ADIS VILA PART III

ADIS VILA - PART III

ADIS VILA   EPILOGUE 

From the White House to the State House as CEO (Agency Head) of a large and complex department of government to corporate executive positions to higher education, Adis Vila has excelled in bringing innovative, indefatigable leadership with more than a touch of Latin flavor – and understanding.  

Now, for the moment, she is taking a break to care for her aging mother, which speaks well for her strong moral fiber.   But Vila is not out of the game – far from it.   

The consulting firm she founded in 2000, Vila and Associates, provides her a platform to provide guidance for corporations on leadership, direct foreign investments, international economic issues, corporate responsibility and inclusion, including the need to help women break through glass ceilings.  

What motivated Vila to move in 1992 from government service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to university professorships before jumping into the corporate world?  

Helping people achieve their goals drives what I do.

“Only in math is the shortest distance between two points a straight line,” she said with a chuckle. “In life, one has to keep to their ultimate goal while being flexible and adaptable in order to reach it.”   

The political arena is a precarious place, dependent on party changes and personnel rotation, she said.   “You simply must be prepared and always improving your job skills in order to remain competitive when opportunities arise.”   

Vila was vice president of International Business Development at the Vigoro Corporation and vice president of Government Relations and Regulatory Policy at Nortel Networks before getting back into education as Vice President of External Affairs and Head of Legal Affairs at Miami Dade College. 

She was the first Chief Diversity Officer at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2010 to 2013, giving her an opportunity to bring her unique background and passion to a major government and education institution.  

Adis explained how she received a call from Charles “Chuck” Bush, the Academy’s first African American graduate. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz had asked him to reach out to people of color to find “an accomplished professional who could speak truth to power to be the Academy’s first Chief Diversity Officer.”   

The job was a challenge, she said.   Academic institutions, especially military academies,  have long-held traditions and protocols that require skill and perseverance to modify to reach new standards.    

Leaving that job was difficult as I loved my involvement with the cadets and what they represent as the new leadership of our US Air Force, she said, but she could not provide the care her mother needed in Florida while working in Colorado.      

“Someone once mused; ‘a person ought to spend 1/3 of their life learning, 1/3 of their life earning and 1/3 of their life serving,’” Vila said.  “I believe in that explicitly.”     

Now, she said, it is time to combine those three life goals into her next phase of leadership. She is seeking to help corporations reach new markets in the US and globally, and to help change organizational cultures that make leadership at the top challenging for Hispanics and women of color.    

She noted a 2016 article in Hunt Scanlon Media entitled, “Why is There No Room for Hispanics on Corporate Boards?” It said the percentage of Hispanic-origin members elected to Fortune 500 boards was sharply lower than their overall representation in the US population.    

Next to Mexico, the US has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world and US Latinos collectively represent the world’s 14th largest economy;  yet,  Hispanic directors continue to be largely absent from corporate boardrooms.     

In a sidebar to the article, “Why You Need This Hispanic Woman on Your Board,” Hunt Scanlon Media listed Vila’s credits, qualifying her for a board seat. Is corporate America listening?    

 {Writer’s Note: Just how qualified is Adis Vila to serve on a corporate board? Consider the following: She was the global head of international business development at Vigoro, a $750M international agri-business company. She served as head of regulatory policy for the western hemisphere at Nortel Networks, a $22B telecom supplier. She was Secretary and CEO of the Florida State Department of Administration; Assistant Secretary and COO at the U.S. Department of Agriculture — A financial expert under SEC Regulations and NYSE Rules and qualified as an audit committee financial expert. And then there’s the aforementioned stint as Chief Diversity Officer at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  

 Adis currently serves as President & Founder of Vila & Associates (a company committed to aiding corporations, law firms, associations, and universities in developing an inclusive organizational culture and formulating strategies to build diverse leadership at the executive level of organizations).  It should be noted that Vila is multicultural and multi-lingual.} 

 

Editor’s Note:
For more about Adis
Click Here

Good news for Adis is that Hispanic Executive named her a Leading Latina in 2018. Check out the URL below. Enjoy the article! 

https://hispanicexecutive.com/2018/adis-vila/ 

 

MessageComm recently named Adis to its Board of Directors.  

Press Release: 

https://www.messagecomm.io/news/adis-vila-named-director 

Learn more about MessageComm : 

https://www.messagecomm.io/about-us.html   

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Kent Wallace
Senior Correspondent at Latinarrific
Kent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, ArtSpeak and Notorious (to name a few).

Wallace was a contributing writer for “High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City,” he co-authored and authored several published books.

Wallace has hosted radio shows on ESPN (Reno) and KPLY (Reno). Wallace has appeared on Montel, The Tyra Banks Show, The John Walsh Show and the Rikki Lake show. Wallace also served as a consultant on an HBO’s hit series.
Kent Wallace
Senior Correspondent
Kent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, ArtSpeak and Notorious (to name a few). Wallace was a contributing writer for “High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City,” he co-authored and authored several published books. Wallace has hosted radio shows on ESPN (Reno) and KPLY (Reno). Wallace has appeared on Montel, The Tyra Banks Show, The John Walsh Show and the Rikki Lake show. Wallace also served as a consultant on an HBO’s hit series.

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