Cid Wilson a dynamic leader driving mentorship..in his own words.
Where it all started and early influences
I was born in the Washington Heights section of New York City which is a predominantly Dominican neighborhood.
I grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey where I attended school in Teaneck, NJ and Paramus, NJ. My father came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 1958 to do his medical residency. After he had returned to D.R. in the early 1960’s, he met my mother, and they both came to the U.S. after marrying in the D.R. in 1966.
My parents were by far the greatest influence on me as they were considered role models in the Dominican community. They opened up one of the earliest medical practices in Washington Heights, Manhattan which they served the medical needs of the community for 40 years.
Early experiences shaped your career goals
Growing up in a Dominican family in Teaneck, NJ which is predominately Orthodox Jewish and African American had a major influence on me in terms of recognizing the importance of multicultural and multi-religious communities. I attended both public schools and Catholic schools.
But my experience starting my Wall Street career in the mailroom at an investment firm without compensation (they covered my lunch and my bus transportation) was a life-changing experience because it launched my career in the financial services sector.
I went from the mailroom to the executive board room over the years and then in 2006, Forbes ranked me #1 equity research financial analyst in my field.
I learned about goal-setting during my days in the mailroom. I listened to audios from Tony Robbins’ Personal Power and Franklin Covey. These goal-setting experience put me on the fast track and turned my dream goals into reality.
Success comes from good judgment
I would not have succeeded in my life were it not for my failures. As President & CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), I brought a lot of experiences professionally and in the Latino community over my 21 year Wall Street career.
There is the old saying that “success comes from good judgment; good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.” Like many successful corporate leaders, I certainly had my share of experiences, and that is why I come into my role at HACR, leveraging those skills.
I had many mentors in my life. While my parents were mentors personally, I was blessed to have a career mentor early in my Wall Street days. Howard Pirwitz, who was the Sr. Vice President at PaineWebber (now USB Financial) took me under his wing a few months after I started working in the mail room.
That catapulted my trajectory into an equity research path. He was more than a mentor; he was a SPONSOR. The difference between a mentor and a sponsor is that a mentor talks TO YOU about advice.
A sponsor talks ABOUT YOU to others to promote you a candidate for greater opportunities. Howard Pirwitz was that sponsor to me that helped me launch a very successful Wall Street career.
On establishing a not for profit business
I have never had a for-profit business, but I have been part of the creation of many nonprofit organizations.
I was a founding board member of Dominicans On Wall Street, I led various Dominican organizations, got onto the board of directors of Latino Justice PRLDEF and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and I was appointed by President Obama to the National Museum of the American Latino. I served on two Fortune 500 corporate advisory boards and a community college board.
HACR was founded in Washington, D.C. as a coalition-based organization. D.C. was chosen at the time given the importance of the city and the many prominent Latino organizations who are also based here.
HACR’s future plans
Our goal as a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America is to grow our influence so that we can improve the number of Hispanics working at Fortune 500 companies, procurement opportunities, philanthropy by corporations back into the community, and a governance structure that is inclusive to Latinos.
Next- Cid Wilson’s Insights: Work-life balance; Best rewards; Advice for Latinos