Is Carly Fiorina the Real Deal for California?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to meet with 40 innovators and entrepreneurs at a 1.5 hour innovators roundtable with Carly Fiorina, candidate for the United States Senate from California.

Among the discussion points was the President’s stimulus package, the need to educate our children for 21st century jobs, access to capital for small businesses, health care and immigration policy. Carly was engaging, energetic, charming, articulate, and appears to be a real problem solver.

Among attendees was Saman Dias, who was named head of “Entrepreneurs and Small Business” for Carly. Saman is a dynamic young entrepreneur and friend who cares deeply about the state of our economy in California. I’ve never known her to be involved in politics before – but Carly inspired her – and now she’s engaging.

While Fiorina is perhaps best known as the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), what is not as well known is Carly worked her way through undergraduate and graduate school. A self-made woman, she started her business career as a secretary and went on to become the first, and to date, the only woman to lead a Fortune 20 company.

A year ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her story over the last year is one of a survivor – someone who understands from personal experience how health care works – an individual who wants to give back in a larger way to her country.

I interviewed a number of the executives in the room after the meeting. The choice was clear. Carly is the real deal for California. They believe she can solve problems and that her personal experiences as a businesswoman, innovator, wife, mother, and cancer survivor are more than what the doctor ordered to help us send someone to Washington who can solve problems and bring both sides together. (Full disclosure, I have already endorsed Carly for Senate.)

I could personally see Carly working with newly-elected Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts leading a new paradigm in the U.S. Senate – one that focuses on the reality of a world economy, gets the job done, and does it in the name of business and what’s right for our country.

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