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2019 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ Class
Written by Andrea Franco
on October 28, 2019


From April 27-28, HACR hosted its 23rd Annual Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ in Atlanta, at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Hosted by Target Corporation, the Annual HACR Symposium brings together some of the most influential Hispanic community and corporate leaders to discuss best practices and solutions for Hispanic inclusion at Fortune 500 companies through Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

The 23rd Annual HACR Symposium kicked off with remarks from HACR President and CEO Cid D. Wilson, followed by three business sessions boasting an impressive roster of speakers. The first business session sponsored by MGM Resorts International, “The C-Suite Roundtable,” featured Carlos Castro, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Aria Resort and Casino; Stephen Hill, North American vice president of U.S. sales and services, General Motors; and Arnaldo Perez, general counsel and secretary, Carnival Corporation & plc.


Topics discussed included key leadership traits, mentorship, what they look for in executives they hire, and Hispanic inclusion. Next, a business session sponsored by Microsoft titled “Emerging Opportunities for Tomorrow’s Workforce” took place, featuring Maria Alvarez, partner, engineering shared services, information platform group applications and services group, Microsoft Corporation; Joel Martinez, managing vice president, enterprise services and staff, Capital One; Mark Palmenter, staff vice president, multicultural strategy and marketing, Anthem, Inc.; and Michael Treviño, principal, Treviño & Co. Among the topics panelists discussed were the fields that will yield new opportunities, the degrees and skills that offer a competitive advantage in the labor market, and challenges the Hispanic community faces in developing suitable graduates and candidates for emerging fields.

The final business session of the day was “The C-Suite Roundtable II” with JoAnn Chavez, vice president and chief tax officer, DTE Energy; Ed Martinez, president, The UPS Foundation; and Joe Uva, chairman, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, NBCUniversal. The featured executives had an informative discussion on the key leadership traits they consider “must-haves” in order to be successful. “I think it’s important that people are intellectually curious, have great critical thinking skills, and are good listeners,” said Uva.


That evening, participants networked at the symposium opening reception sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and General Motors.

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Lisette Garcia, senior director of the HACR Research Institute presented “Insights, Trends, and Best Practices” from the HACR Corporate Inclusion Index, a yearly research project that she leads. The session highlighted some of the trends regarding Hispanic inclusion across HACR’s four pillars: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. Participants engaged in a lively discussion and shared best practices during the interactive session.

The next business session featured chief diversity officers (CDOs) from several top corporations around the country, including Ken Barrett, General Motors; Erby Foster, The Clorox Company; Pat Harris, McDonald’s Corporation; Jorge Quezada, Kraft Foods; and Lorie Valle-Yañez, MassMutual. These CDOs discussed their strategies and challenges for Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America. In regards to strategy, Harris commented that ensuring diversity requires collaboration among all departments, and holding leaders in all areas of the organization accountable for inclusive hiring practices.

The symposium networking luncheon was sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Marriott, and the keynote speaker was Deborah Gillis, president and CEO of Catalyst. Gillis shared with the audience her personal experiences as a woman in Corporate America and how she came to lead Catalyst, a leading nonprofit whose mission is to expand opportunities for women in business.

Macy’s sponsored the following business session, “Latina Ambassadors at the Top of Corporate America,” which featured Jovita Carranza, founder and CEO, JCR Group, and former vice president, air operations, UPS; Laurene Gandolfo, executive vice president, Men’s and Kids Private Brands, Macy’s; Ileana Musa, managing director, head of global client segment and strategy, Bank of America; Bea Perez, chief sustainability officer, The Coca-Cola Company; and Myra Soto, senior vice president and chief infrastructure and information security officer, Comcast Corporation; moderated by LatinaStyle’s Robert Bard. The five Latina executives shared their personal stories and insights on achieving success in Corporate America.

The final session of the Symposium was the HACR CEO Roundtable, which featured Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T mobile and business solutions and Arnold W. Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc. For the eighth consecutive year, Telemundo’s Norma Garcia moderated the HACR CEO Roundtable and engaged the CEOs in a thought-provoking conversation regarding diversity and Hispanic inclusion at their companies.

The Symposium concluded with the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ (YHCA) awards reception. Attendees were invited to celebrate the next generation of Hispanic corporate talent at the closing reception sponsored by Altria and MillerCoors. 

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About the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organizations in the nation representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.


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