Leading in Finance and Philanthropy

In recognizing inspirational individuals during Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, Middlesex welcomed State Street’s Yvonne Garcia to campus on October 5, 2021.  Currently the chief of staff to State Street’s CEO, Ms. Garcia recently served as senior vice president and global head of client solutions there and previously held executive posts at Liberty Mutual and Bank of America. An active community leader, she has served as the chairwoman for ALPFA, the largest Latino professional organization in the country, and she is the co-founding chair of Milagros para Niños, a board at Boston Children’s Hospital that raises funds for Latino children whose families are unable to afford medical care.

Interviewed on the Kaye Theatre stage by Antonio Ometeotl ’23, Ms. Garcia described the strong, positive influence of her Dominican parents and culture, appreciating their emphasis on getting a good education and building relationships. “Being a Latina has paved the way for how I lead,” she affirmed. “I treat my team like family: I have high expectations, but I put them first.” When people feel that a leader genuinely cares about them, she finds, they will go the extra mile for an organization.

Ms. Garcia’s interest in business was apparent at a young age, when she would hold book sales in front of her home. “The whole notion of transaction was great,” she recalled. And though she has since built a highly successful career, she urged, “Don’t forget the power of giving back.” She is most proud of her long involvement with ALPFA and her role in founding and supporting Milagros para Niños, which has raised more than $10 million for Latino families in need.

Whether discussing future career decisions or college applications, Ms. Garcia offered students clear advice: Be yourself, take calculated risks (in her case, a two-year banking stint in China), and make sure that you are in the place (a college or company) where you need to be. “Don’t forget the value you bring,” she stressed. “When a confident young person shows up to interview, I want to hire them right away.”