Odalys Fajardo-Guerrero with the 1991 graduating class of the State Dept. A100 Foreign Service Officers.
Extraordinary Latina atWalmart,
By Christine Bolaños
Odalys Fajardo-Guerrero has a stellar career record that includes stints
at the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Army, and Walmart Global
Security. She is a living example of the extraordinary things a Latina
can achieve when she combines her grit, determination and confidence with
humility, passion and pride in one’s roots.
Her story began when her pregnant mother migrated from Cuba to the United
States. She and her family spent their first few years in the United States in Florida,
but it was when they moved to New Jersey, that Fajardo-Guerrero’s father finally
reunited with them. Those following years were life-defining. “Their hardship. Their
past is a part of me,” says Fajardo-Guerrero, who currently serves as Vice
President for Walmart Global Security. In her co-leadership role, the Army veteran
is responsible for developing risk mitigation strategies for the company’s global
business, customers and associates.
According to Fajardo-Guerrero the greatest value she inherited from her
parents was hard work.
“My parents had an incredibly savage work ethic, and pride and integrity,”
Fajardo-Guerrero shares. “My father always said if you’re going to clean
bathrooms you better be the best at it. There was no shame in that.”
Her parents escaped communism and instilled in her the value of education.
It was the one thing no one could steal from her. They were members of the
Greatest Generation, and as such, taught Fajardo-Guerrero and her siblings the
importance of giving back to one’s community.
“I grew up pretty poor, but my mom
was regularly contributing whatever she
could,” she recalls, pointing to the Jerry
Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association
Labor Day Telethon.
These values permeated her life
and drove her to reach new horizons in
the government and corporate sectors.
In her current role, she feels she
serves a greater purpose representing
women and Latinas in global security.
“This is an opportunity for me to do
right by them. This promotion is not
Odaly’s mom and dad,
Enrique and Isabelle.
about me; it’s for them,” she says.
She most recently worked as Walmart’s Regional Vice-President for Global
Investigations (GI) Latin America based in Costa Rica. She created an
investigative team across five countries to support the entire Latin America
Odalys (3rd from the left) 1985 ROTC, University of Florida. region.
36 LATINAStyle www.latinastyle.com Vol. 24, No. 6, 2018