Martha de la Torre’s LMU speech March 2, 2011

Good Evening…. My father expected me to go to UCLA. I wanted to major in fine arts, so when I got a pre-college scholarship to study modern dance, I thought this would be a good chance to explore the campus. UCLA was large and a bit overwhelming, but when the dance instructor said “pretend you are a fried egg and dance” that was it. I enrolled in LMU and decided to major in accounting.

I am blessed, first for my parents who decided to emigrate to the U.S. and chose to make LA their home.  They were role models, demonstrating that even with nothing you can become something; it is all about getting a good education, working hard, being a good citizen and keeping family, friends and God close to your heart.I am blessed also because I stumbled upon LMU, had not heard of it growing up but my high school counselor recommended it to me.  I went on a tour and fell in love with the serenity of the campus and the friendliness of the people.  I am proud that LMU continues to grow beautifully in structure and in stature; that being recognized in so many categories as a top ranking University has not taken away that special feeling you get when you step on campus: The feeling of optimism and faith in the future.I am blessed to have received a world class education at LMU that emphasized ethics, personal responsibility, and core values even before those were common terms in MBA schools and corporate training sessions.

The LMU Alumni Association recognized El Clasificado's founder Martha de la Torre with the 2011 LMU Distinguished Alumni Award.

I am blessed that my accounting degree took me straight to Arthur Young, where I got my CPA, became an audit manager and got the opportunity to learn the operations of small and large businesses and consult for many CEO’s, entrepreneurs and Boards in a variety of industries.

I am blessed with an LMU experience and foundation that combined with the support of my family, mom, dad, brothers, my Fernandez family, my Badame family, my Arthur Young friends, my El Clasificado family and friends, and my husband Joe, my pillar of strength, wisdom and energy; all together helped build a company from nothing.

El Clasificado grew from 112 employees in 2008 to more than 140 employees today, with no layoffs in between.  Joe and I are on an adventure and mission to have fun growing our company and to create as many jobs and opportunities as possible before we are forced to retire.

I am honored to be recognized today with Dr. Goz-decki and Joe Knott, and all previous and future LMU leaders.  I am honored to be here also with the support of my fellow Regents and LMU MAAA Directors.  I will work hard to continue to meet your expectations and be a leader worthy of this LMU honor.

Thank you for being here today and supporting LMU.

Copyright 2004 Martha de la Torre