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Latino All Stars

Marie D. Quintero-Johnson

  • Gender: Female
  • University: Georgetown University
  • Undergraduate Degree: Accounting
  • Undergraduate Degree: International Business
  • Hometown: Miami
  • Organization: The Coca-Cola Company
  • Position Title: Vice President and Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, Insights & Corporate Real Estate

Ms. Quintero-Johnson was born in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents. At the age of six, her family moved to Puerto Rico, where her parents met when they were teenagers. Her father was an independent construction worker and her mother, a stay-at-home-mom, until her children finished high school. She then returned to school to pursue a master’s degree in Political Science.

She recalls that her mother spent much of what free time she had studying, and says that this ignited her own love of studying. “I never wanted to leave college,” she said in a USA Today interview. She adds that her father imbued her with wisdom on many topics, among them how important it was for her to excel professionally, if she wanted to rise above the limitations imposed by conventional gender biases.

She attended Georgetown University, where she earned a BS in Accounting and International Business. After graduation, she worked as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand for two years. She then earned an MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and later picked up her certification as a Public Accountant.

While at Darden, she was a summer intern at Coca-Cola, which landed her a full-time position as a principal financial analyst, with a focus on Latin America. She worked her way up the company’s finance department, holding various roles in the Controllers’ Group, Treasury, and Business Development for Latin America.

A turning point came when the Vice President of Business Development at Coca-Cola laid a stack of documents on her desk that were written in Spanish, asking her to review and provide direction. A year later, she found herself working as a member of an elite team that included the company’s CEO and CFO, on a sensitive project that would transition a bottler in Venezuela from serving the market’s dominant competitor, to serving Coca-Cola.

Today, Ms. Quintero-Johnson serves as Vice President and Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, Insights & Corporate Real Estate for The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, she manages a team of 20 professionals responsible for evaluating and executing the company’s mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. To date, she has been involved with more than $20 billion worth of transactions in more than 100 countries.

Outside of her job, she serves on two corporate boards: ZICO Beverages and Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB de CV. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine for her accomplishments and leadership. And she was one of 31 women C-Suite leaders recognized by Business Forward for Women’s History Month in 2016.

In an interview with Forbes, she gave the following advice to young women: “First, network. Second, ask for the next level. And third, do not be afraid of a challenge; trust your capabilities. The above applies to all. For Latinas it is particularly important to make a conscious decision to have a support system that allows them to balance their family and work values.”