The HON. LUZ WEINBERG
Latin Times Magazine had the pleasure of catching up with Luz Weinberg recently, Luz 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?
Luz Weinberg: I live in Miami, my home since 1986 when I finished 9th grade in Puerto Rico.
LTM: Tell us about where you were born and raised and where your family is from Luz Weinberg: I was born in Puerto Rico, raised in the Dominican Republic and spent my summers in PR. I got family in both islands and I identify strongly with both.
LTM: Tell me about what you do for a living
Luz Weinberg: After 30 years of being an employee, three years ago I set up my own communications consulting firm, GlobComm, LLC, specializing in Construction Impact Mitigation, and I enjoy clients in Aventura, Coconut Grove and Canada. That pays my bills while I continue my public service as a Governor Appointee on board of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) since 2013.
LTM: Tell me about what organizations you are a part of
Luz Weinberg: I am former Vice President and Lifetime Member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO); Lifetime member of my alma matter FIU Alumni Association; and Advisory Board Member of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
LTM: Tell us about the biggest highlights of your career
Luz Weinberg: I think a highlight that is appropriate for this edition is my election to the City of Aventura Commission in 2005 when my 3-way race was the only one of four decided on election night (no run-off), I won with 62% against two men and became the youngest and first Hispanic ever elected to office in the city. I served proudly through term-limits in 2014, and I got to learn how good government actually works when you have an ego-free elected body whose only agenda is to improve the lives of those we serve. That has also been my experience on the MDX board. I say I have been politically spoiled and feel truly blessed to serve with such honorable individuals.
LTM: As a Latina leader in community, business or other…what has been your biggest challenge and how have you been able to overcome it
Luz Weinberg: I have always seen challenges as opportunities disguised as a lot of hard work. I have raised my children, and teach in my many lectures, that you should always feel that where you are is exactly where you ought to be, so be there and be there well! We Latinas need to start erasing that ‘challenge’ stigma ourselves and inspire our sense of belonging to be the driver of our every move! This has served me very well in all aspects of my busy life.
LTM: How important is being a Latina to you
Luz Weinberg: Not very. Let me explain. First, I am human. Then, I am woman. Then, I am Latina. This has been at the heart of my challenge v. opportunity mindset I mentioned before my entire life. When I walk into a job interview, political debate or speaking engagement, I eliminate labels in my head: I am an equal human very much entitled to this opportunity. In my experience, that strong confidence permeates throughout the audience through my actions and words. Once they get it, I can talk about how proud I am to be a Latina. But first, I start off without a label. I refuse to be classified. We are all humans. Period.
LTM: What is your favorite type of musica and what is your favorite song?
Luz Weinberg: I love all music genres. Truly, so it is hard to pick a favorite song. However, if I have to pick then it is “Mi Tierra” by Gloria Estefan because it is such a poignant song and it is my go-to in Karaoke. I actually ‘rock it’ pretty well, and sing it proudly because at that moment, I am ALL LATINA for all to see!
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
Luz Weinberg: I was married, had a mortgage and two of my three children, worked full-time and was in school in that four-year period! I am proud of where those choices led me as a now 46-year old successful professional with already adult children, so very thankfully, the simple answer is no. I have also always frowned upon looking back to things you realistically cannot change.
LTM: What do you think some of the best career choices are for young Latinas?
Luz Weinberg: Women in general, and overall Latinos, continue to be under-represented in STEM. We have to be part of this influential global career track. We must inspire our youngsters to seek STEM studies for careers that will not be obsolete by the time they graduate college. Let’s teach our young Latinas that the road less traveled in education is often the most rewarding.
LTM: Tell us about what kind of projects you currently have going on
Luz Weinberg: I have two actual projects going on right now for two clients: Esplanade at Aventura by Seritage Growth Properties and Ransom Everglades Prep School’s STEM Building. On a personal note, I have accepted an invitation to be one of 30 Latina Leaders participating in the 2019 HOPE Fellowship (Hispanas Organized for Political Equity). As a Republican in this social climate, I believe Political Equity is a critical topic, so I am very much looking forward to this fellowship and to be in the company of other outstanding Latina entrepreneurs.
LTM: What can we expect to see from you in the future
Luz Weinberg: For me, the future is the next day: how I can best serve my clients, my community, my family, myself tomorrow. Each day, I also work a little on my next book: Woke On Public Speaking from recent trainings I have taught on how to manage stress, yourself and others to master The Art of Public Speaking. You can expect that book next year.
LTM: What is your comida favorite?
Luz Weinberg: Cliché as it is, it actually is Arroz Con Pollo and my mother makes the very best! To control my Hypertension and get off medication, I became Vegan two years ago, but when Mami calls me and says, “Pasa por casa que hize arroz con pollo,” I drive immediately over and I eat the whole thing, rice, meat, bones and all!
LTM: What famous person do you most identify with and why
Luz Weinberg: I like to read, especially on historical figures of the human race like Ghandi, President Lincoln, and I like to take some of their most fundamental ideologies like peace and human equality and live my life with that foundation.
LTM: What did I miss? Tell me something you want us to know!
Luz Weinberg: Music makes me a Mover & Shaker, but I will tell you a secret: When I hear music of any type (especially 90s rap and merengue), I sure can’t help but do both. No matter where I am or who I am with, I move and boy do I shake!