Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell with Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell with Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast

This week on The Mobile Alabama Business Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell with the Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast. Listen in as we discuss how she came to live in Mobile, what she has learned from reinventing herself several times, and details about the Latin Festival!

Produced by Blue Fish


Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: My name is Leida Javier-Farrell. I'm the voice and face of the Hispanic community in Mobile, Alabama.

Marcus Neto: It is so wonderful to have you on my couch to record this podcast. I'm excited about this one. So thank you for being here.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Oh, it's a pleasure.

Marcus Neto: Well, we've gotten to know each other a little bit more this year. You attended an event here and then we've seen each other at a number of business events for the Chamber and stuff. And we're going to talk today a lot about the Hispanic community here. But I want you to know that, if you're listening to this, that the Hispanic community is a very welcoming one and that when we share culture and stuff like that, we want everybody to come and enjoy that. But you tell us a little bit about yourself, before I get ahead of myself. Why don't you tell us a little bit, tell us your story. Where are you from? Where did you go to school? Did you go to college? I know you did because you've got lots of acronyms after your name. But and are you married, which I know you are, but go ahead and tell us your backstory.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: I'm originally from Puerto Rico. And I'm the child, I am an academic brat. I grew up in universities, in the campuses. And yes, I do have a few degrees. My highest is a PhD in Higher Education Administration. And I studied most of my... My bachelors in Puerto Rico, but my masters and my doctorate in the States. I worked in Puerto Rico as a Dean of Student Affairs for many years. I taught in universities and then as a Vice President of Student Affairs, both in private universities. And as it happened, one of those things, maybe a 45 year old craziness, I came to Mobile for a party.

Marcus Neto: For a party? Okay, I haven't heard this story.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Came to Mobile for a party and the lady that was throwing the party said, I was in the process of divorce, they said, "You're not coming alone." She invited the Bachelor in Residence of the compound. This is how [inaudible 00:02:11]. We had a big compound in Fowl River. And that's the end of the story. The poor man.

Marcus Neto: He didn't know what hit him?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: He didn't know what hit him. And then the unholy alliance happened. A very highly educated Puerto Rican marrying a redneck Mobilian. A staunch Democrat, with a staunch Republican.

Marcus Neto: That's funny.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Which, it was crazy, but it has worked out. It's my second 25 year old marriage and yes, I'm 70, but I am very active-

Marcus Neto: You're an amazing woman.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: ... and enjoy life incredibly.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, and I get that sense from you. That's why it's always a joy to talk to you because you always have a smile on your face and you're always just so excited to see me, because I'm only concerned about myself.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: I have good taste.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, well thank you. But no, I think it's amazing that you... My parents live in Malbis and so I just think it's amazing how you've kind of ingrained yourself in the Mobile business community. Why? What's your?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Well, my main asset is a unifier, a contactor, a networker. It's my main asset. As a matter of fact, when you say Malbis, my husband took me to that land when he was just land because he was one of the developers, helped the developers there. So I know exactly where they were living. And I decided to know this city, and I think I know this city more than a lot of people that are from here. From West Mobile to downtown, I love to explore everything. And I'm ambassador for Mobile, so that taught me a lot more. But I had to carve my own niche in this place. I couldn't find a job in the kind of job I was used to. So I had to start from zero. And eventually I got a job with Alabama School of Math and Science. And I met there, Ms. Beverly Cooper. And she's one of the most distinguished ladies in this town, married to General Gary Cooper. And she took me under her wing and introduced me and put me on some boards. And I was the first Hispanic in any of those boards. It was like-

Marcus Neto: Why is this lady sound so funny?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: ... who's this lady? But she has a PhD and is white, so let's say, okay. So from there on, I was able to set my agenda of contributing to this community in many ways of showcasing the contribution of Hispanics in the community, and helping each other. So that's how, aside from the jobs I taught at Spring Hill, and Bishop, and South Alabama, I've done a lot of things like that. I've directed some projects. I ended up being the Director for Workforce Development at the Chamber after I finished a job with Mobile Works, which was, I was Vice President of Youth and Adult Programs. These are all transferable skills. These were skills that I had in my previous life, and I transferred them to new positions. So I directed from the AIDS organization, which was a learning curve that was incredible and I love that job, to actually be at the Chamber.

And that helped me to connect to a lot of business. And I develop a whole work of workforce development career and a career coach, which I've done ad honorem, which everybody that needs it will come with me even now. The retired commander of the base in Pensacola came to see me because he says, "I don't know what to do now in the city life." And he had a resume, which was impressive, but he was for commander of the... It says, "No, no, no, nobody's going to hire you with this resume. Let's do, what's your transferable skills?" So it's been exciting. It's been exciting.

Marcus Neto: No, I love the way that you've approached that because so many people would see that as a difficult thing that's insurmountable and it would not be something that they would take on as a challenge.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Marcus, the second life brought me, not only of course left me empty of my family that is in Puerto Rico and all the things that are happening there that I could be helping more, but it led me to a different lifestyle. More friends, more learning. Life is so short. If you just get stuck in doing one thing your whole life, you're missing out.

Marcus Neto: 100% agree with that. And it's weird, and I'm just going to be a little vulnerable here, but when you get into your thirties, you start looking around at your life, especially late thirties, and you wonder, hey, everything that I'm am using, everything that I'm surrounded by is disposable. From the razor that I use to shave my face, to the shoes that I have on my feet, what legacy do I have? When am I going to leave for the people that I love? And so, you start kind of looking at things differently.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Reinventing yourself is marvelous. It's just living again is just saying, "Oh I got all these things I have," and I wish I could do it again, but at my age, I think.

Marcus Neto: 70, I don't know, maybe you just stay where you are and lean into what you've got. Because I'm actually really excited. I'm going to take a break from our questions to talk to you about what it is that you do and what you have coming up. So why don't you tell us, you're the President of the Hispanic and I'm not going to get an acronyms fully correct, so.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast. A couple of-

Marcus Neto: That's a mouthful. We might need to talk about your name.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Two ladies and some friends decided to get together 14 years ago because we kept meeting people in all kinds of positions and said, how do we get these people together, especially Hispanics, into position from plant managers. So the Vice President of the Airport Authority right now is Hispanic. He's from Puerto Rico. Those Puerto Ricans are everywhere

Marcus Neto: They're like gremlins, you sprinkle water on them and they just.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: That's right. But we decided to get together, we started doing a lot of workforce development and economic development activities. Port Authority had visitors from Campeche, Mexico. So we did a networking and we did a whole conference around that to the extent that we also did the only activity that put the three heads of Airbus together in this town. When people only thought that the final assembly line was here. There were two Airbus organizations before the final assembly line. There was a Spanish one, EADS Casa.

Marcus Neto: I never knew that.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And now it's all under the Airbus-

Marcus Neto: Airbus umbrella?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: [inaudible 00:09:11] And then the Airbus Engineering Center that has over 250 engineers, they're in a different setup. So when the final assembly line came, everybody thought that's the Airbus that's in town. I said the Airbus has been in town for many, many years. So we brought the Spanish and the German and the local [inaudible 00:09:29] and put them all together, which was herding crabs.

Marcus Neto: Pets.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Crabs or cats. But we finally put them together, we had to change the venue three times because more people wanted to see, they didn't know they wanted to hear them. And those activities generated some funds. I was at the Chamber at that time. So the Chamber supported was an umbrella, like a supporter of our activities and our organization from the beginning. Bill Sisson told me, "Leida go ahead, do it. We're going to support you." And the Chamber has always, up to today, has always supported us.

Marcus Neto: That's really good.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And we raise funds for scholarship for Hispanic students, for their other Hispanic organizations that help different pockets from people that just came from Puerto Rico after Maria that needed beds and whatever, to students that are left with no money, all kinds of help. You would not believe we have even donated boots to somebody that needed the boots to work. So it's been fantastic to be able to little by little help the community through those organizations. The Guadalupe Center, Belong, the other organizations that are on here. We can raise the funds and we can pass them down.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, it's really good. And we've been talking a lot about the Latin Fest that's coming up. So why don't, because I don't want to get to the end and talk about this because this is a pretty important deal. So why don't you tell us about Latin Fest, when it is, what you're expecting, and things like that.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We've been wanting to do this for many years. Finally, last year, the new Director of Parks and Recreations, she is fantastic. She pushed us to do it and in three months we put the first one. One of the things that we did was that we didn't want to do it as most Latin Fests are done out in the outskirts where the Hispanics are, or where nobody else want to go. So we came downtown. We're downtown with sidewalk because we want to integrate the community. You don't know, Marcus, how many have never come downtown. And we started months, we have an influencer and she started going to every ArtWalk for months and say, for three months, and said, "Come downtown, this is the cathedral. This is this." They gave some virtual tours of the downtown to entice Hispanics to come downtown. And they came. They came.

The night before, last year, I said, "Oh my God, how bad if it was all that work, nobody shows up." And it was the largest crowd outside of Mardi Gras downtown.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, I don't-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: 20,000 people were downtown.

Marcus Neto: I want to make sure people register that. It was the largest group outside of Mardi Gras that they've had downtown. It was over 20,000 people.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: It's true. It was not only the Hispanics, but all the restaurants were full. The vendors at our walk were selling like crazy. We ran out of food that was our only big oops. We ran out of food very early.

Marcus Neto: Understandable though, considering.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And we had to go through a lot of hoops to get some of these incredible cooks to come down because all the permits that they have to get. But this year we are ready. What we did this year for that specific thing was that [inaudible 00:13:00] and myself did a little proposal and we were granted some funds from Mobile United to actually train, not train, but certify Hispanic cooks so that they get all their certification to be able to sell.

So Bishop State did the first group. And Coastal Community College did a second group with a very high retention rate. We have 22 graduates from those programs. And then the Hispanic Association purchased the last credential that they needed was the peddler's license at the end so they could sell. Now our next project, and through this project from the beginning is that we need to do a commissary kitchen in this town because they don't have a commercial kitchen to cook. And some of them have commercial products that really could change the lifetime of that family. It could change what we taste. We're missing those flavors. We are really missing.

Marcus Neto: So before this, we were talking about empanadas, and for those of you that are not familiar with empanadas, they're basically like-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Dough.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, it's a dough. So think of a pastry kind of-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Closest would be a hand pie.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. But it's usually stuffed with something. So either it's got ground meat with onions and spices and stuff like that. Or you were talking about you had purchased some octopus and we're making some empanadas out of octopus. But it's just one of those things, it's like, well where do you get empanadas in Mobile? And it was hard to think of a place that even sells it.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We are going to have empanadas at the Latin Fest. Empanadas from Venezuela. Every country makes them a little different. But we going to have all this food from Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia. There's going to a lot of Mexican, authentic Mexican food.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I think it's amazing. And for those of you that aren't familiar with that process, there are a couple of commissary kitchens in Mobile, but they're all packed. They're all booked. I've talked to a guy that has a couple, I think he has three or four in his location and he said we're completely full. And so it's interesting to me because you got this requirement and these people obviously need... Pause.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say this part of your neck is kind of rubbing that whenever you sit forward.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Oh, all right. Thank you.

Marcus Neto: There's a number of places that they can go. But oftentimes it's very difficult for these people to find a kitchen, but that's usually the first step. Finding a commissary kitchen allows them to sell at ArtWalk and some of these other things. But then maybe they get a food truck and-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: They need a commissary kitchen.

Marcus Neto: ... they still need a commissary kitchen for that. And so it's not until you get into your own restaurant facility that you don't have that need anymore. And then you mentioned peddler's license. For those of you that aren't familiar, everybody that sells downtown has to register with the city and get a peddler's license. It's a hundred bucks. It allows them to set up a table and sell at those events. And I think it's just amazing that not only did you come up with a curriculum with the schools to help these people go through that process, but then also provided them with the peddler's license at the end just to help them. There's no barriers at that point. All they have to do is get behind a stove and cook.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: That's right.

Marcus Neto: So that's really awesome.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: A certified kitchen cook.

Marcus Neto: So it's got to be the right kitchen. But I don't know, I think it's really exciting. But do you have anything else that you wanted to add about the ArtWalk?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We have a small committee that runs the whole thing. This year the sponsors have been fabulous. We were surprised by some of them that we asked for an amount and they double or triple the amount, because they know how important our community is. In Alabama, in the last 10 years, the Hispanic community have grown 33%.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: There's only a company here in Mobile, an aerospace company which is not Airbus, that brought 250 aerospace engineers, technicians, and all kinds of levels from Chile. So that's the largest group of Hispanics under one roof in here. But our [inaudible 00:17:25] comes from Pascagoula all the way to Pensacola. And they travel and they're high skilled, and they're wanted. You don't know how many companies call me every day, "Do you have any Hispanic workers?" And we have some companies that are coming to the Latin Fest just to let people know that they have jobs because they're suffering from workforce. And this is one of their... And they have people that speak Spanish in the plants so they can take people that are limited in English.

Marcus Neto: This, culturally it's here they're able to do that. No, I think it's amazing. Because we do, especially here in the South, oftentimes it's white or Black. And I think those of us that are beige kind of get lost in the mix.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Hispanics not only are people of color, we are colorful people. So when you hire Hispanics, you have to also know we're going to be loud, we're going to have the merengue.

Marcus Neto: Exuberance. Yes, there's an exuberance that comes along with being Latin that is not rivaled anywhere else, but. Well this just cracks me up. And I'm going to skip a couple of questions because you've already answered some of these, like how you got started and all this stuff.

But if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, because you've excelled at positions of leadership, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: There's so many little pieces on that, but one of the things that have helped me all the way through is mentors. I had a great mentor when I started working at the university. I was assistant to the Chancellor. I was a loose bullet because I'm a project junkie and I will go for things with all my heart. He was a PhD in physics, very calm. But he let me go. He says, "Go," whenever he needed to stop me, he pulled the rope. But just having somebody that tells you go and do what your heart is telling you. He knew I was an honest person. He knew I was a knowledgeable person. I committed mistakes. I hit my head against the wall so many times.

And I said, "Okay, the more you do, the more mistakes you're going to commit. But that's a learning process." So having that kind of mentorship was amazing. Was amazing. Here, Mobile, I mentioned Beverly Cooper. It wasn't that she was a mentor, but she would open doors for me. I already was formed, I was 45. But having a mentor and they just fall from the sky and you might just let them go, you shouldn't. It's important. It's important.

And also know your talents. What my best talent, as I mentioned might be seen as by some people as, "Oh, she doesn't belong here." But if you have people with talents different from yours in your organization, those are the people that you need. Having different talents. We have negotiated that with the Board of the Hispanic Association. We have an engineer and he wants things very straight and very written. And then we have a couple of very extreme right people and extreme left people. And we say, I had to tell them, "Listen, this is what a team is all about. It's understanding the talents of people around you and knowing, oh my God, I don't have that talent. I don't see life this way. Let me see his way because or her way because man, there's a different way of [inaudible 00:21:03]."

Marcus Neto: It makes us better. It makes us better people.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Oh my goodness, yes. And bank on people's talents, not what you perceive is their defects. That's that's a precious rule there.

Marcus Neto: No, that's amazing. And I think it's interesting because we did just record an episode that will go after this because we want to get yours out for the Latin Fest.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And before you said Latin Fest is October the 14th.

Marcus Neto: Yes.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: At Cathedral Square from 4:00 to 10:00. So that people can go and have dinner, party, we going to have music, Afro-Cuban music, Bohemian Caribbean, and a northern Mexican band. Not mariachis, it's [foreign language 00:21:47]. So we're going to have music that people have not heard here before, but it's going to be wild.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. There's going to be dancing, music. Yeah, a lot of food.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Put your dancing shoes and bring your flags. Yes.

Marcus Neto: Well what I was going to say is that the guy from Muffinjaw, Freddie, was just here recorded a podcast episode, which will appear after this. But his comment was that the festival was the best festival that they've ever done from a vendor's perspective. And I was going to go somewhere else with that. I can't remember quite where it was... Anyway, I just... Oh I know what it was. He was talking about, not looking at failure, and we've talked about this a number of times, not looking at failure as a failure, but looking at it as a learning experience. And you just said something a minute ago when you were talking about banging your head up against brick wall and that mentors, that you fail, but that it allows you to pick up and go and they kind of guide you in that. And I don't know, I'm just feeling like there's something that's kind of brewing with today's podcast episodes. It's just that let's not think of failures as failures. Let's think of them as just learning experiences and that we grow from them.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Now they hurt, and they will hurt for a long time, but if you have the right people around you, we just committed a big mistake with the festival, something that we purchased. And I said, "Listen, we spent that money, everybody's doing their best and this is a mistake, we going to scratch it and go forward."

Marcus Neto: You can't dwell on it.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: It's not blaming people or anything.

Marcus Neto: Yeah it doesn't get you anywhere.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: How can I blame somebody that is putting thousands of hours and a lot of money of their own pocket as a volunteer? So it's just.

Marcus Neto: It's not smart to do that, so. Are there any, well you've mentioned a couple, but outside of the people that you've already mentioned, are there any books, podcasts, people or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We've had Alabama Coasting help us a lot. The Calametti brothers join us some years ago. We did with them an activity on-

Marcus Neto: So what is the story with the Calametti brothers? Because the "gringos" as they put in the book themselves-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Those are our gringos in residence in the committees. We have to do all the committee meetings in English because of them.

Marcus Neto: That's great.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And they never miss the meeting, so we always have to do it. Last night they were talking at they are doing a competition. Oh, I shouldn't do it.

Marcus Neto: No, don't yeah don't say.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: No, it's okay. This is going to go after. They're going to do a drink competition with Hispanic flare downtown. It's going to have $100 award. So we going to taste and we are part of the judging thing. But what happened with Calametti was that several years ago they're involved with food and they were World Food Championship. And several years ago they were going down to Puerto Rico because they were setting some, helping Puerto Rico to set some teams there for the World Food Championship. And they asked the Chamber, "Who we have here in Puerto Rico that could open door for us all?"

Marcus Neto: That's funny.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: They call me and I have met one of them, David, for some time. But David have met so many people that he didn't remember. So we met, I gave them the right names, they met those people, they went crazy with the possibilities in Puerto Rico. They said the possibilities in Puerto Rico are incredible. After Maria, there's still a lot of incentives for businesses, especially like businesses that can go remote, 4% tax. And it is just very fantastic for businesses. So we did an activity with a Hispanic Association [inaudible 00:25:27] possibilities Puerto Rico. And we had people online coming in into Zoom because there was a hurricane here in Puerto Rico when we were doing it, so they couldn't fly over. But it was a good meeting. And from there we started working. I'm a certified judge for the World Food Championship. So I've gone to one last year, which was incredible, and I'm going this year again. That's the short of it. We just started doing things and then we started a business, it's called Javier-Calametti, very wisely. They put the woman, Hispanic, as a minority-owned business in front.

And Javier-Calametti does project management and projects that people want. Mostly workforce development, recruiting in Puerto Rico and things like that.

Marcus Neto: That's cool.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: So, that's what we do.

Marcus Neto: No, it was funny to see him at the event the other night and he was the one that said it, "Gringo in residence," so I just think it's funny.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: They start talking, they are our token gringos, like I've been the token Hispanic.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, for sure. Well what's the most important thing that you learn about running an organization?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: It's the H factor. The human factor. The human factor happens with two people at home, with two people and two children at home. Dealing with the H factor is very important and understanding each other. And I'm old enough to be wise enough to shut down when I need to shut down. Not to try to defend myself or anything and hear people out. But that's one of the things that I have learned. Not only that, there's a lot of people that want to give to the community. We need to outreach to more. We just decided last night in our board meeting that we need to have more board members, not [inaudible 00:27:16] committee or people that are involved with the Latin Festival, or other activities or board members that are influential that at a certain time we can call upon them and push us to the next level or call the next person that we need.

So we are going to, in our May meeting of next year, we're going for that meeting. We want to expand our board members. So anybody that's interested, that is influential. And you qualify because you're Brazilian, so you're part Hispanic.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. It's funny because Brazil speaks Portuguese, for those of you that don't know, and it's the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Portuguese is a Latin language.

Marcus Neto: It is Latin language, so I know. We don't get called in Hispanic necessarily, but we are part of the Latin family. But it's funny because I don't know, it's always been interesting to me how Brazil sits alone in that respect. And it's like you want to be part of the family, but oftentimes you're excluded.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Well, one of the members that have been there from the beginning is Sylvia Skultety. She a broker realtor in Mobile Bay, realtor. And she's from Brazil and this is the most [inaudible 00:28:30] person and the most hardworking. She had to put so much money from her pocket and hours and hours and she presides the Latin Fest committee. So yeah, Brazil is in.

Marcus Neto: Brazil's in. No, that's awesome. I appreciate and I will consider that. So now this is the hardest question that I'm going to ask you.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Throw it.

Marcus Neto: How do you like to unwind?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: How do you like what?

Marcus Neto: To unwind. How do you like to relax?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: I cook a lot. I'm telling you, I'm the whole day going. Once I get up, I'm going. The last couple of years, my daughter-in-law was sick, so I was mother, grandmother, and all kinds of things. And that getting up very early in the morning to take grandchildren to school and all that. Start my day very early. But once I turn off, I'm off. Okay. I love to cook. I have a lot of plants that hopefully they won't die because I beg to remember to water them because I love to have them around. I've been planting some vegetables, which I love too. But mostly I wish I had more family here. My family is limited here and that's one of the things my grandson is missing. And when we go to Puerto Rico, he loves it because there are hundreds of people around him, family.

Marcus Neto: It's a difficult thing for those of us that are here that, like my parents are from a different country, from Brazil, and so I don't have any extended family. I've got my boys and that's pretty much it. So I get that sentiment. It's difficult.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: So hopefully my grandson turned 16, hopefully I'll send him next summer to work in Puerto Rico.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, that's awesome.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: With some family so that he can flavor it better. Last summer I went with him and, at my age, I was in a seven stop zip line with him.

Marcus Neto: Oh gosh.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Going, "Zooooo," from one tower to the other.

Marcus Neto: I can't see you on a zip line.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: I could hear the walkie-talkies, "Old lady going over," so they could catch me on the next one.

Marcus Neto: That's awesome.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: But as long as we can, and my husband keeps saying, "Please Leida, just take it easy."

And I says, "I will. I'm going to be [inaudible 00:30:44] I'm going to take it easy for the rest of whatever keeps my body." But while I can, I wish I could just continue serving and I love it. And it's a personal satisfaction, I'm going to tell I'm going to be blank. I serve because it's satisfies me and I love it. That's it.

Marcus Neto: And it shows. So before I wrap up here, I just want-

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And that's something everybody should be servicing somebody, because it's part of life.

Marcus Neto: It really is. I think the more that you give more in return. You don't do it out of the, "Well, I'm going to give because then I get back." It's not the motive that you do it for, but when you just give freely, whether it's of your time or money or whatever, there's something in the universe that says that's a good thing. It comes back to you.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: I grew up in a family that was like that. I wish I would be as a service person as my parents were. But my father wrote a short story many years ago, which is [foreign language 00:31:46], it's A Pleasure of Servicing. And I grew up with that philosophy and it's fantastic.

Marcus Neto: Well, like I said, I wanted to just say it does show, and I just really appreciate what you bring to Mobile as far as these larger events and stuff like that. But just what you bring when you come to a networking event and you bring your smile.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And next year's going to be bigger because it's going to be a Cooper Riverside Park.

Marcus Neto: See what I'm dealing with people. I can't keep her on. She's got one track mind.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Cooper Riverside Park. It's going to be outside because we don't fit in the, it's going to be bigger.

Marcus Neto: Life with a Latina.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: My poor husband.

Marcus Neto: There you go. Well tell people where they can find out more information about all this.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We have a website. It's Hispanic American Business Association of the Golf Coast. I know it's long. So we say HABAGC.com. There's a lot of information there. We have on Facebook, also an Instagram, on there Mobile Latin Fest. And please watch us. We have an influencer there that is interviewing all our sponsors and putting that out there because we have to thank them in many ways. And we have on October the 8th, we have a beautiful networking for younger professionals.

Marcus Neto: I love how she's gesturing at me like I'm a younger professional.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Younger professional, that's you. I'm going to be there.

Marcus Neto: See, no matter what age you are, you're always younger to somebody.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: We had to bring the younger Hispanics with the community. And so it's going to be at Braided River October the 8th at 5:00. Come over the first, I think, 100 will get beer for free. So that's good enticement.

Marcus Neto: No, that's good. I think that'll be a good event. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. Wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Oh, thank you so much. Thank you. I know from the first time I met you many years ago, you might not remember. I knew you were going to be very influential in this community and I love to have kept, I love that I kept some connection with you.

Marcus Neto: Well I appreciate it.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: And Mobile is beautiful, for those that are from outside. The weather today is amazing. We have the beach out there and the people are very good. We do still think a little bit in Black and white, but we are breaking that. We have to influence the best we can of all the communities because we have many, many other groups that are invisible in this community. But we are going to have to help them to become visible. This is a rich community. I don't know if you got one of our seeds packets at the last networking that says planting the seeds for international growth. And it was a seed packet inside because that's what we need to do.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, I did see the seed packets. And it's just interesting when you think about Mobile. Mobile is becoming more and more a multicultural, diverse international community. As we see more companies like Airbus. And it's not [inaudible 00:34:46] anymore, forgive me.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: It's Outokumpu.

Marcus Neto: Outokumpu, I can never pronounce it.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: They're going to be sponsors of the Latin Fest.

Marcus Neto: And I apologize for that. I should have done better, but.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Well 18 out of the... Out of the largest 20 corporations in Mobile, 18 are foreign.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. And it's just so, I think it's time for us to start seeing Mobile as it is, which is this is a multicultural, international city and granted we may not have the population density that some of the other larger cities do.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: That's good. That's good.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, I know. But I mean, there is a lot to be celebrated in our differences. And so I would also like to invite you to come down October 14th from 4:00 to 10:00, Cathedral Square. I think it's going to be a blast.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Mobile Latin Fest! Yes.

Marcus Neto: There you go. Yeah. Well, Leida, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It has been great talking with you, as always.

Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell: Thank you. Thank you so much. My pleasure.

Contact Information

Follow Us on Instagram @allthingsmobileal, and use the hashtag #allthingsmobileal