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Profile: Cora Tellez

Mills College Weekly

Cora Tellez, Class of 1972, represents a true Mills woman.  Don't let her size fool you-insider her petite frame lies a big personality.  SHe has bult a representation as a trusted and compassionate leader within major Bay Area companies for over 20 years.  Her eager and outgoing nature shows the mark that Mills has left Tellex, and has extended to everyone she meets.  She attributes her way of looking at problems, her appreciation of diverse opions, and her sense of who she is to her time at Mills.

Her biggest piece of advice is to know one's self. " To know yourself starts you on a great journey,." she said.  " You learn what makes you happy and how you can contribute your skills to any problem."

Her leadership skills have served her well,  SHe is currently one of the 47 members of the Mills College Board of Trustees, tending to the business affairs of the college.  

In addition her reponsiblities at Mills, Tellez is currently working on her own start up company, Sterling HSA, which administers health saving accounts for individuals. The company's mission is to navigate people through the difficult system of health insurance.  

Her knack for solbing problems has servced her well in the workplace.  Mills is known to nuturing strong, iindependent women who look at problems as small obstacles, and never fail to solve them.

At Mills, Tellez made her own major, Political Moderization of Southeast Asian Countries, sometimes she said was "fashionable to do " at that time, but also unavoidable for her.  She felt that to choose a major from the list would havw never worked for her, so she made her own.

Tellez' life has taught her to be a great leader in many different situations.  She has also served on the Board of Trustees at the Institue of the Future, a think tank in Menlo Park, amoung other companies.  Tellez's problem solbving attitude helped revive the Instiute for the Future after extrme financial losses just a few years afo.  At a time of great need, she headed the search committee for a new president there, setting her goals for four months; a feat no one on the board or at Institute for the Future, thought she could do, but she did.

Susannah Kirsch, an employeee of the Institute for the Future and friend of Tellez, reconginizes her natural leadership skils.  "She's extremely dedicated, thoughtful and commited,  SHe does exactly what she says she's goin to do."

She has since left the Board of Institute for the Future, but remains on hand to help.

"She mentors people everywhere she turns, that's what makes her a trusted leadner.  She is compassionate and human to everyone she meets," said Krisch.  Tellez currently lives in Oakland with her husband , an artist, and her children are in college.

This is one in a series if profiles of Mills alummnae and their life after graduation.