Loida Nicolas Lewis who served as Chair and CEO of TLC Beatrice International, a $2 billion multinational food company with operations all across Europe, from 1994-2000, will be keynote speaker of the 10th Annual Filipina Leadership Summit taking place Oct. 24-26 in San Francisco.
Lewis assumed the leadership of one of the largest companies in the U.S. after the death of her husband, the African-American, Wall Street financier Reginald F. Lewis, and won over a skeptical business community by moving quickly to sell assets including the corporate jet, paying down debt, downsizing the New York corporate staff by 50 percent and increasing earnings. After successfully running the company for six years, she completed the sale of TLC Beatrice and its related businesses in 2000, achieving a 35 percent return on investment for its shareholders.
In 1987, her late husband, Reginald, a Harvard Law graduate, had bid for and won the international operations of Beatrice International in a $1 billion leveraged buyout that at the time was the largest of its kind. In 1992, he was listed by Forbes Magazine as among the 400 wealthiest Americans. In 1995, Loida appeared on the cover of Working Woman magazine as the Top Business Woman in America.
Currently, Loida is Chair and CEO of TLC Beatrice, LLC, a family investment firm. A lawyer by profession, admitted to practice in the Philippines and New York, she was the first Filipina woman to pass the New York bar without attending law school in the United States.
After having won her discrimination case against the US Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1987 and been awarded three years back pay, Loida served for ten years as General Attorney with the INS. She co-authored “How to Get A Green Card,” now in its 10th edition and a best-seller in its genre.
Loida is Chair of the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to Harvard Law School, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland’s African-American History and Culture, and Virginia State University. There is a Reginald F. Lewis International Law building at Harvard and the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University.
She also supports Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Asian Pacific American Film, Asian American Arts Alliance, Asian American Federation of New York, Asian American Foundation, Diversity Theater and Ma-Yi Theater.
Loida was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Reporter and the Apollo Theater Foundation.
She has two daughters, both cum laude A.B. graduates of Harvard University; Leslie is an actor and Christina is a freelance writer following a five-year stint as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. She has three grandchildren, Christian, Savilla, Calvin and two sons-in-law, Gavin Sword and Dan Halpern.
Organized by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), the summit brings together Filipina women, the untapped source of leadership at a time when economic, social and political challenges demand new levels of talent and innovation. FWN strives to meet this demand by providing Filipina women the knowledge and resources and by building a network of women who dare to change the landscape of the leadership in today’s workplace. FWN’s Filipina Summit is held every October in celebration of Filipino Heritage Month.
To register for the Filipina Leadership summit, visit: http://summit.filipinawomensnetwork.org/register