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Tapping into Latinas’ potential could unlock $393 billion in economic value in the U.S. 

Did you know that right now Latinas hold the power to unlock $393 billion in economic value in the U.S. and reboot the post-pandemic economy? In fact, some may even say Latina business owners and entrepreneurs have a ‘midas touch.’

The untapped economic value of Latinas in the workplace

According to an article published by Forbes, Latinas have this ‘midas touch’ that could potentially deliver $393 bullion in incremental value to the U.S. economy. Additionally, the most recent State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report conducted by Stanford  Graduate School of Business found that much of the growth among new businesses in recent years has been driven by Latinas. The data from the report revealed that Latinas currently represent 40% of all Latino business owners and the number of Latina-led employer firms has grown 20% within the last five-year period. 

In the same article published by Forbes it was reported that in 2019 alone, Latina entrepreneurs owned 2.3 million businesses and generated $119 billion in revenue. However, despite the tremendous economic power of Latinas, the average size of Latina-owned businesses is much lower than that of others, averaging only $50,900 in annual revenue. Latina businesses have also been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as data from the Stanford report shows. According to the report, 41% of Latinas have reported experiencing “large negative impacts” due to the pandemic and nearly twice as many Latina-owned businesses experienced pandemic-related closures (30%) compared to Latino- and White Male- owned businesses (16% and 18% respectively). 

Source: 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report

Latinas also suffer from unfair gender biases in the workplace, especially in the area of wages. The gender wage gap for Latinas is 55 cents per every dollar earned by a White, non-Hispanic man. Furthermore, a 2016 briefing paper from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that if current gender wage gap trends continue without any action, it will take over two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas

Latinas Equal Pay Day, gender wage gap

Latinas are among the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. (Source: latinaequalpay.org)

But this does not have to be the narrative for Latinas. Latinas are strong, powerful, and capable business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, and leaders. If given the opportunities to generate the same level of revenue as white-women-owned businesses, Latina-owned businesses would generate an additional $393 billion in annual revenue–a big boost for Latinas and the U.S. economy as a whole. 

Closing the gap and supporting the Latina market 

To reach this potential and truly unlock the economic value of Latinas, more companies, corporations, and legislative bodies need to take a chance on Latinas. We need to see more Latinas in corporate-level positions. More Latinas in leadership. More funding for Latina-owned businesses. 

Photo by Armand Valendez from Pexels

This past year we have already seen some step up to the plate. Earlier in January, the tech giant Apple appointed the first Latina ever to their Board of Directors. Monica Lozano, president and CEO of College Futures Foundation, was appointed as the eighth board member, bringing with her a broad range of leadership experience, as well as a long track record as a champion for equity, opportunity, and representation.

“Monica has been a true leader and trailblazer in business, media, and an ever-widening circle of philanthropic efforts to realize a more equitable future — in our schools and in the lives of all people,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Her values and breadth of experience will help Apple continue to grow, to innovate, and to be a force for good in the lives of our teams, customers, and communities.”

Giannella Alvarez, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Giannella Alvarez (Photo: Business Wire)

Even more recently, the major berry company, Driscoll’s, appointed Latinas Giannella Alvarez and Graciela Monteagudo to their board. Both women were praised for their cultural and international knowledge, citing these skills as great assets for the company’s dealings in the global market. 

Speaking on Ginannella’s appointment, J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO said, “Giannella is a highly creative and decisive leader who has a proven track record of talent building and energizing organizations across countries, customers and channels. Her significant on-the-ground international experiences will serve as an invaluable asset as Driscoll’s continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.” 

Graciela Monteagudo, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Graciela Monteagudo (Photo: Business Wire)

On Graciela, Reiter shared, “Graciela’s expertise in addressing the Mexican consumer and retail environment will be invaluable to Driscoll’s as we navigate increasing consumer demand in this important growth market. Her experience in consumer brands, especially in the health and nutrition sector, will bolster Driscoll’s capability and success in markets around the globe.”

In the small business sector, GrubHub has been working to support women-led restaurants. Four years ago the company launched RestaurantHER, a platform that connects women-led restaurants and empowers them to bridge the wage gap among women in the restaurant industry. And this year they are expanding and focusing an eye on supporting Latina-led restaurants, Forbes reported

Lastly, on the government level, supporting Latina business owners and entrepreneurs through funding and legislation is crucial to unlocking the economic value of Latinas. Appointing Latinas to government leadership roles is also incredibly important. This past year we have already seen great improvements such as with the appointment of Latina Isabella Casillas Guzman as SBA Administrator and various government programs dedicated to supporting minority-owned businesses. 

You might be interested: Stacie de Armas on breaking stereotypes and advocating for Latinas

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act is pivoting to funnel more aid and relief toward minority-owned small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. The Act will help small businesses recover post-COVID by providing critical assistance to businesses across the country and delivering $50 billion in aid and relief. 

In New Jersey, the Murphy Administration is working to provide greater opportunities for minority, women, and veteran owned businesses through various key initiatives. These initiatives include a disparity study–the first in 20 years–to identify ways in which the State can contract Minority, Women, and Veteran-Owned Businesses (MWVOB) to provide goods and services. 

“This disparity study is not only long overdue, it is an integral part of our vision for a stronger, fairer, and more resilient, post-COVID economy that opens doors for diverse businesses to play a greater role in shaping our state’s future,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This study will provide us with an opportunity to create a more equitable business environment, which is a win for us all.”

Other NJ organizations, such as New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and NJ FAM are also providing resources and access to capital for Black and Latina business owners through the development of various funds and programs. 

In a recent Instagram Live, NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan and digitalundivided CEO Lauren Maillian,  spotlighted the recently-proposed Black and Latino Seed Fund, which the NJEDA intends to create to drive capital to Black- and Latino-owned enterprises. 

A recording of the entire chat can be viewed below. 

 

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With many big name companies and government initiatives taking a chance on Latinas, the future is looking promising. Numbers show that Latinas are an industrious, innovative group, taking the lead in recent years as the fastest growing demographic of small business owners. 

It’s clear that the economic power of Latinas has been overlooked for too long. From small businesses to corporate, Latinas hold tremendous power and abilities. Wherever a Latina goes, she brings with her a special touch, her unique perspective, and a whole lot of passion and drive. And the untapped economic value of Latinas is just what the U.S. economy needs to reboot and recover post-pandemic. The time to take a chance on Latinas is now, and it is long overdue. 

boardroom, workplace,

Driscoll’s appoints two Latinas as new board members

The Greenwich, Conn-based RSR Partners recently assisted fresh berry provider Driscoll’s in the recruitment of two Latinas as new board members.  

RSR Partners assists in board members recruitment

RSR Partners was founded by Russell S. Reynolds Jr. in 1993, and offers any number of vertical specializations, including consumer goods and services, hospitality, industrial, financial services, retail, board, CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, chief information officers, chief marketing officers, sport leadership, risk, board recruiting, board advisory, management consulting and more.  

Gretchen Crist, who leads the firm’s human capital and consumer goods and services practices, conducted the search for the two new board members. With over 20 years of experience as a senior human resources executive in private equity and public company environments, she has recruited numerous professionals into top human resources roles as well as C-suite and senior executives into various leadership roles. 

Latinas Giannella Alvarez and Graciela Monteagudo join Driscoll’s board 

With the help of RSR Partners, Giannella Alvarez, former CEO and director of the board at Beanitos, and Graciela Monteagudo, the former president and CEO of LALA U.S., were recruited as Driscoll’s new board members. Two very accomplished Latina professionals, they both bring a plethora of expertise and experience to the board. 

Giannella Alvarez, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Giannella Alvarez (Photo: Business Wire)

Giannella Alvarez brings to the Driscoll’s board 35-years of experience across a wide range of industries in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, having led multi-billion-dollar brands for Fortune 100 companies including Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company in senior executive positions. She served as Group President and CEO for Barilla Americas, a Division of Barilla S.p.A., as well as President and CEO of organic food start-ups, including Harmless Harvest Inc. Named one of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board Directors by Women Inc., Alvarez is also an experienced public company board director. She brings a deep expertise in marketing, innovation, business scaling and global expansion as well as a passion for food, health and wellness, sustainability and equality, with her experience as an Advisory Board Member of New York University’s Stern School Center for Sustainable Business.

“Giannella is a highly creative and decisive leader who has a proven track record of talent building and energizing organizations across countries, customers and channels,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO. “Her significant on-the-ground international experiences will serve as an invaluable asset as Driscoll’s continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.”

Graciela Monteagudo, Latina board member

Driscoll’s new Latina board member, Graciela Monteagudo (Photo: Business Wire)

Graciela Monteagudo built her 30-year executive career at multinational Fortune 500 companies across the consumer products, healthcare and retail industries. She has significant experience in general management roles, previously leading multi-billion-dollar corporations including SVP and Business Unit Head for Sam’s Club in Mexico, and President, Americas and Global Marketing for Mead Johnson Nutrition Americas. She most recently served as CEO and President of LALA U.S. a leading Hispanic Dairy Company owned by Grupo LALA, one of the top 10 dairy companies in North America. Monteagudo is an experienced public company board director who has also been spotlighted in the 2019 Latino Leaders Magazine Latinos on Board report and the 2020 Best of the Boardroom feature of Hispanic Executive Magazine. She brings to the board a diverse perspective regarding domestic and international markets, digital marketing/ecommerce , Hispanic and Latin American consumers, as well as a demonstrated capability in strategic planning, M&A, diversity/inclusion and cultural transformation.

“Graciela’s expertise in addressing the Mexican consumer and retail environment will be invaluable to Driscoll’s as we navigate increasing consumer demand in this important growth market,” shared Reiter. “Her experience in consumer brands, especially in the health and nutrition sector, will bolster Driscoll’s capability and success in markets around the globe.”

You might be interested: 7 Benefits of having women in companies

The new board appointments collectively bring strong brand growth expertise and a clear future-looking vision that will help Driscoll’s accelerate its mission, which is to delight berry consumers with the best tasting berries today and for many years to come.

About Driscoll’s 

Driscoll’s is the global market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage, Driscoll’s is a pioneer of berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries™. With more than 900 independent growers around the world, Driscoll’s develops exclusive patented berry varieties using only traditional breeding methods that focus on growing great tasting berries. A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow baby seedlings that are then grown on local family farms. Driscoll’s now serves consumers year-round across North America, Australia, Europe and China in over twenty-two countries. As a fourth-generation grower and the son of one of Driscoll’s founders, J. Miles Reiter serves as Chairman and CEO.

Apple appoints first Latina ever to board of directors

Apple announced this month that Monica Lozano, president and CEO of College Futures Foundation, has been appointed as the eighth member to Apple’s board of directors. Lozano, of Mexican origin, is the first Latina to hold such a position at the global tech giant—a major first step toward greater diversity and inclusion in higher-level positions.

She brings with her a broad range of leadership experience, as well as a long track record as a champion for equity, opportunity, and representation.

Photo by Armand Valendez from Pexels

“A true leader and trailblazer” joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Monica Lozano, Apple

Monica Lozano, Latino Corporate Directors Association and Rockefeller Foundation Board of Directors (Photo credit Rockefeller Foundation)

Prior to joining College Futures Foundation, Lozano spent 30 years in media as editor and publisher of La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the US, helping shine a light on issues from infant mortality to the AIDS epidemic. She went on to become chairman and CEO of La Opinión’s parent company, ImpreMedia. Lozano continues to serve on the boards of Target Corporation and Bank of America Corporation.

She has been recognized for her leadership with awards from organizations like The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, in her role as CEO of College Futures Foundation, Lozano has been a tireless advocate for expanding access to higher education, partnering with philanthropic organizations, state and local governments, and local communities to improve opportunities for low-income students and students of color. 

A co-founder of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, and a former chair of both the University of California Board of Regents and the board of directors of the Weingart Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, Lozano is also a former board member of The Walt Disney Company. 

“Monica has been a true leader and trailblazer in business, media, and an ever-widening circle of philanthropic efforts to realize a more equitable future — in our schools and in the lives of all people,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Her values and breadth of experience will help Apple continue to grow, to innovate, and to be a force for good in the lives of our teams, customers, and communities.”

As a business leader, public servant, and philanthropist, Lozano has made an indelible impact on companies and communities in the US and around the world,  and is sure to do the same at Apple. 

diversity and inclusion

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

A major step in the campaign for corporate diversity & inclusion

Lozano’s appointment to Apple’s board of directors comes after much work was done in 2020 by Latino Corporate Directors Associations’ (LCDA) and other organizations to push for more diversity in higher level positions at major companies. 

Lozano herself is also a LCDA member and the organization’s goal has been to increase the number of Latinos on corporate boards. According to LCDA’s Latino Board Tracker, currently 77% of Fortune 1000 companies lack a single Latino director on their board.

Other findings of LCDA and corporate data provider Equilar state that in California, where Latinos make up almost 40% of the population, they hold only 2.1% of board positions. 

To improve these indicators, the state of California passed Bill 979 in September 2020. This bill now requires public companies to include executives from underrepresented communities on their boards until December 2021.  

Since September, LCDA—along with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and UnidosUS—also launched the Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity campaign. The goal is for Latinos to hold 20% of board seats—roughly their share of the U.S. population.

You might be interested: Corporate executive Beth Marmolejos shares insights on being a Latina leader

“There is an enormous number of talented Latino candidates who can bring a lot of value [to the companies,” says Esther Aguilar, chief executive officer of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. 

Lozano’s appointment to Apple’s board of directors is a major step in diversity and inclusion, especially for Latinas in technology. Hopefully more corporations will look to the tech giant and follow their example. 

On joining Apple’s board, Lozano said: “I’ve always admired Apple’s commitment to the notion that technology, at its best, should empower all people to improve their lives and build a better world. I look forward to working with Tim, Art, and the other board members to help Apple carry those values forward and build on a rich and productive history.”

 

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.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

ALPFA Yvonne Garcia, the impact of Latino leadership on global markets

 

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

I first contacted Yvonne Garcia to write her profile in 2007 as the Experto de Hispanos for About.com, . She impressed me with her assertiveness and dedication to her career, which has grown and blossomed into national exposure. Yvonne is the National Chairwoman for the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), a 48,000-member organization that thrives to empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation in every sector of the global economy.

This year, over 3000 ALPFA members gathered in the Big Apple to advance the role of Latinos not only in the national stage but also in the world markets. “We had a record-breaking convention this year in New York,” she shared with LIBizus. “Not only has it been the largest convention ever but the one with the most memorable highlights,” she affirmed.

Among the memorable programs was the Women of ALPFA Day, which featured an invitation-only breakfast with guest speakers discussing the global gender gap; panel discussions and workshops focused on soft skill development for Latina leaders; and the Women of ALPFA Luncheon where the accomplishments of Latinas were highlighted and celebrated.

“Our honoree this year for the Latina Excellence Award was Nina Vacca, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Technical Resources, and Chair Emeritus of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Yvonne said. “She talked about her journey to over 2000 attendees during the Women of ALPFA Luncheon,” she said.

According to the ALPFA National Chairwoman, Latinas in corporate are making headways and preparing for landing leadership roles. Knowing the personal sacrifices Yvonne made to build her professional career, a topic of our first conversation back in 2007, I was curious to know if the path has become somewhat easier for the upcoming Hispanic women eager to climb the corporate ladder.

“If anything, I believe it is harder now,” she said. “Although we are more aware of the importance of supporting Latinas to ensure more diversity in the workplace, they are now demanded to make even more sacrifices, working longer hours not only in their day jobs but also contributing to professional organizations,” she said.

ALPFA is committed to lead the support for Latinas through a more concerted effort in finding the right mentors to help those in the pipelines. “This is the commitment we ask from top corporate management; there must be a mandate from CEOs to mentor and train our women in order to build not only technical skills but also to develop leadership strength and charisma,” she added.

At her day job, Garcia, presently the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Client Solutions and PMO of the Investment Manager Services group for State Street Corporation, has global responsibility for developing new client relationships, deploying cutting-edge technology and operational processes, and delivering complex consulting engagements for existing and potential State Street clients.

Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia, Josefina Bonilla at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

Josefina Bonilla, Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

She was born in Queens, New York, from the marriage of a Lebanese mother and a Dominican father, who came from the Dominican Republic in 1961. Yvonne had diverse experiences growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood but spending the summer months at her father’s country of origin. She learned Spanish as her first language.

Since she was a child, she was interested in the concept of money. At age six she organized a book sale in front of her house. She played with stamps making believe the papers she stamped were bank transactions. Always a saver, even when her brothers asked her to borrow money she would charge them interest.

Yvonne graduated with an MBA from Boston University in finance and marketing and a BA from the Sorbonne in Paris, France, where she lived while studying its economy and culture.

Beginning at the very bottom in sales in 1995, answering calls from customers in Spanish for a small community bank, she was promoted to the department of international staff given her fluency in English and French.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

She then moved on to Merrill Lynch as a Financial Adviser and decided to continue her studies obtaining a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University, focusing her career in Finance and Marketing. By that time, she had also started a family and had a small baby. Yvonne found a new passion in marketing that, despite being also demanding, allowed her to manage her time in a more flexible manner.

Yvonne was appointed as Vice President of strategic assistance of the Construction Bank of China in America. In this role, Yvonne and her team were responsible for the creation and implementation of sales processes and service within the bank’s capitalization centers, which included implementation of roles, responsibilities, and tools for the sales force and the management team.

In the midst of her travels to China, Yvonne also spent more than seven weeks in North Carolina, where she acquired her certifications as Six Sigma Green and Black Belts.

She recalls China as the largest professional sacrifice because she had to leave her son to travel to China for three weeks in a row, but was also her greatest professional achievement.

She was then offered a position at Liberty Mutual as the VP and Director of Marketing to consumer market segments. In this role, Yvonne was responsible for the creation and implementation of integrated marketing strategies that resulted in the penetration of selected consumption targets throughout the country.

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

“I found this role through my network of ALPFA, which opened the doors for this opportunity,” she recalls. ALPFA’s is committed to grow aggressively to 100,000 members within the next two years. Anybody who is seriously devoted to their professional career must consider joining this national organization,” she added.

And she concluded, “Moreover, as the ALPFA Chairwoman in this year’s convention, all the sacrifices I made were well-rewarded when I saw the happy faces of over 40 students who received scholarships in recognition and celebration of their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills. We witnessed the talent of Latino students from across the country; they work hard through the year to deserve such important recognition.”