Latin American community leaders honored at Schneps Media’s Latin Impact Awards

Latin Impact Awards 2023
The 2023 Latin Impact Awards Recipients
Photo by Ralph DePas/Schneps Media

Schneps Media held their annual Latin Impact Awards on Thursday night, celebrating Latin American community members who have contributed extraordinary and impactful work to their communities. 

The gathering, held at Terrace On The Park in Corona, Queens saw this year’s 37 honorees dressed to the nines as they strut their stuff down the red carpet during the dazzling award ceremony. 

Among the honorees were community leaders, local volunteers, medical professionals and business leaders from all sectors — each of whom have contributed greatly to the wellbeing of their neighbors, and their communities. 

The support of the sponsors helped make this prestigious gala possible. This year’s Latin Impact Awards was sponsored by AdvantageCare Physicians; Liberty Coca Cola Beverages; TD Bank; Bethpage Federal Credit Union; MetroPlus Health; Jovia Financial Credit Union; Council for School Supervisors and Administrators; Clear View Building Services; Ponce Bank; Episcopal Health Services; Montano Wood; and Ms Jessie’s.

The night began with a VIP Hour for the honorees, followed by a cocktail hour and gourmet dinner. 

The ceremony was honored by PIX 11’s Emmy award winning journalist Monica Morales, and featured performances from Mariachi Internacional Tapatio De Alvaro Paulino.

Throughout the night, the honorees got a chance to network with one another, creating invaluable connections that will surely help them grow their efforts to aid the Latino community, while also highlighting the important work they do on a daily basis. 

“I support our small business community with obtaining financing, and also educating the community on all aspects of credit availability and expansion,” said Victor M. Alvarez, Business Relationship Manager at TD Bank. “So, congratulations and all the honorees tonight!” 

Calix Ramos-Rodriguez, who serves as the Associate Senior Director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Western Zone at NYU Langone, talked about his efforts to oversee over 150 faculty members, dental directors, and residents across 26 health centers spanning the western United States.

Dr. Ramos has long had an emphasis on serving vulnerable communities.

“We like to empower young dentists in underserved communities — to train, to learn, and to service. So with this program, we think that we have the perfect match of people that want to learn, people that want to serve, and people that need the service,” he said. “Congratulations to all the other honorees!” 

Brigitte Caridad Desport, the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, talked about her work with pediatric patients — and the important work aiding those who need it most. 

“Even though I have an opportunity to work with students and help them with their educational goals, the work I’m most proud of is the work that I do with pediatric patients in this clinic in Brooklyn. I work with the babies that go to the ICU, or go into the intensive care unit,” she said. “So, I’m honored to be here!”

Another professional in the medical field, Bertrand Batista, talked about the work of Episcopal Health Services, where they service a clientele that has long been underserved. 

“We are the only safety-net hospital in the Far Rockaways, and provide primary care, maternity and also outpatient mental health to the community,” he said. “And we’re expanding with a service for cancer radiation oncology, as well as expanding out of the building, building new buildings going right across the street that’s going to house a cancer radiation center and also a clinical teaching center.” 

“Congratulations to all the honorees!”

On the law-enforcement side, Jessica Hernandez serves as the president of the Latino Court Officers Society, Inc., where she helps her community members with breaking into the industry, and helping them along the way of their professional development. 

“Thank you Schneps Media for the outstanding award, and congratulations to all of the other honorees,” she said.

“We focus on creating a supportive and inclusive space for individuals from underserved communities who often face intimidation due to biases when visiting courthouses. We comfort users who look like us to help build confidence and trust,” she said. “I’m dedicated to supporting and empowering fellow court officers, focusing on their professional development and success. I am very excited to be here to celebrate for you tonight.”

There were  two special awards presented on the night. The Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Navarra Rodriguez, senior leader at EmblemHealth and its affiliated companies, including EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care and AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) has devoted over two decades of her medical career to making a positive impact on the world and The Community Support Award – Chaka Adams – for supporting and creating initiatives for the community Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations at Jovia, Financial Credit Union.

The 2023 honorees are:

Walter “Gualterio “Alomar — Organization for Culture of Hispanic Origins (President)

Chaka Adams — Jovia Financial Credit Union (Vice President Marketing & Community Relations)

Paolo Alberghini-Pastor — Center for Educational Innovation (Director of Development)

Victor M. Alvarez — TD Bank (Business Relationship Manager)

Maria Aponte — Latina 50 Plus, Inc. (Founder and President)

Bertrand Batista — Episcopal Health Services (VP of Revenue Cycle Management and Secretary of the St. John)

Evelyn Bautista-Miller — Tender Steps of New York (President)

Alexa Bonilla — Propel America (Senior Director of Admissions)

Dr. Liza Caraballo-Suarez — National Association of Elementary School Principals (President)

Charito Cisneros — The NY Hispanic Cosmetology & Beauty Chamber of Commerce (President/CEO/Founder)

Darly Corniel — Consortium for Worker Education (Director of Education)

Brigitte Caridad Desport — SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives)

Ana M. Figueroa — Long Island Head Start (Associate Director Parent/Community Engagement)

Nelly Franceschini — Ponce Bank (Vice President, Commercial Relationship Officer)

Dr. Marilu Maria D. Galván — Centro Civico Cultural Dominicano (Executive Director)

Dr. Albert Gamarra — New York City Department of Social Services/IDNYC (Assistant Deputy Commissioner)

Teresa Gonzalez — Bolton-St. Johns (Partner)

Alicia Guevara — Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (CEO)

Jessica Hernandez — Latino Court Officers Society, Inc. (President)

Cynthia Félix Jeffers — Brooklyn Sunset Park Lions Club/ Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment / New York State Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (President)

Mayra Linares-Garcia — Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages (VP of Public Affairs and Communications)

Rosemary Lopez — AIDS Center of Queens County (Executive Director)

Luz Maria Mack — Author

Gabriela Mayorga — MetroPlusHealth 

Sonia Montano — Montano Wood Care Corp (Vice President)

Amneris Morales — Barrio Independent Productions (Cc-founder and CEO)

Calix Ramos-Rodriguez — NYU Langone (Associate Senior Director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Western Zone)

Elvi Rivas — Con Edison (Sr. Analyst)

Dr. Navarra Rodriguez — AdvantageCare (President & Chief Medical Officer)

Henry Rubio — Council for School Supervisors and Administrators (President)

Kimberley Ruiz — Bethpage Federal Credit Union (Community Development Relationship Manager)

Lesidet Salce — Northwell Health (Senior Manager)

Alvaro Paulino Sr. — Mariachi Internacional Tapatio De Alvaro Paulino (Pioneer and Founder)

Manuel Esteban Sr. — Suffolk County Legislator

Rebecca Torres — Goddard Riverside (Director of Social Services)

Vilma Vallejo — TD Bank (Vice President/Store Manager)

Valerie Vazquez-Diaz — Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (First Deputy Commissioner)

Every year, Latin Impact, through the Impact Awards gala, raises funds for a local not-for-profit organization. This year, the paper is fundraising for the Tender Steps of New York. Approximately 100% of the raffle proceeds Thursday night will be donated to Tender Steps of New York.

If you would like to learn more about participating in the Latin Impact Awards next year or any of Schneps Media’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion event series please contact Amanda Tarley, Director – Equity, Diversity and Inclusions Events Programs, by calling

718-249-9640, or at atarley@schnepsmedia.com