It’s a Sweet Ride to the Top
10 Oct, 2011
The bank’s goals are basic—to help workers become owners. It also endeavors to involve community leaders in sharing expertise with small business owners to grow the prosperity of the community and its individual members.
Contreras-Sweet takes pride in the fact that Promerica Bank treats its customers, no matter the size of their business or account, as if they were each a premium account holder. The bank has a vested interest in the personal success of every account holder, and seeks to cultivate a partnership in which both parties come out on top. Its network of business and community leaders enables the bank to provide the type of assistance and guidance that keeps their customers and their businesses on a positive track.
The open decor of the bank itself, with walls made of transparent glass, is designed to let customers feel that every staff member is available to them at all times. Everyone involved with the bank, from staff to board members, are successful people who serve as excellent role models. The most up-to-date technology means that the bank is able to offer the best in service to its customers.
And of course, everything is highly accessible to Latino customers, from the bilingual employees to the bicultural atmosphere to the Web site that can be accessed in either English or Spanish.
When it comes to giving back to the community, Contreras-Sweet demonstrates her commitment through her involvement with HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality). The organization was founded in 1989 by a group of Latinas, including Contreras-Sweet as its founding president, representing the full spectrum of business, political, and social tenets. HOPE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to ensuring political and economic parity for Latinas through leadership, advocacy, and education. The organization has anchored itself to the principle that knowledge of the political process, coupled with active participation, will fuel a powerful and necessary engine of change. HOPE’s goals are directly and aggressively designed to empower Latinas with political knowledge through town hall meetings, debates, educational seminars, and practical workshops. The organization’s Web site, www.latinas.org, has information about the group, its resources, upcoming events, and other news.
In addition to her work with HOPE, Contreras-Sweet is devoted to activities that educate the Latino community about the importance of business ownership. She is fervent in her quest to expand democracy in the U.S. through the expansion of access to capital for small businesses.
Contreras-Sweet sees being a Latina as an advantage when it comes to her career. She feels that the country is shifting toward a larger and larger interest in the Latino market, and that Latino culture is becoming more and more incorporated into every aspect of American life. In Hispanic households, says Contreras-Sweet, women are seen as “change agents,” and having cultivated a thick skin over time, she has developed a massive drive toward achieving change for Hispanic women and men in business and in life.