Meet Trendsetter: Eder Holguin

As a tech savvy, out-of-the-box player in the dynamic online marketing industry for nearly a decade, Holguin has an in-depth background in operations, sales and marketing. His clients have included brand name Fortune 500 companies, as well as innovative startups. Holguin is active on the speaker’s circuit of the online industry, and serves as executive advisor to several privately-held companies. He is a venture-capital stakeholder in firms developing online business applications, and also invests in allied real estate projects.

Business Background
Self-motivated and goal oriented, Eder Holguin has over 12 years of experience managing sales, marketing, operations, personnel and online media. Eder is currently Chief Revenue Officer at Virtual Fan Network, a Digital Sports Marketing Platform involved in the evolution of Sports Marketing. Virtual Fan Network connects Athletes, Fans and Brands via Social Media, Display and Mobile.
Eder joined the Integrate team in April 2010 as the VP of Strategic Partnerships. Within weeks, he was offered and graciously accepted the post of Chief Revenue Officer. His leadership and vision are quickly shaping the future of the company.
Prior to joining Integrate, Eder founded OnDemand Research, which later became part of XL marketing, where he served as Vice President of Interactive Marketing. He also co-founded Iron Traffic, an online lead generation and advertising network that started with three employees in March of 2003 and was featured in the 2009 Inc 500 listing of fastest growing private companies in the US.
In 2003, he co-founded Iron Traffic, a tech-driven marketing firm. Starting with just three employees, the company grew rapidly, with annual revenues eventually surpassing $8 million. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in the U.S., Iron Traffic was featured in the high-profile INC. 500 list.
Previously, Eder Holguin served as Director of Sales for Media Whiz, an online marketing company specializing in lead generation and affiliate marketing services.
Holguin spent five years as Executive Manager for Equifax Marketing Services, where he concentrated on the special needs of market research companies.
He has built and executed numerous online panel development platforms, including projects for internetsurveypanel.com, thenetpanel.com, and ECNResearch.com.
With the significant increase in the nation’s Spanish-speaking population, as indicated by the 2010 census, Holguin maintains a special interest in these emerging markets.

Q&A

1. Share the greatest impact of your childhood.

Growing up with an absent father and an alcoholic mother, the greatest impact in my life was my grandmother. She taught me to live my life by a set of values and provided the foundation I needed to have a prosperous and happy life. She taught me the value of hard work, discipline and ethics. I truly believe all the success I’ve had in my life is in direct correlation to the principles I learned from her. She was by far my biggest influence.

2. Define your experience growing up being Latino and being Latino in today’s world.

Growing up being Latino has been both a blessing and a challenge. Having being raised in such a rich culture provided me with a great set of values and allowed me to experience things that most people in America have never been exposed to. I have seen firsthand the struggles of living in a third world country and at the same time I have been labeled and looked down upon because of my name, background and accent. I learned early on that I had to work harder than most people to prove myself, which initially I saw as unfair but quickly learned it was something that I could use as motivation to work harder and improve myself in every way.

3. Tell us some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome.

Not having the typical background of coming to the US from South America, I quickly realized that I had to work twice as hard to make good impressions and have access to the opportunities that most people take for granted. Learning the language was a big challenge for me, in addition not having a degree from a typical US university proved to be a challenge when I started my career in advertising.

4. What would you say was the greatest positive influence on your career?

When I joined my first advertising agency I had a great mentor. I would say he was the greatest and positive influence. He taught me to embrace my differences and leverage my talents instead of trying to be like everyone else. I used to feel self-conscious about my accent, about my education background, etc. but I realized soon enough that those things didn’t matter.

5. As an honoree, what do you hope that being a trendsetter will inspire you to accomplish?

I hope my story and previous experiences can be an as inspiration for others who are where I was early on in my career. It seems overwhelming to think for someone who just moved to the US to think they can succeed in any area of their lives, I hope my story can help others have hope and to see that with hard work, discipline and a good attitude anything is possible.

WTF? News: Black Friday Bargains Get Shoppers Pepper-Sprayed?!

Crowds of shoppers trying to bag a bargain from a Wal-Mart store during the Black Friday sales were last night drenched in pepper spray when a scramble for Xbox 360 console deals turned ugly.
Police are hunting a female shopper who allegedly injured 20 people at the store in Los Angeles, California, after a confrontation at 10.20pm – just 20 minutes after the shop had opened its doors.
One witness described an ‘absolutely crazy’ scene where the video games display was torn down and customers trampled over the computer games and DVDs that had fallen on the floor.

‘I heard screaming and I heard yelling,’ witness Matthew Lopez, 18, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.’

Somehow (the woman) was trying to use it to gain an upper hand,’ a police spokesman said. A fire department spokesman said the injuries to least 10 people were due to ‘rapid crowd movement’.
She had been trying to keep fellow shoppers away from the electronics she wanted – and people were injured as they jostled trying to escape the spray in the crowded store, authorities said.

People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,’ Alejandra Seminario, 24, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘I just stayed in the toy aisle.’

She added that people started pulling the plastic off pallets on the floor and were ‘pushing and screaming’ as they were shoved over.
‘It was definitely the worst Black Friday I’ve ever experienced,’ Joseph Poulose told the newspaper.
Authorities are still looking for the pepper spray woman – who was one of millions of American rushing to the shops last night to snap up a bargain before Thanksgiving Day was even over.

An estimated 152million people are expected to shop over Black Friday weekend, up 10 per cent from last year, according the National Retail Federation.
And in New York, Occupy protesters formed human barricades to try and block shoppers from entering stores – in particular targeting Macy’s department store.
The first chain to open up was Toys ‘R’ Us, which let customers – many of whom camped outside – in at 9pm yesterday. An hour later, retail giant Wal-Mart unlocked its doors up amid a flood of customers, while low-cost rival Target let shoppers in at 11pm.

And at midnight, electronics retailer Best Buy along with departments stores Macy’s and Beall’s all opened – all hours before the traditional daybreak starts.
The early openings combined with greater than usual media coverage has prompted retail experts to predict record-breaking number of customers in U.S. stores.
But, as a record 212million actually showed up last year when the LRF estimated 138million, other analysts are predicting even more people hitting the shops this weekend.

Black Friday will be strong because so many stores are opening Thursday and that gives consumers at least six more hours to shop, Candace Corlett, of WSL Strategic Retail, told CNN.
‘It will also attract people who may be willing to go out Thursday night, but aren’t about to get up early Friday morning.’
Shoppers waiting in line outside Best Buy in Clearwater, Florida, said they’re buying back some of their time by being in line before everyone the early morning rush hits.

7 Black Friday Purchase Pitfalls to Avoid


By: Andrea Woroch

Despite the push to start Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, midnight Friday is about the earliest most shoppers are willing to hit the stores. Even midnight is pushing it for many of us, though Gap and Old Navy are doing their best to get people shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

If you’re the type who can’t resist a “doorbuster” bargain, you’re more likely to get true deals if you heed our advice and avoid the following seven Black Friday pitfalls.

1. Just Because It Says “Sale”…
…doesn’t mean it’s really a sale. For example, many stores are advertising blockbuster prices on the Kindle e-reader, but check with Amazon and you’ll find there’s no difference between the regular and so-called “sale” prices. Do a bit of research before you leave home by comparing the prices between clicks and bricks.

2. Overbuying
Do you fall into the frenzy of Black Friday? Everyone is grabbing and it’s so easy to feel you might miss out on a good thing. Remember that list people always tell you to make before heading out? Well stick to it!

3. Not Checking for Quality
Many sale items are of substandard quality. Clothes are a particular example this season, as the increased cost of cotton drove manufacturers to use less of the popular raw material. Many hems aren’t properly finished, sleeves are shorter than normal, and manufacturers are using gathered seams to save on fabric. Consumer electronics also are subject to this syndrome. Look carefully before you buy.

4. Ignoring Coupons
There’s a reason the Thanksgiving newspaper is the fattest of the year. All those fliers contain some really juicy coupons. If you don’t receive a paper or are looking for extra deals, check the Black Friday page of CouponSherpa.com for offers from your merchants.

5. Comparing Apples to Oranges
Naming no names, but some big-box stores order electronics and appliances with a slightly different model name or number, so you can’t comparison shop properly. If you want to price check an item, compare features, and not model numbers.

6. Forgetting About Extras
One of the best examples here is the computer printer. Manufacturers like to offer printers at what look like blazingly great prices. Unfortunately, the printer ink or toner will cost the gift recipient more than the printer cost you. The same goes with batteries for larger toys and electronics.

7. Setting Your Sites on Freebies
Babies R Us is offering a free $10 gift card on toy purchases of $75, leading you to add enough items to your basket until you’ve hit the magic $75 mark. Express gives you $25 in Express Cash when you spend $50, which means you’ll likely spend more than the $25 on other purchases. Sometimes free isn’t really free.

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Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert, featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more.