WASHINGTON, DC, November 03, 2020 / — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Aileen Roberta Schlef with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Ms. Schlef celebrates many years’ experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Ms. Schlef founded her boutique firm, Creative Alliance Communications (CAC/Creative Alliance), in New York City in 1997; it relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2016. With an expert consultant network, she is recognized for ground-breaking work in corporate, business, government, university and nonprofit settings. Their model cross-sector initiatives benefit communities and individuals throughout the nation, particularly advancing Latino and multicultural partnerships. With top-tier business and organizational strategies, CAC specializes in clients that are in transition or expanding to new markets. The CAC portfolio of successful communications-based strategies and collaborative ventures includes healthcare, education, housing, financial, and corporate and non-profit communications.
The focus on communications and the governance process is informed by decades in government and corporate settings and as journalist and communicator on the front lines of diversity/inclusion initiatives and public policy. She understands that strong communications can forge relationships, while poorly executed strategies can destroy them. The lifelong dedication to change management and diversity/inclusion is particularly important in this ever-changing society and workplace culture that is multicultural and technology-driven. These are the top business challenges and opportunities.
Ms. Schlef leads all projects and contracts. Throughout her career, Ms. Schlef has secured millions of dollars in federal grants and corporate sponsorships for clients and has led executives through countless messaging shifts to achieve their internal and external goals. Collaborating with public and private corporations, as well as non-profit entities, Creative Alliance is a Certified Business Enterprise in Washington, D.C. and is System Award Management-approved by the federal government.
In additional to serving as a consultant since 1984, Ms. Schlef has excelled in key leadership positions and created the first U.S. Latino Culinary Scholarship in 1991, the Chef Felipe Rojas-Lombardi Scholarship Fund at the James Beard Foundation. While some Beard aficionados announced, “your food will never be on white tablecloths,” a partnership with Hiram Walker, Ltd. led to a large Plaza Hotel awards gala and extensive industry media coverage sparking the Latino food takeover.
In the finance field, as Vice President of Marketing & Community Development, State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), a $10 million public/private company, she transformed SONYMA’s public image from its traditional “brick and mortar” structure to a nimble industry- and consumer-responsive entity. She set up effective partnerships with the banking, construction and real estate industries and expanded services to new markets and languages backed by the first SONYMA statewide data-driven strategies.
While a Chase Manhattan Bank in-house consultant, Ms. Schlef showed herself to be an inclusive innovator. She led special projects for the associate and analyst candidate programs and was recognized for designing out-of-the-box corporate programs: The Summer Associate Program realized an unprecedented 95% acceptance rate on offers made. The Chase/United Negro College Fund campaign became a national corporate model by achieving an 80% increase in profits.
In California, Aileen was one of a team of four who transformed a small immigrant clinic to a multi-site, multicultural health and services agency valued at $8 million in 1988. Seeking recognition among diverse markets, Aileen led its name change to AltaMed Health Services Corporation, opening six new sites, a for-profit entity and producing a Hollywood Centennial celebration to showcase Hispanics in Hollywood. AltaMed is today a regional health complex with a value approximating one billion dollars.
Aileen’s career started as an intern and campaign aide with Senator Robert F. Kennedy who continues to inspire her decisions to this day. She was a member of the 2018 RFK 50th Anniversary Planning Committee program that hosted more than 4,000 attendees in the Arlington Cemetery ceremony honoring the Senator’s “last campaign.” She led four additional programs that year.
Aileen was a member of the precedent-setting teams establishing several historic national organizations that have stood the test of time and contributed substantially to the social and economic progress of U.S. Latinos. She subsequently became the federal government’s first bilingual adult education specialist at the Department of Health, Education & Welfare’s U.S. Office of Education (USOE) and had a lead role in the USOE Indochina resettlement adult education program. She was appointed to the transition team to study the role and placement of the office for civil rights in the new U.S. Department of Education in 1980.
A compelling wordsmith and communicator, Aileen brings thoughtful real-life perspective to her work. She has reported on Latino life since the 1972 launch of La Luz Magazine. In 2020, she is a correspondent with Zenger News and has published articles in LATINO Magazine. An active member of the National Press Club, Aileen received Vivian Awards in 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2019 for her special projects on behalf of members. She is the 2020 Co-Chair of the Events Committee.
A child artist, she put her interests aside for her career. During the mid-1990s, she returned to study with international award-winning artist, Dale Myers, at the Art Students League for 15 years. She has received several First and Second Place Awards; her work has been featured at the Art Students League, the National Press Club, in a U.S. Congressional office, and in many private homes.
Ms. Schlef earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and history in 1969. She subsequently completed a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees specializing in bilingual education and community relations at Antioch University in 1973, followed by doctoral level studies in higher education administration and business communications at the University of Southern California. Eminently qualified in her field, Ms. Schlef received a certificate in organization and leadership development through the Columbia University Executive Leadership Program.
In addition to her work with the National Press Club, Ms. Schlef is a member of the Rotary Club of International Friendship, M3Linked, formerly EliancesGlobal/DC, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) Chapter 11041 and Comadres International.
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