Friday, March 25, 2016

Ginalisa Monterroso >

Ginalisa Monterroso, Founder of Medicaid Advisory Group

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
To be an entrepreneur, you have to believe that you can truly make a difference. You are providing a service that you have created to help people. You have an idea that answers the questions of others and you have to be proud of that too.

What inspired you to start your business?
I wanted to become an advocate for people who are lost in the complicated Medicaid system. I wanted to prevent other families from suffering the way that I suffered when trying to help my 

How did you finance it?
By applying to Medicaid as a supplementary service, we receive some of the funding that we need to function. The rest is found through medical, local, and national grants that we must apply for on a yearly basis.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes. I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage. Strong, hard-working, and intelligent Hispanic women have paved the way for me to be able to be successful in my business. Seeing my mother jump into her business the way that she did, also gave me the confidence to start my own business.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
When medical professionals were turning us away, I knew that my purpose was to advocate for my daughter and her rights. My desire to provide for my daughter was what kept me going, and knowing that I can help other families who are just as confused as I was, keeps me going. It’s so important to know everything that you can so that you don’t get taken advantage of; It’s my passion to educate people to prevent that from happening.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The world of healthcare is overwhelming and sometimes that has intimidated my business. Especially being a woman, a Latina, and a single mother of a disabled child, it has been a constant struggle to keep my head above water. Everyday that we succeed, it gets that much easier.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would change how we are funded. If we could receive unlimited funding, we could help out so many people figure out how Medicaid can help them. The goal is to help the highest amount of people that we possibly can and more funding would help us to do that.

What was your childhood ambition?
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a mother. The day my daughter was born was the happiest day of my life. I wanted to love a child the way that my mother loves me. She set such a great example for me to be successful and confident. She is my biggest support system and I knew I could give that to someone else: my child.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
I really admire Julia Hartz, the founder of EventBrite. She inspires me because she left her career in television to create a business that provides a service to people that she really felt was needed. It takes courage to leave what you already know how to do for something else that you truly believe in. 

Selena Quintanilla is inspirational because not only was she Hispanic, she was also a woman who dominated in the Tejano music industry. This was completely unheard of and she was beloved on the American and Mexican music charts even after her death. What makes her a great role model was that she was very family oriented; she did music because she loved it and because her family loved it. She then launched a fashion line to further expand her creativity and her brand. Selena was a lovely Latina businesswoman that I think we all could learn from. 

Nely Galan is one of the bravest women I’ve ever heard of. After running a TV station, the company was suddenly sold and she was unexpectedly out of a job. She began her own production company and eventually became the first Latina to become the President of a television network in the U.S.: Telemundo. She is a great example of picking yourself up from a very low point and turning that experience into a lesson. She has leveraged her experience in the media to become a widely successful businesswoman.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I think that breakfast meetings are the best. It’s the beginning of the workday and everyone is still focused and committed to getting the job done. Being a mother, I know how much food helps everyone to get, or remain focused. A good meeting can really set a great tone for the success of the rest of your day.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
In order for me to accomplish my dream of helping people navigate through Medicaid, I had to become a public figure and use my daughter as the biggest example of how Medicaid can be almost impossible to figure out on your own. Even though we gave up some personal privacy, it was worth it to know that I am making a huge difference in the lives of many Medicaid recipients.

What is your favorite quote?
“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.” – Michelle Obama

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No. Being unconventional in business is the best thing to do. We are asking the questions that no one else thinks to ask, which means we get the answers no one knew they needed. We think outside of the box to accomplish our goals.

Biggest mistake made?
My biggest mistake was not starting Medicaid Advisory Group sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I do consider myself an innovator because most business owners, especially in healthcare, are in it for the money. I created my business on the idea that I could help a lot of people get through this necessary part of life. Focusing on the emotional Return on Investment (ROI) rather than the fiscal ROI is business innovation. I’m helping people get through what they have to get through in order to receive care and live their best lives.

About the Company 
MedicaidAdvisory Group provides guidance and representation for those who are struggling to understand the Medicaid system. We are the patients’ advocates throughout the entire process and we just make everything a lot easier on the families. 

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