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Celebrity Mom: Nely Galan, Spanish media dynamo, creator of “The Swan” reality hit and mother of one






















“Spanish language TV is killing us! And I used to run Spanish language television!,” says Nely Galan in her chat with Kimberly. The super successful Latina mom and outspoken business exec shares on finding her Prince Charming, Latinas breaking new trails and how motherhood saved her life.

Celebrity Mom: Nely Galan, Spanish media dynamo, creator of “The Swan” reality hit and mother of one talks about life, love and how motherhood saved her life.

Nely Galan is a force. The former president of entertainment for Spanish-language powerhouse Telemundo, Galan is one of the most active Latina producers working in Hollywood today. Once dubbed the "tropical tycoon" by the New York Times, she has helped launch 10 international television networks for companies such as HBO, and produced more than 600 episodes of programming in English and Spanish.

Galan is on the board of Count Me In,–an amazing program to help women business owners thrive,  The Smithsonian Emeritus Board, and the Coca Cola Advisory Board. The mother of a nine-year old son, Galán also showed her stuff on  "The Celebrity Apprentice" with Donald Trump, where she raised over $220,000 for her Count Me In.

I spoke with Nely about her life, finding Prince Charming and some of the biggest challenges facing Latina women today.

Kimberly: What excites you when you see what’s happening with Latina women?

Nely: Latina women have broken the paradigm of how they were raised and are now starting businesses and going to college. That is really powerful. We are a culture where the men don’t like that in their women. Latinas are realizing that the prince charming thing is not working.

Kimberly: Big picture. What are the challenges?

Nely: The challenge is that we are still a very young immigration, and I don’t think we are there yet. Latinos still see themselves as 17 different cultures and not one group, and so they don’t use their power. African Americans have power as a block, we are not there yet. And Spanish TV is killing us, and I used to run a Spanish language television network! But we need to create a standard for learning English and we have to start saying we are Americans who happen to be Latino.

Kimberly: What’s been your biggest challenge?

Nely: I wish I had it in me to really fight the fight for Latinos. But I’m a Cuban woman and the majority groups will not listen to a Cuban woman. Personally, I had a very bad year business wise. Thankfully, I saved for a rainy day. And I said I’m not going to spend the year bummed out, I’m going to turn this negative energy into something positive. I started a PhD program. And it was great for my kids to see me doing homework.

Kimberly: How did motherhood change you?

Nely: I believe my son saved my life.  And I say that will all sincerity. My issue in life was not about being successful or having money, but I attracted a lot of dysfunctional people. It was part of my personal history and the other part was that I work in a dysfunctional industry. When my son was born, I started asking, is this someone I would want around my son? That really shifted me. I started therapy to ask, what’s up with me that I attract these people. I ended up breaking up with my son’s father. I don’t think I would have done for myself what I did for my son.

Kimberly: What’s the biggest challenge for Latina moms?

Nely: Motherhood is a very big deal in our community and something we take very seriously. We are raised by moms who are loving and exceptional. But you cannot have it all at once. You can have pieces and parts at different times. For example, I had an extraordinary year as a mother and it was because the entertainment industry was slow. I realized how much my family had fallen through the cracks. I was able to plan vacation and participate in school events. My son is more kissy kissy with me now and I realized my success really take a toll on my family life.

Kimberly: What about women who financially can’t take the time off?

Nely: it’s hard to be the best mom you can be when you are struggling for survival. I’m in a place in my life where I have high class problems, not survival problems like I did when I was a kid. So I know that’s a blessing.

Kimberly: What is the way forward for Latina women?

Nely: Entrepreneurship. The corporate world is unloving toward women. I have been there. I have been on boards where if they didn’t have to have a woman, I wouldn’t be there. And if you look at history, human beings have done the best in times of hardship. Latinas come to entrepreneurship easily because in our countries of origin, it is cool and necessary to hustle.

Kimberly: Have you found your Prince Charming?

Nely: Yes! And we have happily together for five years. I met him in group therapy. Now, I would never date a man who that didn’t go to therapy or somehow work on himself. People who work on themselves are more attractive. Life is a struggle for everybody. But to do the self work, makes growing older more enjoyable.

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