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Interview with Ali Curi and Dr. Robert Rodriguez

By Maria Esteves - July 30, 2012

Ali Curi (AC) is founder and president of the Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG), a premier organization dedicated to the education and advancement of Latino business leaders, corporate professionals and entrepreneurs in New York and Miami.

Robert Rodriguez, PhD, (RR) is president of DRR Advisors, LLC, a management and diversity consulting firm that elevates the effectiveness of a business workplace. He was listed among the top 100 most influential Latinos in America of 2010 by the Hispanic Business magazine.

Curi’s 3rd Annual HPNG Latino Leadership Conference will be held at KPMG (Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler) Heritage Center in New York on Monday, August 27, 2012. The conference will feature as keynote speaker the honorable Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., along with panel discussions, breakout sessions, and roundtables led by recognized leaders such as Yasmin Davidds, Women’s Institute of Negotiations; Roberto Llamas, Univision; Lucinda Martinez, HBO; Eliana Murillo, Google; Kirk Santos, IBM; and many others. In addition, recipients of the HPNG Latino Leader Awards presented by Ford honoring achievement in business initiative advancements will be announced. I had the privilege of interviewing President Curi and Dr. Rodriguez in New York on Friday, July 27, 2012.

Q: President Curi, what is unique about your organization the Hispanic Professionals Networking Group?

AC: HPNG is a career and leadership development. Latino leaders share their own insight on leadership and management styles. We provide a platform for attendees to acquire their insight on how to develop and manage their leadership style.

Q: What is the highlight of the 3rd Annual HPNG Latino Leadership Conference in New York on Monday, August 27, 2012?





AC: I will turn it over to Dr. Rodriguez.

RR: I am excited about having KPMG host the event. Another is the Latino Leadership Awards presented by Ford. The award recognizes leaders who are doing great things within the community and in their careers. These are the top two conference highlights beyond the strong content.



Q: Dr. Rodriguez, as HPNG conference chair, what is your input on this year’s conference?

RR: My input is to assist and make sure we have a broad perspective of topics to address. We are going to have one specific component of the program dedicated to the Latina experience. Dr.Yasmin Davidds of Women’s Institute of Negotiation will facilitate the event. I understand the Latino Leadership Conference is presented in New York and the dialog is different in Miami, Dallas, and LA. Therefore, the program perspectives will be focused on the Latino leadership in New York.

Q: President Curi, what is different about the conference from previous years?

AC: We are highlighting new tools for organizations to manage their employee’s career. Our first conference in 2008, addressed employer resource group issues that were adopted by companies of employee development. Also, as Dr. Rodriguez mentioned earlier, while the conversation may be different across the country with different Latino demographics, there is an evolution of the conversation.

RR: I want to add, part of the evolution is focused on practical insights. In the past, we had wonderful dialog but did not provide tools, templates, or strategies. This year’s conference is focused and practical in nature responding to questions such as “How can you accelerate Latino evolution?” “How can you help hire more Latino players?” “What can you do to elevate the performance of your Latino network?” and “What can Latinas do to be better negotiators?”

Q: President Curi, can non-members register for the conference? If so, what is the non-member registration rate?

AC: The current non-member registration rate is $425.00.

Q: Will the non-member registration rate include a one-year membership?

AC: HPNG do not have a membership structure. It is a member driven organization and define it’s members by those who attend the event. We can extend two complimentary registrations to the next networking event that we host in New York such as HPNG corporate, Latino Leader, or Entrepreneur events. It will add value to their experience of HPNG.

Thank you, president Curi and chairman Rodriguez.

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