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For Immediate Release: Friday, April 3, 2009

ContactCheryl Aguilar 202-360-7867 (cell); 703-527-6007 (office)

Community Leaders and Professionals from the Philadelphia Tri-State area to Attend Leadership and Empowerment Conference

Despite economic times, professional development opportunities are proven crucial to community members and are supported by major corporations

(Washington, DC) The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), the premier leadership development organization for Latinas, is kicking-off its regional Latina Empowerment Conference series in Philadelphia on Friday, April 3, 2009, at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia, 200 S. Broad Street.

Facilitated by Latina leaders from the corporate, non-profit, and government sectors, NHLI's empowerment conferences are day-long training conferences that are open to the public and held in different cities across the country. Conference participants receive powerful training focused on career success and planning in today’s economy; take advantage of networking opportunities with regional and national leaders, and participate in an interactive panel of successful Latina leaders who share their secrets to success that applies to all.

Workshop facilitators and speakers include community and national leaders: Flora Castillo, AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies; Nereyda Perez, State Farm® Insurance Companies; Evelyn Montalvo, ARAMARK; Gladys Molina, Merck;  Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, Rutgers University; Zulma X. Barrios, Senior Advisor, Gallup University; and Gina Rudan, Genuine Insights.

The response from community members has been overwhelming. Close to 200 people registered to attend the conference-- exceeding conference capacity and reaching NHLI’s expectations.


Luz B. Colon, Community Liaison for Councilman William Greenlee of Philadelphia, is among the participants attending the conference. Upon receiving an e-mail regarding the conference, Colon did not hesitate to register. “As a leader you want to be up to the part. You need to refresh and refine your skills. Times change, things change. It is important to have the skills required to improve our communities,” she said. Colon stated that the peer to peer learning NHLI’s conference offers motivated her to register. 


Colon started her career in government 10 years ago when she first worked as an intern for former Mayor and current Pennsylvania Governor, Edward G. Rendell. Since then, Colon has held several jobs in the government field, has dedicated her spare time working as an advocate through her affiliation with Asociación Puertoriqueños en Marcha, and has attended several trainings and professional development conferences. “Learning should never stop no matter what profession or position you hold,” she said. “There are always new practices and new skills to learn.” 

 “In today’s economy where families across the nation are confronting tough economic times, this community excitement demonstrates that good things are still happening, and that even in rough economic times, professional development and networking opportunities are still essential to advance in our careers despite our occupational levels,” said Cristina López, NHLI’s President. “Through our programs and trainings, we will continue to develop leaders who offer solutions to the growing challenges facing our communities today,” added López.

Moreover, support from sponsors has been critical in continuing NHLI quality programs. “Our regional conference sponsors recognize the impact NHLI has in developing strong leaders and the effect of our leadership conferences. We thank our long-time supporter and title sponsor of NHLI’s Latina Empowerment Conference series, State Farm® Insurance Companies, and Co-Sponsor, Merck, for their commitment to investing in our communities and developing strong leaders,” concluded López.

Following Philadelphia, the conferences will continue in Washington, DC April 17; Austin, TX, May 15; Chicago, IL, July 10; and will culminate in Atlanta, GA, July 22. Concluding the Empowerment Conferences, NHLI will unveil a webinar training series during the summer to extend the trainings to more people across the nation.


For media inquiries, please contact Cheryl Aguilar by email to or call 202-360-7867 (cell); 703-527-6007 (office). 




The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) is a national leadership development organization focused on Latina leaders. For more than 20 years, NHLI has developed hundreds of Latina leaders who have gone on to become elected officials, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, executives at non-profits and powerful decision makers. Founded  in 1987 to address the disparity of representation of Latinas in leadership, NHLI’s mission is to develop Hispanas as ethical world leaders through training, professional development, relationship building, and community activism.