Brenda Alicia Torres; 2021 Top Latina Lider in Florida!

What is your Hispanic Heritage:  Puerto Rico

What area of Florida do you live in:  Orlando, FL

What is your profession: CEO/ Content Creator for South Orlando Lifestyle Magazine

Meet Brenda and other Lideres at the Hispanic Heritage Celebration at 3rd Annual FORD Taste Of Latino Festival!

Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it

Brenda:  I am currently the face and motor for the most luxurious hyper-local community magazine in South Orlando. While I had been in Sales & Marketing for over 25 years in the Hospitality Industry, COVID ended that success track abruptly. Equally as abruptly, in August of 2020, I pivoted and purchased my Lifestyle Brand Franchise to continue nourishing my talents in an outpour of editorial gifts to the one community that welcomed our family almost 40 years ago – South Orlando.

Latin Times Magazine: In your industry, what would you say separates you from your competition

Brenda:  What separates South Orlando Lifestyle from other publications, are the following facts. One, we are a faith based company, with Proverbs 3:5-6 living on every one of our issue’s Lifestyle letters. Second, more than 50% of our magazine is always dedicated to hyper-local content, making of our editorials and covers not a profit center. Third, we are a true extension of locals businesses’ marketing platform – large and small. I personally work with each and every community partner (our advertisers) to customize both a targeted and premium web based Google optimized presence, as well as the highest quality print medium. And last, we are direct to affluent residences and high traffic businesses for free, giving us an over 80% readership! 

Latin Times Magazine:  During Covid-19, tell us about your Biggest Challenge/obstacle and how you overcame it/or are overcoming it

Brenda:  A bit personal, but here it goes…Immediately after purchasing my franchise (same week), my mother’s brother passed. Just a week after that, her mother passed. Just a couple months after that, her husband passed. That would be my uncle, grandmother, and my first love; my father. All unexpected. I stated this in third person referring to my mother, as I am the one and only support and pillar for her. And because taking care of her, and making all arrangements in every aspect, and on her behalf were both my biggest challenge and my biggest comfort. Knowing that she made through this agonizing hardship to a place of health and peace of mind, with my support, has filled my heart immensely. The fact that I had every reason to give up, and stall or leave my “new project” behind; but instead, triumph and build a profitable legacy in less than 7 months – I am so proud!

Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related)  

Brenda:  My biggest lifetime achievement – in my opinion – has been serving our country. I am an Air Force Veteran who served 9 years, up to September 2001. I am also the first in my family to hold two Bachelor degrees. My most current achievement, in less than 1 year – 6 magazine issues total completed by our 1 year anniversary!

Latin Times Magazine:  What is next for you? What can people expect to see from you?

Brenda:  Already on the horizon, is to become a Lifestyle Publications Territory Leader; at which time I will coach and mentor new Florida Franchise candidates to do the same as I have done. Also, as a Certified Etiquette Consultant, plans are to coach groups on fun etiquette tips, expand an etiquette column into the magazine, and author a new etiquette manual as an early 2022 project!

Latin Times Magazine:  What does being a U.S. Citizen mean to you?

Brenda:  Born a US Citizen, I have never taken our freedom for granted. You choose to do with your freedom what you want. I have chosen to be a Godly servant leader, work hard, and motivate others – and always give back. 

Latin Times Magazine:  What is your opinion of the state of affairs in our nation?

Brenda:  It is a time of many reflections – self, community, and cross borders. It is challenging – at best, and a time when we can all make an impact by planting our own small positive grain. With my magazine, I see it as a platform to inspire and focus on forward change!

Latin Times Magazine: What words of encouragement can you offer?

Brenda:  Always start with creating a very strong vision, so that when things get tough or unlikeable, you choose to simply change the process, not your VISION.

Latin Times Magazine:  Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to share?

Brenda:  I am the very first Hispanic/ latin publisher for Lifestyle Publications! I paved the grassroots way for others to follow. Lifestyle now has 3 Latin Publishers! Whoaaa!

Latin Times Magazine:  What is YOUR comida Latina favorita?

Brenda:  EASY. Pastelon. It is the Puerto Rican Lasagna with Platanos Maduros.