SCLC President Dr. Charles Steele, Jr. welcomed the first ever hispanic leader to become an SCLC Board Member recently with the following introductory words:
““America’s landscape is changing daily. It is important that the landscape of our organization change with the face and future of our country.”
The one time janitor at the Frito Lay factory who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and is now the Executive Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Activation for PepsiCo North America was equally moved by the historic SCLC moment:
“I have been preparing my whole life for this moment. I just didn’t know this was the moment. But I knew I was preparing for something big and historical, and I believe me being here with one of the greatest organizations in the world is very historic.
“This is what I want people to understand. I wasn’t old enough to have an impact on The Movement, but I was old enough to have The Movement have an impact on me.
“So getting an invitation to be part of the SCLC Board is so huge to me. To me personally and to the legacy of my family, but also to the legacy of my culture to bring two different cultures and different businesses? And even today the name still draws.
“No one has been able to accomplish The Movement that he[Dr. King] did. He and this organization probably don’t get a lot of credit for what’s opened up over the last 40 or 50 years”.
Mantañez was a struggling janitor when he creatively added chili to Cheetos that resulted in a surprisingly successful and profitable consumer product called Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Today, Mantañez leads Multicultural Sales and Community Promotions across PepsiCo’s North American division.