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Check Out Leticia Latino’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leticia Latino.

Leticia was born in the Telecommunications Business, literally. Her father, an Italian Immigrant that arrived in Venezuela in the 1960s with one suitcase, no degree, many dreams and no money, somehow was able to sense the explosion that the communications industry was going to have and was able to seize it. He founded Neptuno, a company that helped build over 10,000 communications sites, not only in Venezuela but all over the Americas. It is no surprise then that the expectation from everyone, not only her fathers was that She was going to study business and go work for the family business.

Initially, she resisted the idea but did pursue a Bachelor’s in Business, which she obtained from in Venezuela, right after she decided to move to Miami, FL to pursue a dual degree master at the University of Miami, which she has described as pivotal in her career. She proceeded to garner years of experience first in the financial arena at Merrill Lynch and then coincidentally in the Telecom Industry, working for many years at Canadian Telecom Giant Nortel. Inevitably, Leticia started to want to contribute more actively to the family business, especially because during the early 2000’s the political and economic landscape was becoming both concerning and quite complicated in Venezuela. The decision was made for Leticia to lead the companies to diversification of its production, logistics and sales capabilities, which in later years proved as the right strategy.

Neptuno USA was incorporated in 2002 and since then, Leticia has worked tirelessly in helping forge the same strong positive reputation that the company enjoyed internationally and also focused in making its brand recognized as one of the leading Telecommunications infrastructure companies in South Florida. About her journey and her contribution as a CEO through Neptuno USA, Corp. Leticia is a recipient of the 2018 Women in IoT award by ConnectedMagazine and has been featured as one of the prominent women in Telecom by TowerXchange, the Wireless Industry Association, NATE and AGL magazine. She also plays a role of an active member for the SmartCity Council TaskForce, WIA City Networks Task Force and was appointed last year to the FCC Broadband Advisory Committee by the FCC Chairman, where she chairs the Job Skills and Training Working Group.

Raising awareness about Telecommunications Jobs and Developing career options in South Florida related to 5G is one of her main goals. She is a mentor with the Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association (NATE) and Women in Wireless Leadership Forum (WWLF), where she helps young women that want to start a career in Telecom. Neptuno was also a finalist in the 2019 WeInnovate! The program promoted by WBENCCertified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) to showcase their company’s expertise in areas of innovation that are critical to WBENC’s Corporate Members. In addition, Leticia is a big advocate of nurturing “Human Connections” through her Back2Basics Podcast and through the #Time2Reconnect movement, which she created and is a co-author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller “Women in Business Leading the Way.”

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry like Telecommunications and a Hispanic trying to build the brand of a South American company in the US has given Leticia plenty of challenges and obstacles to deal with. In this excerpt from her book, Women in Business Leading the Way, she shares one of her most memorable encounters: ‘One of the first things I did upon my return was to set up a meeting with an “incorporation consultant,” someone who could be our guide as we established our corporate presence in the U.S.

After a five-minute conversation, he looked at my father. He said: “Well, Mr. Latino, the good news is that you have gold at your fingertips. You have a daughter. We can incorporate as a minority business, and that will provide you some nice opportunities right off the bat!” I will spare you of all the “colorful” things that came to my mind as a potential response, but I was beyond offended and quite simply livid. The so-called “consultant” wasn’t even addressing me; he was talking to my father like I wasn’t even there! At that point, I told him that I hadn’t joined the company because my gender represented “gold” and that we were taking “no shortcuts.” We wanted to be known for the same reasons we were known internationally, out of the box engineering, high-quality products, and integrity. We left the meeting and didn’t incorporate it as a minority. BIG MISTAKE.” When asked about what has she learned from dealing with diversity-related challenges, she has summarized it as: “Is not about being one of the boys, is about being part of the team.”

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Because her personal life and work are so intertwined through the family business, Leticia has also created other outlets of creativity that help her fulfill her life’s purpose, which is to be an agent of change. She aims at creating genuine connections in all facets of her life and making magic happen by recognizing that inspiring outcomes result from honest interactions rooted in similar core values. Her Back2Basics podcast was born out of her personal desire to fight the resistance we feel when we want to pursue our dreams. Back2Basics- Reconnecting to the essence of you has been “on-air” for almost two years and has featured prominent figures such as SoundsTrue and Spiritual Teacher Tami Simon, Grammy Nominee Frank Quintero, Beauty Queen and TV Host Luisa Diaz, Hollywood Film Director Michael Matteo Rossi, Authority’s Magazine Editor Yitzy Weiner and Racecar Driver and Philanthropist Renée Brinkerhoff among many many other inspirational guests. The 100th episode will feature Marketing guru and Best Seller Author Seth Godin. Leticia is also a big advocate of paying it forward and the practice of Love and Kindness Mindfulness Meditation.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I am the happiest when I’m able to help someone, especially when they don’t expect the help. I believe that, unfortunately, we had forgotten the profound impact that we can have on each other’s lives when we purposely decided to be of help and service to others. An act of kindness can go a long way and can create ripple effects that, although many times can’t be seen, are undeniably there.

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Image Credits

Bob Lasky

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