First Friday: Your Small Business Toolkit Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
This month we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Join us for a panel discussion with insight from Hispanic owned small businesses and networking with over 100 Middle Tennessee professionals.
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Martha obtained a BS in business and strategic management at Escuela de Administración De Negocios EAN and an MBA in human resources management from Universidad Externado in Colombia.
Martha was a 2018 Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Young American Leaders Program.
Martha is a current board member of Centennial Park Conservancy and a former board of directors of the Civic Design Center. She has served as a commissioner of the Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund and for the financial empowerment subcommittee of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Martha has also served as a Southeast Nashville Recovery board member and was a presenter at the 2021 Austin Chamber of Commerce InnerCity visit to Nashville. Nashville Business Journal named her 2018 40 Under 40 Award winner. Recognizing her work at Conexion Americas, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity named her a Rising Star. She received a National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders fellowship designed for 16 selected Latino leaders nationwide. She is a member of Nashville’s Agenda and Rotary Club of Nashville.,
She moved to Nashville in 2009 and joined Conexion Americas in 2010 as director of its flood relief center created by United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Following this initiative, Martha was named Conexion’s senior director of economic development programs. She created and oversaw initiatives that support immigrant families on their way to achieving their version of the American Dream. These programs included Open Doors, VITA Tax Preparation, Mesa Komal commercial community kitchen, and small business development for local entrepreneurs. Martha led the strategic implementation of all Conexion Americas -COVID-19 initiatives, including distributing $1.1 million in financial assistance.
She and her husband are the parents of a nine-year-old daughter, Sofia, who all live in Nolensville, TN.
Marisa Munoz, Founder & CEO | M Casting Worldwide
Marisa Munoz is a casting director and manager based in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the owner of M Casting Worldwide, founded in 1998, whose specialty is commercials, print campaigns, music videos, and film. Marisa grew up in Central California and went to college at Cal Poly University, where she studied graphic design and advertising, both of which she always loved. Before entering the casting industry, Marisa was a dancer and also did musical theater.
Since inception in 1998, to now having expanded worldwide, her company, M Casting has cast over 2000 diverse and exciting projects ranging from National, Regional and Foreign Commercials to Fashion, Editorial and Commercial Print Campaigns. Along with an extensive list of Music Videos as well as Films. In addition to providing established actors and talent to the industry, M Casting also specializes in the discovery of unique and new faces along with fresh undiscovered talent and have been recognized globally for their incredible eye. Diversity and equality are of the utmost importance to M Casting and we are, Marisa says, extremely committed to creating equal opportunities for all talent regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, social background or disability.
Marisa Munoz and M Casting Worldwide, received the NAHCC "Ganas" in Entrepreneurship Award in 2021.
Manuel Cuevas | Manuel American Designs | 2nd Vice-Chair
Manuel is known as the Tailor to the Stars, having dressed anybody and everybody from Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, four US Presidents, and Bob Dylan.
Originally from Michoacán, Mexico, Manuel relocated to Nashville from California in the late 1980's and has become a fixture in both the fashion and Hispanic communities ever since.
He’s the man behind the iconic looks for some of the greatest stars in music and movies over the past 60 years. Manuel Cuevas was the first to put James Dean in jeans, he designed what Clint Eastwood wore in those spaghetti westerns, he dressed Marlon Brando, and a host of other stars in a long list of TV shows and movies before moving on to music.
Manuel put Johnny Cash in black, Elvis in a jumpsuit, designed the Sgt. Pepper Jackets for the Beatles, put Sonny and Cher in bell-bottoms, created the cowboy hat and jeans look for Dwight Yoakam, and the list goes on and on. Still going strong in his mid-80’s, Manuel has never stopped, and most recently created designs for Lady Gaga, Keisha, Chris Stapleton, Kid Rock, The Killers, and a host of other artists he won’t mention to protect their privacy.
In 2018 he received the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowship medallion. It is the country's highest honor in folk and traditional arts. In 2019 a documentary featuring a portion of his recent professional and personal life premiered at the 50th Nashville Film Festival and last month on November 22 at Zanate Festival de cine documental mexicano in the city of Colima, Mexico.
A Mexican-born journalist from Zacatecas, embarked on her professional journey in her hometown, initially serving as a broadcaster and reporter across various media platforms. She later expanded her horizons, contributing her expertise to several networks in Chihuahua and Aguascalientes, Mexico.
In 2016, she launched Nashville Noticias, a pivotal source of information for the Latino community. In 2019, her entrepreneurial media project welcomed Univision Canal 42, instrumental in delivering a comprehensive 30-minute newscast from Monday to Friday. Her remarkable achievements have garnered recognition from esteemed organizations such as the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Metropolis Nashville, Nashville Fire, Nashville Scene, Mental Nashville, Mattew Walker, and many others.