The Mujeres Poderosas campaign highlights Latinas across the country who are trailblazers in their field. The women featured will share their inspirational journey to achieving what they have today. From local entrepreneurs to leading corporate executives, we will share their stories through blogs, FB live panels, videos, and more. Through this campaign, LULAC hopes to empower Latinas to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals and become Mujeres Poderosas.

An Interview with Celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffmann

Ingrid Hoffmann is known for being the host of Top Chef Estrellas on Telemundo, Simply Delicioso on the Cooking Channel and Delicioso on Univision. Her numerous platforms are what make Ingrid recognizable, but they are not the only thing that makes Ingrid Hoffmann a Mujer Poderosa. Ingrid has dedicated her entire career to teaching her audience to cook healthy meals and inspire them to lead healthy and balanced lifestyles. She empowers individuals to make healthier choices by promoting healthy cooking habits and encouraging them to accept food as a form of medicine.

Ingrid has worked incredibly hard and has dedicated herself to creating a brand that would allow her to amplify her voice. She utilizes her position to help those around her and as a humanitarian, she supports various causes she is passionate about.

We had the honor of interviewing Ingrid about her work and what makes her a Mujer Poderosa.

What does being a Mujer Poderosa mean to you? Being a Mujer Poderosa to me means having a positive impact in our community by using my voice to affect change, educate, inspire and foster hope for women and immigrants. It also means not taking NO for an answer and not letting failure bring me down but rather getting back up stronger.

What do you consider your greatest achievements and how did you get there? At the top of my list, when people tell me they learned how to cook from watching my easy approach and how it has changed their health and they no longer take medication. Second would be selling my brand to Univision communications because it proved I had built something worth the purchase by a big conglomerate. I got to these points by having a vision, perseverance, sacrifice and not letting the low moments take me down but making failures become lessons, so yes basically lots of sweat and tears to get to triumph.

Were there any challenges along the way? How did you overcome them? Too many to list! As an entrepreneur, your daily life is fighting, strategizing, taking chances and risks to survive. I needed to adjust to new circumstances, whether the economy changed or our media world did. Reinventing is key and reacting in time to foresee, accept, and implement the direction needs to be tweaked is key and the biggest lesson.

What causes are you passionate about and what have you done to support them? I am a very passionate person and injustice is one of my drivers, I sit on two national charity boards, Amigos For Kids and The Food Education Fund. I am also involved in countless others such as Women of Tomorrow and United Way. I have been very active with the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. We flew out about 2000 very sick patients by missions I organized and executed. We installed portable kitchens in the mountains of Lares and Jayuya, brought generators, medicine, filters, and food through my own missions — similar to Houston when the hurricane hit. We also flew planes with thousands of pounds of food and flew back rescue animals. Needless to say, it was a busy year!

You have a new book coming out in October in partnership with the American Diabetes Association. Why did you decide to write “Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthy”? We cannot continue allowing this horrible epidemic of diabetes and heart disease to take over. Every 30 seconds someone in America is diagnosed. We are being told to eat healthier yet we know that often it is expensive to purchase healthier products and many people are addicted to sugar and processed foods. I knew I could make it easy for them to adjust their lifestyle and show them tricks and tips to help implement these changes in ways that are culturally relevant to how they eat and are affordable.

What advice would you give young Latinas who want to follow your steps and become Chefs, TV hosts, or authors? Have a plan, educate yourself on the subject as much as you can, be focused, be ready to sacrifice and work long hours when everybody else is off. If you’re doing it for the sake of just being famous and because you think it’s glamorous then forget it because it will not work for you. Do it for the right reasons and because your passion and commitment are bigger than the big picture. Cooking is hard work and working holidays, weekends and when everyone else is off is not for everyone. But if your drive and passion are there, then don’t let anyone tell you that you can't! Go for it and go hard.

Karla Boldery Paves the Way for Aspiring Latina Entrepreneurs

For Karla Boldery being a Mujer Poderosa is not about personal success—it is about harnessing personal success to empower her community. After moving to the United States from Mexico City nearly 18 years ago, Karla strived to grow on a professional and personal level. As a mother of three, Karla had to overcome multiple roadblocks in order to advance her professional career and provide a better life for her family. For nearly a decade she worked hard and dedicated herself to her family but knew that there were still many things she wanted to accomplish professionally. She then enrolled at Northern Kentucky University to pursue a Master’s of Science in Business Informatics and strived to build a career for herself.

Through hard work and dedication, she joined the Greater Cincinnati Urban League as the District Director and Business Advisor for the Ohio Small Business Development Center where she helped grow the services and resources provided for the Hispanic Business Community. She later joined the Hamilton County Development Co. Inc. as a business coach, where she continues to help small business owners grow.

Though she had reached many of her professional goals, she wanted to find a way to give back to her community. In 2008, Karla joined LULAC Cincinnati Council to fulfill her passion to advocate on behalf of her community, small businesses, and women. After five years of being a member, she was elected as council president in 2013. As president, she has enhanced the support and programming LULAC Cincinnati provides.

Most recently, Karla led the effort to bring LULAC’s Latina Entrepreneur Academy to LULAC Cincinnati. Funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the program is designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to build and enhance their business with skills needed to succeed in America’s evolving economy. In addition to providing women with valuable training and skills, the program fosters a community of women working toward a similar goal and willing to support one another.

The Latina Entrepreneur Academy gained traction quickly and was completely full within two weeks of opening registration, proving the need for a program of its kind in the area. Karla was able to create local partnerships that allowed the program to grow through added speakers and experts that shared their knowledge with the participants. The women that participated in the academy were inspired to continue on their journey into entrepreneurship and felt confident they could succeed after completing the academy. Participant Blanca Aguilar says that the program helped her learn about who she is and not only taught her what she needed to know in order to grow her business but also inspired her to do it.

She was not the only one inspired by the program. Karla was inspired by the many mujeres poderosas that were part of the academy and worked toward reaching their goals. After running the program and learning alongside the participants, Karla was inspired to follow a long time dream of her own. She decided to launch her own salsa company – La Verde Fresh. Though she is still working on launching the business, she is excited to keep going and credits the program for being that little extra push toward following that dream. Karla hopes to continue to expand the program and initiatives that LULAC Cincinnati offers in order to continue to inspire her community to succeed and foster the next generation of mujeres poderosas.

2017 Latina Entrepreneur Competition

Earlier this year, LULAC launched the 2017 Latina Entrepreneur competition to give an opportunity for participants of the Latina Entrepreneur Academy to submit their business plans for a chance to receive a prize. First place winners received $1,000 and second place winners received $500. Individuals that submitted their business plans were to incorporate what they had learned throughout the sessions in order to launch or enhance their business. Six different academy sites participated and participants showcased their new skills through their business pitches. We are excited to announce the 2017 winners of the Latina Entrepreneur Competition!

Phase I

1st Place 2nd Place
Mireya Macias
Win-Win Connections
LEA Site: LULAC Council #9
Mayela Sanchez
Con A De Amor
LEA Site: Latin American Coalition
Website Facebook Twitter

Phase II

1st Place 2nd Place
Teresa Esquivez and Maria Mendoza
Newman Freight
LEA Site: El Concilio
Website LinkedIn Facebook
Sonia Mendoza
Spanish Interpreter Pal
LEA Site: El Concilio