Latin Times Magazine had the pleasure of catching up with Diane Cortes Rodriguez the new President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay recently -Diane is one of our 2019 Latina Movers N Shakers! Latin Times Magazine: What part of Florida do you live in – are you from Florida? If not – what brought you to Florida?
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: I moved to Tampa in 2015 due to being transferred from a Company that I worked for 15 years within the telecommunications and technology industry.
I was born in Queens, New York and raised in Puerto Rico. My Family is from Puerto Rico, different from me, my parents were born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York.
LTM: Tell me about what you do for a living
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Currently, I am the President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tampa Bay. We focus on the development of current businesses and connect with each other. As the new investors at the HCCTB, we provide guidance and advice. On the other hand, I am the Sales & Marketing Manager of Medial Group. Medial Group is a STEM Staffing Agency. We recruit professionals for industries in Manufacturing, Industrial, Medical, and Pharmaceutical. Some positions are Engineers, Validations, Regulatory, Quality, and much more.
LTM: Tell me about what organizations you are a part of
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Currently HCCTB is working closely with HPWA, PROSPERA and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando, whom are providing us with great advice and guidance. We are also members of The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) & The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).
LTM: Tell us about the biggest highlights of your career
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: The biggest highlight in my career is being able to impact so many lives in a professional and spiritual way. There is no recognition in this world that makes me happier than helping people in need and giving back to the community.
LTM: As a Latina leader in the community, business or other…what has been your biggest challenge and how have you been able to overcome it
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: The biggest challenge has been in getting the message that Hispanic, Black, etc. … should not be treated as a minority just because there are programs that are designed for Minorities, instead we should be treated as diverse. The word Minority is a derogatory term. We are a group of capable, able, and professional people working hard to make the US as best as it can be. Our contributions are endless to this Country.
LTM: How important is being a Latina to you
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Being a Latina is an honor. I embrace it because I have a mix of cultures that I treasure and have formed me as a woman, and this includes my intellectual level.
LTM: What is your favorite type of music, and what is your favorite song?
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Mostly is Gospel. From Ingrid Rosario to Tasha Cobbs. As per my Hispanic roots, definitely El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and Olga Tanon.
LTM: IF you can go back to let’s say 18-21, what are some of the pivotal decisions that you have made that you would do differently
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Every decision I made, I was responsible for it. But if I could change something from the past, I would not invest in the wrong business again. But I must say, I learn ALOT! and it made me strong. I wish I had someone to guide me. That is why I am so passionate about helping so many people thru, HCCTB.
LTM: What do you think some of the best career choices are for young Latinas
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: In this time, there are no limits for Latinas. Go ahead, put God first, get educated, respect yourself and others, travel and don’t ever forget to pray.
LTM: Tell us about what kind of projects you currently have going on
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: The most important project currently going on is changing the image and purpose of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tampa Bay. We are open for business, and that is our focus. Helping everyone to fulfill their business plans. Contributing to the Business Growth of Tampa Bay.
LTM: What can we expect to see from you in the future
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: In the Future, you will continue to see me working in the community, perhaps working closely in Government Affairs.
LTM: What is your comida favorita
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: My favorite food is White Rice and Pinto Beans, “Pollo Guisao” and “Tostones”. I just can’t get enough of it!!
LTM: What famous person do you most identify with and why
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: Queen Elizabeth II. A Woman that has survived in a “Mans” world, a Christian Woman that has gone thru changes, betrayals, defamation, death of loved ones, development of the new generation and still standing strong.
LTM: What did I miss? Tell me something you want us to know!
Diane Cortes Rodriguez: I am married to Leroy Estrada, and have 5 Children, all college educated. We have been blessed. All the Honor and Glory is to God.