Diego F. Maya (Don Diego Sixty Eight) is the CEO and Founder of Latino Spirit Media and President of The United States Latino Affairs Initiatives both endeavors created to empower the Latino community with information, events and content that help build community.
Mr. Maya is a business administrator with a solid 20 years solid experience in multimedia content production, marketing, corporate digital media, print advertising, and internet social media broadcasting. Mr. Maya attended the Princeton Public Schools system, later attending Mercer County Community College then transfering and graduating from Rider University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts concentrated in Computer Information Sytems with a 3.9 GPA.
At Rider, Mr. Maya worked 30 hour weeks to pay for his expenses. He worked in the university’s Office of Information Technology when the internet opened to the masses. While working at Rider as an instructional technologist, he pioneered online courses for professors in order to apply the internet as a tool and means to instruct students with online courses. Later Mr. Maya implemented Rider’s first accounting course online. Mr. Maya played a key role in helping Rider University to be the first New Jersey university to produce and broadcast a graduation ceremony via the internet. While at Rider he also worked at Princeton’s famous McCarter Theater, where he created and administered its first database driven website.
Upon graduating with honors and a recognition for being a Continuing Education Student in 1998, Mr. Maya worked for the multinational pharmaceutical research company Covance Inc, as a programmer of multilingual IVR (interactive voice response systems) for clinical trials systems worldwide. There, he managed and updated data for critical drug research databases of patients in Poland, Hungary, Mexico and other parts of the world. In 2000, Mr. Maya joined ThinkCentric, a technology strategy consulting company located in Freehold, NJ, where he developed software and videos to display resumes and videos of software engineers for prospective corporations called Digicopro.
From 2001 thru 2006 Mr. Maya started his first company, I See Digital Media doing business as MayaSolutionz, where he founded/designed/printed the first-ever Spanish yellow pages directory in central New Jersey. He knocked door to door selling an idea which grew from 10 pages 3 clients to 300 voluminous pages and 120 paying clients which included fortune 500 companies. From just a dream “Hablamos Español”™ was grown into a successful business to market, advertise and inform Latinos in New Jersey of critical day to day information relevant in their language. With this project he managed a graphic design team in South America to create the publication and an international printing company to import the “Hablamos Español”™ directories to the United States.
After 8 years in the print business Mr. Maya and his family decided to concentrate on their first child’s physical development and emotional growth by moving to Colombia, South America. Mr. Maya closed his printing and design initiative to devote time to his child.
While in South America, Mr. Maya began pushing the idea of producing video content to generate Latino awareness in the United States. In that process he partnered with a Latino producer who previously worked in ABC’s 20/20 and FOX NETWORK and prominent national stars Connie Chung and Gerardo Rivera. Through this period Mr. Maya and his partner created a health series project for Public Television called “Remedios.” This process helped Mr. Maya acquire the important skills to produce and storytell – how to conceptualize, project and pitch concepts. Mr. Maya traveled to Washington, DC in order to present Senator Bob Menendez’ office “Remedios,” where the project gradually began to die.
With the idea to go solo, Mr. Maya hired cameramen, sound engineers, editors, and motion graphics designers to create his own concept The Latino Spirit. Upon investing his life savings into The Latino Spirit, Mr. Maya’s family helped buy his first professional DSLR camera and sound acquisition equipment forcing Mr. Maya to learn on his own all content production aspects while working at a public institution in Colombia, Universidad del Cauca. At the university Mr. Maya had the opportunity to lead productions in indigenous regions where he acquired more skills and hands-on experience to produce multimedia content.
After 9 years in South America, Mr, Maya returned to the United States in 2018. Armed with new skills The Latino Spirit became an important statewide platform for Latino success stories and community building media.
In 2018 Mr. Maya founded The United States Latino Affairs Initiatives, an organization with the objective of paving the way to an inclusive society where Latinos can anchor on their culture, heritage and values to progress as a cohesive block in New Jersey and the United States. The following year this organization in conjunction with Latino Spirit Media (Mr., Maya’s company also dedicated to Latino empowerment) published the first digital Latino Index New Jersey – a publication in Spanish containing all Latino centric non-profit services for the residents of the state. The index provides spanish readers the responsibilities of each elected position along with the contact information of Latino elected officials serving the community including New Jersey’s Latino Caucus, a group of Latino state legislators.
After a successful statewide 2019 Latino Index, the first quarter of 2020 was intended to structure the expansion to Pennsylvania, and Connecticut; however, earth had other plans for all of us. The global pandemia halted all of Mr. Maya’s index related work on its tracks, including a historic partnership with InsiderNJ to publish the stories and struggles behind New Jersey’s elite Latino elected officials. (The partnership published @InsiderNJ Latinas in the N.J. Legislature: A Dynamic, Public Interest-Centered Sisterhood.)
The pandemia in New Jersey, the greatest adversity of our lifetime, became Mr. Maya’s opportunity to show state government how important is the need of Spanish language communications. While people of color became the most infected population and Latino children hit the highest death rates in the nation Mr. Maya was simultaneously broadcasting Governor Phil Murphy’s daily Covid19 briefings in spanish and in his own social media platform. In addition to this self-funded initiative reaching 1,700,000 hits on social media and before New Jersey began receiving eighteen wheelers filled with boxed food from the country’s president, Mr. Maya spearheaded the distribution of 10 tons of food to inner cities throughout New Jersey primarily with the financing from Latino business leaders in Morris County, businessman Al Serje and himself. At the end of the lockdown from the pandemia, Mr. Maya had distributed almost 500,000 pounds of food to inner cities including Trenton, Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, Lakewood, Penns Grove and Philadelphia.