Jaime Ortiz, President of the NYS Chapter of The Black & Latino Council Is Slowly Building A New Movement That Will Provide The Skills and Resources Communities Need To Succeed
Thanks to Natalie Gary, a lady doing a lot of great things as a minority business and as a community activist, we recently we had the good fortune of catching up with Mr. Jaime Ortiz to discuss his mission as President of the NY Chapter of the Black & Latino Council. They provide businesses and community groups with the skills, resources and networking opportunities to win. After talking to Jaime for about an hour we were truly convinced that he was confident and sincere about helping the organization accomplish its short and long term goals. It is rare to meet an organization that understands the importance of social responsibility and that to be a winner in business and life you have to always put the people before profit. We will now share some of his words of wisdom with you so you can better understand the history, objectives and goals of the group.
Q— Where did you grow up and now reside?
A— I grew up in a town called Bethpage. A lot of history in Bethpage, like Grumman where the Lunar Module that landed on the Moon was built and also the championship golf course that has hosted the US Open twice as well. Most importantly I grew up at a time when my family was one of three Hispanic Families in Bethpage. I still live in the same house.
Q— Briefly tell me about your educational background and business history?
A— Well I went to school in Bethpage and left High School in search of fame and fortune. At the time I was working as a graphic artist and working in night Clubs as a disco disc jockey and an original member of the Long Island Disco DJ’s under the direction of Jackie McCloy. Did a few college courses but never finished. I did grow up working for my Father who was a partner in a marketing communications design studio in Manhattan and was always surrounded by very creative people like artists, photographers and writers. Sukon Studios was the most coolest place to grow up with. That’s why it was an easy transition to music and performing arts.
Literally growing up on Madison Ave. and working with ad and marketing people made me hip to being in touch with general marketing and main stream applications. I also knew that my culture was going to need to seek an identity of its own amongst the vastly growing Hispanic cultures. Working as a graphic artist, photographer, creative copy writer, art director and producer of film documentaries are among up to this point my accomplishments to date.
Q— What are some of the most important projects that you have worked on in the past?
A— I would have to say that working for the Gift of Life Program was the most important project to date and let me explain why. The Gift of Life is a program that saves children’s lives by providing life-saving open heart surgery to children worldwide. It started with a letter from Grace, an African child needing help and reaching out to the Manhasset Rotary Club and that was back in 1978. Since then the program has provided over 8,000 life-saving surgeries for over 40 years and saving children from 40 countries. I had designed and produced at least 20 marketing campaigns including celebrity represented dinner dances, three 1,000 mile runs which were represented by Law enforcement, one of which started on September 11, 2001 in Chicago and ended in New York City. I’ve traveled to Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to screen children with Doctors from various organizations so that we can save their lives. My latest involvement was helping Genesis, a child from Belize who came to the New York Area for open heart surgery – her sponsors were the Rotary Club from Newtown Conn. in memory of the children lost in the violent gun massacre – they are hoping to save a child for each child lost that day.
Q— As the President of the New York Chapter of the National Black & Latino Council can you tell me about the company, its mission and goals?
A— First and foremost the mission of the National Black and Latino Council is all about the business success for our members. Creating relationships and providing a gateway that would otherwise not be realized before between corporate America, midsize companies and small businesses. That realization and visualization stimulates national economic growth. In this country it’s business first then we can address social issues as a society. Ultimately as we gather strength and power this will translate into negotiation power; simple formula. Political Structure can only be achieved by unity and leadership. By stepping up to the plate with a commitment to leadership we can and will create trust which then generates and translates into a unity never realized before now.
Q— Name a few of the companies and/or partners that are on board?
A— Well our national relationships with corporate America are explained clearly with the participation of guess speakers at our BLACK, BROWN & GREEN supplier diversity summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August on the 25th to the 27th, 2014. We have some of the most powerful keynote and workshop speakers from corporate America addressing diversity in the workplace as well as diversity in doing business with strategically aligned minority businesses. Coca-Cola, Hilton Worldwide, UPS and AT&T just to name a few. For more information just visit www.blacklatinocouncil.org, there you can find a wealth of information related to our national structure.
Q— Are there any hot new projects that you are now working on that we need to know about?
A— On the local level my handpicked support and management teams are busy at work promoting the New York chapter and scouting new locations for future events. My Vice President Alvin Hartley is on it and hitting the streets securing supporters and sponsors and launching our Ambassador Program that will link local business and entrepreneurs to corporations and local government for expansion and to promote healthy and green business growth.
Q— Do you have any upcoming events planned, if so, when and where?
A— The National Black & Latino Council – New York Chapter – is excited to announce its next Business to Business Mixer on July 17, 2014. We will be meeting at “Bracco’s” on the Nautical Mile in Freeport, LI. The event will start at 6:00pm and continue till 8:00pm. We will be serving tasty hot appetizers, cold soft drinks and there will be cash bar. Please mark your calendar. Invitations will be sent by e-mail and you will be able RSVP at Eventbrite after July 6, 2014. This is an Indoor/Outdoor venue so dress is “Beach Business Casual.” We have limited Boat slips (10-12) available if you would like to come by boat no tie up fee. Bring plenty of Business Cards (at least 100). We also have sponsorship opportunities available for this event if you’re interested. After our event we will continue to have fun at the invitation of Jerry, owner of “Bracco’s,” with Live Entertainment, DJ and “Ladies Night.”
Q— How do you see your company working to address the needs of the community?
A— Well by Promoting local business which really translates to education of the business owner who then gets to meet community leaders which creates a dialog and forum that can be presented and represented. So the basic statement here and key is Education.
Q— How can you help address the gun and gang violence that is destroying our youth and young adults?
A— Just the words “guns and gang violence” are in itself dangerous and intimidating and for me as a community activist, which I’ve always been, is a tough issue to address. Without positioning myself to a one dimensional position you have a bunch of different synergies working against our youth starting with parents trying to make ends meet by working multiple jobs and not giving the love and guidance growing children really need. I know who’s interviewing me but billions of dollars are being spent on videogames which glamorize violence, movie and television programming and a certain genre of music that also bombard our youth with lyrics. Youtube imaging is promoting a kind of street culture that is somehow viewed as the norm and something to emulate; it’s not really a culture I would want for my children. It’s not about getting high but more about getting smart, without illegal drugs there would not be a reason for gang existence. Now, that being said, communication and mentoring come into play as we are all responsible for overseeing the welfare and safety of the youth of our village.
Q— What are you offering that would make someone join your group?
A— Giving opportunities a chance to happen! Even though we live in a hi-tech, internet driven, information overloaded and finically challenged society. Business people thrive in social/business settings so it’s only natural that that our organization is growing so quickly. We have a great formula for our events. You really need to experience one of our events to understand the chemistry that happens; it’s a very energizing experience. Right now as we grow the organization we are not charging for membership but we are asking companies to step up to the plate with spotlight event sponsorships and making an investment in certain programs short and long term so that they can brand and align their company and services with exploding market specific organization. Get onboard while you can, we will be establishing a membership program in the near future.
Q— What are your toughest challenges?
A— My challenge is all about time management and the pursuit of the next person and or company getting involved with our organization. We are exploring having events all over the state and this year we will be hitting the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. I love meeting people and once I shake hands and look straight into there eyes I own their attention and the next thing I hear is how can I get involved. I don’t want to sound like a shark it’s most certainly the opposite It’s about respect and understanding and listening to what are people’s needs and objective in pursuing success.
Q— Can you offer some words of wisdom to those looking to start their own business?
A— Starting your own business – Think like a Boy scout and Be Prepared – Stuff happens and you still need to be positive, friendly and open minded it’s easier said than done.
Q— How does someone get in touch with you if they want to know more about you company or your many projects?
A— Please visit us at: www.BlackLatinoCouncil.org.
For more information on the NYS Black and Latino Council hit us up at RandyKFisher@gmail.com.
Posted by Charles and Randy Fisher (Twitter @HHSYC).