08/01/15 12:23 PM

News & Events

Media Advisory

Spelman College


Media Contact(s) :

Spelman College
Terrilyn Simmons


De la Vega discusses his book
“Obstacles Welcome” at Spelman College
Twitter discussion at #Spelmaninnovation

ATLANTA (March 12, 2012) -- Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and author of “Obstacles Welcome: Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life,” will discuss lessons learned on his journey from Cuba to corporate America in a candid conversation with Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. Free and open to the public, the event will take place March 16, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Spelman College in the Living and Learning Center II Auditorium.

The primary focus of the conversation, de la Vega’s best-selling book “Obstacles Welcome” recounts the adversity he faced when he came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962 at the age of 10. As a refugee unfamiliar with the language, he had to navigate a new culture without his parents and without any money. Turning difficulties into opportunities, de la Vega overcame numerous obstacles, ultimately heading AT&T Mobility, the industry’s mobile broadband leader and number one smartphone provider.

President and CEO of AT&T Mobility since 2007, de la Vega is responsible for the company's largest growth engine. He also served as president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets for more than three years. In addition to the company's wireless business, he led its local consumer wireline operations, including U-verse TV® which has received numerous industry awards.

De la Vega has been honored with several awards including being named one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” in 2010 and 2011 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was ranked the second “Most Powerful in the U.S. Wireless Industry” in 2011 by FierceWireless. He serves on the board of directors of New York Life, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Aquarium.

He is a supporter of diversity and inclusion programs both inside and outside AT&T. He is the driving force behind AT&T’s Hispanic marketing initiative and the conversion of close to 800 bilingual retail stores nationwide to better serve the Hispanic consumer market. He is an active member of the community serving as chairman of Junior Achievement Worldwide and chairman of Hispanic initiatives for the Boy Scouts of America.

His visit to Spelman is part of the College's conversation series "Innovation and the New Economy: Where do Black women fit?" which brings thought leaders to the College to discuss the vital role of innovation in today's challenging economy.


About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts an 83 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis; authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 85 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 11:1. Approximately 2,100 students attend Spelman. Spelman College has been ranked as the number one HBCU for five consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report; number 62 among Best Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report; and 12th for Best Career Services by The Princeton Review. For more information, visit: www.spelman.edu.



Do You Know Spelman's QEP?

"Going Global"

As part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation process, Spelman is developing a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

"Going Global,” Spelman's QEP,will enhance and support global experiences for students. The purpose is to enhance the College's infrastructure to connect global experiences that cultivate international awareness and cross-cultural competencies in a more intentional way. [MORE]