ALVIN MONTILLA

Alvin is a native of The Big Apple, "if you can make it there you can make it anywhere". That's where he was born, but both his parents got their start in a small country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti; Dominican Republic. As a child his parents owned a bodega, knowing Alvin and his siblings I'd say that's how the entrepreneurship spirit was born. His parents were sure to raise him to know his culture; from the Tostones to the Merengue the Dominican culture in his home was so thick you could cut it with a knife. As many Dominican boys, Alvin grew up playing baseball and can't remember a time when he didn't have a glove around. He joined the neighborhood pickup games at 8 and has never looked back. To Alvin it was always a passion, an escape, a way to express himself and embrace his culture by playing one of the greatest games that has ever been played.

4 years later Alvin was requested to represent the USA in Japan in a baseball game. It was through this experience he realized that not only were his talents being recognized, but that he wanted to see how far would this recognition take him. Six years later Alvin was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, he received his biggest check and put all his focus on one thing other than family; baseball. After a short but significant career with the Diamondbacks Alvin returned to New York to get into accounting. He eventually worked his way to being an accountant for The Bob Marley family which gave him incredible insight on licensing, copyrights and many other financially sensitive legal formalities regarding managing an estate for a musical icon.

Currently Alvin is living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is in pursuit of his calling in sports management. He found a way to get back to his true passion. Though he isn't stepping up to bat and swinging to get a grounder so he can sprint to first. He is doing something more meaningful, that goes beyond the field. Alvin has chosen to return to his parents' country to be a sports manager to represent the players the way that they ought to be. As we've seen in other sports, players are returning to represent the young participants in a way that they wish they had been represented in the beginning of their careers. Many young athletes when they are first drafted they have no choice but to trust the individuals who are representing them. Especially when they are as vulnerable as children from foreign countries coming to play ball in the USA. Quite often these young people are misguided, misinformed and robbed of their earnings. Alvin has returned to put a stop to these bad practices and represent the players properly while helping them achieve their goals of playing the game that they love, making money and taking care of their families. Check Alvin's take on entrepreneurship below.

How did you get started in Baseball?
"I started to play baseball at the age of 8 at Heritage field where the new Yankees stadium presently sits."
When did you realize that you wanted to play Baseball professionally?
"I realized I wanted to play professional baseball in 1992 when I was chosen to go to Japan and represent USA. I was only 12 at the time.  It was a great experience and I really played well, catching the eyes of a lot people." 
What was it like being drafted so young?
"Being drafted out of high school was a great feeling. Actually I remember being at the ESPN Zone on 42nd street in NYC on my draft day. My friends and I were watching sports center. All of sudden, my name appears on the bottom half of the Television saying I was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 14th round! Great feeling!"
What is your favorite memory from playing with the Diamondbacks?  
"It was a great experience, I wish I would have been better prepared mentally to continue to play the game longer. My best experience was sharing time with the ballplayers that actually made it to the big show, the MLB."
What was it like working for the Bob Marley Family?
"It was great working with the Marley family. I learned a lot on how the music industry works and what to expect from it if you consider to have a career in the industry." 
When did you decide that you wanted to be a sports agent?
"I decided I wanted to be an agent, after I learned business management at Bob Marley Music Inc and at Berdon LLP.   I figured with my baseball experience, business management, speaking spanish and English that I would be a great addition to Latino professional athletes."  
Tell us a little about what your company does?
"My company recruits, prepares and represents elite players from Dominican Republic Venezuela and other Caribbean countries to become professional baseball players." 
What was the transition like moving to DR to start this business?
"I thought the transition moving to Dominican Republic would be easy since I come from a Dominican culture. My parents are from Dominican Republic. But it was actually difficult getting accustomed to because I had to learn the country and the ways they do business here which is totally different from the USA. But eventually, I learned a lot and things started getting better quickly." 
What was the greatest thing you learned while starting this business?
"Starting this business I learned that I had a good eye to recognize talent. I found this to be a great thing because I didn't know this about myself before."
What was the hardest thing that you had to overcome while starting this business?
"The hardest part was learning different parts of Dominican culture that I wasn't exposed to and learning the business culture here in DR, because it's different than USA."  
What keeps you going?
"What keeps me going is that I love what I do."  
What are your future plans?
"I have plans to represent players from Colombia and Cuba.  There is a lot of good players coming soon and I want to be in with the best prospects."  
What is some advice that you would give to young entrepreneurs?
"Before starting your company, do a lot of research and development before getting in.  If you do this, you will avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses."
What do you want to be remembered for?
"I want to be remembered as an honest agent who didn't take advantage of his players inability to not understand contracts and negotiations."  
Chadwick Daniel