CDW is excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and share the voice of our coworkers. Our Business Resource Group, Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Achievement (HOLA) will be celebrating all month with a variety of professional development events for our coworkers.
We sat with Samuel Perez, Director Western Distribution; Angel Arzet, Proposal Specialist & Communications for HOLA; Yolanda Blomquist, Deputy Program Manager; and Mayra Archilla-Barton, Manager Business Partners & Chair of HOLA, to learn what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them and to hear their career advice for other Hispanic professionals.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Samuel Perez (SP): I see Hispanic Heritage Month as a way for the Hispanic community to share their culture and experiences with the masses. This is something that can happen at any point in time and we can use our experiences and unique differences to help add value at any time of year, but Hispanic Heritage Month helps to add a spotlight to it all.
Angel Arzet (AA): It means intentionally reflecting on the struggles and triumphs of Latino/Latina pioneers who have paved the way for people like myself. We must learn to be grateful for what others have directly and indirectly done for us and take nothing for granted. This year, Hispanic Heritage Month takes on even more significance for me as my son just turned two. I hope to be a voice that reminds him that his background matters and that he has value to bring to the world being Hispanic American.
How do you celebrate your heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month?
AA: I celebrate my heritage by doing the things I do every day—trying my best to be my authentic self and having pride in who I am and my heritage. I also celebrate by making a conscious effort to speak Spanish in public and not just with family.
Yolanda Blomquist (YB): I use this time to figure out more about my family heritage and get another piece of information that brings me closer to all my family, past and present.
Mayra Archilla-Barton (MAB): I celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month with rice and beans! Growing up, rice and beans were always at the dinner table. It brings back many memories of when I lived in Puerto Rico, where I was born and raised.
Why is HOLA involvement important to you?
SP: Involvement with HOLA is important because this is a group that helps to hone in on what makes the Hispanic community at CDW thrive and looks for ways to share experiences, enhance skills and make us all more valuable professionals all while focusing on our cultural roots. Like all CDW’s BRGs, HOLA strives to be an inclusive environment for all coworkers.
YB: HOLA involvement has provided me an opportunity to not only meet great people, but to get exposure to events and projects that may have been otherwise impossible. I have learned so much about myself and I hope to continue learning and growing with HOLA.
MAB: Involvement in HOLA is important to me because the sense of community and support of each other is second to none. Involvement in HOLA is also important to me because this is how I pay it forward. It is a way to appreciate those that have contributed to my professional and personal growth, along the way, I do my best to elevate others.
What career advice do you have for Hispanic professionals?
SP: Be genuine, humble yet confident in your abilities, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Develop your skills by taking on new experiences and learn from every interaction. When risks and new opportunities present themselves, you’ll be ready to tackle them!
AA: Be true to yourself and then to others, opportunities and success will follow.
YB: I really recommend joining HOLA to have the chance to meet a wide range of people from all departments of the company. This really does provide you with an opportunity to learn about other departments and gain appreciation for all the people involved in servicing our customers.
MAB: You are supposed to be here.
Embrace all of yourself.