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8th Annual

November 16th, 2009

Defining Trends Magazine honors thinkers & innovators icons & heroes risk-takers & role models estrellas & entertainers community pioneers & civic leaders

We call them‌ Trendsetters.

Moving the Vision Forward These past two (2) years have been, to put it mildly, an interesting time in both American and world history. We have witnessed, and lived, a political, social and economic breakdown. And, in case we missed it, various news outlets have consistently informed us of this veritable tsunami of dire news. This tsunami, unlike a marathon runner who stops to replenish him/herself, has only grabbed more negative news to add into the killing fields of our minds. Unlike the marathon, we don’t know where the finish line is for this economic tsunami, in part because of the media tsunami. We have dealt with media and economic tsunamis, and we have reacted to them. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is what we as humans do – we act and react. We have not been acting on opportunities as much because we are too busy reacting to the economy, our loss of jobs, our inflated mortgages, and the increasingly dire news. But it is our duty, our goal, and our responsibility, to rise above this Newtonian law. We as Latinos – we as Trendsetters – are called upon to a special mission. We are called to rise above – to act, not react. In closing, I would like to send a special message to this year’s Trendsetters: remember that TV show that inspired a little Puerto Rican girl to catapult herself from the projects of the Bronx straight into the history books of the United States of America?

Just as Perry Mason inspired the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, you are inspiring our youth. It is important that you continue in your successes, because our youth need more role models. They can look up to sports figures and Hollywood entertainers, but they need more “where it hits home” – in the communities where they work, live, and play. They need to see -- and want to see – someone that looks like them who is doing things that they may not believe they could do. You Trendsetters aren’t characters like Perry Mason – you are real! Your actions may not reach the masses as a TV show does but your presence and visibility in the community goes a long way by igniting the spark of inspiration. Some of you may not notice the impact that you have had, are having, or will have on our youth. But it is your leadership that will help shape our youth into the leaders of tomorrow. I would like to also extend a special thanks to our sponsors: Pfizer, State Farm, Miller Coors, and Health Plus Felicidades a todos! Sincerely, Juan Guillen

Los últimos dos (2) años han sido, sin exagerar, muy interesantes para la historia de esta nación y del mundo. Hemos sido testigos y hemos vivido cambios políticos, sociales y económicos. Y si no hemos sido conscientes, los medios de comunicación nos han informado permanentemente de este tsunami. Este tsunami, contrario al maratonista que se detiene para tomar aliento, ha cautivado simplemente más noticias negativas para atormentar nuestras mentes. Diferente al maratonista, nosotros no sabemos en donde está la meta de este tsunami económico, en gran parte por el cubrimiento noticioso.

Juan Guillen CEO & Publisher

puertorriqueña para lanzarse desde los proyectos de vivienda de El Bronx hasta los libros de historia de los Estados Unidos. Así como Perry Mason inspiró a la honorable Sonia Sotomayor, ustedes están inspirando a nuestra juventud. Es importante que continúen con su carrera de éxitos porque nuestra juventud necesita de más modelos de vida. Nuestra juventud busca figuras deportivas y estrellas de Hollywood, pero anhela modelos más familiares, provenientes de las comunidades en donde trabajan, viven y juegan. Necesitan y desean ver a alguien que luzca como ellos y que esté haciendo cosas que han considerado inalcanzables.

Hemos enfrentado el tsunami económico y a los medios de comunicación y reaccionamos.

Ustedes como innovadores no son actores como Perry Mason, ¡son reales! Sus acciones quizás no alcanzan a un público como el televidente, pero su presencia y visibilidad en nuestra comunidad llega muy lejos hasta encender la llama de la inspiración.

Para cada acción hay una reacción igual y opuesta. Es lo que hacemos como humanos, actuamos y reaccionamos. No hemos actuado con base en las oportunidades como hemos debido porque estamos muy ocupados reaccionando a la economía, a la pérdida de trabajos, a los elevados préstamos de vivienda y a las noticias.

Algunos de ustedes no han percibido el impacto que han tenido y están logrando y alcanzarán en la juventud. Sin embargo, es su liderazgo el que moldeará a nuestra juventud y los convertirá en líderes del mañana.

Pero es nuestra obligación, nuestra meta y nuestra responsabilidad, levantarnos por encima de este fenómeno. Como latinos e innovadores tenemos que responder a esta exigencia. Es un llamado para despertar, actuar y reaccionar. Para terminar, quiero enviar un mensaje a los innovadores de este año: recordemos que fue un programa de televisión el que inspiró a una niña

También deseo extender mi gratitud a nuestros patrocinadores: Pfizer, State Farm, Miller Coors y Health Plus. ¡Felicidades a todos! Sinceramente, Juan Guillén CEO & Gerente General



Welcome Juan Guillen, CEO DTM Group (TBD)


Veronica Contreras

Father John Duffel

Dinner Presentation of Awards Jose Luis Rodriguez (Media) Lourdes Lopez (Diversity) Miguel Pozo (Legal) Ruben Diaz (Government) Laura Posada (Activism) Lutzi Vieluf (Business) Elizabeth Chalas Berman (Business) Randy Berman (Special Award) Maritza Puello (Journalism) Jenny Rivera (Education) Richard Gonzalez (Banking) Jose Pinero (Technology) Dr. Angela Diaz (Health) Willie Colon (Music)

Recognition of Scholarship Winners

Veronica Contreras is the weekday sports anchor for WNJU’s “Noticiero 47 at 6 and 11 p.m.” She also files a series of special reports for the station’s various newscasts. Contreras has won two ACE (Asociación de Cronistas de Entretenimiento) Awards, and has been honored by the Hispanic New York and Casa Puebla’s “Cinco de Mayo Festival” to name a few. She has also represented the station at the MS Bike Tour and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC Annual 5K Run/Walk. Recently, Contreras won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Sports Coverage from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

April Lee Hernandez-Castillo Performers Lorenzo LaRoc Violinist Victor Cruz Comedian Mariposa and Oveous Maximus Spoken Word Artists Natalia Segura Singer Closing Remarks Juan Guillen

April Lee Hernandez-Castillo is a film and television actress, best known for her role in the 2007 drama Freedom Writers, in which she played Eva, based on real-life high school student Maria Reyes. Hernandez-Castillo studied nutrition in Hunter College, but was inspired to pursue a comedy career after seeing John Leguizamo’s offBroadway production, Mambo Mouth. Aside from performing stand-up comedy, she has also appeared in several commercials, as well as on the television series ER, Law & Order, Rescue Me, and 30 Rock.

2009 TRENDSETTERS Jose Luis Rodriguez

Founder and CEO, HITN-TV José Luis Rodriguez is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN). HITN was established in 1981 as a private, non-profit organization with the purpose of advancing the educational, cultural, and socio-economic aspirations of Hispanics. Mr. Rodriguez’s vision to create a national television network came to fruition in 1987, when HITN expanded with the creation of HITN-TV. Today, HITN-TV is the first and only non-commercial “PBS-like” Spanishlanguage network in the US. A service that reaches more than 33 million households nationwide through carriage on Dish Network, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter. HITN is the only non-commercial network owned and controlled by US Latinos. Recently, Mr. Rodriguez made history by transmitting Paz Sin Fronteras on HITN-TV on Sunday, September 20th. This historic concert was made possible with the generous support of Colombian singer and international superstar Juanes, and aired live from Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana, Cuba.

Lourdes Lopez

Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, AXA Equitable Lourdes Lopez is the Manager of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at AXA Equitable. She is responsible for several essential growth initiatives in developing and implementing Cultural Awareness opportunities and spearheading the AXA Equitable’s Employee Resource Groups. Lourdes joined the company in 1982 and has held several positions as part of her career progression at AXA Equitable. She is active in several professional networking organizations including the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and National Association of Black Accountants. Lourdes holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Behavioral Science from Concordia College, and resides with her two children in Pelham, New York.

Miguel Pozo

Member of the firm, Lowenstein Sandler Miguel Alexander Pozo is a Member of the firm Lowenstein Sandler, practicing in the firm’s Litigation Department. He has ten years of experience representing Fortune 500 corporations, businesses, and non-profit organizations in a broad range of federal and state court litigation matters. Mr. Pozo is also Editorin-Chief of, a Web site and initiative of Lowenstein Sandler dedicated to fostering the advancement of women and minorities in the legal profession. A graduate of Hofstra University, and of Rutgers University School of Law, prior to joining the firm, Mr. Pozo served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence M. Lawson, A.J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County. In 2009, Mr. Pozo was recognized as one of New Jersey’s top “40 under 40” lawyers by the New Jersey Law Journal magazine. Also in 2009, he was named to the NJBiz “Forty under 40” list honoring men and women who are making headlines in their fields and who exhibit “excellence in business, commitment to community and professional achievement.” Both awards recognize an elite group of the State’s leading professionals.

Ruben Diaz Jr.

Bronx Borough President Elected Bronx Borough President in the Special Election on April 21st, 2009, Ruben Diaz, Jr., previously served in the New York State Assembly since 1997, representing the 85th Assembly District. Throughout his seven terms in the State Legislature, Ruben Diaz, Jr. was a champion for working families in the Bronx. In the State Assembly, Ruben Diaz, Jr. served as Chair of the Committee on Election Law and on the Assembly’s Standing Committees on Education, Ways & Means, Children and Families, Environmental Conservation and Transportation. He was also a member of the Assembly’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force and the Black/Puerto Rican and Asian Legislative Caucus. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Borough President Diaz lives in the Southeast Bronx with his wife Hilda Gerena Diaz and their two sons, Ruben Diaz III and Ryan Isaiah Diaz. He graduated from Lehman College, City University of New York, with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Theory.

Laura Posada

As an attorney licensed in both Puerto Rico and the US Federal Court, Laura has worn many hats in the professional world. Growing up, Laura began her career as a publicist, hosting television shows, and working as a fitness model and actress. In the late 1990’s Laura’s son, Jorge Jr., was born with Craniosynostosis, leading the family to start The Jorge Posada Foundation to bring awareness and support to other families dealing with the same struggles. As Co-Founder, Laura offers emotional support to fellow parents of children with craniosynostosis, and has created a Mentors Program. Her activism has enabled the number of grants given by the Foundation to craniofacial medical centers and servicerelated organizations to increase by over 500% since its inception.

Author, Activist, and Philanthropist Author, activist, philanthropisty – just a few of the words to describe modernday superwoman Laura Posada! Laura runs the day-to-day operations of 2 organizations, maintains a healthy and fit family and still finds enough time to write a book about it all. In her ground-breaking book, Fit Home Team, Laura describes the triumph of raising a healthy and fit family in the modern day world. Dedicated in her mission to spread awareness about craniosynostosis, Laura also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction. Her determination to generate awareness about the condition has resulted in a significant number of placements in magazines, newspapers, radio, as well as appearances in popular TV shows like the Today Show, Discovery Channel’s American Chopper, and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Lutzi Maria Vieluf

President, Cibao Meat Products Lutzi Maria Vieluf was born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. She has been the president of Bronx-based Cibao Meat Products since 2004. The company was founded by her German-born father, Siegfried Vieluf, 45 years ago. Vieluf studied psychology in college but decided to follow in her father’s footsteps. Cibao Meat Products produces 25 different varieties of meats, including salamis and sausages – with specialties including Salami del pueblo, Jamoneta campesino (Lutzi’s favorite), and Longaniza Cibao. On a daily basis, Vieluf supervises the production plant, takes care of the orders, and makes sure that clients receive quality products.

ATAX congratulates the 2009 Latino Trendsetters and scholarship winners.

Elizabeth Chalas Berman

Randall Berman

Elizabeth Chalas Berman is the President of Continental Food and Beverage, Inc. (CF&B), the exclusive bottler of Inca Kola for The Coca Cola Company. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English as Second Language from Caldwell College and completed her post-graduate work at CUNY Hunter College. Chalas Berman is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Chalas Berman spearheaded Continental Food and Beverages’ Community Outreach Department. In 2007, Continental Food and Beverage, Inc. was the recipient of the NYSFHCC Business of the Year Award. CF&B has helped many independent store owners set up operations through merchandising support and financial advising. Elizabeth Chalas Berman was the recipient of the 2009 BMW Ultimate Latina Award which was presented during the 2009 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention in Denver, Colorado. She was also awarded Business Woman of the year 2009 by the New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, Chalas Berman received Certificates of Recognition from Senators Frank Lautenberg and Senator Robert Menendez as well as a Certificate of Commendation from the office of the NJ County of Bergen.

Randall Berman, a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology, began his career as a Mechanical Engineer designing and selling packaging and bottling systems to Fortune 500 companies such as Anheuser Busch, Nabisco and Gillette. In 1991, he joined Continental Food & Beverage, and traveled to Japan and China to open the export business that still exists today. Randall has lead the Inca Kola brand to be one of the most respected Hispanic brands today by supporting small local community organizations and local Hispanic civic associations. Randall Berman is currently the director of sales on a national level for The Coca Cola Company’s Hispanic brands portfolio. In August 1999, The Coca Cola Comany decided that they needed an expert on Hispanic brands and offered Randall a position managing Inca Kola as a separate business unit within The Coca Cola Company. In 2009, he was awarded the “Ejecutivo del Ano” by the Hispanic State Parade of New Jersey. He is also a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation’s selection committee.

President, Continental Food & Beverage

Director of Hispanic Brands, Coca-Cola

Maritza Puello

Executive Editor, NY1 Noticias Maritza Puello was the first person hired to oversee the launch of NY1’s new Spanish language news channel NY1 Noticias in June of 2003. Her primary responsibilities were to hire and train a staff of Spanish speaking writers, producers and reporters as well as run the day-to-day operations of the news channel. Puello came to NY1 from, where she was a project manager, working on all of their Spanish language web products. Before that, she was a producer for Fox News Channel where she helped launch Fox NewsEdge. Puello is a native New Yorker. She has lived in her entire life on the Upper West Side and is a graduate of Fordham University.


Jenny Rivera

Professor of Law, City University of New York School of Law Jenny Rivera is a Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law, in New York and the Founder and Director of the Law School’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). In 1993, Professor Rivera clerked for then District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. After President Obama nominated Justice Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, Professor Rivera’s analysis of the confirmation process and the Justice’s judicial record was featured in national venues including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Newsweek, Latino USA, among other major outlets. Professor Rivera graduated from Princeton University and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an editor for the Annual Survey of American Law, a Root Tilden Scholar, and co-chair of the Latino Law Students Association. Prior to teaching, Professor Rivera clerked in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Se Law Clerk office. She was also a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project where she represented homeless families in federal and state class actions and administrative hearings, and served as an Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she worked on education and employment discrimination, equity and testing issues, gender equality and language rights discrimination. Hispanic Business named Professor Rivera one of the Elite Women of 2005, and El Diario/ La Prensa named Professor Rivera one of the outstanding Latinas of 2000. In 2009 the HNBA awarded Professor Rivera a Presidential Advocacy Award.

Richard Gonzalez

Senior Vice President of Capital One Bank Richard Gonzalez began his banking career in 1985 at Citibank as a summer teller. Later that year, he transitioned to Chase Manhattan Bank where he climbed the corporate ranks from Customer Service Representative to Vice President, managing multiple flagship locations in Manhattan. In 2003, Richard was recruited to North Fork Bank (now Capital One Bank) by its CEO, John Kanas, to take on the role of Senior Vice President and Regional Administrator in the Queens market. Richard earned his Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from St. John’s University in 1988 and later earned his Master of Business Administration in 1992, specializing in Management and Marketing. In 2000, he was nominated and completed the Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Denver in Colorado. Richard lives on Long Island with his wife of 13 years, Loren and their two beautiful daughters, ages 9 and 3. Richard Gonzales is the son of a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States in 1953 and went on to earn three Masters Degrees from Columbia University. Richard has been a strong supporter of several communities and organizations. He has worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Safe Horizon, Women In Need, God’s Love We Deliver, Friends of Karen, the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the Union Square Partnership, the Third Street School, the 23rd Street Association and the Greenwich Village/Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Richard also partnered with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor’s office on Opportunity NYC, an initiative to help eliminate poverty in our neighborhoods

José Piñero

Director of Communication Initiatives, Microsoft Since July 2009 José Piñero has been leading communication initiatives for the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business, which includes products such as Windows Media Center, Zune and Microsoft Mediaroom. José started his career at Microsoft in Redmond in 1996. Specifically, he managed the marketing strategy and delivery for several Microsoft games, including Microsoft Flight Simulator, one of the top selling PC games in the industry. Currently José is a Board Member of Hopelink, an organization whose mission is to promote self-sufficiency for all members of the Seattle Eastside community. Previously he was a Board Member of Global Partnerships, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for impoverished people, and a Corporate Advisory Board Member for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA). José holds a Master in Business Administration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. In 2007, José was recognized as a Latin Business Magazine’s “Top 100 U.S. Hispanics to Watch” in 2007 and as a “Top 100 Prominent Latinos in the Business World” in 2008. In July of 2009, José was selected as a recipient of the Donald H. McGannon Service Award from the National Urban League, a historic civil rights organization dedicated to helping underserved urban communities.

Dr. Angela Diaz

Professor of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Angela Diaz, MD, MPH is the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Pediatrics and Community Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. After earning her medical degree in 1981 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, she completed her post-doctoral training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1985 and subsequently received a Master in Public Health from Harvard University. Dr Diaz is the Director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, a unique program that provides comprehensive, integrated, interdisciplinary primary care, reproductive health, mental health and health education services to teens. Dr. Diaz is active in public policy and advocacy in the U.S. and a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the country and around the world. In 2009, Dr. Diaz was appointed by Mayor M. Bloomberg to the New York City Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Runaway and Homeless Youth. She was also appointed in 2009 to the Committee for Planning the Assessment/Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Programs Implemented Under the U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008. Dr. Diaz has been a White House Fellow, a member of the Food and Drug Administration Pediatric Advisory Committee, and a member of the National Institutes of Health State of the Science Conference on Preventing Violence and Related Health Risk Social Behaviors in Adolescents. She serves on an advisory panel for the NIH Reproductive Sciences Branch. She reviews grants for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institute of Child Health and Human Development Biobehavioral and Behavioral Sciences Committee, the NIH Partners in Research Program, the NIH Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

William Anthony Colón

scended from a musical legend into an internationally respected sociopolitical voice, equally at home in the entertainment industry and political front.

William Anthony Colón has collaborated with many salsa musicians such as Ismael Miranda, Celia Cruz and Soledad Bravo, and singer-songwriter Rubén Blades. On his website, Colon claims to hold the “all time record for sales in the Salsa genre, [having] created 40 productions that have sold more than thirty million records worldwide.” Colón currently serves as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s representative advisor & liaison to the Latin Media Entertainment Commission (to which Robert DeNiro and Jennifer Lopez serve as the celebrity chairs). Willie Colón has tran-

Always clever at injecting political messages into his legendary music, Willie Colón first emerged as a civil rights, community and political activist at age 16 and has continued in this path ever since. Colón has served as liaison and special assistant for the Mayor of New York City for the Latin community. Colón’s many achievements as a public figure include his induction to the Bronx Walk of Fame, where his name was placed on the corner of Grand Concourse and 161st Street in front of the Bronx Borough Hall.

Latin Music Legend

2008 Latino Trendsetter Award Recipients

top left: Silvester Del Rosario, Juan Guillen, Judy Torres, Robson Mello, Yacov E. Wrocherinsky, Fernando Montejo, Nadia Martinez, M.D., Rafael Alvarez, Frank Flores, Antonio Ibarria, Luis M. Estevez, Mariela Fermin, Tomรกs D. Morales, Napoleon Barragan, Ernest Gonzales

National Supermarket Association congratulates the 2009 Latino Trendsetters and scholarship winners.

The 2009 Scholarship Winners From 100 Hispanic Women Leadership Program Victoria Rodriguez City College of New York

Melinda Gonzalez CUNY Lehman College Melinda Gonzalez (born October 7, 1990) is a sophomore at CUNY, Lehman College. In June 2008, Melinda received The Young Women’s Leadership School Class of 2008 Most Improved Student award in recognition of her hard work and dedication from the 7th to 12th grade. Assistant Principal, Drew Higginbotham, presented the award to Gonzalez at The Young Women’s Leadership Awards Ceremony.

Originally from Washington Heights, Victoria Rodriguez attended Saint Michael’s Academy, where she graduated as a member of the national honor society and was recognized as the top artist of her graduating class. She is currently enrolled in The City College of New York as a Jewish Studies Major and has a G.P.A of 3.8.

Rachel Soto CUNY Queens College Rachel Soto attended Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, Queens where she excelled academically and graduated with honors. Her academic success helped secure her placement at CUNY Queens College, where today she is a full time student, double majoring in Elementary/Early Childhood Education and Sociology. She worked at After Hours Project, Inc. a non-profit organization founded by her father. After Hours Project, Inc. (AHP) is a community-based harm reduction program that, addresses the continued spread of HIV/AIDS in the predominantly low income and minority neighborhoods (Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Brownsville, Brooklyn). In addition, Rachel currently interns at 100 Hispanic Women, Inc. a non-profit, women’s organization with members from a wide range of industries and interests.

Stephanie Torres Lehman College

19 year old Stephanie Torres is currently studying at Lehman College and plans to become a CPA. . She graduated with honors from the all-girls St. Catharine’s Academy, and is currently on the Dean’s List. She also works part time as a college assistant at the Financial Aid office of the College.

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” -Japanese Proverb

Journal for Latino Trendsetter Awards