From conquering corporate America to flunking retirement

Jannelle So_So LAShe successfully conquered the competitive and frequently-nerve-racking entire world of company America… but unsuccessful in what is perceived to be a most exciting and soothing period…retirement. That’s how influential Filipina Cora Tellez, describes her expert lifestyle.

“I had accomplished a terrific run of corporate lifetime,” reported Tellez who has had 25 yrs of administration expertise in health care finance and delivery, possessing worked for Wellness Internet, Inc., Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente. “When I retired, my spouse claimed ‘You’re likely to drive all of us crazy, since of all this vitality.’ He was right. I skilled retirement for two sizzling months. I flunked retirement,” stated Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA, a business she established in 2004.

But regardless of whether performing for many others and now working for herself, Tellez admits she has usually been centered on her career, which produced her a extremely active wife and mom to her two sons.

“My household is really significant to me. I’m a lola now, to two grandchildren, two sons and a husband I’ve been married to for 38 a long time,” she claimed. “But I try to remember when I was performing for Kaiser. I commuted to and from Hawaii for 5 yrs. I would go away my family on Monday and come again on Friday. My sons dealt with a company mother who was not normally there. This was in advance of cellphones. They would fax above their research so I could help them.”

Tellez considers this to be 1 of the major, if not the most important sacrifice she’s ever experienced to make, remaining absent from loved ones. But she’s usually extremely grateful that she experienced help along the way.

“The key is to have a great nanny,” she shared with me throughout a meal following the interview. “I was blessed to discover a nanny who was more mature. She was motherly to my youngsters.” Tellez also points out that she particularly appeared for an more mature sitter since young types could go away at any level “if they uncover a husband or if they get a superior offer you or possibility even just after you have skilled them.”

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Cora Tellez, President and CEO of Sterling HSA

Apart from the nanny, when asked about individuals she thanks for her success in daily life, Tellez credits her mother: “My mother is a devout Catholic Filipina woman and she experienced her aspiration 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 person. I never deal with authority pretty nicely.”

Tellez arrived to America when she was 11. And while she did very well in university, she suggests she also noticed other individuals who did better, “I recognized I could understand from them due to the fact they experienced particular attributes that made them effective. I recognized I was alternatively timid and scared. I started debating and general public talking served me develop confidence. Debating also helps you to be ready to converse plainly to disagree without the need of becoming abrasive assume on your toes and have and protect your own opinion.”

She stated that assisted her navigate the corporate jungle including that as before long as she entered the corporate earth, she recognized that “America doesn’t specifically value timidity and humility. The us values assertiveness. And that’s what we should be, Since we’re excellent and there is almost nothing to be fearful of or ashamed about.”

Tellez also many thanks her father for her success, “My father generally claimed gals need to have to obtain as much as adult men. In some conditions Filipinas have to struggle internally really challenging to be in a position to make an picture that is in consonance with our core values but will not lower who we are.”

She recollects a certain conversation she had on a phone with a firm in Hawaii: “I was chatting with the CEO, wonderful fellow. And throughout the discussion, he claimed: ‘This is truly interesting but I definitely have to have to discuss to your manager.’ My boss was a white male, so I claimed ‘Good for you. But my manager only will come once a 12 months. So if you want to wait, feel totally free. But if you want to do small business now, with me, I’m content to do it with you. Ideal now.’”

Tellez admits she dealt with some prejudices like this, alongside the way. But she did not acquire it personally. “When you are young and susceptible, it’s easy to take matters personally, and feel it is usually your fault. But at work, you have received to place on an academy award-profitable performance all the time. The public facial area is hardly ever damage. If you are damage, cry in personal. The general public facial area reveals ‘I am a robust man or woman, I can consider this.’”

And although she offers guidance to many others now and generously shares her learnings, Tellez also gratefully credits just one who gave her what she considers a most useful guidance, a Filipina janitor whom she encountered in Hawaii: “She cleaned my business office in Hawaii and she worked really hard. Like many of us, she had two work. She by now set in a complete day’s position in McDonald’s at evening, she arrived to clean up our offices,” explained Tellez who recalled what the kababayan informed her when she acquired promoted just one working day: “She mentioned to me, ‘You have to function pretty tough. You just can’t allow us down. There are incredibly couple who make it to the prime. You have to be incredibly thorough that you are a position product for other folks and that you support other persons.’”

According to Tellez all those text manufactured it achievable for her to be grounded “to be mindful of where by I arrived from and it made me realize that I have an obligation. That’s why I generally maintain the doorway open to aspiring Filipino and Filipina ladies. That’s my way of providing back again.”

As section of her providing back again, Cora speaks nationwide, whether on topics of overall health care, or to share her inspiring tale. I initially listened to her discuss at the awarding of 100 Most Influential Filipina in the Globe past October 2013. This coming Oct 25th 2014, Tellez is going to be a panelist at the “Impactful Leadership Conference” arranged by the Global Culture of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA.) For more information, log on to:

For now, here’s yet another tips for all kababayans: “Be proud of remaining a Filipina. Be genuine to on your own. Be distinct and honest about what you’re sacrificing for. Have the guts to say no. Consider care of oneself,” she explained, adding that there is a thing to be discovered from the reminder travelers get right before a airplane consider off, “Put on your mask initially before serving to many others with theirs.”

Previously mentioned all, “work tricky,” Tellez explained. “God can help all those who help them selves. Luck will come to these who are geared up.”

Jannelle So is taking a split from 20-decades of print and broadcast journalism career that started in the Philippines and continued listed here in the US. Join to her on Fb ( Twitter( and Instagram ( or electronic mail her at [email protected].