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Backstage With Patronato Pro Niños
Nory Contractor
July 4th Benefit Auction

Lokkal Interview

"I was born in Cuba. My family moved to Miami when I was about to enter first grade. I lived there for 46 years. I moved to San Miguel six years ago and joined Patronato Pro Niños one year later.

"In Miami I had more than a few related careers. I was president of small medical technical college, 1000 students, until the school was sold. Then a friend invited me to work in Wachovia's student lending division. With that I was on the other side of the business because as a college president I had bank representatives coming to see me.

"With Wachovia I managed a very large territory including, being bilingual, the Carribean. My job was to find what the client really needed and match them up with whatever product we had that would solve his pain. I was rookie of the year, top producer in my territory...


A view of my sacred space
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"People might think I still am in sales, because Patronato Pro Niños has to find funding. But all I ever really do is tell people real life stories, real situations with real children. And when I tell them what's going on and I tell them the need, when I share that with them, basically most of the time they pull out their checkbook and ask, 'How much do you need?'

"I'm helping people understand the need; helping them to understand where they can be the hero. And that's important to them. They want to help. Sometimes they don't know how or where or when.

"I still have a company in the States, Educational Business Consultants. We do higher education consulting, helping companies or individuals to get into education, helping them to open colleges. Having been a college president I am very knowledgeable in this area.

"When I came to SMA I left a career as Director of Community Relations for Humana for southern Florida. That was such a great position. I was so connected in the community. My business was connecting with clinic owners, large groups of doctors, helping them to grow their practice.


Another view
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"I am a very positive person. I have about four bad days a year; usually one each quarter. Last Monday I had one. It was our second overcast day in a row. I had to deal with a very difficult person who didn't realize that by being positive we can do so much more. I am a very goal-oriented person. I know that when I set out to do something, of course there will be difficulties. I'm not naive. But some people only want to see the impossibilities rather than the possibilities.

"Last Monday was also the eighth month anniversary of my mother's passing. It's hard. My mother was a very big influence in my life. She was a poet. She was a champion improviser in this Cuban past time. She competed in what I call the original rap. It's called Punto Guajiro. Contestants have an improvised controversy with each other, competing with each other in song. I did get a little bit of that gene, so I can improvise and tell stories. I've also had a very colorful life: I've had a few life partners; I've traveled to 51 countries; I've had various careers... so, of course, I have a lot to say

"There are four big events in our lives. For two of these we have no say, birth and death. The other two are finding your soulmate and building a career or family. But in addition to those four big events I live for the thousands of other little things that happen in my life or that I make happen. I can make a celebration about anything. I can come up with a theme.


My paper art hobby
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"I am very much into paper art. I make a card or bookmark or sign with decorations related to whatever theme I'm celebrating. For me that's a lot of fun. We built a space in my home where I meditate and do my yoga and do my paper art. I like digital arts. I taught myself a couple of digital art programs. In my next career I'm going to have an Etsy shop where I will sell my digital arts. I'm very detail-oriented. I like to personalize things.

"I tell people that they have to adapt to Mexican culture, to stop and smell the coffee. We Americans are often just into bullet points. I tell people that we are here and should value connecting to this culture, the opportunity to be here. I'm involved in Jovenes Adelante where I mentor two students. A few friends and I recently helped found a micro finance organization, Mano Amiga. We've already given 25 loans to local women entrepreneurs. This changes the life of the woman and that of her family and sometimes the village where she's from.

"I have an incredible array of people who are volunteering with Patronato Pro Niños. Many of them are older people who have already done so much with their lives and yet they're still giving back. I am honored and inspired by them.


I read this every day
*

"I believe we each have a reason for being here, a mission. We have a purpose. I wake up in the morning and I say, 'Please God use me for Your higher work.'

"I am very proud of my daughter. She has so many degrees that I can't count them. She works for the City of Miami Police. Among 1800 civilian employees she was Employee of the Year.

"I miss water. I was born on an island, raised on a peninsula, so I need water. Thank God for places like La Playa at Los Senderos and the thermal waters, because I need water. Once a year my husband takes me to Miami, usually around my birthday. I dip into the ocean and I do my ceremony of renewing and taking in the beauty that the water gives you.

"I'm very adventurous by nature."

***

schedule

Patronato Pro Niños Benefit Auction
Live or Watch Parties
July 4, 4-8pm

Just three of our fabulous items:

Drive a Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911 GT3, Nissan GTR and Audi R8 V-10 on a racetrack including roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas for two, and a three-night stay at a 4-star hotel on the Las Vegas strip.

A wonderful week stay in a beautiful, centrally located home in San Antonio, TX. Walk the River Walk. Gather culture. Dine at outstanding restaurants. Shop. Use of a car included.

An extraordinarily beautiful painting by Cecilia Rivera whose paintings are treasured in collections around the world.

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Event Information

Live at the Angela Peralta Theater:
(80 guests only) where you'll be wined and dined.

Special Watch Parties:
held in lovely private homes where you'll also be wined and dined while you watch and bid.

Tickets and more

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