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Chamber honors women business leaders

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “Women in Business” breakfast Friday morning at Sonoma Golf Club and honored three Sonoma women who were also featured speakers.

The first speaker was Claudia Mendoza, president of the La Luz board of directors and head of MC2, a multicultural communication business. Mendoza, who is a native of Colombia, also spearheads the Latino programs at the Sonoma International Film Festival.

“It’s been quite a journey from (Colombia) to here,” Mendoza said at the start of her speech.

From a young age, Mendoza had to be strong, she said, explaining that her father drowned when she was 9-years-old. Mendoza’s mother became one of the first patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Colombia at the age of 35. Mendoza, who was just 17 and a new high school graduate, went straight to work to support her family. “I became the señor de la casa,” she said, “I never had a chance to think about what I wanted to do.”

Mendoza said her success in business has been a series of “being in the right place at the right time” moments, although her hard work ethic is what made those opportunities last.

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