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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)

About ALPFA

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.

 

50 Most Powerful Latinas

50 Most powerful Latinas a day of insights and celebration

LatinasinBusiness.us was invited to cover the 2018 50 Most Powerful Latinas Summit, hosted once again in New York City by ALPFA (the Association of Latino Professionals for America) with media partner Fortune, educational partner Columbia University, People en Español and Latino Leaders Magazine.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

ALPFA National Chair Yvonne Garcia on the 50 Most Powerful Latinas (exclusive interview)

The second annual list of the US 50 Most Powerful Latinas in corporate and business has just been released and published by Fortune Magazine. ALPFA National Chairwoman Yvonne Garcia responded to an exclusive interview with LatinasinBusiness.us.

 

The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) released last year and for the first time a list of 50 Most Powerful Latinas in corporate America. The intention is to give visibility to a number of Hispanic women who are building leadership role models for millions of young aspiring Latinas leaders in the corporate and business world.

The list is back this year and it includes Latinas in Fortune 500 companies, large private firms, and a few impressive entrepreneurs leading global companies. We spoke with Yvonne Garcia, ALFPA National Chairwoman, and she explained the list criteria and intention as well as progress attained and what still needs to happen.

 

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA (Courtesy YG)

LIB: The second year of 50 Most Powerful Latinas was just announced and not only you are in it -congratulations! – but so are other Latinas who made the list last year.  What are the highlights of this year’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas list?

YG: This year, the nominees for our Most Powerful Latinas list nearly doubled, with 15 business leaders joining the list for the first time, including Jessica Alba, acclaimed actress and entrepreneur, at number 10. The selected 50 Latina executives are running Fortune 500 companies, large private firms, and a few are entrepreneurs leading global companies. This list gives a new spotlight to Latina women executives and amplifies their exposure across the country. In fact, three of the women on the list joined a corporate board last year.

 

LIB: What is the criteria for choosing these women and how is information gathered? In this case, what does “powerful” mean?

YG: The four-criteria used were: the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman’s career—résumé and runway ahead—and their social and cultural influence.

This year’s list of powerful Latina women prioritizes women leading large public companies with significant global operating roles, rather than C-level staff roles. Then, it ranks Latina women operating large private firms and finally, entrepreneurs who have successfully scaled their businesses into the middle market.

The accomplishments of these powerful Latinas are significant. The list serves as a platform to continue their legacy and amplify their voices to inspire the next generation of women.

Most Powerful Latinas

(From L to R) Susan G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us and Yvonne Garcia, ALPFA at the 2017 50 Most Powerful Latinas reception. (Credit LatinasinBusiness.us)

LIB: Despite the relevant accomplishment of Latinas in the list, numbers at the top continue to be small. Do you think the needle is moving in corporate America and space and opportunity are given to Latinas?

YG: Not as fast as it should be. Women, in general, and Latinas, in particular, continue to be underrepresented in executive-level roles. The Most Powerful Latinas (MPL) are helping to unite Latinas for collective power, for sharing, and for mutual support.

The list will continue to be published, and will strengthen the individual and collective power of Latinas, increasing their visibility significantly. Not all 50 MPLs will be the same every year, but everyone who’s been named will be part of an elite and remarkably influential group of business leaders.

 

You might be interested: ALPFA Yvonne Garcia, the impact of Latino leadership on global markets

 

LIB: What would you say the main obstacles are for a faster promotion of Latinas to higher ranks?

YG: Main obstacles are systemic barriers in organizational structures, often subtle and unspoken, lack of Latina role models, mentorship and sponsorship both from men and women.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks on Annual Convention in Las Vegas (Courtesy YG)

LIB: How do you see the future of this list? What are some of the concrete actions MPL are taking to help others rise to those positions of power?

YG: There will be a purposeful commitment to cultivating the next generation of Latinas, and the generation after that. This is just the beginning. We will also host regional events for MPLs across the country, throughout the year, for the MPLs to continue to know, trust, and invest in each other and in the marketplace.

Many who aspire to serve on boards will serve on boards. Others whose goals are to become CEO will become CEO, raising the bar for Latinas (and Latinos) in high school today who will aspire to do and to be like these Powerful Latinas. Together we will help to change the perception of Latinos and Latinas in the U.S. as business and community leaders.

 

See the list of 2018 50 Most Powerful Latinas