She efficiently conquered the aggressive and typically-nerve-racking earth of company America… but failed in what is perceived to be a most fun and comforting period…retirement. That is how influential Filipina Cora Tellez, explains her professional life.

“I had completed a good run of company lifetime,” stated Tellez who has had 25 many years of administration expertise in health care finance and shipping and delivery, getting labored for Wellness Net, Inc., Blue Defend of California, Kaiser Permanente. “When I retired, my partner claimed ‘You’re going to push all of us outrageous, due to the fact of all this electricity.’ He was proper. I knowledgeable retirement for two scorching months. I flunked retirement,” explained Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA, a firm she founded in 2004.

But regardless of whether functioning for many others and now working for herself, Tellez admits she has constantly been concentrated on her career, which built her a very fast paced spouse and mother to her two sons.

“My household is pretty essential to me. I’m a lola now, to two grandchildren, two sons and a spouse I’ve been married to for 38 years,” she reported. “But I keep in mind when I was doing the job for Kaiser. I commuted to and from Hawaii for five yrs. I would leave my spouse and children on Monday and come back again on Friday. My sons dealt with a corporate mother who was not generally there. This was just before cellphones. They would fax in excess of their research so I could assist them.”

Tellez considers this to be just one of the most significant, if not the most significant sacrifice she’s at any time experienced to make, currently being away from loved ones. But she’s usually incredibly thankful that she had assist alongside the way.

“The solution is to have a wonderful nanny,” she shared with me throughout a meal right after the job interview. “I was fortunate to discover a nanny who was more mature. She was motherly to my children.” Tellez also factors out that she precisely seemed for an older sitter due to the fact young kinds could go away at any issue “if they uncover a husband or if they get a much better supply or option even after you have skilled them.”

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Apart from the nanny, when questioned about people today she many thanks for her accomplishment in everyday living, Tellez credits her mother: “My mom is a devout Catholic Filipina girl and she had her aspiration for me which was to be a nun. She even had a convent picked out for me. But it turned out that I’m not a terribly obedient person. I do not handle authority extremely nicely.”

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Tellez came to America when she was 11. And while she did perfectly in faculty, she states she also observed many others who did greater, “I recognized I could learn from them because they had specified traits that produced them successful. I understood I was instead timid and worried. I started debating and general public talking aided me produce confidence. Debating also allows you to be capable to converse evidently to disagree without the need of becoming abrasive believe on your toes and have and defend your very own feeling.”

She claimed that served her navigate the company jungle incorporating that as quickly as she entered the company world, she realized that “America doesn’t specifically benefit timidity and humility. The united states values assertiveness. And which is what we need to be, Due to the fact we’re superior and there’s nothing at all to be afraid of or ashamed about.”

Tellez also many thanks her father for her results, “My father generally claimed women of all ages have to have to accomplish as a great deal as adult males. In some conditions Filipinas have to fight internally really really hard to be capable to produce an image that is in consonance with our core values but will not minimize who we are.”

She remembers a certain conversation she had on a connect with with a company in Hawaii: “I was chatting with the CEO, wonderful fellow. And for the duration of the dialogue, he mentioned: ‘This is definitely fascinating but I genuinely need to talk to your manager.’ My manager was a white male, so I claimed ‘Good for you. But my boss only comes as soon as a yr. So if you want to wait around, feel cost-free. But if you want to do enterprise now, with me, I’m content to do it with you. Right now.’”

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Tellez admits she dealt with some prejudices like this, along the way. But she did not consider it personally. “When you’re youthful and vulnerable, it is effortless to just take things personally, and believe it’s normally your fault. But at work, you have acquired to put on an academy award-winning functionality all the time. The public facial area is never damage. If you are hurt, cry in private. The public encounter reveals ‘I am a strong human being, I can get this.’”

And though she offers guidance to other individuals now and generously shares her learnings, Tellez also gratefully credits one particular who gave her what she considers a most precious information, a Filipina janitor whom she encountered in Hawaii: “She cleaned my place of work in Hawaii and she worked tricky. Like lots of of us, she had two employment. She presently place in a comprehensive day’s position in McDonald’s at night, she arrived to thoroughly clean our workplaces,” explained Tellez who recalled what the kababayan informed her when she acquired promoted one particular working day: “She explained to me, ‘You have to operate very tricky. You can not let us down. There are quite handful of who make it to the leading. You have to be incredibly watchful that you are a function design for other individuals and that you assistance other people today.’”

According to Tellez individuals words and phrases made it feasible for her to be grounded “to be aware of where by I came from and it produced me recognize that I have an obligation. Which is why I always maintain the door open to aspiring Filipino and Filipina females. That is my way of giving back.”

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As part of her offering again, Cora speaks nationwide, whether or not on subject areas of health treatment, or to share her inspiring story. I initially heard her speak at the awarding of 100 Most Influential Filipina in the Planet very last Oct 2013. This coming Oct 25th 2014, Tellez is going to be a panelist at the “Impactful Leadership Conference” structured by the Worldwide Modern society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA.) For a lot more information and facts, log on to:

For now, here’s another assistance for all kababayans: “Be very pleased of becoming a Filipina. Be real to yourself. Be apparent and trustworthy about what you are sacrificing for. Have the guts to say no. Take treatment of your self,” she claimed, introducing that there is anything to be acquired from the reminder tourists get before a aircraft consider off, “Put on your mask 1st right before aiding other people with theirs.”

Earlier mentioned all, “work difficult,” Tellez mentioned. “God aids those who support by themselves. Luck comes to all those who are well prepared.”

Jannelle So is having a crack from 20-several years of print and broadcast journalism career that began in the Philippines and continued here in the US. Connect to her on Facebook ( Twitter( and Instagram ( or e mail her at [email protected]

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