Meet five Latin American women in business making an impact across different industries in Florida.
When it comes to business, some names come to mind instantly. Women like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg grace the covers of magazines, and their net worths put them in a different league. However, many accomplished women business leaders don’t get as much attention. Here we spotlight five Latin American women making waves in the business world in Florida.
These impressive professionals have forged their paths and set an example for other up-and-coming entrepreneurs and leaders. If you’re looking for some fabulous role models and inspiration, check out these terrific Latinas making a substantial impact in the Sunshine State.
Michelle Tovar is the founder of Practical Life Parenting, a coaching platform that helps parents build deep and lasting relationships with their children and deal with residual issues from their childhood.
Tovar, a mom of three boys, has over 22 years of teaching experience with Montessori and ESE credentials and is a certified parent coach through the Jai Institute for Parenting. An enormous chunk of teaching experiences comprised working with children from ages two to twelve in Montessori settings in the NYC and Tampa Bay area.
Based on this background of working with children in their developmental years and connecting with parents, Tovar saw an opportunity in the parent coaching niche that led to her start-up business.
“Throughout all my years of teaching, I discovered that many parents need support and guidance with their children at home. I would spend a lot of my parent-teacher conferences discussing parenting issues. It became clear to me that I wanted to be the person to provide strategies, tips, and support to parents that were frustrated and overwhelmed.,” Tovar adds concerning the reason behind her business idea.
Ms. Tovar’s business is making a visible impact in transforming family values and approaches to parenting, especially in the Latin background she hails.
The coaching she provides is a road map for clients on their parenting journey and helps them step out of the old dominant parenting role and into a more conscious parenting model rooted in emotionally healthy habits, cooperation, trust, and connection.
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Sara Valderrama is the Talent Acquisition Operations Manager at CITY Furniture and an inspiring leader.
Ecuador-born and raised Sara Valderrama epitomizes the grit and passion of women leaders; and how much one can achieve when they relentlessly pursue their goals.
After her studies and graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, Valderrama moved to the US and later landed a job as an Instructional Designer at CITY Furniture. Through the years, she has modeled tenacity and potential, working her way up to leadership, where she currently heads the Talent Acquisition Operations Department.
In her own right, Ms. Valderrama is a mentor and coach for young talent joining the company as she helps build their professional potential.
Her passion for team development is a breath of fresh air in the professional leadership world. What she is doing for teams at CITY Furniture embodies the professional and life lessons she has gained over the years in employment that she actively passes on to others to build not simply capable employees but leaders.
As a business leader and experienced human capital professional, Valderrama shares some insightful tips on building and managing teams in changing work environments.
Some of the lessons she shares with other professionals that have been instrumental in her growth are; to find the lesson in everything and use that to move forward and you are responsible for your development.
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“People do business with people, not businesses.”
Lorena Acosta is a personal brand expert and the founder of Be Busy Being Awesome, a branding agency that helps leaders and entrepreneurs build an online voice uniquely theirs.
With authenticity and originality at the core of their brand, Acosta believes they can leverage to grow their following, amplify their brand and build thought leadership the same way she did to get her brand to over 1.7 Million followers.
Spanning over 30 years of experience working as a marketer in corporate America with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and a Masters in Marketing, she has solidified herself as an advertising and branding guru.
Be Busy Being Awesome embodies her values and mission- to impact the lives of others through servant leadership and not really to gain fame and fortune.
From humble beginnings, searching for a job on LinkedIn and a way to connect with people she didn’t know to get to the position she was looking for, the advertising agency was born and has since scaled to a global reach.
Be Being Busy Awesome has helped establish multi-million brands in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the USA- despite these accomplishments, Acosta describes herself as an ordinary woman raising an extraordinary gift and not an influencer.
Acosta advises business owners to make consistency and authenticity their close companions as these would get them far.
As a female from a minority community, Lorena had to overcome a lot of ‘No’s’ and roadblocks to become a thought leader by being consistent even when the results of her efforts were not visible yet.
“Everything you do, you have to be consistent; in learning, parenting, training, consistent in having a good diet and exercise. Everything requires consistency, and social media is not different.”
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Julissa Mercado-Badgett is a published author, the founder and CEO of Beauty Brought Out, a successful hairstyling and make-up business in Tampa whose mission is to help people feel like the best version of themselves on their most important milestones.
Entrepreneurial at heart, Julissa knew from the start that she wanted to be her own boss. So, she ventured into the business as a freelancer soon after moving to Florida. Through hard work and passion, she has built a thriving and one of the leading full-service salons in Tampa.
She credits her passion and prowess in the industry to her parents and Latin culture which views hair as a crown, individualized service and high standards of professionalism.
The savvy entrepreneur is a certified professional beautician that wears several beauty industry caps as LIC Esthetician, cosmetologist, professional make-up artist, hair stylist, and instructor. Her business prowess in the industry has seen the business bagging many awards, including the Bridal Choice Award for 14 years in a row and the Knot- Best of Weddings for seven years.
With over 20 years of experience in the weddings and beauty industry Julissa’s company does not just offer beauty services; it helps clients feel and look their best on their major milestones.
There’s no denying that a successful leader is often the driving force behind a successful team. But what makes a great leader?
Whatever the answer may be, there’s no doubt that having the backing of an excellent team is an essential part of being a successful business leader. Badgett attests to the value hiring professional employees adds to the customer service level of a business.
Rebecca ‘Becca’ Guillen
Rebecca Guillen is a Certified Athletic Trainer, and entrepreneur and Wellness Advocate at dōTERRA.
Guillen, passionate about teaching, started her journey into wellness advocacy through a friend’s recommendation when her daughter fell ill. Working with patients spotting all sorts of injuries and seeing the results of using essential oils on her daughter, she knew this was a path she wanted to follow. To help her patients and the world find safer alternatives to ease their symptoms and pain.
As a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, she educates people on safety, usage, essential oils benefits, and the health and wellness journey. Her advocacy platform, Your Oily Blend, provides information on different remedies, how to use them, and the best way to prepare different combinations for better results.
”Educating people on health and wellness is very close to my heart, as I believe that everyone deserves access to safe, natural health remedies,” says Guillen. ”I believe knowledge is power, so it is my goal to empower more people to take control of their health and wellness.”
The world spends billions of dollars each year on advertising, which has led to a general belief that synthetic drugs are the only option for treating medical conditions.
Natural health remedies have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and they often work well and are also much safer and affordable.
In a one-on-one episode with The Network Nurse, Guillen talks about starting Your Oily Blend and encourages other young professionals to look for similar opportunities to supplement their income, move out of their comfort zone to grow, and see diversity as an avenue for learning.
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