September 21, 2017

Business, Leadership, and Race


Ongoing racial tensions in this country are acting as a catalyst for business leaders to delve into issues of race and racism within their own organizations.

Many understand the concept that a diverse workforce is a positive business strategy.  But the lack of a clear path of how to create a culture that allows and embraces diversity can hinder business leaders from even attempting to make changes for fear of doing the wrong thing.

To help guide Rochester area businesses in these murky waters, Expanding Events is sponsoring a unique opportunity from Oct. 19-20 to discuss business, leadership and race with Debby Irving, a noted speaker, educator and author from Cambridge, Mass. She will lead a pair of events that will provide a deeper understanding of the forces that often undermine best intentions as business owners strive to keep pace with our changing workforce.

One Rochester CEO, when told about Irving’s visit, stated: “This is incredibly timely. In my company, we are so aware of our lack of diversity, and we’ve begun to ask ourselves, ‘What is it about how we’re operating that makes us part of the problem?’ ”

Irving will describe her struggle to understand racism and racial tensions. She will also describe how she’s changed the way she works in racially mixed groups and what she has learned about leading an organization.

There will be two opportunities for engagement and exploration with Irving.

Race, Responsibility and Leadership: Blind Spots and Lessons

Irving will lead participants in an exploration of the topic of race, how it relates to them personally, and how it impacts their ability to make clear and informed decisions as leaders. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and debate the issues. This session will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at St. John Fisher College. Tickets are $10 with group discounts available.

A Deeper Dive into Leadership and Race: The Beliefs We Hold, the Decisions We Make

Using a series of pointed questions, Irving will work with participants to build a graphic map of the groups to which people belong because of social locations and historical roles in U.S. society. Attendees will identify and discuss their beliefs and assumptions about race-related topics, and how our history and beliefs show up on our organizational cultures. Participants will leave with two powerful tools to analyze power dynamics and cultivate transformative cultures in their circles of influence. There will be opportunities throughout for group discussion, questions and challenges. The workshop will include a panel of experienced leaders:

  • Bill Carpenter, CEO of Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
  • Randy Henderson, President of Henderson Family Ford
  • Marisol Ramos-Lopez, City Commissioner of Parks and Youth Services

This session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Oct. 20, at St. John Fisher College. Tickets are $75 and include continental breakfast. Team discounts are available.

Corporate sponsors for the events are Bergmann Associates, Leadership Coaching Inc. and The Rochester Area Community Foundation.

The organizer is Expanding Events, which presents opportunities for business owners and leaders to explore social issues that impact their organizations. For more information and to purchase tickets go to

Learn to Soar 3.0


Would you like to learn how to get your business certified as women- or minority-owned so you can compete for government contracts? [Read more…]

RHBA Member re-elected to MCC Board of Trustees

RHBA member, Grace Tillinghast, was re-elected as vice-chair to the Monroe Community College Board of Trustees. Congratulations Grace!

SCORE offers workshop on financial matters

Do you need help with accounting, record-keeping or taxation issues? The Greater Rochester Chapter of SCORE is offering a workshop called “Accounting/Record Keeping & Tax Issues for Small Business.”

The class will be from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, 150 State St.

Lisa Pelletier, owner of Pelletier Accounting and Tax Services, is teaching the workshop. Cost is $49 and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Advance registration is required. To learn more about the workshop or to register, click here.

Martinez wins consultant award

RHBA board member Luis Martinez was honored recently with the Consultants Consultant award by the Rochester Professional Consultants Network. [Read more…]

D&C Digital Hosts Spring Networking

About 25 RHBA members learned more about D&C Digital at the Spring Networking held on May 4 at the D&C’s prominent location on the corner of Clinton and Main streets in downtown Rochester.   [Read more…]

Brockport dean outlines scope of business school

Dr. Joy Bhadury, dean of the School of Business Administration and Economics at the College at Brockport, was the guest speaker at the May 16 luncheon of the RHBA at D’Mangu restaurant.

“Please call me Joy,” he immediately told the group after being introduced. Bhadury came to the college nearly a year ago from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. [Read more…]

2017 Latinas Unidas Scholarship Golf Tournament

It’s time to dust off your golf clubs and hit the driving range in preparation for the First Annual Latinas Unidas Scholarship Golf Tournament! [Read more…]

Borinquen Dance Theatre 36th Anniversary

Borinquen Dance Theatre presents “Together We Dance, United  We Soar”, the 36th anniversary community performance at Hochstien School in Downtown Rochester. Get tickets before they sell out! [Read more…]

Gear up to grow your business

Are you interested in expanding your business through joint venture, merger or acquisition? Are you concerned that your family business or partnership is unprotected? Would you like to learn about new or proposed federal regulations coming out of Washington, D.C.? Do you want to learn new techniques for selling products and services to various types of customers?

Then check out “Gear up to grow your business,” a day of workshops, networking, and meetings with a variety of lenders, sponsored by the Greater Rochester Chapter of SCORE. The event begins at 8:15 a.m. at Oak Hill Country Club, 145 Kilbourn Road. The entire event is free, including a continental breakfast and luncheon.

Attendees will have the opportunity to choose two out of four workshops to attend in the morning. At lunch, SCORE will honor its 2017 Client of the Year. From 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., during the bank matchmaker event, attendees can meet one-on-one with a variety of lenders.

Regardless of the size of your business, whether you are a solo entrepreneur or you have been in business many years, this event is for you.

For more information and to register, click here.

What will 2017 state legislative session bring?

Every small business owner and employer knows that decisions made in Albany have an impact – either positive or negative – on the bottom line.

Chris Wiest, vice president/ public policy and advocacy at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, gave a presentation to RHBA members recently about issues of interest to employers regarding the 2017 New York State budget and legislative session. (RHBA is an affiliate of the GRCC.) [Read more…]

Masquerade Ball Supports Rotary Projects

The Foundation of the Rochester Latino Rotary Club will host its 8th annual Masquerade Ball from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Diplomat Banquet Center. There will be music, dinner, dancing, and raffles. Proceeds help to support service projects. Tickets are $50 each or $450 for a table of ten.   Tickets can be purchased on   The Foundation is a non‐profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Therefore, a portion of your ticket purchase is tax deductible.

Seeking to expand your business acumen?

The Greater Rochester Chapter of SCORE is offering several workshops this spring focused on giving entrepreneurs the tools to start or grow their businesses. Upcoming sessions include Grow Your Business with Email and Social Media; Content Marketing: What to say, how to say it; Financial Dashboard for Small Business; HR 101: Key Issues and How to Solve Them; and Small Business Start-up and Survival (series).

For more information on these and other workshops: visit here.

Looking for a business loan or grant?

Mayor Lovely Warren is inviting business owners in the city of Rochester to attend an information session to learn how to access the City’s loans, grants and services in order to grow or improve their business.

Department of Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner (NBD) Bayé Muhammad will be joined by NBD staff to present information on the various types of loans, services and grants available to city business owners. Such programs can assist with the purchase of furniture, fixtures, equipment, real estate, renovations, façade improvements and more.

Information sessions are scheduled as follows:

5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, March 16: Frederick Douglass R-Center, 999 South Ave.
5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, March 30: Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus St.
5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, April 13: Carter Street R-Center, 500 Carter St.
5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, April 27: Port of Rochester, Harbor Center, 1000 N. River St.


To RSVP contact Horace Allen at 585.428.6169 or via email at

2017 NYS Budget and Legislative Session: Issues of Interest to Employers

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce VP of Public Policy and Advocacy Chris Wiest, will be holding a 1 hour meeting regarding the topic below.  Attendees will  have a greater understanding of the 2017 NYS Budget and the impact on the Rochester business community.  It will help to navigate the decisions being made in Albany and properly lead and align organizations to thrive in this economic environment.


As a member of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association you are cordially invited to this informational session.


Date: Monday, March 13, 2017

Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Location: Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Cost: complimentary, registration is required

RSVP:  please email to register

Deadline to register: Friday, March 10, 2017




2017 NYS Budget and Legislative Session:  Issues of Interest to Employers


Presenter:  Chris Wiest, Vice President Public Policy & Advocacy

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.


Will Upstate finally get ridesharing?  Will free SUNY tuition come to pass?  How about long overdue Workers’ Compensation reform?  Join us for a special Rochester Chamber affiliates briefing on the Executive budget and legislative session.  At this meeting, Rochester Chamber VP of Public Policy & Advocacy, Chris Wiest, will share highlights on the proposed 2017 NYS budget and its potential impact on employers and the broader community.  This will be an interactive meeting, so come prepared to share your ideas and thoughts!