... A single, selfless act can inspire a greater, selfless future in 2017.
By: Zach Peterson
Times Free Press, Chattanooga, TN
I pulled three shirts, one sweatshirt, one overcoat, two gloves, one beanie and a pair of thick socks over my body Christmas morning. 10 pieces of clothing, and it still didn’t feel like enough. Chicago hovered around 30 degrees, sending gusts of wind down its long city blocks that day. Normal stuff, apparently. But not for a native Floridian who lives in Tennessee.
For years, my parents had floated the idea of doing Christmas in a big city. We could appreciate the metropolitan cheer, see the snow, donate to the roadside Santas jangling bells for Salvation Army. We could also volunteer, which was our destination that morning. I didn’t know much about Operation Jesus before meeting Linda. I just knew we’d be handing out blankets and food to anyone who had nothing else that icy morning.
After meeting in Chicago’s Union Station, Linda greeted us with a morning prayer and split us into groups. We landed in Linda’s squad with two other families and a couple from Indiana. The instructions were simple: Approach anyone in need, offer them blankets and toiletries, hand them a bag of tacos and tamales, say a prayer if you so desired. Then we departed, a caravan of carolers. Though I can’t remember the city blocks, I do recall the faces.
By: Linda E. Alberty, M.A.
Have you ever had a burning desire that always compelled you to want to do something, to take action, but you never really knew how to act on it? Well, that was me ever since I can remember, especially around Christmas time.
A few years back, I was invited to a Christmas party. We were all sitting around talking about something we always wanted to do. And that's when I finally voiced it, "I've always wanted to go downtown on Christmas morning and love on the homeless with food and blankets, but I never wanted to go alone. And I don't have anyone that would do it with me." Suddenly, someone replied, "I'll go with you." "Yea, me too," said another. There I was in great surprise! Within five minutes or less, Operation Jesus was being assembled right before me.
"Every big and admirable thing starts with a humble beginning. I like to think that is exactly how Operation Jesus kicked off back in 2012, and we've been doing it ever since."
Martinez Supermarket was recently featured on Chicago's Best T.V. show, an honor only the best restaurants in Chicago can tout. Visitors can see the award proudly displayed in the back taqueria section of the restaurant.
By: Linda E. Alberty, M.A.
BRIDGEPORT, IL -- Featured on Chicago's Best T.V. show, Martinez Supermarket, located at 3301 S. Morgan St., is known for offering one of the biggest and best burritos around (weighing in at whopping 7-pounds) and for becoming every meat lovers dream. And this year, Martinez Supermarket Owner, Jesus Martinez and his family, are an answer to prayer for Chicago's homeless through #OperationJesus on #ChristmasDay.
Monica Martinez (Jesus's daughter) will wake up bright and early on Christmas morning, even before most children awake to open gifts, to prepare 200 tamales and hand made tacos to be included in over 60 care packages. "My family and I have been blessed in many ways and it is important to give back to those in need," shares Monica.
Giving back is nothing new for the 30-year old family owned restaurant and business. Martinez Supermarket has been serving the Bridgeport community ever since it first opened its doors in 1989.
How can students who do not have straight A's, helicopter parents, or a "guide to success," navigate professional landscapes? As a first generation college graduate myself, I recall when I felt lost, confused, and at many points even completely unaware of the competitive world of writing resumes, networking, interviewing, and interning. For me, much of that credit goes to the fact I was (unknowingly) networking, identifying resources and reaching out to key individuals that helped me build leadership skills. I always asked questions that helped me open doors. This, blended with my personal mission of learning and helping college students, would lead to creating so many possibilities.
I was unprepared
Photo credit: Elizabeth Monge
Those with equal rank or higher remember him by his nickname “Baby Captain.” Others earlier in his career remember him as Second Lieutenant McInnis, and still to so many four and five year olds living in both New Orleans and Washington D.C., Daris McInnis is no doubt their champion.
As a PreSchool lead teacher at Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., Daris serves 22 three year-olds children from the moment the bell rings to the time families greet them for dismissal.
We wanted to bring back the roots of our culture here for others
to enjoy. Lisle is a very nice place. It feels like home."
It’s a tucked away little treasure, where as you enter, a sweet and light aroma falls gently on your nose. The delightful smell can even take off you off guard for a second, it’s so good.
El Dorado's sugar donuts are among the first deserts to sell out, a favorite for many.
El Dorado is a new authentic Mexican Bakery, home to its headquarters in Lisle, off of Ogden Avenue. El Dorado, which translates into English as “bright and prosperous," provides customers with a big surprise, including a full assortment of colorful breads, donuts, cookies and old fashioned prepared treats with mango, guava, pineapple and even seasonal fillings like pumpkin and sweet potato.
Husband and wife team, Jaime Montiel and Adriana Suarez are on a mission to bring back their roots by bringing their Mexican culture to a predominately non Hispanic community.
“Many people told us that they had to travel over 30 minutes to neighboring villages on the outskirts of the city to get authentic Mexican bread. We saw that as an opportunity. We wanted to bring back the roots of our culture here for others to enjoy. Lisle is a very nice place. It feels like home.”
The locally owned and family operated bakery kicked off in May of this year, and it's the fruit of Adriana's fathers' passion and art.
We cross political, ethnic and social lines. Our brotherhood is our bond and it creates a lasting camaraderie of loyalty and trust."
If you would have asked him back in 1995 what he thought his life would look like, it probably would not have included leading one of the largest international Latino fraternity alumni networks of Sigma Lambda Beta, after graduation. Today, Roberto Ceballos, Chair of The Chicago Alumni Network (CAN) of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity Inc., describes the organization, "As a force to be reckoned with," and for a good cause.
Although The Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc., (SLB) has been around for 30 years, early attempts to unite alumni scattered throughout the Midwest only resulted in very little participation. However, under Roberto's unshakeable vision since 2003, the CAN has become a reinvigorated union of men. It is made up of doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, policemen, firemen, U.S. veterans, business leaders, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, community organizers, and so many more who are dedicated most notably to the pillars of: Brotherhood, Scholarship, Service & Cultural Awareness.
Mario Vela is the Director of Employer Relations at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University located in Evanston, IL.
By: Linda E. Alberty, M.A.
Analyzing the type of impact that we wish to create for others will often become the catalyst to help us achieve that end. Such was the case with Mario Vela, a first generation college recipient among his family. “What motivates me is that I am the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree,” Vela stated. “I always felt I had a debt to society.”
Mario’s deep guided principle to serve others has always been wrapped in the personal conviction to use his uniquely afforded experiences to help others succeed. After earning a master’s degree in Sociology from The University of Texas in San Antonio, Mario became a manager at a social services agency, overseeing a team of about 25 employees. In this role, Mario experienced professional growth juxtaposed with a desire to take an earlier and more proactive approach in making a difference in the lives of others. “I always felt honored to be in that position,” explained Vela. “However, if someone was telling me they were hungry, had no food or did not have any other basic needs met, I always felt our prevention was being reactive.”
This thought process eventually led Mario to begin thinking more broadly about his own journey in relation to others. “I began to wonder to myself, ‘how did I make it, coming from a young, single-family home with an absentee father?’ The difference for me was in receiving my education, listening to others and learning from those had gone on before me,” Vela said.
Linda E. Alberty, M.A. President & Founder of CULTIVATE EXCELLENCE Consulting, is a 2016 Influential Women in Business. Ms. Alberty was joined by supporters, friends and her father, Combat Infantryman SSG Raymond Alberty, Army (Retired) for this special honor.
Eighteen local women executives were honored in the 19th Annual Influential Women in Business Awards recognition event hosted by the Business Ledger and their sponsoring partners.
The Business Ledger's Influential Women in Business Awards are given to suburban business women who share a commitment to professional excellence and their communities.
The judges base their selections on the nominees' business and professional achievements and the challenges they have met in building their careers.
The selection committee selects honorees on how they "give back" to their communities and/or employees.
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(Jackie to Linda): How are you able to recognize when you need a "change in perspective"?
(Linda to Jackie): How can we benefit from understanding that perception changes everything?
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