IT In The D – Episode 47: IT in the D is NOT Rebranding, HITEC, Spincard and Valentine Distilling

IT in the D, Episode 47.

Or “Season 2, Episode 3” for those keeping score at home.

Extremely solid episode.  We could have easily spent an hour or more with each one of our guests for this one, as the conversations kept evolving and getting more interesting.

Our guests for the night were Andre Arbelaez, President of the Hispanic IT Executive Council (among other things, the guy wears many hats), Justin Montalbano and Brian Ritter from Spincard, and Rifino Valentine of Valentine Distilling.

A growing demographic, an app, and booze.  We’re in.

But, of course, our first segment is all about commentary, news, updates, info, etc., and there’s the little matter that kicked off right as our show was ending last week and followed us all through the week…

If you haven’t read this one yet, you should.

So as the fun new intro came to a close, it was time to dive into a few topics.

We kicked things off with introductions of our guests, and just general around the room touch points.

The fireworks were downtown last night, but we didn’t have a single problem with traffic at all.  The parking lot was overloaded with bicycles for some reason, but we survived and made it into the studio for the show.

But of course it didn’t take too long until we just said to hell with it and dove in with the David vs Goliath post and all of the fun and excitement that went along with that –  And that led into blasting the state of “traditional” media today where unfortunately all of the real journalists have been let go in money saving endeavors and all that’s left are basically trained monkeys who copy and paste press releases and treat it as “news” and…


Anyway, it’s all in here.  You want to know about it?  Read that post and listen to this episode.  We gave ourselves one piece of one segment to get it out of our systems, and hopefully now it can be behind us.

That off of our chest, we hopped into a few news articles that caught our eye..

AndreArbelaez_HITECThen it was time for a break, and we came back for our second segment, where we focused in with Andre Arbelaez.

The Hispanic market is growing a lot faster than we were aware of, and this was a seriously interesting conversation.  From television to demographics, from the executive level presence to the various entry points into the workforce in general, from the market here in Detroit to the markets in LA, New York and Miami among others, this was a very educational and informative chat.

We easily could have spent the entire two hours talking with Andre alone, so you should definitely expect to hear him back on a future episode.

10301352_299512926874857_7163803327620625422_nFor our third segment, we hopped in with the Spincard guys.

I’ve got to give these guys all the credit in the world.  I’m sure they were expecting a nice, fluffy chat about their app and what they’re doing, but it sort of turned into an episode of Shark Tank.

They did a great job explaining their app, their model and their plans for the future in the face of some pretty strong questions.

Hopefully we helped prep them for the venture capital panel they’ll be facing in the not too distant future by asking the tough questions and digging in under the fluff a bit.

0Our fourth and final segment was all about Rifino Valentine, owner of Valentine Distilling.

And that’s a key point to get out there right away – they’re more than just vodka, folks.  But don’t feel too badly if you didn’t know that, because apparently all the majority of people out there (ourselves included until we were doing some pre-show research) only think of “Valentine Vodka”.

But they’ve also got gin and whiskey in the mix, as well.

They’ve won some pretty prestigious and solid awards recently as well, and if you’re still reaching for that bottle of Absolut or Grey Goose thinking that those are your “top shelf” options, you should definitely change it up a bit, do yourself a favor, and shift into a bottle of Valentine’s offerings.

Heck, pop on into their location at 9 and Woodward to try it out and see it for yourself.  Odds are good we’re going to be there in the near future.

And that brings episode 47 to a close, folks.

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– You can find us at, on Facebook at, on Meetup at, and on Twitter at

– You can find Andre Arbelaez and everything he’s got going on via LinkedIn or on the HITEC website at or their Facebook page at

– You can find the Spincard app via their site at or on Facebook at

– Valentine Distilling can be found at