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Highlights: Women Building Wealth Forum San Diego 25 January 2024
The Hispanic Wealth Project’s Women Building Wealth (WBW) Forum in San Diego was a great success. Over 100 participants gathered at the University of San Diego for an afternoon of discussions on how Latinas are building wealth. For a list of resources from the Forum please click here.

Event emcee Elisa Hernandez, Host of the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the Forum with an enthusiastic tribute to the many Latinas who are building businesses and creating an impact in their communities. Here is a summary of highlights from the Forum:

Latinas Redefine Wealth & Drive Economic Prosperity
HWP Chairperson and CEO of Titan Title Sara Rodriguez shared the stage with Dr. Inez González Perezchica, Executive Director of MANA de San Diego. They spoke about how real estate opens the door to wealth building for so many Latinas and the importance of networks. Dr. González Perezchica addressed the importance of social capital driving financial security and how organizations like MANA de San Diego and HWP, empower Latinas to achieve upward mobility and a better quality of life.

The Drivers of Wealth: Insights from the 2023 State of Hispanic Wealth Report
Moderator Edwin Acevedo, Broker/CEO, Century 21 LOTUS discussed data and implications from Part 1 of the 2023 SHWR with Panelists Adriana Brunner, VP of Community & Business Development, MyPoint Credit Union and Jaimie Smeraski, Policy, Learning & Research Director, NAHREP. Hispanic median household wealth soared to $61,600 in 2022, surpassing all expectations. They pointed to examples of how homeownership, business ownership, and financial assets have driven this remarkable surge but how growing financial assets remains the biggest hurdle for many Latinos.

Igniting the Drivers of Wealth
Moderator Mauricio (Mo) Perez, Compliance Director, Broker Associate, Real Team San Diego joined panelists Ana Amado-Garcia, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, University of California, San Diego – Rady School of Management and Marisa Moret, Director of Global Partnerships, Airbnb for an insightful session about actual experiences in building wealth. The importance business schools play in advancing financial education and the innovative programs Airbnb drives to involve communities and partners in the wealth generation process. Marisa pointed out the Hispanic Wealth Project has been selected as a 2024 Airbnb Community Fund recipient. With the Community Fund, Airbnb plans to distribute $100 million through 2030 to organizations that support communities around the world to help enable local, regional, and national organizations to provide meaningful impact to their communities.

Pay Yourself First: Latinos Succeeding in the Retirement GAME
Antonio Lopez, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors gave a very engaging, entertaining, and informative look at the impact of cultural values on retirement planning. The key driver to reducing anxiety and increasing confidence in reaching financial goals is having a financial plan. Starting financial education earlier was high on what many Latinas say they would change if they could.

Latinas Building Businesses
Moderator Nohemi Chavez, Real Estate Investor & Acquisitions Consultant, Claudia Acevedo, Owner / CFO, Century 21 LOTUS and Erika Borunda, Founder & Broker Associate, Exude Luxury Group. The panelists spoke about the challenges they've overcome, including imposter syndrome, working with spouses, and raising a family while growing both a career and a business. They demonstrated how support networks play a vital role in their entrepreneurial journeys, especially in creating a luxury real estate company and a husband-and-wife enterprise.

Navigating Angel Investments, Venture Capital and Startups
Moderator Marco Lopez, Founder, CEO & Event Measurement Strategist, Onxit, David Favela, Director of Talent Foundry, UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation & Commercialization, Fanny Grande, Co-Founder & CEO, Avenida Entertainment Group and Rachel Lozano Castro, Director of Innovation, San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center discussed the critical importance of enhancing access to capital for Latina entrepreneurs and startups. They pointed out how Latinas are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US and noted Latinos make up 20% of the population, but only 2% of all US venture capital funding was directed toward Latino startups. They gave examples of how innovation centers, angel investors, and family all play a role in the entrepreneurial journey.

The Keys to Legacy Building – Lessons in Resilience
This illuminating fireside chat with Lisa Ordóñez, Dean of UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management, and Beatriz Acevedo, Co-founder & CEO, SUMA Wealth focused on the Latina wealth journey. Beatriz spoke of how she gained her fortitude from her immigrant entrepreneur experiences to build the SUMA wealth platform and how that is helping Latinas in particular discover the deeper meaning of wealth creation for legacy building. Please see the HWP Women Building Wealth Event resource page for more information about SUMA Wealth, our other speakers, sponsors, and HWP programs

Reception sponsor Enrique Meza of US Bank provided remarks on the impact the bank is making on the community through the U.S. Bank Access Commitment - access to home, business and wealth programs and thanked all the participants for making the Forum a success.

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