National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  
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Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, ELP ’88, has helped created and lead the first ever Rutgers graduate certificate program in community development at the Center for Puerto Rico in San Juan. Learn more about the course here.

Juana BordasJuana Bordas, NHLI founding President, has been elected to Union Institute & University Board of Trustees.
Nely Galan, ELP ’89, will be recognized for her achievement in the business community during the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce 2014 Convention.

Karla Andrade, LLL ’14, was recently interviewed for her participation in NHLI’s Latinas Learning to Lead program.

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, ELP '14, has been featured on NBC Latino for her work with first generation college students. Click here to read the article.

Joanna Diaz, ELP ’13, will be part of a panel discussion at the National Council of La Raza Conference on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM. She is co-author of the first Latina self-help book, “8 Ways to Say ‘I Love My Life!’”

Debbie Quinones, ELP ’10, has led the initiative to name streets after Latinos in New York, NY and on July 26th, will have achieved the fourth street in East Harlem to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Puerto Ricans in New York. East 111th street will be co-named Young Lords Way. Other streets include Julia De Burgos Blvd at east 106th from Fifth to Frist Aves, Rafael Tufino Way from Third to Park Aves, and Yolanda Sanchez at east 120th and Lexington Ave.

Dr. Nancy BruneCongratulations to Dr. Nancy Brune, ELP ’13, on launching the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities in Nevada. You may read her full bio here.

Ingrid Duran, ELP ‘02, and Catherine Pino, ELP ’06, are featured in Latino Magazine for their company, D&P Creative Strategies. Read the full story here.

Pamela Campos Palma, LLL ’12, was appointed by the Governor of Oregon as a Trustee for the new governing board of Oregon’s largest public university, Portland State University.

Pamela Campos Palma, LLL ’12, has been named a 2014 National Newman Civic Fellow.

Michelle Mendez, ALL IN ’11, has been chosen for The Daily Record’s Successful Before 40 Very Important Professional List. You can read the list here.

Congratulations to Madeline Figueroa, ELP ’00, for her new position as Director of Shared Services for Workforce Insight. In her new position, Madeline will oversee staff, resources, and will be responsible for assuring consultants are highly trained and have the latest expertise in the area.

Juana Bordas, Founding President of NHLI, wins Nautilus Best Book Award for her book, “The Power of Latino Leadership.”

Julie Caceres, LLL ’06, has been selected as a member of the top 15 “Ones to Watch” list on LinkedIn for the UK. She was invited to meet Sheryl Sandberg, author of “Lean In.”

Angelica Perez, ELP ’12, was featured in a PBS Newshour podcast on her expertise in women’s issues and parenting. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript here:

Joyce Medina Harper

Congratulations to Joyce Medina Harper, ALL IN '10, who will be giving birth to a future Latino/a leader on June 23rd.

Diana MendozaCongratulations to Diana Mendoza, ALL IN '10, who has recently married her childhood friend, Matt. They were married on March 16, 2014 in Chicago, IL, less than three months after deciding to date each other. Diana never imagined herself married and tells us she couldn’t be happier.

Carmen Cantor, ELP '06, has been highlighted by Latina Style for being a trailblazer in American foreign policy. Read her interview here.

Nory Angel, ELP '13, will be receiving the Mujer Legendaria award in Houston, TX. The awards ceremony will be taking place at Hilton of the Americas, 24th Floor, Skyline Ballroom, 1600 Lamar Street, Houton, TX on May 8, 2014 at 6 PM.

Dr. Isaura Gonzalez, ELP ’13, has recently been featured in Being Latino for her clinical psychology and Latino community issues expertise. Read the article here. She was also recently interviewed on NPR as a parenting expert. Listen to the full interview here.

Congratulations to our Board of Directors Chair, Cecelia Espenoza, ELP ‘03. She has been named Alumna of the Year by the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

Maria Elena Torano, Chair Emeritus and NHLI founder, is being recognized during Women’s History Month by WLRN and the Miami Herald. Listen to her on the show Tropical Currents here.

Vanessa Cardenas, ELP ’10, has recently published an article through the Center of American Progress highlighting the need for a political leadership pipeline for women of color. Read the full article here.

Maria Contreras Sweet, past NHLI Mujer Awardee, and Nora de Hoyos Comstock, ELP ’00, will be honored on April 2, 2014 at the 2014 Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence Conference.

ELP '90 alumna and author of "When I was Puerto Rican", Esmeralda Santiago will be the featured speaker at the 20th Annual Latinas Unidas Reconocimeiento Awards this March. The annual event honors local Latinas for the work in the community.

Ysabel Duron, ELP '90, has recently received the Purpose Prize awarded by for her work with Latinas Contra Cancer, an organization she founded in 2003.

Lisa Pino, ELP ’08, recently received an honor from Arizona State University for advocating on behalf of human and civil rights. Pino received ASU’s Los Diablos 2013 Horquilla Award during the Fall Hispanic Convocation held on Dec. 18. Previous winners of the award include Maricopa County Supervisors Mary Rose Wilcox, playwright James Garcia, community leader David Cavazos and ASU Vice President Christine Wilkinson.

Kera NewsDr. Catalina Garcia was recently featured in Kera News.

Congratulations to Nory Angel (ELP ’13), Executive Director of SER-Jobs for Progress, for receiving Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award. Through this award, SER-Jobs for Progress will receive grant funding and leadership development.

NBC Latino recently featured Founding Executive Director of the American Latino Heritage Fund, Midy Aponte (ELP ’11.)

Esmeralda Santiago’s (ELP ’90) “When I was Puerto Rican” and “Cuand Era Puertorriquena” have been selected for the World Book Night giveaway. In the past, these books have gone to prisons, homeless shelters, bars, and senior citizen centers.

Rosie Castro

Congratulations to Rosie Castro, ELP ’89, for being named in People en Español’s Top 25 Most Powerful Latinast.

Congratulations to Rosie Castro, ELP ’89, on her retirement. However, this Latina trailblazer will continue to advocate for civil rights and the Latino community.

Alejandra CejaAlejandra Ceja, ELP ’05, has been highlighted on NBC Latino for her recent Presidential appointment as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Dr. Catalina Garcia, ELP ’88, has been featured on NBC 5 DFW for her accomplishments and recent Latina Living Legend Award.

Lisa Pino, ELP ’08, has been named the new President and CEO of United Food Bank Arizona.

Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, ELP ’88, has recently been featured in Voxxi. Click here to read about her long journey and career.

Dr. Catalina Garcia, ELP ’88 and NHLI Board Member, has been awarded the 2013 Latina Living Legend award as part of Hispanic 100. Her award will be celebrated October 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm in Seven for Parties (150 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75027)

Lisette Rodriguez, ELP ’97, has recently been named Chief Operating Officer at Venta Financial Group, Inc.

Juana Bordas, founding President of NHLI, has recently been featured in the Pueblo Chieftain for her upcoming leadership empowerment series at Pueblo Community College and Colorado State.

Bella Castillo

Congratulations to Bella Castillo, ELP ’12, for receiving the 2013 National Latina Business Women Association-Los Angeles Latina in Business award.

Check out ELP ’00 graduate, Lidia Soto-Harmon’s feature on Girl Scout’s CapiTalk Blog.

Congratulations to Nory Angel, ELP '13, for her great speech delivery during the 48th Annual Anniversary "Sabor de SER" Gala. She put her NHLI public speaking training to good use!

Congratulations to Maria Teresa Kumar, ELP ’04, for earning a spot on the 2013 101 Most Influential Latinos list by the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility.

Laura Lopez CanoLaura Lopez Cano, ELP ’06, will lead a Painting on Canvas: Culture vs. Heritage class at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Ms. Cano reinterprets Latino and Hispanic themes on canvas.

Nely Galan, ELP '89, has recently been featured by Woman's Day as an inspiring Latina in the "8 Inspiring Latinas You May Not Know About."

Fatima PerezFatima Perez, ELP '06, has recently been added to the Florida lobbying team of Southern Strategy Group. Ms. Perez has over 15 years of experience in Florida governmental affairs within the private sector.

Teresa AlonsoTeresa Alonso, ELP '09, is the new city councilor of Woodburn, OR. She is the second Latina ever in Woodburn to be chosen for this position.

The Out ListELP '09 alumnae Sindy Benavides and Inez Gonzalez have been selected for the Inaugural IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector. They were two of thirty two fellows selected to the nine-month program to strengthen their leadership and management skills.

Congratulations to alumnae, Ingrid Duran, ELP '02, and Catherine Pino, ELP '06, on their recent release of The Out List. Directed by Award Winning Photographer, Filmmaker, and Miami Native Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, The Out List explores LGBT identity. The film is available on HBO On Demand.

Belen Gonzalez, ELP '09, will be honored at the Profiles of Success fundraiser held by Valle del Sol. Valle del Sol is one of Arizona's largest nonprofit helping thousands meet their medical needs. Ms. Gonzalez will be receiving the Raul Yzaguirre Community Leadership Award for her outstanding community service record.

NLBWAJoyce Medina Harper, ALL IN '10. Recently promoted to Director of Scholarships and Associate Executive Director of the Arizona Venture Fund for Quality Education, at the Arizona Community Foundation. She was also honored in June 2013 as one of the Phoenix Business Journal's 40 Under 40 and has been selected as a new Board member for Phoenix Suns Charities. Chair for the Leadership Institute of Valley Leadership for the next two years.

Nely Galan, ELP ’89, has been chosen to be a keynote speaker for the 2013 Silicon Beach Fest. The conference will showcase promising startups and visionaries from Los Angeles on June 19-22, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.

Nely Galan, ELP ’89, has teamed up with Hollywood's leading Marketing and Public Relations firm VIIVIIVII.

Nely Galan ELP '89, co-hosted with the ladies of The View on Thursday, July 11th to bring Latina presence to daytime talk shows in the U.S.

NLBWALaura Drain, ELP '08, has been named as one of the "25 Influential Women in Business" by MEA Magazine, Northrop Grumman, Wells Fargo, and American Small Business Alliance, Inc. She will be receiving her award on October 2, 2013 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Drain is the director of the Eureka Latino Marketing Research Center, a new division of EurekaFacts LLC. Laura brings more than 20 years of experience working with the Hispanic community in corporations and nonprofits.

NLBWAFive NHLI alumnae have been nominated for the 2013 National Latina Business Women Association-Los Angeles (NLBWA) Latina in Business award. Lisa Bacala-Sigala (ELP ’97), Bella Castillo (ELP ’12), Gina Linn Espinoza (ELP ’08), Nely Galan (ELP ’89), and Beatriz Stotzer (ELP ’98) were all nominated for the 10th annual Latina in Business award for their business and professional skills. Recipients will receive awards on June 27, 2013 at 6 pm in the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre (5220 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601.) For a full list of nominees, click here. (

Dr. Lisa RamirezDr. Lisa Ramirez, ELP '12, has received multiple nominations for her book, Dulcified, at the International Latino Book Awards. The International Latino Book Awards is the largest award in the U.S. celebrating achievements in Latino literature.

Judith Canales, ELP '92, appointed as State Executive Director for USDA's Farm Service Agency. Angelica Perez-Litwin

Angelica Perez-Litwin, ELP '12, has been featured in Mamiverse for the launch of ELLA Institute and the Latinas Think BIG event held in Columbia University.

Alejandra Ceja

Jennifer RodriguezJennifer Rodriguez, ELP ’13, was recently interviewed by Splash Magazine for her incredible work in the pageant world. Since 2008, Ms. Rodriguez has worked to establish the Miss California Latina brand as one of prestige. It has become the largest pageant competition for Latinas in California.

Alejandra Ceja, ELP '05,, has recently been appointed Director of White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. According to the U.S. Department of Education, "The Initiative is tasked with expanding academic excellence and improving educational opportunities for Hispanics by making recommendations to President Obama and Secretary Marcela BaileyDuncan."

Marcela Bailey, ELP '10, will be speaking at the 2013 Gateway to Innovation Conference in St. Louis, MO. Ms. Bailey will be speaking about Sony Home Entertainment and how the company used SaaS capabilities to improve collection performance by $200 million
Stephanie BravoStephanie Bravo, ALL IN 2012, has been named a "Woman of Influence" by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. As founder of, Ms. Bravo has been able to help many students obtain college degrees.

Bella CastilloJoanna DiazBella Castillo, ELP ’12, and Joanna Diaz, ELP ’13, have both been named “Mujeres Destacadas” by La Opinion. Ms. Castillo works in the Executive Office for Kedren Community Health Center, Inc. Ms. Joanna Diaz is an author and Principal of JD & Associates.

TVSpyYsabel Duron, ELP ’90, has announced her upcoming retirement. On April 14, 2013, Ms. Duron will begin a new chapter of her life after a career of 42 years in television. She will be focusing on her nonprofit Latinas Contra Cancer.

Hispanic LifestyleGina Linn Espinoza, ELP ’08, has been named a Hispanic Lifestyle “Latina of Influence.” Ms. Espinoza, also known as Doctora Love, is the founder of UpLatino and Get Wise Latinas.

Inez GonzalezInez Gonzalez, ELP ’09, has also been given the honor of being a Hispanic Lifestyle “Latina of Influence.” Ms. Gonzalez has tenures as Public Relations and Communications Manager for California Health Management Organization, and Contract Compliance Officer for the Public Transportation Agency in San Diego, CA.

Harvard GazetteThe Harvard Gazette has featured Esmeralda Santiago, ELP ’90, and her path to success. Ms. Carmen SierraSantiago is an award-winning writer and filmmaker.

Carmen Sierra, ELP ’02, became the first Latina assistant city treasurer in Hartford, Connecticut’s history. This new position makes Ms. Sierra one of the top Latino public pension executives in the state.