Latin Times: Tell us about your professional journey, when and how did you first get started in business?
Pilar Ortiz: I was a successful journalist with a promising career in Colombia. Seventeen years ago, I had the opportunity to come to the United States. It was here where I delivered the news every night to Hispanics as the Main Anchor and News Director of Univision Tampa. After 11 years at the top Spanish language station in the US, it was time to make another change and I became an entrepreneur. With my own company, I am able to share my expertise, enjoy working with passion and build great relationships along the way. I provide Media Training to leaders, I Coach Entrepreneurs with their presentation skills and I connect with the audience with my keynote speeches. Being able to connect two cultures with my signature talk: “Bridging the Gap: Connecting with Hispanics” allows my audience to understand the culture beyond the language, something important for our clients, as the Latino community grows in this country. Now as a speaker, author and coach I have my company, my team, my websiteand the same passion of impacting others lives.
Latin Times: Tell us about how you are able to help business and community leaders with your business services?
Pilar Ortiz: For us at Pilar Ortiz Enterprises is about connecting, empowering and building confidence. We are able to help with:
Media Training with programs where I share knowledge from a 20 plus-year journalistic career to executives and leaders and help them deliver a precise, effective and engaging message.
VIP Coaching: I work one on one with entrepreneurs, CEO’s and corporate leaders who want to speak better, look confident on camera and deliver a powerful and clear message. Our exclusive program gets results.
Keynote Speeches: I connect with the audience to deliver my motivational speech and Bridging the Gap: Connecting with Hispanics. If you know a Hispanic, work with some or would like to start a business relationship with them consider this talk as an opportunity to understand how they think, how they feel and how they make decisions.
Latin Times: Tell us about your 3 Biggest Career challenges, and how you overcame them, explain how those challenges helped to shape you into who you are today.
1. No longer Colombian, you are now considered a Hispanic. We all became Hispanics when we moved to the USA. Adapting to a new culture, learning a new language and learning how to inform a new market was an interesting challenge. Hispanics that live in Latin America and Hispanics that live in the U.S. have differences. These differences make the communication a key factor when understanding the market. I am a proud Colombian by birth. I am a proud Hispanic by heritage. I am a proud American by choice.
2. Bridging the gap. I had to learn from these differences and at the same time become a bridge between two cultures when I had the responsibility of providing information to the local community. I learned English at 30 years old; I had to start from zero when I decided to become an entrepreneur and after being laid off after the 2008 recession. I always see a challenge as an opportunity and now I love to be able to inspire others to do the same. Men and women, executives and leaders, at all levels want to be successful, confident and authentic.
3. Overcoming obstacles. During challenging times, you learn to overcome fears, trust in your faith and work for your passion. I also had to face challenges: from fear of speaking in public years ago, to covering all type of news, in 1993, I was one of the first reporters sent to cover live for a TV station the death of the world known drug dealer Pablo Escobar. I had to overcome fears, doubts and internal voices. Does it sound familiar? I know am an expert that shares tips and techniques to others. When you have a burning desire to do something, you can be sure you can do it. Life is amazing and if we are willing to takes risks, we will succeed! It is up to you to take the first step and I will help you along the way.
Latin Times: Tell us about your book, and who should read it?
Pilar Ortiz: Everyone that has seen themselves in a hard situation and wants to be inspired. The book is filled with personal anecdotes, compelling stories and powerful teachings in life. It is conversational, interesting and you will find it easy to read. “Camino al Éxito, todos arrancamos aquí” is the version in Spanish and “Reinventing Yourself, Creating your own path to success” is the one in English these are stories and reflections that aim to inspire and set your mind with the undeniable truth that anything you set to achieve is possible. We’ll find page after page of inspiring stories, of real people who don’t give up and succeed where others fail. I would recommend this book to anybody facing a challenge, a struggle, or a sudden change in plans, or simply want to improve your self-image by losing those pesky 5-10 extra pounds. Every goal or struggle is a journey! The book is available in Amazon or in my website
Latin Times: What or who inspires you?
Pilar Ortiz: I admire many powerful people but two have shaped my career and my life especially in the last 10 years: the undeniable Oprah Winfrey and the successful author and coach Tony Robbins. Their passion, confidence and selflessness are inspiring. I have learned that when you love what you do, the rest comes together harmoniously. They impact people’s lives with an inspiring message and realistic tools to create your own success. That’s powerful!
Latin Times: We are excited that this year, you are a VIP/Celebrity Judge at the 4th Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival, which will take place on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 in Ybor City, Florida —- Where do you usually enjoy a Good Tampa Cuban at?
Pilar Ortiz: I am very happy to be one of them and to be able to try so different and I am sure delicious recipes. My favorite Cuban sandwich is lightly toasted and with melted-melted cheese. Speaking about the Cuban sandwich reminds me about my acceptance speech when I was honored as the Tampa Hispanic Woman of the Year 2014 last October, when I said, speaking about bridging the gap, that as a Colombian when I first came to this country to live in Tampa (where I became a Hispanic) I did not even know that Cubans had their own sandwich…haha! But believe me, now I know how delicious they are! I love trying different foods and learning about the beautiful Latin American cultures. ¡Gracias por esta hermosa oportunidad!
Pilar is a successful bilingual (Spanish/English) and an international speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and author.
As a Presentation Skills and Media/Video Coach with Workshops and One on One Sessions, she has helped hundreds of executives, professionals, speakers and entrepreneurs to build confidence and enhance their strengths to succeed to their fullest potential in front of a camera, a microphone or a live audience.
Communications Skills (Body Language/Voice) and Video Coaching (confidence/presence) are her main areas of expertise.
She is very active in the community as the past president of Hispanic Professional Women Association, a mentor of up and coming leaders and a member of the National Speakers Association. As a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s awareness, she helps with the communication of caregivers for this very special cause.
In 2014, the Board of Directors of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. proudly announced the selection of Maria del Pilar Ortiz as the 2014 Hispanic Woman of the Year. This annual award honors Hispanics who have contributed significantly to the success of our community. The honorees are Hispanic men and women who have excelled in their endeavors to advance, promote, maintain, and enhance our Hispanic heritage and who, by their outstanding contributions, have improved the quality of life in the Tampa Bay Hispanic community.
Her Keynote, “Bridging the Gap: Connecting with Hispanics” is a guided path for reaching the fastest growing minority in the United States.
Proud receiver of the following awards:
– 2014 Tampa Hispanic Woman of the Year (Tampa Hispanic Heritage Inc.)
– 2014 Rosita Perez Spirit Award (NSA Central Florida Chapter)
– Simon Bolivar Award – Highest award in journalism in Colombia
– Ondas Award (Premio Ondas) – Best TV show
– Woman in Media Award (Tampa Hispanic Heritage Inc.)
– One of ten Movers and Shakers in Tampa Bay