Since I started going to HIspanicize (Hispz), one of the wonderful things I’ve loved about this digital influencer conference is that you just never know who you’ll meet – from celebrities, to musicians, to TV personalities, to other digital influencers you’ve only gotten to know online. This year of course, was no different.
Heck, first conference in 2012 I got to sit across and meet Gina Rodriguez (2015 Golden Globe winner and star of Jane the Virgin), which has made it easy for us to reconnect in years since.
This year, living legend, Don Francisco – the Chilean TV host of Sabado Gigante (variety show on Univision) – kicked off the celeb encounters during his Latinovator lunch hosted by Cricket – #Cricketeo.
For those of us who’s parent’s still watch this show, it was definitely cool to see him on stage, excited about being there with us, imparting things he learned along the way. Here are a few inspirational insights that stuck with me.
- Reinvention at any age is possible. Don Francisco began his career here in the states when he was 46.
- Perseverance is the key to success
- Inclusion is the most powerful way to grow.
- Be conscious of your responsibility as communicator – be honest, responsible and help your community – possibly via social good campaigns. In 2014 he helped Teletón Chile raise raise $54 million and believes all charities can benefit from the power behind social media.
What was even cooler is that he shared his experience on his show that Saturday. Here’s what he shared.
And then you never know who you’ll see just walking around at Hispz. I ran into Alexia Echevarria, Cast Member Real Housewives of Miami.
Then my fab and gorgeous friend, Pili Montilla – Te Para Tres host, came up to me to remind me of a great moment we shared in that very spot last year. We were all smiles, so we decided to commemorate it with this fab pic.
Words cannot express how much I love & admire this beautiful soul thanks for being you @pilimontilla
Even Miss USA – Nia Sanchez was there with United Healthcare’s #MyHealthyHabits campaign, sharing her story, along with some pretty cool self defense moves. She not only has beauty and brains, but she is a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo and loves teaching self defense to empower women to take their safety into their own hands.
Then it was Luis Guzman’s turn and he shared that acting was just something he did part-time. His full time gig was being a social worker – who knew? But once I heard him speak, I understood where his heart and soul came from.
Here are some of his inspirational words for us as a community.
- I’m not looking for the acceptance of Hollywood. We can’t wait for Hollywood to accept us. – And then he referenced the success Tyler Perry has had in making his way in Hollywood.
- We shouldn’t make Latino movies for Latino audiences, we should make them for the universe.
- Latinos are the biggest movie goers and yet we don’t support our own movies! Let’s support each other and make things happen. It’s up to us to do it on our own.
- We gotta stop the backstabbing and come together like the community that we are.
- We as Latinos need to stick together. We can all make a difference together. We can’t be ignored anymore
- Be humble and never forget where you came from because there’s another kid who wants to look up to you as a role model.
- When you’re in a position to make a difference, please make a difference.
- When things don’t work out, It’s not a failure it’s a growing process
- Be committed to learn as much as you can and ask questions
- Take care of your mind, body and soul
Then came the uber handsome William Levy and the Toyota #VayamosJuntos campaign and panel. It was during the panel session that we got to learn more about how Toyota decided on the commercial concept and how William Levy has become as successful as he’s been so far in his career. Hear it in his own words here.
And then it was time to get in for my close up.
Again, great sessions filled with wonderful memories. What more can you ask for?
What’s your – you never know who you’ll meet – story?
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All I have to say is…oh my WOW! LOVE all of the people you have met!!! One of my favorite perks of being in social media is most definitely all of the great media influencers we get to meet! Especially those like Don Francisco, who we grew up with and admire! Great moments captured by you at the conference over the years.
Thanks Connie! Totally agree, love the perks 😆