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Hilda Maria Valdespino

Hilda Maria Valdespino

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a white Cuban woman who has achieved more than I could possibly ever have imagined. I have served as on Boards of various kinds. I have run my own business. In my mid-50's I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for a year helping to help individuals break their cycle of poverty. I moved to Pittsburgh to live close to my grandchildren without a job. I am currently building my brand and reputation as a career coach in an organization committed to closing the opportunity divide in this counrty.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I was asked to be on a panel to share my story and what has kept me inspired throughout my career.

How would you define your professional mission?

To inspire people to unlock their potential.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Authenticity coupled with empathy, listening skills and strong aptitude for relationship building.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Being awarded the Partner of the Year Award from a Workforce Development Board in CT after one year of working with them.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

Fulfilling the expectations of my role within my organization which is a newly created role.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

My inspirational tracker. This is a tracker on my website where individuals can track their inspirational moments. My goal is to have 1 million inspirations tracked by the time I am 100 years old. The tracker can be found at

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

An opportunity in a skilled nursing facility to learn how to improve patient satisfaction scores. This led me to develop a program to train front-line employees on soft skills. From there I left that organization and launched my own business providing those soft skills to healthcare organizations throughout the state. After responding to an RFP for a trainer for a workforce board, my business expanded into workforce development training. That opportunity led me to my current position.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping underserved young adults launch into professional careers in IT and Finance.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?


What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

It aligns with my skills and professional expertise while also aligning with my mission to help individuals unlock their potential.

Who are your role models?

My mom and dad.

What is your morning ritual?

Nothing too fancy. Basically I get dressed and head out to make it a great day for myself and others. A simple breakfast of a protein shake, or yogurt, or toast gets my juices flowing.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

Used to be Facebook till I was asked to lead the Instagram account for Year Up Pittsburgh and now I'm enjoying IG more than FB.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

Creating inspirational moments for people.

What does success look like to you?

Inner peace and joy.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

At times it is. I do something creative like painting, or completing a puzzle, or cooking to get into my personal zone.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Be curious and ask questions. Network, network and then network some more. Also try your best to surround yourself with positive people in the industry. Stay away from folks who are burnt out. Ideally, find someone in the industry who can mentor you and support you in your efforts to get into a new industry.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Trust that you were hired because someone believed you could do the job.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Love your children more than your job.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.