1. Marriott International, Inc.
Executive Vice President
Brenda Durham, Senior Vice President & Regional General Counsel for Marriott International, Inc., serves as primary legal counsel for Marriott’s hotels and resorts located throughout the Caribbean and Latina America (CALA). In this capacity she provides guidance to Marriott’s law department group supporting the region. As part of CALA’s senior leadership, Durham plays an active role shaping the strategic objectives for the region. She leads the region’s Owner & Franchisee Team, which is charged with overseeing the process for evaluating and addressing owner and franchisee feedback, insight and guidance.
Durham joined Marriott in 1999 and is Marriott’s senior ranking Latina. Durham has a comprehensive practice that includes (i) negotiating financial, equity, and management agreement transactions, (ii) hotel owner relationship development and dispute resolution, (iii) oversight for Marriott’s international global safety and security matters, (iv) support for asset management transactions, and (v) participation on Marriott’s Human Rights Committee.
In prior roles, Durham served as the primary legal counsel supervising Marriott’s law department group for international global operations providing counsel and oversight to attorneys supporting Asia Pacific, Middle East Africa and the United Kingdom. She also led legal support for the integration of the AC by Marriott branded hotels located in Spain after Marriott acquired the AC Hotel brand in 2011. Durham is a passionate advocate of Marriott’s diversity and inclusion programs. Most recently, in 2015, she participated as a panel member at the CEO Summit of the Americas speaking about Women’s Economic Empowerment.
2. Comcast NBCUniversal
SVP, Global Chief Information Security Officer
Myrna Soto is Senior Vice President Global Chief Information Security Officer (GCISO) of Comcast Corporation. She works closely with all of the technology and security teams across the organization, including Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, Comcast Spectacor and Comcast Platform Services to develop cyber security, network/infrastructure security, data security strategies, and operational efficacy in security programs, policies, and technology risk management. Soto is also the Executive Champion of Comcast’s Hispanic employee resource group, Unidos, which strives to impact innovation, collaboration and exceptional business results by developing future leaders and serving the community.
Soto joined Comcast in 2009 after earning more than 20 years of focused Information Technology and Security experience and accolades within a variety of industries, including: financial services, hospitality, insurance/risk management and gaming/entertainment. Soto previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Infrastructure & Information Security Officer, responsible for enterprise information and infrastructure security strategy and operations for Comcast Cable.
Soto holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, a Master of Science degree in Industrial Psychology, a Master of Business Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University and a Masters Certification in Project Management from George Washington University.
Soto was recognized by SC Magazine as the Top 10 Power Players for Women in Security – 2015. She is also an Executive Management Committee Board Member (Vice President) of HITEC (Hispanic IT Executive Council), a Member of the Board of Directors for CMS Energy & Consumers Energy, and a Member of the Board of Directors for Spirit Airlines.
Senior Vice President, Premium Care
Senior Vice President, AT&T Entertainment Group – Premium Care, AT&T Services, Inc. Carmen Nava was appointed Senior Vice President – Premium Care, in September 2015. In this role, Nava leads AT&T Entertainment Group’s efforts to care for customers with more complex needs, while providing continuous improvements across the business.
Her 31-year career has taken her to assignments in customer experience, business planning, billing, customer service and sales, human resources, external affairs and marketing. Prior to this assignment, Nava served as Senior Vice President – Customer Experience. Nava is active in the community and serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of the University of Southern California’s (USC) Latino Alumni Association and on the University of the Incarnate Word’s Board of Trustees. She also serves on the Advisory Board of two Employee Resource Groups that support the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through their efforts in the workplace, marketplace and the community: HACEMOS and LEAGUE.
Nava was recognized as one of the Top 5 Latina Executives of the year for 2013 by LATINA Style magazine for her work to empower women and the Hispanic community and was selected by Hispanic Professionals in the Information Technology Industry (HITEC) as one of the Top 100 most influential and notable Hispanics in the technology industry for 2016. Nava is a native of Los Angeles, Calif., and a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Business. She resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Robert. They have one daughter.
Managing Director-Global Inclusion & Diversity
Nellie Borrero is a highly respected executive and leader, recognized for her passion for inclusion and diversity. Thoughtful with deep global experience, Borrero works to raise awareness and increase understanding on the importance of embracing diversity and equality. She communicates the message world-wide to leaders, recruits, and organizations.
Borrero joined Accenture in 1986 creating the first role for diversity efforts. She holds a crucial leadership role and is a driving force behind the company’s diversity initiatives. Under Borrero’s leadership, the most recent innovations are creation of a development program for high performing women globally, design of career progression initiatives for women throughout APAC, EMEA and the Americas; global positioning of the LGBT and Persons with Disability agenda; as well as the design and execution of ethnic diversity programs.
Borrero has shared her perspectives and beliefs in publications such as Forbes, Management Consulting Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Diversity Inc., Diversity Careers in IT & Engineering, Black Enterprise and Hispanic Engineering, as well as having been a featured guest on National Public Radio (NPR).
She has received numerous awards, among them: 2016 Black Enterprise Top Executives in Corporate Diversity; 2012 LATINA Style Top 5 Executive Women; 2012 Marcus Buckingham Leaders Leading Leaders Award; 2012 Hispanic Business Influentials.
Borrero earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree after attending New York University and Lehman College. Her degree is in Management, specializing in Human Resources. Borrero is married and has a daughter and son. She enjoys her family life, reading, playing tennis and purposefully giving to the world.
5. Johnson & Johnson
Chief Strategy & Business Transformation Officer
Denice Torres is Chief Strategy and Business Transformation Officer for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. She serves on the Medical Devices Group Operating Committee (GOC) and is responsible for boldly advancing the organization’s transformation to support its innovation and growth goals.
Prior to this role, Torres was co-chair of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., North America. She was also President of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer US OTC division, McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
In 2016, Torres was selected as the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson H.O.N.O.R. Special Recognition Leadership Award for her exceptional support of the company’s employee resource groups and diversity and inclusion. In 2015, she was named Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Woman of the Year. In 2013, Working Mother named her Working Mother of the Year. She has been featured in Pharmaceutical Executive, Philadelphia Business Journal, LATINA Style, WomenWorking and Siempre Mujer.
Torres has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University, Maurer School of Law; and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Ball State University. She serves on the national board of Out & Equal.
Torres lives in Clinton, NJ with her spouse, Kim, and their 15-year-old daughter, Sierra. As mom to a daughter with cerebral palsy, she is wildly passionate about opportunities and possibilities for special needs children. She also enjoys biking, all things tech, and is a spirited advocate for women’s leadership and health and fitness.
6. Prudential Financial
Yanela C Frias
Vice President, Finance
Yanela Frias is the Vice President of Finance for Prudential’s Individual Annuities business. In this capacity Frias is responsible for the financial reporting, planning and analysis, capital management and corporate finance functions of the business. Prior to this position, Frias was the Vice President of Finance for the Individual Life business where she led the finance function and played a significant leadership role in the acquisition of the Hartford Life business.
Before joining the Individual Life business, Frias was a Managing Director with the Treasurer’s organization and Assistant Treasurer for Prudential Financial, Inc. In addition, she was the Treasurer for the Corporate & Other business unit. Frias also partnered with Corporate Banking in coordinating banking relationships. Previously, she held various positions in the Treasurer’s organization including Business Unit Treasury for Retirement, Individual Life, Group, Closed Block and PRERS.
Frias joined Prudential in March 1997 as a member of the External Financial Reporting Group where she was responsible for the consolidation and reporting of Enterprise financial results, including the preparation of the Annual Report. In August of 2000, Frias moved on to the Strategy & Competitive Analysis Group. In this role, she focused on analyzing competitor results, strategies and competitive advantages as well as supporting the Company’s Demutualization.
Frias received a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. in finance from Rutgers University. Frias is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
7. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Executive Vice President International
Gisel Ruiz is executive vice president for the International People Division, supporting 2.3 million associates in 27 countries outside the United States. In this role, Ruiz is responsible for driving the human resources strategy and priorities for one of the fastest growing divisions of the company.
A 24-year associate, Ruiz is an inspirational leader who has consistently contributed to Walmart’s growth and success while demonstrating an unwavering commitment to their associates. While executive vice president of People for Walmart U.S., she helped transform the company’s approach to talent management and leveraged technology to drive changes that increased efficiencies and improved the associate and customer experience supporting more than 1.2 million associates.
Ruiz began her career at Walmart as a store management trainee in 1992. She has held a variety of leadership positions in store operations, labor relations and human resources.
LATINA Style honored her as 2010 Latina Executive of the Year, and in 2012, 2013 and 2014, she was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. In 2013, Ruiz was awarded the Hispanic Federation’s “Premio Orgullo” award, honoring Latinos who have shown an unwavering dedication to their community. Most recently she received the 2013 “Woman of the Year” Distinguished Service Award from the USO of Metropolitan New York.
She has a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Santa Clara University, where she also completed the Retail Management Institute program.
8. General Motors Company
GM Vice President, Global Quality
Grace Lieblein is responsible for leading General Motors’ global quality efforts aimed at providing customers with the highest-quality vehicles in the industry. Lieblein brings to the role in-depth knowledge of manufacturing, engineering, purchasing and global markets to ensure seamless integration of customer-focused technologies. Also, Lieblein is a member of the Board of Directors for the GM Foundation.
From June 2011 to January 2013, Lieblein was president and managing director of GM Brazil. Prior to her assignment in Brazil, Lieblein was president and managing director of GM Mexico – the first woman to serve in this role. While in Mexico, in addition to her position at GM, she was appointed to the board of directors for the American Chamber Mexico and named vice president of its board.
Lieblein has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a master’s degree in management – materials/logistics – from Michigan State University. She also holds a certificate from the Thunderbird Global Leadership Certificate Program.
Widely recognized for her achievements, Lieblein recently received the Outstanding Achievement Award for North America 2015 from the Automotive Supply Chain organization, and was honored by the Michigan Women’s Foundation for the 2015 Women of Achievement and Courage Celebration. In 2014, she was named Engineer of the Year by STEM Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) and was recognized as a 2014 Automotive News All-Star. In 2013, she was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 10 Most Powerful Women in Automotive.
9. United Technologies Corporation
Cindy Jimenez Turner
Director, Government Relations
Cindy Jimenez Turner works for United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which serves customers in the commercial aerospace, defense and building industries, and ranks among the world’s most respected and innovative companies.
Jimenez Turner joined UTC Global Government Relations in 2009. She is responsible for positioning and shaping legislation and issues relating to commercial aviation and aerospace. She is involved in several exciting projects, including funding discussions on major jet engine platforms and key NASA and FAA programs for UTC subsidiaries Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS). She is also Chair of the Pratt & Whitney Hispanic Leadership Forum Recruitment and Retention Committee, and a current member of the Howard University School of Education Board of Visitors.
Previously, she worked for TechAmerica for two years as Vice President of Government Relations. Jimenez Turner also spent over 11 years on Capitol Hill for several Members of Congress. She spent five years with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Outreach Advisor on issues relating to the federal budget, immigration, small business and tech. She was also liaison to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Southwest Members of Congress. She also worked for Congressman Gene Green as his Communications Director. Jimenez Turner graduated from University of Texas in Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Government and Spanish.
In addition to her work responsibilities, she is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s advisory board, as well as a board member of Mexicanos en el Exterior. She is a consistent visible advocate within the community, having been named to the Hispanic Business Magazine’s 2008 list of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States”.
10. Intel Corporation
Sandra L. Rivera
Vice President, Data Center Group General Manager, Network Platforms Group
Sandra L. Rivera is vice president in the Data Center Group and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for the Intel business group charged with providing innovative technology and solutions to the networking industry.
Rivera joined Intel in 2000 as marketing director for the new Intel division that resulted from the company’s acquisition of Dialogic Corporation. During her Intel career, she has held various marketing and business development roles focused on network infrastructure, including product marketing, segment marketing, and channel and ecosystem marketing.
In 2015, Intel recognized Rivera with its highest honor, the Intel Achievement Award, for helping to transform the telecommunications industry with Intel® architecture technologies and network functions virtualization (NFV).
Before joining Intel, Rivera co-founded and served as president of The CTI Authority, a computer telephony distributor; and served as president of the computer telephony division at Catalyst Telecom. She also spent seven years at Dialogic, culminating in her role as director of Dialogic’s sales organization in the eastern United States and Canada. She started her career as an engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Rivera holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She sits on the board of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) and serves as OPNFV’s marketing chair, on the board of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). Rivera is also a member of the Intel Hispanic Leadership Council.
Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Officer
Grace Puma is the Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Officer of PepsiCo. Globally, PepsiCo has 22 different brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. With net revenues of over $66 billion, PepsiCo’s main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world.
Since Puma joined PepsiCo in 2010, she transitioned Global Procurement from a decentralized, market-based function to a centralized global procurement entity. In 2015, Puma was appointed Chief Supply Officer with expanded responsibilities to include: Global Logistics, Global Procurement, and PepsiCo Worldwide Flavours. Puma has strategic leadership accountabilities for 11 concentrate manufacturing operations, $30B of purchase spend and ~3600 worldwide employees. Her scope of responsibility includes driving: enterprise supply chain strategy; productivity; commodity risk management; plant health/safety; product quality and supply service to PepsiCo’s businesses.
Puma is a seasoned executive experienced at transforming decentralized organizations into globally connected, locally wired business functions that drive performance. She is well regarded as a strategist and change agent. Recognized as a top female and Hispanic leader role model, Puma is highly valued for her ability to find innovative solutions, building strong business relationships and developing talent.
In 2013, Puma was recognized as the #4 CPO out of 5,000 global CPOs across all industries by ExecRank. In 2016, she was recognized as the “Executive of the Year” by LATINA Style magazine.
12. FCA US LLC
Senior Manager, Organization Planning and HR Communications
FCA US LLC is a North American automobile manufacturer of Ram, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat and Mopar products. FCA US has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and it is ingrained the company’s culture. The wide range of diverse employee talents and perspectives allows the company to take for visionary approaches, strategically apply new technologies and forge ahead in innovation and performance.
FCA US is passionate about finding diverse talent and creating lasting relationships with organizations who strive for success and for inspiring others. We are proud to work with each of the seven Business Resource Groups (BRGs); their energy, enthusiasm and team focused can do attitude contributes to the company’s ability to gain a deeper understanding of unique and culturally relevant development, mentoring, and recruitment strategies. BRG – Latins in Connection’s (LinC) goals are designed around four pillars: career, culture, community and commerce. Each year LinC holds its’ annual mentoring program. The program matches members with company executives for guidance and leadership. This program, in addition to many others, provides members ongoing engagement with the group’s Executive Sponsor, networking, exposure and career development opportunities that are second to none.
Highest-ranking Latina, Michelle Cook, Senior Manager, Organization Planning and HR Communications, is responsible for company-wide organization design processes and consultation. She also leads HR’s communication strategy with a focus on developing innovative ways to communicate and reinforce the employee value proposition in support of talent acquisition and retention. Born in Michigan, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in human resources from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and an MBA from Wayne State University.