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National Hispana Leadership Institute Selects Leaders

The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), the nation’s premier organization for Latinas, selected 22 leaders from the public and private sectors to participate in its award-winning Executive Leadership Program (ELP).

To close the opportunity gap among Latinas and address their underrepresentation in top leadership roles, NHLI’s programs are designed to develop Hispanic women as ethical leaders for positions of national, international influence, and public policy impact and as contributors to the advancement of the Latino community.

Going on its 24th year, the Executive Leadership Program is held in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Center for Creative Leadership. The program is set to begin February 27 in San Juan Bautista, CA and consists of a four-week training curriculum that spans nine months. The intensive and transforming learning experience addresses skills development and cultural application through a female and a Hispanic cultural lens. ELP includes training in cross-cultural communication, strategic management, public policy, and leadership skills building. In addition, with mentoring and the implementation of a leadership project as key components, the impact of the program transcends well beyond the training. Upon graduation, each participant mentors two young Latinas and completes a project in her community that impacts at least 25 Hispanics.

Every year, a national recruitment effort solicits applications from mid-career Latina leaders to the competitive program.  Participants are selected based on their community service record, professional and personal accomplishments, and dedication to serving their community.

The 2011 ELP Class is a diverse and talented group of women, coming together from 14 different states. More than 80% of the women hold at least one graduate degree in fields such as business, social work, public administration and law. Nine of the 22 fellows lead nonprofit organizations, five are corporate executives, five come from the government sector and the remainders are entrepreneurs who have launched their own businesses.

“The fellows represent Latina leadership at the core. They are high achievers, passionate about the issues they work on, and committed to improving opportunities for all Latinos,” said Cristina Lopez, NHLI’s President. “The Executive Leadership Program will build on the strengths of each leader and promote social responsibility and stronger attention to the needs of the broader Hispanic community,” added Lopez.

This year’s fellows are: (click on each fellow’s name to learn more about them)

Alma Lorena Anguiano,, Walnut Creek, CA

HR Director, McDonald’s USA LLC, Walnut Creek, CA

Midy Aponte,, Washington, DC

President/CEO, The Sanchez Ricardo Agency, Washington, DC

America Baez,, Chicago, IL

Talent Acquisition and Diversity Consultant, Chicago, IL

Bella A. Castillo,, Villa Park, CA

President and CEO, American Leadership Academy Inc., La Mirada, CA

Ruth Noemi Colon,, White Plains, NY

Acting Secretary of State, New York, NY

Judy Davidds-Wright,, Anaheim, CA

Director of Community Partnerships, GreenDot Public Schools, Los Angeles, CA

Georgina Fabian,, Chicago, IL

President, The International Business Law Group, LLC, Chicago, IL

Claudia P. Granados,, Newark, NJ

Senior Advisor to Mayor Cory A. Booker, Newark, NJ

Lucia Moraes Jennings,, Atlanta, GA

Demand Planning Manager, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA

Denise Jovanovich,, Lincoln, NE

Assistant Zone Marketing Manager, State Farm, Lincoln, NE

Patricia Lally,, Seattle, WA

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Dept. of Justice, Seattle, WA

Madeline LaSalle,, Arlington, VA

Minority Achievement Coordinator, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA

Nidia (Fernandez) Malone,, Collegeville, PA

Product Source Management Manager, Merck & Co., Inc., West Point, PA

Christine Marquez-Hudson,, Denver, CO

CEO, Mi Casa Resource Center, Denver, CO

Roymi V. Membiela,, Coral Gables, FL

Corporate VP Marketing & Public Relations, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, FL

Olivia Mendoza,, Lakewood, CO

Executive Director, Colorado Latino Forum, Denver, CO

Esmeralda T. Mora,, Pasadena, CA

LA Urban Teacher Residency Field Director, Center For Collaborative Education, Los Angeles, CA

Maria Luisa Ramos,, Phoenix, AZ

Director, American Dream Academy, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Lissette Resto,, Staten Island, NY

Director of Professional Development and Training, Episcopal Social Services, New York, NY

Aida H. Schaefer,, Inver Grove Heights, MN

Senior Finance Manager, Best Buy Co., Inc, Richfield, MN

Lourdes Tinajero,, Washington, DC

Program Manager and Analyst, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Ana M. Valdez,, Arlington, VA

Executive Director, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, Washington, DC

The 2011 Fellows join a network of over 500 distinguished Hispanic women who have graduated from the Executive Leadership Program.

Some of NHLI’s alumnae include Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Representative to the Organization of American States (Class of 1989); former New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, now Executive Vice-president of Multicultural Markets and Engagement at AARP (Class of 2001); Elizabeth Montoya, Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Personnel Management (Class of 1992); Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation (Class of 2003); Esmeralda Santiago, author (Class of 1990); Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino’s Executive Director, (Class of 2004); and Nely Galan, Media Mogul & President of Galan Entertainment (ELP Class of 1989).

As the only executive program for Latinas, NHLI has been recognized with the Independent Sector award, by the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute and named among the 20 top leadership programs by Latino Leaders magazine, among other acknowledgments.

According to NHLI’s Impact Study:  Transforming Latina Leaders and Communities – a comprehensive assessment of NHLI leadership programs over the last twenty years – NHLI has had a significant impact on communities across the country through more than 500 alumnae leadership projects, some of which have spun into national organizations such as the National Latino Children’s Institute, directly reaching more than 35,000 Latinas and touching hundreds of thousands of lives. Furthermore, over the last two decades, alumnae have directly provided one-on-one mentorship to more than 5,000 Latinas.

In addition to the Executive Leadership Program, NHLI offers the Latinas Learning to Lead program for young Latinas (17-22 years) enrolled in college, regional Latina Empowerment Conferences in various cities, an annual Executive Leadership Training Conference and Mujer Awards (Los Angeles, CA November 2-4), and online training seminars.

Applications for the 2012 Executive Leadership Program and other trainings will in the spring at available at .

The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) is a leadership development organization focused on Latina leaders. Founded in 1987, NHLI has trained and empowered more than 10,000 Latina leaders from the public and private sectors who have been appointed to leadership positions in government, corporate America, nonprofits, foundations or have started their own businesses. NHLI’s mission is to develop Hispanas as ethical leaders through training, professional development, relationship building, and community activism.

SOURCE National Hispana Leadership Institute


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