweets. You don’t get this opportunity, even in dating sites!!!

7. How do you manage your time for tweeting?

I like my tweets to be personal so I rarely schedule them (unless I am trying to help advertise a good event or worthwhile cause) I try to tweet first thing when I start my computer and then go back when I have a few minutes to spare. Same thing before going to bed. On the weekends, I try to prepare information as articles or postings on my blog to share through the week.

8. What are your top favorite tools to use that help you efficiently and smartly manage your brand through Twitter? For instance, do you do research by using search.peoplebrowsr.com to search the biographies with keywords? Seesmic or Peoplebrowsr or Tweetdeck? A virtual assistant?

I love Hootsuite. I can see my tweets and create a stream of my friend’s tweets so I can find out what they are up to. It really helps me bond!!

9. How are you monitizing Twitter?

It was never my intent to monetize Twitter for Target Latino, but I have been getting people asking for my expertise and consulting engagements. As far as my clients, I can tell you they are very happy with their results!!!

logotargetlatino10. What or who influenced you in a positive way, earlier in your life?

My mother. Youngest daughter of immigrants to Argentina. She is a retired dentist now but she always used to say to me: “Claudita, nothing in life is certain. But if you have a diploma under your wing you may not end up rich, but you will always have job security.”

11. Recently, a study done by MALDEF came out that proved that 41% of Latinas drop-out of high school in the U.S. What is your best advice to young Latinas, in middle school, high school?

You may not think it’s important. You may see many people getting rich with no studies. Not everybody gets so lucky. And think of it this way, if you are already brilliant, imagine how much more brilliant you will be if can back it up with knowledge. Keep on studying. Be a proud and accomplished Latina.

12. What is your best advice for teen-aged Latina mothers who dropped out of high school?

Having a child is a lot of work and you may not find the time to do anything else but take care of him or her and work to support yourselves, but this is 2009, you can enroll in school via the internet – take some short courses in things that interest you. You never know where it may lead and you may be pleasantly surprised!!!


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Filed under Hispanic Heritage, Latina Women In Business