riginally from Colombia, Johanna Gil Bala is the highest ranked Latina woman in her network marketing company, running a global organization that’s quickly expanding in North, Central, and South America, as well as in Europe and South Africa. Based in Dallas, Johanna travels the world more than half of the time, as she believes in working shoulder to shoulder with her team of over 20,000 associates in 18 countries. Her lifestyle today forms a sharp contrast with where she was just 12 years ago—homeless with her three children, not speaking any English, and in poor health. Powered by her exceptional faith and a can-do attitude, she attracted the people and the circumstances that would allow her to lift herself out of a dire situation. She first believed her way out would be through a formal education, so she enrolled in a local college to pursue a nursing degree since her lifelong dream was to become a doctor. When she found network marketing, she recognized it as an even better vehicle to share her talents and live her passion: to transform lives by passing on to others the learning experiences she gleaned from her extraordinary journey. Today Johanna heads up Dinastia Hispana, a movement that teaches Spanish-speaking network marketing professionals about finances, relationships, and leadership so they can achieve their own version of success in business and in life.
Restarting Life in a New Land Married to an American living in Colombia, Johanna came to the United States in 2003. “This wasn’t my choice,” she says. “I was happy in my country, where we had a very successful business. We regularly came to Orlando for vacations, and one summer my ex-husband decided he wanted to stay. He made it impossible for me to return to my home country and from that point on our relationship turned into a nightmare, as a long process of mental and physical abuse ensued.” Three months later, Johanna’s ex-husband falsely accused her of spousal abuse and she found herself briefly incarcerated. The charges
were dismissed and Johanna was able to leave prison but found herself homeless with her three children and absolutely devastated. Her life as she knew it had come to an end as her ex had taken everything—the house, the cars, any savings—leaving her homeless and penniless. “Somebody in court gave me $100 to restart my life and I moved into a shelter for abused women,” says Johanna. “At one point I heard someone announce, ‘We have a Hispanic woman with three kids homeless.’ This became a defining moment in my life and made me become what I am now.” Besides being in a foreign land without family