Hispanic Leadership Summit of NJ

2012 Hispanic Leadership Summit Speakers

Dinner Gala Keynote Speaker


US Senator Bob Menendez

Bob Menendez’s story is a quintessential American story. He grew up the son of immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators. He has earned the reputation of a fighter for New Jersey families who puts their economic security and hometown security ahead of powerful special interests.

A product of New Jersey's public schools and a graduate of the state's universities, Bob learned early on the importance of standing up for what's right, no matter how powerful the opposition. He first entered public service as a 19-year-old college student when he witnessed shortcomings in the public education system and launched a successful petition drive to reform his local school board. He stood up to corruption in Union City as a witness against the political machine in a Federal trial.

He has served as a school board member, a mayor and a state legislator. Since 1993, he has been standing up for New Jersey families in Washington, where he rose to become the third-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After being elected to the U.S. Senate, Bob was soon appointed to be a member of the Senate leadership during his first term, serving as the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee where he successfully retained Democrats’ majority in the U.S. Senate.

Bob was sworn in to the Senate on January 18, 2006, having been appointed by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to fill the remainder of his term. Later that year, New Jerseyans elected Bob to serve a full six-year term as United States Senator. He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Foreign Relations. Bob is also the Chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development; and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs.

Awards Luncheon Keynote Speaker


Congressman Rob Andrews

On November 4th, 2008, Congressman Rob Andrews received more votes than anyone elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the history of the State of New Jersey. He received a total of 206,453 votes that year, surpassing the previous state record, which he also set. He won the seat again in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote. He has represented the residents of the First Congressional District of New Jersey, which includes parts of Camden, Gloucester and Burlington Counties, since he was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Working For Constituents

Congressman Andrews has a bright vision for South Jersey, which sits directly between our nation’s political and financial centers of Washington and New York. Every day, he fights for programs to bring new and permanent jobs to the district. He wants to upgrade the energy infrastructure, roads, and sewer capacities of South Jersey, as well as promoting solar and other alternative energy sources, so that the First District of New Jersey can be the working industrial hub of the East Coast.

Throughout his eleven terms in Congress, Rob has worked to create and retain good jobs in South Jersey. He facilitated the creation of high tech jobs in Camden through the Applied Communications and Information Networking (ACIN) project, and he coordinates with business heads throughout the district on an ongoing basis to build and expand smart, future-oriented growth. Recently, Rob secured millions of federal dollars to create an alternative energy program at Maguire Air Force Base, which will eventually create over 1,000 jobs.

While he works hard to help South Jersey businesses, Rob only supports government spending when it is sensible and useful for taxpayers. For instance, Rob recently secured $2.5 million to repair a sluicegate in Gloucester County, which will prevent a potentially catastrophic flood. However, he has continually fought to prevent wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to dredge the Delaware River, as the plan makes no economic sense and would negatively impact the local environment. Congressman Andrews wants to create jobs and build the economy of the future in South Jersey, not waste taxpayers’ money on backward projects. (more...)

Mr. Jorge P. Silva-Puras
SBA Regional Administrator
US Government


As a Hispanic member of the Obama Administration, I am proud to join in the celebration of the Hispanic Heritage month, and hopefully be able to assist Hispanic business owners achieve their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs.

I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but have lived in Connecticut, Texas, Ohio and currently in New York City.  As such, I am one of millions of Puerto Ricans who have embarked on what we have come to call the "guagua aerea"  (or "airbus" in Spanish) which exemplifies the constant flux of Puerto Ricans coming from or moving back to the Island.  Today, more Puerto Ricans live in the Continental US than in Puerto Rico.  But no matter where they live, they exhibit a constant pride of their origin, culture, language and, more relevant to my current role at the SBA, a great sense of entrepreneurship.

To nurture that entrepreneurial spirit, over the course of the past year I have been talking with Hispanic business leaders across New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  I have also met with various Hispanic Chambers of Commerce throughout the Region.  During those conversations, several recurrent topics have been highlighted to help businesses expand and grow, such as need for more capital, more incentives to small businesses, more opportunities for Hispanic workers, faster permitting processes and the need for immigration reform.  All these topics are being addressed proactively by the White House. (More...)

NJ Department of of Human Services

Jennifer Velez was confirmed as Commissioner of the NJ Department of Human Services in 2007; re-nominated by Governor Chris Christie and re-confirmed in March 2010. She served as one of the Department's Deputy Commissioners from January 2006 until her nomination.
DHS has the largest budget in state government, with over 15,000 employees - approximately 75-percent of them serving as direct care workers in the  state-run developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals. About one in eight New Jersey residents is impacted by the work of DHS.
Commissioner Velez works in partnership with the Administration on initiatives including:  Medicaid reform; advancing supported placement of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness in the community; creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and sustaining the safety-net of services made available for NJ's low income individuals and families.
Velez was named First Assistant Child Advocate in the Office of the Child Advocate when it was created in September 2003.  Previous to that role, she served as Senior Associate Counsel and Assembly Liaison in the Office of Governor's Counsel for three Administrations. (more ...)

Workshop Panelists


Latinos, Alza Tu Voz!

Roberto Frugone
La Causa NJ


Nancy Santiago Negron
Acting Deputy Director
NJ Department of Labor


Barry E. Lefkoitz

Founder & President
Management and Government Resources

David Matos, Jr.Founder & President
The Matos Group


Latinos in Law Enforcement: A Unique Perspective

Ralph Padilla
Retired Chief
Salem County Prosecutor's Office


Miguel Cartagena
President New Jersey Latino Police Officers Association

Carmelia M. Valdes

Prosecutor, PassaicCou.


Captain Andres Lopez

Captain, NJ State Police


Immigration Issues for Non-Citizen Parties Navigating the Justice System

Jon Diego
Chief Prosecutor

Atlantic City Prosecutor's Office


Inez Acosta
Prosecutor, Vineland


Jorge F. Coombs, Esq.
Youngblood, Lafferty & Sampoli P.A. - Linwood


Ernest Aponte, Esq.
Law Office of Ernest Aponte, P.C., Atlantic Cit, NJ

Civic Engagement: Hispanics in all levels of Government

Carmen Rodriguez
Camden County Freeholer


Gladys Lugardo Hemple
Council President
Bridgeton, NJ


Ginny Betteridge
Former Mayor of Runnemede, NJ


Francisco Moran
Council President
Camden, NJ


Mayra Arroyo
Vineland, NJ


Carlos Rodriguez

School Board Member
Pennsauken, NJ


Carmen M. Garcia, Esq
Associate Board Member Juvenile panel of the New Jersey State Parole Board


Fearless Leaders: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Wanda Garcia
Associate Director
Community Leadership Center


Gloria Bonilla-Santiago
Board Chair
LEAP Academy University Charter School


Isabel Nazario
Associate VP Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities

Rutgers University


Nancy Ruiz
Leap Academy University Charter School


Hispanics Making their Mark in Various Industries

Ray Lamboy

President, LAEDA


Jorge P. Silva-Puras

US SBA Regional Adminstrator


Rev. Eunice Jose

Business Owner, Loida Development Center


Josue Figueroa

Branch Manager, Susquehanna Bank


Accessing Capital Through Fundraising and Grant Writing

Director, City of Camden Department of Code Enforcement

Gladys Santana

Loan Officer, Camden Empowerment Zone

Elsa Candelario

Executive Director, Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey

Susan Bass Levin

President and CEO, Cooper Foundation at Cooper University Hospital



Marketing Mixx "The Power of Media in the Hispanic Community!

Yolanda Jimenez-Colon
Nikao Communications


Carla P. Morales
Landmark Productions, LLC


Jael Moreno Conde
Marketing Director
El Zol Philly 1340


Uriel Rendon
General Manager
El Zol Philly 1340


Alberto Lopez
Producer & Host
Latino Motion Channel 47 Atlantic City


Beyond the Church Walls: The Influence of Latino Church Leaders in a Secular Society


Rev. Emilio Marrero

Minister Reuel M. Robinson


Perspective on Violence: Transforming and Leading our Latino Youth Pa'lante

Lesley Mateo
Human Resources Genaralist
Rowan University


Marilyn Martinez
Pennsauken Public Schoos


Angel M. Osorio
Board Facilitator
District Council Collaborative Boards


Aleida Silva Garcia
Eastern Univesity



NJ Government and the Latinos Making Things Happen

Francisco Maldonado
Associate General Counsel
NJ Assembly Majority Office


Marlene Caride
Telecommunications & Utilities Committee


Gabriela Mosquera
Wmen and Children Committee


Annette Quijano


Abraham Lopez Director
Hispanic Affairs Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of the Governor


Los Lideres of Tomorrow

Government Professional; Business  & Political Advisor


Arlene Quinones-Perez, Esq.


Alyana V. Gomez

News Anchor/Producer, WMDT 47 News - an ABC Affiliate on Delmarva

Wall Street Equity Analyst and Community Activist



A Closer Look at Obama Care, After the Supreme Court Ruling

2012 Hispanic Leadership NJ Member


Pete Fratterelli, Esq.

Partner, Archer & Greiner, P.C.


Yarrow Williams Cole

Regional Coordinator, New Jersey Citizen Action
Policy and Communications Coordinator,New Jersey Citizen Action

How to Effectively Re-engage and Instill Hope and Democracy in Troubled Times

Rafael Collazo

Regional Director, National Council ofLaRaza


Felisha Reyes-Morton

Camden City School Board Member and Committeewoman


Bryan Morton

President of Concerned Citizens of North Camden


Felix Moulier

Citizens Campaign, South Jersey Coordinator


Claudia Vargas

Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer Newspaper