Saturday 18 May 2024
    HomeEmpowermentMaría Victoria Valencia: Standard-bearer of Hispanicity. 

    María Victoria Valencia: Standard-bearer of Hispanicity. 

    María Victoria Valencia is the Business Director of CHN, the first Hispanic American Business Congress in the United States.  

    Maria is Colombian, now a Spanish citizen, and is much more than a successful entrepreneur; she is a champion of Hispanic identity, an example of how entrepreneurial spirit can transcend borders and unite communities in a hug of opportunities and shared dreams. She has taken on the commitment to carry the flag of the Hispanic community and entrepreneurship, towards a stronger and more united community in this country. Her advice? “Turn strangers into contacts, contacts into friends, and friends into the best salespeople.” 

    Who is María Victoria and what is her story? 

    I have lived in several countries, in Spain, Canada, and now in the United States. In Spain, we created a networking group with a bunch of Latin Americans that turned into a company. I also led another flower export venture there; we faced many challenges, and I had the opportunity to work at the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid and see how events, business rounds were organized, and I thought I could do the same myself, so that is where this dream was born. I joined the Colombian Consulate in Spain, and we started working with all the Latinos in Spain who could and wanted to undertake, from there we brought 182 success stories, and I said, “This works!” Nowadays, we have people located in companies starting their own ventures. 

    How did you come to the United States? 

    After being in Spain, I went to Canada, and there I founded an organization of women hand in hand with a group of friends and now partners… we realized that in that year (2015), gender equity development was still very raw, there was not the support that exists today, and it was difficult. And finally, I arrived in the United States, in Houston, and discovered that the best way to make myself known was to create a Congress, so we created the Hispanic American Business Congress. The event was nice; it was a congress in Spanish, that is what has characterized me as well, carrying out our actions in our language, as I said, I carry the flag of Hispanic identity. 

    Tell us about this Congress… 

    Many people joined, and it was the first Congress done in Spanish; it lasted three days and was held in Houston at the level of an enterprise. We brought together the 30 most outstanding Hispanics in the United States, people with success stories and inspiration; it was so important that the Mayor of Houston participated, and personalities who contributed to making it a unique space where a critical dialogue was created, and we are still generating business from those days. We told Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee about it, and she liked it; she thought it was a great initiative that should continue to happen, so she granted us a day for our organization. 

    What is the day? 

    Every October 13th, we celebrate the day of the Hispanic American Business Congress, signed by Sheila Jackson Lee, one of the most important Texan congresswomen in the United States Congress, and the congress proclaimed that day for us. So, that is an especially important day for the Hispanic entrepreneurial community and for those of us who promote business from Latin America to the United States and vice versa. 

    What inspires or motivates you the most in your career? 

    Motivation comes from something that moves us, and I have always been moved by the deep desire to do things. 

    Can you tell us about your greatest achievement as Business Director at CHN? 

    The award we received from the United States Congress, when an American institution recognizes you, you feel like you have achieved something significant. 

    Who is María Victoria? 

    Full Name: María Victoria Valencia 

    Position: Founder and Director 

    Company: CHN Business Network 

    Nationality: Colombian and naturalized Spanish 

    Favorite Food: Latin American cuisine 

    Favorite Sport: I am a football enthusiast; football is my favorite sport. I am a fan of Junior (from Barranquilla) and Real Madrid. 

    Hobbies: Reading biographies 

    Dream Destination: My home. 

    Let’s Rock: 

    One word to describe yourself: Passionate. 

    Favorite Book: Man’s Search for Meaning. 

    What contribution do you make to a better world?  

    Many years ago, I decided to carry a flag, which I confess is somewhat heavy, the flag of Hispanic identity and entrepreneurship, in order to contribute to an underserved Hispanic community. 

    A piece of advice you were given and would give: “Turn those strangers into your contacts, those contacts into your friends, and your friends into your best salespeople.” 



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