Celebrating Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month

September 15, 2021

Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month, which takes place September 15 – October 15, celebrates the unique contributions and cultures of those whose heritage is connected to the more than 20 Spanish-speaking countries and Latin America. Throughout the month, we’re spotlighting Associates from across our business who are making an impact within our company and in the communities we serve. Read their stories below.


Juan Rodriguez is a 20-year veteran of Compass Group USA. As part of his role at Wolfgang Puck Catering, he’s a staple at the Oscars® and other high-profile Hollywood events. In his spare time, this native of Mexico, who moved to the U.S. when he was 9 years old, likes to relax by fishing and working on the roses in his garden. Read Juan’s story to learn what it’s like inside Hollywood’s biggest night and how he motivates his team.

Wanda (Villanueva) Melendez has been a part of the Compass Group USA HR team for 8 ½ years. She’s as passionate about her Puerto Rican heritage as she is about creating an equal playing field for all. Outside of work, she has a passion for spending time on the lake with her new husband. Read Wanda’s story to learn why her colleagues have nicknamed her ‘Wanda Woman’. 

Vanessa Guerrero has been with Morrison Living for two years. She came to the U.S. with her family 18 years ago from the small town of Acatic in Jalisco, Mexico, the birthplace of mariachi music. As the youngest of 11 children, Vanessa has a deep connection to her family and tries to visit her home country at least once a year to reconnect with her roots. Read Vanessa’s story to learn what inspires this budding chef and how she inspires others.


Before Delly Tatiana Ortiz, better known as Chef Tati, found her passion in the culinary industry, she was studying to become a dentist in her native country of Colombia. This past summer she became somewhat of a celebrity on the New York University campus, where she works as Executive Chef for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, with her video cooking series, “Tuesdays with Tati.” Read her story to learn how her philosophy on food and life reflects the theme of this year’s International Chef Appreciation Week, “Food Unites Us, Chefs Inspire Us.”