Leading Political Strategist
Ana Navarro is one of the leading Latino Republican political voices in the United States. She is a popular political commentator currently on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. Since 2015, she has been a frequent recurring guest panelist on ABC’s The View. The Miami News Times named her a “Republican power-consultant,” and the Tampa Bay Times called her a “sought-after voice in Republican politics and an adviser for any presidential hopeful.” Since the 2016 presidential elections, Navarro has bravely spoke out against the controversial comments and anti-immigrant bans coming out of the current president and administration. As a result, Latinos, not just Republicans but Democrats and Independents have endeared and surrounded her with support for putting country above party. The Nicaraguan born scholar earned her B.A. from the University of Miami in 1993, and a Juris Doctorate in 1997.
Stacie M. De Armas
Senior Entertainment Industry Executive
Stacie M. de Armas is Vice President Strategic Initiatives & Consumer Engagement and a Public Affairs Leader within Nielsen’s Diversity & Inclusion practice. As a subject matter expert for the U.S. Hispanic market, she works to elevate the understanding of the power and contributions of the Hispanic consumer by turning data into insights and stories. Stacie also works to increase Nielsen’s brand awareness with multicultural organizations, leaders and consumers—elevating the understanding of Nielsen’s measurement practice. She joined Nielsen in 1998 and sits on the advisory council of the Association of National Advertisers—AIMM Initiative. In 2017 she was honored by the Imagen Foundation as one of the most Powerful and Influential Latinas in Entertainment. She is also an adjunct lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles
The Latina View Panel (Main Stage)
Founder and Producer, Latinas & Power
Having grown up in an urban neighborhood Marilyn learned early on about the importance of giving back to the community and volunteerism. Her parents migrated to the U.S. from Puerto Rico in the early 1950’s and instilled the importance of “la Familia”, culture our language and being involved in” La Communidad”. After high school, she went on to earn a B.A from the University of CT. in Storrs, CT and later an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.
Marilyn has worked in corporate arena for more than twenty years where she has held numerous management positions within the airlines, pharmaceutical, education, financial and health insurance industries. Her most recent success as founder and producer of the Latinas and Power Symposium® (LPS), is achieving national recognition and will celebrate its 15th anniversary in May 2018. The annual one-day inspirational and professional development platform designed for the Latina on the go.
Senior Financial Advisor & Author
Bárbara Serrano is author of the popular financial book, Rica…Libertad Financiera para la Mujer (Spanish Edition), RICH…Financial Literacy for Women. Barbara wrote this book to help women understand that money is a powerful energy, that we need to utilize to maximize our talents to the fullest so that we may be of greater service to others and to work hard with passion in our chosen professions and plan for the future. She is a Senior Executive at one of the largest companies in South Florida and New York. She currently appears as a financial advisor on shows like Un Nuevo Dia (NBC-Telemundo), Despierta America (Univision Network), and CNN en Español. Serrano graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Young Business Women” for creating the first TV program of economics in Puerto Rico. Bárbara Serrano is popular not just in the USA but in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Not bad for a woman whose odyssey to success began after her reign as Miss World of Puerto Rico in 2001.
IT Quality Assurance Manager, MassMutual Financial Company
Glenda Ciampa is an IT Quality Assurance Manager of the MassMutual Financial Company. She also serves in three Diversity and Inclusion committees: MassMutual Technology and Administration, MassMutual Latino’s BRG ALMMA and in the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) Boston board as Chief Relationship Officer. Glenda has worked for Corporate American for 20 years. She started as an Intern and worked up to a Director of Technology. Currently she works as an IT Quality Assurance Manager as she leads the team with Agile and DevOps principals to assure quality standards are met. Glenda is committed to Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. In the committees and in the board she serves she works with leaders to integrate ideas and support changes that relates to the organization’s mission. Glenda is also a real estate investor. She has focused on buying property in the Boston and New Hampshire areas. Glenda is married to Marco and has two beautiful daughters, Arianna and Isabella.
Women’s Campaign School, Yale University.
Patricia Russo is a nationally respected leader focused on improving the quality of life for women in Connecticut and the United States. For over twenty five years she has held numerous leadership positions in public, private and not for profit organizations centered on women’s rights. She has also held leadership positions on federal, state and local political campaigns.
Currently, Patricia serves as Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. The Women’s Campaign School at Yale is a non partisan, issue neutral political campaign training program for women interested in running for public office, and for women interested in campaign management. Based at Yale Law School, it is a leading program attracting women from the U.S. and internationally. She is also a member of the Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale University and chairs its Philanthropy and Communications Committee.
While an undergraduate student, Patricia served as an intern to U.S. Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug (D-NY), who inspires her to this day.
VP for Campaigns
AARP’s National & State Public Advocacy Campaigns
Belen Mendoza currently serves as the Vice President for Campaigns at AARP, leading a team of 17 who are responsible for executing AARP’s national and state public advocacy campaigns. She was formerly at Microsoft Latin America (LATAM), as Internal Communication Director. Belen has over 15 years of experience designing, executing and providing successful strategic counsel to political clients, non-profits, foundations and corporations. Throughout the years Belen has worked on numerous federal and statewide campaigns across the country: Southwest Regional Political Director (Hillary for President Campaign), Director of Political Outreach (America Votes), and she also worked at NDN, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She earned her B.A. at Florida International University and resides in Washington DC.
Breakout Session Speakers
Natalia E. Arbulu
Director, Diversity Communications and Education Strategy, MassMutual
At MassMutual, Natalia E. Arbulu helps drive greater inclusion through education, communications, consultation and facilitation. In her role, Natalia manages MassMutual’s diversity and inclusion education programs, focusing on the development of culturally competent and inclusive leadership. In addition, she creates internal and external communications that foster understanding of MassMutual’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
Natalia is the recipient of MassMutual’s 2014 Service Excellence Award for her delivery of high-quality results to her clients in challenging assignments. Natalia has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Connecticut.
Entrepreneur, Master Trainer & Author
A renowned fitness guru and entrepreneur, Karla Medina is owner and master trainer at Sudor Taino® Group Fitness, a studio dedicated to enhancing people’s individual journey towards health, fitness and life. In March of 2018, Karla pioneered the Divinely Fit Summit and launched her first book. She is a 20-year retired Police Sergeant veteran of the Hartford Police Department and is currently a State of Connecticut Training Officer. She earned her B.S. in Business Management and Master’s Degree in Public Policy along with many other certifications and trainings. The recipient of the 2014 Latina Symposium Entrepreneur of the Year, Karla is known for being an energetic motivational speaker and philanthropist.
Francisco Genko-ji Lugoviña
Buddhist Priest and Roshi in the Zen Peacemaker Order
Francisco Genko-ji Lugoviña is an ordained Buddhist priest and Roshi in the Zen Peacemaker Order (descended from the Soto Zen lineage of Japan); is a member of the Zen Peacemaker Circles and Peacemaker International; and is the founder of the Hudson River Peacemaker Center – House of One People in Yonkers, New York. His core teachers are Sandra Jishu Holmes and Roshi Bernard Glassman.
He has attended and co-facilitated numerous retreats in Auschwitz, Birkenau and street retreats in various US cities with Roshi Bernie and Roshi Grover Genro Gauntt. He received a Certificate for the successful completion of the Bearing Witness Training Program from the founder of the ZPO, Roshi Bernie. Francisco participated in a vision quest in the high desert of New Mexico under the guidance of Roshi Joan Halifax and also traveled with Roshi Halifax on a month-long pilgrimage to Tibet. He completed an intensive 8-week MBSR program with Jon Aron at the New York Insight Meditation Center, New York; and completed a practicum for teachers in MBSR with Diane Reibel, Ph.D, at the Jefferson Myrna-Brind Center for Integrative Medicine, in Philadelphia, PA.
Francisco is a retired businessman with a strong background in financial and real estate consulting and development.
Over the years Luz Ramos has always been in business for herself. As an actress she understood the importance of creating a brand (when it wasn’t a thing) and because of that, achieved success with numerous debuts on television and film as SAG/AFTRA member for over 20 years. She has achieved many firsts: The First Puerto Rican woman to broadcast live for the NFL from the field of play, First Puerto Rican woman to launch ESPN Deportes and anchor Sports Center, First to be featured in an Olive garden campaign for general English market TV and has been recognized as one of the most 50 influential Latinos in Connecticut. In recent years she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant and has been equally successful in that industry, she now has 2 restaurants a food truck and the 3rd is on the way. If you ask her what is her most fulfilling role to date, she will undoubtedly tell you, it is that of being a mom to her three kids and a daughter to an amazing woman.
Chief Technology and Administrative Officer, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Mark Roellig is Chief Technology and Administrative Officer at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (“MassMutual”), a mutual life insurance company run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company is number 77 in Fortune’s ranking of America’s largest corporations, and has more than $675 billion in total assets under management. Mark is accountable for leading the organizations responsible for the technological and physical infrastructure that supports MassMutual’s ongoing business and enterprise goals. This includes the management and oversight of information technology systems and architecture, advancing the role technology plays as a strategic driver of MassMutual’s success, as well as the corporate administration, real estate and facilities functions. From 2005 through January 2017, Mark served as MassMutual’s General Counsel and was also responsible for the corporate secretary, corporate compliance, internal audit, and government relations organizations. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan, his law degree from George Washington University and earned his MBA from the University of Washington.
CIO, MassMutual Institutional Solutions
Tara works at MassMutual as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Institutional Solutions business. Tara is a strategic and proactive CIO with over 20 years combined experience in Technology Program Delivery, Change Management, Information Security, IT Audit, Information Risk Management, IT Compliance, and Data Privacy. Tara is a proven leader at partnering with the business to understand their current and future business needs and in turn connect them to the right technology solutions at the right time. Additionally as a champion for Diversity and Inclusion, Tara leads and chairs the MassMutual Technology & Administration (MMTA) Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the mission of enabling a dynamic, innovative diverse and inclusive MMTA organization by attracting, educating, recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting diverse talent.
She is a certified information systems auditor (CISA), certified information systems security professional (CISSP) and is also certified in risk and information systems controls (CRISC). She obtained her BA from Mount Holyoke College and earned her MBA with a concentration in management information systems from Western New England University.
CEO, Shades of Success, Inc.
Anna helps clients and their organizations navigate change by challenging their assumptions, biases, and behaviors. She inspires women into action in light of uncertainty and inequity. Anna works with a variety of clients spanning industries and geographies, from first-generation college students, to scientists, to senior executives. Her clients include Harvard University, MIT, Dell/EMC among many others. Her work has been published in El Planeta, Color Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Her analysis has been featured on CNN, CNBC and PBS, and in The New York Times and BusinessWeek. She recently co-authored two articles on Gender Microinequities and Bystander Training in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. In 2006, Anna’s editorial commentary was awarded national recognition at the First National Ethnic Media Awards.
CEO, The Latinista
A self-proclaimed Linkedin Nija, Yai Vargas, is founder of The Latinista, a national and global network of women and Latina professionals invested in professional development and career mobility. She works as a National Multicultural Communications and Marketing Manager for New York Life, charged with developing and implementing integrated marketing initiatives, internal communications and collateral material strategist. As a multicultural marketing expert, Yai has worked with Fortune 100 companies to help develop their connection with the community. A LinkedIn expert, she’s helped many leaders build on their executive and personal brands. She is a lead on NYL Women’s ERG and is sub-committee leader for the Latino ERG and LGBT ERG ally. Born in the Dominican Republic and immigrating to the U.S. at a young age, Yai’s is a familiar story many can relate to. In everything about Yai, her cultural and social nuances, along with family traditions are woven into her distinctive brand. She holds a B.S. in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Marketing Certification from New York University.
B. Marisol Herrera
Manager, Minority Business Enterprise Services, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC)
2nd Vice President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bridgeport
Marisol is the Manager of MBE Services for the GNEMSDC. She provides support to the GNEMSDC Team helping to Certify, Develop, Connect and Advocate.
Marisol Herrera was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in a multi-cultural, English-as-a-Second-Language environment. As part of her commitment to the Hispanic and minority business community, Marisol serves as Board Member to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bridgeport. Her background, like many modern Hispanic women, is eclectic. She has been co-owner of a small construction company called Rockman Construction, worked for Gateway and Housatonic Community Colleges, Environmental Review Officer for the City of Bridgeport, and TESOL Instructor at Sacred Heart University. She enjoys fitness, museums, action movies, dancing, and spending time with family. Marisol resides in Milford, Connecticut, with her three children.
Director of Certification and MBE Services GNEMSDC
Denise is responsible for adding value to MBEs and Stakeholders affiliated with the GNEMSDC. Formerly Eastern Council and Assistant Executive Director to the Directors Guild of America, Inc., Denise founded a boutique marketing firm that connected high net worth consumers with artists and global brands An expert in experiential platforms, her Company Sydren curated the Monaco Music of Film Festival Monte Carlo. She recently co-authored an article published in the Hollywood Reporter about discrimination in the entertainment business. Denise is the mother of three children and resides with her husband, youngest son and dog Quil. She is passionate about assisting in the success of “minorities” in business and educational opportunities.