Top Latinas in Corporate America: what makes these powerful Latinas powerful?

Author:Schneider, Pablo

IT IS A PRIVILEGE and a pleasure to know many of the leaders in this issue's Top 25 Latinas in Corporate America list, most of whom were recognized at ALPFA's 50 Most Powerful Latinas of 2017 event hosted at Columbia University last month. Taking a step back and thinking about what makes them powerful, several types of power come to mind. There is the power of the positions they hold ranging from corporate board seats, to senior executive roles, to leadership in professional firms, to the ownership of companies, etc. There is the power of professional capabilities, of expertise, skills and knowledge. Indeed, these Latina leaders have a breathtaking breadth and depth of professional capabilities across career disciplines, sectors, and geographic areas, etc. There is the power of their personal influence. These awesome Latinas are super-connected and highly influential among the top leadership of America. There is the power of personal brand, of reputation, and of positive notoriety. These have been painstakingly built throughout their entire careers and all of the Latinas on this list are known nationally for their extraordinary excellence.


Geisha Williams

CEO and President, PG&E Corporation

ON MARCH 1ST, Geisha Williams became the first Latina to lead a Fortune 500 company. She has come a long way from the day she fled Cuba with her parents in 1967 at five years of age.

Today she leads a team responsible for providing safe, reliable, and affordable power to 16 million people in northern and central California. During her tenure at PG&E, she oversaw the company's move to bring nearly 30% of its energy from renewable sources. The power company has also become a leader in renewables integration, grid modernization and smart grid technologies under her stewardship, while also achieving the best electric reliability in company history.


Maria Moats

U.S. Assurance Leader, PwC

MARIA MOATS is the U.S. Assurance Leader of PwC, where she serves as a member of the U.S. Leadership Team and the Global Assurance Executive Leadership Team.

With extensive experience with retail, consumer, and industrial product clients, she previously served as PwC's Regional Assurance Leader for the East Region, overseeing operations from Boston to Florida. She was also the Chief Diversity Officer from 2011 to 2016, where she led the strategy and execution of the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts.


Gabriela Franco Parcella

Chairman, President and CEO, Mellon Capital (BNY Mellon Corp.)

GABRIELA FRANCO PARCELLA is the Chairman, President and CEO of Mellon Capital, where she provides strategic leadership to all areas of the firm, and chairs the Board of Directors. With 22 years of financial services, legal, operations, risk, and regulatory experience, she has been a key contributor to Mellon Capital's international expansion. Parcella is the founder of the San Francisco Region Women's Initiative Network (WIN) and is a Trustee and Chair of the Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco Board. She is also a life member of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America). She received her JD from Stanford Law School, and her MPA from the University of Texas at Austin,


Grace Puma

SVP, Chief Supply Officer, PepsiCo

GABRIELA FRANCO PARCELLA PUMA leads three areas that support all PepsiCo businesses In the global procurement role, she manages nearly $25 billion of spend across all lines of the business. She also oversees manufacturing operations in 11 countries and across the global supply chain. Finally, Puma establishes the global strategy on next generation capabilities. She is credited for doubling the year-over-year productivity delivery rate post-transformation for five consecutive years, and delivering over $2.8 billion in productivity over five years. Prior to joining PepsiCo, she has held leadership positions at United Airlines, Kraft Foods, Motorola and Gillette, and has served on the boards of Marietta Corporation, Institute for Supply Management and LifeLink Corporation.


Adriana Cisneros

CEO, Cisneros

GABRIELA FRANCO PARCELLA ADRIANA CISNEROS de Griffin leads a third-generation family-owned business focused on media, interactive, and real estate. She is also the President of the Fundacion Cisneros, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education in the region. Cisneros is also the co-chair of Endeavor Miami, the Director and Executive Committee Member of the Board of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a Trustee of the Paley Center for Media, and a board member of MoMA PS1 and MoMA's Latin American acquisitions committee. She holds a BA from Columbia University, a Master's Degree in journalism from New York University, and is a graduate...

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