Fatima Pearn received Latina Leader Award at the 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Fatima Pearn was honored with the Latina Leader Award at the 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition where she also participated as a guest judge. As the current VP Business Development Office at Valley Bank, Fatima has had a lengthy and successful career in banking. She has shown exemplary skills and has acted as a leader and mentor to others while contributing to the expansion and success of multiple banks throughout her 15+ years in the banking industry. Taking to the stage to accept her award, she shared some of her professional journey, inspiring those in the audience with her success story. 


Fatima Pearn, Vally Bank, receives the Latina Leader Award from Susana G Baumann, Latinas in Business Inc.

Working up from the bottom

Fatima’s banking career began in 1989 at First Fidelity Bank where she worked in the Import and Export Department. After only two years, she put her own career on hold to help her husband at the time with his own business. The couple later divorced, leaving Fatima to support two young boys as a single mother. The four years that followed were difficult, with Fatima working multiple jobs to support her children. Then, in 2001, Fatima decided it was time to make a significant career change.  

“I needed to make a change in my life and start thinking about a new career,” says Fatima. “A career that would give my family and I better health benefits, and also allow me to contribute to a retirement plan.” 


Fatima Pearn accepting the Latina Leader Award during the WINNERS Reception at the 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Fatima decided the best option would be to return to banking, since she already had some previous experience in the field. When an opportunity as a Teller opened up at PNC Bank, Fatima took a chance and applied. 

“I wanted to learn the retail banking industry from the bottom up,” she says. 

Never having pursued a formal higher education, Fatima gained all her expertise by learning on the job from mentors and taking specific courses and accreditations in her field. Beginning from the bottom helped Fatima quickly learn the ins and outs of the banking world and soon became a leader to others.  

New love and opportunities

During this same time, Fatima remarried to the love of her life. Her husband had two children of his own, and together they raised their four children before growing their family with another child together, a baby boy, who is now fourteen years old and a blessing to their lives. Fatima’s husband and their children gave her the drive to better herself and encouraged her to further grow her banking career.  

Soon Fatima was promoted from Teller to Financial Sales Consultant, and then in 2005 she was offered the opportunity to be a Business Development Officer by her Team Leader. This position put her in charge of five branches in Essex and Hudson County with book of business to grow. 

“My job was just to bring new business to the bank and close a minimum of $5 Million dollars in new money in lending, C&I, owner-occupied, Loc and Investment Real estate,” says Fatima. “The first question my Team Leader asked me was: Where do you think you are going to target new clients? I thought about it for a couple of days and got back to him with a plan.” 

Her plan involved three steps. First she did research on Reference USA. Then she reached out to her husband’s relative who was a fireman in Kearny at the time. She asked him if he could share a list of new businesses that opened in Kearny from January to that date. Lastly, she registered to be a member of the Kiwanis, Rotaries and the Chamber of Commerce in the area. This plan proved to be successful as one year later, Fatima was invited to be the Treasurer by the Portuguese American Chamber of Commerce in Newark.

“I also took private lessons to learn the basics on how to play golf in order to be able to participate on golf outings at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce,” Fatima says. 

After a few months, she started showing great results in her position, and she worked with her retail partners and loan officers to have client appreciation days at their branches after work hours. These events made their clients feel appreciated which lead to the building of Center of Influences (COI’s) for the business.  

Conquering language barriers

Being a Latina has also been incredibly instrumental in Fatima’s success, opening her up to many opportunities to expand her relationships in her career. 

“I was able to connect with many different cultures because of my background and the connections I was making in my community,” says Fatima. 

Her Latina background was especially helpful when it came to language connections. While working in Kearny, Fatima was the only employee who was able to speak Spanish and Portuguese. This allowed Fatima to bring in a lot of new business and relationships to the bank that otherwise would not have been possible due to language barriers. And Fatima knows all too well the struggles of working around a language barrier.  

“When I first came to the USA, I didn’t speak English and it was hard to adjust,” says Fatima reflecting back on her early beginnings. “I worked hard and connected with American people to learn the language. It was very challenging, but also would up being very rewarding.” 

Now Fatima is able to give back and help connect with clients who do not speak English or are not as confident with the language yet. This unique opportunity has driven Fatima to success and has also made her very proud of her past and where she started from. 

“Be proud of your past and who you are today,” says Fatima, “keep working hard, reach out to those around you to gain support as well as provide support. You can be successful in your profession too.”


The Valley Bank Team (L to R) Sofia Cordero, Fatima Pearn and Dorothy Kahlau,
First Sr VP
Valley National Bank

Being a leader to others

Following her time working at Provident Bank in Kearny, Fatima’s reputation as a leader and successful worker offered her multiple opportunities in the years that followed, such as the position of Assistant VP Business Banker II at PNC Bank in 2007. She worked there for eight years managing a book of business with over a hundred clients which grew her book of business to over fifty percent. She then was contacted by Santander Bank where she was offered the position of Vice President Middle Market Relationship Manager. This position covered Essex and Hudson County where Fatima managed a book of business of over 150 clients. During this time she also served as President of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) of the West Orange Chapter in NJ and led her department in Small Business Administration production which included the largest deal size of over $20M in revenue.

In 2018, Fatima accepted a new opportunity at Valley Bank, where she currently works, as the Vice President Commercial Lender. Here she develops and monitors business plans to support the company’s strategic goal of increasing client based and corporate branding. She also participates in community and non-profit organizations. 

Her professional journey has taught Fatima that success is always possible no matter where you begin. It all comes down to your goals and actions. “You may feel like you are nowhere near accomplishing your goals right now, but there is time to change that,” Fatima encourages. “Great things can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and work hard. The first step is to plan and to give yourself goals.” 

You might be interested:  NJ Senator Teresa Ruiz is Inspirational Speaker at 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo

She believes in the process of working toward short-term goals to build on and reach one’s ultimate goal of success. Additionally Fatima stresses the importance of resources and support. 

“It never hurts to ask for help or support from the people around you.” Reflecting back on her journey, she says, “I never thought that I was going to be the position I am in now. I dreamed of being a nurse because I wanted to help people. I was always a natural leader, always worrying about my friends and family and trying to help them. I realized that nursing wasn’t a good fit for me as I got older. So, I chose to be in banking because I liked to help the small and medium size businesses to grow. I would like to encourage everyone not to give up on your dreams.”

Valley National Bank

Thanks to Valley Bank’s Team for being a constant supporter of Latinas in Business Inc.

Sponsor of the 2019  Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition


ALPFA’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas gather in Jersey City to receive awards

Awardees and attendees of different organizations at the 50 Most Powerful Latinas Summit in Jersey City (Photo credit Negocios Hispanos USA) 

The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) gathered the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America Summit at the Goldman Sachs Headquarters in Jersey City on October 3rd.


ALPFA’s list prioritizes women leading large public companies with significant operating roles, rather than C-Level staff roles. It includes women operating global private firms, entrepreneurs who scaled their businesses into the middle market, and Latinas, who although recently retired, exercise leadership roles on Fortune 500 boards.

most powerful latinas

Damian Rivera, CEO, ALPFA

“This list puts a spotlight on Latina executives and amplifies their exposure across the country,” the association emphasized. “The list serves as a platform to continue their legacy and amplify their voices to inspire the next generation of women.”

This years’ summit was focused primarily on building legacies and fostering the next generation of Latina leaders. The Summit Agenda included sessions related to the State of Latina Leadership in Corporate America, Increasing Latinas in Corporate Boards, and breakout sessions to develop younger Latinas  leaders into the pipelines of the corporate landscape.

Hosted by Damian Rivera, new ALPFA CEO since September 2018, Damian and his team raised to the occasion with a very complete agenda covering topics from Financial Acumen to Mindfulness and Wellness for women in corporate boards.

Damian comes from a 21 year-career as Managing Director in Accenture’s Resources Utilities. His focus on social entrepreneurship would come as no surprise to people who know him. In addition to his client roles, he served as Accenture’s Managing Director responsible for North American Hispanic American Employee Resource Group from 2011 – 2017.

The 50 Most Powerful Latinas list

The first four places in the list were awarded to:

most powerful latinas

Myrna Soto, COO of Digital Hands

#1 Myrna Soto

COO of Digital Hands, and Member of several Boards including CMS Energy, Spirit Airlines, Popular Inc, Banco Popular. A seasoned cybersecurity practitioner, she has let multiple cybersecurity transformation programs in major communications, media, hospitality, financial services and critical infrastructure organizations.

#2 Maria Martinez

EVP Chief Customer Experience Office at Cisco Systems, Inc. She oversees Cisco’s $12.5B Services and Customer Success organizations helping customers transform their businesses through Cisco products.

#3 Grace Puma

Executive Vice President Executive VP, Global Operations and Transformation at PepsiCo., Grace leads the global operations center of excellence, global procurement, concentrate operations, safety and security.

most powerful latinas

Nina Vaca, President and CEO. Pinnacle Group

#4 Nina Vaca

Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Group. Since founding Pinnacle Group in her mid-20s, the company has been ranked among the Inc. 500/5000 fastest-growing companies in the country for 13 years. The company is now in its global expansion and the launch of its global resource deployment platform.

See the complete list of  the 50 Most Powerful Latinas officially announced on Aug. 5.


You might be interested: ALPFA National Chair Yvonne Garcia on the 50 Most Powerful Latinas (exclusive interview)


ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) is the longest standing Latino organization with 80,000+ members assembled in 45 professional and more than 160 student chapters across America. Our ambition is to connect 1 million passionate Latino leaders for exponential impact.


red shoe movement gender equality

Red Shoe Movement and Celebrity Cruises to ring the bell for gender equality

In partnership with the Red Shoe Movement Gender Equality Global Initiative, Celebrity Cruises had the privilege to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8.

gender equality red shoe movement

Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO, Red Shoe Movement, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, at the “Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas” ceremony for gender equality on International Women’s Day.

Celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the entire fleet of Celebrity Cruises ships positioned around the world – from the Caribbean to Australia, and in all global offices – will held a special bell ringing ceremony hosted by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, on Celebrity Summit, with the ship’s executive team and the Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, Mariela Dabbah. Each Celebrity ship and the global offices will then follow with their own ceremony.

red shoe movement gender equality

Celebrity Cruises ceremony in partnership with Red Shoe Movement for gender equality

“On International Women’s Day millions of people around the world will celebrate the accomplishments of women, and the men who support their efforts,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “I’m proud to stand with the Red Shoe Movement as gender equality is an ongoing commitment for all of us at Celebrity.”

Lutoff-Perlo added: “Women are breaking glass ceilings in every country and industry – and there are many, many success stories for gender parity. Yet we have to push for even more progress, and it takes all of us working together to show the world the power of unity.”

red shoe movement celebrity cruises gender equality

Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas ceremony

Dabbah, Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, said: “I am proud for Red Shoe Movement, whose mission is to accelerate the representation of women at the top, to partner with Celebrity Cruises to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ especially as Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a CEO who walks her talk in everything she does. The thousands of crew members and guests around the world on a Celebrity ship or in any of their global offices will unite to take a stand on gender equality. This is a historic moment in this industry and for women worldwide.”

To learn more about the ceremony and Celebrity’s commitment to gender equality, follow along on social media using “#CelebratingWomen”, “#IWDleader”, “#IWD2018”, and “#GenderBell”.

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Win with LatinasinBusiness.us at the Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

How would you like to attend the Sixth Annual Signature Event of the Red Shoe Movement on Friday November 17, 2017 in New York City as my guest? And win a pair of red shoes? (Then keep reading until the end!)

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Mariela Dabbah , Founder and CEO Red Shoe Movement, embracing the world

The Red Shoe Movement Signature Event is bringing together around 200 professional women and men from the business and corporate worlds for another experiential conference. Participants will have a chance to discuss key career advancement topics such as:  Discover Your Passion, How to Have Difficult Conversations, and Proven Negotiation Strategies, among others.

“Attendees walk away equipped with actionable plans and the know-how to identify those who can help them achieve their career goals. It’s a high-powered, high-energy event that has proven to inspire participants to engage in their careers at a deeper level,” said Mariela Dabbah, CEO and founder of the Red Shoe Movement.

What’s happening this year at the RSM Signature Event?

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

RSM Hall of Fame Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO Celebrity Cruises

This year the RSM is honored to welcome Celebrity Cruises’ President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo as the guest Keynote

Interviewee. One of six leaders distinguished by the RSM 2017 Hall of Fame, Lisa will share her trailblazing career for which she was honored.

Also, and for the first time this year, the RSM is launching an Executive Circle where a group of senior level professionals will give and receive career advice to each other in front of the entire audience on the topic of The Power of Learning from Failure. The Executive Circles follow the core format of the RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles, which are facilitated by a team of star executives especially trained in the RSM methodology.

“We are thrilled to count Susana G Baumann, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LatinasinBusiness.us, as one of our media and strategic partners for our upcoming Red Shoe Movement Signature Event. They serve the community of Latina entrepreneurs in a way nobody else does in this area. Their work helps small business owners turn their dreams into reality, a mission that is close to my heart being an entrepreneur myself. I’m excited to meet many of these inspiring women in person at our November 17 event. If you decide to join us, come and say hello,” said  Dabbah.

You might be interested: Q&A with Red Shoe Movement founder on the Signature Event at MetLife

So are you ready for this Red Shoe Movement treat?

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

If you comment on this article before October 17, you will have a chance to win one of 3 ticket to this great event. The bonus? The faster you comment, the larger your chances of getting a pair of exclusive red shoes created by Farylrobin specifically for this Red Shoe Movement event. I have won pairs twice myself! So don’t miss this chance and respond now!

Don’t want to wait? Then this is your $30 off discount coupon for our LatinasinBusiness.us members  rsmse2017lib. You can enter it at checkout !

And wait, there’s more!

Given the great enthusiasm with which its followers celebrate every #RedShoeTuesday, the day when everyone wears red shoes and ties to support women’s career growth, this year the RSM will feature a #RedLookBook booth.

It’s a unique opportunity for attendees to flaunt their professional looks for a chance to win more shoes and a visit to the event’s exclusive shoe sponsor Farylrobin’s offices in December. So don’t wait! Comment on this article now and get your chance to be one of these fab winners!

Increase your chances of getting a pair of Farylrobin shoes in your size by registering before October 17. For more information on the RSM and to register for their Signature Event as our guest visit the registration page and enter discount code  rsmse2017lib. See you all there!

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Showing support for #RedShoeTuesday Red Shoe Movement event

Changes in immigration policies_feature

How changes in immigration policies might affect hiring of Latinos

No matter what side of the political spectrum you align with, everyone knows changes in immigration policies have been a point of contention making headlines recently. It is hard to miss the viral videos of someone being handcuffed by ICE, a vocal immigrant speaking out at a press conference, or the rallies across the world.

Changes in immigration policies_feature

As these images come up on our devices, many Latinos are probably wondering if and how all this turmoil might affect their careers. The answer is mixed, and complicated.

Having immigrants highlighted on the news will have diverse ramifications for Latinos. On the one hand, the coverage of immigrants has put a more human side to Latinos.

Infographics for Millenial women immigration policies

theSKimm Infographics about millennial women and changes in immigration policies https://medium.com/@skimmstudies/immigration-is-now-a-top-issue-for-millennial-women-7c4b1b63f651

Americans are now publicly seeing what immigrants care about, why they came here in the first place, their contributions to society, their mistreatment, and so on. This could potentially cause empathy and acceptance in individuals who previously did not know enough about the lives of immigrants in the United States.

Furthermore, an entire part of the country is now rallied behind protecting immigrants and their rights. For example, a recent poll by Skimm Studies showed that millennial women have now drastically re-prioritized immigration as a top issue, changing even purchasing behavior to support immigrants because of this newfound interest.

Could these changes in immigration policies translate into new hiring trends in the workplace?

If people are starting to care more about immigrants because of what they are being exposed to via national politics, could in not be assumed that this level of care will translate into the workplace?

Indeed, companies are already seeing ramifications, and some are making pledges because of the controversy. Starbucks, for example, is offering legal services to employees. This is possibly advantageous to Latinos because hiring managers at companies may be on the lookout for immigrants.

This newly found empathy and acceptance could translate to a heightened awareness, and possibly an incentive for people to hire Latinos. Some who dislike these new policies may even try hiring Latinos as part of the #resistance.

Although Latinos may not want to be hired just because of their heritage, this heightened interest in immigrants may give them the chance to show their worth and earn the attention that they have always deserved.

changes in immigration policies women in corporate

A divided country in immigration policies impacts discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination, on the other hand, is also on the rise this year; New York City, for example, has seen a “whopping 60% hike in discrimination complaints” (Commission on Human Rights/New York Daily News).

Unfortunately at the root of much of the anti-immigrant rhetoric underlies discrimination, which in the workplace and hiring practices can reflect not only in a lack of diversity in hiring practices, but sometimes emboldened outright discriminatory activity.

Unfortunately, this is where Latinos could face heightened difficulty. Not only will searching for jobs most likely be more difficult if these belief systems are central to a company but the workplace itself could become uncomfortable at minimum.

Then there is the neutral part of the country, which will try to go about business as usual, disregarding politics entirely. Those who are not going to make political statements with hiring decisions may not change their practices at all. In this case, Latinos neither will benefit nor be hindered by the recent changes in immigration policies.

A majority that cannot be dismissed in these changes in immigration policies

And then, of course, there is practicality –Latinos are a huge percentage of the population, and it would be difficult to entirely avoid hiring them.

theSkim infographics MIllenias and immigration EO

theSkim infographics MIllenial women reaction to changes in immigration policies https://medium.com/@skimmstudies/immigration-is-now-a-top-issue-for-millennial-women-7c4b1b63f651

“A majority of United States companies will hire foreign workers in 2017 even as Donald Trump talks tough on limiting immigration… The continued ability of employers to acquire and develop global talent is vital and plays a crucial role in helping our country remain competitive in today’s economy.” (U.S. Companies Will Hire More Foreigners This Year, Survey Says – Forbes)

In truth, the effects of recent politics on Latinos and their careers will greatly depend on the point of view of the employer, as it always has before. Researching inclusive employers though, is one of the many tactics Latinos and Latinas can use to ensure the continued progress of any career.

What is unquestionable, according to history, however, is that no single political perspective remains in power for any long duration in the United States, so any patient Latinos may see the climate change in their favor if they wait long enough. The arch of a career is a long path with many turns.

Carolina Robles a leadership rising star on getting out of your comfort zone

As many immigrants do, Carolina Robles is familiar with family separation issues, the pain of children left behind, and enduring hardship. However, her charismatic, humble, and persistent personality helped her “get out of her comfort zone” to start climbing a stellar leadership ladder, one step at a time.

Carolina Robles At only 26 years of age, Carolina Robles obtained a position as the Director of Recruiting Prospecting and Developing Talent at New York Life Insurance Company, managing talent acquisition for all the offices in the state of New Jersey. She recruits entrepreneurial candidates who are interested in a career in Insurance and Financial Services.

Her versatile strengths are result of her natural talent in reaching broad populations including communities, staff, small business owners and consumers. She is highly motivated on social activities such as outreach programs and leadership initiatives, all combined with integrity, high work ethics and critical skills that deliver strong results.

“I love my role because it allows me to do what I do best, which is to talk to people about these fantastic opportunities in a career in insurance and financial services, while helping them change their lives,” she told LatinasinBusiness.us in an exclusive interview.

However, she was just not given this opportunity. Better yet, she made it happen.

Carolina Robles turns around the immigrant story to achieve success

Born in Cuenca, Ecuador, and raised in La Troncal, Canar. Carolina Robles lived family separation, hardship and distance with her parents at a very young age.

“My parents left to migrate to the United States when I was one year old, leaving my oldest sister and I with our grandmother,” Carolina shared. Although her mother was always present in her life with unconditional love, Carolina built a strong relationship with her grandmother. “Mi ‘abuela’ became my mom and my role model in everything that I do every day,” Carolina said.

At age 16, Carolina arrived to the United States to be reunited with her family. They immediately directed her to finish high school at North Bergen from which she graduated with first Honors in 2009, and enrolled at Rutgers University to pursuit a Bachelor of Science and Allied Health Technology (Cardiac Sonographer).

“My family encouraged me to achieve a position in healthcare, a traditional career for a Latino woman,” she said. Carolina obtained her Bachelors Degree at Rutgers University in May 2016.

“However, I also had a vision of working in the C- suite and possibly having my own business one day,” she remembers. “It was not in me to be in a dark room taking sonograms all day long.”

Her journey started with ALPFA – Newark whose organization encouraged her to volunteer, stay open for opportunities and the most important thing, it provided unlimited paths for her career development. It was that push she needed to embrace her passions and follow the power of networking at the local chapter.

While studying towards her degree full-time at Rutgers University and doing hospital rotations, she obtained a Recruiter/Assistant to the VP Internship with MassMutual NJ/NYC, a General Agency of MassMutual Financial Group.

“Looking back, I now understand that I struggled in pursuing my ‘American Dream.’ After a year of living in the county, I realized that some people did not even believe in it and others just had a different perception about it. Whatever it was, I kept following my heart no matter what!” she enthusiastically said.

To contribute to her family’s economy, Carolina worked in several menial jobs during college. Sometimes she was rejected because her English was not perfect, she remembers. Always willing to get out of her comfort zone, she felt more motivated to study hard and acquire the necessary skills to one day sit at the big shiny table, she assured.

As a result of that driven and ambitious personality, Carolina discovered her tremendous passion as a Recruiter utilizing transferable skills as a tutor in college. In January 2016, she applied and obtained a position as Director of Recruiting at New York Life Insurance Company prospecting and developing talent for three locations in the state of New Jersey.

“I applied for the position six months before I was about to graduate from college. I was determined to reach out to the company’s management to demonstrate my ability and eagerness to learn, while putting at their disposal my skills and natural talent as a recruiter,” Carolina stated.

Motivation sometimes came with pain for Carolina Robles

Carolina Robles Jordan

With Jordan Belford who inspired me to never give up on my dreams and always perceive life as an opportunity no matter what! The wolf on Wall Street at Harvard University.

“In 2014, I had received the very sad news of the passing of my ‘abuela’, who in reality had been my “mother” back in Ecuador. She suffered from diabetes since she was 19. Diabetes is an insidious and unforgiving disease and at that time, I realized that I was not prepared to be working in hospitals. Also, I wanted to honor her memory with a leadership legacy by starting an organization that would follow her guidance and advise, to always do the best of my ability,” she recalls.

That same year, she decided to launch a new personal initiative to lead and empower passionate individuals and help them reach their full potential while inspiring them to create leadership opportunities for a better tomorrow. L.I.F.T (Leaders Initiative for Tomorrow) Empowering Lives was finally born.

She was fortunate to invite a co-founder and two wonderful professionals that added tremendous value to her team. Thanks to her vision, LIFT Empowering Lives is a 501 (c3) organization with the mission to bring awareness to new leaders for a better tomorrow.

“After experiencing this huge change in my life, overcoming my fears by trying something new –such as founding LIFT– kept me going during hard times. I knew that change was not going to be easy, but I followed my heart since September 2014.  I just wanted to do it,” she said.

Carolina’s AHA moment helped her get out of her “comfort zone”

The moment Carolina understood the phrase “be comfortable by being uncomfortable” helped her tremendously in her career. “I knew that investing on me was something I have never done before and I was so excited for its outcome,” she said.  “My brain was fighting constantly to  drag me back to my old habits but listening to Pema Chodron every day helped me change my perceptions,” she shared. “Listening to my mentor’s advice was the perfect medicine for that anxiety and unsecured mentality I was feeling,” Carolina affirmed.

The young leader and eager recruiter soon understood that she needed to start challenging herself to really find out what was missing; then go out of her comfort zone and do something different such as volunteering and/or networking.

She joined ALPFA Association of Latino Professionals For America New Jersey Director of Events assisting chapter with corporate event planning and relationship building, and participated at the Women of ALPFA NYC convention 2015.

Carolina Robles New Yrok Life

“I decided to stop partying every weekend and start taking control of my life, invest in myself and watch how my actions started opening many doors,” she said. “My advice to all our leaders for tomorrow is to work hard, be determined, follow people you admire and never, ever give up,” she concluded.

Carolina was recently inducted into the VIP Women of the Year Circle by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), recognized for her professional and philanthropic activities.

She is looking forward to her leadership role at LIFT, and the LinkedIn event “Align your Profile with your Purpose,” the organization is holding on November 3rd in North Bergen, NJ.

“We are going to have a number of great speakers, including Keynote Speaker Eric Di Monte, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at Univision Communications Inc.; Yai Vargas, National Marketing Manager – Latino Market at New York Life Insurance Company; Troy James, Strategic Engagement Executive-GET Sales at Cisco; Susana Baumann, Editor In Chief at LatinasInBusiness.us and David Martinez, Vice President at BNY Mellon,” Carolina shared.

Please register here for this event, or for more information please email LIFT Empowering Lives at liftempoweringlives@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there!



NAA American Latinas economic, political and leadership force

An outstanding lineup of American Latinas representing the economic, political and leadership force of the female Latino community will meet at the New America Alliance 16th Wall Street Summit once again on October 5th in New York City.



The initiative was launched for the first time in 2014. The New America Alliance (NAA) brought to the forefront an exclusive panel of powerful American Latinas in recognition of the advances of Hispanic women in business and the workplace, and as a result, the American Latina Leadership Caucus was born.

The NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus aggregates 100 influential Latinas across sectors – entrepreneurship, corporate, appointed/elected office, nonprofit and academia, to enhance the pipeline and accelerate the placement of Latina leadership talent.

  • The Caucus identifies career and board opportunities and Latinas to put forth as candidates.
  • Caucus gatherings bring together seasoned and rising Latina leaders as part of an ongoing process to introduce new resources and connections; transfer lessons learned; and highlight pathways to reach the next level of success and influence.
  • Our effort includes the proliferation of business being done among members of the Caucus. We are, after all, invested in Latina success.

This year, the organization made emphasis in structuring the initiative at a national level, naming co-chairs for every region in the country.

NAA American Latinas National Co-chairs

Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar NAA Institute Board Member;  Managing Partner, Victoriana, LLC

Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar at the 2nd American Latino National Summit

Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar

Drawing upon a successful thirty-year trajectory in commercial banking, marketing communications, international trade and community service, Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar is now an investor, grantor and pro-bono consultant to non-profits and minority-owned small businesses in a variety of industries including publishing, airport retailing, financial planning and professional services.  She is a motivational speaker and coach to Latinos through her weekly radio show on Univision Radio/South Florida, El Arte del Triunfo/The Art of Success and through a live seminar series based on the program.

Read more: NAA’s Fernandez-Haar on Latinas shaping history

 Carmen Ortiz-McGhee NAA Institute Chair of the Board; Senior Vice President & Resident Sales Director, Aon Risk Solutions, Capital Region

Carmen Ortiz-McGhee

Carmen Ortiz-McGhee

NAA Inc and NAA Institute Board Member and Co-Chair American Latinas Caucus; Co-Chair, Marketing & Communications Committee Carmen Ortiz-McGhee is Senior Vice President and Head of Sales for Aon Risk Solutions (ARS) – The Capital. In this role, she is responsible for driving growth and market penetration for ARS throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Before joining ARS, Carmen served as Executive Vice President of Sales for Aon Cornerstone Innovative Solutions.

Read more: Ortiz-McGhee facing challenges in minority education


Jackeline Cacho_L01_profile

Jackeline Cacho

Jackeline Cacho NAA Board Member, Founder, Finding Productions 

Cacho founded Finding Productions, a media and macerating services agency with an expertise in commercials, infomercials, corporate videos, music videos, events, TV direction and productions, media buying and advertising campaigns. Through Finding Productions and with the support of the company’s president Thene Mucino, Cacho developed “Triunfadores Latinos con Jackeline Cacho”, an independent program transmitted on Mundo Fox 22 and Super 22.2 since April 2012. Over the years Cacho has served as a Latina leader that encourages the Latino community across the nation to be leaders in their own right.

Read more: Jackie Cacho Vme TV staging Latinas for leadership

 Nely Galán Media Entrepreneur, The Adelante Movement

Nely Galan Self-Made

Nely Galan

The Emmy Award-winning producer and advocate for gender parity, Cuban born Nely Galán started at the very bottom when her parents were forced to leave their country of origin and migrate to the United States. She worked her way up to become the first female president of entertainment of a U.S. Hispanic television network (Telemundo). Although a big achievement in her life, she did not feel satisfied until she became successful in her own terms by building a real estate empire and a global multicultural media company that has created over 700 television shows and helped launch 10 channels around the world. Always looking for purpose in her life, she then started The Adelante Movement (“Move it forward!” in English), a non-profit organization sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co., which kicked off in 2012.

Read more: Nely Galán SELF-MADE an inspiring story of empowerment and self-reliance

Washington, DC

Mary Ann Gomez Orta Executive Director, Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) 

Mary Ann Gomez Orta

Mary Ann Gomez Orta

Mary Ann Gomez joined the Congressional Hispanic Institute (CHLI) as its Executive Director in 2011. Prior to joining CHLI, she was the Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Publications. She is former corporate marketing manager with Coors Brewing Company and McDonald’s Corporation. She managed multi-million advertising and marketing campaigns, collaborated with advertising and public relations firms as well as multi-lingual broadcast, print and outdoor media to executive local, regional and national promotions.


Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow President and CEO, The Oliver Group, Inc.

Elizabeth Oliver Farrow NAA American Latinas

Elizabeth Oliver Farrow

Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow is President and CEO of The Oliver Group, Inc. (OGI), a Washington, DC-based public relations and government policy consulting firm where she works with senior executives on outreach strategies. She formerly operated another communications firm for 29 years after having served previously as an entertainment industry publicist and as Director of Public Relations for Playboy Clubs International. She brings 40 years of public relations and outreach experience for corporate, trade and federal clients. Ms. Oliver-Farrow, a Puerto Rican born in the South Bronx, has a commitment to empowering, educating and advocating for women, youth, and the Hispanic business community.


Brenda Alfaro Vice President – Business Development Group, LM Capital Group, LLC 


Brenda Alfaro

Brenda Alfaro joined LM Capital Group in January 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Alfaro worked as Vice President-Marketing at Hansberger Global Investors responsible for institutional business development. Ms. Alfaro also worked as Institutional Sales/Client Service Manager at Paradigm Asset Management. She received a Master of Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida International University.


Olga Camargo Managing Partner, Toroso Investments

Olga Camargo NAA American Latinas

Olga Camargo

Olga Camargo, AIF® is Managing Partner at TOROSO Investments, LLC, a registered investment advisor firm. Olga provides investment advisory and retirement plan advisory services to clients that include: high net worth individuals, business owners, public and private corporations, public sector entities, and not-for-profit entities and foundations. Olga holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation from Fiduciary 360, and is able to effectively implement a prudent investment process for all of her clients.

New York

Danielle Beyer Director of Strategic Partnerships, 55 Capital Partners

Daniel N Beyer NAA American Latinas

Danielle N Beyer

Danielle N Beyer is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at 55 Capital Partners. Prior, Danielle was a Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations at Mariner Investment Group, LLC. Prior to joining Mariner in 2008, Danielle focused on commercial mortgage backed securities in the Structured Products group for NatCity Investment (now PNC). Previously, she was with National City’s Investment Banking group where she worked on Special Situations and Industrials M&A engagements. She earned a M.B.A. from the Simon Graduate Scholl of Business and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester.

Dallas, TX

Veronica Torres Director of Business Development, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) 

Veronica Torres NAA American Latinas

Veronica Torres

Veronica Torres currently works for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau as the Director of Business Development. Veronica currently serves as the President of the Hispanic 100 board of Directors and is a member of the Young Latino Executives, the Mayor’s Star Council Advisory Board, the Hispanic Women’s Network of North Texas, the Greater Dallas planning Council, LATISM (Latinos in Social Media- Dallas Chapter), and is Co Chair of the Girls Inc. Champion for Girls Program.

San Antonio, TX

The Honorable Rebecca Viagran  City Council, District 3, City of San Antonio

Rebecca Viagran NAA American Latinas

H. Rebecca Viagran

Rebecca J. Viagran was elected to City Council District 3 in May 2013 and re-elected to the office in 2015. Aside from being directly involved with city government, Councilwoman Viagran also has experience working with community organizations and volunteering for important causes. She served the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of External Affairs and worked as the Director of Government and Community Relations for Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT).


Patricia Diaz Dennis Board of Directors at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, US Steel & Entravision Board of Directors

Patricia Diaz Dennis NAA American Latinas

Patricia Diaz Dennis

Patricia Diaz Dennis is also a trustee of the NHP Foundation, a member of the Advisory Boards for LBJ Family Wealth Advisors and Western Governors University Texas, and is Chair of The Global Fund’s Sanctions Panel. She was a SVP & Assistant General Counsel overseeing various legal matters for the company originally known as SBC Communications (which became AT&T) from 1995 to 2008, when she retired. Ms. Diaz Dennis received three Presidential Appointments. From 1983 to 1986, President Ronald Reagan named her a member of the National Labor Relations Board. He then appointed her a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission until 1989. President George H.W. Bush appointed her Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in 1992.

American Latinas Economic, Political and Leadership Force Session #NAALatinaCaucus

Moderator: Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, NAA Institute Chair & American Latina Leadership Caucus Chair; SVP & Resident Sales Director, Aon Risk Solutions, Capital Region

American Latinas Panelists:

Brenda Alfaro, Vice President Business Development, LM Capital Group; #NAALatinaCaucus Co-Chair, Miami

Angela Arboleda, VP Government and Community Affairs Herbalife

Angela Arboleda American Latinas

Angela Arboleda

Angela Maria Arboleda works on a variety of policy issues for the company and serves as a federal government relations lobbyist conducting outreach on Capitol Hill and the Administration. Angela joins Herbalife after a 15-year career in public service. Most recently, she served as Senior Policy Advisor for Latino and Asian-American Affairs for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In that capacity she oversaw policy and political strategy impacting the Latino and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the U.S. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Angela worked at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. – as Director of Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Policy. At NCLR, she was a spokesperson to both mainstream and Spanish-language media.

Olga Camargo, Managing Partner, Toroso Investments; #NAALatinaCaucus Co-Chair, Chicago

Patricia Díaz-Dennis, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, US Steel & Entravision Board of Directors; #NAALatinaCaucus Co-Chair, San Antonio

Ivelisse Estrada, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations, Univision

Ivelisse Estrada

Ivelisse R Estrada

Ivelisse R. Estrada is senior vice president of Corporate and Community Relations for Univision Communications Inc (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America. In this role she is responsible for the overall development and coordination of community relations strategies for the Company including the Univision Network, UniMás Network, Univision Cable Networks, as well as Univision Local Media, including TV, radio and digital. She coordinates all philanthropic contributions and serves as a liaison between UCI and community organizations. Estrada also plans, directs and supervises the execution of the Company’s community empowerment platform Univision Contigo which includes Education, Health, Prosperity and Civic Participation.

 Read more: Ivelisse Estrada at Univision building community from a position of leadership

Daisy Expósito-Ulla, Chairman & CEO, d’exposito & partners; NAA Latina Caucus Member

Daisy Exposito American Latina

Daisy Exposito

Daisy Expósito-Ulla is a pioneer and a recognized authority in Multicultural Marketing and brand communications. She is Chairman/CEO of d exposito & Partners. In 2015, the agency was chosen AEF Agency of the Year by the Advertising Educational Foundation, which also recognized Daisy “for her contributions to American advertising.” Prior to founding the agency, she was Chairman/CEO of Young & Rubicam/WPP’s The Bravo Group, a company she helped launch and subsequently build during her twenty-four-year tenure, becoming the largest U.S. Hispanic agency of all time.

Mary Ann Gómez Orta, President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute; #NAALatinaCaucus Co-Chair, Washington DC

“These women have pioneered new business models, led organizations that have set records and made history,” said Carmen McGhee, NAA Institute Chair & American Latina Leadership Caucus Chair. “These American Latina leaders have all done very well in their careers and are committed to doing good in their communities as they build and grow their legacies, open doors and make business connections for the generations of leaders that are coming after them.”

Join Wall Street Summit participants as they learn at the heels of these American Latinas business influencers.

As a LatinasinBusiness.us supporter, you can register HERE.



MassMutual ERGs ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015

Best Companies for Latinas: Two Hispanic ERGs receive honors award


ERGs and Council Awards

ERGs and Council Honors Awards

The 2015 ERG & Council Conference recognized the Top 25 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Diversity Councils at their 7th Annual ERG & Council Honors Award™ in Alexandria, Virginia.

Among the honorees, two Hispanic/Latino ERGs were award recipients, the Association of Latinos at MassMutual and Allies (ALMMA), named in 12th place, and the Cleveland Clinic SALUD Hispanic/Latino Employee Resource Group, which ended in the 23rd place of 538 participants.

The ERG & Council Honors Award™ is part of the annual ERG & Council Conference™ presented by diversity and inclusion training and consulting firm PRISM International, Inc. , and its practice group the Association of ERGs & Councils.

“ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results,” said Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM. “They need opportunities to improve and grow by learning and sharing best practices, gaining important insights, knowledge and skills to increase their impact and effectiveness. They also need to be recognized and awarded for the contribution and results. This is the purpose behind the annual Conference and Honors Award,” concluded Stokes.

MassMutual ERGs ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015

MassMutual Hispanic/Latino ERG ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015. Left to right: Linda Stokes, president and CEO, PRISM International Inc. and The Association of ERGs & Councils; Emmanuel Aguero, MassMutual ALMMA member; Sylena Echevarria, MassMutual ALMMA Chair; Angie Rios, MassMutual ALMMA vice chair; Marcela Aldaz-Matos, assistant vice president, MassMutual Diversity and Inclusion; Karen Lavariere-Sanchez, MassMutual ALMMA member; Emmanuel “Manny” Vera, MassMutual ALMMA member; Debbie Smith Rayford, executive director of The Association of ERGs & Councils. (PRNewsFoto/MassMutual)

MassMutual is recognized as a company that has demonstrated diversity and inclusion results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace and has emerged as one of the top Latino employers in the country.

“We are proud to see one of our employee resource groups, which are certainly successful internally, getting recognized by this prestigious industry organization, especially to be among so many impressive diversity and inclusion organizations and initiatives from a variety of industries,” said Lorie Valle-Yañez, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at MassMutual. “It is an honor to be named among the top organizations setting the standards in diversity and inclusion.”

Spanish for “health,” SALUD provides a network that supports the professional development of Hispanic/Latino employees, increases retention and talent acquisition, and works with senior management to address concerns, provide feedback and promote positive growth.

“Through our Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and other enterprise-wide employee networks, Cleveland Clinic proudly honors diversity in all its forms. By embracing our differences and similarities in race, gender, age, class, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, family life and diverse ideologies, we better understand human dimensions as we put ‘Patients First,’” said Le Joyce Naylor, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Cleveland Clinic.

Award recipients included a diverse combination of corporations, governmental agencies and not for profits representing various sectors, geographies and organization sizes.

The 2015 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients (by rank) were:

  1. Advancing Professionals Resource Council (APRC) – Northern Trust
  2. Joint Diversity Executive Council (JDEC) – National Guard Bureau (NGB)
  3. Diversity Advisory Council – American Airlines
  4. Proud to Serve – U.S. Bank
  5. Diversity Advisory Councils – TriHealth
  6. Employee Resource Groups’ Council – General Motors
  7. Flexible Work Employee Network (FWEN) – State Street Corporation
  8. Diversity Council – Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC)
  9. Proud LGBTA EBRG Louisville Chapter – PNC Bank
  10. United Resource Group for Equality (URGE) – TriHealth
  11. Customer Care Center Diversity and Inclusion Council – PNC Bank
  12. Association of Latinos at MassMutual and Allies (ALMMA) – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual
  13. Diversity and Inclusion Team – Citizens Energy Group
  14. Diversity & Inclusion Council – Carolinas HealthCare System
  15. Diversity Councils – Comcast NBCUniversal
  16. Big “I” Diversity Task Force – Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Inc.
  17. ClinicPride Employee Resource Group – Cleveland Clinic
  18. Women of AT&T – AT&T
  19. Corporate Diversity Council – NextEra Energy, Inc.
  20. Joint Corporate Social Responsibility Council – MGM Resorts International
  21. Women in Leadership Business Resource Council (WIL) -Northern Trust
  22. Network of Empowered Women (NEW) – Progressive Insurance
  23. SALUD – Cleveland Clinic
  24. Business Resource Groups – Johnson Controls
  25. USA Diversity & Inclusion Council – Siemens

“There was a record participation of 538 ERGs, BRGs and Councils this year. This is certainly the most competitive and exciting field to date,” stated Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association. “We are excited about the 26 percent increase in this year’s applications, attendance and sponsorship. It shows that more organizations are appreciating how critical diversity and inclusion initiatives are to their future development and survival,” said Smith Rayford.

Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM and Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils

Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM and Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils

The 2016 ERG & Council Honors Award application process opens in February, 2016. “Due to the tremendous interest and participation in the annual ERG & Council Conference, the 2016 conference will be held October 20th and 21st at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas,” said Stokes.

For more information about the ERG & Council Honors Award or the ERG & Council Conference, visit ERG & Council Conference.

View 2015 Conference & Honors Award Photos

National Hispanic Corporate Council graduates 2015_feature

Advancing Hispanic corporate leaders from diversity into inclusion

The National Hispanic Corporate Council and SMU Cox Graduates Cohort of Potential Hispanic Corporate Leaders 2015.

The National Hispanic Corporate Council and SMU Cox Graduates Cohort of Potential Hispanic Corporate Leaders 2015


Despite national and regional organizations’ efforts, the continued lack of inclusion of Latinos in general –and Latinas in particular– in key corporate leading positions continues to be a matter of concern. According to the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) annual report, Hispanic inclusion on Fortune 500 boards still lags behind compared with other demographic groups at around three percent, and has remained almost untouched for the last three decades.

LatinasinBusiness.us (LIBizus) was born with the vision of advocating for the economic empowerment of Latinas in business and the workplace. Our goal is to promote, encourage and provide information and tools to ensure that Latinas receive the exposure and support they deserve for their participation and representation in the economic force of our country.

So when an organization such as the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC) announces that this year the Corporate Executive Development Program (CEDP), a leadership training that grooms Hispanic managers to ascend into corporate leadership roles, graduated the largest-ever number of participants in the history of the program, we pay attention.

“As the nation’s leading organization founded with the mission of maximizing our corporate members’ Hispanic market opportunity, NHCC is making a tremendous impact in working with Fortune 1000 companies to increase the pool of Hispanic executive leadership.  We are delighted to renew our partnership with the SMU Cox School of Business to offer CEDP in both 2016 and 2017,” said Octavio A. Hinojosa-Mier, NHCC Executive Director.

The program, established in 2011 by the NHCC and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU Cox), is the only national program specifically designed to increase the Hispanic executive talent pool for corporate America, according to its organizers.

SMU Cox School of Business

SMU Cox School of Business

NHCC and SMU Cox Executive Education developed CEDP for Hispanic employees identified by their corporate employers as potential executives for leadership roles. The nine-month program combines business and leadership coursework modules taught by nationally-recognized SMU Cox faculty. Many of the program graduates have already progressed to executive positions with Fortune 1000 companies.

“We are proud to partner with the NHCC in this continued effort to prepare Latino talent for corporate executive responsibilities,” said Frank Lloyd, associate dean of Executive Education at SMU Cox.  “CEDP graduates consistently deliver positive business results at high levels.”

Lloyd reported that 38 percent of the 110 participants across the five CEDP cohorts since 2011 have been Latinas. In 2015 alone, 12 participants were women. Involvement of Latinas in the five cohorts has ranged from 26 percent to 53 percent. “Latinas are well-represented in the CEDP, and their inclusion suggests that sponsoring companies are well aware of their management capabilities and potential,” he told LIBizus.

CEDP participants’ employers sponsoring them into the program are primarily Fortune 1000 companies. The fifth CEDP cohort led by Miguel Quiñones, the O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair in Organizational Behavior at SMU Cox, had 33 participants from a number of NHCC corporate member companies, including: Comcast NBCUniversal, Darden Restaurants, Marriott International, Shell, State Farm Insurance and Wal-Mart.

However, Lloyd said, Raza Development Fund, a non-profit organization that invests capital and creates financing solutions to increase opportunities for the Latino community, has also sponsored a participant in the last two programs.

SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi has waived the facility fees for the program.  That waiver entitles SMU to enroll one of its high potential Latino staff leaders in each rendition.  “SMU is therefore ‘walking the talk’ about developing Hispanic talent,” Lloyd made a remark.

Sponsorship and mentorship as main program components

Frank LLoyd SMU associate dean Executive Education

Frank LLoyd, SMU associate dean Executive Education

According to the SMU associate dean, potential participants enroll through an application process but each applicant must show support from their immediate supervisors, their top managers, and a senior human resources leader.

“Each participant’s management team has a stake in the participant’s success both during the program and afterwards,” Lloyd added. Moreover, he said, an advisory board comprised of senior talent, marketing, and diversity executives from selected sponsoring companies shares information about each firm’s selection criteria to ensure a rough peer group of participants in each program and to share best practices for their on-going support.

“While each company has its own process to support participants following the program, the application and advisory board processes encourage company ownership of the participants’ post-program success,” he told LIBizus.

Several program features support application of new learning and behavior change throughout the program and afterwards.  “For example, each participant is assigned a current or recently retired senior Latino executive as a mentor.  This established relationship enables them to receive coaching on applying program insights and tools to current workplace situations,” he explains.

Working with mentors also provides guidance for participants in preparing and executing personal development plans.  Some of these mentoring relationships continue after the program.

“In addition to mentoring relationships, each participant engages in a ‘360’ assessment process in which they receive behavior feedback from superiors, peers, and direct reports,” Lloyd noted.  During the program they receive instruction on how to use this feedback for improved job performance and career advancement.  Their mentors offer on-going guidance in this process as well.

Finally, the networks that participants establish among themselves provide a continuing resource after the program.  Trusted colleagues in other firms are available for informal consultation on work and career issues.

The CEDP has proven its goal of accelerating the progress of Latino high potentials to top corporate executive positions.  Of the over 100 CEDP alumni who’ve completed the program since 2011, more than 70 percent have achieved significant new responsibilities, often during the program.

The Cox school also provides tools to facilitate on-going application of learning and behavior change post-program participation.  “We maintain an on-line community of past participants.  We track participants’ movements as they achieve new career opportunities, and we share news in the community,” Lloyd said.

The program gives past participants the opportunity to serve as mentors to less experienced and lower level managers who enroll in a program for Rising Leaders.  Many are delighted to receive the opportunity to “give back” by lending a helping hand to a following group of Latino management talent.

As the economic power of the Hispanic market continues to grow, many companies still struggle to understand the full potential of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Positioning Latino and Latina leaders in high decision-making ranks ensures the company’s competitive advantage at maintaining and increasing their market share. Commitment to send their potential leaders to strategic training programs such as CEDP creates a safety net that attracts and empowers a diverse workforce while allowing rising Hispanic leaders to advance to the positions they deserve.