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Hispanic Achievers Gala Awards History


1996 Awards Recipients


1996 International National Achiever of the Year
Senior Executive Award
Banfi Vintners

Jeff Napoleon was named vice President of Banfi Vintner's sales division in July 1989. Mr. Napoleon joined Banfi in 1975 as a street salesman. In subsequent years he held district, regional and divisional posts in the company and he also served as general manager of Banfi's New York wholesale operation (now called Excelsior Wine & Spirits). Prior to being named Vice President of sales, his most recent post had been director of the MidAtlantic Division. A graduate of Iona College, Mr. Napoleon began his career in the wine field 25 years ago, learning all facets of the trade at a former wine house established by his family, Napoleon Wine Co . of Westchester, N.Y.

American Express Co.

Ms. Vargas joined American Express Travel Related Services in 1989, where she worked in the Human Resources Division. For the past 3 years, Ms. Vargas worked in TRS Management Resources where she was responsible for enhancing and maintaining the Minority Recruitment Outreach efforts and redesigning the Development Programs to Better support the strategic direction of the Company. She has recently Been promoted to Director of Human Resources. responsible for providing generalist support for a variety of clients. she holds a BA Degree From St. John 's University in Psychology and n MS Degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in industrial Psychology.

Brooklyn Union Gas

Mr. Tomala's recent promotions include from Senior Research Engineer to Principal Research Engineer. Mr. Tomala attended The State University of New York, Stony Brook where he majored in Mechanical Engineering - HVAC and thermodynamics. He is Project manager and Architect for an innovative refrigeration project which was the recipient of the 1992 National ASHRAE Technology Award. Co-Author of a paper presenting the results of the project at the 1992 International Gas Research Conference. Mr. Tomala had initiated, structured and managed u project to develop a family Of pulse combustion boilers. The Project was the recipient of the 1993 NYS Governor's Award for Energy Excellence.

Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Mr. Stinga holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and is presently completing his Masters Degree. His 25 years of multi-category and multi-functional experience will be key in his new assignment Mr. Stinga worked in Analytical, in product and Process Development, in Central Engineering and as the Latin American Division Engineer. As Manager of Specialty Process Engineering, he supervised the layout design of our Burlington Compounding Center. He also worked for three years as the Home Care Technical Manager in our U.S. Company. Soon after his return to MET, he was assigned as the leader of the team which successfully commercialized our insect-repellent cleaners in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Guatemala . Mr. Henry Stinga was recently promoted to the newly-created position of Associate Director, IBDG Operations.

General Electric

Mr. Torres attended the University of Massachusetts and graduated with BBA degree in Finance in I982. He then joined GE's Financial Management Program in Schenectady, NY. Upon graduating from FMP, he spent three years on GE's Corporate Audit Staff and then held two assignments in GE Industrial & Power Systems support Both the domestic and international Sales Organizations. In I990. Mr. Torres joined GE's Corporate Headquarters in Fairfield, CT and held positions with Financial Services Operation and Financial Leadership Development He assumed his current position as Business Analyst for GE Capital, Commercial Real Estate in February, 1994.


Born in the Bronx, N. Y., Edwin B Quintana attended St. Thomas Aquinas college and began his career in sales shortly thereafter. He started his career by selling for Miller Beer and quickly moved on to an up and coming company called MCI. He soon became a star at MCI. He has won major company awards 4 years in a row. His accomplishments at MCI include: Number One Telemarketing Rep in the nation for 1989, Number One Account Executive, I in the nation for I992, and Number One Account Executive II in the nation in 1993. Edwin has Been promoted every year info positions of greater responsibility and his present position as a Senior Sales Representative in the International Markets group fully utilizes his proficiency with Spanish as he manages special accounts such as many Latin American Banks.

Miller Brewing Company

Mr. Tiburcio joined Miller Brewing Company in 1993. where he worked as and Off-Premise Sales Manager for Metro New York. He is responsible for the strategic planning and program development of the Miller Sales Network Off-premise Group for Metro New York. Prior to joining Miller Brewing Company, Mr. Tiburcio held the position of Ethnic Marketing Manager for Pepsi East. Mr. Tiburcio was also responsible for handling the Ethnic Market Planning for the Mid Atlantic Business Unit covering New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mr. Tiburcio graduated from Utica College with a BA Degree in Business/Marketing.


Ms. Vittiglio is Assistant Manager of the Queens Billing RMO I for NYNEX. Ms. Vittiglio has been able to employ innovative ways to work out problems. She created the first sales training package geared specifically to billing representative needs so they may exceed customer expectations. Ms. Vittiglio is a leader who embraces challenge and identified a clear strategy nor only to improve the billing representatives' But to also enhance awareness of the critical equation Between sales and service. She has been a Sales Coordinator for four years, helping her organization achieve the top sales position for three of the past four years. Ms. Vittiglio is a support manager for NYNEX's Spanish unit, La Telefonica.


Ms. Alverio is Clerical Assistant of the investment Management - PICS for NYNEX. She has been identified by her peers and her manager to be an outstanding performer. She is cooperative, flexible and very sought after by her Peers for assistance on projects. She has enhanced and mechanized reports developed flowchart and prepared and distributed daily and weekly reports within her group that were over and above her normal job functions. Wanda has Been the recipient of three (3) departmental recognition awards us Employee of the Month. Ms. Alverio is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University.

Pfizer, Inc.

Oscar Perez III graduated from Villanova University in Pennsylvania in I975 with a B.S. degree in Biology. In 1983 he received his M.S. degree from Tulane University, LA. Mr. Perez is currently General Traffic Manager Distribution, Transportation & Corporate Services Division at Pfizer Inc. Mr.Perez has had several promotions; served as General Traffic Manger, Traffic Projects Manager, Distribution Services Manager and Manager at Pfizer Inc. He is committed to and fully supports community involvement programs such as the Junior Achievement of New York - Consultant.

Remy Amerique, Inc.

Mr. Mari is a graduate of Jersey City State College where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting. Mr. Mari's career in the liquor industry began during his high school years when he worked part time for a liquor store chain. He was employed as a Sales Marketing Consultant for two large liquor distributors in the Garden State. Subsequently he has established and managed his family's liquor corporation in Florida and Jersey. In 1993. Mr. Mari joined Remy Amerique in the capacity of Sector Manager. His responsibilities include sales and promotions for the New York City Hispanic market. Mr. Maribus recently completed several successful projects including the popular Remy "Baile y Gane " Dance Contests.

Schieffelin & Somerset Co.

Mr. Ortiz, born and raised in New York City, is a classic success story. After Graduating from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1986, Dan joined Schieffelin & Somerset the wine and spirits industry, where he worked for several prominent companies In I993 he joined Schieffelin & Somerset Co. and just one year- later was promoted to the highly visible position of Massachusetts State Manager.

Time Warner, Inc.

Ms. Quiroz is currently Director of TIME Education Pro grams and Youth Marketing. She is responsible for marketing programs target to educators and students. Ms. Quiroz has held positions at TIME Warner as Senior Marketing Manager and Associate Marketing Manager. She is a two time recipient of a Inc. Consumer Marketing Achievement Award in recognition of marketing excellence (1992 and 1993). MY. Quiroz is Board Member of The Hispanic Aids Forum and the Albert G. Oliver Program. She is Co Chairperson of the Harvard School and Scholarship Committee Outreach Committee. Ms, Quiroz received her U.S. in Sociology from Harvard University. Ms. Quiroz graduated in 1990 from Harvard Graduate Of Business Administration with a Master in Business Administration.

Senior Achiever Executive Award  
Director Ethnic and Premium Markets NYNEX

Sharing NYNEX commitment to reach out and inform ethnic communities on the telecommu- nications revolution, Carlos Santiago joined NYNEX in October 1993 as Managing Director -Ethnic 6r Premium Consumer Markets. Strategically integrating the requirements of various customer segments with the company resources, his group has overseen the quadrupling of centers serving multilingual customers, new efforts building brand awareness for NYNEX and its services through integrated marketing and promotional plans targeted to the rapidly growing culturally diverse population of New York and New England. He is also playing a vital role in leading NYNEX programs that strengthen its ties with these communities including corporate responsibility, government affairs, community outreach, media relations, and special events. Prior to joining NYNEX, Mr. Santiago was Marketing Director for the Multi-Ethnic Market Group for Pacific Bell. In this position, he was responsible for preparing the company for open competition and for direct response marketing efforts to stimulate the Hispanic, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese residence and business segments, He also oversaw sales channels for business customers and high volume residence.

Ed Armas

Mr. Armas is currently Manager for both the Hunts Point and Bronx Branch. Mr. Armas has held positions at Citibank as Manager for the Sedgewick Branch and Coordinator for the West Side and West Bronx B&P efforts. His past experiences include: Field Coordinator for Youth Services Agency, served as Higher Education Officer and faculty member at Hostos Community College, acted as Administrative Assistant to NYS Senator, served as Executive Assistant to Community School Board 4 and was appointed as Special Assistant to President of NYS Higher Education Services Corporation. Mr. Armas holds a BA degree from Manhattan College and a MS degree from Fordham University.

Henry Blanco

Henry Blanco has worked in the engineering Department H for 24 years. Henry started in our Jersey City Plant (1972) as a Production Foreman and as a Plant Engineer. In 1976 he moved to the Corporate Engineering Department (C.E.D.) and was involved in a number of projects in Spain, Kansas City, Malasya and Guatemala and in 198S Henry completed the design/installation and star-up of a state-of-the-art soap manufacturing plant in Thailand. With Henry's move to the Piscataway M.E.T. group in 1987, Henry was a proactive member of the Soap Quality Improvement Team and was responsible for Process and Quality reviews of our Global Soap Manufacturing Sites. This work led to significant quality improvements in a number of our global subsidiaries.

Henry has been the M.E.T. Team Leader in two significant capital soap capacity expansion projects-New Zealand (completed in 1995) and South Africa (currently in progress). Henry led the design and execution of modern highly automated continuous soap manufacturing plants in both New Zealand and South Africa in concert with the approval of a second supply source for soap manufacturing equipment, achieving significant saving in equipment costs on a "fast-tract implementation timetable. Also, Henry is currently a charter M.E.T. member of the Corporate Soap Profit Improvement Task Force, which has been a model team example for Margin Improvement in Technology. To date, Henry has been a significant contributor to the team accomplishment of identifying over $50 MM in Margin improvement in Technology initiatives, and successfully implement $40-1 MM, working in partnership with our global subsidiaries. 

Hector Erezuma

Hector Erezuma is Vice President of international Tax at Colgate-Palmolive Company. In this position, he is directly responsible for Colgate's international tax planning, analysis and compliance. Since Colgate has over $5 billion in sales outside the United States and markets its products in almost 200 countries and territories, this is an extremely responsible position. Six other legal and accounting professionals report to Hector. Hector has been instrumental in improving the working relationships between Colgate's corporate staff groups in the United States and international operating units, especially in Europe and Latin America. Furthermore, Hector has been an important factor in the successful acquisitions Colgate has made in Latin American and Europe in the last three years. He put himself through Rutgers University and later earned a Masters of Business Administration at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His technical and interpersonal skills have led to increasingly responsible positions in a series of large American companies. Since 1992, Hector has been a key participant in the financial function at Colgate. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was recently promoted to the position of Vice President.

Yolanda Bonta'

Dr. C. Yolanda Bonta', has a DMD in Dentistry, MS in Microbiology, from the University of Puerto Rico, a MS in Oral Sciences and a Certificate in the dental specialty of Periodontics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a New York City native and an active member of numerous professional organizations. Dr. Bonta began her career at Colgate on the staff of the Corporate Technology Group's Dental research department and made significant contributions through the successful execution of long term clinical trials on key Colgate initiatives. Continuing in her career in a position as Manager of New Product Technologies, Dr. Bonta made significant contributions to the programs in the areas of dry mouth and treatment of gum disease. Since 1994, Dr. Bonta has held the position of Manager of Clinical Research for the Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals department. She has responsibilities for planning, organizing and managing the clinical program in all areas of the professional products; anticaries, antiplaque/antigingivitis, alleviating sensitive teeth, dry mouth, tooth whitening and devices. An example of her strong partnership within Colgate is her championing the development of specialty oral products designed for children. Her efforts resulted in the national introduction of a new toothbrush designed to meet the needs of this young population. Her intelligence, drive and enthusiasm coupled with outstanding technical competence, significantly contributes to Colgate's vision of becoming the best truly global consumer products company.

Jose'/Mari'a Castro

Jose'-Mari'a Castro joined Colgate-Palmolive Argentina as an Auditor in 1964. He gradually moved to other positions in the Finance Department and in creased his experience in different special assignments in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru. In 1969, he was appointed Controller of the Argentine subsidiary. He subsequently became Director of Finance at the Venezuelan subsidiary. In 1983, he was transferred to New York as Division Controller of, at that time, the Americas South and Pacific Division. In 1987, he became the General Manger of the Argentine subsidiary and in 1990 he returned to New York to assume his current position. At the various operational assignments that he held, he was instrumental in providing Colgate's subsidiaries (their people and team players), with intelligent input and sound business judgment. To day, he is challenged by the need to constantly reevaluate the way things are done, to ensure that Colgate Europe remains well positioned in the future.

Jose'-Mari'a completed his studies in Argentina and holds two degrees in' Economics and Accounting from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Peter Morales Peerless Importers.

Peter Morales
Peerles Importers

After graduating from Lehigh University in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in Engineering Sciences and Psychology, Peter Morales joined Johnson & Johnson as a retail sales representative. In addition to several promotions at Johnson & Johnson, Peter was elected to the prestigious Ring Club. The Ring Club acknowledges employees for their outstanding performance and leadership in the sales and marketing area. In 1990, Peter entered the Wine & Spirits Industry as a Spirits Business Analyst for the Heublein Corporation. During his tenure at Heublein, Peter managed distribution networks in the South Eastern and South Western United States. Peerless Importers, a New York based wine and spirits wholesaler, recruited Peter in 1994 to manage its Peerless Brands Division.

As the General Sales Manager for Peerless Brands, Peter is responsible for the sales of some of the most prominent brands in the world: Smirnoff Vodka, J&B Scotch, Bacardi Rum and the Robert Mondavi Winery. Peter manages and supervises a sales force of 56 people calling on 1,600 retail liquor stores in the metropolitan New York area.

David Santiago
Pathmark Stores Inc.

David began his career with Pathmark Stores Inc. in 1982 as a D Store Detective. He rose through the ranks to become an Area Security Representative - a position which he currently holds. However, his accomplishments extend beyond his professional life. David's concern for the youth of the Rosedale community in the Bronx led to the establishment of the Pathmark Annual Basketball and Double Dutch Classic in 1994. A program aimed at involving youth in meaningful activities during for the summer. With the help of Pathmark's vendors and volunteers the Rosedale Park's courts were refurbished and equipment was purchased. This event proved to be a success in 1995 with participation from 34 teams from the community. David is a leader, a team player and a dedicated associate; qualities that make him a role model for our youth.

George Aguilera
GE International

George Aguilera was born on March 6, 1955, in Havana, Cuba. He is currently the General Electric Power Systems Service Center Manager based in Mexico. In this capacity, Mr. Aguilera is responsible for all new power generation project opportunities as well as sales of spare parts and technical services. Prior to his current position, he was employed by GE Capital. At GE Capital, Mr. Aguilera was involved in structuring, pricing and credit evaluation for investments in the cogeneration, commercial aviation and marine sectors. Mr. Aguilera has also worked for GE Trading as a Trade Development Specialist for Eastern Europe and with GE Company as a Sales Engineer responsible for Utility accounts in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. During this time he lived in New York, Miami and Bogotá', Colombia. Mr. Aguilera holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering form the University of Florida and M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Hector Ramirez Citibank

Hector is responsible for managing the Citibank CRA and community programs in Manhattan and the Bronx, promoting Citibank's role as a concerned corporate citizen and designing and implementing programs to ensure compliance with CRA. He works with branch and business staff to develop strategies to maximize the impact of our community relations efforts, particularly those where Citibank can be viewed as a leader in the fields of housing, community development and education. As a branch manager at the Bronx Branch (149 Street), Hector improved the branch standings form 127th to 6th (SBL). While a branch manager, he also piloted the Read Aloud program, spending one morning a week reading books tin English and Spanish) to students at P.S.3 1. The program was so successful, that Citibank now participates in schools throughout NYC.

Anthony Pena

Anthony, is the Business Manager for Wall Street Banking Services (WSBS) Unit. A one stop shopping concept for all Wall Street clients (Goldman Sachs, Salomon, Merrill Lynch, recessing all loans, letters of Credit, handling total Cash Management, Citibanking, Customer Service, CCM and CPU Issues and responsible along with performing branch teller type functions for the Wall Street community. He participated in the task force headed by John Reed, Vice President to resolve New York City tax processing problem, and assisted in development and implementation of the first electronic funds transfers with Xerox and Citibank. Anthony participated in development of First CPU-Citibank electronic Interface and made a major contribution in development of the Cash Management products and process Citibank uses today, in implementing clients to Electronic Banking. He was project team member in development of 2nd Fed Wire system (Philadelphia Fed-CitiBridge) that is a success to today's Cash Management business.

Patricia Lackey
Chemical Bank

Ms. Patricia Lackey is currently the Manager of Training and Communications for Chemical Bank's check and Commercial loan Operation Division. Using her sixteen years of leadership experience, Pat has developed and integrated human resource programs and initiatives that are designed to increase the effectiveness of people, products and services. Her responsibilities have included recruitment, compensation, performance management, employee relations, training and development, organizational analysis, manpower and succession plans, reduction and redeployment of staff. Pat's strengths include using her business knowledge and strategic planning skills to position the human resources function as a business partner with better line impact. She earned her Certificate in Banking in 1981, then attended Pace University where she earned her BA in Business in 1985, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Ever thirsting for more, Pat went on to attend NYU at night, focusing of her chosen profession in Human Resources and obtaining her MBA in Human Resources Management in 1980.

Rosemary Munoz
United Parcel

Rosemary Munoz of United Parcel is the Area Sales Manager who develops new business in New York City. The areas she targets are Eastside and the Northern sections of Manhattan. Success to Ms. Munoz means having, "the ability to implement processes with the highest quality to obtain the greatest return which is measured by customer satisfaction." Ms. Rosemary Munoz started at United Parcel Service on March 3, 1985. During this time she worked as a part-time Administrative Assistant in Customer Service. Then she was promoted to part-time Supervisor at the Air Service Center at World Trade Center. She soon became a full-time driver in the Village Center and then a full-time Human Resources Supervisor, where she recruited. Today she holds the title of Area Sales Manager in Customer Service.

Julio A. Medrano

Julio Medrano directed systems analysis, design support, and J project management of several strategic business network products valued at $6.4 million in sales for the largest NYNEX customers in Western New York, including the State University of New York in Buffalo. He participated in Process Reengineering as the Project Manager for the Engineering Organization Design Built teams process, and compiled and edited the successful NYNEX PRE DBT Implementation Status Report. Julio is the recipient of the "1995 Diversity Salute Award" under the theme" :Realizing Your Maximum Potential" in the NYNEX region. Mr. Medrano has obtained three Master degrees while working full time after completing his 8 in Electrical Engineering. He has an MS in Engineering, MBA in Technology and an MS in Telecommunications and Computer Management.

Michael Velez

Michael Velez's job performance during 1995 has been nothing short of extraordinary. Although Mike was involved in a multitude of projects during 1995, he very effectively multitasked on many special assignments and achieved outstanding results. Of particular note was Mike's work on an audit of Business Provisioning, in which Mike reviewed a very complex business process form end-to-end, and reported on many significant customer service-impacting observations. Mike was recognized for his ability to delve deeply into the inner workings of this critical NYNEX process and assess the internal control environment to conclude on the level of service we provide to our customers. Mike's identification of key service-affecting issues was varied and far-reaching. In addition to Mike's extensive work efforts, which required many additional after hours work, Mike found time to be heavily involved in support and community programs. Mr. Velez is an Hispanic Support Organization (HSO) member in good standing and is currently serving as HSO Executive Board.

Secretary. Louis Garcia
N.Y.C. Fire Department

Louis Garcia began his Fire Department career when he came I to "the Rock" as a new recruit in January 19?3. He graduated Proby School in March of that year and was assigned to Engine 211 on Hooper Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Louis' first assignment as a Fire Marshal brought him to the Brooklyn Marshal's Base. In June 1989, he returned to the firehouse with his promotion to Lieutenant. In May of 1990, Louis returned to the Bureau of Fire Investigation with a promotion to Supervising Fire Marshal and assignment to the Bronx Fire Marshal's Base. During his time as the Manhattan Base X.O., Louis spearheaded several major BFI investigations and projects including the Propane task Force. With his recent promotion to Assistant. Chief Fire Marshal for Operations (ACFM), Lotus Garcia returned to his roots on Hooper Street. Louis and ACFM for Special Services Dennis Guardiano have augmented the management staff of the BFI. Louis Garcia was born in the Bronx, but has spent most of his life as a resident of Queens. He presently lives in the Forest Hills section of the borough with his new wife Valerie. Louis holds a degree in Business Management. He is the proud father of 22 year old Christopher, a recent Harvard graduate and 17 year old Melissa who is preparing to graduate the Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, New York this June.

Jorge G. Puente
Pfizer, Inc

Jorge G. Puente, M.D.. is presently serving Pfizer, Inc. as Senior Associate Medical Director. His professional background includes Coordinator, Office of Research opportunity and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Education, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His awards include the coveted Salomon-Berson Award given for excellence in teaching by Mount Sinai Medical Center. Among his other awards are the Queens College Alumni Award, the highest award for academic excellence within a class of 5,000 students, the William Bass Award, the highest recognition for excellence within the Chemistry area. He graduated suma cum laude.

Edward Delatorre
N.Y.City Police Dept.

Inspector Edward Delatorre joined the New York City Police Department in September 1980 and began his career as a patrolman in the 42nd Precinct in the Bronx. He was promoted to Sergeant in November 1985, Lieutenant in November 1989, and Captain in January 1992. Upon serving as Commanding Officer of the 42nd. Precinct, where he began his career as a patrolman, Inspector Delatorre was promoted to Deputy Inspector in May 1994. In August 1995, Inspector Delatorre was promoted to his current rank of Inspector and in February 1996 he was assigned to Patrol Borough of Queens North where he presently serves as the Patrol Borough Adjutant. Inspector Delatorre holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science form Lehman College and is a graduate of the Police Management Institute which is administered by Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Inspector Delatorre and his wife, Mary, reside in the Bronx.