September 20, 2017

Members Highlights: Carlos Santiago

Carlos Santiago is program manager at The Flanders Group. Carlos says he enjoys “being able to truly educate and help business owners with their insurance solutions, and being able to reduce costs towards their programs which in turn helps their businesses with their profits.”

Carlos studied business administration at Baldwin Wallace College and the University of Phoenix. He is also NYS Property and Casualty Licensed. He said the best business advice he ever received is “You have to know why you’re doing what you are doing. You have to have a ‘why’ in life!” [Read more…]

Members Highlights: Gabriella Clark

clarkBorn and raised in Rochester, NY, Gabriella attended Rochester Institute of Technology and completed a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design in 2013. Gabriella is also a proud graduate of the Urban Suburban Program at Brighton High School. She and her husband, Michael, presently reside in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester and enjoy the rich art and culture the city has to offer. As a member of the Hispanic community, Gabriella is always looking for ways to get involved and connect with other professionals who feel passionate about the future of Rochester.

Gabriella serves on the Board of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company and works closely with Annette Ramos and Stephanie Paredes to bring quality Latino theatre to the Rochester community. She enjoys being a part of the team that brings a voice to Latino artists, performers, and playwrights.

Gabriella is a Commercial Interior Designer and Relocation Manager for the locally woman-owned business, Vargas Associates. She works with a variety of Rochester organizations helping them envision and create inspiring workplaces and learning environments. Gabriella is passionate about transforming spaces through the design process and combines functionality with aesthetics to best suit the day-to-day needs of the end user. Many of these initiatives need a skilled approach to furniture coordination and the physical relocation of spaces. With interior design and relocation management as her primary focus, Gabriella also lends her talents to the range of services offered by Vargas Associates including facilities project management, space planning and furniture procurement.

Members Highlights: Lisa Martinez DeVinney

Lisa DeVinneyLisa has lived in Rochester, NY since 1998, but was raised in Southern California and Northern Virginia.  Prior to moving to Rochester, she worked in Washington D.C. at the American Red Cross’ National Headquarters, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was involved in educating the Hispanic community regarding important health issues. 

As the Recruitment Manager for Community Relations at Roberts Wesleyan College, she enjoys helping adult students make their educational dreams a reality.  Having gone through an accelerated Master’s program herself, while working full-time and caring for her own family, she can honestly claim “if she can do it, so can you!”  Her interests and activities focus on higher education, faith, family, Hispanic, and women’s issues. 

Lisa serves on the Board of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association and is involved with other local, Hispanic groups including Latinas Unidas and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Biola University and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College.

Members Highlights: J. Roberto Burgos

Roberto_BurgosJ. Roberto Burgos, President of Burgos Properties LLC, has established his company in the heart of the Hispanic community on Clinton Avenue North.  He decided to make his first business investment in the same area of the City of Rochester that his family landed more than 60 years ago.  He has always believed once successful, we all need to give back in order to affect a better life for the following generations in Rochester NY.

Since the early 1970’s Roberto became a community and civil rights activist known for his passion to access services to improve the lives of the Hispanic Community. He was the founder of the Puerto Rican Youth Development and Resource Center while still a college student and served as Executive Director for 25 years. He then then went on to work for Home Properties Company as a manager of residential complexes in Rochester.  He also worked for the Monroe County Legislature for many years before joining the City of Rochester in the Department for Community Development under the former administration of Mayor Bob Duffy. He has served on a number of boards including but not limited to the Ibero American Action League, the American Red Cross Blood Center, and the University of Rochester’s Community Advisory Board for AIDS Vaccine Research.  Roberto believes in volunteering in the community and currently serves on the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Rochester and the Committee that has established the first Spanish Language Radio Station in Rochester New York.

Roberto received his BS degree in Management from Roberts Wesleyan College.

J. Roberto Burgos is a native of Aibonito, Puerto Rico, moved as a young child with parents and siblings to Rochester NY in 1954.  He has been married to Sonia Burgos for 42 years; they have 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren.

Roberto’s hobbies include gardening and traveling especially to Puerto Rico and Dallas, Texas to visit family and friends.

Members Highlights: Jaira Santiago

Jaira SantiagoJaira N. Santiago is a 38 year old Hispanic native from Rochester NY, and the  mother of two beautiful children. She graduated from East High School and attended classes at Monroe Community College.
Santiago is the owner and creator of Beads and Bangles by Jaira located at 733 East Main Street Rochester NY.

“We make custom handcrafted beaded jewelry combining silver and gold filled beads with Swarvoski Crystals and semi precious stones to create a one of a kind piece to cherish.
On my spare time, I enjoy working with my hands creating wedding cakes, floral arrangements and favors for all occasions. However, my passion has always been jewelry and I’ve been a jeweler for over 13 years.”

Members Highlights: Jane Sutter

jane sutterJane E. Sutter recently launched Sutter Communications, which provides a variety of services, including writing, editing, public relations, and social media. Jane’s book, “Sutter’s Sodas Satisfy: A Memoir of 90 Years of Sutter Drug Co.,” will be published in April 2015.

Jane has more than 30 years of experience in publishing newspapers, magazines and web sites. She spent 13 years in top leadership roles at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., including as managing editor and deputy editorial page editor. Her career includes stints as a reporter or editor in Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina and Florida.

Jane is a native of Burlington, Iowa, and holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She is married to Gary Brandt.

Members Highlights: Julio Vazquez

julio VazquezWhen Julio Vázquez graduated from Franklin High School, he was incorrectly classified as a slow learner, having moved to the United States from Puerto Rico at age 13. Later, he received a master’s degree in education, became a Rochester city school teacher, a not-for-profit executive and Commissioner of the Department of Community Development for the City of Rochester. But as a young man he was overlooked and underestimated. Mr. Vázquez has spent much of his life working to make sure young people receive a quality education so their prospects are unlimited.

Mr. Vázquez worked as a community member and Spanish teacher to improve the quality of bilingual education in city schools. In addition, Mr. Vázquez held several positions at the Ibero-American Action League before becoming its President and CEO. During his tenure as president, the agency doubled its budget and programs, with one key focus early childhood education. Mr. Vázquez also helped create the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, which he serves as co-chairman and CEO. The school offers a strong academic program, an extended school day and year, education in English and Spanish and programs on weekends and in summer for those needing extra help. “He is very passionate about education and even more about the right environment for children to thrive,” said Miriam Vázquez, former principal of Eugenio Maria de Hostos and a sister of Mr. Vázquez, one of 13 children.

Members Highlights: Evelyn D’Agostino Sasso

evelyn Dagostino sasso

Evelyn D’Agostino Sasso, national of the Republic of Panama, serves the Xerox Corporation as International Logistics Analyst. She currently is board member of HAPA (Hispanic Association for Professional Advancement at Xerox corporation- Rochester Chapter), Rochester La Voz newspaper advisory board, founder of Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester, and Artistic Director for Avenue D Afro-Latino Dance Group


Ms. D’Agostino is a proud mother of a four year old and a mentor to others. Her dedication to the organizations she serves has not only inspired her audience but has managed to help create an awareness of the Latin America culture while integrating the culture and diversity of others.

Grupo Cultural Latinos En Rochester was founded in 2013 by a group of creative’s families in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage and  maintaining our Children’s Cultural Heritage

Under the artistic direction of Evelyn D’Agostino and a family of volunteers, our programs are offered to all children, transcending barriers of language, culture.  Children and adults learn to work together and develop personal standards of excellence, a pride of achievement, and a curiosity about the Latin America world.

Our mission statement:To promote Latin American cultural heritage in Western NY, through educational/ informative events and  entertaining life performances.

Members Highlights: Alvin Rodriguez

Alvin RodriguezMeet Alvin Rodriguez

I presently serve as the Director of Engineering at IV4, Inc. with sole responsibility for oversight of all Technical Services. In this role, I’m responsible for ensuring uptime of our clients whose systems IV4 monitors and manages remotely. As part of the seven member Executive Leadership Team, I’m also involved in the strategic planning and execution of the company’s growth initiatives. My responsibilities include design and implementation of client system architecture and infrastructure, managing and directing Engineering staff, the Operations Manager and the company’s Service Desk operations as well as project management and coordination.

Prior to my role at IV4, Inc. I served as the Global IT Operations Manager at Ciber, Inc. I led and managed a team of 60 engineers for Wintel, Messaging, Citrix, VMware, Enterprise Management Systems and Network Operations.

I have an active lifestyle outside of work, and enjoy running, biking, basketball and gardening. I’m a member at Temple Zion, a local Rochester church where I volunteer my time running an athletic ministry known as TZAM.
My wife Amarilys is a teacher at Webster Thomas, and we have a 10 month baby girl, Gabriela. We are expecting our second child next year.

I also started volunteering at Ibero because I care about the causes they support.

Members Highlights: Annette Ramos

Annette RamosMs. Annette Ramos recently became Wolftrap Director and Manager of Educational Services for Young Audiences of Rochester. Ms. Ramos has significant teaching experience with organizations like the RCSD, Writers & Books, Kuumba Consultants, Quad A and various other School Districts. She has proven to be an excellent Performer and Teaching Artist and a wonderful asset to any Arts organization.


During her 8 years of Art residencies and programing with Young Audiences of Rochester, she distinguished herself with a large and ongoing commitment to Arts education teaching thousands of RSCD students.  Master Storyteller, Annette Ramos is a well respected performer, an animated, uplifting and enthusiastic Latina, performing original & World tales spiced with dance, mime, a cornucopia of voices, and love of people. She has been acknowledged for her remarkable contributions receiving special Recognition Awards from the Rochester City School District and  recently receiving the Latinas Unidas Leadership Award and becoming a Nominee for the Hispanicize Positive Impact Award. She is best described as a multi-dynamic, highly energized, Latina Writer, Storyteller and Performance Artist who delivers a clear and powerful positive image of Hispanics today.


Ms. Ramos is that rare Teaching Artist who has influenced the development of so many young people and who has done it with so much joy and energy. Ms. Ramos has been a leading Hispanic artistic presence in the Rochester area volunteering and contributing to young peoples lives, mentoring them to reach their full potential and supporting their academic success through high quality Arts programing.

Additionally, playing a leadership role, Ms. Ramos continues to develop increased opportunities for Latino Artists. She founded the Rochester Latino Theatre Company and is currently in her 2nd year of producing duel-language Latino theater for Rochester audiences. She is always recruiting new talent, mentoring them as Actors, Playwrights, Directors and Theater Artists. This is a relatively new endeavor, and we are pleased that she has taken this responsibility on, as she has brought much energy, ideas and continued success to bringing Latino based theater to Rochester Audiences educating them on Latino identity and issues while dismantling the negative stereotypes of Hispanics today. Current productions are “In the Heights” at RAPA May 21st through June 1st, 2014 and a play reading  of “W.A.C.” about women in the military at MuCCC May 3rd. 2014. Additional info will be available soon.


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Members Highlights: Erica Hernandez-Cornier


Erica Hernandez-Cornier serves as the Upstate NY Associate Director for the New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council. In this role, Erica strives to bring greater value to both the local Council’s corporate members as well as the Council-Certified Minority Business Enterprise members.



Prior to this role, Erica served as Program Manager at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute’s Community Grants Program; making significant contributions to NY state by working as a liaison to government agencies, community organizations, non-governmental organizations and businesses.  Of particular note, an approval Environment Protection Agency grant co-written by Mrs. Hernandez-Cornier resulted in training for homeowners on the impact of everyday environmental hazards.


Mrs. Hernandez-Cornier also brings to the table her experience with lead-based paint risk assessment as a Project Manager for Proway Management Corporation, dealing with both private and government clients.


Mrs. Hernandez-Cornier holds her Masters degree in Environmental, Health and Safety and her Bachelors degree in Management Information Systems, both from Rochester Institute of Technology.


Members Highlights: Eugenio Marlin

Eugenio-MarlinEugenio Marlin was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1971.  Soon after, he established himself in Rochester, New York. Since then, Mr. Marlin has been actively involved in the Rochester community and is currently the President and CEO of the Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC), an affiliate corporation of the Ibero-American Action League that specializes in developing affordable housing and other structures for community use as well as in community & economic development.

Under Mr. Marlin’s guidance IADC, has recently been instrumental in developing El Camino Estates in northeast Rochester which consists of 50 three and four-bedroom single-family housing units as well the implementation of programs aimed at empowering residents to become active participants in elevating the quality of life of their neighborhoods such as, project HOPE.

Prior to going to IADC, Marlin was Vice-president for Development and Communications of Ibero, where, together with Julio Vázquez he was instrumental in the conception and later development of the Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School. He also spent 13 years as an Engineering Technician in the Research and Development area at Xerox Corporation. [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…]

Members Highlights September: Iveth Reynolds

Iveth ReynoldsIveth M. Reynolds grew up in New York, NY and in 1992, she relocated to Rochester.

While in Rochester, she worked in the personnel industry as coordinator for temporary staffing for Chase Manhattan Bank. After some years in the staffing industry, she decided to follow her interest in Information Technology. She began her career at Alling & Cory (now xpedx) where she would gain valuable skills working with the Project Team for JBA Systems Installation. Soon thereafter, she started Tri-Mar Consulting, a staffing company that specializes in Information Technology and Business Development.

Iveth received a Bachelor’s Degree from Fordham University and her MBA from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business.

While actively running her business, Iveth served as the coordinator of the Latino Leadership Development Program LLDP (Previously HLDP) from 2004 to 2006. Iveth also formed “A Professional Latinas Advancement Network” (APLAN) with the mission is to provide educational opportunities for professional women and expand the visibility of prominent Latina figures as attainable role models to young Latinas girls to promote self-esteem and career options. [Read more…]

Members Highlights August: Diane Marcus

“I moved to Rochester about 30 years ago. I was surprised by the wide variety of things to do here. I especially like the RPO, visiting wineries, attending events at the Memorial Art Gallery, and visiting the different festivals we have. The diverse culture of the population adds to the flavor of Rochester. I particularly enjoy the great entertainment and food that the Greek, Italian and Hispanic communities offer throughout the year.”

Diane Marcus attended the State University of Oswego and graduated with a B.A. in French and Elementary Education. She also attended the State University of Brockport to get a B.A. in Spanish and M.A. in Liberal Studies, and a M.A. in Educational Administration. During this time she also attended summer school in Madrid, Spain and St. Malo, France. [Read more…]