Recap: 2017 Catalyst Washington, DC Event


By Vianni Busquets // Photography by Derek Park


“Who here has been called bossy?” This question, posed by featured speaker Anna Maria Chávez to an audience of over seventy members, set the tone for what evolved into a dynamic group discussion on issues impacting Latino business leaders today.

Presented by Capital One, the Catalyst Washington, DC, event took place in our nation’s capital on Thursday, May 11, at the Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown. Attendees enjoyed a lively evening of networking with DC-area members, and a powerful program and group discussion on the importance of networking and leveraging your personal brand and identity.

Emilio Revilla, managing vice president and chief counsel consumer regulatory for Capital One and member of The Alumni Society, opened the dialogue and shared insights into the bank’s focus and commitment to recruiting and developing Hispanic executives and leaders through various internal programs and a dedicated Hispanic employee resource group. “As an executive sponsor of our employee resource group, we have a big responsibility to lean on each other to elevate leadership,” Revilla said.

Next, The Alumni Society executive director Sergio Fernández welcomed guests and emphasized the organization’s goal to become an indispensable partner to both members and corporate partners. “Our commitment to you is to harness the power and potential of this network through four key drivers,” Fernández said. “Through our networking opportunities at exclusive events, access via our members, partner and community groups, media and technology, and by engaging and transforming our communities.”

Finally, the main program featured an interactive fireside chat between two leading Latinas: Emilia Lopez, managing vice president of US Card for Capital One, and 2016 Leadership Summit Keynote Speaker, Anna Maria Chávez, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of external affairs for the National Council on Aging.

“Even though we’ve made great strides in this country, leadership is still at a disparity when it comes to men and women,” Chávez stated. “We have to recognize that women network differently.”

Emilia Lopez opened up about the role of mentors in her career. “The best mentors that I’ve had has been my peers, not my superiors,” Lopez told the audience. Attendees also jumped in and shared their experiences, which sparked conversations and ideas that continued into the networking portion and beyond, leaving everyone with fresh perspectives and new insights.

Additional photos from the 2017 Catalyst Washington, D.C. event can be found on our Facebook page.

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