Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, we are spotlighting employees who make Molson Coors successful and live by our values day in and day out. Today, we speak with Danna Mendoza, senior chain sales executive.
After listening to the diversity presentation at last year's Molson Coors Distributor Convention in Las Vegas, Danna realized how many people within Molson Coors have similar experiences to hers. Danna joined our SALUD employee resource group and quickly began amplifying the voices of employees with similar backgrounds.
Q: Do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? If so, how? If not, why?
For me, it is Hispanic Heritage Month every single day of the year! But, I do celebrate the month. I love to cook, so I host a dinner party for my friends where I can show them the foods that make a big part of my heritage and have been passed down for generations.
Q: Do you have a favorite recipe or tradition that has been passed down or is special to you?
One of my passions is to cook and it’s something that I used to do with my grandmother when I was little and then with my mother. Some of my greatest memories are listening to stories over a counter or stove. One of my favorite recipes is with plantains because this is one of my earliest memories of my mother teaching me how to peel one to cook at about 3 or 4 years old! Tostones with salami is one of the easiest recipes you can make with plantains but one of the most impactful for me.
I now have my own cooking page on Instagram (@airfryerlady) where I teach people those same Dominican recipes that have been passed down to me through generations. I want people to know that even though we all love tacos and Mexican food, there is a huge diversity of foods from all over Latin America that have been impacted by each countries indigenous populations.
Q: How do you feel about the terms Hispanic and Latino? Do you have a preference on one over the other?
I identify with both and use them interchangeably. I am Latina because I am from the Dominican Republic and that’s located in Latin America, but I am also Hispanic because I speak Spanish. You can add Dominican to that list, as well! Latin America is huge and has about 33 countries, so for the most part I am also appreciative when people call out which of those countries I am from.
Q: From your own experience, can you talk about Latino inclusivity and why it’s so important?
Latino inclusivity should be a very important part in companies in the United States as 18% Americans also self-identify as Latino. With such a large percentage of the population, Latinos are still underrepresented in corporate America. Having diversity and representation is important for all types of roles and makes companies more competitive as with diversity comes different ways of thinking.
Q: Is there a book, movie, TV show or podcast you recommend people check out to learn more about Latino culture?
Please go watch the movie “In the Heights” if you have ever wanted to know more about what my childhood and hundreds of thousands of other first-generation immigrants’ childhoods are like. The movie is so accurate at describing how tight-knit these Latin communities are in the United States and just how real the hopes and dreams for the future are for the people in these communities.