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Hispanic Achievers Gala Awards History


2000 Awards Recipients

Keynote Speaker

2000 Western Hemisphere Achiever of the Year
Xavier Romeu Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce
Government of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's Governor, the Honorable Pedro Rosselló, appointed Xavier Romeu as Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC) in December 1999. DEDC's main objective is to promote the development of a diversified economy in Puerto Rico and to improve the Island's business climate to attract new investment and promote the creation of new jobs.

As head of this agency, Mr. Romeu is responsible for the design and implementation of a policy that promotes Puerto Rico's economic development. This policy is implemented through seven agencies ascribed to the DEDC: The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), Tourism Company, Commercial Development Administration, Land Administration, Film Commission and Horse Racing Administration.

Currently, Mr Romeu chairs the Federal Affairs Committee of both the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Puerto Rican Bar Association. He is also a member of the D.C. Circuit, New York State, Southern District of New York and the District of Puerto Rico Bar Associations.

2000 National International Corporate Achiever of the Year
Frank Lazo
Senior Vice President
Warner Lambert's Confectionery Division

Having started his career in Peru, as a sales representative for Parke-Davis, Frank has traveled a long and successful journey, which has now expanded over thirty years. He has taken his optimism and passion for his work and humanity to many countries while holding several increasingly important responsibilities. For many years he sponsored and chaired the Committee for Diversity at Warner-Lambert, to create unity among different cultures from around the globe.

Despite his passion for his work and his attention to detail, Frank has never lost the human touch, which has meant so much to so many people. Having himself been an expatriate, he remains sensitive to the sacrifices made by families to adapt themselves to new places, make new friends, be accepted by new schools, and learn new languages and cultures. Frank and his family have often extended a helping hand and their family warmth to others facing the same challenges.

In May 1999, Frank was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President, Warner-Lambert's confectionery division. Despite his busy schedule, Frank also serves as a member of the Council of the Americas Advisory Boards.

2000 National Hispanic Corporate Achiever of the Year
Hector Erezuma
Vice President, International Tax Department

Hector Erezuma joined Colgate-Palmolive on May 1, 1992. He has been in his current position of Vice President of International Taxes as of 1996. His current assignment is the management of foreign Taxes for Colgate-Palmolive. A summary of current key projects include, the continued planning of Italian asset step up transactions that resulted in almost $20 million in tax benefits in 1999. Moving debt & expenses from the U.S. to foreign locations. Designing structures for acquisitions of new businesses around the world.

Hector was born in Argentina where he was educated through High School. He later attended Rutgers University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree, and Fairleigh Dickinson University where he earned his MBA Degree. Hector stays active in the community and serves as a corporate agent for the Rutgers University Foundation.

2000 National Woman of the Year
Susan Pacheco
President of Ford Unlimited Enterprise
Ford Motor Company

Susan Pacheco is President of Ford Unlimited Enterprise, within Ford Automotive Operations. She works on consumer focused opportunities which will transform the automotive experience.

Susan has been with ford Motor Company since graduating from Michigan State University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in June of 1984. Prior to her current assignment she was Chief Program Engineer responsible for the technical, sales and business execution of the 1999 F-150, Expedition and Navigator.

Susan has held various positions within product development including: Aerostar Vehicle Line Director, Export Explorer Program Manager and various Chassis engineering positions. She earned a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Detroit.

Susan celebrates her life with her sons, Alex and Adam Baker and her husband John Forsythe, while participating in community activities, soccer and singing.

2000 Director of the Year
Jose M. Mir
Director of Business Development- Entertainment Imaging Division
Eastman Kodak

Jose Mir has been recently appointed Director, Business Development and Strategy in Kodak's Entertainment Imaging division. He joined Kodak's Physics Division in 1975 as a Research Scientist. Jose's first assignment was focused on the development of a number of digital imaging technologies such as liquid crystal displays, laser scanning, digital input electrophotographic printers, electro-optic systems, and ASIC integrated circuit development. His efforts enabled the commercialization of some of Kodak's earliest digital imaging products. In 1984 Jose was appointed Department Head of the Ceramic Science Laboratory where he led the development of a very wide range of technologies such as organometalic precursor chemistry, thin film deposition, integrated optical devices, and structural ceramics. He also provided leadership to a multi-company initiative funded by the Department of Commerce developing blue lasers for optical recording and printing applications. Jose has written many referenced technical publications and holds a large number of US patents. He is a Kodak Distinguished Inventor.

Jose has been very active in corporate diversity initiatives and has had leadership roles in HOLA, Kodak's Hispanic Network, and Kodak's Hispanics Management Team. He derives great satisfaction from being a mentor and volunteers in community activities.

Maria Elisa Carvajal

Outstanding leadership of new products effort for US Personal Care. Key accomplishments include: Development of New Package shape for SS Liquid, launch of innovative "Fruits" bundle on SS liquid and body wash, launch of new 2 in 1 lotion/handsoap on SS liquid. Spearheaded AP/Deodorant production move to Morristown for Latin America-a significant cost harmonization step. Instrumental in Protex/Palmolive relaunch in Latin America behind improved ESP technology. Played critical role in the launch of Palmolive LHS in Mexico. Now the market leader. Outstanding coaching and development of New Product marketing team in US Personal Care.

Denise Washburn

Humble beginning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Moved to California to learn English at age 18. Attended Bringham Young English Language Center. Associate Accounting degree from Utah Valley College with Honors. Received Bachelor of Business Administration from Washburn University, Summa Cum Laude. Spent 5 years as a Tax Accountant at Wendling, Noe, Nelson, and Johnson and 4 years as Tax Manager at Holmes & Associates, Chartered. Joined Hills Pet Nutrition in October 1999. Was promoted 2 grade levels within one month based on her exceptional achievements and professionalism. Identified substantial recoveries for the Company in the form of tax credits and reduction in the company's overall tax liability identifying $4MM in savings. Serves on the Board of Directors of the NE Chapter of the KS Society of CPA's and also serves on the Commerce and Industry Committee of the KS Society of CPA's. Is a member of the AICPA and the Rotary Club. Is active in local politics with a wide range of contacts including KS state legislators and prominent business leaders. Single mother of 3. Is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and some Russian.

Eric Soto
Con Edison

Mr. Soto has served as the Manager of Community Affairs and Government Relations in the Bronx Public Affairs office since 1987. He is responsible for directing the corporate contributions program, provides technical assistance to non-profit organizations and has helped to create successful public events such as the Con Edison Science Bowl and the Bronx Riverkeeper Program. Recognized for his expertise in philanthropy, Eric has served on numerous grantmaking panels for the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and most recently with Partnerships for Parks. Prior to joining Con Edison, Mr. Soto worked as an advertising sales executive in television broadcasting and program syndication in New York City and Hartford. In addition, he was formerly a Manager in the Urban Affairs department at Chemical Bank where he was the bank's chief liaison to New York City's Hispanic communities and managed the grants and non-profit lending programs. Mr. Soto has served on numerous boards of non-profit organizations, including Citizens Advice Bureau and the Bronx Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is past chairman of The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and The National Puerto Rican Forum, the oldest Puerto Rican social services agency in the United States.

Evelyn Mariperisena

Evelyn Mariperisena began her career at DaimlerChrysler in 1996 in International Operations. She is currently Senior Manager of Public Relations for Latin America, Mid-East and Africa operations. Her responsibilities include planning, budgeting and directing product publicity and corporate communication activities in major foreign markets. She also manages vendor relations with public relations agencies in Brazil, Egypt, Venezuela, South Africa and UAE. During the past four years, she has led public relations programs for new vehicle introduction, including the 1996 Neon production launch in Venezuela, the 1998 Dodge Dakota launch in Argentina and Brazil and the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee launch in the Middle East and Latin American markets. Prior to joining DaimlerChrysler, Evelyn held a number of increasingly responsible positions at several public relation agencies specializing in Latin American marketing. Evelyn has a Master in International Management from Thunderbird and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University.

Michael A. Rodriguez-Chapman
FedEx Services Corporation

Michael A. Rodriguez-Chapman is a managing director at FedEx Services Corporation's world headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. Since March 1999, Rodriguez-Chapman has served on a select team that works directly with FedEx senior officers to set the strategic agenda, embed strategic thinking, and identify potential new markets for the corporation.

From 1995 to 1997 Rodriguez-Chapman served as manager of Headquarters Systems Development, supporting the Legal, Treasury, Security, Risk Management, and Corporate Travel departments. In 1992 he assumed the role of a senior marketing analyst within International Pricing, Forecasting, and Analysis. There he was responsible for technical and marketing support for international marketing, supporting Canada and Asia Pacific Middle East divisions.

From 1991 to 1992, Rodriguez-Chapman was a member of an International Tactical Team sent to Europe to identify and solve systems and procedural problems occurring in the European operations. As part of the assignment, he worked and resided in Paris, Milan, and Brussels.

Rodriguez-Chapman joined FedEx as a programmer in 1989. He holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

Rodriguez-Chapman and Michelle, his wife, live in Memphis, Tennessee. They have two children, Natalie, age four, and Matthew, age two.

Daniel P. Dow, CPA, CIA, CSIA
FedEx Services Corporation

Daniel P. Dow, CPA, CIA, CISA, is Managing Director, Internal Audit, for FedEx Corporation and has over eighteen years of experience in internal auditing and information systems. He has a B.S., Accounting, from Rutgers University. Dan also has a M.S., Business Administration, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a M.S.B.A., Telecommunications and Information Systems Management from Christian Brothers University. Dan has developed and taught courses in Information Systems Auditing and microcomputers, and published several articles in professional journals. He has spoken at numerous professional meetings and conferences. Dan is a member of the NSHMBA, AICPA, TSCPA, ISACA, IIM, and IEEE.

Eugenia Salinas
GE Medical Systems

Eugenia joined GE's Appliance business on the Technical Leadership Program in 1989. After TLP, she joined the GE Corporate Audit Staff where she traveled extensively across GE locations performing financial audits and process reviews in the capacity as Audit Manager. She joined GE Medical Systems in 1995 in the Americas Marketing organization as the Pricing Manager for Latin America. In 1996, she became the Marketing Manager for Latin America and was promoted to the Region Manager for Argentina in 1997. She was promoted to her current position as General Manager of Americas Marketing for GE Medical Systems in October 1999.

Vivian Alvarez
JP Morgan

Joined J.P. Morgan in '79 working as a payroll clerk in New York. Resigned in '81 to remain at home to take care of my children. Returned in '82 and, after working with Commercial Paper redemption for a two-year period, was transferred to Employee Relations in Human Resources (HR) to be responsible for various functions including STD Administration. Received a promotion to officer level in '91. Transferred to Delaware in '95 and currently work in Morgan Direct, providing services to HR and employees and responsible for managing three separate groups (13 people), network groups, Adelante-DE and Womens Interactive Network, as well as a member of the employee network group, Umoja-DE.

Josefa Delgado
JP Morgan

Joined J.P. Morgan New York in July 1970, as a typist and was assigned to the Wire and Cable department. Promoted to various positions within that department. In 1979, accepted a position as the liaison between the Operations and Systems areas. Appointed to Associate in 1994 and relocated to J.P. Morgan Services in Delaware. Currently working in Delaware Shared Services in the Cash Application Delivery area providing assistance and recommendations to internal clients in all locations. Currently a Steering Committee member of the employee network groups, Adelante-DE and Womens Interactive Network, as well as a member of the employee network group, Umoja-DE.

David Manniel
JP Morgan

Associate with J.P. Morgan & Co, Incorporated. I started at J.P. Morgan on April 20, 1992 in New York, at 60 Wall St. where I worked up until May 1st 1999. I am currently working out of Delaware's Morgan Christina Center, which has proven to be an excellent place to be at this point of my life and my career. I Manage the Regulatory Reporting and Data Control Groups, which consist of a team of 10 great and hard working individuals.

Ricardo Morales
JP Morgan

Ricardo joined JPM in January of 1999 in the Securities Processing Servicesbusiness. After eight months, he was hired into the Internal Consulting Services (ICS) group. JPM's ICS group is a training and development program geared to develop outstanding young professionals for future leadership roles within the firm.

In addition to his accomplishments as an ICS analyst, Ricardo is the founder and team captain of the Adelante employee network in JPM Delaware. After only five months of existence, Adelante-DE has more than 30 JPM professionals whose main purpose is to provide Morgan employees of Hispanic descent opportunities to network, promote, and develop professional opportunities and manage work/life balance, while supporting JPM's diversity efforts and objectives.

Clara Silva-Giustino

Clara Silva-Giustino is a Lead Engineer in Gas Engineering for KeySpan Energy Delivery, a new company formed as a result of the merger between Brooklyn Union and Long Island Lighting Company. Clara's most recent assignment is in the Gas Planning area of Gas Engineering. She is responsible for conducting computer simulations of the gas distribution network for the expansion and maintenance of the gas distribution system. In 1991, Clara joined Brooklyn Union as a Management Trainee after graduating from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. She has been with the company for 9 years working in the Distribution Operations and Gas Engineering areas. Mrs. Silva-Giustino is very active in community activities such as KAPOW (Kids And the Power Of Work), the Shadow Program, Science in Industry, Explorer Program and Junior Achievement.

Vanessa Lugo Basich

Vanessa Lugo Basich began her career with MetLife in 1993 as a summer intern. In 1994, she became a full-time employee as a marketing analyst in International Operations, where she has continued to work in positions of ever-increasing responsibility. Vanessa's accomplishments have included: managing key aspects of the International Sales Council (MetLife's global sales conference); developing a comprehensive guide to Peanuts characters usage; managing the International sales and marketing budget; and providing on-site training to overseas affiliates.

Vanessa is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. In her junior year at Syracuse, she participated in the Division of International Study Abroad (DIPA) program in London, England. Vanessa is currently a member of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and has plans to pursue an MBA.

Marcus Lumpuy
Pfizer, Inc.

Marcus Lumpuy, a very confident and accomplished leader with a unique ability to build teams and empower them to reach their optimal level of success.

Marcus' defining characteristics are surrounded by dedication to hard work, competitiveness, compassion and achieving excellence.

Marcus Lumpuy's work ethic is beyond reproach, his commitment to getting the job done is a relentless pursuit. As evidence is his involvement in various industry, political and community organizations. Marcus' concern for others has a strong influence on his leadership style here at Pfizer. He volunteered his time to various organizations throughout the New York area.

Emérida Rivera O'Farrell
Rums of Puerto Rico

In September 1999, Hon. Xavier Romeu, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico, appointed Ms. Emérida Rivera as Executive Deputy Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO). Recently, she was also appointed as the Undersecretary of Administration and Operations for the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico.

Ms. Rivera is responsible for the Area of Human Resources for PRIDCO and the administration of several facilities for PRIDCO and the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico. The Area of Human Resources and Administration is responsible for the creation and monitoring of an exemplary working environment for more than 600 PRIDCO employees. The Area of Human Resources and Administration also supervises all personnel transactions and internal activities to promote the welfare and productivity of all PRIDCO employees both in Puerto Rico and abroad. Ms. Rivera supervises the administration of several facilities with an aggregate value of over $200 million dollars, which includes services such as: security, procurement, utilities, equipment, transportation and other services.

Thomas Alvarado

Thomas Alvarado has been Director of Eastern Counseling Services at TIAA-CREF since 1995, and oversees a staff of fifty-five professionals. TIAA-CREF is a leading, national, provider of financial services and is the premier pension system for people employed in education and research in the U.S. Its nationwide, portable pension system is the largest in the world, based on assets under management of $288 billion (as of 2/29/00). The system serves over two million participants and 9,500 institutions.

Thomas attended the University of Connecticut and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He is also a Chartered Financial Consultant (CV&C) and a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC).

Thomas joined TIAA-CREF in 1988 as an Individual Consultant counseling and assisting TIAA-CREF's participants with their retirement and financial planning needs. Soon thereafier, he was promoted to Team Leader of Counseling Services and subsequently the Participant Relations Unit, where he worked closely with the Chairman's Office. Throughout his career at TIAA-CREF, Thomas consistently exceeded corporate goals as well as developed new and creative solutions to TIAA-CREF's customer service business model.