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YLN found members, and previous board members with current leadership


YLN marks 10th Anniversary at Ariel International Center   

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

Young Latino Network (YLN) celebrated ten years of grooming the future leadership of Cleveland on July 28, 2012. At the annual fundraiser, Noche De Guayabera, YLN honored the founding visionaries who realized the need for an organization that propelled careers and nurtured leadership in the Latino community. 

YLN treasurer, Luis Cartagena, said in researching the history of the organization he was impressed that it has remained true to its founding mission of providing support to existing community organizations rather than being a competitor. “YLN has been a safe place for young professionals to grow as leaders and develop skills if they are right out of college,” he said.

Cartagena said the emphasis for its membership has always been to foster strong partnerships within the community organizations and regardless of the challenges faced by each Board the spirit of collaboration has been steadfast.

José Feliciano Jr., YLN President, said the organization is strengthening its commitment to fostering leadership by developing a YLN Fund which will provide scholarships for members looking for leadership development opportunities through organizations like Cleveland Bridge Builders, Lead Diversity, Neighborhood Leadership Development Program, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and more. “We always need more Hispanic representation,” he said and the scholarships will encourage members to participate in existing programs that are models of producing exemplary leaders.

YLN board members, Blanca Figueroa,Jose Feliciano,Jessica Gonzalez, Luis Cartagena,Luis Cabrera with Radhika Reddy (Center)

Luis Caragena and Luis Cabrera

Linda Alvarado and Radhika Reddy

This year’s event took place at the recently opened Ariel International Center, one-stop center for International business development and International events in Northeast Ohio, celebrating the regions global diversity and contributing to the economic development of the region.

Radhika Reddy, founding partner and owner of Ariel Ventures, welcomed the Latino community as the first to host an event at the historic 68,000 square foot building, located on 3 acres, overseeing Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline.  The renovated building is the realization of a 20-year dream for Reddy, who arrived in Cleveland as a student with $20 in hand and a one-year scholarship.

 “I faced many of the challenges that immigrants face,” and she realized the need for a one stop international facility in Cleveland that would encourage entrepreneurship and facilitate immigrants and foreign partners to establish roots in the city.  She plans to convert the building into an incubator space for inspired minds, especially minority and women owned business to start up with under $150. “I love to support immigrants, because I know how hard we work,” she said.

Cartagena said Ariel International Center should be a key resource for business developers who are hoping to expand to Latin America and bring opportunities back to Cleveland, “We are honored to be the first ones to showcase this amazing place to the Hispanic community.” 

As the sun set on Lake Erie and downtown skyline lit up in the background, YLN marked the beginning of  a new era with a renewed sprit and dedication to empowering young professionals to step up to the plate and serve. “If we are not involved we cannot complain,” said Cartagena.

For more information on YLN visit: www.younglatinonetwork.org

Visit Ariel International Center at: http://www.arielinternationalcenter.com/aic/

Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/31/12 18:29:11 -0700.





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