Media Center


Hispanic Leadership Starts at the Top

By: Angela Arboleda, vice president of Government and Community Affairs, Herbalife

Ask anyone working at Herbalife what they think of their employer, and you would be hard pressed to find any complaints. What’s not to like? A healthy work environment that nurtures growth from within, a generous employee benefits package, and a company who offers opportunities to pursue higher learning.

But this collaborative, diverse environment did not happen overnight. Since 1980, the Los Angeles-based global nutrition company has established itself as a company committed to diversity. The company has three Hispanics on its board of directors, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to Herbalife dedication to diversity.

Cultivating a culture of inclusivity starts at the top. And as Hispanics continue to make up larger parts of the electorate—not to mention the billions in purchasing power they represent—it’s important that a company’s leadership reflects not only its employee base, but the consumers who buy their products as well.

Below is a short background on the three Hispanics that sit on the Herbalife Board of Directors.


Maria Otero


Maria Otero joined the Herbalife Board of Directors in December of 2013. Otero has spent an illustrious career focused on tackling poverty and empowering those less fortunate around the world, and her leadership, experience, and insight has been a valuable addition to the Herbalife board.

Otero currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of Kresge Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, and Development Alternatives Inc. She has chaired the board of Bread for the World, and also served on the boards of the Calvert Foundation, U.S. Institute for Peace, the Inter-American Foundation, and BRAC in Bangladesh.

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, as one of nine children, Otero came with her family to the U.S. when she was 12 years old. Although her initial studies in English literature were chosen with a career in academia in mind, it was her brother who convinced her that her future laid in helping others.


Richard Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS


Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, was the 17th surgeon general of the United States, and joined the Herbalife Board of Directors in October of 2013. Dr. Carmona brings more than 40 years of experience in medicine, nutrition, preventative health, and business to the Herbalife board.

Dr. Carmona currently serves as the first distinguished professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona, and the first distinguished professor of Health Promotion and Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University. He is president of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute Board of Directors in Tucson, Ariz. and vice chairman of Canyon Ranch. He also serves on the boards of other public companies including The Clorox Company and Taser International, and works in leadership and advisory roles helping to create businesses in emerging science and technology.

Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Dr. Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. The experiences greatly sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education, and economic status.


The Honorable Michael Montelongo


Michael Montelongo joined the the Herbalife Board of Directors in April of 2015. Montelongo has an exemplary career spanning both the public and private sectors, and his leadership skills and experience in strategy and policymaking across multinational enterprises has been a valuable addition to the board.

Skilled in board governance matters, he also serves on several for-profit, public sector, and nonprofit boards and chairs audit committees. Montelongo also volunteers for organizations that expand opportunities for young people, support community health and wellness, assist veterans, and promote national service.

Montelongo is a native of New York, born to Mexican-American and Puerto Rican parents and the first in his extended family to attend college.

Copyright © 2016 - All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Powered by ARCOS | Design by Plus Three

1220 L Street NW, Suite 701
Washington, D.C. 20005
Tel: 202.682.4012 Fax: 202.682.0086
E-mail: hacr@hacr.org