To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting four business leaders and entrepreneurs from our “Pay It Forward” program whose accomplishments and contributions have made a positive impact on their communities.
Read more about these inspiring leaders below.
A-One Construction and Remodel
For Gus Lopez, owner of A-One Construction and Remodel—a full-service construction company in southern California that specializes in owner-occupied and multi-family reconstruction—protecting the planet is a full-time job. Focusing his efforts on retrofitting homes for environmentally soundness, Lopez was the first Latino business owner to be named a Certified Green Professional (CGP) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Los Angeles. Lopez also works as an accredited builder for Certified Aging in Place (CAPS), a program that helps senior homeowners make modifications to their homes to accommodate safe and comfortable senior living.
As an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Instructor, Lopez teaches green building practices to members of the Los Angeles Latino community, and in his spare time organizes trash clean-up volunteer missions to communities in Central America. As an expert in his field, Lopez strongly advises first-time business owners to fully research the industries they plan to work in before getting started. “Be the best professional in your field of work,” says Lopez.
Serving slow-smoked, central-Texas-style barbecue with a Tex-Mex twist, Hurtado Barbecue is one of the fastest-growing, independently owned barbecue brands in the state. After starting the business with his wife Hannah in 2018, Brandon Hurtado expanded from a north Texas pop-up event to three brick-and-mortar restaurants in 2022.
“I value people over profits,” says Hurtado. “We’re constantly focused on how we can invest back into our team members both personally and professionally, so that this is the last job they’ll ever want to work.” The Hurtados give back to the community, helping purchase school supplies for hundreds of educators directly from their Amazon wish lists. Hurtado Barbecue also opened a location inside Globe Life Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers, and they partner with the Rangers to feed hundreds of families in need at the Arlington Life Shelter every holiday season.
Hurtado offers the following advice for first-time business owners just starting out: “Make sure that you make time for the little things,” he says. “No one is going to care about your business more than you, and it’s easy to get caught up in 80-to-100-hour work weeks. But if you have a family like I do, that means you have to make time for the important things that only happen once. Balance is key.”
BellaGeneration Hair System
After surviving cancer three times, Miriam Marsh, founder and CEO of BellaGeneration Hair System, wanted to minimize hair loss while living a natural, healthy lifestyle. She founded her Addison, Texas-based company on this clear mission—to improve the quality of haircare in a holistic way. Today, BellaGeneration offers 100% plant-based, cruelty-free haircare products for all hair types.
Marsh created a brand where innovation, social responsibility, and creativity intersect. She offers a range of products made with nourishing botanical extracts, such as nettle leaf, milk thistle, and chamomile flower, and dispenses a range of informative haircare and beauty advice on her company’s website. She is also committed to giving back to the local Dallas-Fort Worth community, donating 10% of BellaGenerations’ revenue to purchasing school items, clothing, and food for homeless youth.
As Marsh has grown her company into the haircare success story it is today, she has gained many valuable insights to share with other first-time business owners. She recommends creating a well-designed e-commerce platform, embracing sustainable business practices, crafting a compelling brand story through social media, and building trust with customers through prioritizing quality and consistency. “Quality and authenticity are what customers are searching for,” she says.
Dumas and Sanclemente Law
Located in Tampa Bay, Florida, Dumas and Sanclemente Law specializes in personal injury law, helping clients collect compensation for injuries suffered due to the negligence of others. Co-owner John Sanclemente says the secret to the firm’s success can be summed up in one word: integrity. “At our firm, the value of integrity is front and center in everything we do,” he says. “We want to be a safe haven for our community and clients—a place where honesty and principles will be upheld at all costs.”
Sanclemente and partner Axel J. Dumas take great pride in the Tampa Bay community and, in addition to supporting local charities, make sure to patronize local businesses in the area. They also support and attend as many activities as they can at local schools. “We are both fathers to young children,” Sanclemente says, “so we recognize the importance of investing our time in the children in our community.”
Sanclemente believes that making every client your most important client is a true key to success. “Happy clients can become brand advocates,” he says, “which can significantly impact your business’s growth. The absolute best marketing strategy is unparalleled customer service, so your clients spread the word about your business.”
About Pay It Forward
Since launching “Pay It Forward” in 2021, Spectrum Reach has invested more than $45 million in advertising and resources to help multicultural businesses, and by the end of this year’s initiative will have helped over 2,000 multicultural business owners prosper in 36 states across our footprint.
Through Pay it Forward, local businesses receive critical support to help their business thrive, including free advertising and creative services, mentoring and educational resources.