MasterCard's Malvina Longoria driven by a Sense of Community.

 
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Looking back at a 30-year career, Malvina Longoria notes two constant themes that have helped guide both her career and her personal decisions --community and family.

"A sense of community is extremely important to me," she noted, "While I've had different stops throughout my life, the calling of the community and re-establishing my roots has always helped to re-energize and drive me."

Longoria, general counsel, Strategy & Transformation, immigrated to the United States from Cuba when she was 9-yearsold. The family quickly established roots in southern Florida.

"We were close-knit, putting family and the church at the center of our lives," she noted.

Despite the closeness of this community, it was the pursuit of her dream--and following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather to pursue a career in law--that took Longoria to North Carolina and then New York. After graduation, she became an associate at Cravath, Swaine S. Moore LLP, before moving to in-house positions at Chemical Bank and Prudential.

After several years, she was looking for the next challenge and growth opportunity, both personally and professionally. When it was time to start a family, Longoria knew that there was only one destination--Florida.

"Going back to that core community helped me to feel more grounded," she said. "As a result, I believe I was more energized, more passionate and was able to keep the boat steady both in the office and at home."

The desire to re-establish herself in Miami uncovered an opportunity to build a regional legal function for MasterCard. Over time she grew the team from one lawyer to 8, all but one of whom was hired by Longoria and continue to work at the company today.

Longoria used the growth of MasterCard throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region to also help grow the team and celebrate local talent. She was the executive sponsor of the company's Women's Leadership Network across the region, including the first chapters outside the United States.

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