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Monday, December 5, 2011

Coca-Cola Tour: Adelante Los Angeles

What did I do with my Saturday?  

I joined more than 300 Southern California Latinas and attended the Coca Cola Tour: Adelante Los Angeles Forum. A wonderful event created to ignite a national movement to improve our lives.  

The Adelante Tour is created by Latina inspirational speaker and media entrepreneur Nely Galán (“The Swan”, “Celebrity Apprentice”), in association with Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence (CMI), the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs and Coca-Cola.  

Sounds fun right? Well it got better!

Bel, Elia and I arrived bright and early in the morning at the beautiful Casa del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica on the beach, overlooking the beautiful ocean.  Equally beautiful was the conference room - very luxurious.  

Casa del Mar Hotel on the beach

the conference room but not wedding decorated

Before the event even started we were treated to red carpet pictures, what a great way to kick off the day. At least for me it is :)

Elia Esparza, Kikey Castillo and Bel Hernandez 

Kikey Castillo

After a decaf cup of coffee and eyeballing the beautiful continental breakfast spread (can't have sugar right now) we found our seats and readied ourselves for whatever was to come.  

Naibe, Kikey, Bel and Elia

During the day we got to hear from very inspirational, wise and empowering women.  The three key speakers were:

Sandra Cisneros, acclaimed novelist, poet, educator and Latina advocate who has been awarded the MacArthur Genius Award, will lead the Begin (Empieza) segment of the Program. 

This mujer is COOL, she is very spiritual and metaphysical in a mother earth sort of way. She spoke my language. 

Nely Galán first generation Latina and self-made media mogul, who was the first Latina president of a U.S. TV network (Telemundo), Emmy Award-winning producer of over 600 episodes of television in Spanish and English, including the hit reality series “The Swan” and the only Latina to appear on Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.  She will lead the Continue (Sigue) segment of the program.

Whoa, I love this woman! What a tour de force...what a life (good and bad).  She really made me feel like anybody can achieve greatness you just have to want it bad enough and do something about it to get it.  

Nely at the podium 

Nell Merlino, Founder and President of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day, will lead the Arrive (Llega) portion of the Forum.  Merlino’s mantra is:  “Before you grow your business, you need to grow yourself.”  Her segment focused on building financial strength and discovering what you really want. 

I was in a bit of an awe to meet the woman behind 'Take Our Daughters to Work Day' 

The great day was topped off with a great treat for me!  I got interviewed by 2 media outlets: CNN en Espanol (thank you Naibe) but I totally feel like I butchered it as I got nervous speaking Spanish off-the-cuff and trying to sound intelligent LOL and for Coca-Cola Tour: Adelante (in English, went MUCH better!) 

Media interview for Coca-Cola Tour: Adelante

And that's how I spent my Saturday.  It was a nice change from my usual running errands or hanging out and I felt ALIVE, EMPOWERED and INSPIRED - I'd say, not a bad way to spend my Saturday!

And here is the CNN en Espanol interview, where I actually came off sounding not too shabby!

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