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Kimberly Casiano was named the recipient of the Pinnacle Award at the 2021 AL DÍA Women of Merit event. 
Kimberly Casiano was named the recipient of the Pinnacle Award at the 2021 AL DÍA Women of Merit event on March 31. 

Kimberly Casiano has reached the pinnacle

At the 2021 AL DÍA Women of Merit, Kimberly Casiano was awarded the Pinnacle Award for her decades-long career.

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Kimberly Casiano can remember when she was often the youngest person in the rooms she’d enter within Corporate America. 

She’d also often be the only woman and only Latina in those very same rooms. 

Casiano’s career has spanned more than three decades in a number of different roles. She spent seven years managing her own company, Caribbean Marketing Overseas Corporation, throughout the 1980s. She was elected to the Ford Motor Company board of directors in 2003, becoming the first Latina to serve on the board of a top-five Fortune 100 corporate board.

She also established her own firm, Kimberly Casiano & Associates, in 2010, which provides advisory services in marketing, recruiting, communications, advocacy and diversity, aimed specifically to target the U.S. Hispanic market, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Now I’m 63 years old, and thank God and my parents, I am blessed to be at the pinnacle profession,” Casiano said at the 2021 AL DÍA Women of Merit virtual event on March 31, as she accepted the Pinnacle Award.

Despite her career allowing her opportunities to fly in private jets, share meals with Nobel Prize winners, meet generals, governors, university presidents and more, none of that truly gives her life its main worth.

What has given her life its main worth “is what I have learned from many of these exceptional people,” said Casiano. 

She is proud of what she has learned from being a mother to her two children, and working many years as a volunteer. She looks back very fondly of what she has accomplished throughout her career, but most of all, throughout her life.

“At this point in my life, it is a relief to no longer be building a resume.” she said.

When asked to provide a piece of advice to the next generation of women and Latinas looking to enter Corporate America and advance their careers, Casiano often recounts one of her favorite books, “The Road to Character,” by David Brooks. 

In the book, Brooks details the difference between resume virtues and eulogy virtues. Resume virtues refer to an individual’s career success and the skills one brings to the marketplace, whereas eulogy virtues refer to the things an individual may be remembered for at their funeral.

To Casiano, eulogy virtues carry much more weight in the grand scheme of things.

“I urge all of our young, talented Latino leaders, as you are working very hard to build your resume virtues, please think often and think deeply about planting the seeds of what will be your eulogy,” she said. 

Using her own life as the basis, qualities such as her kindness, honesty and bravery has been the true meaning of her success. 

“At 63, I can tell you that eulogy virtues, not resume virtues, are truly the pinnacle of a life worth living,” she said.

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