L’ATTITUDE is an event platform that I launched three years ago, together with business leader Sol Trujillo, and with the support of the NAHREP leadership team and events staff. This past year, international superstar Emilio Estefan joined me and Sol. Because of their prolific careers in business and entertainment, Sol and Emilio have access to just about anyone on the planet, which give us a lot to work with.
At NAHREP, we became known for putting together some of the best events in the real estate industry, but back in 2015, I wanted to do something bigger. After visiting the world renown South by Southwest (SXSW) convention in Austin, Texas, I got the inspiration I needed. SXSW is an eclectic event that attracts artists, entrepreneurs, celebrities and other innovators. It was originally created to showcase the music scene in Austin and subsequently evolved by adding content about tech and film. Today, SXSW attracts more than 300,000 people each year to its event. I became inspired to create something akin to SXSW, but that showcases the best and brightest Latinos in business, entertainment, politics and tech.
When I first introduced the idea to Sol, he was immediately intrigued, but his experience with large events was different than mine. As a former Fortune 500 CEO, Sol has been a featured speaker at events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. These events are more serious and bring major CEOs and the global media together with billionaire entrepreneurs and heads of state. Emilio is one of the biggest names in the history of music. He is a 19-time Grammy Award winner and he and his wife Gloria Estefan are the only husband and wife to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a producer, Emilio has organized major concerts and music festivals and is connected to every major record label and studio. Organizing a major event like aforementioned ones requires a lot of work, staff, money and technical expertise; fortunately, NAHREP had all of the resources and experience to launch the first couple of events in San Diego. Along with Sol and Emilio, we now have all of the pieces necessary to create an event that is unique and world class.
Our first event was in 2018 and brought CEOs and celebrities like Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and Superstar Jennifer Lopez. It was a great start, and the 2019 event was just as impressive. For the 2020 event, we had to go virtual like everyone else, but it hasn’t stopped the three of us from trying to create something extraordinary. We’ve invested more than one million dollars in our production and have secured the following speakers and sponsors just to name a few:
- Pitbull, Rapper/Musician/Producer/Entrepreneur
- Canelo Alvarez, World Champion Boxer
- Eva Longoria, Actress/Producer/Activist
- Chef José Andrés, Entrepreneur/Philanthropist
- Gloria Estefan, Musician/Entrepreneur
- Isabela Merced, Actress from Dora the Explorer
- John Donahoe, CEO, Nike
- Larry Fink, CEO, BlackRock
- Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon
- Ryan Schneider, CEO, Realogy
- Ryan Marshall, Pulte Homes
- Wells Fargo
- Bank of America
- United Airlines
- The Home Depot
- Morgan Stanley
- American Express
- Century 21
- Bain & Company Consulting
- Cabrera Capital
- Garcia, Hamilton & Associates
Creating a great event where people can network, learn and get inspired is an exciting proposition in itself, but the real promise of L’ATTITUDE is in the following:
Amplifies the Latino Agenda with the National Media
With Comcast, Dow Jones, CNBC, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and Telemundo all confirmed as media partners, L’ATTITUDE has created the first platform that leverages the national media to share what I like to call, the Latino Agenda. For years, NAHREP has generated reports, organized events, and has advocated for policies that support our mission of advancing sustainable Hispanic homeownership; however, only occasionally has our work been covered by the national media, and we rarely have collaborated with other Latino organizations. This year, the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), ALPFA, the New America Alliance, Voto Latino, The Latino Donor Collaborative, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and NAHREP will all be playing prominent roles at L’ATTITUDE. Bringing those business organizations together gives us the opportunity to get better aligned on key issues and puts their important work in front of the national media. This alone is a game changer.
Creates a Marketplace Where Latino-Led Companies and Creative Projects Get Launched, Acquire Funding, Form Partnerships and Get Deals Done
Somebody shared a concept with me this year that really stuck with me. They said we need to stop talking about getting access and start talking about connections. He explained that “somewhere today, a twenty-something-year-old White kid is going to get 30 million dollars in investment capital for his idea for a new app… and I guarantee you, it isn’t happening because that kid has access, it’s because he has a connection”. It helped crystalize in my mind what L’ATTITUDE needs to become. At the end of the day, we want L’ATTITUDE to be a place where powerful connections are made – a must-attend event for Latino entrepreneurs, filmmakers, artists, writers, and corporate executives, not only because it is a great event, but because it is THE place where deals get done, film projects get a green light, and where up-and-coming musicians, entertainers and business leaders get showcased. In 2019, several promising companies received venture capital from our first ever Match-Up event. It may have been the most emotional session of the entire event. As L’ATTITUDE continues to evolve as the premier marketplace for creative and ambitious Latinos, the event will develop a life of its own that will grow virally for years to come. Very exciting.
Disseminates an Accurate Narrative about the Latino Market to CEOs, Influencers, and Resource Allocators
The media has immense influence on people’s perception of the Latino community in America. Because of this, many Americans assume that Latinos are primarily a community of illegal immigrants, drug dealers, maids and gardeners. This perception fuels discrimination and has vast implications on how capital is allocated and how opportunities are distributed. When CEOs, media executives, journalists and investors participate in the L’ATTITUDE event, consume the data that is shared and get to experience first-hand the power and vibrancy of the Latino community, it has a positive impact, and over time creates a new narrative about Latinos that can break glass ceilings, attract more capital, and energize the Latino cohort in a manner that can move us as a community a quantum leap forward.
Needless to say, I am proud of the work we are doing with L’ATTITUDE and hope you all check it out this year, September 24th – 27th.
For NAHREP members, register at nahrep.org/conference.
For everyone else, register at lattitude.net.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.