By Laura A. Roser

Like many, Paulette Pantoja was a child of divorce. She’d spend hours watching TV with her sister, while her single mother was away at work. “It was an escape,” she says. “A way for my sister and me to laugh together and be with each other.”

That love of entertainment has now become a mission for Paulette. Her company, Blu Digital Group, specializes in providing services and software to the media and entertainment industry. Her service division processes, qualifies and distributes film/TV content to global video streaming services, while her software division licenses its video management and distribution software. “I want to deliver the same joy to families that I felt as a kid.”

That joy involves being able to watch your favorite movie or TV program anywhere, anytime, and in multiple ways. As technology has evolved, so has the way entertainment is consumed. Paulette’s focus is on ensuring that the visual and sound quality seen on the big screen makes it to your individual screen at home or on personal devices at the best quality possible.

With a background in computer programing, a BA in Film and Television from UCLA, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program, Paulette loves combining both her technical and creative sides to deliver joy to millions of viewers around the world. Her company now has over one hundred employees and works with major studios in Hollywood and around the world.

Giving Back

It’s always been important for Paulette to give back to the community. In her business, she makes an effort to give opportunities to recent college graduates and those wanting to enter into the industry. She wants to help young people get a foot in the door and those that have a yearning to learn and be a part of a growing company.

Paulette is also a Board Member of Youth Mentoring Connection, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help at-risk youth by matching them with caring adult mentors and placing them within a structured group dynamic.

As a Board Member, Paulette is responsible for bringing awareness to the organization and helping them raise funds to continue the amazing work that it does in Los Angeles. One fundraising event she helps organize is called Miles of Music 5K, which is an annual 5K run sponsored by KIIS FM and other wonderful supporters fully supporting Youth Mentoring Connection.

She also mentors young women through the Exceptional Women Awardees non-profit group, which was founded by Larraine Segil and her Larraine Segil Scholars, of which Paulette is a member. This organization focuses on helping women progress in their professional career paths by providing a group of supportive, passionate, and driven female professionals.

Paulette continues to support her alma mater by being a UCLA Alumni Mentor for current and former students where she is matched with mentees looking to enter into the same field or seeking advice on career advancement.

Practical vs. Idealistic

Paulette says she was fortunate to have a balance of ideologies from her parents. Her mother was the idealistic one — believing that Paulette could do anything. This gave Paulette the drive to try new things with confidence, to take risks and to believe in her instincts. While her father was the pragmatist — believing in hard work and respect. A piece of advice he gave her that she has never forgotten was about how perception and consistency in your professional career were crucial. “You could be on time a hundred times and late only once to work. The time you were late will stand out above all.” This, along with his other advice, attributed to Paulette’s overall work ethic and how she viewed the professional world.

With two hard working parents, the unfortunate financial situations her family faced, and the ideologies from her mother and father, Paulette had it set in her mind that she would succeed at whatever she put her mind and energy into by putting into practice everything she learned and experienced.

Throughout Paulette’s life, she’s learned many valuable lessons. One lesson is the importance of work-life balance and focusing on family. “When I started my company in 2007, I was not married yet so I was able to devote long hours at work and make my business the central part of my life. I did this so I wouldn’t have to later on in life.” With her business now 12 years old, Paulette makes it a priority to spend as much time as possible with her two sons and wife.

Another lesson is not to let people’s negative perceptions influence you and your confidence. “I learned quite a bit when becoming a business owner about how others perceive you as an employer, competitor, vendor, co-worker, and how not to let these things make you second guess yourself or interfere with making sound and wise decisions.”

She’s also learned that — as her father said — that follow-through and professionalism are incredibly important and that you shouldn’t expect people to give you a second chance if you don’t follow-through the first time.

Paulette is excited for the future of her company and her family, and she continues to do as much as she can to give back to her community. “When I started my career and company, I did not have a mentor or group to look to for advice and support. I want to be this for other women, young professionals and entrepreneurs, and I hope that all my experiences, good and bad, can be of value to others in their career path.”

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Laura A. Roser is the founder and CEO of Paragon Road, the #1 authority in meaning legacy planning. For more information about meaning legacy planning services, visit www.paragonroad.com.

Paulette Pantoja is Founder and CEO of Blu Digital Group, a media services operation, which processes, qualifies, and distributes film/tv content using its proprietary software technologies. Since the company’s founding in 2007, Paulette has helped Blu Digital Group play an increasingly influential role within the digital media distribution supply chain. Paulette holds a patent in an online quality assurance and project management system. She earned a BA in Film and Television from UCLA and an MBA from Pepperdine University’s President and Key Executive program. Paulette also graduated from the Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program.

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