2021 Top 10 Latina Corporate Executives of the Year
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
In 2009, LATINA Style Inc. launched the LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year program with the mission of highlighting individual Latina achievements in the corporate arena. Now in its 13th year, LATINA Style Inc. recognizes the hard work and dedication Latinas are performing at the top of their respective companies. Meet 13 Latinas that have been nominated by their superiors and peers for their achievement, tenacity and success. They have been nominated and recognized based on their excellence in business impact, contribution to the development of their company, corporate leadership, mentorship, and dedication to working with their communities both locally and nationally. The winner of the LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year Award for 2021 will be announced at the LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference on May 18th and 19th in Washington D.C.
Talent & Organization Human Potential Practice,
Accenture – Minneapolis
Angelina Vilouta is a managing director at Accenture Talent & Organization/ Human Potential Practice. She has over 28 years of experience helping clients and their people build the skills they need to prepare for the future of work in ways that serve individuals, businesses, and communities. Vilouta’s primary focus is on strategic and operational transformations, elevating performance of their workforce. Vilouta leads the Global Accenture Academy, leveraging AI-driven analytics and learning experiences, to unlock human ingenuity and ensure workers have the skills and development needed to drive significant and meaningful value in an era of perpetual change. As part of Accenture, she created the Latinx Employee Resource Group in Minneapolis. In addition, she has devoted herself to being a mentor, trusted advisor, and active sponsor for Hispanics at Accenture and the community. Vilouta was recognized in 2019 and 2020 HITEC as one of the Top 100 Most Influential and notable Hispanic Professionals in IT. Vilouta was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the U.S. 20 years ago. She received a bachelor’s degree in Education Sciences and Psychopedagogy from Universidad de Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
CEO and President
Auto Network Consulting Inc. and MyAutoProtect.com
A pioneer for women in the Automotive Industry, founder and CEO of Auto Network Consulting, Audrey McKinley is a Sales, Marketing and Automotive expert. She began her career over 30 years ago working in every role within the dealership space, while climbing the corporate ladder and building a respected name for herself. A leader in top-level process development and training platforms, McKinley manages over 30M in wealth portfolios and oversees automotive finance departments generating over 36M annually. In addition to paving the way for women in a male-dominated Industry, McKinley has a passion for philanthropy and mentorship in her community. She sits on many non-profit boards that are focused on empowering those at risk. McKinley mentors students in the Hispanic 100 Program, in addition to sitting on the board of the Love Thy Neighbor nonprofit as the VP, the advisory board of the Pure Hope Foundation and the YAB project. McKinley is a keynote motivational speaker and author, who is committed to empowering women to step out of fear and into faith to pursue their God-given purpose. McKinley believes that we do not walk this path alone and takes great responsibility in helping others find their pathway to success. As a proud Latina, she values the importance of creating a work culture that embraces diversity and offers respect for all people. She is also a mother, wife and worship director leading the Spanish church in Southern California.
Fabiola Galera Rogano
Executive Director for Global Chassis and Active Thermal Management General Motors Corporation
Fabiola Galera Rogano is the Executive Director for Global Chassis and Active Thermal Management at General Motors Corporation. Based in Detroit, she leads a large team of engineers and their respective leaders responsible for the strategy, design, release, development and implementation of all Chassis and Thermal components of GM vehicles worldwide. Prior to this role, she held several leadership positions across the globe, overseeing many countries in several continents: South America, Africa, Asia and Australia: she served as Vice President of GM International Product Engineering, managing many aspects of GM’s operations, from vehicles to powertrain systems and their related components, in Korea, Australia, India, Thailand, Egypt and South America, including strategies, policies, objectives, personnel, resources, finances, and suppliers; based in Brazil, she was also a member of both GM South America and GM International Executive Committees. Galera Rogano has been with General Motors for most of her 27-year-old career, always distinguishing herself as an innovative and flawless achiever, throughout all her domestic and global roles, fostering her co-worker’s road to success by mentoring a great number of them. Being the first female Product Engineering Director in GM South America, she supported the development and growth of other female leaders in several countries, being member of the WAG (Women Affinity Group) in Brazil when it was launched.
South Florida/Caribbean CIGNA
Giselle Cushing is the South Florida/Caribbean Market President for global health service company Cigna. Cushing is known for her energy and deep involvement with community organizations that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion in health. Since being named as Cigna’s local leader in July 2020, she has made a strong impact on the business, and recently received the 2021 Influential Business Women award from the South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) and also named a SFBJ Power Leader in Healthcare. Cushing is a member of Cigna’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council reporting to the CEO. She also serves as Executive Enterprise Leader for the company’s 2022 Women in Leadership program. Prior to joining Cigna, Cushing served in leadership roles at Humana, United HealthCare of Florida, Colonial Life, Physician Corporation of America and Sunrise Healthcare Plan, Inc. With 29 years of leadership experience in the Health and Wellbeing space, she is recognized as a thought leader committed to championing affordable, predictable, and simple health care in the local market. Cushing is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of South Floridians. She enjoys spending time with family and giving back to the community by volunteering and supporting area organizations dedicated to helping underprivileged families from diverse backgrounds in the tri-county area. A longtime leader in the South Florida community, she serves on the Board of Directors for Hispanic Unity of Florida, the Urban League of Broward County, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Giselle Maria Valdez
Vice President, Public Finance
Wells Fargo Corporate & Investment Banking
Giselle Maria Valdez is a Vice President responsible for west coast higher education, nonprofit and foundation coverage in Wells Fargo’s public finance investment banking department. She has managed the pursuit or execution of over 100 bond financings totaling $16 billion for higher education and nonprofit clients throughout the country, including: New York University, The Ford Foundation, American Museum of Natural History, University of Chicago, Santa Clara University, Occidental College, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California Academy of Sciences, and Century Housing Corporation, among others. She is a subject matter expert on structuring and marketing ESG designated bonds. Valdez is an active volunteer and mentor within various organizations; particularly those that empower minorities, Latinas, and veterans. A Marine Corps veteran, she was recently elected to the Board of the Foundation for Women Warriors and serves as Treasurer. She is a frequent speaker and participant in diversity recruiting and educational events held by Wells Fargo, Veterans on Wall Street, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
President & CEO
Colombian-born LuzElena Rivers is President and CEO of AMERA Solutions, a nationwide agency that started offering medical transportation. In 2010 she identified a need for ambulatory outpatient transportation and she developed an affinity for those who lacked the resources to take care of themselves and their families. Rivers self-funded the start of Amera, growing it to the $12 million company it is today. As a recognized woman-owned Latino business with revenues of $4 million, Rivers won a prestigious scholarship to Stanford University’s SLEI program followed by Goldman Sachs’ 10KSB program connecting thousands of entrepreneurs nationwide. In 2021, Forbes recognized her in their annual NEXT 1000 list, which celebrates entrepreneurial heroes. In 2014, she launched the Rivers for Health Foundation, a non-profit that financially supports medical services, health fairs, and educational scholarships. Through the non-profit, Rivers has collaborated with the YMCA, the City of Houston Department of Health, Neighborhood Centers Inc., NFL, Houston Texans, American Cancer Society, and El Centro de Corazon. Aside from further expanding Amera, Rivers looks forward to continuing her work as a beacon of light to empower women entrepreneurs.
Memorial Ambulatory and Community Services Memorial Healthcare System
Melida Akiti, Vice President of the Memorial Ambulatory and Community Services, Memorial Healthcare System is known as an innovative healthcare executive with a strong passion for her faith, her family and her community. As the Vice President of the Memorial Ambulatory and Community Services at Memorial Healthcare System, she is credited for creating one of the best, patient-centered, culturally sensitive primary care programs in the area, serving insured and uninsured members of the community. Born in Panama, Akiti is the first black Latina that has held the position of chair for the Health Foundation of South Florida. Akiti is an appointed board member of the Homeless Continuum of Care and also serves on the Broward County Race Equity Task Force and as a board member for Big Brother Big Sister of Broward. She is Past Board Chair of Child Net (responsible for the foster care system) and Emeritus board member of Hispanic Unity. Akiti is an active member of Covenant Seventh Day Adventist Church, a woman of strong faith who remains grateful to God for all her blessings and for that inner strength that guides her spirit to service. She cherishes time with family and friends, including spending time with her husband of 35-years and her 96-year-old mother. She is proud of her daughter who is an attorney following her step in working with the vulnerable population.
Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
Experienced CEO, General Counsel, public/private director, and value creation expert with 34 years’ on publicly traded, public, and private boards, Melinda Guzman is highly regarded for her expertise in governance, legal and fiduciary matters. An expert in finance, legal, construction, real estate and higher education, Guzman has been responsible for P&L, operations, strategic direction, financial oversight, and organizational leadership. She has extensive experience with banking, credit facilities and venture-backed financing. Former Board Vice Chair, Melinda serves as Chair of the bank’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and has served as Chair of the Finance, Governance, External Affairs, and Affordable Housing Committees, as member of Audit and Risk Committees and as Vice-Chair of the CEO Succession Committee. She served on a national Governance Diversity Task Force for the Federal Home Loan Bank system. Guzman serves as Corporate Secretary/ General Counsel of Vanir Group, Vanir Construction Management, Inc., and Vanir Development Company. She is also CEO of Melinda Guzman Professional Corporation, a law firm representing public, private, and nonprofit businesses. Guzman is a public servant and community leader. She served as Trustee of the California State University and California Community College systems, lead the California Insurance Diversity Task Force, and she has led Hispanic chambers at the state, local, national, and international levels. She received the Ohtli award from Mexico for founding the Cien Amigos, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit for work to improve Mexicans in the United States. She is recognized for her leadership in opening doors, creating opportunities, and building value.
Field Vice President
As a visionary global senior executive with strong strategic planning and operational management expertise, Ofelia Kumpf, Field Vice President, McDonald’s USA, has a proven track record of creating and leading transformational change for the world’s leading global foodservice retailer. For more than 25 years, she has built and steered highly profitable business units in domestic and international markets—taking strategic risks, building trusted partnerships, and delivering multimillion-dollar bottom-line growth. She currently leads McDonald’s USA’s $4.8 billion operating business spanning across Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada, New Mexico, and West Texas. Kumpf serves as the McDonald’s Global Women’s Leadership Network U.S. Chair and serves on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. In 2020, she joined the Southern California Public Radio board of Trustees. In July 2021, she was appointed by Frontier Group Holdings, Inc, parent company of Frontier Airlines, Inc, to the company’s Board of Directors. She has been recognized for her efforts internally by McDonald’s and externally by several organization and publications. For the past four years, Kumpf has been honored by the Association for Latino Professionals for America and Fortune on its list of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas for her role as a “Corporate Trailblazer.” Latino Leaders magazine also named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential Latinas in 2020 and she received the McDonald’s U.S. Velocity Award in 2017 and 2018 for driving successful growth strategies. In 2017, she was the inaugural employee awarded the June Martino award for her out-of-the-box strategic thinking by the McDonald’s Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN). In addition, the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation named her 2015 Woman of the Year.
Co-Founder & President
New American Funding
Patty Arvielo is a self-made entrepreneur with more than 40 years of experience in the mortgage industry. She co-founded and leads the nation’s largest Latina-owned mortgage company, New American Funding. She is a 13-time Stevie Award winner, including recently being named Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Maverick of the Year at the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. A champion of fairness and equality, Arvielo created the Latino Focus and New American Dream initiatives, which aim to increase lending to underserved communities. Additionally, Arvielo serves on the National Park Foundation Board of Directors, where she is instrumental in the creation of the LatinX Project to symbolize the Latino culture in America throughout our parks. She is also serving a three-year term on the Harvard Kennedy School Board and serves on the Board of Directors for Century Communities. She is also a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association Residential Board of Governors, the Latino Donor Collaborative Board, Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, and the Mortgage Bankers Association Affordable Homeownership Advisory Council. She was also recently re-appointed to serve as a member of the Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee, a group that advises the Department of Housing and Urban Development on ways to build sustainable homeownership.
Chief Marketing & External Engagement Officer
Claro Enterprise Solutions
Camila Casale is an international business and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience in the tech and professional services industry. Her areas of expertise include brand strategy, portfolio creation, new business development, talent acquisition, consultative selling and relationship management. In her role, she develops and executes brand strategy and oversees an enterprise-wide strategy to build strategic relationships with customers and create positive business outcomes. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, Casale is a key member of the leadership team whose accountability and performance goals are directly tied to revenue generation and sales targets.
Mary Ann Kellam
Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Mary Ann Kellam is President/CEO of the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC). Under her leadership, the IHCC has added several business seminars, leadership seminars, as well as on-going training for small start-up businesses and existing businesses needing specific assistance or certification as minority-owned businesses. Under her leadership, the chamber has earned three consecutive Chamber of the Year awards from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers (TAMACC) and most recently received the 2021 United States Hispanic Chamber of the Year award (USHCC) Kellam was in the financial services industry for 13 years, prior to joining the chamber. She has been active in leadership positions in the Dallas and Coppell, TX communities. Kellam has extensive experience in sales and management.
Senior Vice President
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
Truliant Federal Credit Union
Veronica Calderon is the Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity for Truliant Federal Credit Union. She is responsible for developing and implementing leading-edge initiatives that advance the diversity management capacity of Truliant, and its presence as a financial institution of choice in its markets. Throughout her career, she has developed strategies that bring companies to the forefront as industry leaders who create more equitable environments. Calderon was born in Calceta, Manabí, Ecuador, but she has lived in North Carolina for more than two decades and considers herself a native of the state. She serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the non-profit Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and is Vice-Chair of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce. She is also a board member of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont.