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Cate Luzio: Investment banker turned women-focused community builder

Cate Luzio empowers women in the workplace by sharing her expertise with locals in the Chase Community Center in Little Havana

Grace Escudero, Cate Luzio, and Jacqueline Guttierez of Chase Community Center in Little Havana

Originally an investment banker, Cate Luzio's aim is to help other women succeed. She is the sole owner of her global membership-based professional education and networking platform , Luminary. We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with her at the Luminary Experience event held at the Chase Community Center in Little Havana. The event was the 8th stop in the #InThisTogether tour.

JP Morgan Chase is a longstanding Luminary corporate member. In 2022 and 2023, Chase collaborated with Luminary to offer local business owners and entrepreneurs a full day of programs, content, and networking opportunities. Following Chase's 2022 pop-up appearances in five cities, the entire day in Little Havana marked the beginning of their 2023 "On the Road" Luminary experience.

The day's schedule included a fireside talk with Miami-based Sarah Lee, Co-Founder of Glow Recipe, and a panel discussion with Georgianne Ocasio of Telemundo, Estefania Lacayo, Founder of the Latin America Fashion Summit, and model and influencer Fernanda Sosa.

Here’s everything we learned about Cate Luzio how she helps others like her reach new heights through the power of education, community, collaboration, and quality content.

What inspired Cate to pursue this initiative?

Cate Luzio is a banker by profession. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate investment banking, having worked for major institutions like HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Bank of America. But she has always been driven by a desire to see other women thrive, especially women of color. Even during her investment banking job, she read, sponsored, and actively participated in women’s groups and diversity efforts.

She realized there was a much better way to unite women without excluding men. All types of women can benefit from the synergy of education, programming, content creation, community building, and collaborative effort, including entrepreneurs, women in the workforce, and those in transition. This is what led her to leave her banking job in 2018, write a business plan, and self-fund her idea. She soon became the sole owner and ambassador of her community-based and community-led initiative, Luminary.

Group of women learning at Chase Community Center in Little Havana

How Luminary empowers women of color

Luminary was created to give women and women of color a space to learn and connect. Their goal is to help women advance their careers offering resources including workshops and training programs.

Their ultimate objective is to help women advance at any stage of their careers. Even though they are primarily a women's initiative, they welcome all genders' contributions of skills, knowledge, and experience to make their goals a reality. They use a business-to-consumer strategy to build global connections between customers and members and a business-to-business approach to investing in a pipeline of talent from the inside, with a special emphasis on women. They figure out ways to ensure these women have access to the tools and networks they need to achieve their full potential in the workplace.

The Luminary Fellowship Program is the backbone of their positive social impact. After realizing that it was crucial for women in the business world to maintain their networks during the pandemic, the program was introduced towards the end of 2020. Today, the Fellowship Program supports approximately 1500 female entrepreneurs starting or expanding their businesses. These women are given exclusive access to the organization 's programs and events.

The #InThisTogether tour

Luminary is currently “On the Road,” traveling across cities and inviting women to advance, build, and “reconnect.” This year, the company will be going to 8 more cities in the US, with their first stop being Miami. Cate is especially thrilled to be working in Miami, where there are both a Latina president and several influential community leaders.

Interested in joining a community of powerful, inspiring women? Want to learn more about this initiative? Click here to visit Luminary’s official website.

The Chase Community Center branches were designed with extra space and a local design influence with the intention to host free community events, financial wellness programs, skills development, and offer a storefront for temporary small businesses.

The bulk of them were constructed by minority contractors as part of the company's aim to deal with more diverse vendors, and they frequently feature regional artwork and architecture.

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