Lourdes Galleti Diaz

Lourdes  Galleti  Diaz
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Grateful for a Chance

She had earned her high school equivalency degree and had gone to beauty school, but her computer skills were perhaps not what they could have been. So three years ago, when Lourdes Galletti was hired to be an executive assistant to Stuart Fraser, the vice chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald, she was grateful that he had taken a chance on her and vowed to do the best job she could.

Ms. Galletti grew up in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx with one brother, one sister, two half brothers and a single parent, Milagros Diaz. "We had a rough childhood growing up without a father figure," said her half brother Willie Baez, 35, a city bus driver who reminisced a bit about their youth. "But she had a very strong character, very strong-willed, very determined."

Mr. Fraser praised his former aide at a lunch with her relatives in late September. "Normally he never would have hired her," because she lacked relevant computer skills, said her brother, John Galletti, 35, a truck driver from the Bronx, "but he liked her character."

While at her job, Ms. Galletti, 33, sent words of encouragement or spiritual poetry by e-mail to her friends, including Millie Mateo-Baez. "She loved her job," said Ms. Mateo-Baez, who was introduced to her husband by Ms. Galletti. "That was the best thing that ever happened to her."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on Sunday, March 31, 2002.

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