The 2020 LATINA Style 50 Awards Ceremony and Diversity Leaders Conference
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
Photos by fotobriceno.com
The 22nd annual anniversary of the LATINA Style 50 Awards Ceremony and Diversity Leaders Conference gathered the top 50 corporations for Latinas to work for in the U.S. in the nation’s capital on February 11th and 12th.
Recognizing companies that embrace Latina achievement, the unique program welcomed executives, members of Congress, and leaders from across the country during a leadership reception held on the evening of February 11th. Guests were inspired by remarks provided by Lupita Colmenero, Chief Operating Officer, LATINA Style, Inc., and Leadership reception sponsors: Valerie Wagoner, Associate EEO, and D&I Officer (EEODI), Army and Air Force Exchange Service (The Exchange) and Patty Juarez, SVP National Diverse Segments Director, Wells Fargo & Company.
The evening also recognized the founders of LATINA Style Magazine. Among the honorees were the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40); Hope M. Field, Senior Manager, Latin Affairs, The Coca Cola Company; Alma Crossley, Director Corporate Diversity, General Motors Company; Eric Mitchell, Assistant Vice President Diversity & Inclusion, AT&T; Eugene Kelly, Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Colgate Palmolive; Lupe Alcala, Assistant Vice President, Administrative Services, State Farm; and Patty Juarez, SVP National Diverse Segments Director, Wells Fargo & Company.
The morning of February 12th commenced with a warm welcome by Dr. Betty Uribe, Global Award-Winning Author, Speaker & Humanitarian International Best-Selling Author. Co-chair Nellie Borrero, Managing Director, Senior Global Inclusion & Diversity Lead – Accenture, along with Dr. Uribe announced the top 2019 LATINA Style Corporate Executives of the Year. Flower Cantu-Kelley, Director HR – Planning & Staff Operations – ERGs Lead at Sprint was recognized as the top 2019 LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year.
In its 11th consecutive year, the LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year award honors influential Latinas, selected by their peers, as leaders and examples the Hispanic community and for the professional women in the U.S. Each year LATINA Style Inc. recognizes the achievement and dedication Latinas are performing at the top of their respective companies and in various industries.
“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by LATINA Style for this prestigious award,” shared Cantu-Kelley. “I am truly proud of what I have accomplished, but most of all, I am proud to be recognized for this award which represents the hard work and dedication of all women in leadership.”
Cantu-Kelley is the Director HR of Planning and Staff Operations for the office of the CHRO & Chief Diversity Officer at Sprint. She also leads the Diversity and Inclusion efforts for the seven Employee Resource Groups at Sprint.
Following the LEY winner, the Employee Resource Group for 2016 was announced. Since 2010 LATINA Style, Inc. has recognized and honored the best Hispanic Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the country. This year, Pratt & Whitney Hispanic Leadership Forum was honored as the Top Employee Resource Group of the Year.
Carla Lopez, ERG President / Global Supply Chain COE Specialist at UTC – Pratt & Whitney, received the award on behalf of the company. Celebrating Latina achievement is at the core mission of LATINA Style and on this day attendees gained insights from corporate executives during the first panel titled Evolving Diversity: LEY, ERG & CDO.
Introduction was made by Patty Avello-Rodriguez, Program Director, South. Florida, Nationwide Retirement Plans Distribution, Nationwide Moderated by Elizabeth Nieto, Chief Diversity Officer, Amazon, speakers included Flower Cantu-Kelley – Director HR – Planning & Staff Operations – ERGs Lead at Sprint top 2019 LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year; Carla Lopez, ERG President / Global Supply Chain COE Specialist at UTC – Pratt & Whitney, and Employee Resource Group of the Year and Kathleen Navarro, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Human Resources, New York Life, and Chief Diversity Officer of Company of the Year.
The second panel titled Accelerating Success with Our Voices, Power and Authenticity, was moderated by Nellie Borrero, speakers included Elizabeth Romero, SVP Small Business Client & Franchise Solutions Executive, Bank of America; Lynnette Darnell, Human Resource Manager, Flight and Operations Maintenance, American Airlines; Abby O. Lawrence, Executive Director of Operations, Power & Controls, UTC, and Luani Alvarado, Worldwide VP, Human Resources, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health.
The third panel of the day, The Importance of Serving on Boards brought together a group of executive board leaders to share the process of joining a board and provided invaluable insights on the opportunities and challenges of serving on a board. Speakers included Esther Aguilera, President & CEO, Latino Corporate Directors Association, and Cari Dominguez, Corporate Director of Manpower Group & Triple-S Management Corp. After the morning workshops, attendees were invited to the luncheon and were once again greeted by co-chair Nellie Borrero and Dr. Uribe. Company of the Year Remarks were provided by Jomil Guerrero, Managing Director, Global Marketing Operations, New York Life.