Our Ambassadors believe in and enhance collaboration around CTEK’s mission.

Ambassadors are chosen because of their passion for entrepreneurship and equality. They have a non-fiduciary role as guardians of the CTEK spirit of positive change and giving back to help the underserved entrepreneurs of the world be part of our ecosystem.

Lu M Córdova
Chairperson, CTEK

Ms. Lu Córdova is a 7-time CEO specializing in operations management, strategic planning, business development and capital finance. Since 2005, Córdova has been the CEO of Corlund Industries, L.L.C. , a diversified holding company in real estate development, property management, investment holdings and IPO lending. Corlund Industries is the Managing Partner for the Almacen Storage Group, a Mexican REIT, which provides self-storage and small business warehousing in Mexican resort areas. Córdova is currently on the board of directors of the publicly-traded Kansas City Southern Railroad (NYSE: KSU), the largest cross-border railroad between the USA and Mexico, and an advisor to the State of Wyoming on their investment committee selection panel. Formerly, she was Chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, on the Board of Directors at Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT) and served three terms on the Economic Advisory Board of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She was President of the Techstars Foundation, Chair and President of Colorado Venture Centers, founded CTEK Angels and GenXangels and was CEO of Acteva, an e-commerce software transaction provider. Prior to that she was a SVP at McGraw-Hill Standard & Poor’s and VP at Excite@Home. She has been a limited partner in venture capital companies and in private equity. Córdova has received numerous awards throughout her career and is a frequent speaker, expert witness and consultant on matters of entrepreneurship, finance, technology, cyber-security, corporate governance and operations. Her passion is helping entrepreneurs succeed as a way of bringing people and communities out of poverty to self sustainability. She holds dual citizenship with Mexico and the United States and believes in giving back, and so heads CTEK for $1/year.

Nicole Glaros
Partner, Techstars

Ms. Nicole Glaros has been an entrepreneur, founder, mentor and investor in entrepreneurship for over 15 years. She has been with Techstars since it’s earliest days, helping build the company and rising from a Managing Director to Chief Innovation Officer and most recently, Partner. Techstars is a global network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. She was also part of the founding team at Colorado Venture Centers that emerged out of the Boulder Technology Incubator, supporting tech startups in 2002, before accelerators existed, and was an early catalyst in developing the startup ecosystem in Colorado. Ms. Glaros is also on the board of Pana, Smart Vision Labs, the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and the Leeds Board of Alumni and Friends at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. Previously she’s been on the boards of Owlet, Simple Energy, the Application Developer’s Alliance, and Pledge1Percent Colorado. She was named one of the Coolest People in New York Tech and an Extraordinary Woman in New York Tech by Business Insider. Marie Claire named her one of the NewGuard, and Entrepreneur Magazine named her One of the Most 7 Powerful Women to Watch. She has been featured on CNBC,, and Huffington Post, and her talks have been featured at SXSW, TEDx, WebSummit, Pioneers Festival, Arctic festival, the University of Colorado, Real Leaders, @WomenatForbes Mentoring Moments, and many, many more.

Malak Ahmed Al Shaibani
Director General, National Business Center, Sultanate of Oman

Ms. Malak Al Shaibani is the Director General of the National Business Center, the first mixed-use business incubator in the Sultanate of Oman. She has more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sector, working in areas of industrial development, public policy, investments and entrepreneurship. She has been at the forefront of public policy development and execution in industrial development, foreign investment, restructuring of public and private entities and entrepreneurship development. Ms. Al Shaibani’s specialties include strategy development and execution, restructuring, turnarounds, leadership and talent development. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions at Sohar Aluminum, in both the construction and operational sectors, and has been tasked to revive and restructure a RO 8.6 million fund dedicated to supporting SMEs. Ms. Alshaibani is on the Advisory Boards of the College of Commerce and Economics SQU, the Inma Fund, and the Maritime College. She has been recognized for her contribution to Industrial Development by PEIE, received a Women’s Leadership Award, and has been considered among the top 20 influential and powerful women in Oman by Al Maraa magazine. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and women as seen here.

Anne Haines
President, CEO, Founder, Accion

Ms. Anne Haines is the president, chief executive officer and principal founder of Accion, a
nonprofit micro and small business lending organization headquartered in Albuquerque. Under Ms. Haines’ stewardship, the organization has grown to serve entrepreneurs in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Anne recently completed two terms as a director of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Ms. Haines has been recognized locally and nationally for her leadership and impact in microfinance and economic development. A recipient of a Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women, she has been honored with Humanitarian Awards from the Albuquerque Jewish Community Center and the Celebration of Excellent Women. Named by The New Mexico Business Weekly and Albuquerque Business First as a “Top- Performing CEO” and “Woman of Influence,” she is also the recipient of a United States Small Business Administration Financial Services Advocate of the Year Award for New Mexico. Under Ms. Haines tenure, Accion was recognized with two national honors: the Access to Capital award from the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and the Power of One Award from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity. She was also honored with the YWCA New Mexico’s La Estrella Award. Prior to founding Accion, Ms. Haines served as the marketing and program director for the Micro Industry Credit Rural Organization of Project PPEP in Arizona. She is interviewed here on Fox news.

Charles P. Garcia

Mr. Charles Garcia leads ALPFA, the largest Latino professional membership organization in the U.S. ALPFA supports Latino students and professionals in 44 U.S. chapters and 160 student chapters at major colleges and universities. With one-in-four children in the U.S. being Latino, the strength of America’s’ future economy is linked to the promise of these young men and women. ALPFA’s mission is to empower and develop these individuals as leaders in every sector of the global economy. He also Chairs the South Florida Chapter and is Co-Chair of the Puerto Rico Chapter of TIGER 21, the premier peer network for ultra high net worth investors. Garcia is the Regional Chair for Personal Investment Network for the Young President’s Organization for the Southeast and the Caribbean, which provides members market related investment education to help them become better stewards of their wealth. Mr. Garcia believes his purpose is to inspire and connect others to achieve extraordinary things. He has had an extensive career as a former White House Fellow, a trusted adviser for several influential leaders, appointee in four U.S. Presidential administrations, and a member on a number of Fortune 500 corporate boards, building a vast and influential network that he leverage for the benefit of others. He has authored two books on leadership and you can watch his Keynote Address as he begins his leadership at ALPHA.

Larissa Herda
CEO, Time Warner Telecom, retired

Ms. Larissa Herda became CEO and President of tw telecom inc., formerly Time Warner Telecom Inc., on June 19, 1998 and Chairman of the tw telecom inc. Board of Directors effective June 7, 2001. She held the title of Chairman and CEO until November 2014.  Under Ms. Herda’s direction, tw telecom grew from $26 million in revenue in 1996 to nearly $1.6 Billion in 2013; expanded its broadband network footprint from 17 U.S. markets to 80; and made three acquisitions totaling over $1.2B. Ms. Herda raised more than $8.5 billion in the public and private debt markets, including a $290 million IPO. Ms. Herda completed the sale of tw telecom to Level 3 for $7.3 Billion in November 2014. Ms. Herda currently serves as a member of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network (BEN) Steering committee. Ms Herda served as a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and chairman of the FCC’s Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC).  She was also chairman of the board of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City. Larissa served as a member of the Colorado Innovation Network advisory board, appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Recognized for her business efforts and leadership in the community, Ms. Herda was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region, Denver Business Journal’s CEO of the Year and Outstanding Woman in Business and Telecom Executive of the Year by the Denver Telecom Professionals. Ms. Herda served as a member of the board of directors at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado for eight years and as a member of the school’s advisory board for the Center for Education in Social Responsibility (CESR). She was a member of the community advisory board of SungateKids, a local children’s advocacy center helping abused children and their families.

Melissa Lora
President, Taco Bell International, retired

Ms. Melissa Lora is the recently-retired President of Taco Bell International, delivering record new restaurant growth from a portfolio of 27 countries while building the strategy, structure, culture and momentum towards $1 billion system sales by 2022, embracing opportunities to engage with leaders, owners and customers from many countries and cultures. Formerly the Global Chief Financial & Development Officer of the iconic Yum restaurant brand for over a decade, Ms. Lora’s extensive leadership expertise resides in creating powerful enterprise strategies, building amazing teams, developing authentic leaders, procuring and aligning franchisees, creating significant shareholder value, delivering exceptional financial results, driving growth and encouraging a positive culture. She has extensive public company governance experience as a Director on the Board of Directors of KB Home ( NYSE: KBH ) for over a decade and was named Lead Director in 2016. She recently joined the Board of Directors of MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG ) a leading US private mortgage insurance company. Her passion is enriching the next generation of leaders through roles at USC Marshall School Corporate Advisory Board, Trustee at Art Center School of Design and a legacy of mentoring leaders; including many current C-Suite leaders. She talks about international growth here.

Walter C. Rakowich CEO, Prologis, retired Mr. Walter Rakowich is a leadership speaker and recently retired executive of Prologis, a global real estate company, leading one of Wall Street’s most noted turn-arounds. In addition to speaking to audiences on a range of leadership topics, Mr. Rakowich also serves on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards. He serves as a director for Iron Mountain Incorporated, a storage and information management firm. He also serves on the board of Host Hotels & Resorts and is a member of its audit committee. Additionally, he sits on the boards of numerous philanthropic and educational organizations in his home state of Colorado. He is the chairman of the board of Colorado Uplift and a member of the executive committee of the Alliance for School Choice in Education (ACE), two nonprofits focused on inner-city education. He also was formerly on the executive committee and board of governors for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the primary industry group for REITs in the United States. Previously, Mr. Rakowich spent nine years as a partner and principal with real estate developer Trammell Crow Company. He began his career as an auditor and tax consultant with Price Waterhouse. Read Mr. Rakowich’s writing on the positive influence of transparent leadership at

Rose Washington
Executive Director, Tulsa Economic Development Corporation

Ms. Rose Washington is executive director of the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), founded in 1979 to promote and sustain small business growth in the Tulsa region. As a certified community development financial institution, TEDC has assisted thousands of small businesses with start-up or expansion in the last thirty years with loans ranging from $5,000 to $10 million using public and private funds. It also owns and operates a 17,000 square feet retail center in one of Tulsa’s underserved areas, hosts a technology-focused business incubator in its downtown Tulsa office, and is working on developing 35 acres of industrial land dormant more than 40 years. Ms. Washington formerly served as the Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and worked with the University of Southern California’s Division of External Relations, Jackson State University School of Business, and was an officer at Trustmark National Bank in Jackson, Mississippi. Ms. Washington is actively involved with the following boards: Tulsa Regional Chamber, ACA Club Alliance, New Markets Redevelopment LLC, Community HigherEd Institute, and The Forge business incubator. Ms. Washington has received a host of honors and awards including being named SBA Oklahoma Minority Small Business Champion, Tulsa Regional Chamber Financial Services Champion, and Woman of Distinction by the Tulsa Business Journal.

Karina LeBlanc
Olympic Medalist, Unicef Ambassador, Motivational Speaker

Ms. Karina Leblanc is Canadian born, raised on a small Caribbean island, and was the  longest standing soccer player of all time for Canada, (5 World Cups, 2 Olympic games, 1 Bronze Medal), but now Ms. LeBlanc has become an ambassador with the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf). Concacaf is one of FIFA’s six continental confederations, servicing 41 Member Associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana in the south. She also co-founded iS4 which is dedicated to empowering young athletes through workshops, speaking engagements, team building, and soccer camps. She also served as a UNICEF ambassador and a member of the 25th Team, a partnership between UNICEF Canada, a team of 60 influential Canadian women, Teck and Canada Soccer formed in 2015 with the Women’s World Cup in Canada as its inspiration. Its mission is to invest in “life-saving projects” in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Namibia and Peru with a four-year goal to help more than two million women and children. Ms. LeBlanc uses her international career as a platform, drawing from her life experiences and career to empower others and help them on their journey to being the best version of themselves. Her energy is contagious as seen and experienced through her roles as  motivational speaker, broadcaster and host (on air and in person).

James Lam
President, James Lam Associates

Mr. James Lam is President of James Lam & Associates (JLA) which works exclusively on risk management, providing consulting, board advisory, interim CRO, and training solutions. A Euromoney global survey of more than 1,000 clients and consultants named Mr. Lam one of the world’s top risk consultants. Forrester Research ranked the company among the leading consulting firms with “extensive risk capabilities” across all major industries. Mr. Lam is widely recognized as an early advocate of enterprise risk management, and noted as the first-ever “chief risk officer.” He is the author of “Enterprise Risk Management” published by Wiley, which has ranked #1 best-selling among 25,000 risk management titles on and is quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Risk Magazine, CFO Magazine, and American Banker. Mr. Lam has been on the Board of Directors for E*TRADE since 2012. He previously served as Founder and President of ERisk, Chief Risk Officer of Fidelity Investments and Chief Risk Officer of GE Capital Markets Services. He was named to the NACD Directorship 100, Directors & Boards “Directors to Watch,” Treasury & Risk “100 Most Influential People in Finance” three times, and GARP inaugural “Risk Manager of the Year.” He is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and is certified by the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon in Cybersecurity Oversight. Previously, Mr. Lam served as Vice Chairman on the board of directors of ERisk and as an independent director of Covarity. He talks about the biggest risks business faces today here.