|Latina Executive of the Year, 2011
They are motivators, role models, leaders, and are highly admired for their relentless work. LATINA Style takes pride in honoring Latina achievement at the corporate level by presenting the 3rd Annual LATINA Style Executive of the Year Program. Patricia Salas Pineda Group Vice President for National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation Toyota Motor North America, Inc., has been recognized as the 2011 LATINA Style executive of the year. Her leadership skills, community involvement and business impact at Toyota, are significantly evident meriting her with the award. In addition to the top Latina executive of the year selected, LATINA Style also takes pride in presenting four additional Latinas that exude excellence and leadership at the company they work for.
Patricia Salas Pineda
Group Vice President, National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
“I’m flattered to be recognized by LATINA Style
Magazine and to represent Toyota among all of you powerful and wise Latina attendees,” states Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and the 2011 LATINA Style
Executive of the Year Awardee. “Receiving this award from the first national magazine dedicated to Latina working women is an honor. And being a benefactor of Anna Maria’s legacy is a moment I will always treasure.”
Pineda joined TMA in September 2004 as Group Vice President of Corporate Communications and General Counsel. Prior to joining TMA, Pineda spent 20 years at New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), the corporate joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors Corporation where she served as Vice President, Human Resources, Government and Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary.
A determined Latina, Pineda takes pride in working at a company that works hard to support initiatives that touch the lives of Hispanics all across. “We have a lot of Latinos coming through the pipeline and they see that there is a place for them at the big table,” she states. “Toyota’s commitment to diversity is very strong, and it’s something that I feel really proud of.”
Toyota’s commitment to the Latino community translates into programs like: The Toyota Family Literacy Program, Buckle Up for Life. Toyota also supports initiatives that aim to raise awareness of conservation efforts and environmental career paths among diverse communities, with programs like TogetherGreen.
Pineda received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College in 1974 and a juris doctor degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977. Pineda’s affiliations include serving as director, Levi Strauss & Co., Inc.; Advisory Trustee, The Rand Corporation; Board member, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc.; Corporate Advisory Board Member, National Council De La Raza and Corporate Advisory Board Member, Catalyst. She is also a member of the Hispanic Family Learning Institute (HFLI) Advisory Board. Pineda previously served as a director of Eller Media and Anna’s Linens and as a Trustee of The James Irvine Foundation.
Toyota Family Literacy Program, 2007.
Patricia Pineda at NCLRâ€™s Latina Brunch Event.
Lee Ann Benavidez
Regional Vice President of Revenue for North America Operations, HYATT
With almost 13 years of commitment to Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Lee Ann Benavidez, Regional vice president of Revenue for North America Operations, oversees the revenue generated at 27 hotels in the Western Division.
“When I was first notified that I had been selected as one of the top five Latina executives I was so surprised and immediately felt so honored,” expresses Benavidez. “This is such an incredible award and a way to recognize all talented and accomplished Latinas. To receive such recognition along with four other extraordinary and talented women is truly very humbling.”
Hyatt’s commitment to diversity is represented at all levels of senior management. Hyatt’s current 12 member Board of Directors include two females and one African American. The Diversity Council, which she is most proud of is a 23 member group comprised of executives throughout the company.
Benavidez, foresees Latinas expanding into senior leadership roles at the corporate level and establishing themselves as viable candidates for board of directors positions. “The most critical piece advice I would first offer any Latina, or young woman, is to believe in yourself and your capabilities,” states Benavidez. “Apply yourself at all levels and expect more of yourself every day. As you enter the workforce, I believe it is extremely important to allow yourself to learn and accept guidance and feedback from the right mentors. It is so important to be open to learning and becoming “self-aware”. Self-awareness is key to building the right relationships and managing yourself appropriately in the workplace.”
Director of Segment Marketing for Liberty Mutual
Director of Segment Marketing for Liberty Mutual, Yvonne Garcia is responsible for the creation and implementation of integrated marketing strategies that result in increased penetration of select consumer targets throughout the country, including the multi-cultural market.
“It is an honor and a very humbling feeling to be recognized by a publication that focuses on the advancement of Latinas across the country,” states Garcia. “It is a privilege to be in the presence of so many accomplished Latinas.”
Liberty Mutual Insurance fosters an inclusive work environment where every employee has the chance to grow and succeed based on ability, performance and aspirations. “To ensure we reach as many talented job candidates as possible, we’ve built relationships with a number of national and regional professional organizations, including the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), and have actively participated in job fairs, sponsored conferences and events, and provided scholarships and awards,” she states. “We foster the development of our diverse employees through mentorship and professional development programs. As an inclusive environment, all employees are encouraged to develop, grow and become successful.”
Garcia teaches undergraduate marketing and business management at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and is the national vice president of (ALPFA). Garcia holds an MBA from Boston University in Finance and Marketing and a BA from La Sorbonne in Paris, France where she lived studying Economics and Culture.
Senior Vice President, Director of Hispanic Marketing at Porter Novelli
A 15-year marketing veteran in the public relations field with experience in Hispanic marketing across a comprehensive range of industries, Sonia Sroka, senior vice president, director of Hispanic Marketing at Porter Novelli is equally passionate and dedicated to her client work as she is to championing diversity and inclusion in the PR field. “I feel grateful and very humbled to accept the honor of being named one of five top Latina Executives of the year.”
For Sroka, Porter Novelli is a company that was founded by people unafraid to stand up, speak out and fight for things they believed in – especially things that help drive social change. Sroka takes pride in honoring this legacy through her commitment to doing well so she can do well.
Manager, mentor and a role model for many, Sroka is also passionate about developing the next generation of female leaders. She works as a mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation of East Harlem, which partners with school districts, parents and community leaders to create single-gender public schools and college access programs across the country. “Our talent is our greatest asset,” she states. “All people, Latinas or otherwise, do their best when they are in an environment like Porter Novelli has created. One that offers the encouragement, the tools and the opportunity to think big, act big and provoke measurable business change for our clients. Truly great work – transformative work - happens when smart people are allowed to thrive.”
Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Diversity
Time Warner Inc.
An inspiring leader both in the corporate and public arena, Lisa Quiroz, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer has pioneered and led transformational business and organizational changes at Time Warner. In this role, she has brought coherence and strategic alignment to the company’s community outreach and philanthropic programs in education and the arts. Quiroz is responsible for ensuring that Time Warner attracts, retains and develops a talented, diverse workforce, and she leads company-wide efforts aimed at better serving and reaching a more diverse marketplace.
Her achievements in the business, philanthropic and diversity space are augmented by her genuine desire to enhance opportunities for Latinas.
Prior to assuming her current position, Quiroz was the catalyst for two of Time Inc.’s successful brand extensions—People en Español and Time for Kids. She was also founding publisher of People en Español. Under her leadership, the magazine topped Adweek’s “10 Under 40 Magazine” Hot List for three consecutive years. Previously, at Time Inc., she created and launched Time for Kids, an award-winning classroom news magazine for elementary school kids with a circulation of over 3.5 million.
Quiroz, of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, was born and raised in New York City and received both her undergraduate degree and Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University.