For those of you who follow NAHREP or myself on social media, you probably know that the L’ATTITUDE event took place two weeks ago in San Diego. I have been contemplating an event like L’ATTITUDE for about three years. It’s my passion project and my “moon shot”, so when the event finally came and went it was no surprise that it left me as physically and mentally exhausted as I have ever been. L’ATTITUDE was a huge success and after a couple of weeks of downtime, I can finally start to piece the experience together. The vision behind the event was to create a major business convention that celebrated the best and brightest that the Latino community has to offer in business, technology, entertainment and media — and served as a gateway to what we describe as the new mainstream economy in America. Easier said than done, but the recent success of NAHREP gave us a shot to make it happen. L’ATTITUDE featured four days of A-list entertainers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, moguls and thought leaders. The sessions during the day were inspiring and thought-provoking, and the evening entertainment was world-class. Even Jennifer Lopez made a surprise visit on Tuesday to help close out the event. Most people in attendance were astonished and felt the event surpassed their wildest expectations — which was exciting to hear.
The backstory on J.Lo’s cameo is pretty interesting. The global superstar was not scheduled to attend L’ATTITUDE, but her beau, MLB All-Star and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez, was one of the first to sign on. Rodriguez’ post-baseball career is impressive. He has built a real estate empire and hosts a show on entrepreneurship on CNBC. But in the days prior to the event, it looked like he might not be a good fit after all. L’ATTITUDE had dozens of superstars on the program and all of them had their own special needs and requirements, but A-Rod’s list of demands was a bit over the top. He did not participate in a pre-event prep call, required a very specific list of food and beverages in his green room, and would not pose for photos or meet with anyone backstage. I’ve interviewed two U.S. Presidents, and neither had a list of demands as rigid as Alex Rodriguez. Nonetheless, we agreed to have everything ready for Mr. Rodriguez as he requested. The day before he was scheduled to appear, A-Rod’s agents asked for a list of questions that, according to the contract, needed to be approved in advance. I sent an email to the agent which essentially said we would not be providing a list of questions, and that Sol Trujillo would be doing the interview and wanted to have an organic conversation about baseball and business. The agent said that not providing the answers in advance was a deal breaker, but we held our ground and she ultimately backed down. An hour before A-Rod was scheduled to take the stage, we got word that Jennifer Lopez would be accompanying him and would like to sit backstage undisturbed. I started to think that maybe all his unique backstage needs were actually for J.Lo. Who knows? Once on stage, the interview with A-Rod was actually very good and the audience was totally engaged. He was genuine, intelligent and interesting. Towards the end of the interview, Sol told Rodriguez that one of the most important things he learned in business was that “if you don’t ask, you’ll never get” and proceeded to ask Rodriguez if he would be willing to encourage J.Lo to make a cameo and join the two of them on stage. After a short hesitation, A-Rod respectfully summoned Lopez to the stage and she tentatively came out and gave the audience a thrill and a story to tell. In the days following the event, Alex Rodriguez has remained in touch and has even expressed a desire to help build L’ATTITUDE. Amazing!