Glenn Llopis on Leadership Development & Hispanic Culture

Glenn Llopis is the founder and chairman of the Center for Hispanic Leadership (CHL). The organization was founded in 2008, and is located in Irvine, CA. Glenn emphasizes the fact he learned about leadership from his father. His parents, Frank and Jenny Llopis are Cuban immigrants. Frank Llopis is a highly renowned Latin musician, and Cuban music legend.

The Center for Hispanic Leadership has over 500 members, and the membership spans across the U.S. and Latin America. The mission of CHL is to empower professional growth and talent development of Hispanic employees through the use of culturally tailored curriculum that helps accelerate the awareness and potential of their unique skill-sets and capabilities in the workplace. Glen started CHL because he observed that Hispanic professionals were not advancing in their careers in the corporate landscape. He notes, “I did not start the Center for Hispanic Leadership because I had to, but because I wanted to.” In accordance with its mission, the CHL offers development programs to interested companies for the purpose of awareness and advancement of Hispanic professionals.

An Opportunity for Change

Recent U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Census Bureau reports have acknowledged the growth of Hispanic employees in the workforce and the overall growth of the Hispanic population in the country to approximately 40 million citizens. U.S. companies are aggressively altering their operations to cater to this rapidly growing market segment. Llopis noted the opportunity to tap into the professional talent base of Hispanic leaders and executives is substantial. “There is a three to five year window of opportunity to create influence and effect change – and it all starts with leadership”, he said. Today’s business environment requires leaders who understand renewal, reinvention, and entrepreneurship. Llopis points out that these are inborn survival mechanisms within the Hispanic culture.

Llopis notes that one of the challenges Hispanic employees face is assimilation into the existing culture. A diverse workforce facilitates diverse thoughts and ideas. Llopis states that Hispanic employees are assimilated into the corporate culture and do not fully utilize their skills and talents of survival, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. To alleviate this workplace barrier, the CHL offers an intense, tailored curriculum for Hispanic employees. Glenn’s prior work experience and education background is not only a fit for developing and implementing this culturally-based curriculum, but it is also an ideal mix for communicating the benefits of the program to corporate leaders who are willing and able to utilize it in their organizations. Glenn is a graduate of UCLA, majoring in International Relations. He has also participated in the Food Management program at the University of Southern California (USC). Glenn has served as an executive the Gallo Wine Company, Sunkist Beverages, and Norway Seafood Company – all of which are successful Fortune 1000 companies.

Llopis is the author of “Earning Serendipity – 4 Skills for Creating and Sustaining Good Fortune in Your Work”. His book teaches individuals and organizations to propel innovation in a progressive workplace through principals of the immigrant perspective of business leadership. The passion and dedication Llopis used in writing his book is clearly displayed in the “six natural characteristics” emphasized in the Center for Hispanic Leadership Institute for Talent Development curriculum. According to Llopis, the six characteristics are: Immigrant Perspective; Circular Vision; Latin Passion; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Generous Purpose; and Cultural Promise. The objective of the leadership curriculum is to create a new agenda on the immigrant perspective of business leadership. He stresses that Hispanics (or for that matter any other demographic group) are not entitled to anything. “There is no free lunch; everyone must earn relevancy”, he urges.

A “Course” of Action

The Talent Development curriculum is a comprehensive 2-day, 16-hour course. To begin, participants go through a skills assessment and complete pre-course work centered on HR, Diversity, and Talent Management processes. The curriculum provides an opportunity for participants to master their leadership skills. Llopis proudly speaks about the success of the curriculum and the progress of the Center for Hispanic Leadership. He measures success of the initiative by survey responses from the participants in the curriculum, and by the employer/client feedback of corporations that have implemented his program. Some of the clients and sponsors for CHL are: IBM; Morgan Stanley; Pepsico; and Xerox. The motto of the CHL is “Unite, Empower, Expand.” Hopefully, the message and the success of the Center for Hispanic Leadership can permeate more factions of Corporate America.  This type of dedication, passion, and sense of urgency for a better society can be infectious.

More information on the Center for Hispanic Leadership, Earning Serendipity, and founder Glenn Llopis can be found at:

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