Another edition of Maria Pinto’s Spotlight Series: In Her Own Words is here. Each month, we feature the dynamic, stylish, and powerful women who inspire us daily.
Meet this month’s spotlight: Lizveth Méndez-Witt
Lizveth is the Chief Financial Officer for a faith based non-profit in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago called New Moms, which partners with young moms (16-24) to provide critical services and coaching around housing, job training, and family support. This year, Lizveth will help New Moms celebrate 40 years of service to the community.
How would you describe your personal style?
Rootie Tootie Fresh and Fruity.
How are you dressing right now?
Having 5-month-old twins, I am choosing a lot of clothing that is “Grab n Go.” I am enjoying deconstructed and comfortable styles, while getting to wear heels again. I am currently choosing clothing that is easy to wear and can be easily cleaned.
Who are some of your style or fashion icons?
Iris Apfel. Frida Kahlo. Carla Rockmore. Carrie Bradshaw.
What are your favorite Maria Pinto pieces? Why?
I was a Kickstarter backer and got to pick a piece after Maria's M2057 launched. My very first and therefore favorite Maria Pinto piece is the Dita cargo tunic. It was my first introduction to Maria and her God-given talent and I always wear that piece with an extra bounce in my step.
Work & Lifestyle
What was your path to getting where you are today?
I took Lake Shore Drive, hopped on I-55, then 90/94 for a bit, before getting to 290. Lame jokes are what keep me laughing.
What are some challenges you've faced in your job or in your life, and how have you tackled them?
I don’t know how to “talk like a CFO.” My approach is more kitchen table finance, ala Janet Yellen; discussing finances around the kitchen table.
What are some challenges you’re facing right now in your job or life, and how are you tackling them?
I have always felt that I am battling a stereotype of what it means to be a woman, to be Latina, to be undocumented, to be in finance, and even my politics. Some of us don’t belong in a box because we are a star.
How do you take care of yourself?
Quiet time with a strong black cup of coffee in the morning. Working out regularly. My husband just set up a trainer in my home office and I am loving it! I get to ride my road bike indoors while staring at the lake from the comfort of my home while the twins are sleeping.
If you could live anywhere (and money is no object), where would you choose?
Everywhere. All over the world. I love traveling. Thus far, I have visited 22 countries.
Best gift you've ever received?
The gift of having faith.
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
Ten years ago, after a soul-crushing breakup, my mentor, a Mexican American astronaut, told me to wipe my tears and go freeze my eggs. Because of that sage advice, I now have 5-month-old twins, Michael (boy) & Jordan (girl).
What wisdom would you tell your younger self?
Stop worrying about running out of time. It will all work out perfectly. God’s timing is the best timing.
Special thanks to Sarah Kammerer for the beautiful photography for this spotlight!