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Kenia Davalos, Founder

Influential Latina Superstar Kenia Davalos Bridging the Wealth Gap

For some, the easiest way to become wealthy is to be born wealthy. For the rest of us lining up quarters at the laundromat, we need a little advice in how to cultivate personal wealth, invest for retirement, and develop an entrepreneurial focus. The LatinConnect is pleased to introduce you to Kenia Davalos, Partner of Perini Enterprises / Biz-Investor and Founder of Davalos Development, both of which are Los Angeles based firms focused on creating wealth and assets for families, non-profits and government alike. Kenia, age 31, has a full plate daily meeting with clients and developing growth strategies, but also notes that motherhood takes equal priority. Working often with minority families and individuals, she says that many people are left out in achieving the American dream, but the assistance of Perini Enterprises / Biz-Investor and of Davalos Development guides them along the rocky journey. Read this week’s Young & Professional Profile to find out what inspired Kenia to help hundreds in her community bridge the wealth gap, and how you too can lay the foundation in accumulating more wealth.


Keller Williams-Eagle Rock/Smart Equity
Davalos Development


January 2003


Kenia Davalos, Partner




East Los Angeles and Highland Park, California

Current residence

Pasadena, California


Harvard University Business School, Corporate Governance Program;

Concord Law School, JD Candidate, ;

Pepperdine University, The Graziadio School of Business and Management -Program on Executive Business Management;

University of Southern California, The Marshall School of Business;

Syracuse University, Masters of Public Administration, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs;

University of California, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.

Work Experience

National Federation of Independent Business, National Director-Emerging Markets;

American Express, Manager, Market Development for Northern Los Angeles and Latin Market Initiative (2000-2003);

Latin Business Association/Institute, Executive Director (2000-2001);
Davalos Development and Associates, owner, 1999;

Charo Economic Development, Development Officer 1998;

The White House-Office of Presidential Personnel- Washington, DC;

Latino Issues Form, Special Project Coordinator, 1996.


Californiana-Native Angelina- Home grown in Los Angeles with ancenstral of Mexican descent

About the companies

Keller Williams- Eagle Rock/Smart Equity: Develop a full service real estate and financing firm with a vision to help individuals to create generational wealth in acquiring new assets (home and businesses). We provide loans to first time home buyers, real estate and commercial services. We believe in creating generational wealth for families to grow their economic wealth in life.

Davalos Development: At age 23, I founded this company to provide strategic growth and direction, development for non-profits and government agencies – developed Parents’ Fair Share Program in conjunction with District Attorney for child support, Domestic Violence prevention program in Los Angeles County and many other social service programs.

NFIB – lauched a national Leadership campaign to integrate Hispanics and other emerging groups to have a voice in small business in the federal halls of the nation! Legislative initiative and grassroots campaigns were critical in enrolling individuals to play an active part. Having a voice for your small business is having a voice for your life and family – we are valuable and can impact public policy no matter who you are!

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

Primary Role is to successfully handle and execute of the growth strategies, and marketing department. In addition, to oversee the development of the company, expansion plans and being the “rain maker” for business activities.

Most notable milestones

  • 2nd Term Small Business Commissioner for Los Angeles County
  • 2006 Listed as of the top 100 Influential Latinos in the US by Latin Business Magazine
  • 2006 Latino Leaders Featured Story of the Emerging New Community Leaders Mentioned as one of the most influential Latinas in the US
  • 2005 Featured Story- Latina, Entrepreneur and Advocate- Latina Style Magazine
  • 2006 David C. Lizarraga Telacu Fellowship
  • 2004 Leading Latinas -Featured story- Hispanic Trends Magazine
  • 2004 Community Commendation from Congresswomen Solis, Roybal, Speaker Fabian Nunez
  • 2004 LBA Advocate of the Year
  • 2002 LBA Philanthropist of the Year
  • 2002 Los Angeles Mayor Hahn Recognition of Community Service
  • 2000 International Who-Who Recognition
  • 2002 Leadership Pasadena Award

What’s the niche?

Expect The Best! Providing Premier Real Estate, Financing and Business Consulting Services for nuestra gente (for our people) (Hispanohablantes).

What’s the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is being a balanced soul (person) and keeping me refreshed and ensuring that I treat myself as the” best” with compassion/love in line with my core values-respect, dignity and honoring my word. This is critical for my mission to love and serve others, a mompreneur; balancing children and a business; also as a business leader/advocate in representing Latinos of all walks of life in making a difference in short and long term.

What’s in store for the future?

Greatness! My mission in helping individuals create generational wealth in acquiring assets (real estate, growing business) with the best intentions will expand beyond California and touch people all over the world.

In addition, public speaking all over the nation to under served students/communities in being spark plugs in their communities especially those who see no light or future surrounded by poverty and drug stricken communities. I am clear that there is opportunity for our youth especially Latinas (young ladies to moms) in those communities and I call it ” Creating Opportunity for my future from the ghetto/barrio”.

Furthermore, I am preparing my kids for greatness too, Kalyssa and Emilio to be a light to create a legacy of serving people with best intentions and business savvyness.

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Best way to keep a competitive edge

Always striving for higher education and staying with the trends, taking seminars and classes it gives you a forecasting ability for your business!

Guiding principle in life

The Lord is my guiding principle of light, love and happiness. He is my source of the power that gives me my daily bread and breath to inspire others. Its not about me, rather what I need to do in this world to complete the mission given to me. I am a conduit to serve his mission and goals!

Yardstick of success

Wow! Being a mom and business woman, most important I want to remain happy, being complete, economic prosperity, love and abundance. I have a vision that one day, I will be bestowed an award due to my children greatness-meaning being of great character and serving to others!

Goal yet to be achieved

In business expanding beyond California and new partnerships in business with the individuals that are committed to success of others! Being successful in purpose drive cause related marketing campaigns.

Best practical advice

Give yourself one hour a day and treat yourself as the queen (or king) that you are. Love yourself first and foremost regardless of your upbringing or who is in your life. Remember its not where you come from that matters but where you are going in life! Also love yourself first and guard your heart until someone earns your heart and trust in life and business- always remind yourself you are very valuable and a gift to others.

Lastly, Never burn bridges in business and life keep ” good karma” in your life. And always be complete in conversations and relationships in business and life this will allow you to grow and be a more successful and greater person!

Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture

“She will reach all the goals she desires and sets for herself, the is the truth and its set in stone-she will be successful.” –Cecilia Aviles


Ruth Lopez Novodor because she is an inspiration to all and I thank her for mentoring me! Marissa Solis for being supportive and giving me direction in life during the rainstorms of life and seeing there is sunshine.

Lulu- Maria Sobrino de Lourdes, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Minnie Lopez Baffo, David and Priscella Lizarragga, Martha de la Torre, Rudy Sanchez, Cesar and Melinda Garcia and the rest of the wonderful people who have touched, inspired me to be the person I am-remember I am a reflection of all you so mil gracias!

Life is about being connected with others and in relationship. I am blessed to have these people and thank them for taking me under your wings. Just like I have been mentored, I am mentoring others as well – my responsibility is to help people shine and we can not do it alone in life! Everyone is a pillar of someone else!

What motivated you to get started?

I think my humble beginning and childhood hardships/heartaches have allowed me to have more compassion to others especially those with similar backgrounds or pains. I have also listened to my calling in life, but to hear it you have to remain silent and be still at times and with life busy it truly is a journey!

Like best about what you do?

I love working with teams, brainstorming and being unstoppable in accomplishing goals! I also love having the flexibility to be an awesome mompreneur “mom entrepreneur”. And of course, Enjoying my friends and loved ones especially spending quality time with them! My most favorite thing is life is to laugh and make my spirit dance – it’s an uplifting experience and also healing!

Like least about what you do?

Sometimes I need to work weekends or evenings – it comes with the territory! Oh also let me not forget getting up at 5am to accomplish my daily mission!

At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At age 10, I was driven to be in advertising and a lawyer. I would pretend that I was creating commercials and I would draw charts of sales showing increases it was funny, cosmetic and Barbie advertising.

What was your first job?

I was around 13, running my family’s catering business getting up 3 or 4 am in the summer’s and working long hours, dealing with the city for permits and government hassle. Since my parent’s were not fluent in English, I learned early and young to be a business advocate. So I started walking to city hall at an early age as an advocate, making sure we had our small business voice heard. You are never to young to learn entrepreneurship!

Biggest pastimes outside of work

– The Daily ” Spirtual Me” Walks in Pasadena-old town, Rosebowl – it’s reflection time and loving me time.
– Being a snack mommy for my kids school
– I love Reading – I read 2 books a week
– I love traveling to learn about the local people.
– Hanging out with family and friends; a movie, dinner or shopping, simple things in life make me happy! Especially dancing Salsa, Merengue -remember to let your spirit dance!
– Love attending social gatherings- connect with new, familiar and old souls
– Real Estate- bringing new homes of loves to others, creating new possibilities our of land!

Person most interested in meeting

Oprah Winfrey she said once at an early age she knew she was meant for greatness in peoples lives and I want to learn from her the steps she took in her journey of greatness but also how she manages to keep her self refreshed and safe on a daily basis.

Leader in business most interested in meeting and why?

Bill and Preston Gates- Understanding their business and philanthropic philosophy.

Some interesting facts about yourself

1. I wear bright colors, Latinas look good in bright colors it’s part of me (no black) Bright colors represent my soul of happiness and love!
2. I love to have flowers on my desk I love them!
3. I love champurado, tamales, enchiladas and king taco or Tommy Burger is awesome at 1am after dancing!
4. Also who said 4 cafe Lattes a day is alot- Starbucks I am waiting for you to go Public!
5. I want to have a large family one day!

Three characteristics that describe you

1. Honoring my word (high level commitment) and Loyalty
2. Respecting me and others
3. Persistence a key to success – “no” only gets you closer to the right “yes”

Three greatest passions

1. Being Mom and Family (really being a loving soul)
2. Being a public servant
3. Dancing

Favorite book

What Queen Esther Knew by Glaser and Malley
E-myth by Gerber
Millionaire Mind

Favorite cause

My mission in life is to empower individuals, especially Latinos, in having a voice heard in all platforms of life from public policy, having adequate resources in their communities and creating generational wealth in business.

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Interview by Sheena Singh
Introduction by Sara Ortega
Edited by Sumaya Kazi

Also this week

Danny WenNirali PatelDr. Sally Bishai

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