NLBWA-LA honored Maria S. Salinas with the Legacy Award

The NLBWA-LA –National Latina Business Women Association, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization–, hosted their “Latinas in Business Awards” to honor successful Latina entrepreneurs, community leaders and corporate executives within a variety of business industries.


NLBWA-LA Annual Latinas in Business Awards

Attendees of the “Annual Latinas in Business Awards” include past honorees and nominees, NLBWA-LA members, community leaders, business owners, and corporate professionals that have developed a partnership with the non-profit organization. Approximately 500 guests attended the signature event to recognize and support Latinas in business and corporate leaders that are making a difference in our communities.

Latinas own more than 1.5 million businesses in the U.S. and represent one in ten women-owned firms.

This year NLBWA-LA honored Maria S. Salinas,founder of Salinas Consulting, LLC with the Legacy Award for her contributions to empowering Latinas and leading by example. Salinas is an exceptional businesswoman who was recently named as CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Advocating for issues facing women has been a defining role for Salinas throughout her work in the community.


Maria S Salinas, Salinas Consulting CEO, at the NLBWA-LA Annual Latinas in Business Awards

A community activist, Salinas is recognized for her outstanding contributions to the nonprofit sector. She is the founder and former president of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), among many other charities that empower and elevate the Latino community. Today she serves as a board member of ProAmerica Bank a division of Pacific Commerce Bank.

“It is a pleasure and an honor to present this years’ Legacy Award to Maria Salinas. Her experience, talent and integrity have expanded possibilities for Latinas to thrive. She is truly an inspiration to Latinas and all women of color,” said Carmen Torres, Vice President, NLBWA-LA and Gala Chair.

In the last 5 years the number of companies owned by Latinas (majority-owned) increased by 682,000 which is an impressive 87% increase.

Other awards being presented that evening include: Member of the Year, Man of the Year, Rising Star, Corporate Leader of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Inspirational Leader of the Year.

“On behalf of NLBWA-LA Board of Directors and myself, we want to thank our members for placing their trust in us, to our sponsors and advisors who make it possible for us to serve the community, to help them reach their goals and accomplish their dreams, because of the generous financial support and guidance provided throughout the year,”said Livier Ramirez, President.

NLBWA-LA’s mission is to encourage Latinas to develop their business and professional skills and to meet their career goals through educational programs, financial workshops, business referrals and networking by building strong relationships.

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“Our goal is to empower Los Angeles based Latina entrepreneurs and professionals by providing them with invaluable resources and support to help them achieve their career goals,” said Sandylu Guerrero, Vice-Chair.

NLBWA-LA is governed by a Board of Directors: Livier Ramirez, President; Carmen Torres, Vice President; Alyssa Rizo, Secretary; Rosa M. Fregoso, Governance; Wendy Estrada, Treasurer; and board members: Lilibeth Romero, Gabriela Torres, Sandylu Guerrero, Dennise Mejia, and Amanda Barajas.



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