Irving Casiano ‘12 said his experience at Newman taught him a great deal about community and stewardship. His subsequent career — through leadership and action — has provided him ample opportunity to advance his passion for both.
Casiano began working for Flower Shop Network immediately after graduating from Newman with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. He began working for the company as a summer-only job that since has turned into an ongoing career. He is currently the account manager for sales and marketing, but his job goes beyond e-commerce.
Born in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Casiano came to America with his family in 2003. He is in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen with a goal of making a positive impact on society and possibly running for a political office in the future.
For now, he said his career at Flower Shop Network is very fulfilling.
“At the time I started this job, I thought I wanted to pursue engineering and this would just be a summer job,” said Casiano. “But then I saw all the possibilities and there is a lot of traveling with this job, which is something I really enjoy.
“I had no experience in marketing and sales but had good mentors within the company. I’ve been able to earn some awards and even Salesman of the Year. It’s been good and the owners are really nice.”
His work with Flower Shop Network continues to provide him with the opportunities to make the economic and community impact he strives for.
In 2018, he attended Congressional Action Days in Washington with his company, where he lobbied for agriculture, floriculture and immigration reform.
Irving was able to meet with senators and state representatives at Capitol Hill and also joined a private tour of The White House.
“What I learned in D.C. was really about the change you can actually make when you hold office,” said Casiano. “Being able to lobby for the platforms I am passionate about was an amazing experience.”
Casiano and his team were also invited in October 2019 to Michigan for a dinner honoring U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
“The dinner provided us with a one-on-one setting to make our appeal for the agricultural industry. It allowed me to see yet another side of the lobbying process — how it all works and how we could petition for our cause as the senators are preparing to vote for the bill. For our industry, shipping and other processing can make a big impact on prices and jobs.”
Because his company helps with websites for florists in the U.S., Mexico and U.S. territories, Casiano was also introduced to the Northeast Arkansas (NEA) Hispanic Professionals Network. He became a member in 2019 and is currently serving his third year with the organization. He is also a member of the Paragould Chamber of Commerce and the Paragould Young Professionals.
“My time with NEA has been wonderful and I have learned a great deal. As for my personal contribution, my goal is to bring enthusiasm, optimism and vision to the board and its focus.”
He said he is most excited to work with the board to raise money for student scholarships.
“One thing we do in NEA is to partner with Arkansas State University. We help people who do not qualify for scholarships because of documentation or status by raising money for them for scholarships. We don’t stop there, though. We also help raise scholarship funds for students with status.”
Casiano said this is near and dear to his heart because he was impacted with the blessing of scholarship funds to attend Newman and complete his higher education.
“It gives me a full-circle sense. You know it’s helpful when you’re young, but then when you start seeing it through the eyes of others who are going through it, it’s very encouraging.”
He said Newman plays a large role in how he has shaped his career and will continue to shape his future. Being active in the Hispanic American Leadership Organization and assisting during Mass as an altar server helped him build certain skills that he is proud to have today.
One of Casiano’s most fun memories was being named homecoming king during the university’s Heritage and Homecoming Week.
“The following year, they asked me to come back to Wichita and crown the new king but I couldn’t arrange the trip. I was very disappointed. I would have loved to be back on campus again.”
He added that his best advice he can give current and prospective Newman students would be to “always look forward and don’t overthink things. Be confident. When you graduate, it means you have accomplished something big. Doors will open, so look for every opportunity.”