Once again, Hispanic Media LLC, home of Latinas Life Style, confirmed its commitment to the Latina woman by recognizing the professional work of outstanding professionals at “The Next Generation of Latinas” event. The conference which is part of an annual cycle honored the successful stories of women of Hispanic origin who live in Philadelphia.
The ceremony was celebrated at Tierra Colombiana Restaurant in Philadelphia on March 29 following the protective measures against COVID-19 transmission. It was attended by important personalities from the city’s Latino community who witnessed the official launch of the Latinas Life Style 360° communication and informative project.
El Sol Latino’s Advisory Board member, Lissy G welcomed the select audience of this important ceremony with her usual charm and enthusiasm and thanked the significant support from sponsors and allies of this Hispanic editorial group, namely: Aurora Home Care, Hispanic Community Counseling Services (HCCS); Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Uno Más Home Care.
Then, Ricardo Hurtado, President and CEO at Hispanic Media Company began his welcoming remarks by thanking the city for the massive vaccination campaign being carried out in the fight against the pandemic. “The City is doing a great job with the vaccination centers,” he said.
Hurtado expressed he was proud to highlight the Next Generation of Latinas and pointed out the role Hispanic Media plays in the city while facing a future marked by new challenges “I´m excited because Hispanic Media is writing history,” he stated.
An important time for women
As one of the main speakers of the event, Mayra Hernández, Vice President of Communications at PECO ENERGY congratulated the honorees and celebrated the launch of the Latinas LifeStyle 360° communication and informative project. Hernández underlined the significance of the event “during an important time for women and for Latinas specifically.” She added that “it´s time to celebrate our accomplishments and how far the women movement has come. And it´s also a time to recognize the tremendous amount of work that is still left to do for Latinas.”
With the purpose of conveying valuable information, Joanna Otero, Director of Community Services of the City of Philadelphia made a brief intervention to talk about the vaccination process and to call on residents to attend the centers to receive their corresponding doses.
An outstanding work
Nilda Ruiz, President and CEO of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) participated virtually and thanked Hispanic Media for recognizing the importance of women´s place in the society and which has been ignored for so many centuries. “It is so important to take a moment like this to recognize and celebrate members of our community, Latinas who are doing an outstanding work. Tonight we celebrate the Next Generation of Latinas leadership in Philadelphia!”
Latinas in leadership honored
Councilmember David Oh presented the four remarkable Latinas that were recognized for their professional performance. “I am so proud of our Latina leaders, their sacrifice and their commitment. I´m honored to be here, because I´m too a citizen of this city, a resident of this city and we need and appreciate the Latinas leadership,” the Councilmember said.
The first personality recognized was Diana Cortés who outstands as Philadelphia’s first Latina City Solicitor and is responsible for general counseling to the Mayor Administration and all city agencies, boards and commissions. She is a former litigator at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin P.C. Cortés is a graduate of Cornell University and Villanova University School of Law. She is also a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group.
In her speech, Diana revealed her deep pride in being Latina and the important role her family heritage has played in the consolidation of her roots. “They are a continuous inspiration to me,” she said.
Cortés also explained that the success in her professional performance as City Solicitor has been nurtured by the combination of proud for her cultural roots, hard work, perseverance and coraje. “If there is something valuable to work on, I will do that, but always remembering all my values, this Latina confidence has been essential all my life, in my career. In the words of my mother: You have to show them a Latina can do it, and even better.”
Damaris Feliciano was the next woman honored. She is currently the Director of Community Services and Strategic Initiatives and is responsible for establishing and supporting relationships between the community, non-government agencies and the City of Philadelphia. She also leads Mission Area 7 which mobilizes the community for the Philadelphia Resilience Project, a multi-pronged initiative established to address the opioid epidemic. Damaris holds a bachelor and master’s degree in business administration from Arcadia University.
Upon receiving her well-deserved recognition, Feliciano expressed her enthusiasm for being able to share this important moment with her colleagues. “It´s so nice to be here celebrating my colleagues and celebrating the Latinas,” she said.
Then came the participation of Christina Hernandez who is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff at the City of Philadelphia. She has a Bachelor´s Degree in History and Spanish from Penn State University and a Juris Doctor´s Degree from the James E. School of Law at Temple University.
Hernandez celebrated her recognition with an emotional statement that symbolizes the solid conformation of his identity: “I am Boricua,” she cried full of proud. The Deputy Chief added that she has worked hard for the skills and education that she acquired “for the benefits of my community, and to be recognized for that work is a tremendous honor.”
Irene Contreras was the last recognized personality of the evening, but it was impossible for her to assist to the reception. Contreras is currently the Director of Communication and Digital Engagement at the City of Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office and is responsible for the external communication plans and digital engagement strategies of Philly Counts. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Arts in Marketing and Advertisement from Universidad Santa María, Venezuela.
Despite the joy at this celebration of successful stories, it was inevitable to remember the difficult times the world has endured during the pandemic. Therefore, during the event, the memory and grief of the death of so many people was honored with a moment of respectful silence.
The meaning of “essential”
Ricardo Hurtado also had some words for the performance of the editorial group he represents. He pointed out that the evolution of the media product has been materialized thanks to the local inversion. With these remarks he introduced Lola Mananova, CEO of Aurora Home Care who stressed her feeling of gratitude toward the Latino community because it has “taught her a lot,” especially during the difficult recent times. “When people talk about essential businesses, for us it was just ´essential´, but this year we really understood how essential it can be. 98% of our employees are women and they serve, heroically every day, seniors, kids and families. I want to thank them for that a lot.”
For closing the event, the Hispanic Media CEO, invited the audience “to invest in the relationship that you have, make the community survive by what we are doing locally.”