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Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Patricia Van Nostrand

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Patricia Van Nostrand has been with Cadent for more than four years, watching the business take shape into the company we are today. A proud Argentinian and Cuban, Patricia has sought ways to build a stronger community for her Hispanic peers, in the workplace and beyond.  

To learn more about Patricia, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role

My title is SVP, Business Operations. That means that I focus on operational evolution, helping our teams drive change and innovation by leveraging technology. For example, as we evolve as a platform company, many teams are involved in the overall workflow in the business. We identify what information is key across teams and unify how that’s tracked and communicated inter-departmentally. The speed at which it happens, and the accuracy, eliminates error and allows us to scale.

What does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent, and what does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Growing up in an Argentinian and Cuban household, I was encouraged to be a strong-minded and outspoken woman; to “Always speak up when you’re passionate about something.”

My parents came to the U.S. as young adults, knowing little to no English and neither having graduated from college. They worked hard, found opportunities to excel, and put three kids through college – a huge accomplishment from where they came from – being “tired” wasn’t in their vocabulary. I never self-analyzed until adulthood, why I was (am) kind of obsessed with “succeeding,” whatever that means – it’s the immigrant family work ethic. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many individuals and families who came to the United States for a better life – the American Dream.

Hispanic Heritage Month means an opportunity for representation, celebrating our culture and all that it brings. It’s a very passionate culture – lively music, colorful food, and a fiery zest for life! I try to bring that same energy to work every day and help people I work with smile more. One of my favorite things about being Hispanic is being bilingual. It has allowed me to break barriers and build multicultural relationships both in my personal and professional life.

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators?  

Growing up, we always had music playing in the house. Argentine Tango for barbecues and Salsa while we were cooking, organizing, or celebrating birthdays. Latin music is a huge part of my life. Carlos Vives, Fonseca, and Maluma are some of my favorites. The lyrics in Spanish can be so eloquently written, but unfortunately, the translation to English doesn’t do it justice. It still gets everybody moving regardless of whether you even know the words!

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?   

I’m beginning to see a transition – in how people are participating and in the sheer number of conversations being had around inclusion. Organizations are now more open to listening to how people have been impacted by exclusion – unintentional or not – and more importantly, leadership is acknowledging that creating a safe space for employees to share is a must. I know people who have had the opportunity to share their experience feel heard and that’s all some people need. Ultimately, we all need to internalize that feedback, adjust our mindset and behaviors, and make clear what we are no longer willing to accept.

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?  

I think there are a lot of stereotype molds that need to be broken. In my experience, there’s also a close-mindedness as to what a Hispanic or Latina woman is “supposed” to look like – and some of these judgments happen within our own community. So, to break these stereotypes, there is a lot of mentorship and sponsorship that needs to happen for the women coming behind us. We need to provide more access to the Hispanic community, and I personally am making it a mission of mine.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Joan Gonzalez-Delia

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Joan Gonzalez-Delia, Ops Manager, has been with Cadent for over eight years, beginning her Cadent career in Accounting and eventually moving on to Broadcast Operations. An avid music fan, when she’s not at work, you can find her spending time outside with her family or dancing to her favorite salsa albums.  

To learn more about Joan, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role 

I manage the Broadcast Operations team. We’re in charge of getting the reporting out to advertisers, inventory sources, just making sure that we’re running the commercials the way the advertisers want them to run.  

What has been your career journey? 

My first media role was with Cadent! I have a marketing degree, but when I joined Cadent eight years ago, my job was with the Accounting department. Then, when the company was being reorganized, I decided to take my chances with broadcast rather than cable, because, at the time, I felt like our cable team was already very established, while broadcast was up and coming. I started off in buying and later moved on to the operations side, where I still am today. 

However, my first job was in auto sales. I worked at a dealership for a long time, in their service department, taking appointments and writing up customer’s bills. Then I moved to internet sales. It was the very beginning of internet sales when people were reaching out for quotes and such on their internet packages. From there, I became a repossession manager. But after all that, I got my opportunity here at Cadent! I was referred, went through the interview process, and I got the job.  

Are there any mentors or experiences that have shaped you – either professionally or personally? 

I would say, personally, would have to be my stepfather. He was always my biggest fan. He told me I could do anything I put my mind to – there truly wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do in his eyes. He was a police officer, and he was in the military, so he was driven and had a lot of pride in everything that he did. I think that’s something I took from him, and it’s shaped how I am as a manager.  

Professionally, I have to say Danie, our Senior Director of Broadcast Operations. When she started her role several years ago, Danie took the time take me under her wing and guide me through the business, helping me and grow into a manager position. She has been my biggest advocate. I look up to her and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?  

Outside. Whether I’m out back, sitting on the hammock or in the pool, or on the beach, I enjoy anything outside in the summertime. In the wintertime, I like to listen to music – and I know that sounds awful, but I like to clean! So, if you don’t find me at the beach or doing something outside, I’m probably cleaning or organizing a closet somewhere. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you, and what does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent? 

I’m Puerto Rican, so for me, I’m Spanish all the time! And it’s nice to see that we get some recognition. There are so many different cultures that fall under the Hispanic umbrella, so I feel like Hispanic Heritage Month highlights how not everybody who speaks Spanish is Mexican, that not everybody from Puerto Rico is “illegal.” I get a lot of, “You’re from Puerto Rico – do you have your green card?” and “Did you need to get your visa to come?” When, it’s like, no, I am a citizen – I was born that way. 

I also think Hispanic Heritage Month brings up more conversations and in turn more knowledge to people that don’t really know much about the Hispanic community. 

But what does it mean to me to be Hispanic? I take pride in it. It’s who I am, right? It’s just a part of me. My husband is Italian and I’m Puerto Rican, so I try and incorporate as much of both our cultures as I can into our kids’ lives. I make them listen to Spanish music on Saturdays while I’m cleaning. And sometimes I’ll have them dance with me. It’s part of their culture, so I feel that it’s something they should know.  

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators? 

Marc Anthony, I listen to a lot! I saw him when I was in second grade. He was a nobody, playing at a festival. But since then, he’s become a household name. My mom loves him, and I think we’ve been to four of his shows over the years. He keeps it very traditional, very salsa, and just very Puerto Rican. 

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?   

Conversations help. I think what Cadent is doing when it comes DEI, putting in the time and effort to bring in all these different speakers is so important. It helps us to understand that many people, even those who look alike or work at the same job, all live very different lives. 

We are so diverse as a company, which I think that’s a good sign that things are working. You’re not just forgetting about the people that make your company function. We are a big, important part of Cadent and its success. 

I also think it’s important that each group be recognized whether it’s Women at Cadent, or employees who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or our Jewish coworkers. At the end of the day, these are the people that I spend more time with at work than I do at home, so I would like to get to know them a little bit more! And having those opportunities at work, to learn more about other cultures, is pretty neat.  

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future? 

It was two years ago, right before the pandemic, and I pulled up to the gas station. I had my Spanish music blaring, but I get out to start pumping the gas and the guy next to me was like, “We speak English.” 

And I didn’t say anything because okay, that’s great, I speak English, too. But you know, I feel like if we lived in a different world or different time, I would have had a conversation with that person. For people like that, ignorance is bliss. And just because I’m Spanish or I’m listening to Spanish music doesn’t make me an any less American. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know English. It doesn’t mean that I’m here illegally. 

That’s the biggest challenge, at least for myself and for the Puerto Rican community, although I can’t speak for everybody else. It’s when people think that we don’t belong here just because we’re from Puerto Rico. A lot of people don’t realize we get to vote – we don’t vote in the election, but we get to vote in the primaries. We serve our country the same way that and America that lives on the mainland serves their country.  

I’ve had my share of rude comments and other incidents like that day in the gas station, but I feel like the more conversations we have about these different communities, with each other, the more it will help.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent? 

I feel like the growth I’ve been able to achieve within Cadent has made me proud to be working for Cadent. They didn’t stop me at Accounting. When I saw another opportunity, I was able to move into that and grow. I’m proud of the fact that they have allowed me to grow and that I see it happen with other people, too. There are many other people within the company that have started off here and they’ve ended up there.  

I’m also proud to work for a company that listens to their employees and takes the initiative to make sure that their employees are happy.  

What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself? 

Just be authentic. Be your true self. I try to tell my kids all the time, “We all look different, because we are different,” but what’s important is, “you believe in what you believe, so don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do or be something. If you put your mind to it, it’ll happen.” I don’t know though – I would give a lot of advice to my younger self! 

Another piece of advice I would give myself is, “Don’t hold back.” I know that I’ve held a lot back because I’m a woman or because I’m young or because I’m a mom. Unfortunately, I think I’ve held myself back from doing a lot of things, that if I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be just to, “Be authentic, be you, and if you want to do something, just do it.” 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Erin Minjares

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Erin Minjares, Executive Assistant, has been with Cadent for over five years, and in that time, she has watched the company grow into the business it is today. A California native, Erin attended San Jose City College before beginning her professional career. When she’s not at work, you can find Erin checking out a new art exhibit or playing pool with friends. 

To learn more about Erin, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. “

Tell us about your role   

I am an Executive Assistant at Cadent supporting our CTO, Les Carter, and VP of Platform Sales, Tim Jenkins. I am also part of our DEI Team.  

What does your day-to-day look like?  

A typical day for me includes managing calendars, touching base with HR and DEI, planning for upcoming events, and working on current projects.  

Are there any mentors or experiences that have shaped you – either professionally or personally? 

Definitely – I have a spiritual mentor who has been a trusted confidant for years. He has given me direction in life and has helped me grow spiritually. It’s given me a different perspective and guidance in life and helped me learn how to manifest my goals. 

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?   

Playing pool or catching a new art exhibit in the city! 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? -or- What does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent?   

Growing up in a Hispanic household, there was always family around, music playing, cooking in the kitchen and a beautiful vibrancy of culture. My mother always taught us about where we came from through art, history, and events and made sure we were knowledgeable about where our family came from. It’s what keeps me humble and it’s a beautiful story – to see the hardships our culture has gone through and where we are today. With that said, it means a lot that I come from a background of fighters – even women had a crucial role in the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution – musically talented, educated, creative, culturally-minded people, with a broad variety of delicious food. I am extremely proud of being a woman of Hispanic descent.   

Fun fact – did you know that a Mexican engineer is responsible for one of the greatest inventions of all time: color TV! Guillermo González Camarena invented the chromoscopic adapter for television equipment when he was only 23! Talk about an overachiever. Bien compa! 

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators?  

As an art lover, I would have to say Frida Kahlo. She broke barriers and created her own footprint in the artist world. She is one of the most famous artists in the world to come from Mexico and created very touching pieces that have been a staple in our community for over 80 years. She is an inspiration to me because she was so strong, and even though her life was short lived, she impacted so many by giving young women the influence to be their true selves.  

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?  

While fostering inclusion is a vital process in the ultimate success of a company, it shouldn’t be a chore. You should have a team that is passionate about the work, which ultimately leads to successful outcomes. I am happy to say our DEI Team has built a really good foundation for the future and is working hard to help this very important part of the company grow and flourish.  
 
What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?   

Access to quality education and immigration reform are the areas that I feel are the most important.  
 
What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself?  

Don’t worry about opinions, work hard at your goals, and create your own lane. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.