Hispanic Corporate Directors: At the Pinnacle of Power


Story By: Pablo Schneider and Kristin Schneider


Hispanic corporate directors are at the pinnacle of power in America.  The topic of Hispanics serving on corporate boards is challenging and complex.  Many questions arise.  Why are there so few Hispanics on corporate boards?  What can be done to increase the number?  What are some examples of how Hispanics got on boards?  Who are some of the Hispanics that have recently been appointed?   If CEO’s are the most sought after board candidates, how are Hispanic CEO’s doing?   Who are some of the top Hispanic corporate directors?  What do they think?

Why is it important for Hispanics to serve on corporate boards?  The boards of the Fortune 500 oversee companies with a combined total of $12 trillion in revenues, $840 billion in profits, $17 trillion in market cap, and 27.9 million employees worldwide.  If there is a Hispanic voice on the board, our presence is tangible and we are included in the conversation.  With no seat at the table, who will stand up for us?

The number of Hispanics on corporate boards is small and the trend is flat.  One illustration comes from a report called “Mapping Incoming Boardroom Talent” by Heidrick & Struggles.  According to the report, in 2015 there were 399 board seats filled by independent directors out of the 4,698 total seats on Fortune 500 boards.  Current and former CEO’s and CFO’s filled 73% of the seats, and 67% of new directors had international experience.  The average age of the new independent directors was 58.  The number of seats filled by Hispanics has remained flat for the past seven years.  In 2015, of 399 seats filled, Hispanics accounted for 4% (16) vs. 4.8% (19) for Asian-Americans, 9.3% (37) for African-Americans, and 29.8% (119) for Females.  Consistent with the small numbers in the aforementioned report, the Alliance For Board Diversity found that in 2012, Hispanics held 3.3% (151) of 4,575 Fortune 500 board seats.

Recently someone asked me, “What one thing would you do to increase Hispanic participation on corporate boards?”  My immediate answer was, “Get more Hispanics into the corporate governance ecosystem.”  Getting more Hispanics into the corporate governance ecosystem means having more top Hispanic leaders across sectors, more Hispanics serving on all kinds of boards, more Hispanics with corporate governance and other highly sought-after skill sets, more Hispanics connected to Fortune 1000 board members, and more Hispanics who are Fortune 1000 board-ready candidates.

“Getting more Hispanics into the corporate governance ecosystem” is a simple answer, but there is a depth and breadth of complexity behind it.  I’ve been engaged in the corporate governance ecosystem since 1994.  This includes serving on private, non-profit and governmental boards for over 20 years; being an active member of the National Association of Corporate Directors since 1999; speaking extensively and writing dozens of articles on the subject since 2001; Chairing Board Diversity Roundtables since 2007; serving as special editor of the Latino Leaders Board Edition since 2008; and Chairing two dozen Renaissance Dinners since 2012.  Some of the lessons I’ve learned about the corporate governance ecosystem include:

  • The corporate governance ecosystem is complex and in some ways changes very slowly (especially when it comes to board composition).
  • Serving on corporate boards is a long-term endeavor, like a marathon.
  • The criteria for recruiting board candidates is generally narrow and the aperture for selecting corporate directors is exceedingly small.
  • Personal relationships and word of mouth are integral to board candidate recruitment and selection.

There are three organizations that must be considered when looking at the corporate governance ecosystem and Hispanic board participation: the LCDA, HACR, and the NACD.

The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) was founded in 2012.  The LCDA’s goal is to increase Hispanic representation in the boardroom by developing current and future Latino corporate directors and connecting these candidates to corporations and search firms searching for directors.  The LCDA also focuses on supporting its members through education and networking opportunities such as its LCDA Annual Convening.  The LCDA currently has 66 members who hold a total of 118 seats on public, private, and non-profit boards of directors.  LCDA members hold seats on the boards of notable Fortune 1000 companies such as HP, Ford Motor Company, Prudential Financial, Time Warner Cable, MassMutual, Manpower, CBS, AECOM, Honeywell International, Southwest Airlines, CBRE, Brinker International, Bank of America, Target, Ryder, AutoZone, Northern Trust, Archer Daniels Midland, Texas Instruments, CMS Energy, WPP, Kohl’s Stores, Comerica Bank, and Cinemark.

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) was founded in 1986.  HACR is one of the most influential Hispanic organizations engaging with corporate America.  HACR’s goal is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America with a focus on employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.  To achieve this goal, HACR’s programs focus on every part of the talent pipeline, from the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers program to the HACR Corporate Executives Forum, which provide Hispanic professionals opportunities for discussion, growth, and networking.  Other offerings include the Annual HACR Symposium and research on topics relevant to U.S. Hispanics and corporate America published by the HACR Research Institute.

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the leading association for corporate directors in the U.S.  The NACD’s main focus is on “advancing exemplary board leaders”.  The NACD’s 17,000 members serve on the boards of over 900 of the Fortune 1000 companies in addition to numerous public, private, non-profit and governmental boards.  Nationally renowned Hispanic leader Cari Dominguez serves on the board of directors of the NACD.  In addition, Dominguez serves on the board of Manpower, which is ranked 144 on the Fortune 500, as well as on the board of the Calvert SAGE Fund.

Getting on a Board

Three Examples of How Hispanic Corporate Directors Got on Boards


The following is a common profile of corporate directors that is based having conducted interviews dozens of interviews with Fortune 1000 corporate directors.


  • College graduate
  • High degree of professional success over 20-30 years
  • Deep industry experience
  • Long track record of top leadership
  • Strong professional skills and knowledge (finance, strategy, international, information technology, marketing, government/regulatory, risk assessment, medicine/science, legal, human resources)
  • Experience serving on corporate, private, non-profit, and governmental boards
  • Extensive social capital and professional network along with a great reputation

Antonio CarrilloJose Luis Pradoand Nina Vaca are three examples of Hispanic corporate directors who fit this profile.  In recent interviews, they shared insights on their personal experiences of getting on corporate boards.



 + Antonio Carrillo is the Chief Executive Officer of Mexichem.  Prior to              joining Mexichem, Carrillo was a Group President at Trinity Industries Inc.  He brings his extensive experience in international business, energy, transportation, and construction to his board service at Trinity Industries and at the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.  Carrillo holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.



Carrillo, when asked how he came to serve on the board of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, credited a professional relationship and word of mouth with his appointment.  He told the story of how he joined Trinity Industries Inc. as a board member subsequent to having departed the company after working there for 17 years.  During his tenure at Trinity Industries, he came to know board member John Adams, who also served on the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group board.  “John Adams was retiring from the Dr. Pepper Board,” Carrillo explains.  “John knew me well for many years at Trinity and recommended me to the Chairman.”  This recommendation led to Carrillo’s appointment to the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group board.




 + Jose Luis Prado is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Evans Foods.  Prado has a long history in the consumer goods industry.  He previously served in various leadership roles at PepsiCo, Inc. including President of Quaker Foods - North America and President of Quaker Goods & Snacks North America.  Prado serves on the board of Northern Trust and on the board of Brinker International, Inc.




When asked about how he came to serve on two corporate boards, Prado answers, “When I arrived in Chicago in 2011 to run Quaker Oats, I engaged in a big way with the civil, social and business communities and that raised my profile. Northern Trust's Chairman noticed and reached out for a meet and greet, and it went on from there.”  Prado’s appointment to the board of Brinker International came about as a result of relationships he built with search firms.  Prado shares, “When I retired from Quaker I went to meet with the top search firms and expressed my interest in serving on corporate boards.  A year later a search firm brought me forward as a candidate for the Brinker International board and I was selected.”




 + Nina Vaca is founder, chairman, and CEO of the Pinnacle Group.  Vaca heads one of the fastest growing companies of its size in America.  Founded in 1996, Pinnacle Group provides a variety of services including vendor management services and IT staffing and consulting.  Vaca has a strong track record of leadership as an entrepreneur, business owner, corporate director, and civic leader. She serves on the boards of three Fortune 1000 companies: Kohl’s Stores (Fortune 145), Cinemark (Fortune 762), and Comerica Bank (Fortune 765).  Her civic leadership positions include serving as Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.





Vaca attributes her appointment to the boards of Kohl’s, Cinemark, and Comerica to long-term professional relationships and recommendations that came about as a result of building the Pinnacle Group over 20 years, of serving as a trustee of a major university, and of being a member of a top leadership network in Texas.  Vaca shares, “In addition to relationships that were formed through civic leadership, building the Pinnacle Group and being on the Inc. 500/5000 for 11 consecutive years resulted in credibility and exposure that were integral to being recruited and selected as a corporate director.”


The New Players

Notable Hispanic Leaders Recently Elected To Boards


Eight Latinas and seven Latinos have been elected to Fortune 1000 boards in the past year.  Of these, nine have previous corporate board experience and five are new to corporate boards.  The fourteen boards to which these Hispanics were elected oversee companies that have a combined total of over $430 billion in revenues.




  • Aida Alvarez was appointed to the board of HP in February of 2016.  HP is ranked Fortune 20, with $103.3 billion in revenues.







  • Monica Lozano, Director of Bank Of America, was appointed to the board of Target in March of 2016.  Target is ranked Fortune 38 with $73 billion in revenues.







  • Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBC Universal Telemundo Enterprises, was appointed to the board of PepsiCo in March of 2016.  PepsiCo is ranked Fortune 44 with $63 billion in revenues.






  • Ramón Baez, Global SVP and CIO of HP Enterprise, was appointed to the board of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in April of 2016.  Over $60 billion in revenues – equivalent to Fortune 47 ranking.






  • Maria Elena Lagomasino, CEO and Managing Partner of WE Family Offices, and Director of The Coca-Cola Company, was appointed to the board of The Walt Disney Company in September of 2015.  Disney is ranked Fortune 54 with $52.4 billion in revenues.






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  • Ralph de la Vega, Vice Chairman of AT&T, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, CEO of AT&T International, and Director of New York Life Insurance, was appointed to the board of the American Express Company in May of 2016.  American Express in ranked Fortune 85 with $34.4 billion in revenues.





  • Grace Lieblein, Director of Honeywell International, was appointed to the board of Southwest Airlines in February of 2016.  Southwest Airlines is ranked Fortune 142 with $19.8 billion in revenues.







  • Paul Raines, President and CEO of GameStop and Director of Advance Auto Parts was elected to the board of JC Penney in February of 2016.  JC Penney is ranked 228 on the Fortune 500 with $12.6 billion in revenues.





  • Jose Armario was appointed to the board of directors of Avon Products in September of 2016.  Avon Products is ranked 370 of the Fortune 500 with $7.1 billion in revenues.







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  • Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the board of MasTec in December of 2015.  MasTec is ranked Fortune 572 with $4.2 billion in revenues.





  • Myrna Soto, Global SVP and CISO of Comcast, and Director of CMS Energy, was elected to the board of Spirit Airlines in March of 2016.  Spirit Airlines is ranked Fortune 933 with $2.1 billion in revenues.






  • Graciela Monteagudo, SVP of Global Marketing and General Manager of North America of Mead Johnson Nutrition, was appointed to the board of ACCO Brands in August of 2016 (NYSE: ACCO).






  • Arcilia Acosta, CEO of CARCON Industries & Construction and STL Engineers, was appointed to the Board of Energy Future Holdings in 2008 and to the Board of Legacy Texas Financial Group in 2013, serving on the Audit and Compensation Committees on both companies.






  • Luis Aguilar was appointed to the board of directors of Envestnet in March of 2016 (NYSE: ENV).


  • Patricia Salas Pineda, Group VP of Hispanic Strategy at Toyota and Director of Levi Strauss, was appointed to the board of Frontier Airlines in June of 2016.


A Few Good Men

Hispanic CEOs


CEO’s are among the most highly sought after candidates for corporate boards.  We have identified fifteen Hispanic CEO’s of major companies.  The CEO’s who aren’t on any boards now, are only on the board of the company they lead, or are only on one outside board, are prime candidates for Fortune 1000 boards.


Joseph Alvarado

Chairman, President and CEO, Commercial Metals (Fortune 417)

Director, Spectra Energy (Fortune 493)


Thaddeus Arroyo

CEO, AT&T Mexico


Marcelo Claure

CEO and Director, Sprint

$32.2 billion in revenues (equivalent to the rank of Fortune 88)


Paul Diaz

CEO and Director, Kindred Healthcare (Fortune 372)

Director, DaVita (Fortune 200)


Ralph de la Vega

Vice Chairman, AT&T, Inc.

CEO, AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International

Director, New York Life Insurance (Fortune 61)

Director, American Express (Fortune 85)


Richard Gonzalez

CEO, AbbVie (Fortune 123)


Mauricio Gutierrez

CEO, NRG Energy (Fortune 193)


Gerry Lopez

CEO and Director, Extended Stay America (NYSE: STAY – 2015 revenues of $1.28 billion)

Director, CBRE Group (Fortune 259)

Director, Brinker International (Fortune 731)


Juan Luciano

Chairman and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland (Fortune 41)

Director, Eli Lilly (Fortune 141)


Jose Mas

CEO and Director, MasTec (Fortune 572)


J. Mario Molina

Chairman, CEO and President, Molina Healthcare (Fortune 201)


Oscar Muñoz

President and CEO, Director, United Continental Holdings (Fortune 80)


Paul Raines

CEO and Director, GameStop (Fortune 302)

Director, JC Penney (Fortune 228)

Director, Advance Auto Parts (Fortune 350)


Carlos Rodriguez

President, CEO and Director, ADP (Fortune 248)

Director, Hubbell (Fortune 666)


Robert Sanchez

Chairman, CEO and Director, Ryder System (Fortune 395)

Director, Texas Instruments (Fortune 219)


“La Crème de la Crème”

Hispanic Corporate Directors of Fortune 100 Companies


Among the Fortune 100 companies, 38 companies have one or more Hispanic corporate directors, and 62 have zero Hispanic corporate directors.  There are 36 Hispanic directors serving on the boards of these 38 companies, and they hold a total of 43 board seats.  The 38 Fortune 100 companies that have one or more Hispanics on their boards have $2.5 trillion in revenues, $221.9 billion in profits, $2.9 trillion in market cap, and 4.7 million employees worldwide.

In addition, nine of the 36 Hispanic Fortune 100 corporate directors hold an additional 12 seats on Fortune 101-1000 boards.  In total, the 36 Hispanic corporate directors hold 55 Fortune 1000 board seats of companies with a combined total of $2.7 trillion in revenues, $225.4 billion in profits, $3.3 trillion in market cap and 5.6 million employees worldwide.

It should be noted that the 36 Hispanic corporate directors who serve on Fortune 100 boards also serve on a number of public, private, and non-profit boards.

Below are six of the top Hispanic corporate directors who serve public company boards.


Rick Hernandez serves on the boards of Chevron, Wells Fargo, McDonalds (Chairman), and Nordstrom.  These companies have a combined total of $260 billion in revenues, $32.6 billion in profits, $547.4 billion in market cap, and over 818,000 employees.


George Paz serves on the boards of Express Scripts Holdings, Prudential Financial, and Honeywell International.  These companies have a combined total of $197.5 billion in revenues, $12.9 billion in profits, $124.9 billion in market cap, and over 204,000 employees.


Monica Lozano serves on the boards of Bank Of America and of Target.  These companies have a combined total of $166.8 billion in revenues, $19.3 billion in profits, $188.7 billion in market cap and over 554,000 employees.


Kim Casiano serves on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Mutual of America.  These three companies have a combined total of $156.1 billion in revenues, $8.1 billion in profits, $69.6 billion in market cap and over 207,000 employees.


Carlos Gutierrez serves on the boards of MetLife, Time Warner, and Occidental Petroleum.  These companies have combined revenues of $110.8 billion in revenues, $9.1 billion in profits (and $7.8 billion in losses), $157.8 billion in market cap and over 104,000 employees.


Maria Elena Lagomasino serves on the boards of Disney and of Coca-Cola.   These companies have a combined total of $96.8 billion in revenues, $15.7 billion in profits, $362.9 billion in market cap and over 308,000 employees.



36 Top Hispanic Corporate Directors

Below is a listing of 36 Hispanic corporate directors that hold a combined total of 55 Fortune 1000 board seats including 43 Fortune 100 board seats and 12 Fortune 101-1000 board seats.


Joseph Jimenez

Director, GM (Fortune 8)


Kim Casiano

Director, Ford (Fortune 9)

Director, Mead Johnson Nutrition (Fortune 587)

Director, Mutual of America (Fortune 844)


Richard Carrion

Director, Verizon (Fortune 13)


Rick Hernandez

Director, Chevron (Fortune 14)

Director, Wells Fargo (Fortune 27

Chairman, McDonalds (Fortune 109)

Director, Nordstrom (Fortune 197)


Jorge Montoya

Director, Kroger (Fortune 17)

Director, The Gap (Fortune 177)


Aida Alvarez

Director, HP (Fortune 20)


George Paz

Chairman, Express Scripts (Fortune 22)

Director, Prudential Financial (Fortune 50)

Director, Honeywell International (Fortune 75)


Monica Lozano

Director, Bank of America (Fortune 26)

Director, Target (Fortune 38)


Federico Peña

Director, Wells Fargo (Fortune 27)


Armando Codina

Director, Home Depot (Fortune 28)


Ramiro Peru

Director, Anthem (Fortune 33)


Dan Arvizu

Director, State Farm Insurance Cos. (Fortune 35)


Eduardo Mestre

Director, Comcast (Fortune 37)

Director, Avis Budget Group (Fortune 330)


Ken Salazar

Director, Target (Fortune 38)


William Perez

Director, Johnson & Johnson (Fortune 39)


Carlos Gutierrez

Director, MetLife (Fortune 40)

Director, Time Warner (Fortune 99)

Director, Occidental Petroleum (Fortune 225)


Juan Luciano

Chairman and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland (Fortune 41)

Director, Eli Lilly (Fortune 141)


Francisco Sanchez

Director, Archer Daniels Midland (Fortune 41)


Cesar Conde

Director, PepsiCo (Fortune 44)


Fernando Aguirre

Director, Aetna (Fortune 46)


Ralph Alvarez

Director, Lowe’s (Fortune 47)


Gil Casellas

Director, Prudential Financial (Fortune 50)


Maria Elena Lagomasino

Director, Disney (Fortune  53)

Director, Coca-Cola (Fortune 62)


Joseph Echevarria

Director, Pfizer (Fortune 55)


Ralph de la Vega

Director, New York Life Insurance (Fortune 61)

Director, American Express (Fortune 85)


Alberto Ibargüen

Director, American Airlines Group (Fortune 67)


Angel Ruiz

Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (Fortune 73)


Grace Lieblein

Director, Honeywell International (Fortune 75)

Director, Southwest Airlines (Fortune 142)


Patricia Diaz Dennis

Director, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (Fortune 76)

Director, United States Steel (Fortune 244)


Roman Martinez IV

Director, GIGNA (Fortune 79)


Oscar Muñoz

President, CEO and Director, United Continental Holdings (Fortune 80)


Marta Tienda

Trustee, TIAA (Fortune 82)


Maria Sastre

Director, Publix Super Markets (Fortune 87)


Jose Alvarez

Director, TJX (Fortune 89)

Director, United Rentals (Fortune 440)


Jorge Benitez

Director, World Fuel Services (Fortune 92)

Director, Fifth Third Bancorp (Fortune 376)


Jorge Mesquita

Director, Mondelez International (Fortune 94)