A&P International

Juneteenth: Let’s Grow Together

Celebrate Juneteenth…. together!

Today, Monday, June 19 marks Juneteenth Independence Day in 2023. This day has significant historical importance in the United States as it commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slavery to be illegal in the United States.

In 2021, President Biden officially proclaimed Juneteenth as a federal holiday. At the signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, the president stated, “By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we have come but the distance we have to travel. Juneteenth not only commemorates the past. It calls to action today.” This proclamation highlights the importance of reflecting on our history, celebrating the progress we have made and working together toward equity and equality.

historical diversity

At A&P International, our constant mission is to serve the Global Supplier Diversity Community, and our hope is to see diversity represented in leadership and thrive in the marketplace. We celebrate the progress made to provide more opportunities to black entrepreneurs and business owners, and how these people have taken the opportunity to a whole other level and excel. It is our honor to come alongside these business owners as they climb the ladder of success in their industries and now provide opportunities for others to grow, as well. This is how we grow… together! This is also how we will continue to progress in our country and in our economy. We must remember that we are a

nation, a society, a community, a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, races, backgrounds, etc. that must work together as one stronghold towards our own fortitude and prosperity.

According to D. Steve Boland of Fortune, “Recent census data shows that there are 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the U. S., generating $206 billion in annual revenue and supporting 3.56 million U.S. jobs. That’s millions of people filling the needs of our local communities and creating jobs for workers of all backgrounds.”

The matter of fact that this was published after the pandemic demonstrates the continued strength and endurance of black businesses and the advancement of the community in our nation.

On this Juneteenth, we invite you to join us in celebrating and reflecting on our country’s history, as well as reaffirming our commitment to the values that have made the United States of America, the greatest nation in the world. Together, we can continue to build a better future for all.

Happy Juneteenth!

Juan Pablo Benítez Quintero
Translation Services Coordinator


Hyperconnectivity: A Modern World Disease


Let’s be honest. The first thing many of us do when we wake up in the morning is pick up our cell phones. Little by little, we start checking our e-mails, read the news, and catch up on our social media feeds. Without realizing it, and before we even have breakfast and get ready for work, we have already devoted a great deal of our time to a screen, to a machine.


Then, on our way to work, we turn on the radio to hear the latest news – mostly bad news, or the latest gossip from showbiz.  Finally, when we get to work, we turn on our computer and focus on our daily tasks, and when we finally have the chance to take a short break, the first thing we do is go back on to social media, so we don’t “miss out on anything”. The craziness of FOMO (the fear of missing out).

work-life balance

But it does not stop there. When we leave work, we keep getting e-mails and calls from work, and as soon as we get home, we “catch up” with our families, and then we try to escape from our routine with more social media, watching a movie or the latest series, set an alarm on our phones, until we fall sleep feeling exhausted. And the cycle goes on and on…

We cannot catch a break from the world – the digital world! We are under an endless pressure to grind all day long, to make as much money as we can, to be fit, to meet the standards imposed by the influencers on Instagram. It seems like we must be available 24/7, whether it is to attend 

work-related issues or to be bombarded with information of all sorts. Sadly, we are so used to this routine, that we now consider it normal, just a part of living in this postmodern world.

Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with working hard, being informed, logging into social media to catch up with our friends or wanting to be fit and successful. The point is that we push ourselves too hard by being hyperconnected all the time and, eventually, this behavior ends up taking a toll on us. Studies have shown that hyperconnectivity has numerous effects on our mental health. Firstly, over-stimulation by notifications, the fear of missing out on information, and the subsequent mental load are a source of stress for our brain. Our capacity to concentrate also decreases, as does our productivity.

Isn’t that ironic, that the more connected and productive we try to be, the more disconnected we become from ourselves?

What actions can we take to avoid suffering the harmful consequences of hyperconnectivity?  First, we must simplify our lives by learning to discern the essential from the unessential. For example, we can start by cutting down on social media, and set some boundaries between our working hours and our personal life. We cannot allow ourselves to be available for work 24/7, and to answer every single mail or call immediately, unless, of course, it is something than cannot wait. We also need to learn how to disconnect and establish healthy boundaries that help us clear our minds and relax -spending quality time with our loved ones, taking walks with our pets, learning new skills, reading a book, practicing yoga, working out, helping our community. There is a world of endless possibilities out there!

Devoting more time for ourselves and others fosters deeper relationships, makes us more creative and more productive. A harmonious life is all about finding the right balance between every activity we are involved in – event rest. Even God knew about the importance of resting when He created His masterpiece, this supreme universe! So, connect with yourself amidst this hyper connective world; we have been given one, wonderful life. Cherish it!

Now that you have finished reading this article on a screen, get up, breathe in some fresh air, and disconnect from a screen and connect with the reality outside. 😀

Juan Pablo Benítez Quintero
Translation Services Coordinator


Women’s M____: it’s not a Month; it’s a Mindset

women's month

What would the world look like without women’s tenacity and unique abilities? It would be even more chaotic and conflicting than it already is.  

March 8 was International Women’s Day and the month of March is recognized as Women’s History (Appreciation) Month. Although there was a lot of talk about this topic, the truth is that they deserve more than just one special-day-a-year or even a month to celebrate the accomplishments, perseverance and nature of women. Because, sometimes, all the nice things that are done or said on that special occasion are not in sync with everyday life as much as they should. 

We purposefully post this article in the middle of April to show that International Women’s History (Appreciation) M_____ is not a month, yet a mindset. And it is a mindset that should last all year long!

mindset of women

The first thing that must be done to celebrate women with dignity is to make them feel safe and protected, assuring them that they have someone to turn to when their rights are violated. Day after day we see many cases of disrespect, inequality and abuse that, although may achieve a certain level of media coverage and generate indignation, end up going unpunished, leading to an almost endless cycle.  

Women must have the same opportunities as men do, and they cannot be discriminated for due to their human nature: the unique and beautiful gift of giving birth. If we think about it, women have that incredible ability of being capable to perfectly balance and master their family and professional life… way more than men! After all, they are innate managers, educators, leaders, nurses, storytellers… 

The third thing is that our education system teaches children that people are equally talented, regardless of their gender, and that they deserve the same rights and opportunities at a personal and professional level. And yes, there have been positive outcomes, but women are still struggling to succeed in some fields, especially in male-dominated industries. 

Therefore, it is worth reviewing some key points to make sure that all the progress society has made won’t lose momentum, particularly within the complex corporate world.  

Hereinafter, we summarize the 8 major challenges women face in business, according to Forbes.

1. Limited Funding: Women businesses are among the leading ventures that lack financial support. It is common for women to be denied loans because of gender and cultural biases—many institutions tend to fund male-owned businesses. At A&P, we have partnered with a non-profit organization that can help women owned businesses get access to capital easier and faster. Learn more.

2. Balancing Responsibilities: Many women are not just entrepreneurs or career people—they have families, spouses, and other responsibilities. Demands from personal and professional commitments can pressure a woman to abandon either her business or family. Although men also have these other responsibilities, it has become clear that in most instances women will prioritize their family, while men prioritize their jobs. 

3. Fear of Failure: Fear of the known and the unknown is a major issue for women. They dread failing, especially if the people surrounding them were skeptical of their capability in business. This fear is toxic and perilous, because women may end up operating from a place of fear instead of confidence.  However, when women are fired and driven with confidence, there is nothing that can keep them from reaching their dreams.

4. Inadequate Support System: Women tend to face the greatest challenges in getting support, from lacking the relevant connections, needing financial access, or emotional support. Business coaching has helped business grow despite inadequate support from peers and community initiatives. Coaching focuses on the needs of that one individual rather than an initiative that keeps compliance.

5. Gender Inequality: In many industries, women have to work harder than men to reach certain leadership positions and aspirations, while facing stigma and discrimination. Although laws and policies have been put in place to create a favorable business environment for everyone, the reality is that not all efforts and initiatives are working in alignment to create a culture of equality across Corporate America.

6. Limited Knowledge: Empowering a woman with knowledge is just the beginning of a long journey to business success. Unfortunately, women’s access to this information and emerging knowledge has been and in many areas continue to be limited.  This is why we must work together to provide the necessary education and business best practices for women to have what they need to succeed.

7. Unfavorable Business Environment: Among the challenges that women experience are less-established business networks, and social and traditional constraints that restrict women’s participation in business. In some countries, women may be required to have a male partner that will handle deals, negotiations, and be the public face of the business.  Fortunately, there are more and more opportunities for women in business to connect, learn and grow their 100% women-owned business.

8. Timidity: Women who strive and succeed are often shy about sharing their accomplishments. They are afraid of being labeled as proud or boastful people when they should have people who will celebrate them and lift them up for the hard work they put in to reach their goals.

In conclusion, celebrating women means assuring them that they can feel at ease and fulfill their dreams; that there is justice and opportunities for them; and, that they are supported and respected. This is not just a month long “initiative”, but must be a mindset for all people. We are all people with something to give. We should have access to the tools and resources to make the most out of our gifts. And our accomplishments should be celebrated always, together. Not separated, yet united.

Celebrate Women All Year Round. It is a Mindset!


8 Major Challenges Women Face In Business by Marguerita Cheng CLICK HERE

Juan Pablo Benítez Quintero
Translation Services Coordinator


Comenzar de nuevo: ¡un llamado a la acción!

un llamado a la acción

Todo el tiempo estamos oyendo que vivimos en una época llena de incertidumbre. Pero, en realidad, esto no es algo nuevo. De hecho, esa es una de las únicas certezas que nos ha demostrado la historia de la humanidad: la incertidumbre constante. ¿Por qué? Porque el mundo no se detiene; simplemente sigue su curso natural, mezclando épocas prósperas con eventos catastróficos e inesperados que nos ponen en jaque.  

Sí, el mundo, por más hermoso que sea, es un lugar difícil, eso ya lo sabemos, y los medios de comunicación refuerzan a diario esa idea con información desalentadora, que fácilmente puede contagiarnos de negativismo y llevarnos a creer que no es posible construir un mejor mañana. Sin embargo, y a pesar de las circunstancias y de sí mismo, la historia también nos ha demostrado que el hombre puede salir airoso de los reveses utilizando su ingenio, las herramientas que tiene a su disposición y su instinto de supervivencia.  

Somos una creación magnífica de Dios y, afortunadamente, Él nos da la oportunidad de comenzar de nuevo cada día, perdonando nuestras faltas y llevándonos a aprender de los errores del pasado, sin la necesidad de quedarnos estancados en él. Es por eso que, al comenzar un nuevo año, vale la pena reflexionar por un momento en lo que significa tener la oportunidad de contar con una nueva página en blanco en nuestras vidas, para asumir una actitud distinta, para preguntarnos ¿por qué seguir permitiendo que la materia prima de nuestros pensamientos sea el bombardeo de desesperanza que nos inunda a diario?  

¿Por qué no ser sensatos y pensar qué podemos hacer, en la medida de nuestras posibilidades, para llevar una vida más amable y hacérsela más amable a los demás? Es bien sabido que no tenemos un control absoluto sobre los eventos que ocurren a nuestro alrededor, pero tenemos el control sobre la forma en que respondemos ante ellos. Con esto en mente, es imperativo no quedarnos cruzados de brazos, lamentándonos por el pasado, y entrar en acción dando pequeños pasos que poco a poco generen un impulso que le aporte un bien a nuestra sociedad. Podemos empezar por perdonarnos a sí mismos y a los demás, por resolver nuestras diferencias y por poner nuestras habilidades al servicio de un bien común que, en últimas, tenga un efecto dominó que beneficie de igual forma a los menos favorecidos y a las generaciones venideras. 

Gran parte del cambio está en nosotros, en nuestra actitud.

Muchos de los personajes más significativos, de los inventos más grandes, de los movimientos más importantes y de las obras de arte más sublimes de la historia han surgido en los momentos más oscuros de esta.

Este es nuestro momento de brillar, de demostrar de qué estamos hechos y de empezar a proyectarnos al futuro mejorando lo único que tenemos a la mano: EL PRESENTE.  

Juan Pablo Benítez Quintero
Translation Services Coordinator


The Symphony of Diversity

symphony of diversity

A symphony orchestra consists of several instruments with unique shapes, colors, and sounds. Each instrument has been carefully crafted and designed with a specific purpose – to make sound. These instruments are divided into four main families: Strings (violin, viola, cello, and double bass); Woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon); Brass (horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba); and Percussion (timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle).

When creating a piece of music, the composer must have an expert knowledge of all the characteristics, qualities, possibilities, and limitations of each instrument. He or she must individually assign them their role within the developing masterpiece, and then, piece them together by carefully uniting their differences so that they do not clash with each other yet grow together to achieve a coherent harmony that translates into a sublime work of art.


This is also our case as human beings. We were individually designed and crafted by God, the composer, to fulfill a purpose in this world – an individual purpose; a purpose that will also echo for eternity. He knows us better than anybody else. He knows our strengths, as well as our weaknesses, and that is why we were created in such a diverse way: to complement each other and work harmoniously to attain a common good.

Although an instrument in an orchestra may have a particular role and a specific sound, it is the beautiful mix between them all and their differences that turns one instrument’s sound into a legendary symphony.

So, as 2022 begins -with the typical uncertainty and challenges of a new year- we have a blank sheet to write and play together a beautiful symphony, one that resonates in all fields of society.

To do that, we must tune up our lives, reflect on our flaws, forgive ourselves and others, learn from the mistakes of the past, and work together with a fresh attitude in which our differences become the chords that keep us together and not the dissonances that break our bond as human beings.



Juan Pablo Benítez Quintero
Translation Services Coordinator


The Heart of a Hispanic

Heart of a Hispanic

Celebra La Hispanidad

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month (from September 15 – October 15, 2021), we hosted a special broadcast with community leaders that serve our ever-growing Hispanic community. We discussed with our panel what it means to have and succeed with the beating heart of a Hispanic! Watch the video below to key into what has been accomplished by the Hispanic population and how we can grow even more as a united community!

Our Panel


Jeanette Mora

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Jeanette Mora

maria cherjovsky

Maria Cherjovsky

Florida Abilities & Inclusion Network

susan schramm

Susan Schramm

Founder & Principal
Go to Market Impact, LLC

rafael pratts

Rafael E. M. Pratts

Business Consultant

Watch the Recording

Samuel Lowry
Marketing & Communications Manager


OBJ Announces Ramski & Co as Fast 50


Congratulations Ramski & Co for your accomplishment!


Ramski & Company has evidenced the power of client-centered design practiced in a highly collaborative environment. Whether in studio or within an interdisciplinary team, Ramski and Company brings its combined resources and experience to each project solution. As the built environment team constantly evolves, they feel commitment to continuing education imperative. They continually research business, codes, products, materials, methods of installation, construction details, and the cultural and sustainable issues that affect the way they design. They are recognized for their quality service, strong relationships both in studio and out, and excellent design solutions. 

Their team believes in giving back to the community and the world in which we live and work. They, as a group, donate their time, talents and resources to many worthy local events, organizations and institutions.

Ramksi & Company is led by Jennifer Ramski. She established Ramski & Company in 1989 and over the past 30+ years has worked diligently to build the solid commercial interior design firm that they are today.

Ramski states, “It is a challenge and a pleasure to build and grow, certainly never dull.  Our interior design philosophy “good design affects change for good” shapes worthy goals and a meaningful legacy.”


Again congratulation to the amazing team at RAMKI & COMPANY!



The Difference Between the Terms Latino and Hispanic, and How They Overlap | The Oprah Magazine

latino and hispanic

Believe it or not, there is a difference between the words  Latino and Hispanic, according to the Associate Pres (AP) Stylebook. Not only do the words have their own definition, but each word can be used in a different way. According to the AP’s distinction, when it comes to the Hispanic culture in particular, to debate Latino vs Hispanic is to barely skim the surface of the centuries that led up on how we have come to define these terms today.

David Bowles, a writer, translator, and professor at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley, tells us that the definitions are primarily concerned with geography/location. To be considered Latino/Latina/Latinx, you must have come from a Latin American country.

On the other hand, “Latinx is an ethnic and cultural category whereas Hispanic is a linguistic division,” according to Dr. Luisa Ortiz Pérez, Executive Director of Vita-Activa.org. People who live in or are descended from a Spanish-speaking culture can define themselves as Hispanic. For example, Spanish people (people from Spain) could be described as Hispanic, but not Latino/Latina/Latinx.

So, how do you identify? Latino or Hispanic? Both?    

Click Here: The Difference Between The Terms Latino and Hispanic, and How They Overlap by The Oprah Magazine



Vincenty, S. (2020, August 4). The Difference Between the Terms Latino and Hispanic, and How They Overlap. Retrieved from The Oprah Magazine: https://www.oprahmag.com/life/a33395013/latino-vs-hispanic-meaning/


How To Make Work Fun, Develop Creativity

fun at work

Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that makes some places wonderful or toxic to work. The essence of an organization is what constitutes its work culture. Entrepreneur informs us that it affects or defines the ability of the leadership and employees to relate to each other for the common good of the organization. It operates within a mutually agreed and acceptable boundary of cultural values and emotional interface. It is widely understood that a positive ambience can make or break your performance in the workplace. No matter how talented or smart your employees are, they can only work to the best of their capabilities and creative skills when they are surrounded by an encouraging environment that values its personnel. This is why work culture is so important in bringing out the best from your employees even in adverse circumstances. Negativity not only kills creativity and will to perform but also does not allow an employee to develop a sense of affection and ownership with the organization.

How can you encourage your staff to develop camaraderie, friendship, and team building? First, it’s important to understand that you can’t force it. This is a matter of building a culture, so it needs to happen organically. Your organization culture is built and developed by the people within the organization. It is initiated by leaders but formed and developed by all the employees of a business. LifeSpeak affirms that leaders can plant the seeds by demonstrating interactive behavior. Employees are more likely to embrace the chance to bond with their colleagues if they see that it’s accepted and encouraged by their leadership.

While most people, generally, would rather spend time with their friends and family than be at work, there’s no need for workdays to be miserable. Investing time and effort into making your workplace a more enjoyable place to be can have tangible positive benefits for employees, teams, and your wider organization.  Here are seven reasons, from CIPHR, why fun should be part of your HR strategy.

  • HAPPY EMPLOYEES ARE HEALTHIER – Content employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety that have even been shown to lower heart rate variability (the time interval between beats).
  • HAVING FUN IMPROVES COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION – Nearly two-thirds (65%) of knowledge workers collaborate multiple times a day with their colleagues, so encouraging an effective way to improve cohesion within your organization should be a priority.
  • FUN GENERATES CREATIVITY – Individuals’ ability to learn improves when the task at hand is enjoyable and they’re in a relaxed mood. Play can also stimulate imagination, helping people adapt and problem solve. Creative environments have a natural and green atmosphere and activity that is easily distinguishable. There’s a buzz in the air, colleagues are enthusiastic and energetic, and there are lots of conversations happening. Leaders, make the work environment fun and creative.
  • HAVING FUN ENCOURAGES ADVOCACY – Advocates act as a powerful force in shaping the public perception of an organization. Employees that have fun, enjoy what they do, and are engaged will naturally share stories and act as advocates for your brand – on and offline. If every one of your employees shared news and updates about your brand to their own social groups, then your audience will increase exponentially – and for free.
  • HAVING FUN MAKES EMPLOYEES MORE PRODUCTIVE – A 2015 study by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy found that happier employees are more productive by an average of 12% and, in some cases, up to 20% more than a control group.
  • PROMOTING FUN ATTRACTS AN AUDIENCE – The opportunity that having fun at work provides an organization is substantial. Sharing stories about enjoyable atmosphere in your workplace can be a crucial part of a compelling employer branding story and can help to garner attention on social media. Providing a window for people to find out about daily life at your organization increases familiarity and trust. Whether a potential customer or passive talent, if that individual feels that they ‘know’ your company and can see your ‘human’, fun side then they’ll be more likely to engage with you.

It is crucial to incorporate creativity, greenery, interaction, etc. into the workplace to make it exciting for employees and clients to desire to come to the workplace.

August is Family Fun Month. While you spend time having fun with your family at home, remember the importance of developing your work family by creating a corporate culture that is exciting, engaging, and generating creativity!

The following sources were used to compile the information and hints to create this article on the importance of developing fun in a work culture:

Bhardwaj, R. (2016, February 03). Why it’s Important to Build a Good Work Culture. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270338

Chignell, B. (2018, May 22nd). Six reasons why fun in the office is the future of work. Retrieved from CIPHR: https://www.ciphr.com/advice/fun-in-the-office/

LifeSpeak. (n.d.). The importance of having fun at work. Retrieved from LifeSpeak


What Innovation Looks Like for Black and Latin Female Founders | BRIT+CO

women innovation

Women of color are leading entrepreneurship and innovation. They are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. Although they are growing, they are still facing obstacles and difficulties in reaching their maximum potential due to a lack of capital. With this capital, a right combination of resources and community, can develop an innovative space created for a pioneer.

Women demonstrate, not only they have the potential to be leaders, yet that they are leaders. They are leaders all over our communities – in businesses, in schools, in politics, in hospitals, in homes, and so many other places where women are leading their arenas to excellence. Many have had to achieve these levels of success without the right combinations of support. Just imagine what could happen when women receive all the financial and staffing support they need to reach their visions.

Inclusion in entrepreneurship is a must because through diversity, inclusion, and equality, we can engage the world, Through incorporating an intercultural contextualized marketing strategy in entrepreneurship, we can properly engage our target markets and reach our maximum potential.

Click Here: What Innovation Looks Like for Black and Latinx Women by BRIT+CO


Maillian, L. (2020, July 27). What Innovation Looks Like for Black and Latinx Female Founders. Retrieved from BRIT+CO: https://www.brit.co/digitalundivided-innovation/


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