Leader, Motivational Speaker, Author, Diversity Aficionada
Juana Bordas emigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua on a banana boat. The youngest daughter in a family of eight, she was the first to go to college. She learned leadership from her hard-working parents especially her mother, Maria, who cooked food and scrubbed floors in the school lunch room so Juana could get a scholarship to a Catholic school. "Their vision, determination, and sacrifice taught me the essence of Servant Leadership." Her early years would instill in her a desire to give back, to make a contribution, and to assist other Latinos/as find their place in society.
After college, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in the barrios of Santiago, Chile assisting women form work cooperatives so they could feed their children. Juana later received the U.S. Peace Corps' Franklin Williams Award for her life-long commitment to advancing communities of color.
Juana was a founder of Denver's Mi Casa Women's Center and served as executive director. Today, Mi Casa is recognized as a national model for women's empowerment. She was founding President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), the only program in America that prepares Latinas for national leadership. In 2001 she founded the Circle of Latina Leadership to prepare the next generation of leaders. For her extensive work with Latinas, she was commended by Latina Style Magazine for creating "a Nation of Latina Leaders."
Her book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age won the International Latino Book Award for leadership in 2008. Her new book The Power of Latino Leadership was released in 2013 and has received compelling endorsements. Juana served as advisor to Harvard.s Hispanic Journal on Public Policy, the Kellogg National Fellows Program, as board vice chair of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and a trustee of the International Leadership Association. She received an honorary doctorate from Union Institute in 2009.
Juana was selected as a Wise Woman Award by the National Center for Women's Policy Studies and is in the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. In 2009 the Denver Post and the Colorado Women's Foundation named her the Colorado Unique Woman of the Year. She is President of Mestiza Leadership International (MLI) -- a company that focuses on leadership, diversity, and organizational change.