October 11, 2017

Eugenio Marlin Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year

Press Release:

Eugenio Marlin Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year
Ibero-American Development Corporation V.P. to Receive 28th Annual RHBA Award

ROCHESTER, NY (July 28, 2017) The Rochester Hispanic Business Association (RHBA), a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, named Eugenio Marlin its 2017 Hispanic Business Person of the Year.  Marlin currently serves as Vice President of Ibero-American Development Corporation, an entity that specializes in developing affordable housing and other structures for community use.

Rochester Hispanic Business Association Chairwoman Vilma Burgos Torres said, “Whatever he does, Eugenio is tireless and a great role model for the younger generation.”

Marlin previously served as vice president for development and communications at Ibero.  He also operated Marlin Communications Group as a sole proprietor as well as writing and editing several Spanish language publications. Marlin is the first Dominican to be honored as RHBA Hispanic Business Person of the Year.  Prior honorees trace their roots to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

Marlin said, “I am honored to be named Hispanic Business Person of the Year, acknowledging that this distinction equally belongs to those who in the past and in the present have collaborated in the work that we do.”

The Rochester Hispanic Business Association honors Marlin as the 28th annual Hispanic Business Person of the Year at a gala luncheon September 26 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the event page or contact Michele Hefferon at Michele.Hefferon@GreaterRochesterChamber.com or (585) 256-4614.


Written on behalf of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association by:

Dan Smith
Sr. Director, Communications
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
150 State St. – Suite 400
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 256-4616

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the current title of Mr. Marlin.


Frank Garcia to Keynote RHBA Awards Luncheon

Press Release:

Frank Garcia to Keynote RHBA Awards Luncheon
CEO of Go Green Technology Chairs NYS Coalition of Hispanic Chambers

ROCHESTER, NY (July 12, 2017) The Rochester Hispanic Business Association (RHBA), a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, welcomes Frank Garcia as the keynote speaker for its September 26 Hispanic Business Person of the Year gala luncheon.  Garcia is founder and CEO of Millennium Go Green Technology, a global environmentally sustainable toner remanufacturing company based in New York City.

RHBA Chairperson Vilma Burgos-Torres said, “We are honored that Frank Garcia, chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, has graciously accepted our invitation to serve as keynote speaker.  As the leader of the coalition of more than 20 Hispanic chambers of commerce, Mr. Garcia has been a leading advocate for Hispanics nationwide as well as a successful businessman at Millennium Go Green Technology.”

Garcia, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Puerto Rico, was the first Hispanic entrepreneur to use and recycle manufactured toner cartridges across New York State.  He also serves as chairman of the National Association of Latino State Chambers as part of his dedication to expanding minority-owned businesses in the United States.  Garcia is also a board member of Veterans Across America, an advocacy organization which enhances the economic well-being of veterans and their family caregivers.

The Rochester Hispanic Business Association Hispanic Business Person of the Year gala luncheon is set for 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, September 26 at the Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.  Tickets are available at the RHBA website at www.RochesterHBA.org.  For more information, contact Michele Hefferon at Michele.Hefferon@ GreaterRochesterChamber.com or (585) 256-4614.

Founded in 1989, the Rochester Hispanic Business Association increases the visibility of Hispanic professionals and business owners and provides a forum to network and interact.  The RHBA goal is to enhance the economic, educational, and political development of the Hispanic community in Rochester and throughout the United States.


Written on behalf of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association by:

Dan Smith
Sr. Director, Communications
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
150 State St. – Suite 400
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 256-4616

Colombian Racing Champion Juan Pablo Montoya To Compete At The Glen

Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombian racing driver champion

Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán, the adept Colombian racing driver champion, will be competing on the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen this Sunday, September 4th.

Juan Pablo started at an early age in the art of motorsports with kart racing, by the hand of his father Pablo. A beloved icon in South America, Juan Pablo is now an international champion with loyal fans all over the world.

While most drivers are happy to specialize in one circuit, Montoya is a crossover race winner with titles in Formula 1, Formula 3000, CART Championship (Indycar), Daytona, Indianapolis and NASCAR. He is the only driver to have won the premier North American open-wheel CART title, Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Daytona, Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Italian Grand Prix all at the first attempt.

Juan Pablo Montoya currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series driving for Team Penske. You can read his complete bio and learn more about his career, stats and his latest activities on his website jpmontoya.com.

This week before the race Montoya kindly gave an interview for the Rochester Hispanic Business Association and RHBA Board member Luis Martinez had the opportunity to talk with Montoya about his career, the race at The Glen and being a Latino car racing driver. This was particularly a special treat for Luis because he is not only a successful leadership coach and business adviser but also a Certified Track Instructor, and a big fan of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Luis and I will be at The Glen this weekend so stay tuned for our follow-up articles where he will share more details about his interview with Juan Pablo and I will capture more images of him and the INDYCAR Grand Prix!

Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombian racing driver champion


Watkins Glen International (The Glen) is a premier racing facility located in the Finger Lakes at 1hr 45 minutes from Rochester, NY. The Glenn, as it is known in the racing circles, is New York’s only home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition to holding major NASCAR and SCCA events, Watkins Glen International also hosts one of the nation’s premier vintage events, the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix.


Hispanic Business Person of the Year 2016: Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons

Press Release:

Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year
Pretty Girl Promotions President to Receive 27th Annual RHBA Award

Mercedes Vazquez-SimmonsROCHESTER, NY (August 10, 2016) The Rochester Hispanic Business Association, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, named Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons its 2016 Hispanic Business Person of the Year.  Vazquez-Simmons is founder and president of Pretty Girl Promotions, a full-service boxing and mixed martial arts promotion company based in Rochester.

RHBA Chair Vilma Burgos Torres said, “I am thrilled that we are honoring Mercedes. She has broken another glass ceiling, becoming the first Latina to gain national recognition as a boxing promoter for both male and female athletes in a once male-dominated industry.” [Read more…]

RHBA Member Jere Fletcher Featured in Rochester Poets Reading Series

Jere FletcherRHBA Member Jere Fletcher is the featured poet/writer for October of the  Rochester Poets Reading Series.

This monthly reading features guest poets and writers and is followed by an open mic session, where short fiction writers, musicians, singers, comics and even dancers are welcome to participate.

Founded in 1922, Rochester Poets is the oldest literary organization in the upstate New York Region.

Rochester Poets Reading Series

Sunday October 18 – 1:30-3:30 p.m. 
Brighton Library – Learning Center meeting room 
2300 Elmwood Avenue. Rochester, NY 14618.
Free admission.

About Jere Fletcher

Ever since Jere studied writing in college with E.L. Doctorow and June Jordan, he wanted to write in the worst way. Friends and family were quick to tell him he already did.

Persevering, he got his work rejected by The New Yorker magazine, more than once, along with rejections from several other literary publications. Nonetheless, people have come out to hear him read, even repeatedly.

Jere informally edited poetry for about 16 years, and twice visited (but did not study at) a writers’ conference in Vermont. He has attended numerous readings by other poets and writers, including Louis Simpson, Bill Matthews, Carolyn Forché, Dorianne Laux, and Nin Andrews.

Various Rochester professionals and health care facilities have purchased his landscape photography.

Jere also served in the Rochester Hispanic Business Association Board of Directors for several years.

A former trial lawyer, Jere continues to represent and advocate for people in other capacities.


Randy Phillips Apodaca

Randy Phillips Apodaca (El Mensajero Catolico)Randy Phillips Apodaca, a longtime member of RHBA, passed away this week.

Randy worked for El Mensajero Catolico, the Spanish-language version of the Catholic Courier, the newspaper of the Diocese of Rochester. He attended our networking events, Annual Gala and business lunches.

Randy will be buried in Denver, Colorado, where his parents and the rest of the family lives.


Our thoughts and prayers are with Randy and his family.




Ines Antonetti-Ferrer 2013 Rochester Hispanic Business Person of the Year

Ines Antonetti-Ferrer Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year
Rochester Hispanic Business Association Award


Ines Ferrer-AntonettiThe Rochester Hispanic Business Association, a Rochester Business Alliance affiliate, named Ines Antonetti-Ferrer its 2013 Hispanic Business Person of the Year. Antonetti-Ferrer owns Ines’ Casa de Hair beauty salon on Rochester’s North Goodman Street, where she also serves as lead stylist.

The 2013 Hispanic Business Person of the Year honor is the latest of several awards that Antonetti-Ferrer has received in her 33 years in business. Antonetti-Ferrer split her days in the Rochester City School District between Jefferson High School and Edison Tech to complete her academic studies along with an occupational education. She received a high school diploma and a New York State license in Cosmetology.

Rochester Hispanic Business Association Chair Grace Tillinghast said, “I am delighted that RHBA selected Ines as the 2013 awardee. Ines is a pioneer Hispanic business owner and one who has established and maintained her business in the city of Rochester. She is only the fourth female to be named Hispanic Business Person of the Year in the 24 year existence of the RHBA.” [Read more…]

Rochester Latino Rotary Club Honors Local Latino Entrepreneurs

Rochester Latino Rotary Club Honor Roll of Latino Entrepreneurs

Last June 10th during their monthly dinner at the Holiday Inn Airport, the Rochester Latino Rotary Club honored local business owners who were making a significant impact on the economy of our community. The honorees were enlisted in the Rochester Latino Rotary Club Honor Roll of Latino Entrepreneurs.

Among these outstanding entrepreneurs were several RHBA members: Gilbert R. Perez, Esq., Alfred Burgos (Burgos Income Tax), Orlando Rivera (New York Life Insurance Company), Bera Jurado (State Farm Insurance), Hiram Hernandez Sr. (First Capital Payments), Zury Brown (El Pilon Criollo), Tricia Cruz (Vamos Public Relations), Vilma Burgos (Burgos Income Tax) and yours truly Kelly Mullaney (Working Art Media). [Read more…]

Hispanic Business Association Adds Two to Board of Directors

Ayala - DeVinney

The Rochester Hispanic Business Association, a Rochester Business Alliance affiliate, announced two new members of its Board of Directors: Dr. Javier Ayala and Lisa Martinez DeVinney.

Dr. Javier Ayala is Dean of Career Technical Education at Monroe Community College. A native of El Salvador, Dr. Ayala holds a Ph.D. in education from Oregon State University. Prior to his position at MCC, Dr. Ayala served as Dean of Curriculum and Instruction and Vice President of Instruction at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Lisa Martinez DeVinney serves as Admissions Coordinator at Roberts Wesleyan College. She holds a BA in Communications from Biola University and is currently working on a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership at Roberts Wesleyan. DeVinney previously served in several roles at the American Red Cross. [Read more…]

Members Highlights: Everardo “Andy” Rodriguez

Andy RodriguezEverardo “Andy” Rodriguez is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, Rochester Office. He has been a federal prosecutor for 14 years, principally prosecuting persons charged with drug trafficking, illegal firearms possession and crimes of violence, including murder. Many of these crimes arise from large, long term and violent multi defendant conspiracies. Andy has been lead counsel in numerous trials and has briefed and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

After graduating from Cornell Law School in 1989, Andy worked as a commercial litigator in Miami, Florida and Rochester until joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1999. From 2007 to 2009, Andy and his family lived in Bogota, Colombia, where he worked as a Resident Legal Advisor for the Department of Justice at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. [Read more…]

Celebrating Law Day 2013

Established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Law Day is celebrated each year by bar associations, the courts and other law-related organizations and educational institutions across the country.

Realizing the Dream: Equality for AllSeymour W. James, Jr., President of the New York State Bar Association says about this year’s celebration:

The theme for Law Day 2013 is “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” The American aspiration to achieve full equality for all is one of the defining characteristics of our national identity.  This year marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”  As we look back upon these historic milestones and reflect upon the tremendous legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, this year’s Law Day theme also provides an opportunity to consider our nation’s ongoing efforts to fully realize the dream of equality for all.

Visit the New York State Bar Association Law Day 2013 page for a comprehensive list of resources in this subject.


The Rochester Hispanic Business Association is very pleased to celebrate Law Day and highlight its members in the law profession: [Read more…]

Author Luis Alberto Urrea Visits Rochester

Last evening we had the pleasure to attend one of the lectures author Luis Alberto Urrea is giving about his latest book: Into the Beautiful North during his visit to Rochester. This event took place at the auditorium of the Penfield Public Library and is part of Writers and Book’s 2013 program “If Rochester Read the Same Book”. The Rochester Hispanic Business Association is proud to be the Table of Content sponsor of this year’s author.

Luis Alberto Urrea Visits Rochester

Kelly Mullaney (RHBA board of directors), author Luis Alberto Urrea, Marcela Villarreal (La Voz magazine), Diana Casais (ImagenNY magazine) and Luis A. Ormaechea(RHBA board of directors)

[Read more…]

The Battery (Grace & Fred Tillinghast) Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Fred and Grace Tillinghast, The Battery

RHBA members Fred and Grace Tillinghast, co-owners of The Battery baseball and softball training facility, will be celebrating their 30th anniversary training champions next Saturday March 2nd.

“As a small family owned and run business, we are proud to have contributed to make reality the dreams of thousands of young people. We are proud of the Battery students who through the years have signed with Division 1 colleges and universities; proud of those who signed professional contracts, and proud to have a Battery-trained student in the major leagues.”

Among their successful alumni is Andy Parrino, professional baseball player for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. [Read more…]

2013 Eyes on the Future Economic Summit

Eyes on the Future Economic Summit

The 2013 Eyes on the Future Economic Summit theme: Is Your Company a ‘Fast’ Company?

The keynote speaker of the event will be Robert Safian, editor and managing director of the award-winning monthly business magazine Fast Company.

Safian’s presentation, “Is Your Company a Fast Company?” will provide three distinct guidelines to help companies and businesspeople determine if they are “fast” and how to ensure future success. Attendees will walk away with the tools necessary to assess and implement a “fast” approach to business.

Since its inception 6 years ago, the Eyes on the Future Economic Summit has been hosted by the Greater Rochester Enterprise and the Small Business Council of Rochester. Every year, this summit draws an audience of about a thousand people.

This event is free and open to the public. Specially important for small business who remain a critical driver of the economic success of our region.

Date: May 15, 2013 – 8:30 am
Location: St. John Fisher College

For more information and registration to the event, visit www.eyesonthefuture.biz.


Tricia Cruz New Public Relations Specialist for Rochester City School District

Tricia CruzRHBA member Tricia Cruz, president of Vamos! Public Relations, was recently named Public Relations Specialist and Assistant to the Chief of Communications for Rochester City School District.

“I really feel that I couldn’t be in a better place than the Rochester City School District,” Cruz said. “My greatest passion in life is to help children, especially with a Latino background. As a Bilingual PR Specialist, I hope to bring more attention to the positive stories taking place in the district as well as serving as a ‘go to’ contact for Spanish-speaking parents.”

Along with her role as assistant to the chief communications officer, she will serve as a back-up translator, public relations writer, and media contact for stories.



Read the complete article in La Voz Magazine.