September 20, 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 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  For more information, contact Michele Hefferon at Michele.Hefferon@ 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

D&C Digital Hosts Spring Networking

About 25 RHBA members learned more about D&C Digital at the Spring Networking held on May 4 at the D&C’s prominent location on the corner of Clinton and Main streets in downtown Rochester.   [Read more…]

Brockport dean outlines scope of business school

Dr. Joy Bhadury, dean of the School of Business Administration and Economics at the College at Brockport, was the guest speaker at the May 16 luncheon of the RHBA at D’Mangu restaurant.

“Please call me Joy,” he immediately told the group after being introduced. Bhadury came to the college nearly a year ago from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. [Read more…]

Kiva Rochester offers unique way to get small business loan

You’ve probably heard of Kickstarter as a crowd-funding way to raise money for your business or start-up. But what about Kiva? [Read more…]

ESL focuses on small biz growth

2016santiago12Members of the RHBA learned about the services and history of ESL Federal Credit Union at the October meeting at D’Mangu restaurant.

Arline Santiago, senior vice president and general counsel for ESL, was joined by Keith Cleary, vice president and director of business banking, and Malik Evans, business growth program manager.

Santiago talked about how ESL’s roots go back to George Eastman, who created Eastman Savings and Loan Association in 1920 to help Eastman Kodak employees get mortgages and succeed in their personal lives. In 1966, that entity became ESL Federal Credit Union. Today ESL has 20 branches in the region and more than 700 employees. ESL has $5.9 billion in assets. The company’s headquarters moved to downtown Rochester six years ago.

Cleary talked about the business banking that ESL has been doing since 2010. ESL is one of the biggest local institutions bank wise.

As business growth program manager, Evans works to help businesses get access to capital and develop business acumen. ESL partners with organizations such as SCORE, PathStone and the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship.
For more information on ESL, go to: ESL

To view the photo gallery from the event, click here.

Become a 2016 HBPOY Gala Sponsor

What better way to reach Hispanic business professionals and show your support than by being a sponsor of the Hispanic Business Person of the Year Gala? [Read more…]

RHBA Business Lunch June 2016

Did you know that the PathStone Enterprise Center exists to help promising businesses that have been unable to get loans from banks?

Alex Castro, senior vice president of operations at PathStone Corp., outlined how the Enterprise Center process works at the June luncheon meeting of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association. [Read more…]

Call for Nominations: 2016 Business Person of the Year

Rochester Hispanic Business Association

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Affiliate

February 18, 2016

2016 Business Person of the Year – Call for Nominations

Dear Hispanic Business Association member:

We need your help to identify individuals who have contributed to the economic development and business interests of the Great Rochester Hispanic Community.

The annual Hispanic Business Person of the Year award will be presented by the Hispanic Business Association of the Rochester Business Alliance, at the annual luncheon on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.   [Read more…]

2015 Hispanic Business Person of the Year

Press Release:

Librada “Zury” Brown Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year

El Pilon Criollo Restaurant Owner Receives 26th Annual RHBA Award

ZuryBrownThe Rochester Hispanic Business Association (RHBA), a Rochester Business Alliance affiliate, named Librada “Zury” Brown its 2015 Hispanic Business Person of the Year. Brown owns El Pilon Criollo, a family restaurant on Rochester’s North Clinton Avenue.

Rochester Hispanic Business Association President Hiram Hernandez, Sr. said, “When Zury opened El Pilon Criollo, she created a new concept of fast and easy to order Hispanic food.  We recognize innovation and vision and Zury has proven to possess plenty of both.”

Better known as “Zury” in the community, Brown was born in Cataño, Puerto Rico amid modest beginnings. She came to Rochester 27 years ago and worked in the Rochester City School District for several years until she opened El Pilon Criollo in 2008. Brown became the first Hispanic woman to build her own restaurant from the ground up on North Clinton Avenue, reviving the community with its first new construction in more than 12 years. She has helped create jobs and regularly sponsors community groups and events.

Brown said, “I feel honored and very humbled to receive this award. All I have always wanted to do is work hard for my family, be a good role model for my daughters, and contribute to the community in which I live.”

Brown receives the 26th Annual Hispanic Business Person of the Year award at the Rochester Hispanic Business Association gala luncheon September 22 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.


From a press release, August 14, 2015.

Click here for more information on the gala and the Hispanic Business Person of the Year Award.


Our CUE to get involved

Our CUE to get involved –

Ebony Miller of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) delivered an inspiring talk to a group of Rochester Hispanic Business Association members at the Rochester Business Alliance offices on State Street this Tuesday, she was accompanied by her associate Kimberly Heck.

Not long ago Ebony Miller was appointed Program Manager of CUE, where she is responsible for three programs that are currently underway: Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (FBLE), Lemonade Day and The Capacity Building Program.

Ebony is passionate about our community and her passion is infectious. She is inspired to do her work by looking to the past, to when Rochester had a thriving downtown corridor. Having grown up in Rochester, she recalls riding the monorail in Midtown plaza as a child and would love nothing more than to see Rochester’s downtown return to the vibrant setting it once was. She recalls Sibley’s and McCurdy’s bringing life to the city through their business and aims to help us enjoy downtown once again through her work at CUE.

There is opportunity all around us, not only downtown but in every quadrant of the city, and “at CUE, our goal is to help reshape the regional economy and build wealth within the urban community by being the hub for urban entrepreneurial programs” said Miller on July 21, 2015.

Once their doors open at their permanent location, which will hopefully happen within the next 6-8 weeks, they will be adding monthly workshops as well as starting up their third cohort of The Capacity Building Program. In addition to the aforementioned programs, Miller also provided some background information about the building that will house CUE.

For more information or to get involved, please visit:  RIT CUE


Versatility in the Workplace

Iveth ReynoldsThis Tuesday, members of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association met to hear from Iveth Reynolds, the CEO of Tri-Mar Consulting. The talk, which Reynolds gave at D’Mangu restaurant, focused on her experiences in building the successful firm over the course of the last 16 years.

Reynolds founded Tri-Mar with offices in Rochester and New York City in 1999. The company specializes in recruitment and training in IT, engineering, and financial services, and works with a number of partners in the tech sector regionally.

Keeping the firm growing and profitable through two recessions and major industry realignments has been challenging, but Reynolds emphasized the importance of versatility and networking in her success. “I had to wear many different hats,” she explained, “a recruiter, project manager, consultant, and more.” She also credits many longtime clients for being loyal to the firm

Reynolds, who has been an RHBA member for more than a decade, strongly values the role of volunteerism and community involvement in the business world. She has served as a board member and chapter president for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA). The group gives roughly $3 million in scholarships annually, and offers its members a wide variety of networking and training opportunities to help build connections across many business sectors.

You can learn more about NSHMBA at, and check out Tri-Mar Consulting at The next luncheon event is scheduled for June 16 at Monte Alban, and will feature Hilda Rosario Escher. Click here to read more about the event and RSVP.

business lunch

[Read more…]

RPD Back Into Community

cimmenelli“I want to bring this police department back to the community,” Chief Ciminelli began, “which is how I remember it.”

Rochester Chief of Police Michael Ciminelli delivered a talk to a group of Rochester Hispanic Business Association members at the Rochester Business Alliance offices on State Street this Tuesday. He opened by reflecting on his long career in law enforcement, which he started by walking an overnight beat downtown.

In the years since, Ciminelli traveled to Washington and abroad as an international law attorney for the DEA. He has been an auditor for law enforcement agency accreditation, a prosecutor, an advocate for the incarcerated, and the Chief of Police for Elmira, NY. Since returning to Rochester, he has played many leadership roles as Commander for the West side patron division, the head of Special Operations for the RPD, the Deputy Chief of Police, and has served as the Chief of Police since last January.

This week saw the rollout of a redistricting and decentralization plan for the department, so the presentation focused largely on how Rochester police can be closer to the communities they protect. Ciminelli explained that the transition from two large precincts to five smaller ones is only part of the solution, saying “You don’t achieve community policing by redrawing lines on a map– the burden is on us now.”

The RPD is now implementing reforms that encourage each patrol officer to meet the residents and business owners on his or her beat, and is encouraging citizens to get involved through initiatives like the Explorers program and Citizens Police Academy. More information on the redistricting and community outreach are available here.

The RHBA’s luncheon event series continues on May 19 at D’Mangu, and will feature Iveth Reynolds, an entrepreneur and the CEO of Tri-Mar Consulting.

Innovative Approach to Education

julio VazquezWe gathered at Monte Alban Mexican Grill this past Tuesday to hear Julio Vazquez, Sr. tell a story of success in education. Vazquez is the co-founder, board chairman, and CEO of the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, a K-8 institution with two campuses in the 14621 neighborhood.

Vazquez, who served as the president and CEO of the Ibero-American Action League (1993-2006) and Commissioner of Rochester’s Department of Community Development (2007-2009), has been described by former Mayor Robert Duffy as a “tremendous asset to the City of Rochester.” His presentation focused on the innovative approach to education at EMHCS and its unique curriculum that promotes literacy in both English and Spanish for every student.

The program is working. Now in its 15th year, EMHCS has significantly outperformed nearby district-operated schools despite a smaller per-student budget. Vazquez spoke with optimism about the future: the school plans to triple in size in the coming years, adding grades 9-12 and making numerous capital improvements. More information on EMHCS is available on their website,

The Rochester Hispanic Business Association’s luncheon event series continues next month with Rochester Police Department Chief Michael Ciminelli as the featured speaker.


What’s On Your Billboard?

luisMartinezWhat’s On Your Billboard?

RHBA featured Luis Martinez, principal of Gran Altura at its February business lunch held at D’Mangu. In a very interesting presentation, Luis, who is nationally and internationally recognized author and coach, talked about personal brand development: content, audience and channels.

[Read more…]