Introducing Latinas in Business Inc. Executive Board Members

In a simple virtual ceremony last Friday, five new Trustees were sworn in to Latinas in Business Inc. Executive Board. The 2020 Annual Executive Board Meeting welcomed member’s Beth Marmolejos, Pilar Avila, Danay Escanaverino, Adriane Medeiros, and Maria Santiago-Valentin into their new positions as Board Members. 

Present also was the Founder President and CEO, Susana G Baumann, and one of the Founder Board Members of the organization, Brenda Nava. Brenda now leaves the position of Treasurer to stay on the Board as a Committee Member and passes the torch of Treasurer on to Pilar Avila. 

Executive Board

Latinas in Business Inc. Executive Board Members

On the new Executive Board, Baumann said:

“I’m ecstatic that this group of unstoppable Latinas are coming in to strengthen and grow our organization at a national level. We are extremely grateful for their time and efforts, which are already bringing results in the crucial event we are launching this October 16 and October 23 to energize the Latino Vote. This was my vision for Latinas in Business, a group of young and determined Latinas who will take the torch, the symbol of our logo, and run with it. My legacy as a woman, mother, Latina and immigrant will remain in an organization by Latinas and for Latinas.” 

Introducing the LIB’s Executive Board 

Brenda Nava, Founder Executive Board

Brenda Nava, Founder Executive Board 

Brenda Nava is an avant-garde Hispanic entrepreneur who entered business at the age of 23. Currently the owner and founder of various businesses, including CEO at Daniela Events and CEO at Dafer Business Development Solutions.

With degrees in International Business, Accounting, Taxes and Business Development, Brenda is focused on sharing her experience and knowledge with her community. With several years of experience in the business field, she knows that education is an important foundation for the success of every entrepreneur and is committed to being an example and supporting the development of the community.

Beth Marmolejos, Programs and Events Coordinator & LIB Vice President 

Beth Marmolejos is a business leader, activist, and advocate who strives toward serving as an champion for change daily in both her personal and professional life. Beth serves on numerous boards that support and serve these communities. Some of her positions include  Madame Chair of the Passaic County Workforce Investment Board, Chair of the Passaic County Advocacy and Abilities Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Chair of the American Association of University Women – Greater Wayne Area, and President of the New Jersey Prospanica Chapter, formerly known as The National Society of Hispanics MBAs. 

Pilar Avila, Governance & Treasurer

Pilar Avila, Governance & Treasurer 

Pilar Avila is the founder and host of interDUCTUS, an organizational change management consulting practice, & Renovad, which provides experiential retreats to countries around the world. She is a passionate human striving for higher self-awareness, health, happiness, living free, eradicating judgment and lifting every living being with compassion. As a business and civic change leader, Pilar is strategic, innovative and results-oriented. She launched  interDUCTUS & Renovad after over 26 years providing leadership at institutions across private equity, hospitality, and nonprofit sectors. 


Danay Escanaverino, Marketing and Outreach

Danay Escanaverino, Marketing and Outreach

Danay Escanaverino is the CEO of LunaSol Media, a digital agency she has owned for 9 years to help brands connect with Hispanic consumers online. She is also the Founder of MiraClick, an affiliate network for Hispanic and Latino bloggers and creators to monetize their following with campaigns made for Latinos. She is passionate about marketing and technology and her goal is to  help Hispanic entrepreneurs expand their reach through her expertise and services and specifically expand the Hispanic market and unite and support Hispanic businesses. 

Adriane Medeiros, Trustee

Adriane Medeiros, Trustee 

Adriane Medeiros is a Financial Services Professional with New York Life Insurance Company and specializes in life insurance and retirement investment planning. She is a tremendous resource to our community, offering financial tips, seminars, and one-on-one appointments in financial and investment planning. Originally born in Brazil, she has lived in New Jersey for over 32 years and has a degree in Business with a minor in Economics and Finances, from Kean University in New Jersey. Adriane strives to help all her clients achieve a life of abundance and financial empowerment through investment planning so that they can support their families for generations to come.

classroom inclusion

Maria Santiago-Valentin, Trustee

Maria Santiago-Valentin, Trustee 

Maria Santiago-Valentin is a fierce activist, educator, and author who uses her platform to advocate for quality education, classroom inclusion, and environmental causes. A passionate, energetic and creative educator with over twenty-five years of experience in her field, she has taught in Puerto Rico, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and has been recognized for her achievements nationally and internationally. One of the founding members of CURE  — Community United for the Renaissance in Education– a bilingual parent advocacy group working to improve the educational system in New London, Connecticut, Maria has dedicated her life to making the pursuit of knowledge accessible to all. She is also the founder of the NJ Coalition for Climate Justice, an organization that works to bring together social justice movements with environmental movements.

Upcoming event: Regain Our Latino Power 

The main topic of discussion at the year’s Annual Executive Board Meeting was the upcoming virtual event: Regain Our Latino Power. The multi-day event will take place on the two upcoming Fridays: October 16th and October 23rd. 

With less than six weeks until the election, Regain Our Latino Power will focus on discussions about Latinxs essential workers, Latinxs and the economy, Immigration Reform, Deportations and Incarceration of Latino Children and more. The event will also feature guest speakers from Latina Leaders including Keynote Speaker, Maria Elena Salinas. 

We are calling YOU and all Latina leaders because these are URGENT TOPICS TO DISCUSS.

Register now for this FREE virtual event! 


Friday October 16, 2020 12pm to 2pm EST – 9am to 11am PST

  1. COVID-19 AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS: More protection for Latinxs frontline workers in factories and farms dying of COVID-19; more testing, sick-time leave and protection equipment.

Sign our petition to both Houses of Congress

  1. INCARCERATION OF UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN: We demand the immediate freedom of ALL immigrant children held at deportation facilities where COVID-19 has been detected. They are victims of abuse and neglect; their lives are in our hands, and they are OUR children!

Sign our petition to both Houses of Congress

  1. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES: We request additional financial assistance for families who lost their jobs by no fault of their own; both parties are dragging their feet in approving funding to help families with essential needs.

Sign our petition to both Houses of Congress

Friday October 23, 2020 12pm to 2pm – 9am to 11am PST

  1. IMMIGRATION REFORM: Stop massive deportations that hurt regional economies and break immigrant families. Immigrants bring significant income and tax revenue to regional economies, while provide vital work that bring food and essential products to our homes and our tables

Sign our petition to both Houses of Congress

  1. SMALL BUSINESS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Finally, we also request immediate forgiveness for small businesses who received PPP Loans of $150,000 or less. Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs are closing their doors every day. They need OUR help!

Sign our petition to both Houses of Congress

6. WHAT’S NEXT FOR LATINOS IN THE USA? How will future generations of Latinxs live and succeed in this country? What is left of the AMERICAN DREAM?

Adriane Medeiros shares investment planning strategies for financial empowerment and tips for success

We are proud to introduce and welcome our newest LIB Executive Board Member, Adriane Medeiros. Adriane is a Financial Services Professional with New York Life Insurance Company and specializes in life insurance and retirement investment planning. She is a great resource to our community, offering financial tips, seminars, and one-on-one appointments in financial and investment planning.

financial planning

Adriane Medeiros, Financial Services Professional and LIB Executive Board Member (Photo courtesy Adriane Medeiros)

Originally born in Brazil, she has lived in New Jersey for over 32 years and has a degree in Business with a minor in Economics and Finances, from Kean University in New Jersey.

Transforming lives through investment planning

Adriane has always had a passion for business and finances. In the early days of her career she worked for the Latino market of an investment banking company. However, after the 2009 recession, she decided to reinvent herself and pursue a career as a Registered Financial Professional.

As a Financial Professional, she works directly with individuals and small business owners and takes great pride in getting to know her clients personally one-on-one.

“I want to hear my client’s life story. Every client has a unique set of circumstances,” says Adriane, “and my approach is to learn as much as possible about my client’s financial concerns, so I can help them achieve their goals, and even transform their lives.”

This individualized approach enables Adriane to offer customized recommendations for insurance and financial products that help her clients achieve financial peace of mind.

“The most rewarding part of my career is being able to create lifelong relationships with my clients that are based on trust, service, and integrity!” she says.

Adriane with LIB founder, Susana G. Baumann (Photo courtesy Adriane Medeiros)

Trust and integrity are especially important in a field like finances. Adriane says one of the biggest obstacles she faces in her industry is that the Latino community in general does not trust financial institutions.

“Past experiences can be the reason for this distrust, and as a Latina myself, I understand the struggles that immigrants face, especially regarding financial planning” she says. “But unfortunately, when it is passed from generation to generation, it prevents Latinos from embracing opportunities to create and transfer wealth with something as affordable as life insurance.”

Adriane has seen business owners lose a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice due to lack of information and financial planning. Witnessing these hardships within the Latino community has further motivated her to help Latinos achieve financial empowerment and break the cycles of poverty and violence that are still present in Latino communities.

“My Latino clientele is very diversified, from undocumented, non-English speaking first generation immigrants, to highly educated professionals, but regardless of their background or net worth – It is my promise to treat them with respect and integrity. We work hard, and we all deserve to be a part of the American Dream.”

Life Insurance: Protecting loved ones when we are no longer here

In communities where financial and investment planning is not always the top priority, many may not think to consider a future without them in it when making plans or investments. Few want to think about such a subject as death, but it is a reality and life insurance is one key tool and investment planning strategy many can use to ensure their loved ones are taken care of later in life.

“When premature death strikes a family, it creates a lifetime of struggles and lost opportunities that can last for generations!” says Adriane.

Through her work she has seen the life-changing impact that investment planning can have on a family especially when it comes to unexpected deaths.

investment planning

Adriane at New York Life Executive Council, 2019 (Photo courtesy Adriane Medeiros)

“I always share my experience when I delivered a life insurance check to a young woman that had suddenly lost her husband. He was self-employed, and they did not have any assets, except for their home which still had a mortgage. My client’s widow was devastated and grieving, but she was extremely thankful that the life insurance death benefit would allow her family to stay in the same house so her children would not have to move to another school system. It also enabled her to keep a comfortable lifestyle and guaranteed that she would be able to afford a college education for her children later. All of that was possible because a few years earlier her late husband purchased a life insurance policy with a premium of less than $40.00 per month!”

A life insurance investment is an investment to protect your family’s future. Adriane describes it as “a love letter that protects our loved ones when we are no longer here to protect them ourselves.”

Creating a life of abundance and financial empowerment

However, when we plan for the future we must also plan for a long, healthy life as well, which is where Adriane’s other area of expertise comes in: retirement planning. Retirement planning is another important, but often overlooked, investment planning strategy.

“As immigrants, we are so eager to work and make a living, that we sometimes forget to live, and we fail to plan for our future,” says Adriane.

Retirement planning is especially important for women who face unique challenges in retirement.

“During their working years, among other things, women (1) usually earn less than men, (2) they save less than men, (3) they are more likely to take time off to be caregivers, and (4) they live longer than men (a 65 year-old woman has a 50% chance of living to age 91).”

You might be interested: Best use of PPP and other financing strategies for Latina business owners

Adriane’s goal is to help all her clients achieve a life of abundance and financial empowerment through investment planning so that they can support their families for generations to come.

Adriane helping out with Dikaion, a non-profit organization in Brazil that she has been involved with for over 20 years (Photo courtesy of Adriane Mederios)

“I love it when I can show my clients how to enjoy their lives during their working years, but also prepare for the unexpected and plan for the future! I see each appointment as an opportunity to educate and empower. I want people to be excited and fully engaged about their own finances because knowledge really is power when it comes to money.”

7 Tips for success

There’s no doubt we all want to be successful in our professional endeavors. If you’re ready to embrace a life of abundance, financial empowerment, and go for you goals, check out Adriane’s top 7 tips for success in business below!

Adriane Medeiros

Adriane at Hispanic Heritage Month Event (Photo courtesy Adriane Medeiros)

  1. Learn about yourself, and your paradigms!  The more you know about yourself, the sooner you will get rid of paradigms and negative beliefs that are keeping you from the amazing and abundant life that you deserve!
  2. Invest in you! Make professional and personal development priorities throughout your life, and please, pay attention to your finances.
  3. Take Care of Yourself! It is important to follow all the necessary steps to success, such as preparation, discipline, perseverance, knowledge, etc., but when we face challenges (and we all do) – you must remember that YOU are the most important resource in your business. You have unlimited potential, but you need to pay close attention to the warning signs when physical and mental exhaustion are hurting you and your performance. Remember to put your oxygen mask first so you can help others.
  4. Never give up on your goal! Sometimes we must change our plans, and adjust to our circumstances, but have faith that the universe is always working in your favor if you do not give up!
  5. Be profoundly grateful! Setbacks can be devastating, and we might not be able to look on the bright side when bad things are happening, but when we are grateful for everything else that we have, and for the lessons that setbacks bring us, we are actually changing our mindset. A grateful mindset restores our faith and makes us resilient!
  6. Create a Mission that aligns with your career or business! My knowledge and experience as a financial advisor has enabled me to fulfill my mission to financially empower minorities, and transform lives.
  7. Be generous with your money, your time, and your knowledge Always give to those that will never be able to pay you back.  When you start giving without any expectation of getting something in return, you have achieved an abundant and successful life.