50 Latinas Who Rock Fortune 500 Companies

It’s no secret Latinas are underrepresented in corporate America with only 5 percent sitting on Fortune 500 boards. The fact that of the 20 female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, only four are women of color and none are Latina, paints a pretty grim reality. Despite this disparity, we rounded up 50 Latinas doing their thing at Fortune 500 companies. Whether working their way up the corporate ladder, or serving on the board, these mujeres prove we’re coming up in top-ranked corporations.

1. 500 slide 01

Marie D. Quintero-Johnson
Vice President & Director, Mergers & Acquisitions
Coca-Cola Company

Since becoming VP of Mergers & Acquisitions, Insights and Corporate Real Estate at Coca-Cola in 2002, the company has completed $20 billion worth of investment in over 100 countries. Quintero-Johnson, who started out as a Latin-American-focused financial analyst, currently serves on the boards of Coca-Femsa, Zico Beverages, LLC and Rockwell Group LLC.

 


2. 500 slide 02

Gisel Ruiz
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Wal-Mart U.S.

Whether you agree with their controversial business practices or not, there’s a Latina behind the world's third largest public corporation. Ruiz started at Wal-Mart in 1992 as a store management trainee before making the jump to human resources. In February 2012, she took over as COO and was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business.’ Her reach is massive: Wal-Mart’s U.S. division has 1.4 million associates, more than 3,900 stores, and $264 billion in sales.

 


3. 500 slide 03

Mary Barra
SVP Global Development
General Motors

As the highest-ranking woman at GM and the automotive industry as a whole, Barra leads the design, engineering and quality of the automaker's 11 global brands. She’s committed to building 500,000 vehicles with some form of electrification (including hybrids) by 2017. Barra started working at GM when she was 18 in order to pay for college degree in electrical engineering.


4. 500 slide 04

Grace Lieblein
Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain
General Motors

Lieblein, who started her career in 1978 as a co-op student at GM’s assembly plant in Los Angeles where her father was an hourly employee, is now responsible for worldwide purchasing activities and logistics. She went from Oldsmobile in 1980 to GM de Mexico in 2008 to GM Sao Paolo in 2011. Now, she’s one of the highest-ranking Latinas at GM and was the company’s first Latina managing director and vehicle chief engineer.


5. 500 slide 05

Magda N. Yrizarry
Vice President, Human Resources
Verizon Wireless

With a BS and master's degree from Cornell University and an executive training certificate from Harvard University, Yrizarry is responsible for Verizon’s strategic HR issues and policies relating to diversity, ethics and workplace programs. She joined the company in 1990 as a manager of educational relations and is working her way up Fortune 500’s top 20 companies. 


6. 500 slide 06

Maritza Montiel
Deputy CEO & Vice Chairman
Deloitte

Montiel has spent her entire career at Deloitte, one of the largest professional services firms focused on audit, financial advisory, tax, and consulting. “In 1984 there were no women role models or mentors. It didn't take long to recognize how having someone who believes in you, can give you constructive feedback and help you see your potential can be a real game-changer. It certainly was for me. So I make time to mentor. I very much enjoy inspiring good people to become extraordinary.”

 


7. 500 slide 07

Brenda Durham
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel
Marriott International, Inc.

As primary legal counsel for Marriott's hotels and resorts throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, Durham has seen the company grow to become a leader in lodging and hospitality. The Uruguayan American credits growing up in a household with strong cultural vales and learning two languages with being successful in international law.


8. 500 slide 08

Yanela C. Frias
CFO, Prudential Annuities
Prudential Financial

With a BS in accounting and an MBA in finance, Frias joined Prudential in 1997 and is responsible for financial reporting, planning and analysis, capital management and corporate finance functions at the leading global financial services institution.

 


9. 500 slide 09

Carmen Nava
Senior Vice President, Consumer Markets
AT&T

Her 27-year career has taken her to assignments in billing operations, marketing, external affairs, human resources, customer service and sales. Nava is an L.A. native and USC graduate who took risks to get to where she is now. “I left LA. We had a wonderful home, wonderful neighborhood, wonderful schools…If you really want to go after your goals and your dreams, it does involve taking some risks. Sometimes letting go is the hardest part, yet it opens all sort of doors.”


10. 500 slide 10

Denice Torres
President, McNeil Consumer Health Care
Johnson & Johnson

With an MBA, doctor of jurisprudence, and BS in psychology, Torres assumed the role of president in 2011 at one of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies.


11. 500 slide 11

Christine McGrath Montenegro
Vice President, External Affairs
Mondelez International

Montenegro began her career as a financial analyst for Kraft Foods before becoming vice president of global sustainability and leading the company’s investment in the Latino market. Today, she works to reduce Mondelez International's environmental footprint and leads a $400 million program to create thriving cocoa communities and empower farmers around the world.

 

12. 500 slide 12

Laurene Gandolfo
Executive Vice President, Home Private Brands
Macy’s, Inc.

A native of Cuba, Gandolfo earned a master’s degree in business administration from New York University in 1981 and is now at one of the nation’s premier retailers with a holistic approach to diversity and inclusion for its customers and employees.

 

13. 500 slide 13

Vilma Salavierra
Vice President, Corporate Learning Core Services
Aflac

Salaverria joined Aflac in 1992 after working in the automotive aftermarket industry. She has a BA in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico and is now committed to providing renewable insurance to more than 50 million people worldwide.

 

14. 500 slide 14

Ofelia Melendez
Vice President, Quality, Service & Cleanliness
McDonald’s

Melendez began her career as a manager trainee for McDonald’s in 1992 and is now is responsible for over 700 restaurants, whose annual sales top $1.4 billion. “As the child of immigrant parents who saw McDonald’s as just the restaurant down the road, it became clear to my mom and dad that my potential within the McDonald’s organization had no limits.”

 

15. 500 slide 15

Arisa Batista Cunningham
VP of Global Diversity
Johnson & Johnson

A native of Panama, Cunningham is responsible for comprehensive global diversity strategies and action plans within all franchises of the $21 billion enterprise. She also sits on the board of the National Hispanic Health Foundation and is president of Madrinas, a national network of Latina leaders.

16. 500 slide 16

Annette R. Martinez
Vice President, Human Resources
State Farm Insurance Co.

In her 23 years at State Farm, Martinez has worked in several departments including Life/Health Insurance, Diversity & Inclusion, Claims, and now Human Resources. The company’s mission and vision (being a good neighbor, providing quality service and relationships, mutual trust, integrity and financial strength) align well with her own guiding principles.

17. 500 slide 17

Virginia Lazala
Vice President & Head Legal, Oncology UA/LatAm and Pharma LatAm
Novartis

Lazala has been with the Swiss pharmaceutical company for a decade, providing legal counsel to the business unit, human resources, advertising, and ethics and compliance. She plays an active role in the Hispanic Leadership Network, Novartis’ Hispanic employee resource group and mentors over 50 Novartis employees.

 

18. 500 slide 18

Yasmine Winkler
Chief Marketing, Product and Innovation Officer
UnitedHealthcare LLC

With a degree in environmental studies, Winkler has over 25 years of experience working in the health care industry and is currently marketing UnitedHealthcare’s new online tool myHealthcare Cost Estimator, which enables more than 20 million consumers to comparison shop for health care services based on quality and cost.

 

19. 500 slide 19

Yamilet Torres
Senior Director
Oracle Corporation

As senior director of a multinational computer technology corporation (an almost all-male team), Torres had to make adjustments. “As the only woman in the group, I had to adapt, not change, to a different way of communicating, thinking, and doing things. As women, we bring something rich to the table—our critical thinking and passion. It’s a challenge but also an opportunity.” The Venezuelan native has over 22 years of experience in IT and prior to Oracle, handled NASA’s networking.

20. 500 slide 20

Dineen Garcia
Vice President, Diversity Strategies
Macy’s, Inc.

How cool does a six-figure career forging relationships with Latino organizations across the U.S. for the nation’s largest retail company sound? Pretty cool. Garcia began her career as a prosecutor in New York's Brooklyn Family Court, appearing before now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor before being recruited to Macy’s federated law department. “What I love the most is that I’m exposed to so many Latinos who have contributed so much – Rosie Rios, Hilda Solis…” Garcia says of her new role.

21. 500 slide 21

Arcilia C. Acosta
Board of Directors
Energy Future Holdings

A graduate of Texas Tech University and Harvard’s Business School Corporate Governance Program, Acosta sits on the board of Texas electric utility company Energy Future Holdings and is the founder and CEO of CARCON Industries & Construction and Southwestern Testing Laboratories.

22. 500 slide 22

Cari Dominguez
Board of Directors
ManPowerGroup

With a career in both business and government environments, Dominguez is an expert at shaping and implementing employment policies and programs. The former chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Dominguez now directs the world’s leading employment services industry.

23. 500 slide 23

Donna Alvarado
Board of Directors
CSX Corp.

A director of one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers since 2006, Alvarado brings a wide range of experience in the public and private sector. She is the founder and president of Aguila International, a business-consulting firm, and has served on corporate boards in the manufacturing, banking, transportation, and services industries.

24. 500 slide 24

Linda G. Alvarado
Board of Directors
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.
Pitney Bowes Inc.

As president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc., president of Palo Alto, Inc. Restaurant Company, and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, Alvarado is a trailblazer in the male-dominated construction business and sports world.

 

25. 500 slide 25

Grace Puma
Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer
PepsiCo

The highly successful executive has cross-industry experience within airlines, technology, and consumer products. At PepsiCo, she’s responsible for an annual procurement of over $30 billion annually and ensuring the company’s global reach in developing markets.

26. 500 slide 26

Kimberly A. Casiano
Board of Directors
Ford Motor Co.

This Puerto Rican businesswoman is president and COO of Casiano Communications, the largest Hispanic publisher of periodicals and magazines in the U.S. In 2003, she became the first Latina to serve on the board of a top five Fortune 100 company when she was elected as director of Ford. She also sits on the board of Mutual of America.

27. 500 slide 27

Priscilla Almodovar
Managing Director, Head of Community Development Banking
JPMorgan Chase

Prior to joining the Fortune 500 company, Almodovar was president and CEO of the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and their affiliated agencies and subsidiaries. She began her career in 1990 at White & Case LLP, where she was made partner in 1998.

 

28. 500 slide 28

Deirdre Connelly
Board of Directors
Macy’s, Inc.

With a BA in economics and marketing and a graduate of Harvard's Advanced Management Program, Connelly has been a director of Macy’s since 2008 and CEO and president of Human Genome Sciences Inc. since 2012.

29. 500 slide 29

Patricia Diaz Dennis
Board of Directors
Mass Mutual

A retired senior VP and assistant general counsel at AT&T Inc., Dennis now sits on the board of this Fortune 500 company. As a lawyer, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs from 1992-93.

30. 500 slide 30

Linda Griego
Board of Directors
AECOM Technology

The director of CBS Corporation, City National Bank, and Southwest Water Company was president and CEO of Griego Enterprises, Inc., a business management company. She now sits on the board of this professional technical and management support services Fortune 500 company.

31. 500 slide 31

Sally Hernandez
Board of Directors
Consolidated Edison

Hernandez is an attorney and former president of East Harlem Business Capital Corporation, a non-profit corporation providing business services to promote economic development. She’s served as the managing director of Fannie Mae American Communities Fund, Chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority, Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development, and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Corporation of New York City. She’s been on the board of Consolidated Edison since 1997.

32. 500 slide 32

Maria Elena Lagomasino
Board of Directors
Avon Products Inc.
Coca-Cola Enterprises

A former CEO and director of Coca-Cola and JP Morgan Chase, Lagomasino is now CEO and managing partner of WE Family Offices and was named Hispanic Business Woman of the Year by Hispanic Business magazine.

33. 500 slide 33

Janiece Longoria
Board of Directors
CenterPoint Energy Inc.

As chairman of the board of commissioners for the Houston Port Authority, Longoria became the first woman and person of color to hold the position. She serves on the board of CenterPoint Energy, a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

34. 500 slide 34

Monica Lozano
Board of Directors
Bank of America Corp.
Walt Disney Co.

The Mexican American newspaper editor, publisher and CEO of La Opinión and ImpreMedia, LLC runs the largest Spanish publication in the United States. A member of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Lozano has been on the board of Walt Disney since 2000 and directs Bank of America.

35. 500 slide 35

Sara Martinez Tucker
Board of Directors
American Electric Power
Xerox

The former Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education and president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund spent 16 years at AT&T before being elected on the board of two Fortune 500 companies. 

36. 500 slide 36

Nina Vaca
Board of Directors
Kohl’s Corp.

The Ecuadorian CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources, a Dallas-based IT staffing company for Fortune 500 companies, is also director at both Kohl's Corporation and Comerica, Inc. Vaca is a founding member of the Startup America Partnership and is a former Chairman of the Board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

37. 500 slide 37

Cynthia Telles
Board of Directors
General Motors

A director of UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic, Telles was appointed to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by President Obama. She has held several governmental and public service appointments, including commissioner of L.A. for 13 years and has been on the board of GM since 2010.

38. 500 slide 38

Maria Sastre
Board of Directors
Darden Restaurants

The president and COO of Signature Flight Support Corporation, a fixed based operation and distribution network for business aviation services, also sits on the board of one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For.’

39. 500 slide 39

Gloria Santona
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
McDonald’s

As EVP of the world’s leading global food service retailer with more than 34,000 restaurants in 118 countries, Santona leads McDonald’s worldwide legal, compliance, regulatory and corporate governance functions. 

40. 500 slide 40

Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg
Board of Directors
General Mills
The McGraw-Hill Cos., Inc.

The Venezuelan president and CEO of Strategic Investment Group (SIG), which she founded in 1987, is a former chief investment officer at the World Bank. Now, she sits on the board of two Fortune 500 companies.

41. 500 slide 41

Elsa A. Murano
Board of Directors
Hormel Foods

The Cuban-born former president of Texas A&M University was also the U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety from 2001–2004. In 2006, she was elected to the board of Hormel Foods, a Fortune 500 company.

42. 500 slide 42

Marilyn Blanco-Reyes
Vice President, Legal-Latin American Division
FedEx Express

Blanco-Reyes has been handling the legal and regulatory affairs of FedEx in South America since 1995. Prior to joining FedEx, she practiced law as an international attorney in São Paulo and Miami.

 

43. 500 slide 43

Valerie Insignares
Senior Vice President, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer
Darden Restaurants

Named president of Longhorn Steakhouse in Jan. 2013, Insignares has been with Darden Restaurants since 1997. As a member of Darden’s Operating Team, she leads a company with more than 400 restaurants, 25,000 employees, and $1 billion in annual sales.

 

44. 500 slide 44

Yvonne Martin
Director, Integrated Building Solutions Strategic Accounts
United Technologies

Martin leads relationships with strategic customers and executes global account strategies for this Fortune 500 company. She co-founded the UTC Hispanic Leadership Forum and was elected as the chairwoman of the board for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs in 2012.

45. 500 slide 45

Maria Fernanda Mejia
President, Kellogg Latin America
Kellogg Co.

Mejia has been president of Kellogg Latin America since 2011. Prior to this role, she was corporate vice president and general manager of Global Personal Care and Corporate Fragrance Development for Colgate-Palmolive Co.

46. 500 slide 46

Betsy Silva Hernandez
Senior Director, Corporate Diversity and Inclusion
Sodexo

With more than 18 years of senior-level operations, human resources and diversity leadership experience, Hernandez is responsible for leading Sodexo’s diversity and inclusion learning strategy, employee network groups, and client consulting in North, Central and South America. She is a 2005 National Hispana Leadership Fellow and a graduate of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

 

47. 500 slide 47

Susan Santiago
Vice President, Food and Beverage-North America Operations
Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Santiago began working at Hyatt in 1992 as a server at the former Hyatt Regency Westshore in Tampa Bay, Florida. Since then, she’s worked at several of Hyatt’s 456 properties worldwide in progressively senior positions, eventually rising to her current position as vice president of food and beverage for Hyatt’s corporate headquarters in Chicago.

 

48. 500 slide 48

Anna R. Cablik
Board of Directors
BB&T Corp.

How’s this for a resume? Cablik is a director at BB&T Corp., president at Anasteel & Supply Co. LLC, president at Anatek, Inc., partner at PanAmerican Logistics LLC, partner at International Trade Imports LLC, and partner at Camana Holdings LLC. She is on the board at BB&T Corp. and Georgia Power Co.

49. 500 slide 49

Mercedes Johnson
Board of Directors
Micron Technology, Inc.

Johnson was the SVP and CFO of Avago Technologies Limited, a supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, until being elected onto the board of this Fortune 500.

50. 500 slide 50

Francesca Ruiz de Luzuriaga
Board of Directors
OfficeMax Inc.

Prior to joining OfficeMax’s board in 1998, Luzuriaga served as the COO of Mattel Interactive, one of the biggest toy manufacturers in the world. Since January 2012, she has been a director of SCAN Health Plan, a not-for-profit Medicare Advantage health plan.