BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The 100 Hispanic Women, Westchester Chapter’s Board of Directors includes representation from all areas of business within the county of Westchester, New York.
Here’s an introduction to the women who make our organization possible.
Paulette Zalduondo-Henriquez is a first generation Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx. Her parents are from Fajardo and Ciales, Puerto Rico. Paulette is currently serves as President of the 100 Hispanic Women, Westchester Chapter, and is a founding member of the 100 Hispanic Women, Inc. – National.
Paulette’s professional career spanning more than 30 years, started as a Project Manager with the South Bronx Development Organization, Inc. ; Staff Associate with the Regional Education Center for Economic Development where she was program manager, making grants to community colleges in support of vocational training and retraining of displaced and unemployed workers. She also served as Director of Marketing and Development for The Bronx Council on the Arts and as Director of the Office of Government Affairs at the Wildlife Conservation Society, based in the Bronx Zoo where she secured government support for major capital projects and exhibits such as the Congo Gorilla Forest and Education Center, the Lakeside Café and Visitor Center.
Paulette’s career in higher education with CUNY started 14 years ago at Hunter College in the Office of the President and then on to CUNY on the Concourse- School of Continuing Education where she was in charge of Special Projects. At Lehman College, Paulette was the Director of External & Government Relations – Office of Institutional Advancement & Office of the President. Lastly, Paulette served as Deputy to the President & as Assistant Vice President for External Relations at Bronx Community College.
Paulette has a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from the New School University, Milano Graduate School of Management & Urban Professions. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz.
Her professional affiliations are numerous and have included: Vice President of the Board, The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble, Inc.; Commissioner, NYS Saratoga-Capital District State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Commission, 1997-2006 and Advisory Committee Member, The Rivers Institute Task Force, now the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, 2000-2002, appointed by Governor George E. Pataki; Board Member, Association of Hispanic Arts, Inc.; Board Member, Hostos Center for the Performing and Cultural Arts, Hostos Community College; and Board Member, Bronx Council on the Arts, to name a few.
Paulette has received the following recognitions: 2000 Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” Governor’s Award; 2000 “Outstanding Achievement Award” YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester; and the 1995 “Community Service Award” by the N.Y. State Puerto Rican /Hispanic Legislators Task Force.
Meiling Macias-Toro was recently appointed Vice President of 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester. She has served on the board for over ten years, and has been proud to yearly Chair the organization’s Latina Literature event.
Meiling is presently an Independent Producer and Production Consultant. She has been producing broadcast commercials for TV, radio, and web, as well as, content for over 30 years for Fortune 500 and Global clients. She has worked for various Hispanic Market and Multi-Cultural Advertising agencies such as Castor Advertising, Conill/Saatchi & Saatchi, Siboney, and UniWorld Group. She has held Director of Broadcast Production posts at Conill/Saatchi & Saatchi, Rapp Collins Worldwide, a direct response General Market agency, and lastly at The Vidal Partnership. She has supervised location shoots and post-productions all over the United States, Europe, North and South America. Her work has won numerous awards for excellence in communication to consumers, with several Se Habla Español, FIAP Awards andTelly.
Meiling was born in Colombia, South America, and has an Associate of Occupational Science, majoring in Radio and Television, from Elizabeth Seton College. And, also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Communication Arts, from the New York Institute of Technology. She has been honored by El Diario La Prensa, as one of the most Distinguished Women. And, also received La Tribuna’s Distinguished Women Award. As a Production Consultant, she continues to service advertising agencies, and looks for opportunities to work on more cause related issues. Meiling enjoys mentoring the youth, volunteering and fund-raising for the 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester scholarship fund, and the Cristian Rivera Foundation.
Elizabeth Figueroa is the Director of Community Relations at The New York Botanical Garden. She is dedicated and committed to being in touch with the ever-changing community by forming relationships with elected officials, local community boards, and the business community at large.
Over the past ten years, Elizabeth has been the Garden’s main point-person with respect to the community in the areas of event planning, project development, and all special needs. Major projects that she has produced include cultural events, community outreach, and educational workshops, featuring celebrations of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Puerto Rican Heritage Month, Bronx Day at the Garden, and Fiesta de Flores during Hispanic Heritage Month.
She is an active member of The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce and serves on committees such as Montefiore’s B’N Fit Advisory Committee, St. Barnabas Community Service Plan, The Bronx Times 25 Bronx Influential Women Committee, Bronx Chamber of Commerce Women History Month Committee, Bronx Family Court National Child Abuse Prevention Committee, and Casita Maria’s Advisory Committee.
Elizabeth is the recipient of numerous awards, among them from the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Chamber of Commerce, The Bronx Times 25 Bronx Influential Women, and The Bronx Free Press Women of Distinction award for her community service. She continues to proudly represent The New York Botanical Garden and believes that success is attributed to the attitude you exhibit in your work.
Milagros Benitez is Program Director and Research Associate at The Bronx Institute at Lehman College of the City University of New York. She oversees programming aimed at increasing academic performance, college readiness, and participation in post-secondary education of low income students in the Bronx.
An experienced researcher and program evaluator, Milagros has conducted numerous evaluations of federal and state funded projects and trained others in this work. Her former professional experience includes Senior Researcher at The Girl Scout Research Institute and The University of Illinois’ Center for Prevention Research and Development as Manager of Evaluation Projects.
She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Wayne State University and a B.A. in Psychology from Inter American University of Puerto Rico.
Ana Moran-Gonzalez works as an Employment Specialist at the Mental Health Association of Westchester where she provides services and supports to those with various mental health conditions. Over the years Mrs. Gonzalez has been a leader for vocational opportunity, advocacy, job development and job placement. In her tenure at MHA of Westchester she has been a positive source of support and in many cases, a connection to employment for well over one hundred individuals.
Ana has over twenty years’ experience in the Mental Health field holding both clinical and administrative positions. Mrs. Gonzalez served in the United States Army in the National Guard from 1976 through 1980.
Ana has been a recipient of several awards including the US Good Conduct Medal and NYS Citation for leadership. Evelyn Cohan recognized Ana as employee of the Year for three consecutive years, highlighting her dedication, inspiration and leadership in the prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect. Mrs. Gonzalez is also a five time recipient of the MHA of Westchester Extra Mile Award for her dedication and contribution to her clientele.
Carmen Gomez Goldberg was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. She is an entrepreneur and community leader and serves as the Parent Coordinator & Community Affairs Director for the Charter School of Educational Excellence. Carmen has adopted the Charter School creed that “We aim to inspire that all children can learn.” Carmen believes that it is never too late to receive a college education, and she is currently seeking a B.S. degree at Concordia College.
Ms. Gomez Goldberg is a dedicated community and civic leader as well as a great public servant. Ms. Gomez Goldberg is a founding member of the 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester, a member of the Hispanic Advisory Board for the Board of Elections and President of the Yonkers Federation of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Carmen sits as an advisor to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a Director of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, empowering young Hispanic women to stay in school. She is a former President of the Yonkers Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade Foundation Inc. and has been a board member for nine years.
Ms. Gomez Goldberg has received numerous awards for her dedication to the Latino community, including the National Hispanic Magazine Latina Excellence Award, Comité Noviembre Puerto Rican Heritage Award, Entre Nosotras Award, El Diario La Prensa’s Top Latina Award, Advancement of Women Award, Griffon Award, Westchester Fund for Women and Girls Leadership Award, Martin Luther King Award and the Dominican Cultural Award.
Nadine Gonzalez has over 10 years of experience working in job development and placement fields. She is currently a Recruitment Specialist for Custom Staffing Healthcare division, where she is responsible for attracting top talent from diverse sources.
Nadine holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fordham University.
She is a member of several community organizations such as League of United Latin American Citizens, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association and New York Road Runners Club.
Amelia La Guerre has been involved in State and county government for the last 15 years. She currently works at the Board of Elections, as an Election Programmer, and ESRI GIS certified specialist. At the board of elections she helps to facilitate in elections certification, registration and community outreach.
After getting involved with Amigo de Pataki in 2003 a grassroots campaign to re-elect Governor Pataki, in which she traveled the state of New York to meet with Latino groups to promote his candidacy, she felt compelled to get involved with groups on both a local and national level. Throughout the years she has been involved with the Yonkers Puerto Rican/ Hispanic day parade foundation where she served as secretary for six years. Or through her involvement as a State officer with LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), which is the oldest Hispanic Non for profit organization in the United States which promotes advocacy and civil rights for Latinos.
Amelia has been recognized by Entre Nosotras, as the recipient of the Young Latina Leader award for her work in the community. Shes has also been acknowledged by the Westchester GOP as district leader of the year. Amelia received a bachelor’s degree of science from Concordia College, and currently resides in Yonkers, NY.
Eleana LaGuerre is currently the youngest member of the 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester board. Her main focus of joining is get more young Latinas involved with the organization and the Latino community. Eleana presently hold the title of Vice President of Young Adults in the State of New York for League of United Latin American Citizens. Short for LULAC; it is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. As VP of young adults she strives to inform young people that their voices matter and the concerns for their families and futures are valid. Using a platform like LULAC, a national known Latino organization she believes we can make a changes for the young Latinos in the State of New York.
Eleana currently works as an IT Technician/Communication Specialist at The Bronx Park Avenue Transitional Housing Facility. Working in the shelter system for almost 3 years now has been a humbling experience. There’s no great satisfaction then helping people get their lives back on track and gain knowledge that they will take with them into the future.
Eleana graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Advertising & Marketing communications with a minor in Psychology. She also studied web design at Lehman College and is currently in the process of revamping the 100 HWW website. In her free time she loves to ride bike with the Yonkers Bike club and spend time with friends and family at the beach.
Ms. Kennybel Peña is one of our newest board member of the 100 Hispanic Women Westchester Chapter, she possess over 10+ years of higher educational leadership experience. Currently Ms. Peña is the Sr. Analyst for Academic Programs at JetBlue Airlines where she is working on the pre-launch of a program that will assist crewmembers in accomplishing their academic goals in addition to serving as a Success Coach Lead. Ms. Peña considers herself a product of public education and service. Having earned several degrees through various colleges in the City University of New York system.
Her passion to leading students in their educational ventures motivated her to pursue a PhD in Leadership for Higher Education which she will be completing within the next few quarters. Having worked in various colleges from the City Universities of New York it has allowed her to enhance her knowledge of working with diverse student populations as well as different urban communities.
Her primary goal as a leader for higher education is to create a platform where other Hispanic women can build the foundation they need to connect their educational knowledge to the real-world. Her promise to lifelong learning, embracing knowledge, and want to instill leadership provides this same desire in her mentees. Her commitment tothe mission and goals of the 100 Hispanic Women allows her to support others with the realization that they can stop being a passenger in the world of knowledge and become a driver.
Nicole F. Toro is a new board member of the 100 Hispanic Women, Westchester Chapter. In the Spring of 2015, at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she graduated with her Masters in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing.
Currently she is a Sales and Marketing freelancer for a retail company. Prior to this, Nicole worked at Resorts World Casino New York City as a Media Supervisor, There, she oversaw all the inbound and outbound media buys across all platforms and managed their media budget. Her experience includes working for several NBC Universal entities in the Sales and Marketing departments such as: mun2 and CNBC Digital. While working at mun2, she achieved the AT&T 2013 Integration Award, for being able to combine different ideas for the brand and the network. Her passion for Sales and Marketing stemmed from her first step and job she held in Sales at Latina Media Ventures, LLC., also known as Latina Magazine. She progressed from a Sales Assistant into the Sales and Production Assistant Manager, where she learned how the magazine was managed from both the sales and production side.
On her spare time, she is a Salsa singer that has performed at different venues and events such as: New York City lounges, social events, casinos and fundraisers. She has performed the United States National Anthem for various sports teams at CitiField, Citizens Bank Park, Continental Arena (IZOD Center), and for many State and Federal swearing events. She also has a passion for mentoring the youth. She reminds them that in addition to having a career, to never forget how important it is to always keep learning.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Westchester Chapter Founder & President Emerita
Sobeida Cruz, is Vice President of Environmental Justice and Public & Governmental Affairs of the Lower Hudson Valley area at the New York Power Authority. The division she heads is based in the White Plains office providing public and government affairs support for NYPA initiatives in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Orange counties. It reaches out to the community through sponsorship of local events, participation in community organizations, education programs, regional speaker’s bureaus, and contact with local officials and business customers in the regions.
Before joining the Authority in 1983, Ms. Cruz was elected by the members of Community Planning Board #1 in the South Bronx as the first female district manager. Her responsibilities included preparing the districts capital budget and monitoring the delivery of services from the city agencies to a community of 120,000 residents.
In 1974, she co-founded the Neighborhood Association for Intercultural Affairs Inc. An agency that provides housing preservation and Development as well as social services and advocacy in the South Bronx. She served as president of the Yonkers Puerto Rican Day Parade from 1998-2000, the largest parade in the County of Westchester. Ms. Cruz was the recipient of the National Fellows Program representing the North Eastern Region of the United States. It included a one-year internship in Washington D.C. at the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House.
Ms. Cruz co-founded 100 Hispanic Women, Inc. in 1995, and is one of the founders of Westchester Chapter. Sobeida holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Alé Frederico is Senior Relationship Manager – Westchester NY, Commercial Banking at TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. In this role, she provides customized banking solutions for commercial, small business, municipal, education and not-for-profit institutions in New York. In 2009 she was a recipient of TD Bank’s CEO WOW! Leadership Award.
Alé is Chair of TD Bank’s Regional Diversity Council for Metro New York and is a member of TD Bank’s WIL Women in Leadership subcommittee. She serves on several business and not-for-profit boards. In 2011 she was appointed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council where she Co-Chairs the Global NY Strategy. Ale’ is an appointee to the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, where she serves as Treasurer. An appointee of former New York State Governor George Pataki, she recently concluded a 13 year term on the Westchester Community College Board of Trustees. She serves as the Corporate Secretary of the Westchester County Association, and is a Board Member of White Plains Hospital Center. Alé is Chair and a past President of the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
She is a past Treasurer and a founding Board Member of 100 Hispanic Women Leaders – Westchester Chapter.
In 2013, Ale’ was honored at the YWCA-NYC Women Leaders Salute Luncheon. She has been the recipient of various awards including the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Corporate Leadership Award, the New York City Hispanic Chamber’s 2009 Hispanic Corporate Leadership Award, the Mercy College Exito Award, the Paramount Center for the Arts Corporate Award, the Association of Hispanic Professionals Award of Honor, the Corporate Recognition Award from St. Jude’s Institute for Human Dynamics, and the Westchester Hispanic Coalition’s Community Leader Award. Alé was one of El Diario La Prensa’s 50 Distinguished Latinas of 2000.
Nereida Quiles, A.B.D., M.S., is the Director of Admission for Adult Education and a business and English instructor at Concordia College-NY. She’s a campus leader serving on various executive committees. Committed to education and empowering women, she’s the NYS Public Relations Officer for American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network (WN) and is the ACE Institutional Representative for Concordia. She is an advocate of professional development opportunities.
Prior to a profession in academia, she had a successful corporate career with Fortune 500 companies. Her skills include project management, team development, communications, multi-million dollar account management, advertising sales, building brand awareness, computer applications, and directing enterprise-wide initiatives.
Previously VP, and currently an advisory board member of 100HWW, she offers her knowledge in public relations, communications, website development and management, operations and event management, administration, and technology matters. She was webmaster and designer of 100HWW’s website from 2006 – 2014.
She was a speaker, moderator and panelist at Latina Leadership Forums, high schools, and community events inspiring women of all ages to pursue their goals and educational aspirations. She moderated a panel of speakers at 100HWW’s event ‘Transformation Through Education’, and at various ACEWN events.
As a life-long learner, she leads by example completing her undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate college education as a non-traditional adult student; earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, Lehman College-CUNY; M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College School of Business; and doctoral coursework in Executive Leadership at Saint John Fisher College. She’s working on a doctoral dissertation with a focus on her expertise, the non-traditional college student.
Rossana Rosado, Honorary member. Publisher and CEO of El Diario La Prensa since 1999, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the country. She has led the paper through changes in ownership, the toughest competition in the paper’s 93 year history and has restored the paper to its dominant position in the market. Ms Rosado was the first woman to be appointed Editor in Chief.
Ms. Rosado has over two decades of experience in New York media. As a reporter at El Diario-La Prensa she covered The Bronx, City Hall, and wrote a weekly column. In 1988, she moved to television as a producer of Public Affairs programming at WPIX TV, later promoted to Public Service Director, responsible for the creation and placement of hundreds of Public Service Announcements on the air. Rossana won an Emmy in 1992 for the production of a series of PSA’s featuring organizations which helped improve the lives of children.
In 1992 she was appointed Vice President for Public Affairs at the Health & Hospitals Corporation for the City of New York. As the highest ranking Latina in the organization she oversaw marketing, press, and public relations strategies for the city’s 22 public hospitals and community based clinics. She held this position under two mayoral administrations. Her prior experience includes positions at WCBS-AM and FM radio, and WNYC-TV 31.
She received her B.A. in Journalism from Pace University in White Plains, New York. She is also a board member of the United Way of NYC, the Community Service Society of NY, PENCIL, and the National Puerto Rican Coalition in addition to her work as an advisor to local groups. Her many awards include an Emmy, a STAR award from the NY Women’s Agenda, and a Peabody Award for Journalism. She served on Mayor Bloomberg’s transition team.