Denice Torres Appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors for Surface Oncology
Denice Torres, Founder of The Mentoring Place and host of the podcast “Flip the Tortilla,” was recently appointed as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Surface Oncology. Torres is a noteworthy example of a high-impact, high-performing board member with recognizable diversity as a gay, Hispanic female.
Surface Oncology is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing next-generation immunotherapies that target the tumor microenvironment. The company seeks to deliver transformative outcomes for people with cancer by breaking through the frontiers of immuno-oncology research.
“Since joining our board earlier this year, Denice has had a significant impact and brought invaluable perspective through a critical period of development for Surface. Along with her vast leadership experience, she is a true pioneer and a leading advocate for diversity, inclusion and social change in our industry, values that are integral to our company,” said Rob Ross, M.D., chief executive officer for Surface Oncology. “I am thrilled to welcome her as the new chair of our board and look forward to leveraging her experience, and also her passion for the medically underserved, as we continue our mission to bring new treatments to patients suffering from cancer.”
Torres started her career as a bathroom janitor in steel mills in Gary, Indiana. Her determination and grit led her to the legal profession and then to the healthcare industry. She previously served as President and Chief Strategy Officer for Johnson & Johnson, where she led one of the most successful turnarounds in company history.
Torres has been a keynote speaker for Fortune 500 companies, received numerous awards and founded the non-profit organization The Mentoring Place providing free executive mentoring for women. She also founded The Ignited Company, a consulting group specializing in ignited change and possibilities for individuals and teams. She was recently recognized by Directors & Boards “Directors to Watch 2021: Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the Boardroom.” Her passion for diversity, leadership, and transformations has made her a formidable expert in her industry.
“As a diverse board member, I am honored to be recognized to lead such a transformative healthcare organization as the healthcare industry experiences its own evolution,” Torres said. “Moreover, that honor extends into having the opportunity to lead as an example to other gay, Hispanic, women that a board of directors role like this is achievable. I am excited and encouraged about how this appointment may inspire other boards across the industry to recruit more diversity and catalyze high-impact innovation.”
In her podcast “Flip the Tortilla,” Torres and her guests share real-world insights for rising up, breaking through, and finding a way to achieve audacious goals. She is a champion of diversity and women in the boardroom and the power and value of mentorship. As a woman who is gay, Hispanic, and mom to an incredible daughter with cerebral palsy, Denice knows the power of celebrating and leveraging differences.