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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Karla Boldery
Celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 annually, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.”

Celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 annually, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.” First observed in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, National Hispanic Heritage Month was expanded to a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan before being signed into law on Aug. 17, 1988. Sept. 15 carries significance as the independence anniversary for several Latin American countries and close to those dates for Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18).

 

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us in recognizing local Hispanic leaders, business owners and citizens of prominence making history in our region. Today, we are honored to highlight Florence resident Karla Boldery, General Market Manager for La Mega Media, Inc., the largest Hispanic media platform in the state of Ohio.


Born and raised in Mexico City, Boldery (formerly Cárdenas-Álvarez) came to the United States after getting married, moving to Boone County 25 years ago, eventually settling in Florence. As the general manager of La Mega Media – which operates three radio stations and four newspapers between Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh – Boldery works to grow the company. In doing so, that work can serve as “the conduit to really create that connection for the mainstream community to the Hispanic community,” she says.


In addition, Boldery is the founder and facilitator of the Latina Entrepreneur Academy a nonprofit organization designed to “train, motivate and inspire women, especially of Hispanic descent,” to build and enhance their own businesses. She was named 2017 Small Business Association (SBA) Partner of the year for her distinguished leadership and efforts with the Hispanic business community, 2018 Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan by the Ohio Commission of Hispanic and Latino Affairs (OCHLA). The former Innovation Services Director and Business Advisor for the HCDC Business Center, she was also named one of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 in 2015.


Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month by visiting hispanicheritagemonth.gov


What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

 
Being Hispanic for me, celebrating Hispanics is about a lot more than just a month. However, it is nice whenever other people take the time to recognize the impact that the community is bringing to our region. I would love for the attention to be all the time. We should be celebrating the impact every day, every year, because it's huge. I am very proud of my heritage, and I am just happy that people do take a time to recognize that.

 

Do you have any heroes of Hispanic descent and if so, how have they impacted your life? 


That would be my mother, Cecilia. She made me to be resilient to be proud of my heritage and to be a professional working woman. Everything that I am, I owe to my mother. 

 

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) recently announced three strategic imperatives that will guide its actions moving forward, one of which is building an inclusive business community. As a BIPOC member of the Northern Kentucky community, what are your thoughts on this initiative and how it can benefit local Hispanic residents? 


This is exactly the type of work that attracted me to the NKY Chamber because I had been doing this type of work for about 12 years in the Cincinnati metro area, but I never have had the opportunity to bring that piece of what I do to this side of the river. (Now), I see the growth and the change of the demographics in the area. 


I remember 25 years ago, there was a counselor that I thought I was the only Hispanic for 50 miles. In fact, my son was 1-year-old, and when he first started going to school, he was probably the only Hispanic in the classroom. Today, it looks completely different. I would have never thought that Florence was a heavily Hispanic area. However, half of (my son’s) classroom in seventh grade speaks Spanish. 


The times call for change and I am very appreciative that the NKY Chamber has taken the lead on this effort. I look forward to working with them to try to make the change. As I mentioned before, growing businesses is part of my passion and (with which) I want to be connected. I have been doing this work for the past 12 years in the Cincinnati metro area so I'm very excited to be able to really bring it close to home.

 

A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center noted that among Hispanic voters surveyed, immigration and the economy were the most pressing problems in America at the time. What issue do you see as the most pressing in the Hispanic community in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region? 


That's a hard one. At a local level, I would say integration of diversity and inclusion efforts. Even though the demographics are changing (with the) mainstream population, it's still very hard (for some to deal with) and accept differences in races, ethnicities and cultures. The more initiatives that are created, first, to educate, and second, to show the disparities, will really help us as a region.


What would you say to a fellow Hispanic person who was considering moving to the Northern Kentucky region? 


It is a great place to live. I love living in Florence, Kentucky. I think the cost of living is second to none. You can have a great lifestyle in Northern Kentucky. There's access to everything and we're close to everything. On top of that, the growth that the region is experiencing is unbelievable. I only see good things happening in Northern Kentucky, so I am very excited. 


I would invite anybody to come live here. I’m the proof. I came here 25 years ago. I'm still here and I'm not going anywhere.