2020 Top Florida Latino Lideres Award Recipient
Diana Marrero-Pinto is a Latino Mover N’ Shaker from Kissimmee, Florida.
Latin Times Magazine: Where are you and your family from? What is your Hispanic heritage?
Diana Marrero-Pinto: My father was born in Morovis, Puerto Rico and my mother was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it
Diana Marrero-Pinto: Currently I am the Executive Director of Kissimmee Main Street a nonprofit 501C3 located in Kissimmee, Florida. Kissimmee boast Latino rate of nearly 70% of the total population. I am the first Latina to hold the position, and I have been here since October 24, 2016. Our mission at Kissimmee Main Street is to preserve and enhance Historic Downtown Kissimmee for the enrichment of present and future generations. This includes assist small business owners, creating events, and promoting and marketing the historic district.
Latin Times Magazine: In your industry, what would you say separates you from your competition
Diana Marrero-Pinto: My sincere belief that “this is a community”. To many people have the belief that personal has to be removed from business in order to be successful. They bought into the “1980’s Corporate Mindset”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. People in all areas of their lives want a voice, want to heard, want to know someone is listening and cares. From the food that they eat, to where they choose to shop, this is true of the small business owner also, they want to know you recognize the contributions they make to their community.
Latin Times Magazine: During Covid-19, tell us about your Biggest Challenge/obstacle and how you overcame it/or are overcoming it
Diana Marrero-Pinto: Work related, I’d have to say facing the challenges COVID brought to the mom and pop businesses. They were hit hard and it was rough for many of them. We overcame it, because of the relationships we established from the onset. We created a trust and support system with our merchants that gave them the confidence to come to us for help. In doing so we were able to create unique promotions, marketing campaigns and assist with the grant application process.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related)
Diana Marrero-Pinto: This is a difficult question because I honestly don’t feel I achieved my greatest achievement yet. Since my early 20’s I have been helping people, changing lives, building community. I gone from working three jobs and raising three boys as a single mom to climbing and in some cases re-climbing my way to where I am now. However, I still feel the best is yet to come!
Latin Times Magazine: What is next for you? What can people expect to see from you?
Diana Marrero-Pinto: I’m challenging myself this year to stretch. I plan on experiencing and learning new things, I want to grow in my career, and self-development. But above all I want to draw nearer to God and allow Him to guide what is next for me!
Latin Times Magazine: What words of encouragement can you offer?
Diana Marrero-Pinto: Two things I’d say, never let today make you forget there’s a tomorrow. People get so caught up in “Bad days” “Bad moments”, those pass, don’t speak negativity over your life, don’t entertain defeat. Learn to close your mouth except but to pray, close your eyes except but to see your future, and close your ears except but to listen to the voice of God that says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Latin Times Magazine: Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to share?
Diana Marrero-Pinto: I about as traditionally Puerto Rican as a South Lorain Ohio girl can be. I love being Latina, our music, our food, our culture, even our crazy stereotypes. Why? Because it’s the richness of our sofrito that flavors this world, in my opinion. I firmly believe everyone should be proud of their culture and it is their responsibility to preserve and promote it. I intend to make sure my grandchildren know stories about my parents and their stories of our precious island.
Latin Times Magazine: What is YOUR comida Latina favorita?
Diana Marrero-Pinto: Aye.. que dificil! I love tostones con TODO- so I’d say bistec con tostones, con arroz blanco, habichuelas , y ensalado! That’s a lot.. but if I’m being honest- all of that! LOL