The Business Ledger Annual Awards for Business Excellence (AABEs) for 2008
On confronting economic worries: “The Hispanic market continues growing and it is a proven buying force. According to the Selig Center at the University of Georgia, the immense buying power of the Hispanic consumers continue to energize the nation’s consumer market, and projections reveal that Hispanics will control about $862 billion in spending power for the year 2007. In fact, Census 2000 showed that more than one person in eight who live in the United States is of Hispanic origin, and that population continues to grow much more rapidly than the non-Hispanic population.”
- Nelly Venecia, President
Nelly Venecia is widely credited as being a strong advocate for Hispanics, especially Hispanic women, in understanding and developing the difficult but surmountable task of assimilating into American culture while preserving their own rich heritage.
Venecia is an advocate for women’s issues, for the Hispanic community in general and for education, an issue that claims special emphasis. Launched four years ago, Venecia Group, which she leads as its president, is operated as a full-service Hispanic marketing firm. She has nine employees, most of whom are recent graduates of Aurora, Loyola and Northern Illinois universities.
It is also a consulting, training and translation company whose early success resulted in Venecia receiving an “Influential Women in Business” award from The Business Ledger in 2005.
The Aurora dynamo, who hails from Mexico City, helps Hispanic women overcome the fears and apprehensions they face when trying to break into American mainstream culture and communications, as well as to see the opportunities that exist for them. For example, one young Hispanic woman who is working on a master’s degree and who holds a management job with a hotel in downtown Chicago, salutes Venecia as her mentor and advisor.
“Nelly prepared me with truth for a realistic workforce,” says the young professional woman. “She has always been honest about what to expect from different environments, (such as) not-for-profits, entrepreneurships and corporate America. She highlights a person’s individual strengths and politely reaches out to develop weaknesses.”
The organization’s clients include the city of Aurora, Kane County and the state of Illinois, Heritage YMCA of Naperville and business customers, including Old Second National Bank.
Venecia says her organization was created to address the high demands of doing business in a global marketplace and the recognized challenge of developing loyal relationships across cultures. “Our sensitivity to multi-cultural issues enables us to position our clients to succeed in reaching the Hispanic market,” she explains.
With a strong personal presence in the community, Venecia is a regular speaker at Aurora University’s Latin American Student Association and the Women in Management Association. She launched a job training program at St. Nicholas Church, the largest Hispanic church in Kane County, and formerly served on the board of the League of Latin American Citizens.