Publisher tells students to strive for success

Megan Rose Bartell and Sonjiala Hotchkiss

City College business students filled the room Feb. 16 to hear Dr. John Warren, publisher and CEO of San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, during the first of three free Business Networking Breakfasts this spring hosted by Students in Free Enterprise.

“All things are possible and you’re only as limited as you make yourself,” said Warren, establishing a key theme of his address.

Warren encouraged students to be open to harnessing all their talents. He highlighted the point with an anecdotal story of how his Peruvian maid, who had been a practicing attorney before immigrating to the U.S., eventually started her own cleaning business, refusing to allow a lack of English language skills to keep her from making money.

“He’s always a good speaker,” said Marie Disnew, administrative assistant at SIFE.
“He is a history maker,” Disnew added. “He doesn’t make a lot of noise about it, but he has been involved in historical events and he has done well in the community with the newspaper.”

Warren has had 12 careers, including working in the fields of public administration, politics, law, the military, education and religion. He bought the Voice & Viewpoint as an existing business 28 years ago.

“(We) took a community newspaper that was in the Southeast and expanded it to San Diego County, where today we have 87 outlets in 17 cities,” said Warren.

Warren stressed the importance of not allowing others to define who you are, saying the Voice & Viewpoint is not a “black newspaper,” as described by others, but rather “a newspaper that serves news from an African-American perspective.”

Warren told students to always be open to a networking opportunity, saying you never know who you’re going to meet. When he worked on Capitol Hill, Warren used to ride the bus with Bob Johnson, owner of Black Entertainment Television, as neither of them had cars at the time.

“It’s very unique to see someone who has been around for such a long time and has operated a paper that is very well-renowned in its community,” said student Joseph Cobbs, who is marketing manager for SIFE.

“It does give our entrepreneurs the opportunity to find out just what it takes to get into business.”

SIFE
Business Networking Breakfast

When: Wed. March 16
at 7:45 a.m. Free.
Where: Room D-121A
Information:
(619) 388-3869