Meet EGBI Volunteer- Begoña Calderón

Begoña Calderón Lozano, originally from Cádiz, Spain, graduated in Journalism from the University of Seville just two months ago and also embarked on a course called MasterClass at the School of Reporters of Andalusia in Seville. When she’s not immersed in the world of news, she shows her passion for volleyball and fashion and even takes thrilling motorcycle rides through the Sierra de Cádiz with her father. She’s no stranger to adrenaline, having parachuted from an airplane at an astounding 4,600 meters high. Her journey to EGBI in Austin began as a result of an online volunteer search, and since then, she has been enjoying the satisfaction of helping others while expanding her professional and personal horizons. The most exciting experience for her so far has been recording a podcast, something she will surely remember forever.

Share a fun fact with us:

A fun fact about me is that I enjoy extreme sports. A year ago, I parachuted from an airplane at 4,600 meters high. I also consider myself a very adventurous person, always eager to explore new things.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?
I’ve only been in Austin for 2 months, and I found EGBI on a volunteer website. My first contact with EGBI was at an event, and I felt so comfortable that I didn’t hesitate to help them for these 2 months.

Why are you a volunteer for EGBI?
Helping people is a very satisfying feeling. It’s a way to make yourself happy because you’re helping others, and others are helping you. You grow as a person and create a unique experience. I’ve met wonderful people.

How has your collaboration with EGBI helped you grow professionally and personally?
I couldn’t have chosen a better volunteer opportunity with EGBI. In terms of professional growth, I’ve been doing translations and writing for the blog, which has helped me learn new vocabulary in English. I’ve had the opportunity to host the La Incubadora Podcast and conduct interviews in both Spanish and English. Personally, I’ve been able to grow as a person, face new situations, and that has made me mature in other ways.

What was the most rewarding experience you had while working as a volunteer at EGBI?
The opportunity to record the podcast has been the most fulfilling experience. I am immensely grateful to EGBI for having me and giving me this opportunity that I will never forget. I couldn’t be happier with this experience.

Why do you think others should volunteer or support EGBI?
Being a volunteer for EGBI is a way to help others. You grow as a person, and it’s beautiful to see how EGBI gets involved with you to make you feel comfortable. I thank them for everything; they are wonderful people, and in no time, they made me feel at home.

Meet EGBI Volunteer – Jesus Nevarez

By Bego Calderon

Jesus is a Financial Center Manager at Independent Financial, where he manages the retail side for the Austin location. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation, expanding the business of the branch and small business development.

He has been working in banking for over ten years across the state of Texas. Jesus focuses on developing deep ties in the communities he works, and helping persons reach their financial goals. He has worked on a variety of entrepreneurship programs and financial literacy classes, delivering them in person and virtual platforms.

Jesus shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI.

Share a fun fact with us.

I occasionally write short stories, and give them out to my friends. Nothing major, but I enjoy writing literary fiction. Slices of life that give a glimpse of what we go through daily. They are cathartic.

“Volunteering at EGBI is a great way to help our community.” – Jesus nevarez

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I had just moved to the city, and I was still struggling to get acclimated. I had reached out through email to know how I could help. I had researched EGBI, and my perception was that they are a great resource to our local entrepreneurs.
Monica Peña reached back, and invited me to an EGBI event.
Thereafter, I asked if I could assist in some of the classes that EGBI does for entrepreneurs. Since that point, I’ve been enjoying being a volunteer for EGBI at different stages and programs.

Why do you volunteer for EGBI?

Small business are the lifeblood of our communities, and entrepreneurship is a pathway to achieve financial security. I believe in what EGBI does, and the persons that run the organization truly have their hearts in it. I like to help persons get better, and some of the entrepreneurs and small business owners that attend EGBI just need a hand to reach the next level. I work at Independent Financial, where we try to build healthy communities. They have supported me in this endeavor.

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

Professionally it has allowed to me see what the small business community needs in Austin. Understand their concerns and their aspirations. It has connected me with other persons across the city that are also looking to assist our entrepreneur
community.
Personally, well, just meeting new persons. Moving to a new city, with no family or professional network can be difficult. I’ve met so many persons in the classes, and accelerated my knowledge of the city and its resources.

What was the most rewarding experience you had while volunteering for EGBI?

There was a presentation in the last quarter of 2022. They were presenting the persons that had graduated from the program. Hearing all those stories of success, allowed me to see the tremendous impact that EGBI has in our city.

Why do you think others should volunteer or support EGBI?

Volunteering at EGBI is a great way to help our community. EGBI has a develop great systems to understand entrepreneurs at different levels of their business journey. They are in the business of helping people get better, that is something that we could all do.

EGBI provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. If you would like to support our efforts, please visit our website https://egbi.org/donate/.

Meet EGBI Volunteer – John B. McLellan

By Hilary Enriquez

John B. McLellan has over 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, strategic planning, sales and marketing program development and project management. He founded Search 2 Sales, LLC in 2004, an advertising consulting firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses effectively implement Pay-Per-Click advertising on platforms such as Google Ads & Microsoft Advertising.
Prior to founding Search 2 Sales, John worked at the Hewlett-Packard Company for over 25
years in a variety of sales, consulting and leadership positions across many of HP’s business
segments. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

John shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI.

Share a fun fact with us.

I hold dual citizenship with the US and Canada.

How did you first get involved with EGBI?

I first got involved with EGBI when I applied to volunteer on a project they posted on Catchafire. Catchafire is an online marketplace where nonprofits post projects that require a particular set of skills and individuals with those skills can volunteer. In this case, EGBI had received a grant for free advertising on Google, using the platform called Google Ads. EGBI selected me to help them develop an advertising campaign and teach them the skills that would enable them to optimize and expand on what we created.

Why do you volunteer for EGBI?

I believe that public service in any form, is not only an obligation, but a source of personal development and self-fulfillment. I currently serve on the board and as a volunteer for several nonprofits. I consider myself fortunate to have a skillset that even in my retirement years, is still relevant and in demand. Fortunately, I am able to work with organizations and individuals literally around the world, from the comfort of my home in Dallas. EGBI is one of several nonprofits I have helped with their Google Ads accounts over the years.

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

The time that I spend is personally gratifying because Monica is such a joy to work with. She sees the potential for the work we are doing and is excited whenever she makes progress or sees a new opportunity. For me professionally, I have grown by learning the ever-changing nuances of the Google Ad Grant program and how it differs from the advertising normally used by paying customers of Google Ads.

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

Meet with our volunteer- Jose A Salas

By Diana Garcia

Meet Jose A. Salas, a Strategy & Planning Consultant at Dell Technologies. At Dell, he supports Sales, Product, Operations, and Marketing teams to create the best go-to-market strategy to reach and deliver a great buying experience to Small Businesses in North America. His plan has delivered +15 pts market growth vs. competitors, and increased profitability since he joined the team in Q1 2019. Jose holds a Master’s degree in International Commerce, a Master’s Degree in Energy Business, and an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Jose has been supporting EBGI since late 2018 as a class facilitator and business consultant, following his passion for consumer behavior, branding, and marketing communications strategy. He loves to learn about different businesses or new business ideas and make them more profitable. As a Hispanic, nothing is closer to his heart than supporting EGBI. Jose has been married for almost ten years to Rebeca (also a Dell Technologies employee). They have a 2-year-old daughter (Clarissa), a dog named Chloe, and another (human) daughter coming in June. 

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

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

I avoid looking at some brand’s logos as just looking at them can make me angry:/

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

No one does anything in isolation. Humans are social species. So, we all owe our achievements to many others supporting us directly or indirectly; therefore, it is essential to give back to others -particularly knowledge. Ultimately, knowledge is what makes us humans the most amazing living creature on this planet.

“’The only person you have to compare yourself to is you in the past’ from Sigmund Freud. To me, it expresses both the responsibility of continuously improving ourselves as professionals and to stop competing/comparing with others. Just grow, share and help.” – Jose A. Salas

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI supports people to launch, maintain, and grow their own businesses. Having your own business is not only about making an extra dollar but about independence and achieving your personal goals.

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

When I won the Volunteer of the year award back in 2019. I was so moved and nervous because, to me, it felt like a confirmation I was helping others.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Jose 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 get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Daniela Ariza

By Diana Garcia

Meet Daniela, a passionate volunteer and aspiring interpreter. Born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico, Daniela decided to move to Austin in 2002.  Moving to Austin was one of the best and biggest decisions of her life. The welcoming community and the ability to grow and become better, were some of the reasons why she decided to stay. Throughout her childhood, Daniela was taught to care for and share with others. This led to her passion of volunteering and using her talents of translating, cooking, listening, and candy making to help others. There was a time in her life where Daniela felt insecure due to her fears, but overtime and through meeting amazing people, Daniela realized that it is never too late to become a better version of herself and that she is a part of a community that needs her. She wants to give a special thanks to the EGBI team for helping her become a better person and entrepreneur, and for jump-starting her passion for translating and interpreting.

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

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

Sometimes my face doesn’t show how I really am. I love to laugh – even though it doesn’t seem like it- but I don’t laugh just at anything, it has to be a really good joke or something worth laughing at.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I help EGBI translate documents, blog posts, etc. from English to Spanish. If there is anything else I can do to help EGBI, and if I have the talent for it, I would do it.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It helps the soul. There is a phrase in Spanish that says, “Es más bonito dar que recibir,” meaning it is more beautiful to give than receive.

“Support your small business community today by supporting EGBI.” – Daniela Ariza

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI helps you start and grow your business, because without business there are no jobs, to work and having a job dignifies you. Besides giving jobs, businesses give a lot more to the community, to schools, and other institutions in need and they help to keep a city running.

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

When COVID appeared everything seemed so unreal. I stopped working, my business was on pause, and I didn’t know what to do. But when Monica contacted me to translate all the information that they have for small businesses suffering from COVID-19, my mind stayed occupied and stopped thinking about my situation. Even though I decided to close my candy business, EGBI has helped me see that I have a new talent: translating. After that I started taking a course at ACC for translation and interpretation to become a certified translator and interpreter.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and served over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Daniela 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 get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Anne La Grange

By Diana Garcia

Meet Anne La Grange, a Texas native from a small town near the border named Palmhurst. Anne is currently studying Finance and Spanish at the University of Texas. After graduation, Anne plans on working as an analyst in commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase and Co. In her free time, Anne enjoys playing tennis and running, and is currently training for the Austin marathon.

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

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

Even though it is not super popular in Texas, I used to ice skate competitively. I started at 6 years old and continued for 5 years. Eventually I quit to focus on school and tennis.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I helped EGBI prepare for their main annual fundraiser Celebrating Success by putting together their program, assisting with gift boxes, and creating marketing materials.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It is important to volunteer because it helps build a sense of community. Volunteering allows you to give back and make a difference, while making friends and meeting new people.

“Supporting EGBI means supporting growth in your community.”Anne La Grange

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Volunteering with EGBI helps promote economic development and encourages sustainable growth. It directly created jobs and investment in the community, making a real difference in the lives of people in need.

Last question, do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

My favorite experience volunteering with EGBI was working with other volunteers to make gift baskets for Celebrating Success. As we worked, we chatted, bonded over our shared interests, and became friends.

 In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Anne 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 get involved.