He began as a janitor for Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, and of course, like many, he dreamed of bigger things.
Today, Richard Montanez leads the Multicultural Sales & Community Promotions across PepsiCo's North American division where he formulates best practices internally and externally to develop community partnerships.
For many, Montanez is an example that dreams can come true, and his experiences and various roles across PepsiCo will likely be shared May 13 when he serves as the keynote speaker for the second annual National Small Business Week luncheon in Bakersfield. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center.
It is hosted by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the University of La Verne's College of Business and Public Management, and the Small Business Development Center. Presenting sponsors are Chase Bank and Bright House Business Solutions.
Montanez was invited to speak to show the significant role that entrepreneurs can have on companies and local economies -- and that dreaming big can translate into reality, not seen as an impossibility, said Jay Tamsi, CEO/President of the KCHCC.
"Many of our members are entrepreneurs or starting out their business for the first time; he represents hope," Tamsi said. "He shows us to not give up on what we dream about, no matter how large or small."
Montanez began as a janitor in the late 1970s for Frito-Lay but by 1990s, he had worked his way up and became involved in the company's Continuous Improvement Initiative. One of Montanez's biggest credits is being recognized as the creator of the Flaming hot line of products, including the Flamin' Hot Cheetos, which played a role into the development of ethnic products and the first Frito-Lay Hispanic marketing team. Montanez, a husband, father of three and grandfather of four who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, has also helped influence Hispanic products and marketing promotions for KFC and Taco Bell, and has been involved in nonprofit boards.
Tamsi encourages the public to attend. Tickets are $30 a person or $400 for a table of eight. For more information, please call the chamber at 633-5495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOMO?: Social media has opened a new line of communication for people to exchange stories about their personal lives with others online -- the good times, bad times, challenging moments, sad ones, hilarious times, and the list goes on.
While social media has many benefits, users need to proceed with caution before moving too quickly to share the experience digitally. The key is to enjoy the moment before hitting that post button.
Such was one of the new media trends shared by Randi Zuckerberg, founder of media production company Zuckerberg Media and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, at the recent Bakersfield Women's Business Conference.
As the keynote speaker, Randi shared valuable pieces of advice to help others navigate through social media. One of them was what she called FOMO. Translation: fear of missing out.
Social media can be overwhelming at times, she acknowledged. However, the key is to know when to shut it down or tune it out. She gave the example of being at a concert.
As an example, let's imagine it is a concert you have been waiting for quite some time and are so excited to finally be there. But you spend most of your time on your social media, posting images and commenting about actually being at the concert that you forget to actually sit back and enjoy the show.
Forget FOMO, she says. Embrace JOMO: the joy of missing out. There is beauty in simply enjoying the moment.
EAGLE AWARDS: Congratulations to five local residents who were recently honored with the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Award. The award is given by the nonprofit Fraternal Order of the Eagles Bakersfield Aerie #93 and the Ladies Auxiliary, both of which are located in downtown Bakersfield. The honorees are Bakersfield High School football coach Paul Golla; East Bakersfield High School Principal Lee Vasquez; Jolene Berg, a Bakersfield teacher of deaf and hard of hearing; and area entertainers Joey Zaza and Richie Perez.
Organizers say the Eagle Award pays tribute to local individuals who have given back to the community through their efforts and dedication.
STONY BROOK RETREAT: Thank you to those who reached out to share their personal input on a scholarly study about the Stony Brook Retreat. Located in Keene, Stony Brook operated from 1918 to 1968 and served as a sanitarium and preventorium to treat patients suffering from tuberculosis and seek ways to prevent the spread of the disease. It was one of hundreds of facilities in the nation during this period that aimed to isolate and treat contagious patients, both adults and children.
Tuberculosis was once considered the "disease of the masses" and a great killer of Americans at this time in the history of the United States.
Formal interviews of those who were at Stony Brook as patients or employees will begin soon as part of the academic study.
If you know someone who spent time at Stony Brook as a patient or worked there as an employee, please contact me at 395-7487 or email@example.com, or Dr. Alicia Rodriquez, a Cal State Bakersfield history professor, firstname.lastname@example.org or 654-2166.
Olivia Garcia is editor of Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines, and a columnist of The Bakersfield Californian. These are her opinions, not necessarily those of The Bakersfield Californian. Send her tips at email@example.com.