June 3, 2023


pets keep it coming

From conquering corporate America to flunking retirement

6 min read

Jannelle So_So LAShe effectively conquered the aggressive and generally-tense earth of corporate America… but unsuccessful in what is perceived to be a most enjoyable and calming period…retirement. That’s how influential Filipina Cora Tellez, explains her experienced everyday living.

“I experienced concluded a fantastic operate of company lifetime,” said Tellez who has had 25 many years of management encounter in healthcare finance and delivery, possessing worked for Well being Net, Inc., Blue Protect of California, Kaiser Permanente. “When I retired, my partner claimed ‘You’re going to drive all of us outrageous, mainly because of all this power.’ He was right. I expert retirement for two very hot months. I flunked retirement,” claimed Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA, a corporation she established in 2004.

But no matter if working for many others and now doing work for herself, Tellez admits she has often been concentrated on her occupation, which produced her a extremely chaotic wife and mom to her two sons.

“My spouse and children is pretty important to me. I’m a lola now, to two grandchildren, two sons and a spouse I have been married to for 38 several years,” she explained. “But I bear in mind when I was functioning for Kaiser. I commuted to and from Hawaii for five decades. I would depart my loved ones on Monday and occur back again on Friday. My sons dealt with a corporate mother who wasn’t usually there. This was right before cellphones. They would fax above their homework so I could help them.”

Tellez considers this to be one of the most important, if not the largest sacrifice she’s at any time experienced to make, staying away from family. But she’s generally very thankful that she had support together the way.

“The solution is to have a excellent nanny,” she shared with me through a food immediately after the interview. “I was fortunate to find a nanny who was older. She was motherly to my youngsters.” Tellez also details out that she specifically looked for an older sitter since young types could leave at any place “if they find a partner or if they get a improved present or opportunity even soon after you’ve properly trained them.”

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Aside from the nanny, when questioned about folks she thanks for her accomplishment in lifestyle, Tellez credits her mom: “My mother is a devout Catholic Filipina lady and she experienced her dream for me which was to be a nun. She even experienced a convent picked out for me. But it turned out that I’m not a terribly obedient particular person. I do not manage authority extremely effectively.”

Tellez arrived to The united states when she was 11. And though she did very well in school, she suggests she also noticed many others who did greater, “I understood I could understand from them mainly because they had selected features that created them productive. I realized I was relatively timid and scared. I began debating and public speaking served me produce confidence. Debating also will help you to be equipped to connect evidently to disagree with no being abrasive feel on your feet and have and defend your personal view.”

She stated that served her navigate the corporate jungle adding that as soon as she entered the company environment, she understood that “America does not specially benefit timidity and humility. The usa values assertiveness. And that’s what we need to be, Mainly because we’re very good and there’s absolutely nothing to be worried of or ashamed about.”

Tellez also thanks her father for her achievement, “My father generally said gals need to attain as a great deal as gentlemen. In some scenarios Filipinas have to struggle internally really tough to be capable to generate an impression that is in consonance with our main values but will not decrease who we are.”

She recalls a specific dialogue she experienced on a connect with with a enterprise in Hawaii: “I was chatting with the CEO, great fellow. And during the dialogue, he claimed: ‘This is actually fascinating but I truly want to converse to your manager.’ My boss was a white male, so I reported ‘Good for you. But my manager only will come after a yr. So if you want to hold out, truly feel free of charge. But if you want to do business now, with me, I’m content to do it with you. Proper now.’”

Tellez admits she dealt with some prejudices like this, together the way. But she didn’t get it personally. “When you are more youthful and vulnerable, it’s quick to consider items individually, and think it’s constantly your fault. But at operate, you have got to place on an academy award-winning efficiency all the time. The general public confront is by no means harm. If you are damage, cry in personal. The general public facial area reveals ‘I am a strong particular person, I can get this.’”

And while she provides guidance to other individuals now and generously shares her learnings, Tellez also gratefully credits one particular who gave her what she considers a most precious advice, a Filipina janitor whom she encountered in Hawaii: “She cleaned my business office in Hawaii and she worked tough. Like a lot of of us, she had two work. She now place in a comprehensive day’s position in McDonald’s at night time, she came to clean our places of work,” claimed Tellez who recalled what the kababayan instructed her when she bought promoted one day: “She stated to me, ‘You have to work really tough. You can’t permit us down. There are really several who make it to the top. You have to be quite cautious that you are a function product for many others and that you support other folks.’”

According to Tellez individuals text produced it possible for her to be grounded “to be conscious of where by I arrived from and it created me understand that I have an obligation. Which is why I often maintain the door open to aspiring Filipino and Filipina women. That is my way of offering again.”

As part of her providing again, Cora speaks nationwide, regardless of whether on subjects of wellbeing care, or to share her inspiring story. I to start with read her talk at the awarding of 100 Most Influential Filipina in the Earth last Oct 2013. This coming Oct 25th 2014, Tellez is going to be a panelist at the “Impactful Management Conference” structured by the Global Modern society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA.) For more information and facts, log on to: www.isffa.org.

For now, here’s an additional information for all kababayans: “Be happy of being a Filipina. Be legitimate to you. Be clear and sincere about what you are sacrificing for. Have the guts to say no. Just take care of oneself,” she said, including that there is something to be discovered from the reminder vacationers get prior to a aircraft acquire off, “Put on your mask very first right before supporting other people with theirs.”

Above all, “work hard,” Tellez explained. “God can help those who help themselves. Luck arrives to these who are organized.”

Jannelle So is taking a split from 20-years of print and broadcast journalism vocation that started in the Philippines and continued below in the US. Link to her on Fb (www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL) Twitter(www.twitter.com/JannelleSo) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/JannelleSo) or email her at sojannelle77@gmail.com.