Celebrating Latino Entrepreneurs in Global Elite Start-up Contest

As I reflected this past holiday weekend about the incredible year that 2011 has been for me and my family, I was struck by one thought: the most important gift resulting from my book launch, my speaking engagements and the many networking events I have attended around the nation, has been the opportunity to meet some tremendously interesting and accomplished people. Two of the most interesting are featured here, in an article I contributed to the Huffington Post. Titled “Latino Engineers Selected Among Global Elite Startups,” it celebrates a key accomplishment of the Martinez brothers of San Francisco. In a country spewing negative images of Latinos, these two engineers are shining bright. They, like so many others, are taking time to mentor high school students who need to see positive role models. They are an example for us all, plus they’re a couple of really fun people I am happy to call my friends. Enjoy!


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A Teaching Moment About the Green Economy

This post first appeared in the Huffington Post. I was inspired to write it by the hype and bad reporting that flooded the American media after the sudden bankruptcy of Solyndra, located just a few miles from my home in the San Francisco east bay. It’s intended to open eyes to the tremendous opportunities that exist, across many industry sectors, for those courageous change agents who will apply their talent and energy to improving on the status quo. Enjoy “A Teaching Moment About the Green Economy”!  Don’t forget to leave a comment there at HuffPost!



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The Buzz around Latinnovating is Building

I finally had a quiet day to reflect on achieving the milestone of publishing and launching my first book. The members of my publishing team at Thrive Publishing took me out to dinner recently to celebrate. One of them reminded me to “treat this project as a tasty meal, take time to slow down, savor the flavor and swallow.” So I finally am doing that.

Today I sat down to appreciate the great press that the book has gotten so far. The complete list of articles profiles and feature stories is here. Here are two highlights. Enjoy!


7-page feature story, Latino Leaders Magazine

7-page feature story, Latino Leaders Magazine

Latinnovating author profile, NSHMBA magazine


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Grateful for friends with Radio Shows

I was recently privileged to be invited on two radio shows to discuss my entrepreneurial mindset and the creation of Latinnovating. Dr. Arlene Barro and Daniel Gutierrez (a.k.a. Motivator Dan), both published authors and entrepreneurs themselves, were kind enough to host me for conversation. You can hear those interview here:

BlogTalk Radio Show with Daniel Gutierrez

“Storyteller Stars from WIN Without Competing! Propelled by Passion”, BlogTalk Radio Show with Dr. Arlene Barro

Thank you Arlene. Thank you Dan! I look forward to someday returning the favor!

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Surrounded by Excellence in Washington D.C.-a Gala and an award

Robert Bard and honorees at 2010 Gala

Last night, I was accompanied by an old friend and a new friend to receive the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the Anna Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund Gala and Dinner. This event hosted by LATINA Style Magazine honors several Latina business owners selected from a national pool of applicants. The event introduces us to the LATINA Style Magazine ecosystem and gives each honoree a chance to address a very supportive audience. It was a beautiful event of glamorous moments and I was blessed to be surrounded by amazing, business-savvy Latinas.

a silly moment on stage with fellow honorees Alba and Monika

Very special to me was the opportunity to sit next to the mother (Rita) of Anna Maria Arias. I got to hear childhood stories and learn much more about the late founder of the magazine who was intent on lifting up Latinas. Rita said to me, “My daughter is alive in you and in all acts you do for others.” I will always remember the chills I experienced when she said that to me.

my special guests Justine and Kimberly

My two invited special guests were Justine Cromer, my dear friend and fellow officer/aircraft navigator from my Air Force days and my new friend Kimberly Herrera from Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. I was honored that they came to enjoy the evening with me and to expand their own networks of accomplished people.

new friends - a new military officer and his lovely wife

In addressing the audience in my acceptance speech, I asked for help to get the stories within the pages of my upcoming book into the mainstream media. The events that have unfolded since I asked for this help have been quite extraordinary. These include an invitation to a private lunch where I was introduced to three congressmen and the Presidents and CEOs of several key leadership groups and media outlets.

“When you’re on the right track, the whole world conspires to help you.” I read that quote in a recent LATINA Style article that profiled the two women now holding the reins at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I’m finding out this indeed is true. I’m excited for what’s next!

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Branding Yourself

Last week, I presented a personal branding workshop to the members of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs San Jose and San Francisco chapters. The attendees were very engaged in the self-exploratory activities I offered and they all walked away with both their Unique Value Propositions drafted and their “brag bites”  (thanks to Peggy Klaus!) written down too.  More importantly, several of the audience members took me up on the chance to stand up in front of the group and introduce themselves using their new branding. We heard not boring, make-me-yawn introductions at that point–instead we heard authentic, memorable, differentiated words told in a story-like, conversational way. The slides are available here–just click the NSHMBA logo to get the pdf. If you, your employee affinity group, marketing staff or any other professional association needs to create or update your personal, product or corporate branding, please let me know.

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You, the Brand. National Society of Hispanic MBAs Professional Development Series

In one week, the San Jose chapter will host a unique professional development event called, “You, the Brand.” Cisco Systems, a strong supporter of NSHMBA San Jose, will provide the facility for what promises to be a memorable evening of activities and actionable tips.  I’m delighted to be the speaker for the evening.


Here’s the chapter’s description of the event and how to register. You can attend whether or not you’re a NSHMBA member. If you not yet a NSHMBA member, you’ll want to be when you join us!

What is unique about you?

In today’s environment it is more important than ever to develop a compelling personal  branding campaign to improve your marketability and increase your earning potential. Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 10th to hear from a distinguished NSHMBA member, Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, speak on the importance of personal branding.

Ms. Tiscareno-Sato who was recently awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from LATINA Style Magazine, is the Principal and Founder of Gracefully Global, a communications excellence firm, as well as an educational advocate and consultant. Ms. Tiscareno-Sato has also served as an officer and aircraft navigator on board the U.S. Air Force’s KC-135 refueling jet.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to use your unique attributes to distinguish yourself from the pack and manage your brand to achieve success!   Register Today!

Location: Cisco Systems Building 30, 707 Tasman Dr., Milpitas, CA

Thursday, June 10, 2010


6:30  – 7:00 Networking

7:00 –  8:00 Presentation

8:00 –  8:30 Networking

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Mission Successful: The Inaugural Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit

On May 15, 2010, author Frank Carbajal’s vision to gather prominent Latinos and Latinas to strategize for the next decade, was realized. The culmination of months of planning and pitching were at last finished and the Summit began. This event was a partnership between Frank, Hispanic-Net and Gracefully Global.

SVLLS organizers: Michael Lopez and Margarita Quihuis of Hispanic Net, Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, Prinicipal, Gracefully Global, Frank Carbajal, Founder Es Tiempo, LLC and author of "Building the Latino Future"

My role was two fold: all marketing messaging and media relations work ahead of the event to promote it and sell it out (which we did!) and panel moderator during the event.

150 people gathered at the Quadrus Conference Center in Menlo Park for the Inaugural Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit. I moderated the panel titled, “Latinos Leading with a 2020 Vision” which contained CEOs, a professor and two venture capitalists. We heard presentations from Professor Federico Subervi, author of The Mass Media and Latino Politics, from Dr. Robert Rodriguez, author of Latino Talent and Margarita Quihuis, Chairman of Hispanic-Net. Our keynote speaker was Rafael Anchia, Texas State Senator who some call the “Latino Obama” because he is a rising political star and a true stateman.

For those who missed this year’s summit, don’t worry–planning has already started for the 2011 Summit. To get an idea of what you missed, including the very relevant questions fielded by the panelists, please visit the SVLLS site. This will be the primary site for testimonials from those who attended, photos and videos of the day’s activities, and information for subsequent Summits in the Silicon Valley.

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A Cinco de Mayo surprise honor: LATINA Style Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award

On May 5th, I received an email surprise from LATINA Style Magazine publisher Robert Bard. In his letter, he informed me I had been selected as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the San Francisco Bay Area.  In his letter, he wrote, “You were nominated by our community partners and the co-chairs of the San Francisco Business Series event. You were selected for your lifetime achievements and your visibility as a true role model for our young women.”

My family and best friends at award luncheon

On May 13th, after participating in a panel session titled “Lessons Learned: Latina Entrepreneurs’ Financial Survival Guide,” I accepted the award at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. My husband, three children, au pair, my parents, two best friends, and my editor honored me with their presence.

Grace at podium during acceptance speech

I addressed the audience of 300 Latinas, all entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate professionals. I shared leadership lessons gained during my nine years of military service and shared stories of how I have applied those timeless lessons as a corporate professional, mother and entrepreneur. Judging by the audience reaction and the conversations I had with audience members after the luncheon, the words of wisdom I shared hit the mark–they took away leadership lessons they could use the very next day.

Graciela and LATINA Style President and Publisher Robert Bard

I was truly honored to be recognized in this way by LATINA Style Magazine, the premier national magazine addressing the needs of the Latina professional and business owner. The award plaque is beautiful:  a childhood picture of LATINA Style founder and visionary, the late Anna Maria Arias, with my name and award below. It will always remind me of this beautiful day and I will treasure it always. I look forward to meeting more spectacular people associated with LATINA Style at the national symposium in Washington D.C. in September.  Thank you Robert, Tania, Ines, Isabel and Aida for your roles in this award and event.

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San Leandro High Academy for Business and Finance

I’m excited to be attending this event tonight, where the Academy has teamed up with NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) to recognize youth entrepreneurs!  Bal  Theatre @ 14808 East 14th Street in San Leandro is the venue.

After the recognition ceremony, there will be a special screening of the documentary Ten9Eight – Shoot for the Moon. This is a thought-provoking film which tells the inspirational stories of several inner city teens (of differing races, religions, and ethnicities) from Harlem to Compton and all points in between, as they compete in an annual business plan competition run by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Join me?

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