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In Conversation with Jorge Saldarriaga

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Jorge Saldarriaga is a multicultural senior account executive for the Chicago market. But if you ask what his role is, he will say: community leader, son, friend and advocate

In Conversation with Jorge Saldarriaga

Jorge Saldarriaga discusses his work in the experiential marketing world supporting BIPOC organizations, event organizers and creatives who bring events to life. 

Q> What is your role with the dentsu Multicultural Business Resource Group, and why did you get involved? 

Jorge> I am the co-lead of SOMOS, the Latinx Identity Group at dentsu. I got involved because I made a promise to myself when I made the career jump to the corporate world that I was going to get involved as much as possible at whatever company I ended up at. Luckily, I ended up at dentsu. I checked my e-mail one day and saw that the BRG was looking for new members. After my first meeting with SOMOS, I was hooked. I loved being able to have a community that could support me in my new career journey. 

Q> How does your DEI interests inform your Creative Service Line work? 

Jorge> I am lucky to have so much overlap between my DEI interests and my Creative Service Line work because the work that I get to partake in is rooted in culture. I get to learn how to represent and advocate for a more diverse community and then apply my learnings to my CSL work. It's truly a beautiful thing!  

Q> Tell us about your favourite project. 

Jorge> For Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month last year, we celebrated local Hispanic street food vendors at the heart of our communities and paired them with a local artist to tell their story through a vibrant mural. We revitalised the exterior of their truck with a mural and were able to capture and tell their story. It was one of my favourite projects because we were able to leverage a large national platform and share someone's unique story about their business and livelihood. Being able to work with the artists that brought that story to life was an extremely fun and fulfilling process and a project that represented Latinx and Hispanic culture authentically.  

Q> What is your biggest career accomplishment to date?  

Jorge> I think about this a lot. I haven't quite put my finger on it. I am very proud to be able to be so engulfed in all things multicultural and community focused in my career. I've been able (with the support of my team) to raise tens of thousands of dollars for BIPOC led organisations making a difference in our communities, while also supporting local event organisers that might not have the support from world renowned brands. The work we do is impactful, authentic and empowering. That has been a very big accomplishment in my career and life.  

Q> Tell us about your career path. 

Jorge> This is how it began. I started as a food runner at an established restaurant in the West Loop of Chicago for a celebrity chef. I worked myself through the ranks and was able to learn a lot of different aspects of the hospitality business. From food runner, waiter to general manager, I ended up being a beverage director for a bar company in Chicago before I made the jump to corporate life at age 28. The rest is history! Now I get to put a lot of my learnings to work on the experiential marketing end as well as developing my leadership skills as co-lead of SOMOS the Latinx identity group at dentsu.  

Q> What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Jorge> Don't be scared to restart. If you try and fail, get up, dust yourself off and try again. Don't give up! 

Q> What is something that inspires you? 

Jorge> People inspire me day in and day out. Especially after almost two+ years of having our lives change, I’m inspired by interactions like being able to re-connect with people and humans. Different perspectives, thoughts and ideas from my fellow colleagues, friends, family and strangers always entices my creativity and personal thoughts.  

Q> What TV show are you currently binging? 

Jorge> Ozark, Ozark and Ozark! I started watching the Sopranos for the first time this year as well. I’m getting close to finishing it. And yes, I know I'm late to the party, I'm sorry! It was definitely worth the wait.  

Q> What is your secret power? 

Jorge> Patience...and patience. I don't know what it is, but everyone tells me I have a lot of patience. I think that's super important. You need to give others grace. We don't know what one another is going through, so a little patience goes a long way.  

Q> Bucket list item? 

Jorge> I want to sky dive, learn how to drive a motorcycle and take a cross country trip...maybe not even in the US, but a different country!  

Q> One thing that makes you happy? 

Jorge> Running makes me happy. I've become a runner within the last year, and it's truly changed my life. Not only does it keep me active and physically happy, but it also helps with my mental health. My favourite thing is that running isn't just about me. It's about supporting other people, and that brings me happiness.  

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Isobar US, Mon, 23 May 2022 16:04:20 GMT