National Hispanic Heritage Month - meet Diego, Max and Susana

We talk to three more Hispanic Americans at Square Enix about their time in the industry, the importance of their heritage and more.
By Square Enix Team

For National Hispanic Heritage Month, Square Enix staff members have been sharing their thoughts on their culture, their experiences in the games industry, favorite games and more.

This time, we’re focusing on three people: Diego, Max and Susana. These talented and passionate professionals each plays an important role in helping you find and enjoy the games you love!

Diego Hernandez - Associate Director of Digital Sales

Diego Hernandez

The Digital Sales team is responsible for managing Square Enix games across all digital platforms. As Associate Director, Diego manages pricing, promotions, licensing agreements, and so much more!

When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his family, travel, playing soccer and basketball and - of course - gaming.

Hi Diego. How did you get started in the games industry?

It had been a goal of mine since I was a kid to work in video games. I’d previously been at Microsoft where I worked on ad campaigns for various products, but the experience on Xbox programming was my favorite.

Square Enix afforded me my first real opportunity to work directly in our industry, and for that, I’m forever grateful!

What does your Hispanic heritage mean to you?

It’s an integral part of my identity.

I’m named after my Mexican grandfather, so it’s something special I get to share every time I introduce myself. Also, it plays a large part in my family traditions and values!

Being Chicano, I’ve learned many invaluable lessons: the importance of family, work ethic, and tenacity.

Is there anything from your culture you’d urge people to check out?

If you can ever attend a Posada - DO IT! They’re so much fun and the food/music is amazing!

Also, if you live in Los Angeles you definitely need to get out there and try Tacos Al Pastor off the spit (none of that nonsense that’s pre-heated and sits in a metal container). For my vegan/vegetarian friends, certain places will even make meatless iterations!

Are there any charities or organizations that you’d like to recognize that benefit Hispanic Americans?

More than 90% of farmworkers in California are Hispanic/Latino. The UFW (United Farm Workers) was started by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and other organizers and was the nation’s first enduring and largest farmworkers union. They work to provide our agricultural workforce with humane working and living conditions.

Finally, what’s your favorite game of all time?

I think most of us have that one childhood game that holds a special place in our hearts. For me, it’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

The story was amazing, but the thing I remember most is my sister Julia watching me play the entirety of the campaign. She helped me make decisions on the dialogue and story options! To this day, we still talk about that memory fondly!

Max Mena - Sales and Claims Coordinator

Max Mena

As a Sales Coordinator, Max is tasked with processing sales orders and claims - basically, he helps ensure that our games arrive (and stay) on the shelves for you to buy. He also supports other teams, such as accounting, merchandise and marketing - in short, he’s pretty busy!

In his free time, he spends time with his wife and kids, draws, plays games, restores old arcade machines and more!

Hi Max. How did you get started in the games industry?

I’ve been a gamer for practically my entire life.

One day a friend of mine landed a job with Square Enix as a Game Tester. At the time, I never knew that someone would pay you to play video games - that is an oversimplification of the job - but when he reached out to me about an opening, I jumped on the opportunity.

I’ve bounced around between a few game companies over the years, in many different roles, and eventually ended up back here where it all started. I have to say I’ve always loved the work culture and the people at Square Enix - I have made many life-long friends here over the years.

What does your Hispanic heritage mean to you?

It means a lot to me - I think our history has shown that we are a group of hardworking people, and I have always prided myself on my strong work ethic. It was something my father taught me, and it is something I want to pass along to my children.

Is there anything from your culture you’d urge people to check out?

If you want to learn about a culture, the best place to turn is their standup comedians - a good comedian can give you a glimpse into another community in a way that many other mediums just can't.

Gabriel Iglesias and George Lopez are two Hispanic comedians that come to mind.

Finally, what’s your favorite game of all time

I will have to go with my favorite series here. The Street Fighter series has been at the forefront of inclusivity since its inception, and to this day, it continues to expand on its roster of playable characters from all over the world.

But beyond that, the game was a cultural phenomenon when I was growing up, bringing people and cultures together in friendly competition since 1991 - a tradition it continues to this day in the E-Sports Arena. I have many fond memories of playing this series over the years, and I still find time to play the older versions when friends come to visit.

Susana Monroy - Senior Social Media and Community Manager

Susana Monroy

Susana is the Latin American Senior Social Media and Community Manager at Square Enix. She oversees the strategy for our social media channels and supports initiatives in the region, as well as making sure content is available to the Latin American community in their language.

When she’s not engaging with fans, she loves to cook Asian food, watch horror movies, train in martial arts (Wushu and Jiu Jitsu), and dance Hip Hop. She also spends a lot of time around animal welfare, donating or rescuing/fostering animals.

How did you get started in the industry?

Being born a gamer, all I dreamt about was working in the industry one day.

While in Mexico, I dropped everything to work as a journalist for one of the top videogame magazines in Latin America. After that, I had the honor of working at another prestigious company and eventually I finally landed at my dream company, Square Enix.

I always tell myself I must have done something amazing in my previous life to have the honor of working here.

What does your Hispanic heritage mean to you?

Being Hispanic means having the privilege to share with others the best aspects of our culture.

I am extremely proud of my heritage because it goes beyond being born in one country or region. Our heritage was forged from a mix of many cultures, colors, rich history, but also struggles. This is something that I embrace and makes me grateful for where I am at today.

Is there anything from your culture you’d urge people to check out?

If you’re ever in Mexico City, the pyramids are a must-see. Our Aztec and Mayan heritage can be discovered throughout the many museums and historical sites throughout the country. While you’re at it, take some time to get to know people - we Hispanics are warm-hearted people that love to make friends!

We also have a lot of delicious dishes that vary from state to state and have their own spin (make sure to google these): Chilaquiles, Alambres, Gorditas, Pambazos. There are rumors about our lovely pastor tacos being originally from the middle east (Kebab meat prep and cook). We just added the tortilla and salsa! How crazy is that?

Are there any charities or organizations that you’d like to recognize that benefit Hispanic Americans?

Yes - the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the Latina Institute.

Finally, what’s your favorite game of all time?

I discovered FINAL FANTASY VII by accident at age 13 after my brother and his friends bought it. After trying it, I fell in love with it. I was so mesmerized that since then I’ve played it over 100 times - and continue playing it over and over to this day!

Many thanks to Diego, Max and Susana for their time and insight.

Square Enix is only what it is because of its people. Every single member of staff contributes in their own way to deliver amazing experiences that surprise and delight fans - and greater diversity will only allow us to do this more.

So if you’re interested in working with us, check our careers site for opportunities.