It only seems fitting we might kick off our new Member Spotlight by showcasing our talented and hard working Administrator, Lea Cerdido.
Meet Lea M. Cerdido
Since 2019, Lea M. Cerdido has served International Women’s Forum Florida Chapter Administrator. In this role Lea is the lead contact for our all our chapter members, manages our website, and coordinates all of IWF Florida events. A key resource for many of the women in the Florida Chapter, we wanted to recognize Lea and all the work she does for our members as our inaugural IWF Florida Member Spotlight. Moving forward, our chapter will work on spotlighting one of our amazing members every month.
Learn more about Lea, and her accomplishments below.
Full Name: Lea M. Cerdido
Hometown: Originally, I am from La Habana, Cuba, and arrived to Miami when I was 14 years old. I have lived here most of my life except for a short time in Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico
Title: VP of National Accounts and Founder of Cor-Events, Inc.
Tell us about our yourself and your background: I was born in Havana Cuba to an Italian mother and a Cuban/Spanish father, and l lived there until 1973 when we left via Spain to reach our final destination, Miami, Florida. My family arrived here in 1974 as a Cuban refugees.
What do you do in your role? I wear many hats; I do sales of our services whether it is face to face event planning or association management. I prepare proposals and negotiate contracts with venues and vendors, I do event planning for events from registration to bill reconciliation for corporate and association clients and work as administrator for some of the Association clients.
When did you begin working with IWF? I began working with IWF Florida in June of 2019!
What projects or cases you are working on? Besides IWF, I also plan the events CREW Miami (Commercial Real Estate Women) and we are planning an in-person convention for one of our oldest clients, LAAIA, which will be in August.
Why did you choose this profession? I love to help people. At the start of my career, I worked for one of the top accounting firms in the early 80s, Laventhol & Horwath as their Admin in their Management Advisory Services Division and was considering the Accounting field. However, my bosses, pushed me to go into Hospitality because they said I had too much personality and should not be sitting behind a desk crunching numbers!
I had learned to be hospitable from my Italian mother, so from there on, they made sure I could take two classes per semester while continuing at my full-time job with them until I was able to finish my studies. I knew I was in the right place when I sat in my first Hotel Law class at with Dean Marshall, the Dean of the School of Hospitality Management.
What do you like most about your job? Making things happen from nothing and helping people.
What do you like most about working with IWF members? They are outstanding women full of incredible experiences and knowledge. I only wish I had become part of it earlier in my lifetime to have them as mentors. It is difficult to have a full time job, and also be a small business owner!
What describes you: A bit bossy but with a huge heart.
First paying job: My first paying job was when I was 16 years old and worked in a lens factory in Hialeah 37 hours a week while in High School to support my home.
Your proudest accomplishment: Here are a few:
- Completing my bachelor’s in science degree. I worked full time since I was 16 and continued my entire college career.
- Buying my parents, a home when I was 25 years old.
- Once joined the Hospitality Industry without prior experience other than the degree, I was hired by Marriott International and was quickly promoted to a position without even completing their six-month training program that was required.
- My business which is still growing now that I am working in it full time.
- Maintaining a friendship with all my College best friends to this day; 30 years later.
What do you do when you are not working? Exercising, spinning, Zumba and I love the outdoors.
Recommend an article or a book: Creating Excellence and The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg.