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.
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.
VICE PRESIDENT – 100 HISPANIC WOMEN, WESTCHESTER CHAPTER
Paulette Zalduondo – Henriquez, is the Director of External & Government Affairs for Lehman College of the City University of New York, (CUNY). She is responsible for raising private funds for the college’s programs and priorities.
From 2000-2003 she worked as assistant to the President at Hunter College of CUNY where she raised public funding for the restoration of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt NYC home on East 65th Street. Previous positions include Director of Government Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Program Officer for the New York State Department of Education, and Director of Marketing and Development for the Bronx Council of the Arts.
Ms. Henriquez is a founding member of the 100 Hispanic Women, Inc., New York. She is the recipient of numerous awards among them, the 2000 Martin Luther King, Living the Dream, Governor’s Award for 2000, Outstanding Achievement Award, YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester, and Community Service Award from the N.Y.S. Hispanic & Puerto Rican Legislators Task Force.
SECRETARY – 100 HISPANIC WOMEN, WESTCHESTER CHAPTER
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 a Senior Researcher with the Research Institute at the national headquarters of Girl Scouts of the USA in New York City. Since arriving in 2006, she has led evaluations of nationally funded initiatives and currently serves as consultant to studies associated with national program outcomes. She also helps oversee the Girl Scout Leadership Experience National Evaluation System and provides training and consultation to Councils on research/evaluation methods and data utilization.
Prior to Girl Scouts, Milagros spent seven years at the University of Illinois managing research and evaluation projects focusing on youth development. Before that, she served for six years as Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in a Chicago mental health center. Her current research interests are primarily geared toward building evaluation capacity and enhancing data-driven decision making in non-profit organizations.
Milagros holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Wayne State University and has completed all the required courses for a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois.
Zoe Colon, MPA is the Executive Director of the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck since July 2009. Under Zoe’s leadership, the programs and services have been strengthened, support from foundations and government has increased significantly doubling the budget, and the agency was moved onto a prime storefront location in the heart of the Village. Along with a dedicated and competent staff and volunteer base, she successfully launched Construyendo Nuestro Futuro (Building Our Future), a comprehensive workforce development program that responds directly to the needs and builds on strengths of the new immigrant low wage community of Westchester. Zoe has helped increase the agency’s visibility and credibility through numerous partnerships across the County, helping to pool resources and build on neighboring agencies’ competencies.
Prior to HRC, she served as Director of Children’s Programs at the Port Chester Carver Center, where she developed and managed education and enrichment programs for children and families for nearly four years. She was Bronx Site Director at Hispanic AIDS Forum where she managed a range of HIV prevention and service programs for persons affected by and/or living with HIV/AIDS. She has over thirteen years of program development and fundraising experience in the non-profit realm in New York City having worked at Montefiore Medical Center, The Children’s Health Fund, Casita Maria Settlement House, and the Puerto Rican Family Institute.
Zoe has a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College of Columbia University (double major in psychology and urban studies-political science) and a Master of Public Administration (specializing in non-profit management and policy) from New York University, Wagner School of Public Service. She currently serves as Board Treasurer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Zoe is an adjunct professor teaching courses in Latino studies at Lehman College and John Jay College of the City University of New York since 2006.
Ana Moran-Gonzalez is starting her eighth year 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. Ana was recognized 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.
Meiling Macias-Toro, is the Director of Broadcast Production at The Vidal Partnership. She has over 25 years experience in advertising and broadcast production. Meiling has produced advertising for the US Hispanic Market at Castor Advertising, Siboney, Conill and others.
Meiling also worked at UniWorld Group where she produced for the African American and Hispanic Market. Before Vidal, her last Director of Broadcast Production post was at Rapp Collins Worldwide, a direct response General Market agency. She has worked with clients such as; AT&T, Budweiser, Coke, Colgate, Ford, Kaiser Permanente, Nissan, Pepsi and Procter & Gamble, to name a few. She has covered location shoots around the US, Europe, North and South America. Her work has won numerous awards for excellence in communication to consumers.
Ms. Macias-Toro was awarded La Tribuna’s 1997 Distinguished Women Award, a Colgate-Palmolive Award and was named one of the El Diario La Prensa’s Distinguished Women of 1998. She is a proud founding member of 100 Hispanic Women, where she contributes time to mentoring and fund raising for scholarships for young Latinas entering college.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Aleida (Ale’), M. Frederico. Honorary member. Ale is a Senior Vice President of Government Banking for TD North Bank. In her role, Ms. Frederico provides customized banking solutions for various municipal, civil service, education and not-for-profit institutions in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Frederico has 20 years of government banking and community development experience.
She volunteers her time as a board member for various local organizations including the Westchester County Association, Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board, White Plains Hospital, and the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is a trustee of Westchester Community College.
Ale’ has been the recipient of several awards including the Mercy College Exito Award, the YMCA of Yonkers Corporate Service Award, the Association of Hispanic Professionals Award of Honor, the Corporate Recognition Award from St. Judes/Institute for Human Dynamics, the Westchester Hispanic Coalition’s Leadership Award and was named one of El Diario La Prensa’s Distinguished Women of 2000. In 2006 she was the corporate walk chair for the American Diabetes Association Westchester Chapter and corporate dinner chair for the Westchester Coalition for Hungry and the Homeless.
Nereida Quiles, successfully transitioned to academia from the corporate world, and now is the Assistant Director of Admission, and adjunct professor at Concordia College in Bronxville. Nereida has served 100HWW as President, Vice President and board member. Currently, she serves as an advisory board member for 100HWW with communications, website and technology matters because she is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Executive Leadership at Saint John Fisher College.
Nereida is a consummate professional specializing in computer applications, communications, training and development, team building, sales, advertising, and marketing with a proven ability to manage projects and teams while generating increased sales revenues, penetrate new markets, build brand awareness, and enterprise-wide projects.
Previously with Ernst & Young LLP, Idearc Media, a subsidiary of Verizon, The Journal News, a division of Gannett Inc., as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies over her corporate career. At The Journal News, she held the responsibilities of Manager of Business Development and Technology Training in addition to other leadership and managerial positions. She has comprehensive experience leading and training large employee teams, coaching, online and print media advertising, sales, million-dollar account management and business operations.
Recipient of various sales achievement awards throughout her career, including Account Executive of the Year at The Journal News. Nereida has served as a keynote speaker at several Latina Leadership Forums and other events inspiring women of all ages to pursue their goals.
Nereida was Webmaster and designer of the 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester web site from 2006 – 2012, and Webmaster of our new site.
She holds a Bachelor degree in Economics from Lehman College, Bronx, NY; a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College School of Business, and currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Executive Leadership at Saint John Fisher College while working-full time at Concordia College.
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.