A note from our President, Hector H. Lopez

benext global Jan 02, 2014

I'm ready for what's NeXT.  Are you?

I want to thank everyone for all the kind words of encouragement received on our initial beNeXT Global announcement.  I will continue to lay out our thoughts and vision for what’s NeXT throughout the coming days and weeks.  Many have asked for the story behind the creation of beNeXT Global.  To be honest it has been an evolution of thought a long time in the making.  I directly relate it to significant prior experiences that made an impact on my life & the one of those involved.

I have been strongly committed to service and community development throughout my career. For over a decade, I have worked with community organizations, institutions of higher education, and policy makers to cultivate students from across the Americas.  These experiences cultivated a passion for education, civic organization, entrepreneurship, the arts & community development.

I began my professional career working for the United States Peace Corps and Generations United to cover my living expenses through college.  My experience at the Peace Corps headquarters in D.C. introduced me to the global power of volunteerism.  The Peace Corps offered a bold vision for public service that increased the quality of life for people around the world.  As Public Policy Assistant for Generations United in Washington, D.C., I learned about the importance of uniting a community across generations and promoting effective intergenerational policies for youth, family, and elders.

I served in the Department of Economic Development as the Industry Development Advisor and International Trade Liaison for the City of El Paso under two mayoral administrations.  As such, I had the privilege to guide and represent the economic development interests of my hometown domestically as well as internationally.  My experiences at City Hall gave me hands-on knowledge in economic development and cultivating entrepreneurship.  It also gave me a front row seat to politics, both its power for good and its proclivity to hinder progress.  

One the most rewarding experiences of my professional career began in July of 2004 when I became the Northeast U.S. Director of the very organization that opened many doors for me growing up-- the National Hispanic Institute (NHI).  While the Institute’s northeast U.S. operations are headquartered at Villanova University in Philadelphia.  A few years later I became the NHI Associate Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Relations, a position from which I developed and spearheaded the Institute’s efforts to expand throughout the Americas. After serving in that capacity for four years, I was named Senior Vice President of NHI and moved back to El Paso where I set out to further the organization’s international vision. 

Along this journey, I sought opportunities to further engage our community.  I volunteered time to teach international business and politics at the school I attended on scholarship-- Cathedral High School.  I also developed radio, television, and internet programming on the future of our community for Entravision Communications & PBS.  I directed Villanova University’s recruitment and enrollment efforts throughout the US West Coast and Latin America and was a candidate for Mayor of El Paso where I campaigned on the very message now at the heart of beNeXT global— education, civic organization, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

Those involved at the founding level of beNeXT global decided to launch the endeavor because I genuinely believe what I shared with all of you yesterday, It’s time for something new. Ideas that inspire and bring people together to make eXponential leaps in development. 

We will need your help to make this a reality & a successful endeavor throughout the Americas.

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