Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez

Executive VP, Multicultural Markets & Engagement

Education: Hunter College; New York University, Toll Fellow; Certificates, Harvard University; Columbia University
What I’m Reading: In Extremis Leadership, by Thomas Kolditz
My Philosophy: Wherever you walk in life, leave it better than you found it; Commit to individual and collective excellence, growth and development; Be your word and live a life of integrity.
Interests: Reading, cooking, jewelry making, theatre, music

How do you define leadership?

Leadership is the ability to stand alone, stand up for you what you believe, and stand up for others. While doing all or some of these, you have to communicate with and motivate others in a competent, principled manner.

What is your most rewarding career accomplishment?

Growing the Hispanic Federation in terms of membership, influence and our Annual Gala. Equally rewarding has been my selection as EVP at AARP tasked with engaging multicultural communities by increasing awareness and support for AARP advocacy and education activities, as well as the services that we provide. Helping shape the multicultural agenda and goals for an organization with a long standing social change mission has been, at times, daunting and immensely gratifying accomplishment, to date.

What’s the worst mistake a leader can make?

Lie and shy away or cover up in crisis. Be too ego-driven. Integrity and courage are key!