Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2013

An Evening with AARP & The Latino List Project

Akil Bennett | Houston Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Our friends at D’Exposito & Partners extended an invitation to our community leaders, bloggers and influencers in the Houston area to share a night of cultural exchange with AARP. A delegation of our Houston readers and radio show listeners attended the event.

Robert Rodriguez decided to share his experience with you in his own words… Gracias Robert.

Photo credits: Akil Bennett

On Wednesday May 1st, 2013 I had the privilege of attending a special screening of The Latino List Volume 2, ‘An HBO Documentary on the vibrant culture and history of Hispanic America.’  The event was a 5 Star Feature at Hotel ZaZa in Houston’s Museum District.  On arrival we were greeted with a Cocktail Reception which provided an extensive and tasty selection of Hors’ D Oeuvres, desserts, a Gourmet Chef stirring up special requests to your liking and live Mariachi entertainment…A nice reminder that Cinco de Mayo was on our heels.

Akil Bennett | Houston Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Everyone in attendance was dressed for the occasion and it proved to be a Great Opportunity to mix, mingle and network with professionals involved in Houston’s Latino Community.  As perfect as the Opening to this Reception sounds the REAL treat, we all found, was the actual screening of The Latino List.  The Documentary featured interviews with 14 successful Latinos such as George Lopez, Christy Turlington, Victor Cruz, Soledad O’Brien, Henry Cisneros and Nelly Galan to name a few.  It is a very touching and intimate view of each their lives.  They each share stories of their humble beginnings from what it was like growing up Latino in America to what it was like being Latino in their respective industries.  The manner in which each individual shares their story, defining moments and successes in a sometimes Spanglish lingo creates a real sense of “That’s me! And I CAN do anything I set my mind to…”  The silence was often broken by claps and whether you relate to their individual stories through age, gender or ethnic demographics you feel PROUD, making it difficult to hold back tears of joy and pride through some of the stories.

Akil Bennett | Houston Wedding & Portrait Photographer

The Screening was followed by a Q&A session with The Latino List Producers Ingrid Duran, Catherine Pino and Tommy Walker moderated by Sandra Guzman author of “The Latina’s Bible.”  They did an excellent job of answering questions that we were all thinking…Questions like “How did you make the interviews feel so intimate?” “How did you decide who would be on The Latino List?” and “Will there be a Volume 3?”  The panel shared their desire for making the Documentary, their challenges within Corporate America and their need to raise more funding to continue the project…

I truly commend everyone that has worked on this project and from a small business perspective I know what it takes to get a Corporate Giant or Elephant to turn around.  I believe that everyone in our Community needs to see this Documentary and I especially feel that every child needs to see this film. I ask that you all make the time to see this film and that we each make a concerted effort to Regionally tap in to the organizations, programs, constituencies and circles we are involved in to help keep The Latino List Project going…  For the more inspired we are as a Community the Louder OUR Voice is when we come together… We will all be amazed at what we can do as a Community.

Akil Bennett | Houston Wedding & Portrait Photographer

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

About Robert Rodriguez


Robert Rodriguez was born and raised in Weslaco, Tx, a South Texas Community known as The Rio Grande Valley. His family has been in the Farming, Produce & Shipping business since the early 1950’s and currently own & operate Fresh Pickings Farm & Garden Market in Tomball, Tx. Having spent a majority of his youth around the family business, Robert attributes his work ethic to the countless hours spent loading and unloading watermelons in the South Texas heat…

In the year 2000, Robert began his career in the Telecom Industry alongside his brother Dominic and transitioned to the Insurance Field in 2007. His focus has been on Risk Management, Healthcare Benefits Consulting, Medical Travel and Cost Containment Solutions. Robert is a Principal of Affinity Risk Management Services, DSC Risk Services and Epix Global Health Services all based in Houston, Tx. He is an Entrepreneur, a Motivator and a Proud Advocate for Latino America.

Robert keeps active, in the community, by attending and participating in events affiliated with the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC), United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC), California State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CSHCC), National Hispanic Professionals Organization (NHPO), The International Association of Hispanic Retirees (TIAHR) and the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston (IIAH).

After residing and implanting himself in Houston’s growing business market, for the last 10 years, the city’s progressive and energetic culture have grown on him. Having visited Houston throughout his youth and now having the opportunity to build a business network which provides a service to its residents, Robert proudly considers himself a full blooded and lifetime Houstonian…


– Robert Rodriguez

Sofrito For Your Soul Reader

You can follow Robert Rodriguez on twitter @RobertRsez

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Evening with AARP & The Latino List Project