Ivan Shammas is general manager and general sales manager for Telemundo Atlanta, a premier Spanish-language station providing award-winning local news and programming to the expansive Latino population in Atlanta. At Telemundo Atlanta, Shammas oversees local and national advertising sales, local programming, local news, marketing, and community affairs initiatives. Shammas has worked in Spanish-language media and within the Atlanta Hispanic community for over 20 years. Being of Venezuelan descent, he has been able to parlay his passion for the Spanish language and culture to advance his career and community involvement in Atlanta. He will be honored on June 29 at the 2019 Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation’s annual Captains of Industry Gala in Atlanta.
How did you determine your career path?
Little did I know that learning Spanish at home was going to play the biggest role in my career path. I majored in journalism at Georgia State University not really knowing what direction I would be going in but knew I had a passion for media. I was told of an opportunity to actually “sell media” for the Spanish TV Networks Telemundo, Univision, and Galavision. While I knew nothing about selling TV Airtime, it was the fact that I spoke Spanish that opened the door for me into the Hispanic media world. The exciting sales side of media allowed me to stay and grow within the industry I loved the most.
Define your personal culture.
My personal culture is everything to me. It makes me the unique person I am today and it’s something I am proud of. I am so grateful for the confidence and positive influence my parents instilled in my upbringing. My culture is love and family and God and leadership. My culture is growth and knowledge and the push to be a better person daily. My culture is it’s OK to fail because that means that success is on the horizon. My culture is acceptance and to see the good in those we cross paths with.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would want the world to be more positive and see the glass as half full! A smile goes a long way, as does one’s attitude. If you keep a positive attitude, you will be more successful in everything you do in life.
Share why lifelong learning is important to you.
The greatest athletes of this world continue to invest hours and dollars into training and constant learning. We know that knowledge is power and education is liberating. We must put the time in ourselves so that we can be a better person professionally and personally. Investing in oneself will allow us be better husbands, better fathers, better sons, and better leaders.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Every day brings in a new challenge in my work world. The TV industry is fast paced and demanding while very impactful and fulfilling. Knowing that I represent not just a TV station but the Hispanic community is what inspires me to come to the office daily.
Learn more about the 2019 Caribbean American Arts Foundation Gala at www.caribbeanculturalarts.org