This year Washington, D.C. will be remembered for a lot of reasons. It is the most unsettling transition of power that I can remember. I am sure that by now most of us have made up our minds on what we should expect moving forward. But we cannot dismiss that a major change has finally taken place for us. It reminds me of the pride we experienced when Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.
This time we were honored to Welcome Senator Catherine Cortez Masto to Washington D.C. and present her with the LATINA Style Trailblazer Award at the Welcoming Reception for the LATINA Style 50 Conference. We waited for a long time for the first Latina to join the most exclusive club in the country, the United States Senate. Only 50 members, with the power to help shape our country. The Senate possesses the power to review and debate bills, treaties, propose legislation and provide oversight to the president’s administration. This very select group of individuals are elected for a term of six years which gives time to learn and make their mark on the laws which govern our country. Senator Cortez Masto comes to the U.S. Senate with a wealth of experience having served in numerous positions of high responsibility in her state of Nevada. She is certain to make an impactful contribution to this illustrious body.
This past February we were able to recognize the top 50 Best companies for Latinas to work for in the United States at our annual LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. It was our best attended conference that we’ve had since we launched in 1998. We honored Marriott International as our Company of the Year, Johnson & Johnson’s HOLA as our ERG of the Year and Ms. Rosie Kitson from AT&T as our Latina Corporate Executive of the Year. It is always an inspiring conference when we get to mingle with the most accomplished Latinas in corporate America and learn about what makes them the superstars that they are.
Finally, it is our great pleasure to give you a glimpse into the corporate life of former Vice Chairman of AT&T Ralph de la Vega. I have known Ralph for over 15 years and he has been an inspiration to me and numerous people throughout the years. Because of him we have started a series of features on “men who mentor women.” Wherever Ralph has served, whether in the U.S. or abroad, Ralph has left a legacy of highly placed Latinas and women executives that he has personally mentored, sponsored, inspired and guided. He is a true visionary, many times taking risks where other would not venture. He has found a way to empower young women and people in places where if it not for him it would never have happened. Ralph, thank you for your leadership, you have left a Latina, women and men corps of achievers that will follow your steps and guidance for a long time to come. Their successes are definitely your success as well.