Lorena Garza Gonzalez
A life-long commitment to leadership and service has endeared Dr. Lorena Gonzalez to audiences around the country for more than twenty years. Through speeches, training, workshops and coaching, Lorena inspires individuals to recognize and magnify their strengths for the good of others.
Lorena helps business leaders through training and executive coaching create inclusive company environments that capitalize on the strengths of a diverse workforce. She works with employees to identify their abilities and enhance their performance. Above all, Lorena teaches the power of honoring culture, and the strength of personal heritage.
Combining practical and theoretical experiences, Lorena develops programs that transform people, neighborhoods and communities. She is a recognized expert in creating unique, holistic approaches to program delivery. With her colleague, Lisa Treviño Cummins, her efforts have been the catalyst to a book project resulting in the International Latino Book award and Amazon best-selling book entitled Inheritance: Discovering the Richness of the Latino Culture and Family. In true fashion of Dr. Gonzalez’s talents, this storytelling format highlights the struggles, values and challenges of many of the families and communities she was worked with in her twenty-five-year career. She has also been instrumental in developing a renowned, culturally based leadership program, The Family Leadership Institute.
In her work with Urban Strategies, Lorena provides training and technical assistance that teaches practitioners, educators, policy makers and community leaders how to build successful community programs that drive positive change.
She develops effective community engagement strategies, and is instrumental in creating partnerships that strengthen the power of under served communities.
In 2011, Lorena was inducted into the prestigious Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Hall of Fame, where she received the “Optimista” award for achieving success through persistence in the face of adversity. Also in measure of her work she received the respected San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2012, “Making a Mark on the World – Women’s Inspiration” Award.
Lorena credits her father’s first four English words, “You can do it,” for helping her complete three degrees as a young wife and mother. Lorena received her PhD in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX, and her MA in Bicultural Bilingual Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University’s Government, Executive Education Program.