MIRIAM DE DIOS WOODWARD (BS ’04 management and marketing) is as of March 2021 the Global CEO of ViClarity (formerly PolicyWorks) and previously was CEO of Coopera in Des Moines; the only Hispanic market consulting firm in the nation specializing in advisory services for credit unions in the growing U.S. Hispanic market. She is the youngest CEO in her organization’s family of companies and serves as senior vice president for Affiliates Management Company, Coopera’s parent company.
The quest for a college degree was far from a given for De Dios Woodward. As a native of Mexico, the oldest of four siblings and the daughter of foreign-born parents who hadn’t attended college in Mexico nor the U.S., she knew it was up to her to own the responsibility. Friends and advisers at Perry High School guided her through the college entrance and financial aid processes. At Iowa State she joined the College of Business Multicultural Business Network that helped her make cultural connections with other minority students and realize the value of diversity and inclusion in the business world.
“I’m so thankful to those individuals and to Iowa State University for exposing me to their stories, which inspired and motivated me,” De Dios Woodward said. “It was humbling to address my class at the College of Business commencement. A memorable experience for many reasons, it allowed me to reflect on the fact that I beat the odds for Latino graduates. At that time, typically only one out of two Latinos graduated with a four-year degree.”
De Dios Woodward also carved a path for her siblings; all have degrees from Iowa State. She is a graduate of the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal executive education program at Harvard Business School and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Iowa.
She remains connected to Iowa State and the College of Business and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Grand View University. She has volunteered with local organizations that work with Hispanic and immigrant communities and mentors young women through the Latina Leadership Initiative. She sits on the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Network.
It was early experiences, however, that shaped her career direction. In sixth grade, De Dios Woodward was voted most likely to become a businesswoman. She credits her mother as a positive influence.
“My mom is my hero, my first and most influential role model. Her strength, diligence and resilience, amongst many other qualities are character traits I admire and aspire to. I believe you need to work hard, always be learning, be proud of your heritage and upbringing, be gracious and generous and take time to develop others.“
Dean of the College of Business, David Spalding: Miriam De Dios Woodward is an inspiration to young people everywhere, especially to women, and has shown strength, resilience and grace as she followed her dream of obtaining a college degree and succeeding in her career while giving back to her community.