I want to share my speech
For my award "The Member of Year 2013" for Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber
"Buenas Noches y Gracias a todos por venir hoy …I am very humbled, since the candidates for this award have such a superb entrepreneurial spirit and successful background, and they are all role models for our community here in Contra Costa, so I was very honored by being nominated together with
|Scooped by Douglas A Lezameta|
Member of Year 2013 Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
I want to share my speech
I first want to thank Johnny Huang, President of the Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Ray Villanueva, Vice President, for the leadership and support . I am witness of their dedication and commitment to this institution and to us all. I also want to thank the Staff and Board members of this great organization, without you all our efforts and ideas would be just that, efforts and ideas, you turn them into reality, and then some.
Transitions are always challenging, especially when you are taking the baton from proven Olympic-quality runners like Eric Maldonado and Ed Basaldua, my friends and former Presidents of this proud organization. They both set a thunderous pace towards lofty yet achievable institutional goals. But make no mistake that this is a long run, a marathon, and I am convinced John and Ray and the entire team of Board members and Staff of today will continue the victorious path to institutional glory and unparalleled service to the Latino entrepreneurs and the community that is in the blood, in the DNA of this Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of our beloved Contra Costa County.
I am the Executive Director of RENACER, a nonprofit organization I cofounded back in 2009, an idea resulting from the kind mentorship of our friend Tim Rios from Wells Fargo, to whom we will always be indebted. This nonprofit work is a natural consequence of all my previous work in social responsibility and philanthropy, which started in Peru, my country of birth, and continued here in the US, in support of the victims of major natural disasters in Peru and benefitting children suffering from disabilities in the San Francisco Bay. RENACER’s mission is simply to help Create Value for All Forever…how we do that? well, initially by means of enabling the growth and access to resources to Hispanic small business owners in disadvantaged situations operating in underserved markets in CA, all wrapped in green, sustainable business principles…. but the real target is to help establish sustainable, social and environmental sound clusters of economic development in every region of this beautiful State, empowering the role of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in the process. We did not create this model..we just adapted it to the realities of Hispanic entrepreneurs.
So why and how is that a nonprofit enterprise, or the officer of a nonprofit enterprise can win an award from a Chamber of Commerce?? Isn’t it commerce, or trade, opposed to being a nonprofit organization?? Well, that was the thought back then in the 20th century…but now we are in the 21st century, and we humans tend to learn and discover things as we grow….we have learnt that indeed, a nonprofit enterprise is exactly that, an enterprise like any other, and it has to be managed as such…it has to have a mission, goals and objectives, and it has to have a bottom line, a financial bottom line, because as you all know, we cannot save anyone if we cannot save ourselves first…in other words, without that financial sustainability floor, a nonprofit enterprise cannot fulfill its mission, no matter how great or inspiring that nonprofit mission is.
And let me share something with you, something that, again, though more firmly believed now in the 21st century, is an idea that has been around for quite some time….since the beginnings of the Theory of Capitalism, to be precise: All Enterprises are Social. No, to my conservative friends here, that doesn’t mean you are a socialist or that all of us entrepreneurs are socialists in the political sense, no. It just means that trade, or commerce, or entrepreneurship, as the most prominent thinkers in Capitalism initially posited in the “Doux Commerce” principle, or more recently, as noted American Anthropologist Jane Jacobs stated, we Humans either steal or we trade, to make a living. So business is, or should be, inherently a social, humanistic activity. I would just remark, when properly conducted.
And that is what RENACER invites everyone to learn and inquire about: how, as many great successful entrepreneurs since ancient times in the history of mankind have proven, we can all have successful enterprises that create not just one bottom line, but triple bottom line driven organizations: for-profit firms that create financial, social and environmental profits, or value for all, forever. For our investors and ourselves, yes, but also for our workers, our communities, our planet, our present generation and our future generations. We don’t want, I am sure if I ask you right now, do we want get-rich-quick “business” like the real estate bubble of a few years ago??? I ask my construction-related friends present here, what did the ensuing implosion cause to your business the past few years?? No, we want, I am sure, a new world, a new business model, one that creates long-term, real, equitable, fair, responsible value for all, forever. I have good news for you: that model exists, and it is a model that it’s been in place for a long time, and it is being discovered and used by more and more companies all over the region, the state, the country and the world, and it could be used by you too, why not?
To conclude, I just want to invite you to join us to discover this new world. I thank from the bottom of my heart this honor that has been bestowed on my by the Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and I personally thank you everyone that voted for me, but I want everyone to vote for this new way to make money with meaning. Is just a natural way to put that big Latino heart you all have to continue creating even more good stuff that makes business for you and your loved ones. Thanks everyone, and Happy Holidays and Happy 2014! "See More — with Douglas Lezameta and 9 others.