‘Always bet on yourself’: DRC brings Latina entrepreneurs together at Community Connections

By Dylan Guest, Director, Communications

The third installment of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) Community Connections series focused on fostering growth and connections among Latina entrepreneurs, the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. During the event, attendees were also inspired by a remarkable success story from within the community.

“It’s important to recognize the invaluable contributions of Latinas,” said DRC Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Latosha Herron Bruff. “They are makers of culture in the U.S., and their impact on entrepreneurship and contributions to our economy cannot be overstated.”

The event was Thursday, April 11, presented by Turner Construction Company, and hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed).

Representatives from the Dallas Fed welcomed the event’s attendees and provided insights into the bank’s inclusion efforts and actionable resources on how to do business with them.

Fireside chat between Nancy Galvan and Maricarmen Tamez.

“The Fed’s mandate is to promote a healthy economy characterized by price stability and maximum employment – for everyone, no matter their background or identity,” said Silvia Siqueira, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, People and Culture at the Dallas Fed. “The work we do as a bank to achieve our mandate is supported by a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Diverse perspectives create better outcomes, and by bringing as many voices as possible around the table, we facilitate more inclusive conversations, information sharing, and policymaking.”

Charles Price, Senior Supplier Diversity Program Manager of the Financial Management Group – Procurement at the Dallas Fed, then elaborated on the bank’s commitment to supplier diversity and its “Doing business with the Dallas Fed” program.

“We know the value and wealth that having a diverse supplier base brings, not only to our district but to our community,” said Price. “We cannot say that we are a community leader if we don’t do business with people in our community. Having diversity in our spending is essential.”

The discussion then transitioned into a fireside chat with Nancy Galvan, Owner of Unica Enterprises LLC, moderated by Maricarmen Tamez, Community and Citizenship Director at Turner Construction Company.

Galvan began the chat by explaining her inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur.

Galvan started Unica in 2007 as a part-time janitorial service while working full-time as a Contracts Administrator at Bell Helicopter. She chose to enter the janitorial industry after her extensive research showed a significant demand for cleaning services in the Dallas Region, the ability to work at night after her day job, and the lower startup costs.

Her day job also sparked an idea, but one that took several years to achieve.

“I was so grateful for my day job, but it also taught me one strategic move – that I would sell to the Federal Government,” said Galvan.

Silvia Siqueira, Maricarmen Tamez, Nancy Galvan, and Latosha Herron Bruff.

Now, Unica boasts a diverse portfolio of clients, including the U.S. Federal Government, the Department of Defense, the City of Irving, and more. In addition, Unica grew from just one employee to close to 110 today.

In a room full of other entrepreneurs and business-owners, Galvan left some parting tips.

“Be very thoughtful and strategic and try to have money in the reserves,” said Galvan. “Once you’re ready and have everything planned out, just take the plunge. If you’ve thought it through and know what you’re capable of doing, then always bet on yourself. No one will work harder for you than yourself.”

Community Connections, a recurring DRC event series, empowers Latinas by elevating their impact in the business world while embracing their cultural diversity.

To learn more about the DRC’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Team’s work, visit our website.