Collectivo

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Collectivo is a group that was organized to create a networking community for marketing and media professionals interested in the Hispanic market. Joshua Molina, one of the co-founders of Collectivo talks about the group.

JOSE CARDENAS: Collectivo is a group that was organized to create a vibrant, networking community for marketing and media professionals interested in the Hispanic market. Joining me to talk about the group is Joshua Molina, one of the cofounders of Collectivo. Joshua, welcome to "Horizonte."

JOSHUA MOLINA: Thank you.

JOSE CARDENAS: I've read a little bit about you and your cofounders, all three of you have very fascinating backgrounds. Just give me kind of a thumbnail sketch of the three of you, what you've done in the past and what was it that made you decide we've got to do something here to attract other people like us and share ideas?

JOSHUA MOLINA: Right. We started -- it was just Eric, Diaz and myself, we met at his location. He owns a co-working space here in Phoenix. And he was referred to me at a conference that I went to called LATISM, Latinos in tech and social media. He attended the conference the year before. I attended in 2013 in New York and when I tried to explain we should do something like this in Phoenix, they said there's somebody in Phoenix you should talk to and that was Eric.

JOSE CARDENAS: And both of you have backgrounds in journalism, right?

JOSHUA MOLINA: My background is in journalism. I studied journalism, worked for a few different stations and then moved into marketing and P.R.

JOSE CARDENAS: And that includes CNN, NBC and that local television affiliate.

JOSHUA MOLINA: Local television in Phoenix, I worked for the CBS affiliate, as well. Eric's background is in marketing. He co-owns a multicultural marketing agency called Nativa. We had similar backgrounds. We met and decided we should start a LATISM chapter in Phoenix. When we spoke to them, they weren't keen on having a chapter so we said we should do our own thing and that's how Collectivo started. Eric knew Christian Enriquez, and said let's get together and let's start this idea. You know, we wanted to keep it simple. It's actually based on an event that Eric attended out of state in a different state, which was called programming Wednesday. So these programmers would get together and have these very simple events, free to the public.

JOSE CARDENAS: When you say programmers --

JOSHUA MOLINA: Web developers. It's based on the same concept, where they get together, have some drinks, some food and learn something about their market. So we said you know, we can do this once every two months. Very simple concept. But the need was that we wanted to meet other Latino communications and marketing professionals like ourselves. We attended a lot of events for marketing professionals or journalism professionals but we sometimes were the only brown face in that group. So we wanted a venue where we can all get together and learn about these things and really have a good conversation.

JOSE CARDENAS: So you started this what, about a year ago?

JOSHUA MOLINA: A year and a half ago. You know, from concept to conception, we're just a few months out. Our first event was September of 2014. So this last September we had our anniversary event which was great. It was actually just across the street at the civic space.

JOSE CARDENAS: And how many other brown faces have you found at these events?

JOSHUA MOLINA: It's a great thing because we actually have some regulars and we have a lot of people that come to some events because they're interested in it, maybe come to an event, two events. We want to reach out to as many people as possible.

JOSE CARDENAS: And as I understand it from talking to you earlier, it's not just brown faces that are showing up. I mean, you've had people who were interested in Hispanic marketing and they're not necessarily Hispanic background.

JOSHUA MOLINA: That's exactly right. Initially, we wanted to get Latino professionals together but we decided to expand that because we saw a lot of non-Latinos that were attending our events that were very interested in the same topics and meeting the same people that were coming to our events and we also realized that a lot of people in different companies want to target Latinos, either in marketing, in journalism, in communication, and really want to know the right way to do it. There's a wrong way and a right way to reach a Latino audience and we see that in commercials, we see that in billboards. You know, some are cringe-worthy and some are really well done.

JOSE CARDENAS: So the media themselves are a mixture of networking and substantive content?

JOSHUA MOLINA: Exactly. Every event has either a panel or a speaker that actually talks about a specific issue that affects the Latino market. So, for example, we had an event last November. We brought over the former president of the national association of Hispanic journalists who actually is a senior director of multiculturity at ESPN. He talked about how it's important for a diverse newsroom to tell the right stories. An event that we actually have in a couple of weeks we are bringing Latino marketing directors from big brands that have a local presence here. One from Henkel, one from Cox communications and they're going to talk about their large-scale marketing to Latino audiences.

JOSE CARDENAS: Where will that event be?

JOSHUA MOLINA: That event will actually be on 15th avenue, it's the co-working spot just north of Osmer and 15th avenue.

JOSE CARDENAS: What day and time?

JOSHUA MOLINA: November 18th, 5:30 p.m. There will be free food and drinks, all our events are free to the public and we just invite anybody that is interested to come.

JOSE CARDENAS: Thank you so much for joining us on "Horizonte" to talk about it.

JOSHUA MOLINA: Thank you.

JOSE CARDENAS: Last week an initiative called 100,000 Opportunities was held at the Phoenix Convention Center. 2,000 young people had the opportunity to apply for jobs with various companies. The initiative is led by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

HOWARD SCHULTZ: We've been in Arizona as a company for many, many years. We do well here, we have a partnership with ASU. As you said 1 in 5 kids, this is an opportunity to come here and make a difference in these lives, and I think unfortunately, the large number of these kids, as you can see, today are Latino and Hispanic who are literally being left behind. And I think we feel strongly as a company we can make a difference. This is not necessarily about the bottom line of Starbucks, although if you read the recent study it will cost the American taxpayer about $100 billion a year for these 6 million youth to be not in school and not in work because of the ancillary issues that are caused, that are societal.

JOSE CARDENAS: And that's our show for tonight. I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

Joshua Molina:One of the co-founders of Collectivo.

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