Jul 30, 2014

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New Latina: Liliana Gil

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LILIANA GIL

Professional Title: Co-Founder & Managing Partner, XL Alliance.  Entrepreneur. Business Expert. Media Contributor.

Country of origin/family heritage:  Born in Bogotá Colombia… I came to the U.S when I was 17 to “learn English”… so yes, I was an ESL student!

City you live in: I live on the Hudson River in Jersey City… overlooking Manhattan

3 words that best describes you: Passionate. Driven. Fun.

What makes you a smart Latina? Knowing that the charm that makes us spicy and unique can serve a great purpose for business persuasion and negotiation!… and yes, I can cook too!

Stilettos or Flats? Stilettos all the way! With a pair of flats inside my bag to run around New York city…

Who has always inspired you to be your best? My mom, after all there is a reason her first name is Diva. She was one of those women back in the 60’s that chose a technical career as a Chemist. After many companies turned her down for being a “female” she joined the Colombian Petroleum Oil Company as a basic lab assistant, to then climbed up to become the first and highest ranking female executive at the Oil company then. She is AMAZING! I watched her dominate podiums when she spoke, lead male executives and carry herself gracefully, with beauty and confidence no matter what.

Merengue, Salsa, Bachata or Other? Hmm… this is hard! Fun times with Merengue and Salsa… snuggling romantic times with my hubby, Bachata.

What’s your favorite hobby or creative outlet? I love the arts, and since a very young age I have kept sketching journals. I love to paint and write poetic recounts of my days and experiences…

25 million Latinas and counting!  Your thoughts…? How about you add to that that we make 80% of all purchasing decisions? That would be 80% of over a Trillion dollars in purchasing power! We better leave the excuses aside! Help each other get better educated and go for our dreams.

Countries you’ve visited, and your favorite one: Oh Lord, I have a fun stat… By the time I was 21 I had been to 21 countries! So by now the number has gotten lot higher than that…I love the old and grandiose feeling of cities like Prague and Paris…the sacred vibe of the streets of Jerusalem, but what really moves me and helps me stay grounded, is being at the house my parents have in the mountains of Colombia…

Describe a perfect day off from work: What makes it “perfect” is not rushing or trying to meet a schedule… so the most important for a perfect start is NO ALARM CLOCK! Then a great brunch with my husband Chris with some home made arepas, huevos revueltos and cafecito… followed by some mindless television (mostly catching up with the DRV…read next question…) And at some point the workout must take place… Typically a nice jog by the pier, enjoying the breeze by the Hudson river or central park. To close, a nice romantic dinner with wine overlooking the water…

Favorite TV show: I have a laundry list of reality shows that I DRV… I love all kinds of talent/ singing competitions (American Idol, America’s Got Talent, So you Think you can Dance, and my new fav NBC’s The Voice!) … I even watch Nuestra Belleza Latina!

Favorite magazine: Tough question…It really depends. I love Entrepreneur and Fast Company magazine for business… and also love the spice of Vanidades and Latina…and for fashion insights  VOGUE and InStyle… I guess, I don’t really have a favorite.

What has been your biggest challenge in life? ME! I am a challenge, and sometimes the hardest this to manage…we typically let our ego and fear get in the way of success…It is OK to have a failed marriage. It is OK not to get EVERYTHING done in one day… It is OK to say NO. It is OK to not get a workout every day…As I mentioned above, there is beauty in imperfection, and overcoming a perfectionist mindset has been a big challenge for sure…

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? Through failure and heartache, realizing that I wasn’t invincible! We tend to misinterpret accomplishment as the absence of adversity, but for me overcoming great adversity like failed relationships, depression and illness in the family has been my greatest accomplishment as a woman… which ultimately prepared me and gave me the courage to leave my corporate job to start my own business.

Most recent accomplishment: The World Economic Forum, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and its exclusive community of Young Global Leaders have announced the class of 2011 Young Global Leaders, including Liliana Gil as one of 190 honorees. After tracking and monitoring over 5,000 candidates worldwide, Liliana Gil was selected by a committee chaired by Queen Rania of Jordan and prominent business leaders, politicians and media leaders who appointed a select group of 190 Young Global Leaders. Read more here

What is your next dream? Besides the obvious of having a great loving family (which is my most noble dream)…I frequently joke around by saying that I want to get paid to speak and give my perspective…and slowly but surely it is happening. I dream to turn all those years of hard work and credibility-building in business and marketing; into a platform that impacts the masses. Media and books of course are great outlets to have a bigger voice for business women and Latinos at large, which are steps I’m taking towards that dream today…

Some more professional background: Former executive at Johnson & Johnson. 2009, co-founded, XL Alliance and Acento Group experts in Multicultural and Latino market, emerging market segment, Spanish media and advertising in the U.S. Launched YouTube online show, Moments2CultuRise, featured in New York Daily News. Co-Chair, Latino Committee for Gala for Life, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 2011, featured in VANIDADES April 2011 as Mujer Vanidades, featured in cover story, La Cosmopolatina magazine; named one of Top 20 Leaders under 40 in US, Poder magazine. Recipient of awards: Outstanding Business Woman, National Association of Professional Women (2009-10); Business Woman of the Year Award, National Latin Pride Awards (2008). Bachelor’s in Business, Southwestern Adventist University; MBA, University of Colorado.

Visit Liliana’s Online Show: Moments2Culturise.  To learn more about Liliana, visit:  LilianaGil

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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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