HACE's CEO Patricia Mota Shares Insights on Leadership Development
The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Is Growing Dramatically Under Patricia Mota's Leadership
“HACE, or The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, is an organization that I am honored to lead,” says Patricia Mota. “Headquartered in Chicago, national in scope, its mission since 1982 has been to positively impact workplaces by cultivating the pipeline of Latino talent and providing the community the insight, the access and the support to be successful in their careers.”
Since taking the reins eight years ago, HACE has grown more than tenfold in annual revenue, reaching five times as many people.
Patricia Mota is the President and CEO of The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE).
HACE cultivates the pipeline of Latino talent and provides insight, access, and support for them to be successful in their careers.
HACE’s programs include leadership development, coaching, mentoring, and networking events.
The organization has a reach of nearly 100,000 individuals and nearly 200 corporate partners across the United States and 13 countries.
Under Mota’s leadership, HACE grew revenue by over 10x and the people reached by over 5x in just eight years.
One of HACE’s core pillars is its pipeline and leadership development programs.
Mota believes that true impact and transformation do not happen unless through an intentional model that builds a community of trust, self-awareness, and honing an authentic self in roles.
Patricia discussed the importance of self-awareness in leadership development, the power of networking and building strategic relationships, and launching programs even if they are not perfect.
Mota highlights the importance of embracing diversity and building inclusive spaces.
Individuals and companies can join HACE through their website or events.
HACE has “three core pillars,” Patricia says.
“One is through talent acquisition. So programs, services, events where we’re actively connecting job seekers to career opportunities to our employer partners, to talents, anywhere from interns to senior level talent across all business functions across various areas,” she says.
“Secondly, which has been over the last decade, our fastest growing is our pipeline and leadership development programs. These are cohort initiatives that start as young as the high school level all the way to the senior level, where we work with a group of individuals, 15 to 25 or so at a time, various cohorts at a time, going through individual coaching, leadership assessments, culturally relevant content. But what I’m most proud of, it’s enabled us to create a strong, multi-generational support network across the nation where we have executives, senior leaders and subject matter experts coming back and giving back through our programs and those in their careers doing the same not only for professionals but for our students,” Patricia says
“The third and final area, which is just as important, is what we consider thought leadership. These are opportunities that we bring organizations, employers together to share best practices, to network with one another and to shine a light on those that are doing great work that help fulfill our mission,” she says.
“We have a reach of nearly 100,000 individuals that we serve across the country, nearly 200 corporate partners. These are some of the bigger employers that we work with to support our mission and have graduates from our programs from the US and now 13 countries since we went virtual in 2020,” she says.
Patricia began her work at HACE, leading a program called Mujeres de HACE, a Latina leadership program. When she took over, it operated as a series of workshops taught in Chicago. Today, the program has over 3,200 alums from 135 cities in the US. She credits the program with helping women “not only increase their pay, increase promotions, but get into leadership roles.”
“I kind of fell into the fundraising, but because I was so passionate about the impact and the work, I was bringing in additional partners and funders,” she says. Not surprisingly, her leaders encouraged her to focus on that.
When her predecessor left in 2014, she was tapped as an interim head. Some in her circle encouraged her to put her own name forward as a permanent replacement. She did and was chosen.
“Since April 2015, eight years I have been serving as president and CEO of the organization,” she says, adding when prodded, “At that point in time, we were under 20,000 members, individuals that we had served. Now we’re 100,000. At the time, we were at just under a $400,000 operating budget. Now we’re at the 5 million mark.”
She has a remarkable superpower: the ability to build and scale solutions.
How to Develop the Ability to Build and Scale Solutions As a Superpower
Patricia scaled HACE’s women’s leadership program by leveraging her network and relationships. In college, she discovered a sort of sorority of Latina professionals who provided mentorship and networking. She used their connections to expand the program to new markets. Patricia continues to build her network and recently joined the Economic Club of Chicago and Chief, a women’s executive club. Her strategy involves cultivating a few core relationships that help her achieve her mission.
In addition to networking to develop the ability to build and scale solutions, she suggests remembering it’s “okay if it’s not 100 percent perfect and launching anyway.”
She adds, “Another part of the skill set is having enough confidence in seeing the bigger picture that it may not be a success the first time around, but you need to get it started.”
By following Patricia’s example and advice, you can develop the ability to build and scale solutions into a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.
Patricia Mota (she/her):
President/CEO, The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement - HACE
About The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement - HACE: The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) is a national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development, and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals. Since 1982, HACE has served as a resource for Latinos in the workplace and is a subject matter expert for corporations seeking to access diverse talent. Through professional development, resources, and networks, and by facilitating access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed in every phase of their career. HACE works with employers to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic economy by helping them attract, develop and retain Latino and diverse professionals.
Twitter Handle: @Hace_Online
Company Facebook Page: fb.com/HispanicAllianceforCareerEnhancement
Patricia is an innovative trailblazer, advocate for access & equity, startup entrepreneur, author, connector, public speaker, and compassionate leader with a particular strength that exemplifies the mission of the Hispanic Alliance of Career Enhancement (HACE); to positively impact the workforce by cultivating the pipeline of Latinx/a/os talent and providing insight, access and support to their careers. Patricia serves as the President & CEO for HACE, leading strategy, fundraising & development, leadership programs, and expanding organizational reach on a national and international scale.
Patricia is also a co-founder of SHENIX™, a Fintech tool to close the wealth gap that impacts Latinas. Patricia’s story of transition is one that is representative of many of the stories of those positively impacted by programs and opportunities through HACE. Patricia is a proud Mexican-American Latina, daughter of immigrants, and first-generation college graduate and professional. She is a fitness enthusiast, health and lifestyle aficionado.
Patricia has a strong history of serving in capacities that garner access to education, meaningful jobs, and advancement, also reflected by her service on various boards and accolades, serving on the Associated Colleges of Illinois, Indiana University’s O’Neil School of Public Affairs Distinguished Alumni Council, Chicago Theological Seminary Board of Trustee, Illinois Treasurer Charitable Trust Board and most recently awarded the SHERO award by the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW) in 2021, the Nonprofit HR Top Leaders to Watch in 2020, and Crain’s Chicago Business Top 20 Most Powerful Latinos in Chicago in 2019.
Patricia earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University-Bloomington in Spanish and Communication & Culture and a Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) in Public Management from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)-Indianapolis, along with executive leadership certificates from both Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Patricia is also a certified coach and Insights Discovery© licensed practitioner and a proud 2022 World Economic Forum at Davos Delegate, 2019 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and 2019 Aspen Institute Festival of Ideas Scholar.
Twitter Handle: @PatriciaMota77