A top Filipina executive based in Las Vegas will be recognized as among the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award (Global FWN100).
Mona Lisa Jovellanos Kozel, senior vice president for marketing operations of timeshare company Take A Break Travel DBA Paramount Consultant, will be honored with other
leaders by the San Francisco-based non-profit The Filipina Women’s Network (FWN).
The Global FWN100 recognizes leaders for their work on femtorship or female mentoring. This year's awardees will be honored at the gala of the 16th Filipina
Leadership Global Summit, which is scheduled on Oct. 31 at The Westin Paris -Vendôme in Paris, France.
Kozel, as her organization's marketing chief for the past 16 years, is in charge of over 400 employees – the majority of which are Filipinos – in 14 prime locations across the Las
Vegas Strip. To date, she is the only Filpina holding an executive position in the largest, male-dominated vacation ownership company in Las Vegas.
“This recognition from FWN100 is a humbling experience, a testament to the impact that Filipinos can make to communities and organizations around the world,” Kozel said.
“It is also a challenge for us to open more opportunities for women around the world. When a woman makes it to the top, I believe she must use her power to help other women as well and inspire them to be courageous and resilient.”
Kozel will receive the Builder Category award of the FWN100, which is given to leaders who “have demonstrated exceptional organizational impact at a large workplace environment.”
Kozel first moved to the United States in 1988 where the 22-year-old took jobs such as babysitting and housekeeping in California to survive.
She moved to Las Vegas after a few months and opened a small buy-and-sell business offering clothes to Filipinas at several casinos.
“Those early years were difficult – there were just so many things happening but I knew I had to go on for everyone else in my family,” she recalled. “I took on these obstacles and turned them into my motivation to succeed.”
Her career break came when she landed a job as an off-premises contact for a small booth in the property Vegas World, now known as Stratosphere. She eventually became a corporate trainer and helped grow the company.
With her success, Kozel never forgot her commitment to provide opportunities to Filipinos in her community, working with different organizations such as the Las Vegas Filipino American Chamber of Commerce where she serves as Vice President for Business Development. From June to July this year, she spearheaded a community outreach program that helped hundreds of immigrants find gainful employment.
She also sponsors different fundraisers, including the “Giving Back and Giving Hope a Chance” which supported 500 families in San Pablo Laguna, 200 families in Calapan, Mindoro, 250 families in Cabagan, Isabela, and 30 women from Laura Vicuna, a home for victims of sexual abuse; as well as the Philippine Heritage Gala which aims to transform slums into peaceful and productive communities.
“My work for the past several years have taught me that diversity is, and will always be a source of an organization or a community’s strength. It is important that we bring together different voices and perspectives because that is how we can come up with more innovative solutions to the challenges we face,” Kozel said.
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