NLBWA-LA recognizes Latinas in Business at 13th Annual Women of Excellence Awards

The National Latina Business Women Association – LA Chapter (NLBWA-LA) will be presenting their 13th Annual “Latinas in Business” Women of Excellence Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at The Majestic Downtown in beautiful Los Angeles, CA.

Rose Elena Sauceda NLBWA- LA President 2015-16

Rose Elena Sauceda NLBWA- LA President 2015-16

Latinas in the public and private spheres will be awarded for their excellence in the following categories: Entrepreneurs of the Year, Corporate Leader of the Year, Inspirational Leader of the Year, Legacy Award, Trailblazer Award, Business Owner Award, Community Advocate Award and Emerging Latina/Rising Star Awards.

“We received over 100 nominations for award candidates, and our judges went through a very rigorous decision process. The honorees represent the best of the best and we are proud to recognize their contributions to the Latina business community,” said NLBWA-LA President Rose Elena Sauceda.

Judges criteria for Latinas in Business Women of Excellence Awards

According to the California organization, the nominees had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be actively involved in the day-to-day operations and the business must be at least 51% Latina-owned for more than three (3) years.
  • Must conduct business or work in Los Angeles and/or the surrounding Greater Los Angeles and surrounding communities.
  • Promote the rapid growth as an Entrepreneur and/or a Corporate Executive or Professional in their profession and business.
  • Must hold a mid-management position in their professional as a community Leader in Diversity and growth in the Latino community!
  • All nominees must demonstrate outstanding leadership in our community, mentorship, serve as an advocate and/or be involved in diversity to promote Latinos in the community

This event will begin with a President’s Black Tie Reception for Nominees, followed by the Awards ceremony and will close with a celebration featuring live entertainment, appetizers and delicious desserts.

Josefa Salinas as MC

josefasalinas_Latinas in Business Awards

Josefa Salinas, radio personality

Celebrity radio personality Josefa Salinas will be the Mistress of Ceremonies at the 13th Annual “Latinas in Business Awards.” Salinas has been an on-air personality for 30 years, including 14 years on Hot 92.3 FM “The Beat” where she also held the off-air position of Community Affairs Director. The celebration pays tribute to Latina entrepreneurs and corporate professionals for demonstrating outstanding leadership and making a positive impact on their community.

“We are thrilled to have Josefa as the Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s Latinas in Business Awards.  She is a current award nominee and exemplifies what our event is all about,” Sauceda said.

Known as the “Angelita de la Noche” (“Angel of the Night”) during her five-year tenure at POWER 106 FM, Salinas has become a role model for women, a powerful symbol for Latinos and a mentor and advocate for children in foster care in underserved communities through her Pursuit of Excellence Institute.

Corporate Leader of the Year

Sotelo Vargas Latinas in Business Award

Brissa Sotelo-Vargas , Tesoro, Corporate Leader Award

Brissa Sotelo-Vargas, Tesoro Manager of Public and Government Affairs, will be honored as the Corporate Leader of the Year.

Tesoro is the second largest independent refining and marketing company in the western United States. The Latinas in Business Awards pay tribute to Latina entrepreneurs and corporate professionals for demonstrating outstanding leadership and making a positive impact on their community.

Sotelo-Vargas monitors and analyzes the business, political and regulatory environment and develops and implements strategies and tactics in response. She joined Tesoro (formerly Shell Oil) because she wanted to make sure that the surrounding communities could work strategically to implement company programs that will benefit not only the company, but its external stakeholders as well.

“Finding common ground where the community does not have to compromise their needs — and the company does not have to violate their value system — is something that requires a lot of time and strategizing to reach agreements,” said Sotelo-Vargas.

Entrepreneur Leaders of the Year

Amerisal Foods CEO Nora Saca

Amerisal Foods CEO Nora Saca

Amerisal Foods CFO Vanessa Faggiolly

Amerisal Foods CFO Vanessa Faggiolly

Amerisal Foods’ CEO Nora Saca and CFO Vanessa Faggiolly will receive the Entrepreneur Leaders of the Year Award.

Founded in 2007, Amerisal Foods is a privately-owned wholesale food distribution company, importing Latin American food products. The El Salvadoran mother-daughter business duo bought the financially struggling Amerisal Foods on the brink of foreclosure and turned it into a multi-million dollar enterprise.

The business currently employs over 500 people abroad and distributes its food products to supermarket chains like Superior, El Super, Vallarta and Super King. “We saw the huge market potential of Latin people nostalgic for ‘a little taste of home.’ There was a demand, and we filled it,” said Vanessa Faggiolly.


The National Latina Business Women Association, Los Angeles Chapter (NLBWA-LA), a 501(c) 3 non-profit, non-partisan organization was established in July of 2003 to meet the needs of the growing ranks of Latina entrepreneurs, executives and professionals from the greater Los Angeles area.  The mission of NLBWA-LA is to encourage Latinas to develop their business and professional skills and to meet their career goals through education, business referrals and networking. Its vision is to create nationwide representation, visibility and business opportunities for Latina entrepreneurs and corporate professionals in the business world as well as to help Latinas reach the executive corporate level or achieve success within their own companies.

For more information about NLBWA-LA and the awards ceremony visit