By Bob Highfill
As Founder and Publisher of Latino Times, Andrew Ysiano is a dynamic professional whose management expertise and innovative skills have established him as one of our country’s entrepreneurial success stories. Mr. Ysiano is a product of a local farm working familia and was a proud farm worker in his youth who grew up South of Charter Way in Stockton. Having been inspired by his late mother, he would have an impact in his local community at a very young age. Mr. Ysiano begun his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 25 after realizing a person can be at “the steering wheel of his/her own ship.”
Recently, a man approached Mr. Ysiano at a Father’s Day party. The man thanked Mr. Ysiano for founding, building and nurturing one of the few products of its kind – a bilingual community newspaper and web site serving the Hispanic community, the Latino Times.
Interactions like those lift Ysiano’s spirit, keep him going and let him know that his hard work has paid off.
A true visionary, Mr. Ysiano founded Latino Times in 2001 with the simple goal to provide a bilingual publication for Latinos that reflects their positive contributions in the local and national community.
Another recent interaction reinforced those feelings. On June 29, Latino Times, a Stockton-based company in its 18th year, received the Business of the Year award by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the 46th annual Business Awards and Installation Luncheon at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in downtown Stockton.
“We have found something in our community of substance that’s solid and consistent that brings value,” Ysiano said.
Ysiano founded Latino Times because he wanted to give under-represented voices an opportunity to be heard. The content generally focuses on Latinos who have made a positive impact in their community and the community at large, locally and nationally, and explores important, diverse topics, such as health, education, business and politics.
The newspaper entertains as well as informs its readers. Under his management, the enterprise has grown into one of the largest bilingual newspapers reaching second, third and fourth generation Latinos in Northern and Central California.
“We print positive articles where most papers show the negative side of our communities,” said Judy Quintana, who has worked for Latino Times since 2003 and is the company’s Vice President and Editor. “We publish articles that are local, state or national that capture the readers interest, we showcase our community leaders and we’re community focused more than anything else.”
When founded in 2001, Latino Times was one of 12 bilingual newspapers in San Joaquin County and was published quarterly. Today, Latino Times is published monthly and is the only bilingual newspaper and website in the county that is 100 percent minority and small business owned. The print publication is available free at some 1,000 drop-off locations throughout Northern California. Sponsors and advertisers, who have shared Ysiano’s vision and commitment, have provided the publication’s financial support.
While the newspaper industry has struggled to navigate a changing news business environment, Latino Times has prospered.
Ysiano graduated from Edison High and attended San Joaquin Delta College when he went to work for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., ascending to store manager. Ysiano went into the life insurance business and was introduced to the Stockton Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, where he established relationships with business and community leaders.
Ysiano served on the board and two terms as President of the Stockton Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, two terms as past Regional Vice President of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and past Chairman of Region I, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (spanning seven states). He was a board member of the American Red Cross, a member of the San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee and was Vice Chairman of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his duties as past Chairman of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and coalition building for state initiatives, Ysiano is a past YMCA board member.
Ysiano continues to be an active member of the San Joaquin, Central Valley, California and United States Hispanic chambers of commerce and is a partner with the AJ Marketing and Communications Group.
“The reason Latino Times was able to start was because of my service to the community and because of the believers that believed this was going to happen,” Ysiano said. “It happened.”
It takes a lot of help from a lot of dedicated people to keep any business going and Ysiano said he is grateful to his staff for the hard work they’ve put in over the years, including Quintana; Armando Salgado, Director of Sales; Andrew C. Ysiano, Account Manager; Lorena Bacerra, Spanish Translator; Monica Andeola, Photographer; Damian Corona, Distribution; Jim Oliver, Graphics Designer & Social Media; (www.jimoliverdesiger.com) Contributing Writers Bob Highfill, Rhashad R. Pittman.
“A very special thank you to Judy Quintana for being part of the Latino Times family for loyalty, strength, experience and being there for me over 14 years,” Ysiano said.
Ysiano said the hard work is not over. The Latino community faces critical challenges that must be addressed.
“The key I feel to this day in 2018 is Latinos don’t have a seat at the table or Latinos are not getting the contracts they should be getting,” Ysiano said. “The sleeping giant is still sleeping and if we’re going to have power and be able to make decisions to make our community powerful and to be able to eat at the table, it starts with voting and getting people elected who understand and know our community.”
As we enter our 18th year, we are honored to be selected as the Business of the Year by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and would like to extend our sincere heartfelt appreciation for such a distinguished award. We would also like to thank our corporate and small business partners for their commitment to us and their continued partnership. We know that Latino Times would not have the success it has today without their belief in us to deliver a publication with strong editorial content. Most importantly, we thank our readers who allow Latino Times to be part of their familia. Latino Times remains dedicated to providing positive and impactful content as well as shedding light on issues that enlighten and enhance the lives of not only Latinos, but of our whole community.
Mr. Ysiano contributes his success to his familia. Most of all he gives his utmost respect to his late mother, Petra Contreras Ysiano, who was involved and attended local, State, and National events with him.
People would always ask him, “who was your mentor?” Mr. Ysiano always responded, “my fueling station is here tonight, it is my dear mamá.” I thank God for blessing me with the most important woman (Petra Contreras Ysiano) of my life.
Latino Times will continue to serve readers through its print and web site products. Plans are in the works to build a smart phone app, a job that might fall on the new generation, his 22-year-old son, Andrew Ysiano Jr., who is poised to be his successor.
“The future is my son,” Ysiano said. “Hopefully in the next five years, he’ll be ready.”
Special thanks to contributing writers Angel Ortega and Marilu Contreras Saldaña.
By Bob Highfill