Diageo North America
May 18 may be just another day to many, but in Hartford, Conn., it is LaTanya Langley Day. The city proclaimed it thus, citing Langley’s “academic achievements and community involvement,” after Langley graduated summa cum laude from Trinity College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She had studied at the London School of Economics during her senior year at Trinity. “I celebrate May eighteenth as I do every other day of the year. I celebrate the beauty of life and I thank God for another opportunity to impact the lives of others and experience purposeful living,” she says.
Langley earned a law degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law and today is the director and senior counsel of commercial law and strategy at Diageo North America, the British alcoholic beverages company. “One of the areas in my life that contributed to my professional achievement has been my work with young girls in my community,” she admits. She once created a praise dance troupe as a catalyst to attract young girls to a safe place, where they would learn self-love, body awareness, respect, positive character development, discipline, commitment and perseverance to deal with life’s struggles in a productive way. “These young ladies inspired me personally and professionally and kept me grounded in what really matters, which is being a light to others,” says Langley, who was named “Woman of the Year” by the State of Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission. “Helping others is the key to my success and core of my leadership path.”
Langley enjoys traveling and has visited Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa. She muses about opening “an all-girls African heritage private high school for the socially and economically disadvantaged.” Quoting Gandhi, she says, “If you cannot find yourself, begin your search by losing yourself in the service of others.”
Favorite author: Deepak Chopra
First job: Paralegal
Favorite comedian: Jim Carrey