Today we’d like to introduce you to Juan Ortiz-Romero.
Juan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Medellin Colombia, and came to the US at an early age. I went back and forth between both countries until I ended up in Worcester, Massachusetts finishing high school and enlisting into the Marine Corps as a means to pay for college and leave a small town.
I had 3 deployments abroad and enjoyed flying around in helicopters as much as I did fixing them. I took a year off after leaving the service and was a valet attendant before I started up classes at SD Mesa College, and became heavily involved in the veterans’ programs offered there becoming president of the Student Veterans Organization and leading fundraising efforts there also.
It was then that I also became involved in event planning and started with the San Diego Mac N’ Cheese festival.At the moment I enjoy being a part of our startup company LENDIT, while also coordinating festivals on the side. I try to visit my family back in Colombia every 2 years or so, and I miss my brother the most!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Transitioning out of the Marine Corps was interesting as it pushed me to find a new passion and purpose driven life outside of the uniform.Keeping interest in school was always difficult also because I had more fun with the projects that happened outside the ones on the syllabus.Being away from family also takes its toll also, but they are very supportive even from a few thousand miles away.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the LENDIT story. Tell us more about the business.
For event planning, my main staple is the SD Mac N’ Cheese festival, along with other small events through the year where I coordinate vendors, sales, sponsors and day of logistics. It’s great because I love the level of energy and control that I get to put into it, along with my creativity and appetite for good mac n cheese.
My proudest achievement in event planning comes at the end of every successful festival that I close out. I enjoy being the last one out the door and knowing I was able to bring in a bunch of people to have a fun time.
With LENDIT I wear many hats within the company and again, it’s one of the reasons why I love it! A startup company demands a high level of attention to so many details because at such an early state, all your moves make ripples in the water. Mainly I handle the social media and public relations aspect, but I am also often on the road visiting new businesses and attending networking events. What I am most proud of to date for LENDIT is being able to claim many firsts within our company; little things like our launch party, our first employee of the month, our first magazine advertisement, being able to plan and orchestrate all these first time milestones in our startup is very rewarding when you take some time to look back at them.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe luck (there’s only good luck) has played into a small portion of success in my life, but mainly it’s being able to recognize an opportunity and act on it, what ultimately determines what life gives as a result. Luck and opportunity go hand in hand.As for bad luck, those are just lessons to be learned.
- LENDIT is free to download and only charges when you rent an item.
- the 4th Annual SD Mac N’ Cheese festival is $40 GA and $70 VIP with unlimited samples
- Website: www.lenditinc.com
- Phone: 508 579 5759
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @LENDITnow
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LendItNow/
- Twitter: @LENDITnow
- Yelp: http://www.sandiegomacncheese.com/
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/events/126904858007590/
(LENDIT panel speaker) February 2018 Life By Design Magazine
(LENDIT surfboard) ENVU Media Group, Aug 5 2017 launch party
(film camera with microphone ) World Wide Network of Learning, 501c in charge of the SD Mac N’ Cheese festival