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Unidos @ Bridge

Unidos means “united” in Spanish. The mission of Unidos @ Bridge is to develop a collaborative network among Bridge employees across different verticals in an effort to promote the cultural diversity, professional development and career advancement of its members; thereby creating a supportive environment for the Latino/Hispanic community within Bridge and contributing to the enrichment and success of the Bridge Investment Group mission as a whole.

Scott Cardenas

Isela Rosales

Todd Gorelick

Cynthia Adams

Allison Ramirez

Richard Hartley

Teresa Hough

Henrique Medeiros
Juan Agudelo
Arthur Elkharrat

Unidos @ Bridge Committee

Upcoming Events

Cinco De Mayo

Did You Know?

• Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) celebrates the Mexican Army's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862. The battle began when France attempted to take over Mexico City while the country was still in debt.
• Also known as the Battle of Puebla, it was by no means an easy feat for the Mexican people! Their significantly under-supplied army consisted of only 2,000 soldiers compared to over three times that many on the French side. Despite the odds, the Mexican army emerged victorious under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.
• Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Instead, Mexicans celebrate their day of independence on September 15 and 16. These dates mark the start of their fight for freedom against their Spanish colonizers.
• Despite being a significant event, Cinco de Mayo is not considered a national holiday in Mexico. Some children don’t attend classes during this day, but it’s business as usual for the rest of the country. 

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

• The State of Puebla hosts a month-long celebration beginning their festivities a month before the fifth of May. The main event takes place at the Hill of Loreto, the location of the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. People don traditional costumes, dance around the streets, and watch military parades and theatrical performances that reenact their resounding victory.

• Mexican-Americans in California were reportedly some of the first people to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This historical feat became a source of pride for the Latin community in the United States.

• President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to recognize Cinco de Mayo. Years after the Battle of Puebla, President Roosevelt enacted the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933. The policy aimed to build amicable relations with South American countries, paving the way for stronger cultural ties through celebrations like Cinco de Mayo.

• Cinco de Mayo surged in popularity in the 1960’s. You may wonder how Cinco de Mayo become popular in the United States when it’s a Mexican holiday? To answer this, we have to go back to the sixties when Chicano activists spread awareness of Cinco de Mayo as a victory over European colonizers. Later, in the seventies and eighties, Cinco de Mayo again increased in popularity through the marketing campaigns of American beer companies.

• Mole poblano is the staple dish for this holiday. While tacos and burritos are fine Mexican dishes for this holiday, an authentic Mexican celebration would include mole poblano. This dish consists of chicken or turkey covered in a chocolate-chili sauce called mole.

Featured Figures

Private First Class Simon Cardenas 

Private First Class Simon Cardenas exemplifies the valor and sacrifice of Mexican-American soldiers during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was assigned to Company H of the 16th Infantry Regiment. During his service, he fought in various battlefields, including Sicily, Normandy, and Africa. Cardenas displayed exceptional heroism and bravery, which led to him receiving the Bronze Star award. On August 4th, 1943, he risked his life by delivering essential ammunition and supplies over hazardous mountain trails while under enemy fire. His unwavering dedication to his comrades and country, despite the discrimination of his time, embodies the spirit of patriotism that transcends all boundaries. Private First Class Simon Cadenas continued to display this dedication throughout his service, fighting alongside his company on Omaha Beach in Normandy, where he was killed on November 22nd, 1944.  In recognition of his bravery and sacrifice, Private First Class Simon Cardenas was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star, World War II Victory Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge on August 18th, 2023.

Scott Cardenas, Chief Technology Officer, kindly shared his grandfather's inspiring story.

Maria Contreras-Sweet

Juan Francisco Reyes

Sylvia Acevedo 

Juan Francisco Reyes stands out as a symbol of diversity in the complex fabric of 18th-century California. He arrived shortly after the establishment of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles (later known as Los Angeles) in 1781. As a man of mixed heritage, Reyes played a crucial role in the town's development and became its first elected mayor in 1793, serving for two distinguished years. Reyes was also the first land grantee of the Spanish Crown in the region, and he sold land to support the completion of the San Fernando Mission in 1797. His legacy includes being the first "black mayor" and "Hispanic mayor" of the town, marking his significant impact on the diverse and rich history of Los Angeles. His descendants continue to contribute to the region, and their family home, the Reyes Adobe Historical Site in Agoura Hills, California, serves as a tangible reminder of his family's enduring legacy. Juan Francisco Reyes' story reminds us of the lasting influence that Latinx individuals have had on the United States' history and culture.

Sylvia Acevedo has had a remarkable journey in technology and leadership. She was born on November 1, 1956, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and rose above humble beginnings to achieve remarkable accomplishments. In 1980, she started her career at IBM as an engineer while studying at Stanford University. During her time at IBM, she contributed to the Solar Polar Solar Probe (SPSP) and Voyager 2 teams at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 1980, she started her career at IBM while studying at Stanford University. She has held significant roles at tech companies like Apple, Dell, and Autodesk. Acevedo also founded CommuniCard, served on the national board of directors for the Girl Scouts, and was appointed to the Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She became the interim CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA in 2016 and later assumed the role permanently in 2017. Acevedo's exceptional contributions have been recognized through numerous accolades. In November 2020, she joined the board of directors of Qualcomm, and in 2023, she became a board member of, a generative AI startup. Acevedo's inspiring journey exemplifies her transformative impact as an entrepreneur, investor, business leader, and rocket scientist.

Maria Contreras-Sweet, born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1955, embodies the essence of resilience and achievement. She grew up as the fifth of six siblings in a family that faced many economic hardships. In 1961, her mother moved the family to California, where she worked tirelessly at a poultry processing plant to make ends meet, and all the children pitched in by cleaning houses. Despite initially not speaking English, Maria's determination and intellect allowed her to skip a grade in third grade. That experience fueled Maria's aspiration to become a schoolteacher and led her to enroll at California State University, majoring in Public Administration and Political Science. Her journey into politics began when she worked for a local state assemblyman, focusing on education issues. In 1995, Maria took a significant step by starting her own research consulting company specializing in Latino marketing. Her dedication to public service was recognized when, in 1999, she became the state's first Latina cabinet official, serving as the secretary of the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency for five years. Later, she co-founded and presided over Fortius Holdings, a private equity firm that provided capital to small California businesses. In 2006, she founded ProAmerica Bank, a financial institution to assist small and mid-size businesses, primarily in the Latino community.Maria Contreras-Sweet's remarkable journey reached new heights when, in January 2014, President Obama nominated her to lead the Small Business Administration, making her the second Hispanic in Obama's second-term Cabinet. Since April 2014, Maria has served as the 24th U.S. Small Business Administration administrator. Maria Contreras-Sweet's life story is a testament to the American dream, and her dedication to empowering small businesses and diverse communities is truly inspiring.

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