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The Hispanic Professionals Networking Groups seeks to increase the visibility of Hispanic business professionals by fostering a great unity through networking opportunities. NEW YORK * MIAMI

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cena en Español

Mr. David Wolff is hosting his montly Cena en Español at Havana Central (151 W. 46th St, NYC) on February 7th at 5:30 p.m.

So if you want to practice your Spanish with other Spanish-speaking afficionados, feel free to join David and his crew from diverse backgrounds for mucho fun. You can contact David at: david_wolff64@hotmail.com.

Congratulations Felix Sension!

HPNG kicked off the year with another spectacular speaker, Mr. Felix Sencion, CEO of the Mundial Group. This month, Crain's NY announced its 40 Under 40 and Mr. Sencion made the list. Congratulations!

This month's host, Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1 Noticias' Pura Politica helped give our monthly networking event an extra kick by asking the questions that only a pro can ask and by facilitating Q&A from the attendees.

Seen at Scene: Mindy Figueroa, Will Rodriguez, Max Gacitua, David Wolff, Laura Martinez, Gustavo Carbajal, Dr. Gerardo Del Cerro, Carmen De Jesus, Adele Farina, Monica Gutierrez, Elvira Franco, Roy Williams, Tony Herbert, Denise Adams, Cesar Gomez, Mariana Lemann, Juan Aycart and many others.

Monday, January 22, 2007

In the Heights - A New Musical

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Results Are In

Thank you all who took the time to fill out the HPNG survey. We received great feedback, comments and yes, suggestions for improvement. All duly noted.

Below are some of the responses to the question, What Things Did You Like About the Events?

I've shared HPNG with many of my friends. I'm proud to be part of an organization that promotes the sharing of success stories in the lives of Hispanics in America.

Very well organized, great group of professionals of all ethnicities, especially Latinos.

I liked the time, location and emails with specific info about guest speakers and being able to sign up and see who is going. I thought the guest speakers, even if I did not attend, always sounded interesting and I felt that there was always the possibility of learning or meeting someone new. I think it's one of the best networking events simply because of its size, it's not overdone and you can meet everyone in a relatively short period of time rather than going to an event with 100 people.

The informality, the welcoming attitude, the eagerness of people to say hello, to get to know each other, and the speakers.

Socializing with Latino professionals like myself. I don't feel like an outsider.

The positive attitude and energy of those who attend.

Seeing Ali Curi with his big awesome smile welcoming everyone..He is what makes each event a successful one.
(**note: I swear I didn't make that one up!)

See you on the 25th!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Party Like a Rock Star!

My friend Robert, a casting director in NY, is casting a new show...hey you never know...


Hi Ali,

I am casting a new show for VH1. It's like "Flavor of Love," only the single guy is a sexy, hot 80's/90's metal-rocker.

If you know anyone interested in being interviewed for the show, send them my way. Here is the posting:


VH1 and the producers of THE SURREAL LIFE and MY FAIR BRADY bring you the hottest relationship show ever!

Are you one of those girls who likes the "bad boys"? Do guys in bands drive you wild? Do you like to party like a ROCKSTAR and now you are ready to date one? If so, then this is the show for you.

Twenty girls will live in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and compete for the love of one of the 80’S/90's HOTTEST ROCKERS. We are unable to announce who this single rocker is at this time, but he is the real deal. A famous, sexy, bad boy rocker. He was the lead singer of a famous 80’S/90's rock band and he still tours today.

If you are 21 and over and ready to party like a ROCKSTAR and FALL IN LOVE with one too, then email your photo, contact numbers, info and a bio to:

Robert Mazza, Casting Director

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Connecting Virtually - The Virtual Handshake

In 2005, I was fortunate to work with some extraordinary people who spend a lot of time on the blogosphere. David Teten and Scott Allen are two of those gentlemen.

The book they co-authored, The Virtual Handshake, gave me a theme and many of the topics I used to produce the conference Beyond Blogs and Social Networks.

Chapter 19 of the book offers practical tips on how to connect virtually using social networks such as LinkedIn.

HPNG offers its LinkedIn for Groups where you can find and connect with other HPNG people in NY and Miami.

Hmmm, coincidence?

Of course not. I learned a lot from David and Scott's book and now you can download it free from their website.



...guanxi, the networks of mutually beneficial relationships essential to success. In China, there's no such thing as a purely business relationship. Instead, you must blend formal relationships with personal ones, often on different levels. - Fast Company, June 2006

Chinese and Latinos have a lot in common it seems.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Help a Student Out

We can all related to the college student who goes through the hassle of finding a place. I hope someone will have a good lead to offer our buddy Gene Roman, a Columbia Univ. student, as he searches for a suitable home.

Single, Hispanic professional seeking studio or 1 bedroom apartment in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens area. Queries to Gene at gr2130@columbia.edu or 646-584-5627.

Thanks everyone!

Hell Bent

This post has nothing to do with HPNG, networking, workshops, events or parties.

Just a shout out to my cousin Jason Ryder in Seattle for having the courage to follow his passion and create some very funny art.

You go boy!

Hell Bent Comics


Building Relationship Skills Workshop

HPNG will present its first workshop of '07 on Feb. 15th. Since we raised the bar on networking events, we figured it's time to raise the bar on career development workshops as well.

So here it is:

HPNG PRESENTS: Building Relationship Skills Workshop

Our workshop leader, is the always dynamic Mariela Dabbah. She's presented this workshop for corporate clients such as HBO and Citigroup, and now we're excited to have her share these relationship building skills with us.

Invitations have not gone out yet and his info is not posted on HPNG website either, this is the sneak peek and pre-sale of registrations. Because we want to keep the group small and productive, we only have 40 spots available for this month's event.

Workshop Description
This workshop leverages your own skills while introducing ideas and strategies that can improve the quality and quantity of your relationships. You will engage in activities where you will test some of the techniques proposed.

Workshop Objectives
• To help you master the basic rules of developing long-lasting relationships that can be tapped for business.
• To provide hands-on strategies and techniques for developing and maintaining those relationships.

This is a half-day morning workshop (9 a.m. - 12 noon) and the workshop includes continental breakfast.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January Networking Event

This month's networking event will have a Guest Host leading the Q&A session with our Guest Speaker, Felix Sencion, CEO of the Mundial Group.

Juan Manuel Benitez was an obvious choice for several reasons. He was one of the founding members of HPNG, back when we were trying to figure out what value HPNG could bring to the Hispanic community. He's now a celeb of sorts with his own show, Pura Politica on NY1 Noticias. In his show, he gets to interview prominent politicians and grill them on the issues that affect all of us, Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike.

Since he's a pro at asking questions, I figured he would make a great male Cristina. Hope you can join us on January 25th.

January 25th - 6:00 pm
Elmo - downstairs lounge
156 Seventh Avenue
(btwn. 19th & 20th St)
Speaker: Felix Sencion, CEO
Mundial Group


Saturday, January 06, 2007

3 King's Day Pic

Juan Aycart, Creative Director, Crust Design, Ali Curi, President, HPNG, Roy Williams, Publisher, Moving Forward Magazine

Friday, January 05, 2007

Estilo 2007 - Republica Style

Our pals at Republica Trading Company promised a great lineup of sunglasses for '07, and boy did they deliver! Check out Estilo 2007.

Of course, their slick lineup of
Urban Latino chic is always a hit with us. Happy New Year Mr. Jimenez, cool stuff!

Congratulations Jose Marquez!

Mr. Marquez does it again with another spectacular 3 King's Day celebration at Sol last night.

HPNG congratulates the honorees, Ana Carbonell and Adolfo Carrion for their contributions to the Hispanic Community.

Thank you LISTA for bringing together a diverse group of Latinos to celebrate in the Holiday spirit, while your efforts with the toy drive will bring happiness to many children.

SEEN AT THE SCENE: Laura Martinez, Adele Farina, Deborah Garcia, Miguel Lopez, Carlos Capellan, Roy Williams, Tadeo Silva, Sara Alvarez, Wilda Escarfuller, Erik Mayor, Bill Simone, Raquel Narvaez, Rev. Carmen Hernandez, Tony Wong and many, many others...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's Time to LISTA!

I was told (repeatedly) that I didn't include a cost to tonight's LISTA's 3 Kings Day and Toy Drive.

The suggested donation is $25.00 + an upwrapped toy

Here's the address again:

609 W. 29th street
(btw. 11th and 12th)
New York, NY

6:30 PM – 11:30 PM
And yes, you can pay at the door.
See you all tonight!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

LinkedIn Tipping Point

Excerpt from Scott Allen's excellent blog on all things LinkedIn:

Jason Calacanis Hits Personal LinkedIn Tipping Point

By Scott Allen on LinkedIn Success Stories

Jason Calacanis (Weblogs, Inc. founder and now SVP of AOL in charge of the Netscape product) says in his blog that LinkedIn, which was once an “annoying distraction” has now become for him an “essential business tool”. He recounts the story of posting a job recently via LinkedIn:

Anyway, I used to put Linked into the same bucket because I was constantly hit up for introductions and friend requests to the service. A couple of years later I now have almost 2,000 connections and I’m finally getting value you from the service.


Well, they have an amazing job posting service where you can post the job on LinkedIn for around $150 and then it gives you the option of sending the not to people on your contact list. For someone like me that means I get to send to my best contacts easily.…Anyway, after sending that email/
posting the job out last night I got back–I kid you not–250 emails. That’s like a 10-15% response rate.

Now, only 50 of them had to do with the job (the rest were “how you doing!” kind of emails), but the 50 I got back were so fracking targeted it was INSANE. Best $150 I’ve ever spent. Much better than HotJobs or Monster that’s for sure.

That’s exactly it, Jason. Now start thinking about how you can apply that same concept to other situations — finding potential strategic alliance partners, experts to help with a particular niche problem you’re having, supporters for a cause you’re championing, etc. — whatever personal and professional goals you’re trying to accomplish that other people can help with.

And, of course, by participating in LinkedIn, you’re in the position to do the same for them.

* Ali's note: This would be especially useful for those recruiters and HR managers looking for qualified Hispanic candidates in the HPNG network.

Happy New Year from HPNG!!

2007 begins...and like a sunrise of a new day, a New Year brings new hope...

Excerpt from the
Get A Life! ezine by Pamela Stewart/Slim

12 Ways to be More Free in 2007.

If there is any defining value in my life, it has to be freedom.

I define living a life with freedom as acting with joy, not obligation, honest expression, responsibility for choices and not taking direction from any external oppressive force.

I learned to truly appreciate freedom after having some life experiences where I gave up my freedom and allowed myself to feel trapped, oppressed, resentful, afraid and smothered. What I learned from that experience is that I was the only one who could grant myself freedom. No one can oppress you without your permission.

Here are some areas in which you can feel more free this year:

1. Freedom from comparing yourself to others.
Most of us have probably glanced longingly at the woman in the supermarket aisle with the perfectly coiffed hair and well-tones glutes and said "She looks so much better than me!" Or envied the business competitor who tends to get all the right clients or press, or has the best-looking website. Evaluation is healthy; comparison will always make you feel you are lacking. Instead of pointing out 10 ways you don't measure up to others, point out 10 ways you are gloriously, perfectly, uniquely and deliciously special.

2. Freedom from unhealthy relationships.
Truly, life is too short to spend bickering with a significant other or spouse that is demeaning, cruel or abusive. If there is a true chance to work things out in a healthy way, go forth by all means necessary. If there is no hope, find the nearest exit door and get on with your life.

3. Freedom from regret.
All of us have done things in our life that we regret. Maybe we were lousy teenagers or parents or spouses. Maybe we screwed up our credit score. Maybe we took two decades to get out of an unhealthy relationship. Maybe we drowned our sorrows in a bottle. Whatever you did, or didn't do in your past, make peace with it and let it go. There is not one thing you can do today to change it except to make up for lost time and live the very best life you can live. If you continually beat yourself up for what you did in the past, it will poison your motivation and frankly make you kind of a bummer to be around. As Cher's character said to Nicholas Cage's character in the movie "Moonstruck" (after slapping him hard across the face) "Snap out of it!"

4. Freedom from clutter.
Piles and stacks of junk everywhere in your home, garage, office and car can make you feel, well, junky! Clear out your spaces and feel a surge of energy, clarity and peace. If the task is overwhelming, hire a professional organizer. That way, in addition to clearing your current mess, you can put systems in place to ensure new messes won't occur in the future.

5. Freedom from financial chaos and dread.
If your finances are in disarray, chances are you feel stressed, inferior, ashamed or out of control. Nothing will change by burying your head in the sand. Get help. Find a financial adviser or counselor who will walk you step by step through a process of organizing, planning and stabilization. I guarantee that no matter how dire your situation seems, you can recover and flourish.

6. Freedom from drama.
I don't know if we learn it from soap operas or over the top reality shows, but some of us choose to live in a perpetual state of drama. We choose bad boy men who break our hearts. We get involved in the daily struggles of friends and family members who are always in crisis. We gossip about co-workers. If you have a need for drama, channel it productively. Make a movie. Write a provocative blog. See a Broadway show. Stop letting all your time and energy be sucked up by petty crises. When you do, you will find all kinds of energy to devote to real growth and development.

7. Freedom from couch or computer butt.
You have one body. You may cajole it into sitting for 18 hours a day in front of a computer by feeding it coffee, Mountain Dew, Frito's and chocolate, but sooner or later it will rebel. You will feel uncomfortable bulges rolling over your pants. You may be plagued by tension headaches or sore shoulders or back pain. Be kind to your body and do your best to eat well and exercise. You don't need to run a marathon, just start with baby steps. Walk around your block. Go outside for lunch. Do a sit up or two while watching television. Just make exercise part of your daily routine.

8. Freedom from a manic pace.
There is a reason why many people start out their vacations sick. We schedule our lives so much we don't have time to stop and breathe. Our poor kids get dragged along, with back to back tutoring sessions, sports activities and music lessons. Cut back your schedule by 25%. Only choose activities that give you and your family energy and happiness. Hire others to help out in the office or around the house. The free time will allow you to think more clearly, be more creative and be healthier.

9. Freedom from perpetual dissatisfaction.
Related to the manic pace, we often think that life will get better next week, next month or next year. If you find yourself saying "I will be happy when... (I find the perfect man or woman), (I pay off all my debts), (I move to a bigger house), (whatever your favorite is), I have news for you: Wherever you go, there you are. The key is to cultivate gratitude and happiness right now, in this moment. This state will then accompany you to whichever goals or milestones you set out for yourself. When you stop and think about it, it is a profound miracle that you are alive. All that stands between life and death is breath. When it is gone, you are. So savor the feeling of the air going in and out of your lungs. Thank your eyes and hands for everything they do each day. Pretty soon, you will be so enthralled by the daily miracles of life that you can't help but smile.

10. Freedom from the elusive dream.
You may have a deep longing for something that seems unattainable. Maybe you have been pining for the perfect man for 12 long years, meanwhile dating a string of lukewarm romeos. Maybe you have been trying to have a child for many years and feel deep sadness and angst that it isn't working. Maybe you have invested tons of time and tens of thousands of dollars in an endeavor that never seems to take off. There is nothing wrong with having big dreams. But if your obsession about them becomes too great, you will drive all the joy out of your life. Take the opposite tact for awhile. Let the idea go. Say clearly and directly "I am a happy and healthy person all by myself. I don't need Joe Perfect or a baby to make me complete. I am perfect and whole just the way I am." As the irony of life works, often at the moment when you surrender and let go, just the thing that you wanted saunters into your life.

11. Freedom from playing small.
It can be comfortable to be the behind-the-scenes person making things happen for movers and shakers. It is easy to say things like "I only need to make this much per year to be comfortable." It can feel safe to make your dream of becoming an author, or a speaker or an entrepreneur a pleasant daydream, that you savor and imagine as you are walking through your staid and boring life in a cubicle. But as Marianne Williamson said so well, "Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around us." Now is the time to step from behind the curtain and show your true self to the world. Although it may be a bit scary, there is nothing that will make you feel more free and powerful. Play big this year.

12. Freedom from work you detest.
This last area of freedom is where I have chosen to put all my effort and attention this year. Although work is certainly not our entire life, it is an activity that takes up most of our time, mental energy and effort. No one is forcing you to do work you hate. Why don't you decide to do something about it this year? Take a career development class, join an interesting job or career forum, make a concrete business plan or hire a coach. Commit to making progress on your work life every week, and every month. The more you get clear about what kind of work would make you happy, the more likely you are to find and attain it. Don't let your valuable talents and skills stew in a toxic soup again this year. Change your work, change your life.