Laura Castro de Cortés
As a Mexican American who was born in the United States, but raised in a Mexican border town, Laura
Castro de Cortés has a unique perspective on how to market to Latinos in the United States.
She shares her expertise with other companies through Nosotros Group, a consulting firm on Latino
marketing issues, which she founded in 1996.
Castro de Cortés’ latest initiative through Nosotros Group is Latino Banking Solutions. Latino Banking
Solutions addresses an important concern for Latinos in the United States – their need for affordable
financial services. Castro de Cortés has been frequently contacted and quoted by the media as an
expert on Latino marketing and Latino banking. She also has presented on these topics at many
professional conferences across the nation.
According to Castro de Cortés, language and cultural barriers often keep the Latino community away
from banks. Latino Banking Solutions teams up with banks to bring Latino immigrants into the
financial mainstream with the right mix of innovative products, financial education, marketing,
advertising, and effective outreach programs. Her clientele has included Wells Fargo Bank, Allied
Insurance Group, Principal Financial Group, and Meredith Financial Group among others.
Latino Banking Solutions and the Iowa Bankers Association have released a series of financial
education materials in Spanish for purchase by banks across the United States. In addition, Castro de
Cortés is currently a member of the FDIC New Immigrant Task Force Remittances Committee.
Prior to launching Latino Banking Solutions, Castro de Cortés was vice president and director of Latino
Banking for Commercial Federal Bank, a $10.3 billion federal savings bank with branch operations in
Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arizona. Under her direction, Commercial
Federal Bank developed products to target the Latino Market and launched a comprehensive
marketing campaign for Latinos. The result was a substantial increase in Latino clientele in all
markets, especially in Denver, where the market share doubled. Her success drew the attention of
Time magazine. Castro de Cortés was featured in the Nov. 10, 2005, issue in the article, “Minority
Women Who Make a Different in the Workplace.”
In Des Moines, Castro de Cortés founded the Iowa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she
was named the Small Business Administration’s Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year for
Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) in 2001.
Castro de Cortés advised United States Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election
campaign. The Castro de Cortés family was featured in Al and Tipper Gore’s book, Joined at the Heart:
The Transformation of the American Family. ABC’s “20/20” profiled the family in November 2002
because of their inclusion in the book.
Before joining the private sector, Castro de Cortés had a successful career working for non-profits and
in education in Des Moines and El Paso.
Laura Castro de Cortés