Margarita De León is a Senior Consultant and Master Facilitator for The Kaleidoscope Group. She has worked with The Kaleidoscope Group for the past 20 years securing, leading and managing clients on their Diversity & Inclusion journeys. She has facilitated diversity training throughout various locations in the United States and other parts of the globe. Margarita has facilitated inclusion training in 19 different countries.
Margarita has enjoyed an impressive career that spans more than 30 years, including 17 in the healthcare industry. Margarita has experience in the areas of Hispanic marketing, advertising, nonprofit development, corporate communications, publishing, fundraising, special events, diversity, and public service. Her professionalism and engagement have elevated the presence of Ohio’s Latino community as a strategic and important partner in all segments of the state. She is the former publisher of BRAVO Magazine, Ohio’s first Hispanic magazine introduced in the fall of 1997 as a newspaper and then in 2003 as a magazine.
In 1988 she founded IMAGE of Northwest Ohio, a local chapter of a national Latino advocacy organization. The annual Diamante Awards and scholarship program was established under IMAGE in 1989. Last year, she along with Maria Gonzalez of Toledo’s SMART school a group of university and community volunteers celebrated the 27th Annual Diamante Awards. The event will be celebrating its 28th anniversary this year at Bowling Green State University.
From 2003 – 2006, she spearheaded and co-chaired the Diamante Scholars campaign – a half- million dollar fundraising campaign in northwest Ohio for five institutions of higher education for Latino students attending college. The campaign dollars were used to create the first Latino college endowments in the region. Because of this effort, approximately 30 college scholarships are awarded each year from the five institutions with 90% of the scholarship being generated through endowments. Over $1M has been raised for Latino college scholarship over the 26 because of her efforts.
She helped to establish the Latino Youth Summit in 2001 under the auspices of The University of Toledo, a gathering of Latino students from around the state in grades 7 – 12 to encourage graduation from high school. The event continues to grow stronger every year. She was the founder of Latino Fest, which was led by Consuelo Hernandez and a group of volunteers for 10 years. She was a founding member of the Ohio Latino Arts Association. She was one of the founding members of the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio and served as its volunteer convener for two years. She also served on Toledo’s Hispanic Affairs Commission and The Toledo Museum of Art’s Diversity Committee for many years. She was the first Latina/Latino to serve on the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority and did so for 9 years.
Margarita is the recipient of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s 2015 Women of Distinction Award for Community Responsibility; the 2013 Adelante Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Award for creating sustainable community impact projects in the Latino community; 2012 Community Advocacy Award presented by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. for her leadership and support to further equal access to justice in our community. Other awards and recognition include the Distinguished Alumni Award from Bowling Green State University in 2009; being inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame (October 2000) for her advocacy work; received the national Ana Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund Award from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for her entrepreneurial efforts as a Latina publisher(2002); received the Ohio Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year Award from the Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce for BRAVO (2002); received the Entrepreneurial Businesswoman of the Year Award from the Lorain County Urban League and Cleveland’s Hispanic Business Association (2004); and received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award from the local chapter of the National Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2006. In 2007, she received the Estrella Award from the University of Toledo for helping to found the Latino Youth Summit and for the Diamante Latino Scholars campaign she spearheaded.
Margarita is an alumnus of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, where she attended Harvard University JFK School of Government and the Center for Creative Leadership and Leadership America, a national nonprofit leadership development program for women. She continues to locally support the Diamante Awards Partnership and the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio.
Margarita has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from The University of Toledo. She enjoys contemporary Latino music, art, and literature. Her hobbies include cycling, cooking, and yoga. She is most proud of her three children and their accomplishments: Tito, Jose, and Elisa.
Born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Margarita is one of 14 siblings. She attributes her innate desire to serve others to her upbringing.
“I believe we are all here to serve others with whatever gifts we have been blessed with. To serve is a gift that comes to all of us if we are open to accepting it.”