Co-Founder and CEO
GETTING TO KNOW CHARITO
Why did you, Mimi, Diane and Cheryl decide to start Creative?
We all knew that we had skills, the four of us. We had real good skills as teachers. As educators we all had these ambitions to do more. And we understood that if we did it together, that we would be able to make something greater than what we could do alone. So we pulled together our skills, and the commitment to start a company on our own.
I have always wanted to be sure that we – and the company we built – could have a positive effect on society. From the very beginning, I thought big. Creative was going to have a global impact.
What do you appreciate most about Creative’s approach?
On a daily basis, we have the opportunity to provide for others. It’s a huge responsibility, but an awesome opportunity that we don’t take it lightly. As we continue to grow, we always keep our mission consistent and close to us. The mission statement remains above our individual needs; it guides our approach, our implementation and our daily lives. Coupled with our vision and values, we are a really strong, unified force!
One of the most wonderful things that happens to us at Creative as we grow and as we experience different environments is that each one of us brings not only the experiences of the past, but we bring the wish of how the future should look. And so when you read our vision statement, you will see the pictures of peace as expressed from a diverse set of individuals. And I know that once you are able to have a consensus on a vision, one that’s reachable but difficult to achieve, it brings everyone together to try to achieve that vision.
What makes Creative unique?
First of all, we have 40 years of experience of doing fantastic work, and not always in the safest and most stable places. We really bring the best staff – ones who are eager and willing to do this work, to do all that it takes to offer an opportunity to support transitions in a way that we have demonstrated is possible. I am very confident in the fact that we know what we’re doing – and we do it well.
Creative has developed an expertise in conflict programming, and I think it’s because we know the theory of conflict, and we know the painful aspect of war. So, being in those settings, we’re knowledgeable or understanding or accepting of the politics and economics of war, and we know where we fit. It’s easier to deliver a service to the children and to the communities knowing that we’re part of a larger process instead of pretending that we’re changing the world all by ourselves.
How would you describe the staff that work at Creative?
We like to talk about how we self-select here at Creative. People who join this organization are already committed to the same set of values, and they are individuals whose personal mission is aligned to the mission of Creative. We are the best of the best – we are kind, caring and competent. We come together to support those most in need, because each of us feels that urge to do more and provide for others.
Early Childhood Development
MED in Early Childhood Development, University of Maryland | BA, Colegio Ward, Argentina
Associations & Certifications:
Board Member, Acacia Federal Savings Bank | Board Member, Calvert Investments | Board Member, Summit Fund of Washington | Executive Committee, Federal City Council | Executive and Grants Committee, Venture Philanthropy Partners | Member, Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
Creative Associates International, 1977 – present
“I have always wanted to be sure that we – and the company we built – could have a positive effect on society. From the very beginning, I thought big. Creative was going to have a global impact.”