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Latin Biz Today, Mercy University Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With Small Business Community Event

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September 29, 2023

By W.B. King–

“Grow your business and be inspired” is the underlying message of the upcoming Latin Biz Today Spectrum of Success Event, a small business networking conference taking place at Mercy University.

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“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Mercy University for this event and look forward to an ongoing relationship with them,” said Tina Trevino, vice president, partner and director at Latin Biz Today. “The university has been helpful in every way to ensure that our event will be a highlight of the community.”

Launched in 2011, Latin Biz Today’s core mission, Trevino explained, is education and mentorship that drives success not only for Latin-owned businesses but people in all aspects of life. “We’re also proud to host this fun-filled event during Hispanic Heritage Month,” she said. “It’s a great way to celebrate Latin culture while also being a major networking opportunity for small business owners and business professionals.”

The conference will take place on Mercy University’s campus in Dobbs Ferry on October 4, 2023. Provost Eva Fernández is also eagerly anticipating the event where she will deliver an address on the importance of continuing education for business owners. “I think it is so important for us to be involved with more and more public events that bring the Hispanic community to our campus, which helps us be part of the Hispanic community that our students are a part of.”

With approximately 1,200 students, this year’s freshman class is Mercy’s largest, and 60 percent of them are Hispanic. In total, the school supports 5,705 undergraduates (50 percent Hispanic) and 2,190 graduate students (32 percent a Hispanic). “We are a majority-minority institution, federally designated Hispanic serving institution,” Fernández noted. 

“I am excited to welcome people from the community and the small business community,” she said. “Very top of mind for me is that a college education is probably the most important variable in terms of social mobility for people, and for the Latino community especially. What does it mean for the economics of your family, your small business, your neighborhood and the bigger community — that is the conversation I’m hoping to explore.”    

Todo Bien

The event, as Trevino described it, is designed for “top level entrepreneurs to share their business insights in a fun and engaging atmosphere.” Along with Fernández’s address, attendees will be privy to a business panel that includes Irving Wladawski-Berger, former IBM general manager who is an expert on artificial intelligence, and Silvia Alvarez, communications director at the Major league Baseball Players Association. Additionally, Dr. Juan Salinas, who convinced Mark Cuban to invest in his P-Nuff Crunch product on Shark Tank, will receive the Latin Business Spirit Award.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m., the evening will also feature food and beverage tastings and live music from Willy Rodriguez, leading the Tito Puente Jr’s eight-piece band. The band’s namesake cannot attend as he will be in Puerto Rico honoring his esteemed father on what would have been his 100th birthday.

“It’s the best of business and lifestyle rolled into one event,” Trevino said, adding that more than 200 people are expected to attend. “We look forward to the evening and invite everyone to join us for business insights and to also dance the evening away.”

Those attendees familiar with the celebrated cuisine of The Cube Inn in Tarrytown are in luck as the restaurant will be on hand offering a special tasting menu. “We are all about family, food and music,” said Bebe Gonzalez who owns the restaurant with his wife Megan. The couple often receives help from their daughters, Belle and Abbey.

“I always wanted to open a restaurant that would keep the Cuban traditions and recipes alive that were passed down to me from grandparents, parents who grew up in Cuba, and friends in the Tarrytown Cuban community,” he said.

The life­long Tarrytown resident grew up in the restaurant business. His late father, Roberto Gonzalez, operated restaurants in Tarrytown, including Scorpios, which is now Tarry Tavern. His uncle currently operates two successful Cuban eateries in South Florida.

Gonzalez’s father also operated the original Huddle, a restaurant and bar that was located at 22 Main Street. In the late 1980s, after years of successful operation the Gonzalez’s transformed the restaurant into the Green Machine Laundromat, which closed in July 2018. “We really have come full circle,” Gonzalez said of the location now home to The Cube Inn. The building, he added, was built in 1901 and first served as a flour business that supplied local bakers.

“We are so excited and grateful to be a part of this event that is begin put on by Latin Biz Today and Mercy University; it’s a fantastic opportunity to network with the Latin community, which is so rich, diverse and interesting,” Gonzalez said. “People can expect to taste a lot of traditional Cuban dishes along with our own flare and take on things.” 

When asked how he and his family feel now that The Cube Inn has been opened for three years, Gonzalez responded: “The community has welcomed us with open arms and we are so thankful for all the continuing love and support. Todo bien! (Everything is fantastic!).”

For more information on the event, visit here. Latin Biz Today provided The Hudson Independent’s readership with a special 20 percent discount promotional code (CUBEINN20).

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