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August 17, 2007 - Hispanic Women of Distinction - Honor 12 outstanding Latinas

What: A Tribute to 12 Latinas who have made significant contributions in South Florida

Where: Signature Grand

When: Friday, August 17, 2007

Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Beneficiary: Silent Auction benefits Women of Spanish Origin and the March of Dimes


Co-Chair(s): Elaine Vasquez & Lisa Miceli

Committee Members: Lisa Miceli, Luncheon Co-Producer & Design Artist; Bonnie Caporale, Tables Coordinator; Kim Davis & Sally Mangos, Silent Auction Committee; Ave Keller & Zola Keller, Fashin ShowVolunteer Consultants; Andre West & Mariella Adrian, Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale; Contour Day Spa at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Make-up and Hair Design; Joselyne Perez-Gago, Volunteer Committee; Syndia Nazario, Former Honoreee Chair; George Olson, Photographer, Lily Garcia, Signature Grand Luncheon Coordinator; Michael Goodman, Script Writer; Printing: Whilesale Printers and Print Dynamics; Sound: Driven Productions Lighting; Signature Grand AV; Entertainment: Yelitze & Jose Flores; Stage Design, Ted Boyd, ME Productions; Flowers: Donated by Eden Florists, Heidi Richards SUPPORT: Linda Stepenovitch, Rebecca Ward, Sandy Lozano, Dina McDermott, Maria Soldani, Jim Norton, BeverlyDominguez, Mry Bevilacqua, Kristen Drago, Tina Locay, Suzanne Sweeney, Linda Malave-Rasche, Richelle Doliner, Laurie Sallarulo, Shawn Ponce,Dash Lopez, Xuxa Lopez, and, Bank of America and Special Thanks to Erwin M. Vasquez, M.D.

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsors: BANK OF AMERICA and LATINA STYLE MAGAZINE: Thanks also to these wonderful sponsor: Maroone, an Auto Nation Company * J.M. Family Enterprises * Weston Jewelers * South Florida Business Journal * AT&T * HCA Healthcare * Miramar/Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce * Latin TMS, Inc. * TRI RAIL * Humana * Ana G. Mendez University * Paramount Vending MEDirect Latino * Hispanic USA * Comcast * New York Life Insurance * Jackson Memorial*Signature Grand * Event-Treats*Nova School of Humanities & Psychological Services * Cleveland Clinic * Society Social * Las Olas Magazine * Weston/Parkland Lifestyle * El Heraldo de Broward * Business in Broward * BECON TV * Conexiones * Expressions Magazine * Revista Portada * Univision 23 & Telefutura 69 * Black Tie South Florida * Advanced Cable TV * * El Mercado de Dinero USA * Venezuela al Dia * Maxine Tulloch Show * VIA * ME Productions * Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale * Rebecca Romero * Advanced Cable TV

Blacktie Photos by: Ginny Fujino

The Blacktie Photo Gallery is sponsored by:

 2007 Hispanic Women of Distinction
2007 Hispanic Women of Distinction



The Latina audience at the annual charity luncheon reaffirms Broward's Hispanic growth


 With the support of more than 24 sponsor underwriters and media partners, the 6th annual Hispanic Women of Distinction luncheon surpassed it's expectations with 817 guests filling the ballroom and atrium of the Signature Grand in Davie Florida on Friday, August 17th.  Over $20,000 was raised for the March of Dimes and Women of Spanish Origin, the luncheon's benefactors for 2007.


As the official kick-off of the Bank of America VIVA BROWARD! Calendar of Events, the Hispanic Women luncheon began as a tribute to showcase the fashion and design of the Latin culture during Hispanic Heritage Month and an opportunity to recognize distinguished Latinas who have paved the way for so many others.


 "As title sponsors of Viva Broward! for almost ten years, we have lent our support to this important segment of the community providing opportunities for the diverse Latino families to showcase their culture, community and charitable endeavors," said Linda Stepenovitch, Vice President Market Development for Bank of America. 


The luncheon's program began with complimentary mojitos, tapas, Spanish music  and 40 former Hispanic Women of Distinction parading down the 90 foot runway to the music of Shaka Khan , I'M EVERY WOMAN.  Followed by special presentations to the presenting sponsors, Latina Style National Magazine, based in Washington, D.C. and Bank of America.  Robert  Bard, publisher, in his welcome comments included a moment of silence for the recent earthquake victims in Peru, and to the men and women serving in the Armed Forces.  Latina Style is considered one the nation's fastest growing publications for the Latin business woman and with their sponsorship of the Hispanic Women of Distinction Luncheon for the 3rd year in a row, clearly shows the major interest corporate America has with Broward and Palm Beach's diverse


The annual Latina Pioneer Award  was presented by  Erwin  M. Vasquez, M.D. founder of Viva Broward! and County Commissioner Diana Wasserman Rubin to Dr. Isabel Diaz, age 90,  a pediatrician who arrived to the shores of Miami in a wooden boat to begin a new life of freedom.   Dr. Diaz brought a heartworming message to the hundreds of Latinas in the audience, "nothing comes easy, you must work hard to reach the goals you believe in."   Wasserman-Rubin also presented her with a County Proclamation naming August 17th as ISABEL DIAZ day.


Once the thank you's were properly presented, Mistress of Ceremonies, Myriam Masihy, Broward Reporter for Univision and reigning beauty queen, Alejandra Espinoza, Nuestra Belleza Latina,  turned the microphone over to fashion designer Zola Keller of Las Olas and Mariella Adrian of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, who then brought the house down with a 30 minute designer fashion show with the original collections of 5 talented Hispanic students;  ANA RODRIGUEZ, KYRA JACHODE, MARIA SOLIS, JORGE J. ALOR and VIVIAN RUIZ.  Also included in the show were accessories provided by former Miss Universe, Barbara Palacios, a resident of Weston who also attended the luncheon and jewelry by Weston Jewelers.  


 Keller, who has been the fashion partner with Elaine Vasquez, luncheon's producer, volunteered her time and expertise to help make the show a professional tribute to the Hispanic talent in south Florida.  "Many tears came to the eyes of those in the audience when Zola closed the show with her own quinceanara gowns modeled by daughters of the honorees,' said Vasquez.  She understands many different cultures and is able to capture the important emotion of their fashions as well."


The finale included the individual honorees each walking the runway with special comments about their business success, education and community service were announced to the audience filled with family, friends, business associates and numerous elected officials.   The 2007 honorees were:  


NUVIA ABIGANTUS – President & CEO of Latin TMS, a property development company.   Nuvia is a resident of Pembroke Pines and is of Cuban heritage.


BERTHY de la ROSA-APONTE – Advocate/Presidential Appointee for Individuals with Disabilities.   Berthy lives in Cooper City and is of Colombian heritage.


ROSIE PUELLO-BURKMAN – V.P. Marketing for JM&A Group, a JM Family National Finance and Insurance Company.   Rosie is a resident of Boynton Beach and is of Cuban heritage.


TERESA FERNANDEZ – Chief Nursing Officer at Kendall Regional Medical Center.

Teresa lives in Hallandale Beach and is of Cuban heritage.


YVETTE FOURNIER FERNANDEZ, J.D. – Specialist Broward County School Multicultural/ESOL Program Services. Yvette lives in Coral Springs and of Puerto Rican heritage.


MYRIAM CAMPO-GOLDMAN – CEO, President of Harmony Development Center for troubled youth.   Myriam lives in Hollywood and is of Colombian heritage.


MERCEDES G. HENRIKSSON – City Commissioner of the City of Weston. Mercedes lives in Weston and is of Spanish/Dominican heritage.


BEATRIZ MINIACI – Producer, Life Works Entertainment & Consultant Bea Well Associates. Beatriz lives in Fort Lauderdale and is of Chilean heritage.


JEANETTE NUNEZ – Vice President,  Government Relations for Jackson Health System.   She lives in Miami and is of Cuban heritage.


PATRICIA SAN PEDRO – President, San Pedro Productions, a Public Relations Marketing firm and co-author of "Dish & Tell."  She lives in Coral Gables and is of Cuban heritage.


SILVIA STRADI – Chief Nursing Officer for Cedars Medical Center.  She lives in Loxahatchee and is of Cuban heritage.


STELLA J. TOKAR- President, CEO of Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce.   Stella lives in Miramar and is of Spanish heritage.

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