President and CEO, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; former financial consultant
Maria Salinas is president and CEO of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. She founded Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting project management firm. She is a certified public accountant with expertise in advising major corporations on financial reporting, internal controls, and accounting matters. Salinas previously held financial leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company and Ernst & Young and served as board chair for a Los Angeles community bank.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?
Serving as chairwoman of the board of a Los Angeles community bank and leading its successful merger. It was a privilege to enable small businesses to grow through access to capital and to engage with business and community leaders on a shared vision of economic empowerment.
What inspires you in your work?
I am inspired by the goal of eliminating or reducing the challenges facing under-represented groups, whether in business, education, or healthcare.
What's your secret vice?
Chocolate, although it’s not a very well-kept secret!
What life experience has taught or changed you the most?
Being the mother of four boys has been my most life-changing and meaningful experience. My sons have taught me resiliency and patience. Most importantly, they remind me that the future of the next generation is in our hands and must be handled with great care.