143: Diversity, Digital Transformation & Workforce Development with Jesse Torres


Jesse Torres is the American-born son of Mexican immigrant parents. Growing up in multi-cultural Los Angeles, he’s not uncomfortable being around people who looked different from him. So, as he grew his consultancy, ArroyoWest, building a diverse team came naturally. He’s also no stranger to technology. In this episode, Jesse shares how leaders can prepare for the future of work by leveraging government programs to digitize operations and diversify their workforce.

Special Guest: Jesse Torres, Founder & CEO – ArroyoWest, LLC

Location: Los Angeles, CA  USA

Air Date: April 4, 2021


  • Hack My Business: Jesse’s podcast, with co-host Sid Voorakkara where they interview policymakers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and more to help small businesses hack their way to success.
  • Covid-19 Business Tools: Jesse’s website that “…offers up-to-date news and insights, one-on-one consulting, and curated guidance and financial resources to design tailored solutions and help your business successfully navigate the pandemic.”
  • Small Business Front: Jesse is a co-founder of this media creation and community building firm focused on small business.
  • Small Business Resource Center (SBDC): a site dedicated to helping small businesses locate a local center that can provide free or low-cost training and consulting on various topics.
  • SBA: the Small Business Administration is an American government program offering funding as well as operational resources to keep small businesses open.
  • EventBrite: the world’s largest event technology platform, powering millions of events in 170+ countries and territories.
  • Fiverr: a digital platform matching service providers with potential customers.
  • Upwork: an online portal designed to help you find and vet premium freelancers for your next project or team.
  • Reddit: a website that aggregates news and offers members the opportunity to rate and review posted content as well as participate in online communities organized around shared interests. Jesse suggested joining and participating in the Small Business community on Reddit.
  • FreeConferenceCall.com: a web and phone-based app offering free audio and video conferencing services. Their innovative pay-what-you-can pricing model helps support charities, volunteers, and students all over the world.
  • Zoom: a web-based tool that offers audio and video recording of webinars, conference calls, presentations, meetings, and more.  Also includes screen sharing for enhanced collaboration.

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Producer & Host: Alicia Butler Pierre
Podcast Editor: Olanrewaju Adeyemo
Video Editor: Gladys Jimenez
Transcription: Jodie Maquiran
Sponsor: HubSpot


More About Guest, Jesse Torres:
Jesse Torres is the owner and principal of a minority-owned consulting firm, ArroyoWest, LLC. They specialize in economic and workforce development, particularly in the area of small business development and disaster preparedness, response, and resiliency programs. He’s also the founder and creator of the Hack My Business podcast, available on Apple and Spotify – and the annual holiday social media campaign #12DaysofTakeout.

He serves his community by serving on the City of Los Angeles Small Business Commission and the boards of Associated Students UCLA, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, and Union Station Homeless Services.


More About Host, Alicia Butler Pierre:
Alicia Butler Pierre is the Founder & CEO of Equilibria, Inc. Her career in operations began over 20 years ago while working as an engineer in various chemical plants and oil refineries. She invented the Kasennu™ framework for business infrastructure and authored, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success.  It is the world’s first published book on business infrastructure for small businesses. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure podcast with a global audience across 53 countries.


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