Friday, June 18, 2010

Isidra Mencos >

Isidra Mencos, Executive Editor, BabyCenter en Español

Being Hispanic, does it have any influence on your business?
Being Hispanic is at the core of what I do, since I have been creating and editing content for US Hispanics for many years, first in print and now online. At a personal level I feel proud of being part of the Hispanic community in the US, with its vibrant energy and diversity, and its political, cultural and economic relevance, which increases every day.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
What will keep me going during a rough spot is that I have people who depend on me and I can't let them down. I think every Mom and manager can relate to this sense of responsibility.

The support and insights of friends and colleagues are also essential to weather the storms.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Starting from scratch in a new country was quite challenging. The cultural shock when I came to the US as a student was overwhelming, as it was leaving all my family and friends behind. It also turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, both professionally and personally.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything, unless something I did hurt somebody.

What was your childhood ambition?
As a child I loved reading and writing, and I dreamed of being a novelist. I still dream about it!

Tell us about three people that you admire?
Chiori Santiago: Accomplished writer, creative spirit, inspiring Mom and a true friend. She passed away in 2007 after a year battle with cancer. The outpouring of love and support from friends and colleagues during her illness was a testament of a life well lived.

Jorge Ramos: For his hard work ethic, professional integrity, commitment to the Hispanic community, and humanity.

Every Mom who works hard to improve the life of her family, and contributes to society, be that with her job, helping at school, or simply raising balanced, happy children who make the world a better place.

For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Meetings at the office are more productive when you're hammering out projects, but lunch or dinner meetings are great for networking, team building, and brain storming.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
More than once I have let go of jobs and financial security to open up room for change and opportunities. In my experience, a willingness to take risks in order to stay true to yourself always ends up paying off.

What is your favorite quote?
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
It can be difficult but sometimes it's necessary. It's worth going through some feelings of isolation and self-doubt to carve your own path. It also helps you be more tolerant of other people's differences, which is a good thing.

Biggest mistake made?
Not allowing enough time to take care of myself. You can't be a good manager (or a good Mom, partner and friend) if you don't allow time for personal development and carve out a balanced life.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Being in the rapidly changing online business, I strive to constantly find new ways to offer Hispanics the information they need in the most useful and appealing way. A big part of my job as a manager is also to hire creative and passionate employees and nurture their potential, so innovation comes from the whole team, not just from me.

About the Company:
BabyCenter® is the leading pregnancy and parenting online destination worldwide. It reaches over 8 million moms in the U.S. and close to 19 million moms monthly in 22 markets from Australia to India to China. In the United States, 7 out of 10 babies born last year were BabyCenter babies.

BabyCenter provides mom with trusted advice from more than 100 experts around the globe, that is remarkably right for her needs. A pioneer in mass personalized media, BabyCenter’s customized, stage-based experience extends beyond the site to mobile and social media, delivering the BabyCenter experience to mom wherever she is and whenever she needs it most. Millions of moms seek out the mom-to-mom wisdom and friendship available across the BabyCenter network

BabyCenter is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

About Isidra Mencos:
Isidra Mencos, Executive Editor of BabyCenter® en Español, is a seasoned editor and writer. She has served as the editor of such prestigious magazines as NewParent en Español, Avanzando con tu Familia, and Parenting Bebé. Mencos also had the opportunity to serve as editor and writer of custom published magazines Target Familia, La salud de su bebé and Nutrición esencial. She has also contributed more than 600 articles on a variety of topics for a syndicated radio program conducted by acclaimed Univision broadcaster, Jorge Ramos.

Her deep knowledge of the daily needs and wants of the Hispanic audience and her passion to serve them the best and most useful information has been the foundation of her work in media.

Mencos began her publishing career early on working in different capacities for renowned Spanish publishers Seix Barral, Planeta, Muchnik Editores, and Luciérnaga. Later she edited Spanish textbooks for McGraw Hill Company and McMillan Publishing Company.

Formerly a graduate student instructor and lecturer at the University of California in Berkeley, where she completed a Ph.D in 1998, Mencos taught Spanish literature and culture, creative and composition writing, as well as Spanish and Catalan. Her engaging and innovative approach in the classroom earned her two teaching awards in 1994. She has published an annotated bibliography on the Catalan writer Merce Rodoreda, which received the “Merce Rodoreda Award” in 1996 in Barcelona, Spain, as well as a work of fiction, “Juego de voces”.

A proud mother of an eight year old boy, Mencos is fluent in several languages, including Spanish, Catalan, French and English.

At BabyCenter en Español, Mencos leads a team of writers, editors, translators and doctors in providing medical, cultural, and lifestyle content specifically tailored to the needs and sensibility of the Hispanic population in the US. Mencos also supervises the work of BabyCenter Mexico's and BabyCenter Spain's editors

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