Lourdes Cortez has shown that there’s more to Girl Scouts than just selling cookies.
Cortez, a former Girl Scout, is president/CEO of Patterson, N.J.-based North Jersey Credit Union.
The first Latino CEO of a credit union in New Jersey was recently honored during the Girl Scouts’ Centennial Celebration Women of Achievement event.
The awards dinner honored individuals from local communities who have made outstanding contributions in their careers or personal lives, who serve as positive role models, and who exemplify the values of the Girl Scouts.
In 1984, she began as an entry-level teller at North Jersey Federal and served in several positions before being promoted to her current position in 2005. Cortez led her credit union to be recognized as Credit Union of the Year by the New Jersey Credit Union League. In addition, she has received the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce 2010 Star Award in Business, NJ Biz’s Best Fifty Women in Business, and the 2010 Salute to the Policy Makers Award by the Executive Women of NJ.
“Even as a little girl, I had big dreams. Being a Girl Scout taught me to not just believe in those dreams, or even to just follow my dreams. Being a Girl Scout taught me that I already had everything I needed to make my dreams come true. I learned self-confidence and self-reliance. I learned that I mattered. I learned the value of teamwork and respecting others. I learned that I could accomplish anything,” said Cortez.
Proceeds from Women of Achievement enable Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey to connect with more than 34,400 girls and to offer financial assistance to more than 2,000 girls who otherwise would not be able to participate.
Other honorees included Tammie A. Horsfield, President of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and the Sussex County Economic Development Partnership; the Honorable Camelia M. Valdes, Passaic County Prosecutor; Toni Zimmer, President of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey; and Norma Tempel, President and founder of Etched in Stone Waterjet Fabrications, Inc. Mrs. Frederick Frelinghuysen, one of the first patronesses on the East Coast and founder of Girl Scouts in Northern New Jersey was also honored.