The Blog


Micah Salinas is an Assistant Vice President, Relationship Manager for Frost in San Antonio, and the new Branch Community Leader for Frost’s Downtown and W.W. White Financial Centers.

During a career that includes seven years of banking experience, he has built a broad background in understanding and responding to the specific business and financial issues of diverse organizations throughout the community.

A native of San Antonio, it has long been a principle goal of Micah’s to give back to the San Antonio community. As a Community Leader for Frost Bank, he oversees the business development and community relations for the east-side and for downtown San Antonio, where he grew up. By helping drive economic empowerment and financial literacy to high school students, he has been able to provide substantial economic assistance to his childhood neighborhoods.

Micah’s journey to join the Frost Bank family was filled with many trials and tribulations. Even so, he never wavered from his goal to join the corporate banking group. After 2 years of setbacks and 36 total interviews, in 2010, Micah joined Frost as a personal banker. He subsequently was named regional manager in the corporate banking area, focusing on business development and account management for middle market companies and increasing awareness in the small business community on a variety of subjects including sustainable business growth. Today, responsibilities include building and nurturing Frost relationships with current and potential commercial clients, and delivering Frost’s solution-oriented service.

Micah graduated from San Antonio’s Highlands High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in business with a concentration in finance from Southwestern University.

Active in the community, he holds leadership positions in a number of local organizations. He is a member of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and The Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio Board of Directors. He also is a proud graduate of Leadership San Antonio Class XL and currently serves on the Steering Committee for Leadership San Antonio Class XLII.

As a husband and father of his three children, he has made it his personal responsibility to pass on the opportunities afforded to him by his mother. As a single mother, his mother instilled in him lessons of hard work and dedication at a young age. He credits his work ethic and success to his mother’s hard work and sacrifices that allowed him the opportunity for growth.

Micah also coaches youth basketball teams and mentors at-risk youth in the San Antonio’s inner city.
Thank you Micah for all the work you do in community and your continuing inspirational work. We salute you!

The Storied War of Instagram and Snapchat

It is well documented that Snapchat (NYSE: SNAP) and Instagram (NYSE: FB) have long been locked in a battle of superiority since Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat back in 2013. For the everyday social media user, this competition has pushed both companies to innovate and create entertainment and features to maintain the users’ attention. Snapchat, originally a photo share app, changed its game when it began offering its Stories feature, an option that lets its users create fun and personal narratives via video and photos. Until very recently, it was the only social media application that let its users creatively document their daily lives with relative ease. That was until Instagram came and crashed the party.

12 months ago, Instagram launched its own Stories feature. It was almost an exact cut-and-paste of the Snapchat feature. And much to the dismay of Snapchat, Instagram is actually outperforming Snapchat at its own game. While Snapchat has previously announced it has 150 million daily active users (DAUs) for its entire app, Facebook announced in April that the Instagram Stories feature has over 200 million DAUs. While Instagram seems to be doing its best version of Annie Get Your Gun, Snapchat has continued to innovate new features and still is very much alive.

Now for businesses trying to decide where to allocate their advertising dollars, it is imperative that they pay close attention to where the end-consumers’ attention lies. Too much time and money spent on the wrong platform wastes resources, which would be better allocated elsewhere. While Facebook is the clear front-runner in the social media advertising market, spreading the ad dollars to different platforms gets fresh eyes on your business. While Snapchat and Instagram have become very similar in their features, there are still some key differences in the two platforms that can help business decide where to market themselves.

 

Snapchat:

Snapchat was built as a story-centered app built for its younger demographic of 18-24. With AI filters and its Bitmoji stickers, it allows businesses to market itself to a younger demographic. It’s built to show the personality of a business and the behind the scenes of its day to day. Though Snapchat came first, it feels like the younger, unpolished brother of Instagram. And yet, for its demographic, it serves as a great platform to market to due to the DAU’s time spent creating and engaging in the app. Especially since the average DAU’s time spent on Snapchat is double the time spent on Instagram on average, according to Forbes.

Instagram:

Instagram was initially designed as a photo-centered app. Although that seems to still be its initial priority, it has developed a larger reach than Snapchat with its Stories feature. It also targets a slightly older demographic of 18-29 but does well in the 30-49 range, with 33% of internet users in this age group using Instagram, according to Forbes. With all of the increased exposure, many social media influencers have also flocked to Instagram, making their presence more attractive to businesses for using Instagram for marketing purposes.

 

Both businesses still offer a viable option for ad dollars and as long as you adjust them according to your demographic, businesses will waste not. It is definitely a battle that ad executives should keep a close eye on in the upcoming months. As both companies continue to innovate, a clear winner will emerge and when that time comes, companies need to adjust to market effectively. A lot has happened in this war in the past year; it will be interesting to see where these platforms stand 12 months from now. Only time will tell.

If you need help in navigating your digital marketing strategy, contact us at HeartFire Media. We are experts in this field, ready to help you and your business goals. Schedule a meeting with us by emailing, contact@heartfiremedia.net.

 

Andrea Figueroa was born in El Paso,Texas to a single mother, and a large and loving extended family. As a young girl, her family moved to San Antonio and it quickly became home. As a young woman, Andy’s extraordinary mother allowed her to dream big, and she had the opportunity to explore her dreams of being a professional musician. She moved to Los Angeles as a young adult, joined a band, and traveled the world. She was able to open for such acts as Garbage and Heather Nova. When she finally returned, she decided it was time to go back to school, and earned a Bachelor’s in Mexican American Studies, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Certification in Non Profit Management.

Throughout her time in school, Andy saw that she could make a difference in San Antonio, and has been part of planning and/or collaboration for such things as the Annual Women’s March, C.A.U.S.A, as well as other issues close to her heart. In 2013, she became the Program Director for Girl Zone, an empowerment and leadership program for girls on the East Side of San Antonio. During her tenure as Program Director, Girl Zone grew to serve over 300 girls per year. In 2016, she succeeded Joleen Garcia as the new Executive Director of The Martinez Street Women’s Center, and is now working to grow and expand the Center for increased impact. She is a Steering Committee member of Excel Beyond the Bell, a city wide collective impact initiative focused on youth development and out-of-school-time programs, and was recently spotlighted in Out in SA magazine as a celebrated leader. You can find her as a speaker at this year’s Latino Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, or maybe walking down at the Pearl with one of her two rescue dogs.

Thank you Andrea for your hard-work and dedication. You’re truly an inspiration!

 

Orlando Mendez-Valdez was born and raised in the West Side of San Antonio,Texas. He has been a professional basketball player for eight seasons. He last played for Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League in the 2016-2017 season after spending the first seven years of his career in the Mexican LNBP League. Orlando has also played for the Mexican National Team throughout his professional career.

Orlando graduated from Lanier High School where he starred on the Voks basketball team. When he was not offered an NCAA basketball scholarship, Orlando attended Charis Prep in Goldsboro, North Carolina for a year after graduating from Lanier. His accomplishments at Charis caught the attention of numerous Division 1 schools and he ultimately accepted a basketball scholarship from Western Kentucky University.

Orlando played on Sunbelt Conference championship teams his junior and senior years at WKU. The Hilltoppers qualified for the NCAA tournament both years where they advanced to the second round and Sweet Sixteen. While at WKU, Orlando compiled numerous individual awards. He graduated with a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis on physical education in 2009.

After a stellar career at WKU, Orlando signed with the Halcones of Xalapa, Veracruz in Mexico’s LNBP league where he played for six seasons and won a championship before leaving as a free agent to sign with the Pioneros in Cancun. He helped the Pioneros win a title in his only season with the team. Having won two championships with different teams, Orlando decided it was time for a new challenge. He accepted an offer from Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League and helped lead the Greens to the championship game where they fell short.

When he’s not on a basketball court, he’s spending time with his college sweetheart, Aquila, and their two daughters Cora and Issa. He enjoys Netflix documentary binges, listening to real estate podcasts, and traveling whenever possible.

We admire the work that Orlando does for the youth that live in the same community that he grew up in. He shows and inspires them to believe in their dreams!

 

San Antonio native Elia Mendoza worked for over 30 years in Washington, DC as a federal employee including stints at the Pentagon, Department of Labor and the White House, before returning back to the Alamo City upon retirement. Throughout her career, Elia was charged with recruiting Hispanics to work in the federal government and it was while working in Washington that Elia became familiar with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). During this time, the Bonilla brothers, Tony, Julio and William, lawyers from Texas, were dominant forces in LULAC and believed in LULAC’s advocacy strength in Washington. “The Bonilla brothers were well versed and highly respected amongst Washington’s powerful elite as civil rights leaders working on education and employment disparities, discrimination and civil rights.”  Elia recalls that it was during their tenure that she felt inspired to join LULAC, eventually forming 13 councils in Maryland, where she lived at the time.

Elia’s investment in LULAC has yielded strong friendships and an opportunity to be part of change. Elia joined LULAC because she wanted to be part of the movement that worked to help improve the quality of lives of the Latino community and 30 years later her commitment is stronger than ever.  This year, Elia served as co-chair of the host committee for the 2017 LULAC National Convention.  “Today, some of the issues that impact our community remain the same that is why now more than ever our united voice is so important. We cannot afford to let anyone disrespect our community and take us back to a time we fought to overcome.”  Elia’s only lament, not enough hours in the day to cross out every item on her list.

Thank you to Elia for her immense contribution into trying to create a world where it is easier for Latinos to succeed.

Born in San Antonio in 1944, Rosa Rosales grew up in an era of widespread discrimination against women and Latinos. Armed with a degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Michigan, she was among the first Mexican-American women to join the labor movement. She played a key role fighting for worker’s rights and protections in Texas.

Rosales joined LULAC to help make a difference. Rising quickly among the ranks, she was the first woman to serve as a district director, and her district was the largest in the nation.  Later, she served as state director, before being elected national vice president of the southwest. In 2006, Rosa Rosales became LULAC’s national president, the second female in history to hold that leadership role.

From 2006 to 2010, Rosales was instrumental in spearheading LULAC’s mission of service, bringing critical resources to the community. Always keen on the power of volunteers, she called the grassroots volunteer members the backbone of LULAC’s success.  Rosales’ commitment to LULAC stems from a deep held belief that Latinos must work together to improve the quality of life and working conditions of our brothers and sisters.  After almost 40 years of service to the Latino community, Rosales shows no signs of slowing down.  This year, she is co-chair of the host committee for the 88th national convention, which takes place in San Antonio July 4 to July 8.  If her past involvement is any indication, the convention in San Antonio will be the most successful convention in LULAC’s 88 year history.

We admire Rosa’s determination and commitment to the betterment of Latino’s. Thank you for all your years of service and your hard work!

Ruby Resendez was born in Carrizo Springs, Texas, a small town southwest of San Antonio, to a single mother who managed and operated a small business.  The only daughter, she quickly learned how to take direction and become helpful while work efficiently in an office setting where her mother worked for over 30 years.

Ruby has dedicated a lot of her time and efforts in making the San Antonio LGBT chamber a viable working part of the city during her time. She was featured in Affinity, Inc. Magazine in 2013 as a Texas Chamber leader setting the groundwork for a solid future. She has been awarded San Antonio Business Journal’s 2014 40 under 40 as an upcoming business leader in San Antonio. During that same year she was recognized as one of 20 San Antonio upcoming Latino Leaders in the San Antonio community by Latino Leaders Magazine. In 2015 she completed the Latina Leadership program by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and joined the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Leadership Cardinal Latina Mentoring Program.  In 2016 she has been appointed to the Mayor’s Council on Police-Community Relations and has joined the Board at the  Maestro Entrepreneur Center. 

Ruby is the Managing Partner of Cilantro Creative graphic design agency. With over 10 years of printing, marketing and accounting experience she has taken her experience to create her own small LGBT owned and operated business. Working with local non-profit and for profit institutes she is able to showcase her agencies work as well as her dedication to her client success.  She has also recently launched a new business TruckBud as a one way delivery service.  Official launch will be in August 2017.

We are grateful for all the hard work that Ruby has done by being a pioneer in cultivating the LGBT community in San Antonio. We admire her drive and heart!

The first national convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) took place in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1929.  Brad Veloz, a native of Corpus Christi and a LULAC member is a Vietnam Veteran with the U.S. Navy. He retired from the federal government after 32 years of public service.  Two years ago, he and his partner of 40 years, Mike Rodriguez, were featured in a Freedom to Marry TV ad. The campaign, organized by “Familia es Familia” targeted Texas as one of the last states that refused to recognize same-sex marriages.
Veloz, has been vocal about equal rights for the LGBTQ community since he heard Cesar Chavez speak out on the subject. In 1987, he and Rodriguez were living in the nation’s capital when they helped organize the March on Washington.  Amid a tremendous turnout, he was moved when the Latino civil rights icon urged LGBT people to stop living in the shadows. Encouraged, Veloz came out to supportive friends, family and co-workers. Veloz’ history of activism includes serving as board member for the National Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization (LLEGO), and the Gay and Lesbian Hispanics Unidos (GLHU). Veloz has also served as co-chair of the San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Assembly (SALGA), and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Presently, he serves as secretary of LGBTQ LULAC Council 22198 Orgullo de San Antonio.

This year at the 88th LULAC National Convention which takes place in San Antonio from July 4 to July 8, Veloz’ LGBTQ LULAC Council will host workshops entitled, Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latino/a Activism and LULAC Texas Civil Rights Affirmation: Building an LGBTQ Inclusive & Healthy State.  In addition, the council will be hosting the LULAC Orgullo de San Antonio Reception for the LGBT community in San Antonio.

The advertising market has come a long way from the days of print media and bus advertisements. Over the past few years, accepting the importance of social media marketing has not only become required but has become vital to the viability of businesses. While many still hang on to more traditional avenues such as TV commercials and print advertising, the market has shifted to become more focused on social media platforms and their marketing advantages. Now the question is: If every company is promoting on social media, what differentiates them all?

One word: Content.

With the market becoming saturated by paid social media advertising, it is good content that differentiates and attracts the attention of users that businesses can use to generate buzz and in turn, expand its consumer base. Many companies make the mistake of putting a great deal of their advertising budget into amplification of their content and less into the content. This is where companies fail to understand the inner workings of social media. They expand their reach with amplification but they are still showing uninspired content, which will not create the results that they hoped.

The amazing thing is that with tactical and subtle amplification, good content can become great content and help grow businesses organically. The key is to create a lot of quality content and use subtle amplification, e.g. proper hashtags, to help allocate the attention of social media users to the business’ page. Using this technique is most efficient because it provides value to users, brings people to your page organically, and doesn’t require the business having to try and sell to non-customers.

Need help with your social media strategy? We are experts in creating the right content for your business. Contact us for a free 30 minute consultation at contact@heartfiremedia.net.

Abi Zapote was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1997 at the age of 6.  Since then, she has proudly called Texas home and has committed herself to bettering the lives of the Latino community by getting involved in social justice issues across the state. Her passion for civic engagement and government led her to enroll at the University of Texas at Dallas where she received a B.A. in political science. During her time at UT Dallas, Abi got involved with LULAC and began advocating for the rights of DREAMer students on campuses across Texas.

In 2015, Abi was elected as the National Vice President for Young Adults and is currently helping expand the mission of Collegiate LULAC to reach more college students across the United States. In this role, Abi testified at the Texas Legislature in opposition to SB 4 and helped rally hundreds of college students to participate in LULAC advocacy days on Capitol Hill.

When not tirelessly fighting for college students and young adults, Abi is the National Executive Director for Latinos for a Secure Retirement, where she provides guidance to Latinos on retirement issues and is a voice for disenfranchised elderly Latinos. Although she now lives in Washington, DC, Abi will return to Texas and join LULAC at the 88th annual National Convention in San Antonio, Texas July 4th-8th. For more information, visit LULAC.org/convention.