Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 16
Meet the new
BERKS COUNTY LATINO CHAMBER CHAIR
Lucy Cortez 5
ucy Cortez is Vice President Community
Lending for Community First Fund and
holds the following volunteer positions: president of the Berks County Latino Chamber
Board of Directors, president of Neighborhood
Housing Services of Greater Berks Board of
Directors, member of the City of Reading
Downtown Improvement District Authority
Board of Directors and of the Greater Reading
Chamber Alliance; and committee member of the
Chamber's Women2Women Latina Initiatives.
Both showed me, by example, that perseverance is important throughout one's life. Like
myself, most of us are ambitious and we all
have hopes, dreams and aspirations. However,
it's not just about big ideas and meaningless
words. We fight, and struggle working towards
those dreams, and we make progress daily.
Though it may not be easy, there's always a
value in what we're trying to accomplish in
our life's journey and the single ingredient
that can get you through is perseverance.
Why is your career unique to
women in our community?
What words of wisdom would
you offer to other women?
I really don't see my career as being unique.
There are so many women, like myself, in our
community who have overcome adversities.
They learn to balance their home and work
life as well as become involved as volunteers
in the community.
Bring passion to what you want to accomplish and persevere.
How did you get involved in the
Berks County Latino Chamber?
I was fortunate when I came on board with
Community First Fund in 2015, I expressed
interest to become more involved with the
Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce.
Community First Fund is an organization that
focuses on working within the communities
they serve and encourages that philosophy
with their employees. As a Hispanic female,
fluent in both English and Spanish, I wanted
to share my years of experience, leadership
skills and small business knowledge that I
had gained since moving to Reading to help
within our community.
What has led you to your
current career path?
When I moved to Reading in 1980, with
limited knowledge of entrepreneurship, I
had opened a small consignment shop in the
Northwest section of the City of Reading.
Unfortunately, back at that time I found
there were very little resources, or guidance
readily available for those who wanted to
start small businesses. I closed the business
after four years to raise a family and pursue
my education and career. Through the school
of hard knocks, working in banking with the
community and small businesses, it has led
me to my current role and the opportunity
to give back to this community.
Would you wish to acknowledge
a mentor or friend who helped
you aspire to this point in
your life's journey, and why?
I've had numerous mentors throughout my
career, both males and females. Yet for my
life's journey, and who I wish to acknowledge
are my mother, Georgina and oldest brother,
Nicholas, who both passed in their early 50s.
Is there an "aha" moment
or experience that
defines who you are?
Every day I get up is an "aha" moment,
because it offers me the opportunity to help
What 3 things do you recommend
that contributes to your success?
1. Education - first and foremost
2. Get involved, and serve not only yourself
3. Be yourself, you are an original
What difference do you think you
can make as the Berks County
Latino Chamber president?
Collaboration. Alongside the President of
any organization there is a team, the Board
of Directors. With the cooperation from all
the board of directors, our hope is to create a
positive change in the community as well as the
organization, including expanding partnerships
with similar organizations, enhancing corporate
governance, and establishing programs to better
serve the membership and Reading community.
"Though it may not be easy, there's always a value in what
What is the best advice
we're trying to accomplish in our life's journey and the you have received?
If you do what is right for an individual,
single ingredient that can get you through is perseverance."
you'll have done what was right. n
16 Women2Women Fall 2017