Distinguished Fellow Maria Contreras-Sweet Pushes for Inclusive Innovation
The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet, Larta’s First Distinguished Fellow, led an investor group in an attempt to purchase the assets of the beleaguered Weinstein Company (TWC). Despite best efforts from both parties, the deal has officially been terminated as of March 6, 2018. Throughout this process, Contreras-Sweet’s unwavering efforts have highlighted her strong commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and female empowerment across sectors. If the deal went through, she had planned on installing a female-led board and setting up a generous compensation fund for the victims, in addition to saving 150 jobs and implementing HR policies that would have protected all employees. Even with the failure of the purchase, Contreras-Sweet has left open the door to future such deals. “We will consider acquiring assets that may become available in the event of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as other opportunities that may become available in the entertainment industry," said Sweet in a statement.
Contreras-Sweet’s interest in Larta has been underscored by her advocacy for the commercialization of technology and the development of solutions that address our world’s challenging problems. She is focused on helping entrepreneurs succeed, which is evident from her work as the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration under Barack Obama, as well as from her time in the private sector.
Contreras-Sweet consistently espouses Larta’s own values, and this endeavor to transform TWC is a great example of that. As an entertainment industry-outsider, her dedication to empowerment and inclusion demonstrated not only her adaptability and ambition in driving change, but also her team-oriented and altruistic attitude that encourages diversity and supports moral and ethical business standards.
Larta is proud to have Contreras-Sweet as a Distinguished Fellow of the organization. We are excited about the work she is doing to ensure entrepreneurs and businesses alike find success and have a positive impact on their communities.