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Mentor of the Year Honoree: Cynthia M. Ruiz

Cynthia M. Ruiz Headshot

Cynthia M. Ruiz
Author & Leadership Expert
Cynthia M. Ruiz & Associates

Cynthia Ruiz has been a trailblazer her entire career.  She was the first Indigenous/Latina to serve as president of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works.  She is also the first Indigenous/Latina to serve as the president of the City of Los Angeles Pension Board overseeing billions of dollars.  Through it all, she has always found time to help other women.  She volunteered for a decade for Girls Today Women Tomorrow, a non-profit mentoring young Latinas, the majority of the time serving as chair of the Board, as well as directly mentoring the young women.  Additionally, she continues to spend her time mentoring many women to help them succeed in their given fields.  She always makes time to motivate and empower others.

Ruiz focuses on helping other women because she did not have mentors in her life and overcame many challenges. As a role to model to both Latinas and Native American/Indigenous people, she mentors women individually and speaks at many conferences motivating the next generation. 

During the pandemic, Ruiz volunteered her time to lead the Cherokee Nation Gen-Z Leadership program inspiring several thousand young people to become leaders and to believe in themselves.  

Also, as president of the Pension Board, Ruiz is able to further advocate for women. No matter how busy Ruiz is, she always finds time to motivate and empower others. She is a role model and embodiment of authentic leadership by the very example of how she lives her life giving to others and empowering them along the way.     

Return to Women’s Leadership Awards Main Page

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