Did you know Latinas start businesses 6 times faster than any other segment of the US population, and that they hold the top spot in virtually all social channels? It is time that we recognize the extraordinary contributions of Latinas to the U.S. economy and American culture.
Take a look at these exceptional Latinas who are leading the way in a broad range of fields. This Women’s History Month we celebrate the amazing contributions they make every day to the progress of this country.
Dr. Nava is an avid advocate for increasing access to care for underserved populations. In serving her patients, she saw an opportunity to contribute to decreasing Latino health disparities by building the leadership capabilities of Hispanic nurses. She currently serves as the President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). In this role, she is focused on building the leadership capacity of nurses, with a focus on Latino nurses, who continue to be underrepresented in nursing and health care leadership positions across the country.
Ana Flores a community builder and soul-centered entrepreneur, Ana Flores is living her passion as the founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina, the first network of Latina digital influencers and creators founded in 2010 with a mission to elevate the voices and stories of Latinas through the power of community. The company’s annual #WeAllGrow Summit was named by Forbes.com as one of “19 Conferences Every Creative Should Attend in 2018” and again on the 2019 list.
Ana Valdez is the co-founder of Valdez Productions & Consulting, Inc. & the executive president of The Latino Donor Collaborative. She is an American marketing, media and political expert, a thought leader combining 25 years of experience in politics, media and the corporate world. Valdez has worked at the United Nations in Geneva, the Clinton Administration in Washington DC, and has collaborated with multiple companies. One of the Top 100 Latinas by Latino Leaders Magazine and one of the eight CHANGEMAKERS within the 2021 Fifty Most Powerful Latinas by ALPFA.
Arabel Alva Rosales Arabel is the President and CEO of AAR Tech. She serves on several boards, including the IHCC, WBDC, FLOV and most recently served as acting Chairman and Vice Chairman on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board of Directors. She founded Pivoting in Heels, a digital NFP dedicated to empowering women. Arabel has been involved in producing fashion.
Beatriz Acevedo has dedicated her career to empowering and opening doors for the next generation of Latino leaders. Her work earned her three Emmys, one MTV Music Award, and a Media Correspondent Award, among others. The mentorship initiatives that she created provided invaluable access to the next generation of multicultural storytellers, with an emphasis on female leadership. She recently co-founded and co-chairs LA Collab, a Hollywood initiative aimed at doubling Latino representation in Hollywood by 2030. Her latest startup SUMA Wealth was founded with the vision of closing the Latinx wealth gap.Daisy Auger-Do
Camila Casale is Chief Marketing and External Engagement Officer of Claro Enterprise Solutions. She leads the organization’s brand strategy and programs designed to meet critical business objectives around new business development, customer retention and client expansion. An international business and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience in the tech and professional services industry. Casale values perseverance, integrity, innovation, and commitment to continual growth. She serves as the President and Founder of the Women in Tech (WITech) Miami Council, inspiring mid-level women to achieve C-level roles.
Carol Morales As founding President & CEO of Upskill NWA, Carol is responsible for developing the goals, plans, policies, and short and long-term objectives. She is passionate about this life-changing work and leads a talented team of change-makers who are cultivating and creating our region’s future leaders. She is a problem-solver helping organizations find solutions to their unique business challenges. She also served as Lead Partner and Co-Chair of LatinXNA, to elevate, engage, and empower Latinos in Northwest Arkansas.
Elisa Villanueva began her journey with Teach For America as a 1998 corps member in Phoenix. As CEO for Teach For America, Elisa fosters a network of more than 66,000 corps members and alumni working inside and outside education to ensure that all children have the access and opportunity to learn, lead, and thrive. She sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center, City Fund, and Leadership for Educational Equity, and on the advisory board for the AT&T Aspire Accelerator program. Named in 2021 to ALPFA’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas.
Illiana Acosta has nearly 20 years of professional experience in Ad Tech, Partnerships, and Media Sales. Today, she is a Channel Sales Manager at LinkedIn, managing global AdTech partnerships that help to accelerate innovation, revenue, and customer growth. She is also the Global Co-Chair of LinkedIn’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group, HOLA, the Co-President of the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management NYC chapter, actively advises start-ups on how to best grow their customer base, and is on the national board of the 100 Hispanic Women Board organization.
Ingrid -Otero Smart Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ingrid Otero-Smart has over 30 years of advertising experience in the U.S Hispanic Market and Puerto Rico. She joined Casanova Pendrill in August of ’08 as President/CEO. She leads the agency operations, managing offices in multiple cities in the US. She currently serves in the Dean’s Advisory Board of the School of Communications, at California State University Fullerton, Agency Advisory Board for the School’s Practical Advantage Agency, and on the Board of Governors of this institution. Also a founding member of the Latino Communications Institute and currently serves as its Chair.
Jacqueline RuizJackie is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration.She has created two successful award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, and published 27 books. Jacqueline is currently the CEO of award-winning JJR Marketing, one of the fastest-growing top marketing and public relations agencies in Chicago, and Fig Factor Media, an international media publishing company that helps individuals bring their books to life. She is one of the very few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States and the founder of Latinas in Aviation global brand that now includes the book, magazine, scholarship and events.
Jennifer Lopez is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to the US to complete her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. She is currently the Associate VP and Head of Global Recruiting and Talent Acquisition for Eli Lilly and Company. Jennie is also an executive board member for the Organization of Latinx at her company focusing on developing and accelerating Latinx talent. In 2021 Jennie Lopez joined the Board of Directors for Genesis Research. Jennie is frequently invited as a guest speaker at many local and national organizations and was awarded 2020 Working Mother of the Year.
Dr. Leticia Ferri is Executive Director, Medical Cardiovascular Business Development Strategy Early Assets and Cross-TA Bristol Myers Squibb. She began her career at (BMS) in 2010 in Brazil as Scientific Advisor. Since 2013 has been based at BMS offices in New Jersey. In 2019 Leticia was appointed as the Lead for OLA (Organization for Latino Achievement) at BMS and in 2021 she took a new role as the Executive Director for Worldwide Medical Cardiovascular for Early Assets and Business Development Strategy.
Marcia Moreno is a Latina, entrepreneur, wife, and mother on a mission to open pathways between Latino professionals and businesses seeking to become Latino Ready™. Her immigrant experience demonstrated to Marcia firsthand what it means to not feel included and not be heard. In 2018, Marcia founded AmMore Consulting to focus her passion for elevating Cleveland’s Latino professionals and help organizations become Latino Ready™. Through her work Marcia has received multiple awards, including 2021 Crain’s Women of Note, Notable Immigrant of the Year (Global Cleveland & Crain’s, 2020).
Melissa Sanchez was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado. In 2002 she relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Melissa is an entrepreneur and a Marketing Strategist. She is passionate about her community and is always looking for ways to give back. In 2020 she founded the Albuquerque Westside Business Association and is the President & CEO of the organization. Melissa helped launch the Albuquerque Hispanic Star Hub and has served on nonprofit boards. She enjoys time with family and her dog Gigi.
Pamela Mendoza started her career in HR for a retail chain, where she learned her desire to guide her fellow co-workers. Whether it was organizing internal events, training, or general service work, it led to her working at the Port Authority of NY & NJ first in leasing, then as Operations Supervisor and now as a Program Manager for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. During the last 8 years she held positions of Treasurer, At-Large member and leading the group as President for three years.
Dr. Merary Simeon from Puerto Rico is an activator of talent with a mission to create a world where multicultural women in positions of power are the norm.She has led dispersed professional teams across the US and Latin America. Dr. Simeon has extensive experience in Talent Management, Executive Coaching, Change Management amongst others. Dr. Simeon is also a best-selling book author and a non-profit board member. She holds a doctorate in strategic leadership. She is the co-founder of Color Forward and Co-host of What Rules!? Podcast.
Nina Vaca is Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a global workforce solutions provider focused on IT/Professional solutions for the Fortune 500. Nina serves as a Director on three corporate boards. Nina is also a civic leader and philanthropist, working relentlessly to expand educational and business opportunities for minorities and women in STEM. In 2014, Nina was appointed by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Nina is a recipient of the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology & Communications and the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneur award.
Olga Camargo is Co-Head of FARO Advisory and provides investment advisory and retirement plan advisory services to individual and institutional clients. Olga is also the Founder and CEO for FARO Associates LLC ( a Latina owned business), providing consulting services to the government. Crain’s Chicago Business named Olga among “Chicago’s Most Powerful Latinos” in 2019. She is an Aspen Ideas Festival Ricardo Salinas Scholar and has been named by Diversity MBA Magazine to its Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader and Top 100 Women of Influence national lists.
Olga Segura is a producer, activist, and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Latinx House, a gathering place for the Latinx community creatives in film, entertainment and social impact work. Also she is the co-founder of Poderistas, a movement and platform designed to empower the next generation of Latinas. Olga is the founder of “Decididas,” a digital content series and platform that empowers women in Mexico and Latin America by creating awareness of the decisions they make every day to generate positive changes in society.
Pam Covarrubias is dynamically skilled as a Liberation Business Coach, EFT Practitioner, Podcaster, and Recovering Procrastinator. She primarily spends her time elevating first-generation business owners by helping them remove the shame around making money and connecting to their inner voice so they can create liberated business practices. Pam’s goal is to remove the damages Calladita Culture™️ has instilled in first-generation humans in the United States. Pam guides her clients to honor their heritage while leveraging the resiliency they’ve built as they’ve navigated existing in two cultures
Raquel Tamez As CRA’s Chief Inclusion and Engagement Officer, Raquel Tamez plays an integral role in the firm’s DE&I efforts, creating initiatives aimed at empowering its workforce and strengthening its culture. In 2017, she was appointed to the FTC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment. In 2020, Raquel represented SHPE as part of the first Hispanic delegation to the World Economic Forum. She received the 2020 Ohtli Award from the Mexican government. She also served as a board member for the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.
Teri Arevesu is the Senior Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability for TelevisaUnivision in the U.S., overseeing the company’s social impact strategy, including Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, ESG reporting, nonprofit partnerships and corporate philanthropy. She is a bilingual, bicultural media and communications executive with 25 years of experience in storytelling across platforms to achieve strategic business results and social impact. She is a 14-time Emmy Award winner, Edward R Murrow, Lisagor, and Studs Terkel recipient.
Stacie M. de Armas is a storyteller, consumer behaviorist, thought leader and a subject matter expert on the U.S. Hispanic market. She is Vice President within Nielsen’s Diversity & Inclusion. Stacie is responsible for working with major brands, multicultural marketing organizations, media companies, advocacy groups, policy makers and more to research and share Hispanic market & marketing trends, and insights on the economic power of this consumer. Stacie has been the recipient of industry honors; most recently named among the most powerful and influential Latinos in entertainment by Imagen Foundation in 2018.
Syndi Benavides is a Honduran-American immigrant who has experienced the American dream, and now devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants have the same opportunity. She is currently Chief Executive Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country. Sindy is the founder, co-founder, or founding board member of LULAC Council 4611, VA Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN), VA Coalition of Immigrant Rights (VACIR), and the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA)
Sandra Campos is an internationally recognized retail and technology CEO and entrepreneur. As the CEO of Project Verte, she steered the development of a high growth global technology company with tech enabled logistics services. As the CEO of DVF, she worked alongside the iconic founder to reposition the brand with a strong digital presence, a purpose-led marketing strategy, and increasing the global footprint through distributor and franchise partnerships. Inc. Sandra advises various consumer products startups, has helped take two SPACs public in 2021 as part of the advisory team for Athena Technology Acquisition Corp, and on the management team of ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp.
Betty is business executive, impact investor and community leader. She is known as a powerful convener and changemaker, unapologetic about creating visibility for Latinx and POC leaders. She is the co-founder of Amplify Latinx, a social venture that is building Latinx economic and political power by significantly increasing Latino civic engagement, economic opportunity and leadership representation in Massachusetts. Betty is also co-founder of the Investors of Color Network, a consortium of Black and Latinx accredited investors working to close the racial funding gap in startup capital.
Cristina has spent more than a decade representing multinational corporations with her trademark hustle at Washington’s best-known government relations firms. From Wall Street to K Street, Cristina has set herself apart as a trusted advisor, skilled advocate, and effective negotiator who isn’t afraid of long, hard work. Cristina is active in charitable work, contributing her business acumen and political savvy on the Board of Directors of the CHCI, serving under Chairman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), as well as the board of the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Action Fund supporting conservation of endangered species and habitats.
Cristina Rodriguez serves as deputy director at the University of Chicago’s Office of Career Advancement. In this role, Cristina oversees the University’s relationships with 1,000+ employer partners and provides strategic leadership for the office’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, including a special suite of professional development programs for underrepresented students. Before coming to UChicago, Cristina worked for the City of Chicago in the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and at the University of Texas at Austin. Cristina holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree from DePaul University.
Diana, The Founder of Contigo Wellness, is a social change activist and influential leader in mental health equity and reform. Her vision and leadership create a safe space for other survivors to grow, embrace their resilience, and heal; all-in-community with others. Diana serves on the 2021-2024 Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities in Austin, and has received numerous awards for her work in community healing, public service and leadership. Diana is also a member of the 2021 Leadership Austin cohort. She is also a trauma-informed founder and owner of the 2021 award winning health and wellness center; Austin Trauma Therapy Center.
Lisa Pino is the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Most recently, Director Pino served as the New York State Department of Health’s Executive Deputy Commissioner, the agency’s second-highest executive. She is a former senior executive service official appointed by President Barack Obama who served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A first-generation daughter of immigrants and first college graduate in her family, she is an attorney and New York City native.
Maria Cuba is one of Airbnb’s earliest employees and the founder of their Latino ERG “Juntos”. Her work is focused on fostering diversity and inclusion at Airbnb. Previously, she was the Global Diversity Lead for Airbnb’s Experiences platform bringing equitable opportunities and representation to all communities. Her current work also focuses on creating inclusive products and ensuring the dignified representation of all people. She is the co-vice-chair of the IGLTA Foundation board and serves as an advisor to multiple socially focused organizations. Maria loves birds, puzzles, big trees and a story with a good plot.
Mónica Ramírez is an attorney, author, and activist fighting for the rights of farmworkers, migrant women workers, and the Latine(x) community. She is the founder of Justice for Migrant Women and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, The Latinx House, and Poderistas. Mónica is also an inaugural member of the Ford Global Fellowship. Mónica was named to Forbes Mexico’s 100 Most Powerful Women’s 2018 list, TIME Magazine included her in its 2021 TIME100 Next list and People en Español recognized her as one of the 100 Most Powerful Latinos in 2021.
As Director of Spanish-Language & Latinx Media & Representation at GLAAD, Monica Trasandes has trained dozens of media professionals at leading US Spanish-Language networks on LGBTQ+ issues. She often appears as an LGBTQ expert on news programs on Telemundo, Univision and CNNE, as well as Good Morning America and other English-language outlets. Monica has trained hundreds of media professionals at leading US networks such as Univision and Telemundo. Honors include a profile “Two Latinas Making a Difference” on nbc.com and being named an “Inspiring Latina” by Latina Magazine. She was profiled in Hispanic Executive magazine in 2021.
Natalie has succeeded in building BODEN into an award-winning communications agency and winner of 2017 Agency of the Year by HPRA and PR Week’s 2018 Best Places to Work.Named Power Mom by Latina Magazine, Natalie is passionate about her role as mother to her three children, Sebastian, Sasha, and Samantha. She sits on the Latina advisory board of Girls Inc. She is a regular contributor to PRNews, PRWeek, Media Post and other leading industry publications on the topic of the Hispanic market. She is a member of the Cultural Marketing Council board and the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.
Patricia is an innovative trailblazer, advocate for access & equity, startup entrepreneur, author, connector, public speaker, and compassionate leader. Patricia serves as the President & CEO for HACE, leading strategy, fundraising & development, leadership programs, and expanding organizational reach on a national and international scale. Patricia is also a co-founder of SHENIXTM, a Fintech tool to close the wealth gap that impacts Latinas. Patricia is a proud Mexican-American, Latina, daughter of immigrants, and first-generation college graduate and professional. She is a fitness enthusiast, health, and lifestyle aficionado.
Ms. Caraveo is the National Director of Programs for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). She works on developing and executing various projects that educate and empower the Latinx community across the country. She is currently overseeing all of LULAC’s major service initiatives in education, health, youth leadership development, financial empowerment, employment, technology and housing. Sandra continues to be passionate about developing sustainable communities and advocating for low-income/ minority communities.
Daisy has made it her mission to make workplaces more equitable and inclusive. As the Chief People Officer at VICE Media Group, she leads a global team responsible for people operations, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, corporate facilities, real estate, procurement and social impact practices. Her TEDx talk Inclusion Revolution and book calls on managers to take on the work of dismantling racial inequity in the workplace. Daisy serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and St. Ann’s Warehouse.