Bank of America and Vital Voices Bring Global Ambassadors Program to Puerto Rico, Providing Mentoring and Skills-Building to Women Entrepreneurs
One Year After Hurricane Maria, Program Aims to Empower Women Leaders Contributing to Puerto Rico Economy
Vital Voices Global Partnership and Bank of America will bring together women leaders from the private sector, social enterprise and the nonprofit community in San Juan, Puerto Rico March 18-22 for the Global Ambassadors Program (GAP), a weeklong initiative that connects women leaders in business and social enterprise to mentoring and expertise. Connecting women entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders to tools and resources that give them the power to succeed is one way that Bank of America helps advance economic and social progress.
The Puerto Rico Global Ambassadors Program will pair a diverse group of women leaders of small business, social enterprise and nonprofit organizations (mentees) with 10 Global Ambassador mentors, established women executives from a range of sectors and organizations, including Bank of America, for a week of one-on-one mentoring and workshops. The week will focus on building organizational leadership and business acumen and enhancing skills in key areas such as financial and human resources management, business strategy, and communications.
“Investing in women through access to resources such as capital and mentoring is critical to reducing income inequality,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman, Bank of America. “Partnerships like the Global Ambassadors Program are one way we help fuel economic growth in regions around the world and contribute to the global economy.”
The Puerto Rico program will assist women leaders in the business, social enterprise and nonprofit sectors one year after Hurricane Maria’s widespread devastation. According to a poll last fall, more than four in 10 Puerto Ricans suffered a job loss, reduced hours or lost wages from a business closure or missed work because of the hurricane, and 51 percent of Puerto Ricans remain concerned they won’t be able to find or keep a good job. From tourism to health care, GAP mentees are contributing to the local economy through jobs, revenue and investments in the community.
“We’ve partnered with Bank of America for seven years because of our shared commitment to advancing women’s economic opportunity around the world,” said Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices. “Our program in Puerto Rico comes at just the right time, and I have no doubt the women participating will strengthen their leadership and grow their businesses and organizations in bold, new ways.”
The Global Ambassadors for the Puerto Rico program include:
- Aleksandra Gren, country head and board member, Fiserv Poland, Fiserv International Group – Warsaw, Poland
- Carmen Cedré, founder, Clutch Consulting – San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Christine K. Channels, chief operating officer, Consumer and Small Business, Bank of America – Charlotte, N.C.
- Elise Labott, global affairs journalist – Washington, D.C.
- Kirstin Hill, managing director and strategic performance executive, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America – Boston, Mass.
- Robin Leeds, CEO, Winning Strategies LLC; strategic partner, Burson Cohn & Wolfe – Washington, D.C.
- Sarah F. Thorn, senior director, Global Government Affairs, Walmart – Washington, D.C.
- Silvina Moschini, CEO, SheWorks! – Miami, Fla.
- Tara Rush, chief communications officer – White Plains, N.Y.
- Wendy K. White Eagle, president and chair of the board, Native Capital Investment, Inc. – Maple Park, Ill.
The mentees in Puerto Rico include:
- Ana Yris Guzmán, co-founder and executive president, Nuestra Escuela, Inc.
- Auralís Herrero-Lugo, founder, Retazo
- Isabel C. Fernández, co-founder, ALL GRANTS, LLC
- Isabel Rullán, executive director, ConPRmetidos
- Lucienne Gigante, founder, LuGi, LLC
- Mariangie Rosas, CEO, UrbanVittles LLC; founder, co.co.haus
- María Gabriela Velasco Corrada, co-founder, PRsiliency
- Paulina Salach, co-founder and managing director, Spoon X
- Tania Rosario-Méndez, executive director, Taller Salud
- Yari Rivas, vice president and co-founder, Alterna Communications
Since the program launched in 2012, 18 Global Ambassadors Programs have been held in Haiti, South Africa, India, Singapore, Brazil, Qatar, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Poland, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, bringing together a total of 312 women (151 Global Ambassadors and 161 mentees) from 78 countries. The program is part of Bank of America and Vital Voices’ ongoing commitment to investing in women’s leadership development, a goal guided by the belief that strong women leaders are important for developing healthy, vibrant communities and advancing economic growth.
Bank of America’s support of women entrepreneurs is part of its broader commitment to helping women make meaningful contributions within the company and local economies. The Puerto Rico Global Ambassadors Program builds on the company’s support for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, which included directing $250,000 in funding from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to assist recovery.
Vital Voices Global Partnership
For more than 20 years, Vital Voices has identified, provided training for and invested in creative and fearless women so that they can lead change in their communities and around the world. Vital Voices searches the world for women leaders with daring vision for change, who they then partner with to make that vision a reality through grants, skill-building training, network expansion, mentorship and guidance – accelerating change on a global scale. Through their proven leadership model – a five-pillar process developed with input and insight from the 16,000 women from more than 180 countries and territories in its Global Leadership Network – Vital Voices connects, informs and empowers women leaders to increase economic empowerment, boost political participation and protect human rights. Vital Voices connects women already solving problems in their communities and equips them with the tools they need to incite global, positive change. Visit to learn more.
Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at , and connect with us on Twitter ( ).
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Reporters May Contact:
Fiona Hill, Bank of America, 1.980.387.8687
Lizzie Kubo Kirschenbaum, Vital Voices Global Partnership, 1.202.446.0522