Facing off with mega entrepreneur Donald Trump in the television show The Celebrity Apprentice didn’t much faze Nely Galán. Dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times Magazine, she was a self-made media mogul herself, earning her first six figures before she was 30 years old. As owner and president of Galán Entertainment, she had already been quite successful as a television producer of more than 600 different types of shows in English and Spanish, including the acclaimed The Swan.
As the first Latina president of Telemundo – and one of the first Latina producers in Hollywood – she was all about constantly challenging herself professionally, which gave her a springboard for paying it forward in areas that mattered to her personally. Trump’s show, for example, gave her a chance to earn $250,000 for her charity of choice, Count Me In. Since then, Galán has started many new ventures, including her latest – The Adelante Movement, an organization dedicated to empower, inspire, and mentor Latinas to become financially independent entrepreneurs and community leaders.
“I’m about changing with the times and finding your own emerging markets,” Galán explains. “If you keep doing what’s comfortable, you’re not changing with the times, you’re not growing.”
Featured in HBO’s The Latino List documentary as one of the most influential voices in the Latino community, she founded The Adelante Movement to provide a forum for Latinas to aspire to bigger and better – in voice, presence, income, and impact. “The Adelante Movement was created for all of us to unite socially, economically and politically,” Galán says. “I’ve learned that the world is our oyster, ours to truly have – but only if we are bold enough to take it.”
The mission of The Adelante Movement is stated on its website in a way that brings a personal element to its global outreach: “We are now the emerging economic market in this country. We need to take ourselves to a higher place for the sake of our children. We need to own more businesses, raise more money, bring franchises to our families, pay for our children’s colleges and become a powerful voice for our community.”
Serving on the board of the Coca-Cola Advisory Committee for three years, Galán learned from Coca-Cola research that Latinas are the economic emerging market in this country and that they control $1 trillion dollars in purchasing power, she explains.
“There’s no traditional way of looking at things any more. You have to take a leap of faith to find your own path and make an impact,” says Galán. She wants Latinas to be financially savvy and responsible for their own futures, their own happiness and their own fulfillment – and be a voice in their communities by voting. There is a place for Latina entrepreneurs in the American business arena.
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