Loida Nicolas Lewis is Chairman and CEO of TLC Beatrice, LLC, the Lewis Family investment firm, and is also Chairman and CEO of TLC Beatrice (China), Limited, a Cayman company which operates retail convenience stores in five major cities in China and TLC Beatrice Foods (Philippines) which operates a fresh meat processing plant.
An attorney by profession, admitted to practice in the Philippines and New York, Mrs. Lewis served as an informal adviser and confidant to her late husband, Reginald F. Lewis, TLC Beatrice’s first chairman and CEO. She assumed the leadership of the TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc. in February, 1994, a year after Mr. Lewis’ death. She moved quickly to cut costs, sell non-core and under performing assets, reduce debt and strengthen her management team.
In September, 1997, the company sold its French food distribution business. In 1998, the company sold its European beverage operations. In 1999 it sold the ice-cream operations in Spain and the Canary Islands and its potato chips and snack business in Ireland. In 2000, the last unit of the company, Bireley’s in Thailand was also sold. Proceeds were distributed to the shareholders who enjoyed a 35% return on their investment.
Reginald F. Lewis acquired Beatrice International in December 1987 in a $985 million leveraged buyout, creating the largest African American company in the United States.
Mrs. Lewis has spoken to audiences around the country and the world to promote the biography of her late husband, “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?….How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion Dollar Business Empire.”
Mrs. Lewis has written books on U.S. immigration law. The latest is “How to Get a Green Card,” now a bestseller in that genre. In 1972, she established a monthly magazine for the Filipino-American community and served as the magazine’s publisher until it merged with another publication in 1980.
She is also the National Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, the largest advocacy group for Filipino Americans in the United States.
Mrs. Lewis is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law and a cum laude graduate of St. Theresa’s College, two of the Philippines’ premier educational institutions. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs: her father started one of the country’s largest furniture manufacturers. Born in the Philippines, she currently resides in New York City. She speaks several languages: English, French, Spanish and Filipino. She and Mr. Lewis have two daughters.
She was the first Asian American to pass the American Bar without having been educated in the United States.