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11th Annual National LATINA Symposium, 2014

By Gloria Romano-Barrera

Offering various programs for Latinas, LATINA Style takes pride in connecting and providing professional development opportunities for Latinas of all endeavors. On Wednesday, September 10th, LATINA Style hosted the 11th National LATINA Symposium at the Marriott Washington Wardman Park Hotel in the nation’s capital.

Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The 2014 LATINA Style Distinguished Military Service Awardees.

Guests were welcomed with opening remarks of Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano, Representative for California’s 32nd congressional district. “It is a great idea to keep promoting our need to have minorities, Latinas, especially in the military. They already have the structure in the military, all you do is shift that training into business and add a little more of substance by supporting them and they will be successful. Latinos continue to crack the glass ceiling. It is hard work that gets you where you want to go. You want to achieve, you can. Everything is possible for any of you. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources.”

(L-R) Isella Morera, Supervisor, Material Damage Claims, Nationwide; Marcia Fiore, Director, Nationwide; Hope Jacoway, Specialist, Multicultural Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Nationwide; Michele Lombard, Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Director, Nationwide, and Victoria Calderon, Account Manager, PMM Agency.

(L-R) Isella Morera, Supervisor, Material Damage Claims, Nationwide; Marcia Fiore, Director, Nationwide; Hope Jacoway, Specialist, Multicultural Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Nationwide; Michele Lombard, Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Director, Nationwide, and Victoria Calderon, Account Manager, PMM Agency.

After such encouraging words of wisdom, Isella Morera, Supervisor, Material Damage at Nationwide Insurance took stage to address Nationwide’s commitment to supporting military men and women. “We are extremely proud to support this event designated especially for Latinas in the military and in the workplace,” she stated. “At Nationwide we do believe it is important to support veterans in their efforts. On behalf of our country, on behalf of the Nationwide family company we thank you for your support and your service. We want to congratulate the recipients for the distinguish military awards, your achievement, leadership, and commitment son admirables.

The stage was then taken over by the featured panelists for the Workforce Opportunities… Jobs in Today’s Economy workshop. Moderated by Katina Rojas Joy, President and CEO, KJoy Global Consulting, former Deputy Director, Business Liaison Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, the panel combined a unique blend of professionals in the federal government, the intelligence community, and the military.

Panelists included: Clara Villarreal Varner, Director, Systems Analysis Staff, Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate, Central Intelligence Agency; Judith Priegues-Lopez, Supervisory Special Agent, Unit Chief in the Office of Partner Engagement, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Maribel Duran, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Master Sergeant Patricia M. Font, U.S. Army; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, and COL Vernon Myers, MILDEP MICC FDO Fort Eustis.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Master Sergeant Patricia M. Font, U.S. Army; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, and COL Vernon Myers, MILDEP MICC FDO Fort Eustis.

(L-R) Mr. Tommy Marks, Ms. Melanie Johnson, Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense;  Kristan Mendoza, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

(L-R) Mr. Tommy Marks, Ms. Melanie Johnson, Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Kristan Mendoza, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

(L-R) Vera Garcia, U.S. Army Europe, GI Civilian Personnel Directorate; Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense;  Mimi A. Azcarraga, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

(L-R) Vera Garcia, U.S. Army Europe, GI Civilian Personnel Directorate; Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Mimi A. Azcarraga, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

The second session of the day Global Public Service – Latinas Making a Difference Globally brought together Latinas from the Department of State to showcase international public service from the Latina perspective. Moderated by Juny Canenguez, Recruitment and Outreach Officer, Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment, U.S. State Department, attendees learned how Latinas have made an impact globally and how to prepare to make a difference too.

Panelists included Kelly Keiderling, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Dr. Frances Colon, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, and Kim Perez, Speechwriter/public affairs Officer, Office of Policy coordination and Public Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

“In the end connecting the U.S. government, with the people of the world, and connecting American people with international audiences is what underpins the security and the prosperity of the United States and helps increase democracy and social justice around the world,” stated Keiderling. “It’s a very honorable endeavor for one’s life work.”

The third panel Learning Strategies for Success included successful Latina professionals who shared their life challenges and success story.
Moderated by Kathryn Medina, SPHR, Senior Vice-President, Global Human Resources, APCO Worldwide, the panelists included Cindy Cordoba Koziol, GM Supplier Diversity Manager, General Motors; Marcia Gomez Fiore, Director, Titan Marketing, Nationwide Insurance, and Marlene Quijano, VP of Research, Development, Quality & Innovation, Kraft Foods.

Unique to the program, LATINA Style is host to the LATINA Style Hero Initiative, an initiative assisting active duty military enlisted and veterans transition into the civilian workplace. Created in the spirit of empowerment, the last panel Corporate Military Recruitment: Hiring Our Veterans presented by Frank Gomez, Strategic Alliances & Public Affairs Executive, ETS, provided insights on ways private sector leaders seek and hire veterans.

After a full day of workshops, networking and connecting, attendees eagerly convened in the ballroom for the most impactful and eventful part of the day, the Distinguished Military Service Awards Luncheon. Soon after the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the invocation, the U.S. Coast Guard drill team and remarks provided by Robert E. Bard, Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense, was welcomed to the stage to provide his remarks.

“To all our service men, women, and their family especially these awards Latinas whose attributes epitomize the core values or respect, honor, and devotion of duty,” he stated. “This event allows us to convene with key leaders that contribute to our society throughout the country and it is a unique opportunity to recognize on a specific sheet roll those who serve their country with distinction. These individuals, who we honor, certainly put others before themselves and have excelled in having done so. They simply see it as an opportunity to serve something bigger than themselves, an opportunity they take pride on no matter the sacrifice. To our award recipients I want to personally thank each of you for what you do each and every day.

You reflect the very best of the thousands of outstanding men and women who serve and it is a distinct honor to celebrate you and your accomplishments. You are indeed leading the way for the next generation to follow. I thank the award winners for their service, sacrifice, I look forward to hearing about the great things they will do next.”

Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano, Representative for California's 32nd congressional district.

Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano, Representative for California’s 32nd congressional district.

Workforce Opportunities...Jobs in Today’s Economy panel: Clara Villarreal Varner, Director, Systems Analysis Staff, Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate, Central Intelligence Agency and Maribel Duran, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Workforce Opportunities…Jobs in Today’s Economy panel: Clara Villarreal Varner, Director, Systems Analysis Staff, Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate, Central Intelligence Agency and Maribel Duran, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

After reflecting on diversity and Latinos in the military, the audience was invited to hear from keynote speaker Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.
“I want to acknowledge the award recipients this afternoon, their family members and their sponsors,” she began. “It’s a perfect opportunity for the department of defense in particular to take time to recognize the incredible contributions made by Latinos and Latinas made in this country every day and to really reflect on that level of diversity and inclusions. I think it’s really fitting that we honor Latina leadership with a theme of this year’s symposium: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success. To our award recipients, I congratulate each of you for your dedication, your energy, your hard work. You truly represent the professionalism that you embrace are really to be commendable.”

Soon after the notable speech, LATINA Style took pride in celebrating leadership and bravery with the Distinguished Meritorious Service Awards Presentation, where 12 Latinas serving in the Armed Forces were recognized for their exemplary service to the United States.

Lastly, William D. Rodriguez, Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy (Ret.) and president of the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO) was awarded with LATINA Style’s President Award. Today, ANSO serves as the leader in recruiting, developing and retaining Hispanics in the Sea Services. “I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this on behalf of ANSO,” Rear Admiral Rodriguez stated. “It’s a great group. ANSO is about growing today’s Hispanics to be tomorrow sea service leaders.”

Global Public Service – Latinas Making a Difference Globally Panel; (L-R) Kelly Keiderling, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Dr. Frances Colon, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, and Kim Perez, Speechwriter/public affairs Officer, Office of Policy coordination and Public Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Global Public Service – Latinas Making a Difference Globally Panel; (L-R) Kelly Keiderling, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Dr. Frances Colon, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, and Kim Perez, Speechwriter/public affairs Officer, Office of Policy coordination and Public Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense.

Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Vera Garcia, U.S. Army Europe, GI Civilian Personnel Directorate; Leticia Ruiz, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Vera Garcia, U.S. Army Europe, GI Civilian Personnel Directorate; Leticia Ruiz, U.S. Army, and Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Lieutenant Commander Monica E. González, U.S. Navy; Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), and Capt. Steven M. Jeffs, Executive Assistant, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Lieutenant Commander Monica E. González, U.S. Navy; Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), and Capt. Steven M. Jeffs, Executive Assistant, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy, and Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy, and Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

(L-R) Maria Bonilla-Giuriato, President, Bonilla-Giuriato & Associates; Alma Lopez, Director Supplier Diversity, Walmart US, and Project Specialist - Women's Economic Empowerment Corporate Affairs, Walmart, and Teresa Menjivar, Corp. Affairs Project Coordinator, Walmart.

Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

Frank Gomez, Strategic Alliances & Public Affairs Executive, ETS.

Frank Gomez, Strategic Alliances & Public Affairs Executive, ETS.

(L-R) Cindy Cordoba Koziol, GM Supplier Diversity Manager, General Motors; Gloria Tostado, GM Diversity Communications-Hispanic and Johnny Yataco President, Washington Hispanic.

(L-R) Cindy Cordoba Koziol, GM Supplier Diversity Manager, General Motors; Gloria Tostado, GM Diversity Communications-Hispanic and Johnny Yataco President, Washington Hispanic.

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and Lupita Colmenero, publisher and co-founder of El Hispano News, founder of Parents Step Ahead.

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and Lupita Colmenero, publisher and co-founder of El Hispano News, founder of Parents Step Ahead.

Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USM; Michael Sena, deputy director, office of diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, DOD, and Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense.

Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USM; Michael Sena, deputy director, office of diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, DOD, and Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Victoria Agosto, U.S. Navy; Master Chief Paul St. Sauver, U.S. Navy, and Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Victoria Agosto, U.S. Navy; Master Chief Paul St. Sauver, U.S. Navy, and Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Staff Sergeant Geronima Cruz, U.S. Marine Corps, and Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Staff Sergeant Geronima Cruz, U.S. Marine Corps, and Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC.

L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Lieutenant Bianca Barcelo, U.S. Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Judge Advocate General & Chief Counsel, United States Coast Guard.

L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Lieutenant Bianca Barcelo, U.S. Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Judge Advocate General & Chief Counsel, United States Coast Guard.

U.S. Coast Guard Drill team.

U.S. Coast Guard Drill team.

U.S. Coast Guard representatives.

U.S. Coast Guard representatives.

Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy with mother Juana Moreno Madueño.

Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy with mother Juana Moreno Madueño.

(L-R) Navy team: Legalman First Class Victoria Agosto; Lieutenant Commander Monica E. Gonzalez and Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy.

(L-R) Navy team: Legalman First Class Victoria Agosto; Lieutenant Commander Monica E. Gonzalez and Petty Officer First Class Martha Moreno Madueno, U.S. Navy.

Parents Step Ahead Teacher Ambassadors with Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-32).

Parents Step Ahead Teacher Ambassadors with Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-32).

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army;  Dr. Gladys Brignoni, U.S. Coast Guard,   and Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Judge Advocate General & Chief Counsel, United States Coast Guard.

(L-R) Clarence Johnson, Principal Director and Director, Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity at the Department of Defense; Marie Therese Dominguez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army; Dr. Gladys Brignoni, U.S. Coast Guard, and Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Judge Advocate General & Chief Counsel, United States Coast Guard.

Learning Strategies for Success panel: (L-R) Cindy Cordoba Koziol, GM Supplier Diversity Manager, General Motors; Marlene Quijano, VP of Research, Development, Quality & Innovation, Kraft Foods; Kathryn Medina, SPHR, Senior Vice-President, Global Human Resources, APCO Worldwide, and Marcia Gomez Fiore, Director, Titan Marketing, Nationwide Insurance.

Learning Strategies for Success panel: (L-R) Cindy Cordoba Koziol, GM Supplier Diversity Manager, General Motors; Marlene Quijano, VP of Research, Development, Quality & Innovation, Kraft Foods; Kathryn Medina, SPHR, Senior Vice-President, Global Human Resources, APCO Worldwide, and Marcia Gomez Fiore, Director, Titan Marketing, Nationwide Insurance.

Department of State representatives–(L-R) Juny Canenguez, Recruitment and Outreach Officer, Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment, Kim Perez, Speechwriter/public affairs Officer, Office of ‎Policy coordination and Public Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs; Kelly Keiderling, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Dr. Frances Colon, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State.

Department of State representatives–(L-R) Juny Canenguez, Recruitment and Outreach Officer, Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment, Kim Perez, Speechwriter/public affairs Officer, Office of ‎Policy coordination and Public Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs; Kelly Keiderling, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Dr. Frances Colon, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State.

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) with Parents Step Ahead Teacher Ambassadors.

Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) with Parents Step Ahead Teacher Ambassadors.

Tribute to fallen heroes during luncheon ceremony.

Tribute to fallen heroes during luncheon ceremony.

Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer A. Suarez, USAF and Dr. Jarris L. Taylor Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for the Strategic Diversity Integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer A. Suarez, USAF and Dr. Jarris L. Taylor Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for the Strategic Diversity Integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

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