Rudy Sosa-Febo joined Synovus in 2019, serving as a retail market manager for the Winter Park branch in Central Florida. She is the Orlando market’s Here Matters champion, vice chair for Hispanic employee resource Group Aqui Nos, and member of the Orlando Women United Engagement Committee by Heart of Florida United Way. Rudy provides financial education to her community through outreach programs, fully embracing her role as a financial mentor to individuals and families in need.
Those are her accomplishments, this is her story.
Rudy’s family moved from Puerto Rico to Florida after she graduated high school in 2003. She left family, friends, and an admission to one of the island’s finest universities behind. “It was so heartbreaking,” she said. “Despite all of that, I set out to move forward in the country of opportunity and live ‘the American Dream.’ I am who I am today because of the will to face many barriers such as language, culture, and inclusion.”
Rudy's advice to those in a similar situation: “Do not stop dreaming. Set your goals and work hard to achieve personal and professional success and prosperity through determination and initiative.”
Q: Do you remember who first saw your full potential, or helped you realize you had greater potential?
A: “A former colleague, Lori Maltoni, helped me see my potential. I was a personal banker when I received a phone call from Lori. She offered me a position to manage two branches in 2016. I will always be grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to be a manager, learn new things, and grow in my professional banking career.”
Q: What was Lori like as a mentor?
A: “She was able to provide me with tools to set and achieve goals, guidance, support, and feedback whenever I needed.”
Q: What did she teach you?
A: “She taught me the importance of open and clear communication with others—to listen, practice empathy, to be respectful of others, and the ability to give honest and direct feedback.”
Q: Was there female representation in your field at the start of your career?
A: “There wasn’t much female representation at the start of my career. However, life has given me the opportunity to work with excellent female leaders who have inspired me.”
“It is an honor to be part of the minority of women in American leadership, and a women’s rights advocate.”
Q: What are some lessons you aspire to teach other women in your field?
A: “Support and empower each other. Recognizing the potential of an employee and providing them tools to help them grow as professional is so gratifying.”
Q: What kind of support is most important to women in your field?
A: “It’s important to have learning and development programs for women who strive toward leadership roles. At Synovus we have mentorship programs for women of all backgrounds who aspire to achieve executive roles in a company.”
Q: What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
A: “12 years ago, I was part of a Salsa Ladies Styling team. I used to perform on stage and on different Salsa social events.”
Q: What are your hobbies and interests?
A: “My favorite hobby is to spend time with my immediate family and go out on family outings. I also enjoy singing karaoke. My interest is traveling. I like to explore different cultures, folklore, and food.”
Q: What are you most proud of in your personal and professional life?
My greatest pride in my personal life is being a mother. My daughter, Valeria Zaraih, is the most loving, beautiful (inside-out), intelligent and cheerful girl. She has taught me what pure and true love is. Valeria gives me the strength each day to get up and continue to reach my goals, and she motivates me to be the best person I can be. Being my daughter’s role model and the person that she looks up to daily is worth being proud of.
Professionally, I am proud of managing a successful team for the past 4 years at Synovus. I have incorporated all the leadership skills, knowledge, and values learned from previous leaders to lead the Winter Park branch to success. We have seen amazing results, such as sales and revenue increases, job promotions, teamwork, etc. Most importantly, we became winners of the Chairman’s Circle Excellence in 2019. I’m extremely proud of what I have accomplished as leader and am grateful to work with such an amazing team.