Earlier this summer we co-hosted a panel with Critical Mass Radio Show that discussed diversity in business. It was an energetic event that covered a wide range of topics all dealing with the promise of diversity. Continue reading
Last week I met one of our students, David Beltran. He is a member of one of our Student Consulting Teams and their client just happens to be his mother, Adela Beltran. David told me a little bit about her and I was very impressed with what she has accomplished in her life. David was even kind enough to send us a short biography of her along with some pictures of his award winning, entrepreneur of a mom. Here is the entrepreneurial story of Adela Beltran with some pictures of her meeting with our Student Consulting Team.
Adela Beltran has an incredible story. To this date, she has managed to earn the respect of her peers and influential people in her industry. Her journey began in La Barca, Jalisco. At the young age of eight, she started running her family’s small market so that her brothers and sisters could pursue an education. She worked at the register, and learned to purchase and stock the inventory. She would soon manage the stores finances entirely. But still, after all her hard work; her large family continued to struggle financially.
As a teenager, she had dreams of having a family of her own, and earning her own financial stability. She wanted to provide her kids with the opportunities that she wished she had growing up- the chance to be a doctor, a lawyer, or even a senator. Finally, at the age of 19, she convinced her mother and grandmother to come to the United States in order to fulfill her dream. Her family moved, but soon after, they were hit with the harsh reality that it was not as easy as it sounds to make money in the United States; nonetheless, she would still accomplish her goals.
She found a job sewing cloths at a factory working hours on end. She made no more than the bare minimum at the time, but she caught the attention of her employer by proving to be self motivated and competent. Still, this was not the America she had dreamt about. During her employment at the factory, she had three children and took every opportunity to educate herself. She enrolled in English and a typing class at the local community college and asked questions whenever she could. Along the way, she asked a friend of hers, who had owned a wholesale clothing store in Los Angeles’ Fashion District if she could buy some cloths at wholesale. He agreed and she started on her path as an entrepreneur.
She sold those clothes everywhere she went: on the bus, door to door, at school, and at work. After a few years, she saved enough money to start a few businesses. She tried ventures ranging from a travel agency, clothing boutique, land lord and then finally took a somewhat bigger risk. She opened a car dealership. The first lot was located in East Los Angeles on Atlantic called America Auto Sales. The dealership grew and she quickly established a large base of loyal clients. Her clients were so loyal in fact, that they consistently recommended friends and other family members to buy cars from her. She took her strong work ethic into this business and worked with banks to approve people who had a difficult time getting approved at other dealerships, and eventually carried some of the loans herself. This sort of diligence lead her dealership to be one of the top sellers on the Avenue. Adela was no stranger to obstacles, but one would come that would define a new paradigm in her life.
Early in the year 2000, the county issued eminent domain in order to remove Adela from her business location. The county was soon going to be build a new school on the site where she had a successful growing business. She was forced to find a completely different location, and fast. After much searching, she found a vacant lot in Downey. Though intimidated by the large size of the lot, was reminded of the dream she had when she was younger as well as the many jobs she could create in this new location. Quickly, she found out that with this lot too, there were obstacles to overcome.
There was already a company in the process of purchasing the property. However, she also discovered that the city had been hesitant on approving the construction because the company in question was a storage facility which they didn’t want on a main boulevard. Adela went quickly into action. She had an architect draw up plans for a new and beautiful dealership, and pitched the idea to the city council. The council approved her idea, and she was able to find her new location within the time frame that she was being kicked out of her original lot.
A few contractors, tons of headaches and two years later, the construction project was finally completed. The aesthetics of the building are now recognized by locals as being a thing of beauty and definitely a gem in the city of Downey. As a proud resident and business owner in the city, Adela continues to show her commitment to improving the growing Latino community by having her dealership serve as a polling location for elections, contributing to Warren High School’s soccer and football team, and participating as a sponsor in various community events such as Downey’s annual Holiday Parade.
Thank you David for that wonderful story and we wish you and your family all the best in the future! If you want to find out a little bit more about Adela Beltran’s business click here.
According to web researcher Nielsen/NetRatings, “Hispanics represent the fastest growing ethnicity on the web”. Some analysts have previously characterized Hispanics as slow adopters of online services; new survey data indicates a dramatic change.
While Caucasian web users remain 90% of the marketplace, Hispanic web users in the US are growing faster than previously thought. Nielsen/NetRatings reports that “nearly 7.6 million Hispanics accessed the Internet in June, a 13% jump over last year when 6.7 million did so.”
What this means to marketers is the opening of a new channel of communication with a very large demographic group. This in turn will require new marketing messages that will appeal to the Hispanic audience.
John Bradley Jackson
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship