Hispana Leadership Summit 2013

When I began blogging five years ago, I met some truly incredible mommy bloggers.  I instantly connected with Migdalia also known as Ms. Latina of Latina on a Mission and we have supported each other’s endeavors over the years.

Latina on a Mission was more than a clever play on words; it defined her.  It reinforced her authenticity and who she was.  Through her blog as the platform and other social media channels, she projected her message of empowering women of all ethnicities.  She lived that message of empowerment when she launched her blogging network, Stiletto Media.

I have had the pleasure of working on a few campaigns with Migdalia and Stiletto Media.  Then last summer at BlogHer 12 in New York City, I had the chance to meet Migdalia in person for the first time as well as the Latina bloggers that represent Stiletto Media at the #SMLatinas Kick Off Your Heels Event.

So, when Migdalia invited me to attend the Hispana Leadership Summit at the Grand Floridian at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando last weekend, I jumped at the chance to connect with mis Latina hermanas again.

I arrived on Friday morning in time to hear Migdalia and Myrah of Coupon Mamacita speak as part of a panel discussion, Social Butterflies: Latina’s Blogger Success Stories.  The ladies on the panel were truly blogging success stories, stumbling upon a community where they could help educate and empower others.  Knowing two of these women in the real world, Migdalia and Myrah exemplified best practices of blogging as a business with much success.

In yet another conference, a theme of authenticity dominated the sessions.  The women spoke on the power within our blogs and how we use it to impact and help others.  Our blogs and our voices are powerful and brands will want to work with bloggers for that reason.  Bloggers are a powerful force and through our blogs we have an opportunity and a responsibility to impact and influence our communities in a positive way.

On that same sentiment, Eilanne Romos of Geek Goddess spoke on the 3 Key Things to Building a Brand”.

1) Courage

2) Content

3) Consistency

Much like our relationships in the real world, our blogs need care.  Myrah equated her success with her tenacity to interact with her followers and stressed the importance of always interacting with readers and followers via blogs, social media channels and email.

A message of an authenticity, empowerment and belief in ourselves to achieve success echoed in each session of the Hispana Leadership Summit.  From a fire eating demonstration to carrying around an invisible circle of strength and success in our minds, we learned that visualizing success is as important as physically working towards it.

On Friday evening, we dressed up in our best white party clothes and headed to Epcot on chariots for the annual Hispana Leadership Summit white photo and awards ceremony.

A Spanish buffet dinner complete with plantains, Arroz con Pollo, Mango Mahi Mahi, Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and a Yucca Medley awaited for us at the American Adventure pavilion after our group photo.

After the awards, we returned outside for Epcot’s stunning firework show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and dessert.

And then, the real party started.  Leave it to a bunch of Latinas to party with maracas!

More than dressed the same, we acted the same.  It’s always been hard for me.  I’m not quite a white girl, but I’m not quite Hispanic.  I’ve always been stuck between two worlds.  As I watched these women dancing, I realized I am white, but so are they.  White is just a color.

The music thumped and hips swayed and a hundred women danced just like me.  No one tried to be sexy or dance on speakers or try to compete.  They just had fun.

And so did I.  For one night, I felt like I was dancing in my bedroom with my sister.  Times one hundred.  The room was full of women who looked like me and danced like me.  I felt home like Marty from Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa running in a herd of Latina zebras.  I had arrived and I belonged.

I can’t thank Migdalia enough for the opportunity to network and connect with so many fun, intelligent, beautiful, confident, wonderful women.


  1. Migdalia - @MsLatina says:

    Denise, I’m honored to be your friend, confidante and mentor. We’ve come a long way and it’s not over. Social media is still in it’s infancy. We have so much more ahead of us. Pa ‘lante! This journey has just begun!

  2. Jenny says:

    It looks like you had an amazing time! Makes me wish I could be Latina 🙂 Maybe honorary??

    LOVE all the white outfits. Such a change from being home with kids and the dog….I never wear white! LOL

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