National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 20 Years of Latina Leadership Search
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NHLI  2010 Executive Leadership Training Conference & Mujer Awards

2008 Conference Highlights
Schedule of Events | Awardees | Sponsors | Keynote Speakers | Presenters | Authors | 2008 Conference Webcast | Photo Gallery


   

Latina Authors

Christine Benitez

Cristina Benitez

For two decades, Cristina Benitez has developed a wide range of branding and marketing programs that target the growing Latino population in the U.S. In 1998, she founded Lazos Latinos, a specialty Hispanic, strategic branding and advertising company based in Chicago. Its mission is to build leadership by embracing, understanding and respecting Latino employees and consumers. Formerly senior vice president of ethnic marketing at DraftWorldwide where spearheaded Dimensión Draft, a nationally recognized study on Hispanics and direct marketing.  This research was the first of its kind to examine direct opportunities targeting Hispanic consumers. Before entering the field of marketing, Cristina spent eight years teaching Spanish at the secondary and college levels. Fluent in Spanish with conversational skills in French, Italian and German, Cristina attended the University of Georgia and received her undergraduate and Master's degrees from Furman University. Cristina is a board member of the Chicago Public Library, the Gateway Foundation, the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, Luna Negra Dance Theater, and serves on the Audience Development & Diversity Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art. She served on the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois, the Lt. Governor’s Ethnic Advisory Council, and the Advisory Council of the Women’s Business Development Center. Cristina is former vice chairman of Directo, the Hispanic Marketing Council of the Direct Marketing Association and a member of the American Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.  She teaches courses on Hispanic marketing at Columbia College and the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago and is a mentor to Latino youth for the Youth Economic Empowerment Initiative.  Cristina is a frequent speaker at national conferences on “Trends in the U.S. Hispanic Market” and “The Latinization of  the United States”.  In 2007, she wrote her first book, Latinization…How Latino Culture is Transforming the US, garnering the distinction of being its best selling book in 2007.

Suzanne Moreno

Suzanne Moreno

Suzanne is the Founding President/CEO of Encourage Tomorrow established in 1997. This educational nonprofit organization was formed to focus on the needs of young Latinas and has grown from a 10 student pilot project in Fresno, California, to serving 1,500 students and families statewide. She also is the President of Ed-Ventures in Education, which provides trainings and resources. Suzanne received an M.Ed, teaching credential and an M.S. in Business Management. She is a graduate of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equity) and is a founder of the Central California Latina Network which was formed to address the needs of Latinas in Central California. She also developed the “Las Hermanitas” Mentoring Program. She was recently awarded Business Woman of the Year at the Latina Women’s Conference through the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Fresno Nonprofit Advancement Council and is involved in many community events and volunteers with other local non-profits. She is co-author of the book The Latino’s Guide to Parenting.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Alisa is a journalist and former staff writer for both the Boston Globe and The Los Angeles Times. Fueled by creative inspiration and the desire to write the book that she always wanted to read but could never find, she wrote “The Dirty Girls Social Club.” A publishing phenomenon, released in both English and Spanish, the novel set off a bidding war between major publishing houses and became one of the most anticipated novels of the season. Time Magazine recently named Alisa one of America’s “25 Most Influential Hispanics,” calling her “The godmother of Chica-lit.” Her other novels include: "Playing with Boys", "Make Him Look Good", "The Haters", and most recently, “Dirty Girls on Top”. She is currently the new managing editor for Latino Perspectives magazine, an English-language monthly aimed at Latinos with a household income above $85,000—“the ‘forgotten’ segment of our population” in her words. In partnership with the magazine, Alisa will soon be delivering a weekly broadcast called “Latino POV,” covering various issues affecting the Latino community including the upcoming election. Her honors include being named one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Time Magazine and Woman of the Year by Latina Magazine, and Hispanic Business Magazine has twice named her among the 100 most influential Hispanics in the nation. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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