HSF Alumni Reception Series, coming to a city near you!
HSF is proud to announce its National Alumni Reception Series! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with Alumni and a host of other distinguished groups and individuals who are laying the cornerstones of our future. This series will be traveling to New York, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC.
Join us and learn what’s new, as HSF continues to advance higher education and achievement. Discover new ways to help. This year, the HSF alumni network is 38 years strong and includes accomplished professionals in a broad range of industries. We also continue to attract the growing participation of outstanding community organizations and leaders. All of you are the inspiration for a whole new generation of HSF Scholars. Be proud. Be there.
Solomon D. (“Sol”) Trujillo is an global business executive with three decades’ experience as CEO of large market cap global companies in the US, the EU, and Australia. A digital pioneer operating in the telecommunications, technology, and media space, Sol has been (1) a long-time champion of high-speed broadband, (2) an early innovator with smart phone, and (3) a pioneer of the high-speed mobile Internet to stimulate productivity and innovation across all sectors of the economy. Sol currently sits on corporate boards in the US, EU, and China and has managed operations in more than 30 countries – including developed and emerging markets from the EU and North America to China, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
CEO positions include:
• CEO of Telstra Corporation Limited, Australia’s largest telecommunications provider with operations in New Zealand and China – taking on what The Economist called “Australia’s toughest corporate leadership job,” on July 1, 2005.
• CEO of London-based Orange SA, a major multinational wireless provider acquired by France Telecom in 2005;
• President & CEO of US West Dex Inc., an early provider of digital content, including digital “Yellow Pages”;
• President & CEO of US West Communications and then President, CEO & Chairman of US West Inc., the 14-state telecommunications giant covering one-third the land area of the US, headquartered in Denver, Colorado — later acquired by Qwest in a merger in July 2000.
After becoming the youngest officer in AT&T’s history prior to divestiture, Sol joined US West, the regional “Baby Bell” created by the divestiture, where he became America’s first native-born Hispanic to serve as CEO of a Fortune 150 company.
Sol achieved another “first” in 2003, when he took the top job at Orange SA, becoming the first American to lead a CAC-40 company.
Regardless of location, underlying technology, or the products or services involved, Sol is a proven innovator. In the media-communications space, Sol is a broadband pioneer and an effective executive with a long string of achievements in this fast-paced, capital-intensive, highly-competitive and rapidly-changing business. More generally, Sol is an innovation-oriented executive with important achievements in marketing, technology, operations, retailing, and business transformations, including M&A.
At US West during the 1980s, Sol Trujillo served as state CEO for New Mexico and then Colorado, where he pioneered customer-centric, market-based management approaches to service delivery. In the late 1980s, Sol was tapped to lead a newly-established small business market unit, designed to provide tailored services to more than 800,000 small business owners in 14 western states. As the first President of US West Small Business, he led the market-based restructuring of a slow-moving bureaucratic company with more than 60,000 employees.
In the early 1990s, Sol served as President of the Marketing Resources Group, where he pioneered the digital transformation of the directories business – producing the nation’s first digital “Yellow Pages.”
Beginning in 1996, during his tenure as President & CEO of US West, Sol achieved a string of “firsts” – a record of innovation related to service integration over broadband platforms repeated over the course of his career — including:
• first in the telecommunications industry to deploy affordable high-speed data solutions for Internet customers in both consumer and business markets;
• first to deploy “plug and play” DSL;
• first with an integrated “one-number” digital wireless service that permitted customers to use the same number and same voice mail box for their mobile, home and office phones;
• first to deliver digital video over copper, and
• first in its peer group in innovation, rolling out 40 new products and services to its 25 million customers during his final year in the top job.
This record of innovation in the digital space prompted former U.S. Presidential Science Advisor Jay Keyworth to call Sol Trujillo "the nation’s first digital telecom CEO."
Later, at Telstra, Sol continued his string of firsts:
• first to develop a broadband “plan for Australia”
• first among global incumbents to reverse PSTN decline
• first to deploy wireless high-speed broadband on a nation-wide basis
• first to bring multiple channels of live TV to the handheld small screen of the mobile phone
• first to integrate wireless broadband with Yellow Pages and “go to” maps
Sol also has a strong track record as an effective executive focused on enhancing shareholder value. Under his leadership, U S West:
• recorded a 65-percent increase in net cash flow;
• attained a 59-percent jump in new product revenue;
• achieved a 60 percent gain in service quality ratings; and
• achieved a 200% increase in total shareholder return — between his appointment in 1996 and his departure following the merger with Qwest Communications in 2000.
In short, during his tenure as President & CEO, U S West’s performance was 2x the S&P Telco and 3x the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Sol achieved a similar record as CEO of Orange SA, where he was able to:
• raise Orange’s margins by 6.6 percent,
• increase revenues by 10.3 percent,
• cut costs by 4.8 percent, and
• grow the group’s customer base by 11 percent.
In less than four years since November 15, 2005, when he unveiled a new business strategy to guide the end-to-end transformation to a New Telstra, Sol moved the one-time government-owned Australian telco from the bottom to the top in global telco rankings on many key measures of performance – especially in the wireless space.
• Deployed the world’s largest, fastest and most advanced 3G wireless internet – a broadband network covering 98.8% of the people of Australia in a build completed two months ahead of schedule and under budget at $1.1 billion,
• Reversed the decline in land line revenues – called PSTN decline
• Against tough competition, grew market share and average revenue per user (ARPU) in the wireless space – with the introduction of 3G and the integration of content from BigPond broadband, Sensis online shopping and directories, and Foxtel/CATV news and entertainment,
• Against tough competition, grew market share and average revenue per user (ARPU) in the broadband space – with the introduction of new content and Web 2.0 offerings,
• Integrated wireline broadband, wireless content, and CATV content offerings,
• Achieved positive churn in mobiles and broadband – for the first time since privatization,
In short, with the successful launch of both Next G™ – Telstra’s high-speed wireless broadband network – and Next IP™, Telstra’s business-oriented high-speed broadband network based on Internet Protocol, the New Telstra reclaimed its role as the leading innovator and top technical services provider of the Australian telecommunications industry.
Sol’s achievements as a business executive are due in large part to his skills in leadership, team-building and execution – including his ability to:
• identify, attract and retain talent;
• engage with technology pioneers and leaders of allied industries to see and explore new, “over the horizon” possibilities;
• convey knowledge, attitudes, and ideas clearly at every level in an enterprise and foster a desire to learn and to change habits and practices,
• segment and understand consumer markets and integrate with management systems that can anticipate and respond to changing consumer preferences,
• communicate clearly and openly with opinion leaders and shareholders – and achieve a common understanding of complex issues;
• build effective executive teams characterized by skill, diversity, perseverance, creativity, and entrepreneurship, and
• execute strategy-driven programs, projects, and initiatives to make things work and get things done on time and within budgets.
Throughout his career, Sol has consistently used market-based management to achieve “customer intimacy” as a strategic advantage and differentiator. According to Trujillo, “Companies that win are those that achieve customer intimacy by knowing consumer wants and needs and executing with that knowledge.” Though The New York Times has described his style as “humble, soft-spoken, and earnest,” Sol is also steadfast in his commitments and resolute when it comes to getting things done.
Sol is actively engaged in corporate governance for both domestic and global enterprises. He currently serves on the corporate boards of Target, Western Union and UK-based WPP. He is also board chair of China-based Silk Road Technologies and vice-chair of California-based Promerica Bank. Sol has previously served on the boards of Bank of America, PepsiCo, EDS, Move Networks, Inc., Orange, Telstra, and Gannett, the newspaper chain that includes USA Today.
In the public sector, Mr. Trujillo has served in advisory roles at the federal, state and local levels — including trade policy advisor to the Clinton and Bush administrations — and as a member of the International Business Leaders Advisory Group to the Mayor of Shanghai.
Sol is also active in community affairs and civic initiatives at every level and has been ranked by Hispanic Business magazine as one of 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S. Service in the Third Sector includes governor of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the information technology industry, trustee of Boston College, trustee of UCLA’s School of Public Policy, a director of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a California-based think tank that addresses Latino issues in North America.
Sol has also been active at the national level in the US on issues related to technology development, Hispanic affairs, and other public policy issues – including trade policy, immigration, and advocacy on behalf of workplace diversity and the nation-wide deployment of high-speed broadband as an enabling technology to advance innovation across all sectors, stimulate productivity growth, and spur new economic growth and development.
In recognition of his lifetime commitment to workplace diversity, Sol received the Ronald H. Brown Corporate Bridge Builder Award from President Clinton in 1999. His achievements in the privatization and transformation of Telstra were recognized by his selection as “CEO of the Year” for 2008 by Australian Telecom Magazine. In 2011, Sol received the first Brillante Award for Excellence from the National Society of Hispanic MBAs at the Society’s annual conference and career expo. The Brillante Award, the most prestigious honor granted by the Society, was given to Sol for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the Hispanic community, reflecting NSHMBA’s mission “to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society.”
Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1951, Mr. Trujillo earned his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree with a major in business and a post-graduate MBA (finance) from the University of Wyoming. He has also received honorary doctorates from both the University of Wyoming and the University of Colorado.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Fidel A. Vargas is President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). After serving on HSF’s Board of Directors from January 2010 through December 2012, he assumed leadership of the organization on January 2, 2013. Mr. Vargas sets HSF’s overall direction; develops and oversees the execution of strategy; leads the senior management team; plays an active, leadership role in development and outreach activities for all constituencies, and advocates for HSF, throughout the country.
Prior to joining HSF, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Partner of Centinela Capital Partners, an alternative asset management firm that invested nearly $1 billion in and alongside leading emerging private equity and venture capital funds. Prior to joining Centinela, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Principal and Managing Director of Reliant Equity Investors, a private equity investment firm investing in lower middle market companies. At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Vargas became the country’s youngest elected Mayor of a major city: Baldwin Park, California, with a population of 85,000, twenty miles northeast of Los Angeles.
In addition to having served on HSF’s Board of Directors prior to becoming its President and CEO, Mr. Vargas has served on a number of public and private sector boards and commissions, including: the New America Alliance; Sponsors for Educational Opportunities; Operation Hope, Inc.; President Clinton’s Advisory Council on Social Security; President Bush’s Commission on Strengthening Social Security; and Presidents Bush and Obama’s Commission on Presidential Scholars. He currently serves on the boards of the California Community Foundation, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and The Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Mr. Vargas has been recognized for his accomplishments by numerous organizations and media outlets, throughout his career. Time Magazine named him as one of the Top 50 Young Leaders in the United States, Hispanic Magazine named him one of the Top 30 Young Hispanics in the United States, he was named one of the country’s 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and one of the 101 Most Influential Latinos by Latino Leaders magazine.
Mr. Vargas graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in Social Studies. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and General Management.
Mr. Vargas is the eldest of eight children and has three adult children. His parents emigrated from Mexico. His father, Fidel B. Vargas worked as a carpenter and his mother, Margarita Vargas raised her family and began a career as a community organizer after Fidel left for college and continues to serve her community as a local elected official. Fidel’s brothers and sisters attended UC Santa Cruz, George Washington University, La Verne University, Brown University, and UC Berkeley. He has a deep commitment to HSF, having been a six-time, HSF scholarship recipient.
President & CEO,
Latina media dynamo and women’s empowerment advocate Nely Galán, dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times Magazine, is one of the entertainment industry’s savviest firebrand talents. A first generation immigrant and self-made media mogul, Galán was the first Latina president of a U.S. television network (Telemundo). She is an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 600 episodes of television in Spanish and English, including the FOX hit reality series “The Swan” and is the first Latina to appear on “Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump” on NBC. She regularly electrifies audiences with her experiences as one of the first Latina producers in Hollywood and her rise to become a successful media and real estate entrepreneur as well as an inspirational speaker and passionate advocate for the empowerment of Latinas everywhere.
The Adelante Movement (Move Forward!) founded by Nely Galán, is a grassroots movement that unites and empowers Latinas socially, economically and politically in the U.S. It encourages Latinas to play a leading role in American society, economics and politics and become an integral part of the national conversation, in order to provide their children with the future they deserve, as a rightful part of this country. The Adelante Movement: Tour is a series of national empowerment conferences, supported by a digital community, presented by the Coca Cola Company, that inform, mentor and inspire Latinas to take action!
Galán has also owned and operated her own media company since 1994. Galan Entertainment has launched 10 groundbreaking television channels in Latin America, and has also produced a staggering 600 episodes of programming that crosses all genres from reality series to sitcoms, telenovelas to talk shows, in both English and Spanish.