Our Featured Geek is Judy L. Santos! She runs the first ever co-working place in the San Fernando Valley. Her co-working space, OfficeSlice, is dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs, freelancers, startup, or small business owners work, create, collaborate, and grow businesses in a professional, convenient, relaxed atmosphere. Their mission is to provide an open, creative, and comfortable professional space to meet your business needs. Give her a buzz If you are looking for excellent customer service and the traction your business needs to flourish!
What is your full name and tell us about where you are from.
My name is Judy L. Santos. The L stands for Lilia! I was born and lived the first part of my life in Chicago IL. I have two younger brothers, and we have all been or are currently, entrepreneurs!
I grew up loving baseball and had always imagined myself to be the first woman MLB player, playing for the Chicago Cubs. Oh well, things didn’t work out that way. I also lived for a year in Brazil, and fell in love with Brazilian culture and of course soccer! I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know Rio de Janeiro, where my father is from, and rekindle the language that had been dormant. My life and career have allowed me to travel, which is one of my passions. I’ve lived in Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts and now I call the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles my home!
I have two wonderful children, my son Roman is 15 and hosts a sports talk show on Blog Talk Radio called, “In the Game,” on Sunday afternoons. My daughter Chiara is 11 and is an avid reader and a budding comedian!
Tell us about your Latina background and your family. What does your family think about your geeky passions?
My parents were both immigrants, my father Brazilian and from Rio de Janeiro, my mother Italian, and from the Amalfi Coast in Italy. They actually met in Brazil! My parents were both entrepreneurs. After WWII, my mother travelled to Brazil to visit her sister and brother-in-law. His job had transferred him to Rio de Janeiro. My mother brought along with her a few of the Italian espresso machines (the large ornate coffee makers you see in Italian coffee bars) to sell to Brazilian cafés. My father owned a bar/restaurant in Rio and was interested in one of the café machines. That is how my parents met!
I was the only one of the three children that went to college. Though my parents were both well educated (but without degrees) they found it odd that I had this desire to go to college. I don’t know exactly when I knew I was going to go to college. It was as if it was part of my DNA, it was just going to happen! I chose Boston University in Boston, MA because of its outstanding communications program, and its situation in the city. Of course, it’s proximity to Fenway Park where the Red Sox played was a huge plus!
I studied Broadcast Journalism and Italian studies while at B.U., earning a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. I am very proud of this accomplishment, and the fortitude and focus I possessed to finish both programs.
Tell us about your geeky passion. What are your interested in and why?
I have too many interests! But the good news is I have been successful in at least really getting to delve into each of them, and each one of these passions has served me well. I won’t write about all of them, but here are some of the passions that help me succeed!
At B.U. I studied Broadcast Journalism. Though I never pursued this to t.v. or radio, what it did give me were excellent writing skills which I am able to use everyday and in every position I have ever had! Especially in today’s techno world where content is king, the ability to write a comprehensive and cohesive sentence is missing from many blogs and websites! Writing, and using grammar correctly is one of my geeky passions. It actually hurts me physically when I come across a poorly written article, typos or bad grammar in a blog. I’d like to tell everyone out there, please, get a proofreader or a copy editor! It’s worth it!
Another one of my passions is Archaeology. I studied for a Master’s at California State University Northridge. What the study of archaeology actually did for me, was help me think critically and put various pieces of information together to make a story with a beginning, middle and an end. Wait? Doesn’t that sound like journalism?
Curiosity is also one of my geeky passions. When something peaks my interest, I research! I love discovering both sides of every story and then coming up with my own conclusion.
Are you bilingual? If so, how does it help you in your career?
Growing up in a multi-cultural household, and being the oldest of three, I was given the opportunity to learn to speak Italian, Portuguese and English. The English came the year before I entered kindergarten. My parents would “discuss” in Italian when things were going well, however, when things weren’t, my parents would turn to Portuguese. For some reason they thought I wouldn’t understand what they were saying! I learned swear words in two languages as a youngster. I still use them today!
In my career, having the ability to speak foreign languages has helped me to get jobs, and meet new, and exciting people! My first job out of college was working for internationally renowned jazz musicians. I helped them tour the world, and set up press interviews with the foreign press! Another position I held was helping international scholars do research. Looking up articles in different languages, finding rare books and manuscripts and the ability to communicate with scholars from around the world was another plus in having the ability to speak in another language.
There are many studies out there that claim the ability to speak more than one language also helps retards issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and also helps individuals think more creatively! Every little bit helps!
Tell us about the gadgets you have in your purse right now. What top 3 gadgets do you need to have in your purse to help with your day-to-day tasks?
My number one gadget is my smart phone. How were we able to live before the invention of this portable computer! I use it to send emails, texts, take photos of my kids, keep my grocery list, and yes, even make phone calls with it! I’m looking forward to upgrading my phone in a few weeks. The Samsung Galaxy is calling my name!
I also purchased an IPAD Mini for use in my coworking space, OfficeSlice. But funny thing, it always ends up in my purse! I love the capabilities that the Ipad has, and I’m currently on probation and forbade myself from adding anymore apps!
My third gadget is however, not a gadget! It is my calendar, good old paper and pencil. I tried going totally digital with my calendar this year, but I kept missing and forgetting appointments and meetings. Attending a recent networking event where an organizer spoke gave me permission to go back to paper and pencil. I am a muscle memory person, as long as I write it down, I remember the fact, or the appointment, and am able to keep myself organized. Sorry Ipad and Smartphone! Sometimes you just got to write it down!
What is your website and/or blog? What does it focus on?
My website is OfficeSlice.co. I opened the first coworking space in the San Fernando Valley! We are focusing on helping women entrepreneurs, work, connect and grow their business. We do this through affordable workspace, networking, educational and personal growth workshops.
The focus of OfficeSlice, and my focus is to help women and business owners live their lives to their fullest potential and achieve their long held goals! This is turning out to be a very exciting place to hang out! I write a blog on the OfficeSlice website about coworking, community, growing your business and more.
I just began a new blog on the Studio City Patch. This blog features dynamic women business owners of the San Fernando Valley! You can read more about it here http://studiocity.patch.com/blogs/women-in-biz-sfv
Where can we find you online? Please share your social links with us!
You can find me online on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter. Also, my website is at http://officeslice.co. If you are interested in receiving our newsletter and finding out about our upcoming events, geared towards women business owners and entrepreneurs, you can find the newlsetter link on our homepage!
Facebook: OfficeSlice: https://www.facebook.com/OfficeSlice
What else would you like to share with us?
I would like to share that we as women need to support each other in our endeavors, and to stop thinking there isn’t enough. There’s plenty for everyone. Think in aspects of prosperity and abundance and not a poverty mindset. We also need to get out from behind our computers, and make new connections! Step out of your comfort zone, take a risk. The more you do this, your network will grow, and establish new relationships. One of my favorite quotes is by Georgia O’Keeffe, “ I’ve been terrified every day of my life but that’s never stopped me from doing everything I wanted to do.”