Victoria’s Secrets: A new addition to our media company, our family and theirs

The logo of Noticia, the latest addition to the Schneps Communications family.

Over 14 years ago, I saw the growing strength and numbers of the Hispanic community in our city.

Interestingly, in 2000, the Census showed that after the Caucasian population, the Hispanic population was the largest group in our city, followed relatively closely by non-Hispanic blacks, who make up just under a quarter of the population. Asians make up just under 10 percent of the city’s population.

I found it remarkable and eye opening! I asked friends from the various Latino/Hispanic communities to a roundtable focus group to get their advice as to whether their communities would be interested in a newspaper in Spanish but covering news of our city. Unanimously they said “yes” and told me, “Vicki, since you are a ‘Gringo,’ you will be successful because you don’t give priority coverage to one group over another.”

And so our media company launched El Correo and it has provided valuable information and entertainment to Hispanic readers, beginning in Queens. We have grown the circulation from covering just Queens, to Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan.

I’m so happy to announce that we have acquired and merged El Correo with the family-owned Noticia, a decades-old media company serving Long Island created and nurtured by the Diaz family.

My feeling is that our family media company of newspapers and websites will act as guardians of the Diaz family’s lifetime commitment of excellence. They will join our company and I welcome Vicky, and her daughters Silvania and Cinthia. I know they will add greatly to our mission to provide quality, independent, trustworthy and impartial news coverage of the communities and people we serve.

It’s a moment in time when we all have a great need to know each other and understand that we all want similar things for our families and ourselves. We live with pride in our communities and we will keep the focus on celebrating the people and places that make our coverage area a great place to live and work, whether in our English language or newly expanded Spanish language media groups. Stay tuned online and in print.

A guide of living to share

Every morning, thanks to my friend at Investors Bank, I receive their Morning Juice, a newsletter filled with thoughtful ideas. The one I got last week was so powerful I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s based on John C. Maxwell’s 5 Tips to Unlock Your Potential.


How would your life change if you suddenly had $100 million? What would you do with the money?
Stumped? You’re not the only one.

J.J. Watt, a 25-year-old lineman for the Houston Texans, became the highest-paid defensive player in National Football League history when he signed a $100 million contract extension. Afterward, a friend suggested he buy something to celebrate. But Watt had no idea what to purchase.

Watt didn’t know what to do with the money. Would the money do something with him?

It sure did—and probably the opposite of what you would expect. It made Watt want to work even harder. “The way I look at it is that somebody in the world, no matter what your field is—teacher, violinist, football player—has to be the best,” Watt told Grantland.com writer Robert Mays. “Why not me?”

What a line! Someone has to be the best—why not me?

I can relate to the young man. My biggest passion in life has been pursuing my potential. I may not be able to become the best in the world, but I can become my best. That’s what keeps me going strong, even at the age of 67. I regularly take on tasks that cause me to grow and stretch. I like being in over my head because it keeps me sharp and pushes me to give my full effort.

Becoming your best self is part attitude and part strategy. I can’t help you with attitude, because that comes from within. But I can offer tips on how to unlock your potential and reach your goals.

Focus on your strengths. This is really simple: You’re good at some stuff. You are not-so-good at other stuff. Focus on the stuff you’re good at. Where you are naturally good, you have the potential to become great if you put time into developing those talents.

Focus on today. You can’t change the past; you can’t mold the future. But you can influence what happens right now. Give the present day your full attention and best effort.

Focus on your priorities. As the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” Choose your priorities and use your time to accomplish them.

Focus on your results. Reminding yourself of your purpose will keep you focused on the big picture, and your drive to succeed will triumph over adversity.

Focus on your contribution. As author Steve Maraboli says, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self…. Do it courageously.” Be bold and be you. Improve yourself and improve your world.

Watt’s efforts match his personal motto: Dream Big, Work Hard.

What about you? Are you dreaming big and working hard? Are you working every day to reach your potential? After all, someone has to be the best. Why not you?

Philanthropy at any age


Addy, 6 years old, saw a letter from St. Jude Hospital asking for help for children with cancer. Addy (second from left) decided she would help them and called all her relatives to ask for donations. By noon on Sunday, she had raised $218!

I believe you can never bee too young to help and Addy proves that to be true!

At lunch with John Demoleas, vice president of development and external affairs at Northwell Staten Island University Hospital, we talked about a local family who is donating $2.5 million to the hospital. He shared an ancient quote attributed to St. John Chrysostom that is relevant today: “A rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.”

It’s never too early or late to give!

More from Around New York