MEET EGBI CLIENT – MARIA DOMINGUEZ

By Marisol Klauer

Maria Dominguez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. Her mother migrated to Texas with her and her three siblings when she was just nine years old. She attended Texas State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, majoring in Bilingual Education in 2007.  Mrs. Maria received her EC-4 Bilingual Certification from the state of Texas in December 2007. In 2008, Mrs. Maria began her career as a Kindergarten teacher and became school director three years later.  While working at the preschool she joined the graduate program at Texas State University and on May 2012 she graduated with a Master’s degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education and a minor in Educational Leadership. Receiving DACA gave her the opportunity to begin working at Rodriguez Elementary as a Pre-K Bilingual Teacher and and a few years later she became a First Grade Bilingual Teacher. A few years later Maria became a Certified School Counselor in May 2018 and had the opportunity to work as a school counselor at Elgin Elementary school.

Due to her contribution in her classroom and in her community, Mrs. Maria was honored at the White House in the summer of 2016, as a DACAmented Teacher Champion of Change. She was also awarded Bilingual Teacher of the Year by the Austin Area Association for Bilingual Education in May 2017. She was also awarded Campus Teacher of the Year at Rodriguez Elementary School in 2016.

Maria founded Cielito Lindo Spanish Immersion Preschool in December 2019, expanding to a second location in November of 2021. Since then, Mrs. Maria has been the owner/director managing both locations. She plans to continue providing a multilingual education for young children and enhancing her program to provide a high quality early childhood education. 

Maria shares her experience as a client of EGBI.

Do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I used to be in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) when I was in High School and in my senior year I was the group commander 🙂


How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I first got involved when I was working at preschool in 2009, I believe. I found out about EGBI through FB, the ad said something like, do you want to start your own business and are you interested in learning how to do it. So I decided to attend the series of workshops and I actually completed the program and graduated in the fall of that year.  My dream had always been, since I was a little girl, to become a teacher and have my own school. I used to be the teacher in my neighborhood when I lived in Mexico and then when I came to the United States at the age of 9 years old. 


Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?

It’s important to help organizations like EGBI because they actually do what they say they do. They support small businesses by providing mentorship and workshops on taxes, business plan, marketing, loans, etc. depending on your income, they will only charge you a portion of what the classes are and many times they are free. They have a huge network and are always willing to help you connect with the right people that can help grow and improve your business. 


How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

It has help grow my knowledge of how to run my business. With their guidance and business classes, they have helped me feel more confident to be able to make the right decisions for our business and our Cielito Lindo Preschool families. I look forward to continuing working with EGBI in the future. All of the staff is awesome!! I am not sure what I would’ve done without their support. Cielito Lindo SIP has been blessed by having the opportunity to work with an such a great organization like EGBI. 

Want to get involved ? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI Volunteer – Kitty Bird

By Marisol Klauer

“Wouldn’t it be great if…” is by far the most common thing out of my mouth, which is usually followed up with some outrageous idea I’ve concocted in that moment. It’s true I was once labeled “an idea machine”. Always looking for that inspiration, that connection, that key moment that brings something to light. Photography is a passion of mine that does just that. Connecting with people can be so inspiring; and yes, I can be an enthusiast on just about any topic. Let’s talk!

Been a Texan since 2004 and the amazing landscape and tiny towns are becoming an essential part of my DNA. I’m currently hosting guests in Austin, Leakey and Concan Texas, photographing the lifestyle and heartbeat of small businesses and pushing the fair-trade movement with Ten Thousand Villages. 

Kitty shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

To get started, do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I coordinated and am part of the Guinness Book Of World records for the largest singing bowl ensemble through Ten Thousand Villages.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I answered a volunteer ad because I wanted experience in shooting for small businesses. 

Why do you volunteer for EGBI?

To meet people and use my talents to help them. I also wanted to expand my portfolio as a photographer.

How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

Just meeting Monica from EGBI has helped a ton! She encouraged me in areas that I didn’t realize were important. Now I have experience in working with small business’ owners and can expand my portfolio to include commercial photography. Plus, I’ve met so many wonderful people who have used EGBI’s services. It’s a community of incredibly warm, friendly, and giving people. 

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI Client – Luis Salinas

By Marisol Klauer

Luis Salinas is the owner of 24hr Passports and Visa Services. Born and raised in Austin, he graduated from St Edwards University with a degree in Business Administration in May 2021. He started his passport expediting business in April 2022 and has been in business for over 7 months. Luis says EGBI has been instrumental in his business’ success and has helped him every step of the way.

Luis shares his experience as a client of EGBI.

Do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I started my first business when I was 8 yrs old. I sold glow sticks and toys to kids at events where my mom was the photographer.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I got involved with EGBI through a friend’s recommendation, who was also a business owner. He told me how much of a positive influence EGBI has had on his business and convinced me to check it out.

Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?

It’s important to support organizations like EGBI because they support the wellbeing of our community, as well as foster economic growth and advancement.

How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

My involvement with EGBI gave me the confidence to start my business and take a leap of faith. Thanks to them, I finally got the ball rolling.

Why is it important to learn information in your primary language?

Spanish is my first language and I believe it’s very important to embrace your roots. I was born in the U.S. and have lived here my entire life, but my parents are originally from Mexico. They would only allow me to speak Spanish at home and instilled a very deep sense of pride for my Mexican heritage. That is why I embrace learning in Spanish, and why I continue to develop my ability to communicate with others that share the same language.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI Clients – Owners Of Natural Healing Wellness Co.

By Marisol Klauer

Christina worked in Social Work for more than a decade and earned a Master of Science from UT-Austin. Christina then went on to work for the next decade serving the mentally ill population in various agencies in Austin.  Though she thoroughly enjoyed supporting her clients and empowering their agency for change, she felt she needed to transition to living her dharma by teaching various aspects of Spirituality. During this time, Christina began to experience a spiritual awakening that transformed her view of the world and her role in it. Christina enjoys spending time in nature so you can find her on the hiking trails in Austin.

Aaron Gobert is also a University of Texas-Austin Alumni, who previously worked as an Audio Engineer with his own record company, “ATX Recording”. Aaron later pursued a career in the medical industry and worked for various agencies in the Austin area. During this time, Aaron began to educate himself about the Alkaline lifestyle and its benefits. Aaron went on to share this valuable information with Christina and they founded Natural Healing Wellness Co. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys educating others about genetics and human history.

Christina shares her experience as a client of EGBI.

Do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

My husband and I are both University of Texas Alumni.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I attended one of Monica’s Marketing classes online first. Then I started coaching with her and took the 90 day goals course later.

Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?

I love the work that EGBI is doing to support small businesses in Austin. Starting a business is a challenging task, but it is nice to know I can call Monica or Joni to point me in the right direction.

How has EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

EGBI has helped me to step out of comfort zone in advertising my business and reaching my goals.

I especially loved the 90 day goal course. Though I did not reach all my goals, I was able to create some serious momentum that propelled my business forward, in a way I may not have accomplished on my own.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Summer Program Intern- Aamir Kutianawala

By Alison Flangel

Meet Aamir Kutianawala, a summer program intern at EGBI. Aamir has been working with EGBI for the summer. He is a rising junior at Westwood High School and would like to go more into business/marketing as he progresses with his education. Outside of school and EGBI, Aamir is part of his school’s debate team, robotics team, DECA team, and various others as well. He loves playing and watching sports in his free time, and has also been pursuing guitar on the side!

Aamir shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I have been learning to play the guitar for 3 years.

How have you been involved with EGBI?

I have been working on a variety of tasks, but mainly help clients/business owners with finances and marketing. I also provide broad support by making lectures for entire groups of clients, along with helping to complete any general tasks.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer at EGBI?

I think it’s important to work with EGBI to support disadvantaged business owners, and help bridge the gap with underrepresented groups in business.

What has your favorite experience with EGBI been so far?

My favorite experience has been taking and editing pictures for a client’s Etsy shop.

“EGBI helps you make a difference in the community.”– Aamir Kutianawala

In 2021, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Ken make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Summer Program Intern- Shamitha Ramanan

By Alison Flangel

Hi! My name is Shamitha and I have been with EGBI for a month now and it has been an enriching experience. I am an incoming senior at Westwood High School, and as my education progresses, I hope to pursue a degree in finance or management. Outside of EGBI, I am in my school’s orchestra, Academy Ambassador program, GenShe, and several other clubs and honor societies.

Shamitha shares her experience as an intern with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

A fun fact about me is that I grew up mainly in London, England, and California.

How have you been involved with EGBI?

I mainly do research and analysis for clients’ businesses to see where they can improve financially. I’ve also recently worked on importing and exporting goods, bookkeeping, and more.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI allows you to connect with people from all kinds of different backgrounds and changes your perspective on business and the world around you.

What has your favorite experience with EGBI been so far?

My favorite experience has been attending the 90 Days business workshop. I’ve been able to connect with a lot of different people and learn about their businesses and inspirations. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with them one-on-one to help expand their businesses.  

“EGBI provides you the opportunity to learn new skills, communicate, and network.” – Shamitha Ramanan

In 2021, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Ken make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Supporter- Rosemary Banda

By Alison Flangel

Rosemary is a native Austinite, born and raised in East Austin. She is the giving coordinator at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and her role goes well with her passion and desire to make the world a better place. She works in the philanthropy department and handles the monetary donation process for all national giving and assists nonprofits with their support they provide in the community. Rosemary completed the Hispanic Austin Leader program in 2009 and Leadership Austin in 2020. She is a former board member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and GAHCC Foundation board of directors and has held various leadership roles in
the Hispanic Austin Leadership program. In 2015, she received the GAHCC Chairs Award; in 2016, she received the TAMACC Women of Distinction award; in 2019 she received the HAL Alumni of the Year award; the HABLA Outstanding Community Leader Award in 2020 and Con Mi Madre Mariposa Award in 2022. She is a past advisory board member of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center Advisory Board, appointed by Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza and a past committee member of Somos Austin. In her spare time, she enjoys day
trips and spending time with her family, especially her young grandson.

Rosemary Banda shares her experience as an EGBI supporter.

To get started, do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?
Native Austinite and have lived in Austin all my life. I love to coordinate gatherings where women can come together and mingle and socialize and leave behind their day to day tasks for just a little while. It’s important to build each other up and just share sometime together.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?
I first heard about EGBI in 2008 when they presented at the Hispanic Austin Leadership class. My HAL classmate Barbra Boeta, went on to become Executive Director and it was a great opportunity to learn more about EGBI and become a wholehearted supporter.

Why is it important to support organizations such as EGBI?
EGBI is important to small companies and entrepreneurs to get the training and coaching to start up their business and keep thriving. Offering their services in Spanish is a must for the Hispanic community.

How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?
As giving coordinator, it’s important to me to support organizations that provide a great service to the committee. Seeing the members of EGBI and how they are thriving, reassures me of my commitment to EGBI.

In 2021, EGBI supporters help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Volunteer- Luz Gonzalez

By Alison Flangel

Luz Gonzalez is a Premier Online Business Strategy Expert, International Speaker, CEO and Co- Founder of IndustryIkon.com, and works with service-based small business owners and experts (coaches/ consultants/authors/speakers) to convert their online presence to a client attraction machine. Luz has a B.A. and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, over a decade of experience with online branding strategy having presented around the US on the topic, was an International Human Rights Lawyer, has spoken at well-established institutions such as McKinsey & Company, UC Berkeley, Stanford, etc., led online branding strategy for over 4 years with companies in Silicon Valley. Luz has a unique take on high ticket branding & marketing incorporating behavioral economics, neuroscience, and evidence-based strategies.

Luz Gonzalez shares her experience as a volunteer of EGBI.

To get started, do you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?
I used to be an international human rights lawyer, but found that digital marketing work is much
more impactful than a lot of the work I did in the legal space.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I first heard about EGBI from someone on the board who said I should reach out. He mentioned how EBGI supported Latino entrepreneurial communities, and as a Latina who sees how often my community does not have access to the digital marketing resources many other business owners have, I knew I wanted to be part of their mission. 

Why do you feel that it’s important to give your time volunteering with EGBI?

There are a number of organizations that support businesses at the $1M level, but I find that the work supporting entrepreneurs who have yet to reach the first million-dollar and revenue is some of the most impactful work. I find that the work that EGBI does fills really important gaps, and I would love EGBI to be able to support Latino Entrepreneurs around the country since I haven’t seen a program that is so comprehensive, accessible and affordable, that really changes lives. I am so proud to volunteer with EGBI!

What has been the most beneficial part of volunteering for you? How has your involvement with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?

Volunteering with EGBI has been absolutely wonderful. Every time that I get to work on digital marketing with the entrepreneurs in the room it’s a reminder of how important this work is and how it really changes lives. It’s been an incredible opportunity to get to know a staff and to get to know the people that are touched every day by the powerful work that EGBI does. Being able to support the EBGI students relights a fire in my belly each time, and reminds me how powerful digital marketing can be in changing lives for people who previously didn’t have access to this knowledge.

In 2021, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Luz make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

CONOZCA A LA VOLUNTARIA DE EGBI – LUZ GONZALEZ

De Alison Flangel

Luz González es experta en estrategia de negocios en línea de primer nivel, oradora
internacional, directora ejecutiva y cofundadora de IndustryIkon.com, y trabaja con
propietarios y expertos de pequeñas empresas basadas en servicios
(entrenadores/consultores/autores/oradores) para convertir su presencia en lĂ­nea
en una máquina de atracción de clientes. Luz tiene un B.A. y J.D. de la U.C. Berkeley,
con más de una década de experiencia con la estrategia de marca en línea y
habiendo realizado presentaciones sobre el tema alrededor de los EE. UU., fue un
abogado internacional de derechos humanos, ha hablado en instituciones bien
establecidas como McKinsey & Company, UC Berkeley, Stanford, etc., dirigido en
línea estrategia de marcada durante más de 4 años con empresas de Silicon Valley.
Luz tiene una visiĂłn Ăşnica de la marca y el marketing que incorpora economĂ­a
conductual, neurociencia y estrategias basadas en evidencia.


Luz González comparte su experiencia como voluntaria de EGBI.

Para empezar, Âżte importarĂ­a contarnos un dato curioso sobre ti?
SolĂ­a ser abogado internacional de derechos humanos, pero descubrĂ­ que el trabajo
de marketing digital es mucho más impactante que mucho del trabajo que hice en
el espacio legal.


ÂżCĂłmo se involucrĂł por primera vez con EGBI?
La primera vez que escuché sobre EGBI fue un miembro de la junta que dijo que
deberĂ­a contactarme. MencionĂł cĂłmo EBGI apoyĂł a las comunidades
emprendedoras latinas y, como latina que ve con qué frecuencia mi comunidad no
tiene acceso a los recursos de marketing digital que tienen muchos otros dueños
de negocios, sabĂ­a que querĂ­a ser parte de su misiĂłn.


¿Por qué cree que es importante dedicar su tiempo al voluntariado con EGBI?
Hay una serie de organizaciones que apoyan a las empresas en el nivel de $1
millĂłn, pero creo que el trabajo de apoyo a los empresarios que aĂşn tienen que
alcanzar el primer millón es uno de los trabajos más impactantes. Encuentro que el
trabajo que hace EGBI llena vacĂ­os importantes, y me encantarĂ­a que EGBI pudiera
apoyar a los empresarios latinos en todo el paĂ­s, ya que no he visto un programa
que sea tan completo, accesible y asequible, que realmente cambia vidas. ¡Estoy
muy orgulloso de ser voluntario con EGBI!

¿Cuál ha sido la parte más beneficiosa del voluntariado para ti? ¿Cómo te ha ayudado tu participación en EGBI a crecer profesional y personalmente?
Ser voluntario con EGBI ha sido absolutamente maravilloso. Cada vez que me
pongo a trabajar en marketing digital con los emprendedores, es un recordatorio
de lo importante que es este trabajo y cĂłmo realmente cambia vidas. Ha sido una
oportunidad increĂ­ble para conocer a un personal y conocer a las personas que se
conmueven todos los dĂ­as por el trabajo poderoso que realiza EGBI. Ser capaz de
apoyar a los estudiantes de EBGI es mi pasión ardiente y me recuerda cuán
poderoso puede ser el marketing digital para cambiar la vida de las personas que
anteriormente no tenĂ­an acceso a este conocimiento.
En 2021, los voluntarios de EGBI dedicaron más de 130 horas para ayudar a EGBI a
apoyar y servir a más de 400 pequeñas empresas. Voluntarios como Luz hacen que
esto sea posible y continĂşan ayudando a EGBI a cumplir su misiĂłn de capacitar,
asesorar y apoyar a los propietarios de negocios existentes y aspirantes que
enfrentan barreras para hacer crecer un negocio exitoso.

Traducido al español por Lauren Bruce. Para leer el artĂ­culo en inglĂ©s, haga clic aquĂ­.

CONOCE A NUESTRA CLIENTE Y SEGUIDORA DE- CHRISTINA PAZ

Por Alison Flangel

Lograr un sueño mientras provees sueldos dignos es la fuerza que motiva a la propietaria de Siller Preferred Services, Christina Paz. Al crecer en el centro de Texas con sus seis hermanos, Paz veía a su mamá luchar como trabajadora migrante para lograr sus obligaciones mensuales, a menudo dependiendo de servicios sociales y asistencia gubernamental. Queriendo romper el ciclo de pobreza, Paz soñaba con un futuro de estabilidad. Mientras vivía en Minnesota, trabajó para una agencia de empleo. Ascendiendo de recepcionista a gerente regional, se dio cuenta que podría ayudar a individuos, como su madre a proveer por sus familias con un trabajo honesto. El hecho de mudarse de nuevo a Texas impulsó a Paz a la apertura de su agencia de empleos en 2014. Actualmente Siller ofrece sueldos dignos a más de 200 individuos de todo Austin. Madre de tres hijos, Paz reafirma la importancia del trabajo duro y de ayudar a tu comunidad. Ella es miembro activo en su iglesia y disfruta el pilates.


Christina Paz comparte su experiencia como cliente y como seguidora de EGBI.

Christina Paz


Para comenzar, ÂżTe importarĂ­a decirnos un dato curioso sobre ti?
Dentro de la comunidad de EGBI, soy conocida como la persona que sacĂł de su oficina a Al Lopez el Director Ejecutivo anterior de EGBI.


¿Por qué apoyas a EGBI?
Conocí a Al Lopez y a Barbra Boeta en 2014 cuando recién empecé a abrir mi negocio. Mi abogada Ana es quien me presento y así fue donde todo comenzó. EGBI cultiva una cultura donde a los emprendedores se les construye dando atención a los detalles. Los servicios que recibí no son fáciles de encontrar y cuando algo es muy raro se le cuida y protege. Por todas estas razones decidí apoyar, como una forma de regresar y
contribuir a otros.


¿Por qué es importante apoyar a EGBI?
Como persona que tomó cursos a través de EGBI, he creado una relación con el personal que es increíblemente única. La orientación personal que me dieron los mentores me ayudó a entender temas que no había experimentado como propietaria de negocio. Nadie me hizo sentir poco inteligente solo porque no sabia algo, todos fueron muy comprensivos durante el proceso.


¿Por qué decidiste apoyar a EGBI en Celebrando el Éxito? Celebrating Success?
Igual a lo anteriormente mencionado, escogí apoyar a esta organización por la extraordinaria experiencia que tengo con ella. He presenciado la pasión que está arraigada en lo que EGBI ofrece. Aún existe una relación donde las personas se mantienen en contacto conmigo, existen áreas que aun no entiendo y ellos sí. Continuó apoyando por el apoyo que me dieron como emprendedora.

ÂżCĂłmo te ha ayudado EGBI a ti y a tu negocio?
Creo que lo más importante que he aprendido en EGBI han sido las partes organizacionales de abrir un negocio. EGBI te enseña todo lo que necesitas saber desde la etiqueta de socios comerciales, los acuerdos y los contratos. Encima de todo eso, EGBI me dio el apoyo que necesite durante tiempos difíciles el cual no creo que lo hubiera obtenido en ningún otro lugar.


En 2021, los seguidores como Christina ayudaron a EGBI a lograr su misiĂłn de entrenar,
asesorar y apoyar a aspirantes y propietarios de negocios ya existentes quienes enfrentan
barreras para hacer crecer un negocio exitoso.

Traducido al español por Diana Ariza. Para leer el artĂ­culo en inglĂ©s, haga clic aquĂ­.