This post is also available in: Spanish
Every year, the United States observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The month-long observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Enacted into law in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month includes the September 15th anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; and both the Mexican and Chilean independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
Here at DB Schenker we are extremely proud of our diverse workforce, which includes numerous Hispanic individuals who contribute their time, energy, and resources to making our company the success that it is. Here are some of their stories.
Nathalie El Barche
MDM Project Manager for the Global Steering and Master Data Management
With a background in engineering and international business, El Barche says that foundation has helped her perform well in her current position, where attention to detail, logic, communication, and understanding across different countries—as well as the ability to solve problems quickly—have all been indispensable.
“DB Schenker has given me the opportunity to manage a work team with a vast cultural diversity,” says El Barche, who interacts frequently with people in different regions who hold a position similar to hers, and then uses that time to share strategies and experiences. “By understanding and analyzing the different challenges in each country that constitutes the Americas region, I can help find solutions that provide a common benefit.”
For El Barche, Hispanic Heritage Month means never giving into defeat or giving up when things get tough. “It’s about getting up in every fall and facing every challenge and never giving up on dreams despite the obstacles that may arise,” she says. “This month also gives me an opportunity to remember my roots wherever I am and to thank my country of origin, Venezuela, for who I am.”
Director of Marketing and Communications, Region Americas
For Daphne Robboy, having Hispanic roots means being able to relate and interact with colleagues, customers, and suppliers throughout the entire Americas region—from Canada to the U.S. to Latin America. “That’s the territory that I oversee,” says Robboy, “so having that Latin influence, and understanding the culture, the dynamics, and how business gets done within those markets is just invaluable.”
As the mother of a 3-1/2-year-old son and a newborn daughter, Robboy’s calendar is full most days. When she gets to work in the morning, her primary responsibilities include liaising with global headquarters, ensuring that her counterparts in Germany are up to date on what’s going on in the Americas region, and what’s coming up. “Right now, we are launching Connect 4.0 in the region, so that’s a big topic between my division and global,” says Robboy. “That means a lot of early-morning calls to ensure that we’re aligned as an organization.”
Calling inclusivity a natural part of DB Schenker’s culture, Robboy says the diverse team that she works with even gets together for potlucks and other events on holidays. “Our company encourages us to take part in these types of gatherings,” says Robboy, “and to spend time together as a team that encompasses so many different people from all over the world.”
For Robboy, Hispanic Heritage Month means being able to value and respect the hard work that her mother’s family has done to provide a life for the next generation. Having fled Cuba due to the revolution, Robboy’s mother brought her strong values to the U.S. and created a new life for herself and for her future family (she would later meet her husband and start a family in the U.S.). “For me, Hispanic Heritage Month is about paying homage to my family,” says Robboy, “and what they’ve been able to accomplish in spite of the setbacks they encountered.”
Marketing Analyst, Region Americas
As the marketing analyst for DB Schenker’s Americas Region since Oct 2018, Benjamin Menchelli is part of the team that manages the company’s social media channels. During this time the logistics providers’ Facebook followers have increased to over 45,000.
Menchelli says his workday involves creating graphics for departments in the Americas Region, including videos, infographics, and headshots. He works closely with the company’s social media manager, strategizing and designing social media campaigns and providing analysis and suggestions for the company’s websites.
“In my academic life, I’m a member of the American Marketing Association and Association of Latino Professionals for America,” says Menchelli, “both of which provide support and guidance on how to succeed as a Latino in the professional world.”
Menchelli sees Hispanic Heritage Month as a great time of year to celebrate his Hispanic culture and remind himself of the Hispanic people who are currently suffering worldwide as a result of their countries of origin. He enjoys working in DB Schenker’s regional office, where the wide range of diverse employees allows him to feel free to express his culture while also learning about other cultures.
“Everyone here is multilingual, and because there are so many Spanish speakers from different countries, I can learn more about all the different variations of my own culture,” says Menchelli. “Additionally, they keep me up to date with world events happening in Latin America, which overall makes me feel closer to home.”
Head of LATAM Strategic Growth
The eldest of five siblings, Larancuent says being part of the DB Schenker family has empowered him to be himself and allowed him to infuse the “warmth of his culture” into the workplace. “The family atmosphere here has allowed me to own my culture and live to the best of it every day,” he explains, “allowing for the diversity and integration of all of us, connecting us back to our roots, and permitting us to create relationships that go beyond our workplaces and that transcend countries.”
For Larancuent, Hispanic Heritage Month is both a celebration and an opportunity to embrace the culture and his heritage. “It’s also a time for understanding and appreciating those who came before me and created opportunities for us who followed,” he continues. “I want to do the same for the generations to come, and am always looking for ways to give back to my culture.”