Wilda Diaz

Hon Mayor Wilda Diaz to be honored at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

Hon Wilda Diaz, Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy, will be honored at the 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch as the first Latinas in Business Small Business Champion. For registration:

Wilda Diaz

Small Business Champion Hon Wilda Diaz, Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy

This year’s theme for the 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch “Beauty, Health and Wealth: Taking Charge of Our Lives” attracts organizational leaders, social media influencers and successful entrepreneurs who have been tapped to gather at the Hudson County Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk Ave, Jersey City NJ 07306 on June 13, 2019 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (Registration, breakfast and networking starts at 8:00am ). The event is being co-hosted by Hudson County Community College.

“it is a great honor for me to present this award to a Latina trailblazer like Mayor Diaz because not only she is the first and longest lasting Latina Mayor in New Jersey but also she has been an relentless champion of small businesses in the Business District of Perth Amboy and also in the State of New Jersey at large,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc., organizer of the event.

Wilda Diaz was re-elected as Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy for a third [four-year] term in November 2016. She was first sworn-in on July 1, 2008, becoming the first female to hold that office and currently the only elected Latina Mayor of Puerto Rican descent in the State of New Jersey.

As she marks her 10 year anniversary in serving the City of Perth Amboy, she remains at the forefront of issues such as expanding programs for our children, youth and families, maintaining an open and honest government, business expansion, economic development, job creation and preserving the City’s history. Furthermore, as a recovery effort from the damage of Superstorm Sandy, over $17 million for renovations and storm mitigation were invested to create a state-of-the-art waterfront, which has received exceptional awards for design and completion. 

Diaz, most notably has taken an unwavering stance to stabilize the City’s financial condition. She continues to combat inherited debt, she’s achieved an A+ bond rating upgrade and stabilized taxes for the past four consecutive years. Her administration’s Capital Improvement Program and several other cost cutting strategies, reduced the overall debt by over $50 million and saved a community from near bankruptcy within the first five years of being in office.

She has championed plans for the development and preservation of arts, history and culture by creating a city-wide arts plan, inclusive of mural projects and economic development features that advance the City’s strategic plan. Additionally, by establishing a Historic Preservation Commission and Green Initiatives, the city has seen vast improvements and attention towards both treasured structure and antiquated infrastructure. This includes her efforts placed towards two of the City’s most utilized historic structures, the Perth Amboy Free Public (Carnegie) Library, with nearly $2 million in capital improvements and the redesign plans and preservation of the Perth Amboy Train Station, while securing nearly $50 million in NJ Transit funds for future construction.

Wilda Diaz

Hon Mayor Wilda Diaz, 2019 Small Business Champion Award

Diaz’s aggressive outreach and promotion of business advocacy has welcomed major corporations to Perth Amboy, such as Buckeye Partners and Target, the first distribution center in the State of New Jersey. Her administration has attracted over half a billion dollars in corporate investments in the past five years, while creating local jobs and beautifying and remediating over several hundred acres of industrial property that had been vacant for decades.

“We have also gathered exceptional main speakers such as Cenia Paredes,founder of Cenia New York, as well as a Fireside Chat with actress, TV writer and producer, women’s advocate and creator of StorySharing, Ivana De Maria,and award-winning, TV producer and Master of Ceremony Jackeline Cacho, both coming from Los Angeles.

You might be interested: 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch announces keynote and celebrity speakers   

In addition, organizational leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs from around the country are converging in Jersey City to produce the most dynamic event for Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs in the Northeast region. We continue with our goal to help them “Learn. Connect. Succeed!” and find the network and resources they need to advance their businesses,” Baumann said.

For additional information:





economic growth

Lt Governor of New Jersey addresses economic growth topics with Latina entrepreneurs

Economic growth for Latina entrepreneurs in the State of New Jersey was the topic of discussion between Lt Governor Sheila Oliver and members of Latinas in Business Inc. She was invited to participate in a Town Hall Latina Business Meeting, graciously hosted in the City of Perth Amboy by Mayor Wilda Diaz and the local Business Development District.

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Attendees with Lt. Gov Sheila Oliver, Mayor Wilda Diaz and Susana G Baumann, Latinas in Business Inc.

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Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc acknowledged the importance of Lt Gov Oliver’s presence for Latina entrepreneurs. “We need to ‘see and be seen,’ she said. (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper)

In her introduction, Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc. recalled, “Only 4 years ago, when I started this initiative to advocate for the economic empowerment of Latina entrepreneurs, little I imagined that today, in our 4th anniversary, we would be receiving the visit of one of the highest ranking members of the State of New Jersey, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver.”

Baumann emphasized the importance of Latina entrepreneurs to “see and be seen.” “We need to ‘see’ those successful role models and mentors from whom we can learn but we also need to ‘be seen’ by decision-makers and influencers such as Lt Governor Oliver. We need them to hear our concerns and our needs so they can address them in programs and policies customized for Latinas and other minority entrepreneurs,” she said.

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Silvia Caravella, Franchise Owner, addressing important issues related to hiring illegal immigrants (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper) EmployBridge – Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Attendees concerned for economic growth of Latina small businesses

A large group of Latina entrepreneurs from around the state attended the event to ask questions of concern about the economic growth of their small businesses. Lt Governor Oliver responded with her vision as a member of the Murphy’s Administration; her knowledge as a former Speaker of the Assembly, having served in the Labor, Higher Education, Women and Children, Commerce and Economic Development, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees; and her own experience as a business consultant in the past.

economic growthShe recalled that years ago, she was in a business partnership with two male partners. One died two years after starting the business and the other moved away. She was left alone to build the business, “And it was not easy,” she said.

Questions from Latina entrepreneurs were related to the Minority Certification process, the announced minimum wage raise in the state, businesses that belong in the “informal economy,” the exploitation of illegal workers by industries that seek their hiring, and other related issues to economic growth and expanding small businesses opportunities.

Lt Governor Oliver approached each of the questions by mentioning an array of resources and information at her disposal. “Also, I have an ‘open-door’ policy so that any of you can access me and all the resources under my control,” she said. Oliver referred to her combined role as Lt Governor and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, a unique opportunity that allows her to combine an executive position with a hands-on involvement in all New Jersey municipalities.

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Mayor Wilda Diaz, City of Perth Amboy (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper)

Mayor Diaz was excited to host the event in Perth Amboy, a city with a large Business Development District. She is the only Mayor Latina of Puerto Rican descent in New Jersey re-elected for the third time. In 2008, she faced a difficult electoral process and came through with flying colors.

Diaz’s aggressive outreach and promotion of business advocacy can be seen in the development of the Perth Amboy Business Improvement District, helping businesses find new customers, assisting them with marketing products and services, connecting business owners with organizations that offer financing, and producing and presenting attractive special events and festivals.

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“All these efforts could not be more aligned with the vision that Latinas in Business has for our members. Together, we can help them succeed by providing the ABC of success: ACCESS to opportunities and clients, BRANDING and promoting their businesses and CONNECTING them to decision-makers and influencers,” Baumann said.

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Bert Lopez, MC and host, Latino Motion, with Lt. Gov Oliver (Photo courtesy Bert Lopez)

The event was followed by a networking party with the presence of business leaders in the community including the Executive Director of the Middlesex Regional Chamber of Commerce Lina Llona, President-Elect Alana Cueto, MSN, RN, CNL, of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; and Elayne McClaine, Regional Director, New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers New Brunswick; Elisa Charters, President of Latina Surge, and other authorities.

Bert Lopez, host and producer of the TV show Latino Motion was the MC for the evening.

Baumann also thanked the support of Investors Bank and Comcast Spotlight for sponsoring the event at the beautiful Raritan Yacht Club; and to Mayor Wilda Diaz’ team -Dianne Roman, Jeanette Rios and Junel Hutchinson- for the fantastic job they did in hosting the event.