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Spotlight on Commerce

The Spotlight on Commerce series highlights members of the Department of Commerce and their contributions to the Open for Business Agenda.

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Spotlight on Commerce: Laura Espinal, Materials Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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Blog post by Laura Espinal, Materials Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I am the oldest of three sisters, raised in a home filled with great appreciation for Latin music. I learned very early on that music brings friends and family together. At home, my dad played the cuatro all the time. (The cuatro is an instrument with four...

Spotlight on Commerce: Jim Alstrum-Acevedo Supervisory Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

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Blog post by Jim Alstrum-Acevedo Supervisory Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) I am a Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). My team and I examine pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent applications. My team includes fifteen skilled examiners who evaluate patents concerning short polypeptides having less than 100 amino acids,...

Spotlight on Commerce: Cindy Orellana Good, Program Manager, National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

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Blog post by Cindy Orellana Good, Program Manager, National Technical Information Service (NTIS) I have been a public servant for roughly 11 years. Most of my time has been dedicated in helping organizations overcome challenges and identifying opportunities for growth. It’s these types of experiences that fuel my passion in being purposeful and making a difference. As a program manager for the...

Spotlight on Commerce: Marcos A. Reyes-Martinez, Materials Research Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

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Blog post by Marcos A. Reyes-Martinez, Materials Research Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) I often say I was born in paradise, surrounded by idyllic weather, stunning landscapes and beautiful people. I was born in the oldest city of “New Spain,” Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. I am the product of the clash and melding of worlds. In my blood runs...

Spotlight on Commerce: Catalina Martinez, Regional Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Growing up in a hardworking, traditional Cuban family of little means, I was pulled out of school often as a child to help care for my sick grandmother and to work to help the family in other ways. My grandparents believed that girls didn’t need an education, and that only boys should go to school. Thankfully, I grew up in a very diverse community, so I knew there was more out there for girls than...

Spotlight on Commerce: Charles Clark, Jr., Director, Office of Human Capital Strategy and Diversity

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Blog post by Charles Clark, Jr., Director, Office of Human Capital Strategy and Diversity My name is Charles and I am a first-generation professional from Detroit, Michigan. I am the oldest of three boys raised by a single mother who never made more than $6/hr her entire life. I am a product of a mother with a strong work ethic, dedication, determination, and love, but also a beneficiary of...

Spotlight on Commerce: Ana Valentin, Enterprise Service Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Blog post by Ana Valentin, Enterprise Service Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) My name is Ana Valentín. I am a first-generation professional and I inspired 50% of my family’s next generation to complete a degree, and soon to be 90% by 2021. I did not have an easy ride going to college and entering the professional workplace. Living in a rural area required me...

Spotlight on Commerce: David Ziaya, Chief Administrative Officer U.S. Census Bureau

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Blog post by David Ziaya, Chief Administrative Officer U.S. Census Bureau My name is David Ziaya and I am currently the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. Census Bureau. I am a first-generation professional from a small, rural-based community of roughly 1,400 people in Michigan. Going to college was always the plan for me although my family couldn’t afford it. I earned some scholarships as...

Spotlight on Commerce: Stephanie Mendez, Senior Management Analyst, Office of the Secretary

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Blog post by Stephanie Mendez, Senior Management Analyst, Office of the Secretary My name is Stephanie Mendez, and I am a first-generation professional. I work as a Senior Management Analyst in the Office of the Secretary and am currently finishing a duel MBA from Johns Hopkins University. My family circumstances led me to call home to more than two-dozen cities along the east coast; from...

Spotlight on Commerce: Tariq Hafiz, Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Blog post by Tariq Hafiz, Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office My name is Tariq and I am a first-generation professional. I came to the United States of America at the age of 10 and immediately attended elementary school without knowing a word of English. I learned the English alphabet in the 4th grade. I was the only immigrant in the whole school. While growing up being an immigrant...