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Alumni Profile – Betty Galvan

Story behind Betty Galvan’s success in social media.This year’s annual Women’s “EmpowHERment” conference at Morton College turned out to be a way for Betty Galvan to reconnect with her community college alma mater for the first time in over 20 years.

While Galvan’s forte is heading up her own social media business out of New Jersey, good old-fashioned networking and word of mouth got her on the panel at the conference held in February.

“A mutual friend of myself and Blanca Jara (Morton College’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement) said I really need to connect the two of you,” Galvan recalled. “It was nice to reconnect with Morton College and see all the amazing things they’re doing. I was glad to help in any way I could.”

The conference provides participants the tools needed to feel empowered and ready to accomplish personal and professional goals. The day-long event featured a keynote speaker and a variety of breakout sessions.

The former Betty Velasco graduated from Morton College with her Associate of Arts degree in 1998. It was a period when the Hispanic population was beginning to comprise the majority of students at Morton College.

Her story on how Galvan chose Morton College is common. Galvan was an excellent student at Morton East, placing among the top 10 percent. She had ideas of going away, but those plans never came to fruition.

Galvan grew up in a traditional Mexican household in Cicero with loving parents, but one with a father who expected his daughter to remain at home until getting married.“

The thought of me going away was not in my father’s book,” Galvan said. “I was going to be rebellious. I applied and got accepted at Northern Illinois and the University of Illinois. But I wasn’t brave enough to go.”

Galvan, a mother of three boys ranging in ages 10 to 15, admitted there was no Plan B.

“Morton College was not my radar,” Galvan said. “I entered with hesitation. But once I was there, I joined the poms team and did well enough to earn a scholarship. I’m glad I went this route.”

Galvan was part of one of the largest poms teams in Morton College history with 22 trying out and 11 making the squad. She was among eight student-athletes selected to appear on the cover photo of the 1996-97 athletic ad/highlight book, a joint undertaking between the Morton College Athletic Association and the late Bob “Slivers” Slivovsky in athletics.

Galvan transferred to Loyola University Chicago where she majored in English and secondary education. At both places, Galvan commuted from home and worked part-time to pay for her education.

After graduation, Galvan taught English for four years at Heritage Middle School in Berwyn. They relocated to Tokyo when her husband’s career path in the finance industry took him overseas.

While living in Asia, Galvan continued teaching at an international school. She developed a mommy blog for bilingual parents, sharing her experiences raising a Spanish-speaking son in Asia. Most of her audience consisted of Galvan’s former co-workers at Heritage.

Her ability to write and teach proved pivotal when Galvan started on the ground floor of social media in the mid-2000s. Galvan considers herself a Social Media OG because she was an early adopter of creating and pushing content out on social media.

They moved back to the United States in 2010, when the company Galvan’s husband was working for expanded and opened an office in New York City. They set up home in northern New Jersey, about 35 minutes away outside of the Big Apple.

Galvan continued writing as a freelancer for a variety of online publications with the bulk of her stories being for parenting ones. She also blogged and from 2014 to 2017 worked for Ana Flores at Latina Bloggers Connect (later renamed We All Grow), an influencer marketing agency.

In the meantime, Galvan joined various women’s entrepreneur organizations in the area to meet her new neighbors. Those connections became the springboard to My Friend Betty Says Digital Marketing Studio, a social media management business Galvan launched in 2017.“

I had met several business owners who wanted a social media presence, but had no idea where to start,” Galvan said. “I wanted to help them and thus my business was born.”

Galvan operates the business out of her home. It’s a company of nine women, of whom eight are Latina. They have diverse backgrounds, ranging from being a former assistant county prosecutor to a clinical laboratory scientist. They all share of a love of content creation.

Their clientele includes 60 small to midsize product and service-based businesses. Her team creates over 500 pieces of content a week.

“We help them get their message out and keep them top of mind,” Galvan said. “We establish their social media presence. We use platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to share success stories and industry news.”

A social media presence is a must for any business today, according to Galvan. She sees social media as an extension of a company’s brick and mortar presence.

“Everyone is on social media,” Galvan said. “It’s a free tool and something you can leverage. It’s a good source of referrals and another way of marketing. If you do it well, it shouldn’t cost you anything.”

Galvan’s business flourished during the pandemic because people were looking to stay connected any way possible.“

COVID was good for social media,” Galvan noted. “You could feel people were insulated. 2021 was a huge year for us.”

About eight months ago, Galvan started an online social hour membership called “The Social Hour,” where she covers the latest trends on social media during semi-monthly live group coaching calls on Zoom.

Galvan talks about applying best practices for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as well as quarterly content planning.

“We do it two Wednesday mornings a month on Zoom,” Galvan said. “We teach people on social media and help people learn the framework for success. We try to keep people up-to-date on what’s happening in real time. My teaching background is very helpful.

”While the Galvans call New Jersey home, they’ve never forgotten their Cicero roots. That’s why she gladly reconnected with Morton College for the women’s conference. In addition, Galvan and her husband, Jose, marked their 20th high school reunion from Morton East in 2016 by establishing a scholarship given to an outstanding senior pursuing higher education.“

It’s something we established during the planning process for the reunion,” Galvan said. “My husband and I pledged to give a scholarship every year after that.”

Galvan’s career as an English teacher emerges as she and her husband pay very close attention to the essay portion of the application.

“Because Jose and I met at Morton East and we are passionate about education, we agreed this is something we both want to prioritize every year,” Galvan said.

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