2021 WEES

Announcing final lineup of stellar speakers for the Latinas in Business THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit  (2021 WEES) to support Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs. 

2021 WEES
THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit Speakers Lineup.

We are pleased to announce our final lineup of speakers for the Latinas in Business THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit (2021 WEES), a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs to Learn. Connect. Succeed!  

With THRIVE! as our motto this year, the 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit will center on key areas of growth to connect and empower women business owners with tools and insights that will propel them forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will feature various panels with industry leaders, inspiring guest speakers, deep-dive workshops, and our signature peer-to-peer networking sessions and post-panel discussion forums.

The event takes place on June 10, 2021 from 1:30pm to 6:30pm in a Virtual Space, followed by the Latina Leaders Awards ceremony from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus (by invitation only).

Register now at https://2021wees.eventbrite.com/

Announcing Final Lineup of speakers for THRIVE! 2021 WEES 

Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College

Michael J. Smith, Co-Host – Michael J. Smith is the President of Berkeley College. Since his appointment as President in 2015, Mr. Smith has been unwavering in his commitment to student success. 

Under the leadership of Mr. Smith, Berkeley College has expanded its reach among diverse communities, including through prominent Latino and African-American organizations. In addition, the College has been recognized for its volunteer and community service contributions, and was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. 

Before joining Berkeley College, Mr. Smith was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of MetLife Realty Group. He is also an accomplished public servant. He was twice elected to represent the 55,000 residents of District 3 on the Westchester County Board of Legislators from 2012 to 2015, serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Capital Projects during the 2014-15 legislative term. 

Mr. Smith is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Fordham University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Fairfield University.

Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager.

Lucy Pinto, Opening Keynote Speaker – Lucy Pinto is the Grow with Google Program Manager. 

As the Grow with Google Program Manager, Lucy works to level the playing field for communities who face digital divides and barriers to digital resources by providing them with the digital tools and resources to succeed. 

Additionally, Lucy is a thought leader, a consultant, and a partner who helps teams at Google audit and anticipate inclusion needs as well as implement strategies to make better products, processes, and services. 

Currently, she manages the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program which delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. Prior to her role as Program Manager, Lucy served as Diversity Systems & Programs Design Manager at Google, and Business Inclusion Program Manager. 

Lucy received her B.B.A in Management and International Business from the University of Georgia. 

Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Managing Director, Global Corporate Banking, Bank of America Securities.

Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Closing Remarks – Patricia Pacheco is a managing director in Global Corporate Banking at BofA Securities, the institutional broker dealer business of Bank of America. 

Pacheco is responsible for Latin America and European large corporate subsidiaries with $2bn above in global annual sales based in North America. In this capacity, she manages a $60M portfolio and has driven more than 316% growth in revenues since 2014 when she joined the firm. 

Pacheco has been actively involved in leading many Hispanic and employee network initiatives throughout the course of her career. She currently serves as co-chair of Bank of America’s Hispanic Latino Executive Council and emeritus chair of the firm’s Hispanic Network Executive Advisory Board (HOLA NY).

Pacheco holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Manhattanville College with dual majors in international business and Latin America studies.

Alice Rodriguez, Managing Director, Head of JPMC Community Impact and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman. 

Alice Rodriguez, Keynote Speaker – Alice Rodriguez is the Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Head of JPMC Community Impact Organization. 

Alice Rodriguez has over 30 years of extensive banking experience with JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors. She has held executive positions in Business Banking, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management. Her most current role is Head of JPMC Community Impact Organization. 

She provides strategic counsel and serves an integral leadership role in community engagement initiatives and localization strategy. In this capacity, Alice collaborates with Corporate Responsibility to bring together the best of business, philanthropy and policy efforts to drive inclusive economic growth. Alice leads the Community Impact team that is driving the firm’s a $30B commitment to advancing racial equity.

A trailblazer in her field, Alice has a natural tenacity, tempered with a steadied approach in both life and business. In a career spanning three decades, she has put people and purpose first, supporting community efforts beyond her corporate responsibilities. A lifelong commitment to minority-driven causes has earned her numerous board appointments and accolades including her current role as Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Alice holds a BBA in Management from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit
Assemblywoman, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Latina Leaders Award Ceremony Remarks – Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman/District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. She is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), which serves to promote economic diversity in New York State.

Bichotte Hermelyn, a former Wall Street banker, engineer and small business owner, has leveraged her experience in the free market to push public-private partnership initiatives across the state.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she championed bills to jump start the economy and improve equity for minority and women-owned small business owners. Bichotte Hermelyn hosted a webinar and participated in several panels with MWBE stakeholders to help them navigate the Coronavirus crisis and access resources, including grants and loans, and helped with strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. 

She provides annually, a platform that promotes networking, education, and resources for existing or potential MWBEs through a series of workshops at the National Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Conference. Under her leadership, the number of certified MWBE firms in New York State has more than doubled. The state has also set a goal of utilizing MWBEs for 30% of all state contracts, the highest rate in the nation. 

Bichotte Hermelyn holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and four undergraduate degrees in mathematics and engineering. She is currently a Juris Doctorate Candidate at Brooklyn Law School.

You might be interested: Vogue Senior Editor Latin America Jose Forteza and Univision Correspondent Daneida Polanco to support THRIVE! 2021 WEES

2021 WEES

Register now for this must-attend event! Only 3 days left! 


  • Victoria Arena

    Victoria Arena is a writer and student, passionate about writing, literature, and women's studies. She is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. She holds an Associates in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, and a Bachelor's in English Literature from Montclair State University.

By Victoria Arena

Victoria Arena is a writer and student, passionate about writing, literature, and women's studies. She is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. She holds an Associates in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, and a Bachelor's in English Literature from Montclair State University.

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