Latino business people urged to be leaders

ROCHESTER — Mauricio Riveros, a Pike Co. vice president, challenged the hundreds of fellow Latino business people before him to rise up and fill the void of visionary leadership that he sees lacking in the current business climate.

 

During the annual Rochester Hispanic Business Association gala and expo, Riveros said that the business leaders of today should have vision, knowledge and wisdom, courage and determination, and demonstrate values and integrity. Riveros is a Bolivia native and vice president of project controls at Pike Co., which is a family-owned construction business.

And with the country facing the worst recession since the Great Depression, the time is now for Latino business and community leaders to unite and provide that new form of leadership, Riveros remarked. Such leaders will invest in their employees, show passion for their work and company and clearly communicate goals, he added.

"You need to be brave," Riveros said. "(Company executives) need to make tough decisions about cutting jobs and they need to do it with wisdom."

When most people think about business, they likely don’t think about the concept of love, he acknowledged. But, Riveros said that he is referring to love in terms of the caring one shows employees and customers. And the old adage is true that the more you give, the more you receive, he said.

Nowadays, success is measured "by how much money I make and not how much I contribute," Riveros remarked. "Let’s change that paradigm."

The RHBA gala also recognized Emeterio "Pete" Otero as Hispanic Businessman of the Year for his "proven record of accomplishments," said Grace Tillinghast, RHBA’s chairwoman. Nearly 180 people attended the event at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Otero is executive dean of Monroe Community College’s Damon City Campus. Tillinghast noted that some of the best feedback in support of his award came from MCC students who said that Otero’s door was always open to them.

"He is one of us," students said of Otero, Tillinghast remarked. "You have the respect of your student body. And they truly like you as do all of us."

Otero said that he was humbled by the award. As he thanked his MCC colleagues, friends and family for their support, Otero highlighted the example of his parents who worked tirelessly not only to raise their children but also to help other Latinos in the community as they moved to Buffalo, where he was raised.

"My parents represent the essence of the best of America," Otero said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To read more about Emeterio "Pete" Otero visit https://en.elmensajerorochester.com/community-faith/profiles/educator-goes-from-ged-to-phd/.

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