A Latina trailblazer, Lisa Garcia Quiroz, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Time Warner Inc., and president of the Time Warner Foundation, died Friday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. An advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts, Quiroz created a dynamic legacy.
A native New Yorker, Quiroz was raised on Staten Island. Her mother grew up in Puerto Rico and her father in Mexico. She excelled in education, earning both an undergraduate degree and an M.B.A. at Harvard University.
Quiroz was recruited to join Time Inc. where she conceived and launched Time for Kids, becoming its general manager. Under her leadership, the award-winning classroom news magazine for elementary school children grew to a circulation of over 3.5 million.
The trailblazer also became the founding publisher of People en Español — Time Inc.'s first Spanish-language magazine. During her tenure, it was the best-selling American publication of its time for the Latino market, reaching more than 4.2 million consumers monthly.
Quiroz further expanded her work in diversity and inclusion by joining Time Warner's Corporate Responsibility group, serving as senior vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Time Warner Foundation.
"Diverse talent has enabled Time Warner to create attractive content for a broad multicultural audience," Quiroz said in 2012.
She facilitated the company's commitment to diversity and corporate responsibility. Quiroz also worked closely with Time Warner's divisions to ensure that it retains the best talent and maintains an environment where employees can thrive and advance.
In 2014, former President Barack Obama appointed Quiroz to chair the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). In 2016, Quiroz became chair of the board of directors of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She was also a board director at The Public Theater and The Apollo Theater.
Quiroz was a mentor for those entering the workplace and for those aspiring to advance in their careers. In 2015, she participated in a panel discussion on executive presence during the DiversityInc Top 50 event in New York City.
"A person with executive presence has to have supreme empathy and understanding of the culture in which they're navigating," Quiroz explained. "Owning your power — this is a phrase I've been using more and more around the office, especially with some of the women in the office."
DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti said, "Lisa was a courageous and astute businesswoman responsible for the most successful magazine launch in Time Inc. history."
Visconti added, "If she had been CEO of that company, they never would've had to sell themselves to Meredith."
"What I admired most about her is that her business-like exterior surrounded a wonderful, nurturing, supportive and feminine core," he said. "She took this strength to her diversity work and made Time Warner immeasurably better for it."
In a LinkedIn post on Friday, Cid Wilson, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), talked about the impact Quiroz had on the Latino community.
"Lisa was a role model for so many of us," Wilson explained.
"Whether it was her support in getting Latinos into Harvard Business School, or supporting many Latino community causes, especially the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, or helping thousands of women and people of color rise up the corporate ladder at Time Warner, or her supporting the missions of organizations like [HACR] to advance Hispanic inclusion throughout Corporate America.
"Lisa was a legendary icon."
Journalist and CEO of StarfishMedia Soledad O'Brien said that Quiroz helped her join her first non-profit board.
"My friend Lisa Quiroz has passed," O'Brien said Saturday on Twitter. "She was an advocate for women, for education, for Latinas, for the arts, she helped me join my first non-profit board.
"She was a connector. A doer, a passionate person who loved Time Warner and saw possibility at every turn. Rest In Power, Lisa."
Lisa Garcia Quiroz is survived by her husband Guy Garcia; their son, William; her mother, Neida Quiroz; her father, Armando Quiroz; and his wife, Irene.
In the following video from a 2014 DiversityInc event, she shares tips on how to keep talented women on your workforce: