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Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Sergio Flores

Sergio Flores, Sales Planner for our cable division, has been with Cadent for less than a year and has already started to make an impact. Starting a new job while most of the team was remote was no small task, but Sergio took It upon himself to build connections with his coworkers. To learn more about Sergio, check out our Q&A below.  

Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th to October 15th and serves as a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. It invites us to remember all the contributions Hispanic, Latina/o/e/x, and Afro-Latina/o/e/x people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. This year’s theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation,” encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.  

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

Tell us about your role.  

I work on the cable side of Cadent as a Sales Planner. I assist Account Executives with building linear TV plans for the agencies they work with. In my day-to-day work, I also help with reporting, invoicing, and communicating campaign information to the agencies. I’ve been at Cadent for 9 months and have learned so much in a short period of time. It’s been an amazing experience getting to work alongside people with so much experience and knowledge, it’s something that genuinely excites me. 

What has been your career journey?  

My career journey has been like a road trip – multiple stops and many bumps along the way, but thankfully, I eventually found the path that I’m on today. I’ve done everything from work as a shift supervisor at Starbucks to construction, to hotel front desk reception, to cold calling. Most recently, I worked at Yelp and was able to get my foot in the door as a sales assistant for direct response campaigns. Early in my career, I didn’t yet understand why I had to go through the challenges I experienced while trying to establish my career. I thought, ‘If I have my college degree, that should be enough to secure a job in the field I want,” but I quickly learned, it’s not that simple. Now that I’m older, I can appreciate that each opportunity helped me become who I am today.  

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

I have been blessed to have had people in my life that have taken me under their wing and have provided advice, opportunities, hard truths, and an example of where hard work can take you. Two people that come to mind are my mom and my dad. I am a first generation American – my mom and dad came to the U.S. from Mexico at a young age. Seeing them maneuver through all the trials and tribulations of life with minimal resources or support, traversing life in a country that was foreign to them, showed me that if you want something and you work hard, there is nothing you can’t accomplish. Seeing my parents’ journey allowed me to understand that no hurdle is too high and that excuses are not an option. That go-getter mentality has helped me make strides in my career and pushes me to continue to be better every day. 

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

During the week, you’ll most likely find me at the gym. On the weekends, I’ll be walking around the city with my headphones in – and maybe a shopping bag or two. I love New York and try to experience any new restaurant, bar, or outdoor activity I can. One of my favorite things to do if I had a stressful day or week is throw on some music and walk along the water, here in Manhattan. It is something I used to do when I was struggling with something, and I continue to do it to keep me grounded and remind me of how far I have come. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?  

To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a beautiful way to honor my heritage, my family and our journey. It also allows us to show all Latinos/Latinas growing up in America that we are here, we are an important part in American culture, and we deserve to be represented and acknowledged. 

In Hispanic households, we carry our heritage with pride, but one thing I notice is that as we continue to grow and immerse ourselves in American culture, we can forget or lose some of the traditions and values that make us unique. I think Hispanic Heritage month gives us a chance to reconnect and feel proud of who we are and where we come from. 

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

What helps foster a culture of inclusion is taking the time to get to know one another, regardless of whether they speak a different language, eat different foods, or listen to music that is different than you. I think if more of us take the time to truly understand the person next to us, we’ll realize that we might look or sound different, but ultimately, the values instilled in us by our families and communities are often the same. I was brought up on a foundation of respect, family, and togetherness, which are pillars that can be found in many people’s upbringing, regardless of their background.  

Cadent choosing to highlight something like Hispanic Heritage Month, by bringing in speakers that we can relate to, and even publishing this blog series, is an amazing step in the right direction. It’s about conversation and opening the opportunity to ask questions, even if it’s uncomfortable. Ultimately, if we can make space for those conversations to be had, the next steps are to create solutions and take action. In the short time that I have been working here, Cadent has done a great job of fostering those conversations.   

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic, Latina/o/e/x, and Afro-Latina/o/e/x communities in the U.S. today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?   

One of the challenges that is still being faced by Hispanic and Latino people in these communities is that there are lingering misconceptions – especially in the workplace. There are pre-conceived notions about Hispanics and Latinos, and the types of work they should be doing. For instance, when I talk to my family and friends about what I do – working in an office in Manhattan – it’s like I’m this big, important person, and it’s because they grew up believing that they can’t possibly ‘make it.’ The idea of working at an office with benefits, time off, and other things like that, seems so distant.  

In the Hispanic and Latino community, we don’t always have time to wait for the right job. Many of us have families of our own at a younger age, or have parents, grandparents, or siblings we need to take care of. In that situation, the one thing on our mind is survival – ‘How am I going to pay rent or buy groceries this month?’ Basically, our whole lives, we’ve been told that there’s one way to work and that’s at 100 MPH for 40, 50, 60 hours a week. It’s because of this mentality that we tend to sell ourselves short and miss certain job opportunities.  

What I hope to see in the future is more Hispanics and Latinos/Latinas breaking out of the bubble and challenging themselves to grow in a field they are passionate about. The more examples there are of what we can accomplish, the more the message will spread. I am always in awe of how much we can accomplish with so little, but I still hope that as time goes on, more opportunities will open.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent?  

One of my proudest moments at Cadent has been being able to connect with my coworkers and earning their trust and respect as a professional. When I first got here, I put pressure on myself to prove my worth so that the company felt like they made the right decision in hiring me. I’m not going to lie – I was nervous at first. Like others with a similar background, being a first-generation Mexican American, I had a chip on my shoulder and felt I had to work 10 times harder so I wouldn’t look bad and wouldn’t make our people look bad.  

It’s something I’ve talked about with other people who feel like me. The idea that I’m not only representing myself when I come into work, but that I also represent my family, other Mexican Americans, and even more broadly, all Hispanics and Latinos/Latinas who are trying to make it in the corporate world. I would never want to leave a bad impression of myself or them, so I work to show that we can do just as good a job as anyone else and that more of us should be welcome in professional environments. 

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

I like this question because I truly wish I could go back and tell 21- or 22-year-old Sergio that everything is going to turn out fine! But, to those who are on the same journey I was on just a few years ago, I would tell them to enjoy it – as hard as it may be – and that one day you’ll appreciate these experiences because they have helped you get to where you want to be. I truly believe that if it were not for those early trials and tribulations, the frustrations, the pressure put on me to ‘make it,’ I wouldn’t be who I am today. I also may not have valued the opportunities given to me as much as I do now.  

My advice would be to keep challenging yourself, don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable, and don’t be afraid to ask someone for help! For so long, I was so focused on doing it all on my own that I failed to realize that I had people in my corner, ready to help me out when I needed it. 

‘Look at all we are able to accomplish with so little,’ is a thought that drives me to not give up. My hope for the next generation is that career opportunities come in abundance and resources to help them get there will be more readily available.  

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

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Bernardo de la Cruz

Bernardo de la Cruz, Manager of Service and Support for IT joined Cadent in 2018. Over the last four years, Bernardo has established himself as not only a key member of the IT team, but of Cadent as a whole, helping all our employees with their work equipment and software needs. To learn more about Bernardo, check out our Q&A below.    

Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th to October 15th and serves as a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. It invites us to remember all the contributions Hispanic, Latina/o/e/x, and Afro-Latina/o/e/x people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. This year’s theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation,” encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.  

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

Tell us about your role.   

I’m currently the Service and Support Manager for the IT Department. My role is to make sure incoming incidents and requests are answered and resolved in a timely manner and to help improve our support services. 

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

I’m either cooking at home or on my way to one of my go-to restaurants… But, if it’s not food related, I’m taking a walk or just spending time at home. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?   

This month represents a time of reflection for me. I am reminded that I am here as a result of the hard work of those who came before me. The impact the Hispanic American community has in this country is very clear, and we are reminded of it daily – although we may not always realize it. 

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

Paulo Coelho’s books have had a big influence on me – I only wish I had started reading his works sooner to get that bit of inspiration that has since helped me pursue my career. 

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

For me, food is a driving force for cultural inclusion. Wanting to experience different cuisines, I have an open mind about others and where they’re from. Where would New York be without its diverse restaurant options? It’s one of the only places in the world where you can go to one restaurant a day, for the rest of your life, and still not have visited all of them.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent?  

My job is heavily focused on customer service, so getting to know almost everyone at Cadent is something that makes me proud. It’s important for me to speak with and help as many people as possible, and make sure that they know my team is here to help them. 

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

Don’t sweat the small details, follow your gut, and write everything down – everything you learn to do, every way to fix any number of problems, or who manages/supports a particular item. Also, a bit of empathy goes a long way. Someone else’s success may seem out of reach, but that’s only because you don’t know the circumstances that allowed them to get there. Yours will be different. 

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

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Jake Cordero

Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th to October 15th and serves as a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. It invites us to remember all the contributions Hispanic, Latina/o/e/x, and Afro-Latina/o/e/x people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. This year’s theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation,” encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.   

Jake Cordero, a Media Analyst for Broadcast Operations, joined Cadent just last month but has already become an integral member of the team. This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them. To learn more about Jake, check out our Q&A below.    

What has your career journey been?  

My career journey has been a fun and exciting one! I began working for Univision in the Local Traffic Department, working in various other departments as the years went on. My favorite part was working with our promotions team and going to all the fun events where we interacted with the community. I joined Cadent in August of this year, so I look forward to seeing where this role takes me.
 
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? 

Hispanic Heritage month is a good time to remember and acknowledge all the accomplishments of our ancestors and how they helped shape this nation. It is also a great time to be thankful we live in a country where we can speak our language, practice our traditions, and celebrate our differences. Hispanics do not have one culture, we are a community of many different traditions, and we should celebrate them all. 

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

Treating everyone with respect and acknowledging our differences but ultimately understanding, we have more in common than we think.  

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic, Latina/o/e/x, and Afro-Latina/o/e/x communities in the U.S. today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?   

Everyone has challenges and Hispanic Americans are no different. What concerns us is very similar to what concerns most American – the economy, the rising cost of higher education, our health, equality, and most importantly, in my opinion, opportunity. However, Hispanic Americans have always proven to be an active, important part of our society and I hope that continues with the next generation. 

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

I would encourage my younger self to learn more about personal finances. U.S.-born Hispanics still have an 11-percentage-point gap in financial literacy compared to non-Hispanic whites. Learning the consequences of debt, the importance of saving, and even the impact of something as simple as a budget could have helped me tremendously in my younger years. 

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

Black History Month at Cadent: DiShawn Vance

February is Black History Month – a time dedicated to celebrating, recognizing, and remembering the achievements of the Black community in America. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year’s theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” was selected because it “acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.”  

This Black History Month is especially significant because it marks the first in which Cadent has the Black Employees Network to lead the way in planning and organizing events to commemorate the heritage of Black Americans. As a part of our celebrations, we spoke with some of our Black colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Black History Month means to them. 

DiShawn Vance, Broadcast Operations Specialist, has worked at Cadent for less than a year and has already made a major impact! As one of the co-leaders of Cadent’s Black Employees Network (BEN), DiShawn has helped coordinate several company-wide events including a Virtual Open Mic Night and Soul Food luncheon.  

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

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role:  

As a Broadcast Operations Specialist, it is my job to analyze the commercials that ran for an account and ensure they ran properly. 

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work? 

My favorite thing to do when not at work is thrifting for clothes and bags or watching movies and shows with dark humor. 

Are there any mentors or experiences that shaped your career? 

There has been a slew of people in my life who helped me understand what it is that I want to do and how to get there. Most important among those people is my mother. She’s only had a couple of career changes in her life but in the last five years, she has started three businesses, finding ways to pursue her passions. She created a non-profit, made her own candles, and became a certified yoga instructor. She has been featured in television shows, newspapers, and radio. All this to say that she showed me you should go for whatever you are passionate about. Many people get comfortable being in one position and then find themselves in a rut. I was shy about applying to places like Cadent because I thought, “what if I’m not good enough?” My mother taught me to just be myself, do what I love, and the rest would fall into place. I am still learning and growing, but powerful people like herself have helped me see that I can only go up from here. 

What does Black History Month mean to you and how are you planning to celebrate this year? 

Black History Month means Black people are here to take up space. Black people are often overlooked when it comes to jobs, sparking ideas, and inventing new products, so it’s important for others to see that we are creative, intelligent, fun-loving thinkers. I feel like BHM gives us an opportunity to remind everyone of our impact on society and culture. My plans to celebrate involve helping lead Cadent’s Black Employee Network (BEN), an employee resource group (ERG). Outside of Cadent, I’ve used this time to brush up on some facts that I may have forgotten over the years. I will finally be watching ‘When They See Us’ – the true story based on five Black teenagers falsely accused of a vicious attack in New York City. I haven’t yet watched it because I knew it would stick with me emotionally, but their story is real and horrific things like what they experience are still happening today. I’ll also be taking the time to read, watch and listen to some of the suggestions that my peers have sent me for music, books, podcasts, etc. Ultimately, I want to make sure that BHM continues and doesn’t ‘end’ when the shortest month of the year ends.  

Do you have any favorite movies, books, art, or music made by Black creators?  

A couple of my favorite movies are Love Jones, directed by Theodore Witcher, and The Wood, directed by Rick Famuyiwa – I am a sucker for a good love story. Musically, I love SZA. She is my favorite artist and I’ve been listening to her for more than seven years. I love and relate so closely to all the things she sings about. As far as art goes, I’ll always love Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, some of the most amazing pieces I’ve seen recently come from Black creators on Instagram. It’s incredible when you can see and feel the emotion – and hard work! – put into a piece of art. I stumbled on a post from @thegrnwood of a man illuminated by the night sky and thought it’s beautiful when something so simple can make you experience different feelings or ideas. 

This year, ASALH’s Black History Month theme is “Black Health and Wellness.” Can you tell us what “Black Health and Wellness” mean to you? 

I love this theme because for so many years, in the Black community, therapy has been looked down – as something meant for ‘crazy’ people. In actuality, wellness means so many different things. I can go on and on about it, but some key things I want to point out are, first: representation is important. Black doctors, therapists, interns, should all be within reach. Children should feel empowered to dream big, our elders should feel comfortable sharing personal experiences about their health and bodies. Everyone deserves to be heard and understood when they need it most. Secondly, self-love can make or break your day. A sour interaction can make you feel like a dark cloud is hanging over your head, but if you spend time doing one of your favorite things, or reflecting, or just getting some sunshine – it can make all the difference.  

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

It begins with a willingness to listen and learn about cultures and life experiences that aren’t your own. I also believe that there must be a friendly invitation. It’s simple, but for people to say, “Everyone is welcome,” or, “I think this meeting would be better if you were a part of it,” makes a difference. Overall, friendliness and genuine interest can go a long way.  

I think when people know what they’re getting themselves into, it’s less frightening for them. When someone doesn’t understand something, it becomes intimidating. For example, when we say we’re having an interest meeting for the Black Employee Network, it can sound like this is a meeting for only Black employees and others may not feel comfortable attending. We made sure to let people know this is a group designed to be a safe space for Black employees, but we want to share our culture with you, we want to build allyship within the company, and we want others to know this is a peaceful place for everyone to gather and learn something new. Sharing the full scope of our goals is why we could have such an amazing turnout as we did for the Open Mic.  

If you could have dinner with any important Black-figure – a civil rights pioneer, politician, musician, artist, author, activist, etc. – living or dead, who would it be and why?  

This is a hard question for me because of the saying, “never meet your heroes” – I once met an artist I liked in person, and let’s just say, I wish I hadn’t. But, if I did pick someone, it would be Teyana Taylor, the model, actress, director, and dancer. I think dinner would be too formal and I’d be too shy to ask any hard-hitting questions, so instead, I’d want to have brunch at her Atlanta home. I feel as though it would be easier to build a connection in a more comfortable setting. In talking with her, I’d want to hear about her experience, chasing her dreams and defying norms, all while staying true to herself. Also, I’d like to learn how she knows when it’s time to take a break! As Black people, we often try so hard to prove ourselves to others that we need to realize that it’s okay to slow down sometimes.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent? 

My proudest moment at Cadent was being able to share some of my poetry for our Open Mic. Almost one hundred people joined over Zoom, so it was an amazing experience to allow my colleagues to see a very different, vulnerable side of me – while also educating, entertaining, and simply expressing myself. I’m so happy to be part of a company that is open to listening and sharing with one another. 

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

To a younger version of myself, I would say that there is no need to dilute your personality or who you truly are just to fit in. That there is a way to be professional and not lose who you are in the process. It’s also important to go for the opportunities you deserve. It’s not enough to dream about being successful – you must be willing to go out and take risks. The people that we celebrate during BHM are those that carried this advice with them. 

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

Black History Month at Cadent: Shomar Lowe

February is Black History Month – a time dedicated to celebrating, recognizing, and remembering the achievements of the Black community in America. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year’s theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” was selected because it “acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.” 

This Black History Month is especially significant because it marks the first in which Cadent has the Black Employees Network to lead the way in planning and organizing events to commemorate the heritage of Black Americans. As a part of our celebrations, we spoke with some of our Black colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Black History Month means to them. 

Shomar Lowe, Linear Sales Planner, has been with Cadent for nearly three years, helping our Planning team develop efficient media plans for their cable and broadcast TV activations. An athlete and avid sports fan, when he’s not at work, you can often find him watching one of his favorite teams.  

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

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role 

I’m a Linear Sales Planner based out of the New York office. As a sales planner, I help build media plans to match our client’s requests – whether it’s based on CPM/CPP ratings, impressions goals, or both. I also coordinate with the Inventory team to ensure campaigns are delivering as planned.  

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?  

I like sports, so depending on the time of year, you’ll find me watching the Knicks, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, or the New York Giants. I also enjoy exploring new breweries, collecting vinyl records and sneakers, and checking out new music. 

Are there any mentors or experiences that shaped your career?  

Two people: one of my good friends from college and an account executive at my previous job. They each helped me learn how to navigate the sales industry, especially as a Black employee. Both taught me skills so that I could be successful in my role today as well as future roles.  

What does Black History Month mean to you and how are you planning to celebrate this year? 

This month is meant to highlight some of the greatness that Black people have contributed to society – everything from clothes to art, to social awareness. I will look to continue patronizing Black-owned businesses and increase my awareness of contemporary Black artists. 

Do you have any favorite movies, books, art, or music made by Black creators?  

There are many, but here are just a few:  

Books: Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like, Huey P. Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide, and Kobe Bryant’s The Mamba Mentality.  

Music: J Dilla’s Donuts, Nas’ Illmatic, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Isaac Hayes’s Black Moses, Robert Glasper’s In My Element, and Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall.  

Art: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitiled (Boxer), Kehinde Wiley’s Portrait of Barack Obama, and Anthony Akinbola’s Camouflage #005.  

Movies: Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing, Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood

This year, ASALH’s Black History Month theme is “Black Health and Wellness.” Can you tell us what “Black Health and Wellness” means to you?  

Take care of yourself in all aspects – mind, body, and soul. Keeping yourself organized, eating well and exercising, making time for friends and family, and indulging in hobbies or interests are each a part of your wellness. 

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

It’s important to be open to everyone’s differences and show those differences, from C-level executives to entry-level employees. This is successfully put into action when collaboration is used to celebrate culture – no matter how big or small the group – allowing their voice to be heard and acknowledged in an authentic way, rather than using an idea of what it “should be” to move forward. 

If you could have dinner with any important Black figure – a civil rights pioneer, politician, musician, artist, author, activist, etc. – living or dead, who would it be and why?  

There are two people that come to mind. The first is Huey P. Newton, as it would be interesting to learn about how he focused on the formation and growth of the Black Panther Party, as well as working on its other programs, such as medical clinics and free food for kids. I would also ask if or how he sees remnants of the Party in any of today’s sociopolitical organizations. 

The second would be J Dilla, because it would be interesting to learn about how he was able to bring his ideas to life with – seemingly – such ease, and how he was able to stay motivated and focused, especially during the time of his declining health. 

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent?  

It has to be when I was recognized for my efforts with a Crushing It at Cadent award last summer! 

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

Get a mentor and learn the ropes, apply yourself 100% to whatever you are doing – no matter how insignificant it may seem, and always have an opinion. 

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