Monday, October 5, 2015

Think Socio

An innovative consulting firm for Procurement, Socio Experiences changes the "administrative function" mindset to one of "business partner," through shared experiences: “It is a development, accountability and sustainability platform to help procurement align with stakeholders and suppliers,” according to Socio partners Gonzo Araya and Jeremy Bellman.

Gonzo and Jeremy are no strangers to the business world. Since 2008, the two have been successfully running L7z Group: a digital strategy firm focused on helping senior marketing stakeholders humanize their brands.

“With the L7z model, Procurement was our conduit to the Stakeholder. Aligning as partners, L7z and Procurement, more often than not, was the only way to get to the stakeholder quicker and with a more aligned offering. This also meant understanding struggles that Procurement goes through internally. We began to quickly see them as our business partners. We also began to realize that nobody is servicing Procurement to help them with their struggles. Inspiration began...Socio in Spanish means ‘Partner,’” Gonzo said.

Socio targets the Chief Procurement Officers and Senior Vice Presidents at global 500 brands, and Gonzo said that the conversations have already started. “People are the root of all challenges.” He referenced a study done by Ardent Partners in 2014: “59% of CPOs feel they don’t have enough resources to manage procurement operations effectively; another 59% of CPOs feel their isn’t a sufficient pool of trained procurement talent available to hire; and 70% of companies feel they have a shortage of skilled staff. The struggle is real and we understand that. Not only from the lens as a supplier but also as someone who’s sourced marketing and technology services during my corporate years.”

"With Socio, Stakeholders get what they need, Procurement gets what they value and Suppliers get what they want," Gonzo said.

Gonzo Araya, Partner
Socio Experiences

Jeremy and Gonzo are not only partners in work, but also in life. Knowing both of them on a familial level, I have observed symmetry between the men that harmoniously translates into their professional world. Their mutual motivation along with their natural knack for networking is a formula for achievement. 

Jeremy Bellman, Partner
Socio Experiences

Gonzo and Jeremy both lived in Fort Lauderdale, and despite their social propensities, the two did not cross paths for 13 years. Gonzo lived in Fort Lauderdale for 16 years, Jeremy for 14; and they both attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Fate finally brought them together a year before they took their business and lives to New York City in 2009. Shortly after relocating, the two overheard a conversation about the NGLCCNY at a restaurant in Chelsea: “The table next to us was pitching the restaurant owner. This was the first time we ever heard of the chamber. We were intrigued, asked, and shortly became one of the few first certified LGBTBEs,” Gonzo stated.

Like L7z, Socio is LGBTE Certified and will potentially become NMSDC certified as well. “We wouldn’t have it any other way,” stated Gonzo, who has volunteered at the NGLCCNY since 2009 and currently serves as Media Communications Chair. His responsibilities include overseeing all event communications throughout the year, managing the chamber’s digital platforms, video production, and photography, and ensuring consistent brand integrity. “I’m also engaged in creating local community partnerships and leading vision forward conversations with my fellow Executive Chairs,” Gonzo stated. “It’s a lot of responsibility and I could not do this without the help of my fellow Executive Chairs and my committee team,” which includes Sean Franklin, Jamon Lyons, Topher Scott and myself.

If NGLCC has done anything for me, it has opened my eyes to opportunity, allowed me to be inspired and helped me be inspirational to others. This is all about business and personal growth and we all need it…just like most of us need a little therapy; it’s ok!”

As for the immediate future of the chamber, Gonzo said to expect greater alignment with the national branch NGLCC: “There will be a quarterly mini-conference and a new identity rollout that is a direct extension from NGLCC, as the official New York local office of the national.”  Plus, Gonzo stressed the benefits of attending the mini-conference on October 14th, hosted by JPMorgan & Chase: “If you are a certified LGBTBE, you will want to attend the NYC fall event to leverage opportunities to fuel your business growth.” To learn more and to register please click here

Written by Ashley Bellman,
Corporate Journalist, Media Communications Committee.

If you'd like to be featured in one of our upcoming communications, please contact me at


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