This post is also available in: Spanish
A month-long observation that dates back to 1968 and that was enacted into law in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month begins with the September 15th anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; and includes both the Mexican and Chilean independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
DB Schenker is extremely proud of our Hispanic American champions who support our organization across a wide range of job positions. Each contributes his or her time, energy, and resources to making our company the success that it is. Here are some of the champions that we’re putting the spotlight on this year.
Digital Marketing Manager – USA Schenker, Inc.
For Jamie Alcantara, Hispanic Heritage Month is an exclusive time to celebrate her home country of the Dominican Republic and other Latin cultures. She does this by preparing and trying different dishes at home, as food is a big part of Latin culture, celebrating its music, and being surrounded by her family.
“Family is the biggest and most important pillar of being Hispanic,” says Alcantara. “My favorite ritual is probably Sunday lunch with my husband, our parents, brothers/sisters, grandparents and even uncles/aunts.”
At work, Alcantara coordinates all of DB Schenker’s marketing efforts within the US. “This entails talking to people a lot throughout the day to coordinate marketing efforts, event planning initiatives and social media strategies,” says Alcantara, who is a ballet dancer, scuba diver and a green belt in Judo. Outside of work, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their family, traveling and being out in nature.
“When we’re not working, that’s exactly what you’ll find us doing,” says Alcantara, who views inclusivity as a vital pillar in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. “This is something DB Schenker does flawlessly. Not only with Latin countries, but thanks to having employees all over the world, we get to celebrate and learn from each other daily.”
Karina De Leon
Senior Training Instructor – Americas
Ask Karina De Leon what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her and she’ll tell you it’s a celebration of the Hispanic culture and a celebration of the people, the traditions, the food, the music and everything that encompasses the culture. “It also means that we can celebrate the Hispanic culture,” she adds. “It’s pretty cool!”
Responsible for training DB Schenker’s leaders to be excellent in how they lead others and themselves, De Leon has the privilege to facilitate an environment where employees can grow and learn from each other in order to be better leaders.
“DB Schenker is a great place for all people, we have so much diversity and ways to celebrate different strengths,” says De Leon, who loves playing soccer and cracking “dad” jokes. She also loves her career and enjoys working for a global company where regardless of which department you’re in, you can interact and work with many different types of people and learn from all of them.
Head of DB Schenker’s VP Contract Logistics and Customer Management —Americas
Based in Miami, Monica Franco joined the company after working for two different logistics firms over a 20-year period. An Industrial and Systems Engineer by trade, Franco started her logistics career as a consultant. Today, she manages two important customer Vertical Markets for DB Schenker in the Americas, says her role is to ensure that top customers get the services and support that they need on a daily basis.
“I have a team of global, regional (Americas), and country account managers who are assigned to a portfolio of accounts,” says Franco, “hence, I ensure the team has everything it needs to be able to achieve their sales objectives and those of the company overall.”
When Franco first joined DB Schenker in January, she heard COO Ewald Kaiser speak in a town-hall forum about the Americas not being a “construction site,” but rather a region that has contributed to the overall organization well and continues to be a great potential. “I truly appreciated that; it motivated me to continue to drive growth and excellence in a region I hold very close to my heart,” says Franco, who is a first generation American of Colombian descent.
Franco says she calls herself Colombian-American, debates which jersey to wear when the U.S. and Colombia play a soccer match, and lives her heritage in South Florida—an area that’s rich with Hispanic culture. “South Florida caters to and allows us to showcase our Hispanic roots, while being so close to Latin America,” says Franco. “I also take pride in seeing my kids live and enjoy their Hispanic heritage to the fullest!”
“Hispanic Heritage Month is time for bringing awareness to the strength and diverse culture of the Hispanic American community,” says Sady Montalvo, who is responsible for helping DB Schenker’s CHRO for the Americas with HR projects (i.e., the MyPerformance campaign, regional talent reviews and hiring exceptions). She also supports the company’s recruitment team as well.
At home, Montalvo and her husband share the household chores 50/50 (she handles the inside and he manages the outside), and she cooks almost every weekday. “Unfortunately for my husband, I wasn’t blessed with my grandmother’s amazing cooking skills!” she says, laughing.
Calling DB Schenker a company where all employees from all diverse backgrounds can work together and make a difference, Montalvo says the global organization thrives on diversity and on creating an inclusive environment for those associates.
“This is the time when the nation can learn more about the struggles that Hispanics have faced, their strength and perseverance, and their culture,” says Montalvo, who just got her SCUBA certification and is excited to start exploring the sea.
Maria Alejandra Herrera
Senior Global Contract Manager – Americas
This is a special time to recognize Hispanic contributions to culture and diversification, Hispanic Heritage Month is very special to Ma. Alejandra, who enjoys working for an organization with a diverse culture and that also gives Hispanics the opportunity to show their professional abilities and work their way up through a well-respected, global company.
Ma. Alejandra starts every day with an exercise session and then prepares her son for daycare. She then gets to work, tries to spend her lunch hour with her husband, and then spends quality family time with the family at the end of the workday.
“As a family, we enjoy bike rides,” says Ma. Alejandra. “My husband normally has our baby in the seat behind him and no matter how many rides we go on, as soon as we get home, he always says: “Mas, Mas,” meaning he wants more.”
DB Schenker is proud to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and congratulates all of its team members for a job well done. Keep up the good work!