On location at La Fonda Del Gusto in Wicker Park with Cesar Rolon.
Tell us about your background…how did you get to where you are?
My professional background started in Radio and TV where I worked as a PR Executive for radio stations covering a great portion of the Chicago market. I also have served as Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce-revitalizing it’s commercial business district and the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce which ultimately led to me working to establish the Hispanic Woman’s Business Conference.
What motivates you?
I absolutely love what I do. I am a workaholic. I come from a family of 5 originally from Puerto Rico and history ignites my fire. I feel a sense of obligation to payback and return the favor of those who came before me.
What inspired you to create Latino Fashion Week Chicago?
Years ago, while attending the parade of sculptures along Michigan Avenue produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, I discovered they didn’t have one figure created by a Latino. Then visiting stores along the Mag Mile I asked if anyone carried a Latino designer to find there were none. This became my motivation to create a platform for and to promote Latin fashion designers. As a result,
What else have you done?
I created Chicago R.E.A.C.H.-Reaching Elderlies Across Chicagos Horizons-the only all inclusive adult care center for seniors 65 hrs and older. The mission of the center is to serve those who are most devastated by life’s circumstances-we provide the necessities including covering medical prescriptions.
Currently, I am partnering with American Family Insurance and Ikea to create DreamRoomGiveaway-a 6month campaign accross 7 cities where the 5 most needy families in each city can apply to win $5000 in furniture for their own Dream Room.
So what’s next?
2010 will be quite busy. I’ve got Latino Fashion Week Chicago whose theme will be “The Passport”. We are looking to establish Chicago’s first Cuban Music Festival. And I’m contemplating a collaboration on the Festival Metropolatino on the grounds of Soldiers Field in July.
Looks like Mr. Colon will be quite busy in the new year-can’t wait to see what comes next so stay tuned!