Following last night's electric debate, I found myself reflecting on my first encounter with the candidate who is best equipped to lead our country. Last fall, my husband and I joined hundreds in a packed high school gym in Northern Virginia to hear a message of opportunity and a vision for a stronger America. The speaker's powerful words made me feel newfound hope for our future. I remember turning to my husband and saying, "This woman should be our next president." The speaker was Carly Fiorina.
Carly understands our country is the most unique in the world because here, there is the possibility for all people to reach their full potential. This particularly resonates with me, because I've experienced the American Dream firsthand. I was born in Ecuador and came to the United States as a small child. I grew up to be an engineer and eventually a business executive. Today I am a small business owner, serve as Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and teach graduate business courses, as adjunct faculty. I am living proof that in this country, with hard work, determination, and a little sweat equity, anyone can succeed. I know Carly Fiorina will be a tremendous president because as a leader, she understands how to create new opportunity by empowering individuals.
Throughout my career, I've worked with many immigrants, like myself, who view the United States as a nation where we can utilize our God-given talents to unlock our individual potential. In coming here, many of us learned a new language, adopted a new culture, and relocated from across the globe to enjoy the freedoms of this country. I am proud to consider living here a privilege. But I fear that federal bureaucracy and excessive government red tape has put that privilege under threat.
In order to ensure new opportunities for future generations, Carly will work to correct the rampant inefficiencies of the federal government and cut wasteful spending. For too long, out-of-control spending has robbed hardworking taxpayers from providing for their families. Carly will deliver on her promise to audit the federal government and make sure taxpayer money is used wisely. Carly's history of shaking up the status quo and generating a culture of efficiency and accountability is what we desperately need.
As a former partner at the international management consultancy Six Sigma-Qualtec, I spent many years helping leaders and businesses achieve breakthrough improvements. I applaud Carly's efforts at Hewlett-Packard, where she energized the company and incentivized employees to create new solutions. I've seen dozens of companies turn around like HP, and it begins with a leader like Carly. A leader with the vision and the courage to challenge the status quo and change a company for the better.
These new opportunities will empower people from all walks of life. Too often, the federal government reverts to handouts and disregards complex solutions to complex issues. We in this country desire opportunity, and Carly understands that better than anyone I've ever encountered. Carly has overseen two non-profit organizations that embody these very ideas. Opportunity International, a micro financing firm that provides resources to entrepreneurs in developing countries, and Good360, an organization that takes excess products from corporations and donates them to people in need, like Hurricane Sandy victims and Ebola-stricken countries. No matter the environment, Carly believes in people. She empowers them with the tools they need to achieve success.
On the campaign trail, Carly listens and demonstrates a conviction that every person's voice, every person's perspective, matters. She speaks from the heart. Carly's leadership traits initially attracted me – her presence, sharpness, and ability to communicate clearly – and she has continued to impress, both on the debate stage and on the ground. Carly is the proven leader our country needs to ensure every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to succeed. As President of the United States, Carly Fiorina will open new doors for millions of American families.
Dr. Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, a member of Carly Fiorina's VA Leadership Team, is Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.