About Me: The Gist
Mi nombre es Manny. I am a first generation Mexican-American; a proud son of Mexican immigrants. Thanks for swinging by to learn more about me, and some of my passions, personal joys, intentions, professional experiences, brief thoughts on AI/ML and more.
I have a passion for creating usable, online experiences, practicing self-awareness, engaging with new and diverse communities and ideas, staying connected with students and teachers, supporting sustainable initiatives and businesses, and preserving the one world we all have: Earth.
My aspirations and experiences are not positional: they are experiences that I carry forward to the next opportunity to contribute to meaningful work and relationships by doing intentional work that inherently has an impact on the lives around me, directly and indirectly. I am conscious about what and where I place my focus on for maximizing my efforts toward helping solve real-world problems.
Personal Joys and Commitments
I enjoy running, spending quality time with my family, traveling, cooking, landscaping, hosting international students, collaborating with local artists and building bridges in our community, playing Scrabble, riding my bike, and photographing nature and people. My biggest joy is being a father to my incredible daughter, Nina. I believe that embracing and nurturing a growth mindset is healthy and sustainable; we, as a people, are a WIP - we should never stop the pursuit of learning and growing from one another and our experiences.
I leverage my opportunities and privileges in different areas of my life to lift-up and empower people, especially marginalized individuals, to help shape people's experiences and lives for the collective better.
Leadership and Empowerment
I have been fortunate enough to grow into leadership positions in the professional tech world where I recruited, on-boarded, led, coached and mentored happy, productive softwaren engineering and design teams made up of individuals of diverse backgrounds. I ensure that everyone on my team has an intentional career pathway for continued advancement and growth.
I leverage my opportunities and privileges in different areas of my life to lift-up and empower people, especially marginalized individuals and groups, to help shape people's experiences and lives for the collective better. I believe in speaking my truth in thoughtful ways and supporting others in doing the same.
On Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML)
I am optimistic about the challenges ahead of us, along with the rewards, with the advent of AI/ML. I am also realistically concerned if we don't collectively take proactive steps to prepare for the far reaching impacts AI/ML has on society, such as individual relevance and workforce displacement.There are individuals, groups and other initiatives, like OpenAI and Andrew Yang, however, that are making concious efforts in helping with this inevitable transition toward a more automated society.
As a working professional, I've had the pleasure of being an educator, entrepreneur, community space founder, an organizer and activist for social, racial and environmental justice, along with growing and flourishing as a seasoned product manager, software and systems engineer leader in the tech world; however, my aspirations and experiences are not positional. “Being a leader, “director”, or an “organizer” in some specific way isn’t the end game for me, or a badge of hubris to wear, although I take humble pride in my work; it’s an experience that I carry forward to the next intentional opportunity to contribute to meaningful work and relationship-building with others.
See also: Highlighted Experiences
Intention and representation
Each one of my professional experiences has brought about opportunities to grow and flourish in both my personal and career pathways. As such, I continuously and intentionally interweve my prior work and personal experiences toward creating an empathetic cultural shift in the new and current environments I find myself in and around.
I believe it is long overdue that our elected officials reflect the experiences and paths of those they represent across the spectrum, not just the homogenous power structure; therefore, I'm excited to see an increase in representation in positions of leadership and elected office that are more reflective of our diverse society (#RepresentationMatters).
Guidance and empathy
I make a conscious effort to surround myself with people that will push me to continuously learn and grow, with the idea that, I too, am reciprocating the favor.
I value the on-going guidance of my loving parents and extended family, both in the US and from the homeland (Mexico), along with my close friends and selected mentors.
As I child, I was fortunate enough to have had a range of women and men of color that modeled the importance of compassion, understanding and extending a support base to others on a regular basis; this ranged from my parents to the neighbors. In looking back at this further, this intentional approach I was taught early on, and have carried with me through adulthood, seems to align with what folks refer to as empathy in one form or another. For my siblings, parents and the hard-working immigrant families I grew up with-and-around, we simply knew our acts as doing the right thing, paying-it-forward to others whenever we could, even if in small ways.
In the grand scheme, we're all a part of the same tribe: Human, each trying to live and do our best in this temporary galaxy ride we call life, so mindful and meaningful collaboration and cooperation is something I deeply value and practice.
An empathetic-, growth- and service- oriented attitude and mindset is what I bring with me to the teams I work with and the projects I work on. I make a conscious effort to surround myself with people that will push me to continuously learn and grow, with the idea that, I too, am reciprocating the favor.
PS - To learn more about how this site is built, and view selected projects and collaborations, visit the meta section.