2023-2024 HPWA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MARYNES MATEOS, PRESIDENT
Marynes Mateos, is Matcon Construction Services, Inc., Managing Director. With a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the esteemed University of South Florida and a Real Estate License from the State of Florida, Marynes has positioned herself as a well-rounded professional. Before joining Matcon Construction, Marynes exhibited her exceptional leadership skills during a successful 15-year tenure in the banking industry, overseeing intricate treasury services for corporate clients.
As an active member of the Hispanic Professional Women's Association (HPWA) since 2018, Marynes has consistently demonstrated her commitment to empowering and supporting fellow professionals. She served as a HPWA 2021-2022 Program Mentor, then took on the role of HPWA 2022-2023 Mentorship Chair, displaying her dedication to fostering growth within the organization. Recognizing her outstanding contributions, she has been appointed as the 2023-2024 HPWA President, spearheading initiatives to empower and uplift women in the professional sphere.
Beyond her commitment to HPWA, Marynes has also played pivotal roles in other esteemed organizations. She served as Co-Chair for Cohort '22 in the Tampa Bay Chamber - Minority Business Accelerator Program, facilitating the growth of minority-owned businesses in the region. Additionally, she was a member of the University of South Florida ISLAC Advisory Council, where her insights were instrumental in shaping the university's vision. With her exceptional track record and unwavering dedication to professional development, Marynes Mateos is deeply passionate about nurturing and inspiring future leaders, she is committed to helping them achieve their educational and professional aspirations.
MARIA JOSE FASHORO, PRESIDENT ELECT
Maria Jose Fashoro, Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Maria Jose migrated to the United States 27 years ago, initially to the Washington, DC area where she started her career in banking at Chevy Chase Bank. Now after 25 years in the financial services industry, she has worked at various financial institutions and is currently a Vice President at Regions Bank working as a Branch Manager at their Brandon Town Center branch. Maria Jose has been a member of HPWA for the last 8 years and has been a mentor and a board member holding different positions on the board. Maria Jose has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 2002 and is passionate about giving back to the community and supporting women pursue higher education.
MARJORIE GOICOECHEA, TREASURER
Marjorie Goicoechea, is a Vice President Small Business Support Mgr/TM Support for Regions Bank. She has over 20 plus years of management experience in several different work spaces ranging from retail to finance to real estate. Marjorie has volunteered as mentor for the HPWA Mentorship Program and has been a member of HPWA for over 3 years.
BRENDA BAEZ COSTA, SECRETARY
Brenda Baez Costa, is a management executive with twenty-five plus years ofworking experience. She is passionate about creating value withher knowledge and experience, while attached to organizationalcore values and results driven to e!ciency and proftability.She is devoted to conquering success and enrich her learning.Currently, Brenda is an active board director in the Hispanic Professional Women Association. She’s also an active member ofthe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay. Brenda is aFlorida licensed insurance agent and the founder and director ofher agency where she o*ers trustworthy, local and customizedinsurance service solutions and financial guidance to hercommunity. Also assist her husband in their family business,founded and managed by them since 2013 in the Clearwaterarea.Brenda was raised in the Dominican Republic. With her passionfor learning, she achieved her undergraduate degree in BusinessAdministration and a Master’s in Strategic Business both fromPontifcia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, DominicanRepublic. In 2021, she achieved a certificate in Women’sEntrepreneurship at eCornell from Cornell University and alsobecame a licensed Insurance Agent involving accident, health,life, annuities and variable contracts in the state of Florida
IVONNE ALVAREZ, INMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Ivonne Alvarez, is a Vice President SBA Lending Specialist for Regions Bank. Ivonne has over 20 years of banking experience. Graduate from Montclair State University with a Finance major. Ivonne has been a part of HPWA for 6 years as a member, mentorship chair, board member, and 2021-2022 President-Elect. Ivonne is passionate about supporting the Hispanic community in Tampa Bay.
PAOLA CERON, MEMBER AT LARGE
Paola Ceron, is a Financial Solutions Intermediate Analysist at Citibank. Paola holds a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and a Master's in Finance from Walden University. She is a FINCERT Personal Finance Counselor and holds a Personal Finance Coach certification from Finanzas al Maximo (Sistema Ana G. Mendez). She has been in the finance industry for 5 years.
An HPWA member since 2020, Paola previously served as the 2021-2022 HPWA Secretary.
Paola was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and has called Tampa home for 4 years. She is passionate about traveling and being with friends and family.
CATALINA BOTERO, MEMBER AT LARGE
Catalina Botero, is a University of Florida Graduate, a dedicated mother and passionate leader in the Tampa Bay Area. She has been in the advertising and marketing industry for 16 years. Currently, she is a bilingual Account Executive for Spectrum Reach and advertising sales. Catalina served as President for HPWA in 2019-2020 and she is also part of the USF Latino Scholarship with the Latin Community Advisory Committee, as Vice President.
PAOLA RODRIGUEZ, MEMBER AT LARGE
Paola Rodriguez, is the Founder and Owner of Rodriguez Wealth Group. She has over 6 years of experience in the sales and financial/insurance industry. Paola graduated from the University of Florida - Warrington College of Business with a Bachelors in Business. She loves to support small business owners and empower young entrepreneurs.
NATALIA MELO, MEMBER AT LARGE
Natalia Melo, is a Community Relations Coordinator at Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union. She has over 5 years in marketing and customer service. She graduated from Durham College in Business Admimistration and Marketing. She is passionate about supporting the Hispanic community and promoting higher education.
LAYLA ALO CABALLERO, MEMBER AT LARGE
Layla Alo Caballero, Originally from Puerto Rico, Layla is an innovative and results driven sales and business development leader, with vast publishing, digital and broadcast experience. A Hispanic professional who has led the successful execution of key partnerships that leverage strategic local entities and complimentary goals. She has held senior level positions at various media companies including Clipper LLC, Americas Media Group, Yahoo!, The Miami Herald and the successful launch of a full power Spanish language TV network, Azteca America. Layla has received the South Florida Hispanic Chamber Business Partner of the Year Award in 2017 and has also been recognized as a Knight Ridder Emerging Leader.
Layla enjoys all types of outdoor activities and traveling abroad, specially to Latin American. She is passionate about family life and making community connections. She serves as an ambassador for the Shallow Water Drowning Awareness foundation and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing from Florida Southern College. Layla joins the HPWA Board of Directors in charge of Membership.
MELISSA RAMOS, MEMBER AT LARGE
Melissa Ramos, is a “veteran” member of Northwestern Mutual (NM) and began her financial services journey back in 2001. Her humble beginnings as a graduate student from the University of Hawaii, she obtained her Master’s Degree in Organizational Management with a minor in Business Administration. Melissa opted to remain within NM and has worked at many capacities successfully within the organization leveraging her expertise in business operations, product knowledge and professional experience. She has built a remarkable reputation of “putting the client first”. In the last couple of years, Melissa has focused on what she does best, her efforts and concentration on Financial Planning by ensuring that her clients have a comprehensive plan tailored to their goals and needs. As a Financial Advisor with NM, she is able to fulfill one of her purposes by serving her diverse community ranging from business owners to the young professionals.
Her Puerto Rican “raices”, “Army brat” upbringing, familia dynamics, and former military spouse experiences taught Melissa to attach herself to a mission, a calling and ultimately, a purpose. In her spare time, Melissa is heavily involved within her community and serves on the board for local Hispanic organizations. You may see her volunteering for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Miles for Moffit, walking for Awareness on Military Suicide, Ronald McDonald House, etc. For fun, she enjoys her travel adventures by exploring new food spots and discovering domestically or international destinations.
JUAN CARLOS PINTO, MEMBER AT LARGE
Juan Carlos Pinto is a Managing Director and Founder at Accident Agents LLC. Previously, Juan Carlos worked for CitiBank for 25 years and was the Vice President for International Trade. Juan Carlos holds a General Business and Finance Degree from the University of South Florida. He has been in the personal injury industry for over 2 years and over 30 years of experience as an International Trade expert.
Juan Carlos' has been an HPWA corporate member with Accident Agents LLC since 2021 and an HPWA supporter for the last 12 years. He currently serves as the Community Outreach Committee Chair. His professional and volunteer work has been recognized with the following awards, among others: 2009 Latinos Movers and Shakers by Latin Times Magazine, 2011 Pasco's Hispanic Pride Citizen by La Gaceta Latina newspaper, 2013 Sol Community Award b USF's Hispanic Heirtage & SOL (Status of Latnos) Committees, 2016 Champion of the Forest by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, 2021 Prestigio Hispano by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Juan Carlos was born in Caracas, Venezuela and has called Tampa home for 25 years. He is passionate about helping others, servicing his community, and connecting people and Latin-American culture.
MARGARITA GONZALEZ, HONORARY CHAIR
Margarita Gonzalez, has been an integral part of HPWA since 1990, as Honorary Chairperson and Co-founder, positions she also holds at HPWF since 2019. Currently retired from the City of Tampa after 30 years of service, she remains involved in fostering professional and educational opportunities. Margarita is well known as a community and public relations leader, radio and television producer and host, bilingual interpreter/translator, human rights investigator, and advisor to government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
A Hillsborough Community College and University of South Florida graduate, with a B.A. in Mass Communications, Margarita specializes in bilingual communication campaigns, cultural diversity, as well as civil rights. Her fundraising efforts with organizations like HPWA, MHAC, MHHC, SHAC and others, resulted in the establishment of several scholarships and endowments at HCC and USF. In 2021, she was honored as a Tampa Bay Lightning “Community Hero,” and used her $50,000 gift to establish the Margarita Gonzalez-HPWF Latino Scholarship Endowment at USF.
In 1988, Margarita Gonzalez was the first Hispanic woman President of THHI, Inc. and President and founder of the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration, and later of other organizations; the first to serve on the Superbowl Task Force (1991); and created, produced and hosted the first Spanish language television program on CTTV, “Nuestra Tampa,” which also aired on Univision and Telemundo. In March 2023, her trailblazing work was publicly acknowledged becoming the first Cuban-American inducted into the Hillsborough Co. Commission on the Status of Women Hall of Fame.
Her professional and volunteer work has also been recognized with several Golden Cassette Television Awards, City of Tampa and Hillsborough Co. Commendations, the NFL-Tampa Bay Bucs Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, 1989 Hispanic Woman of the Year, Girl Scouts’ Woman of Distinction, and many others.
NELCY BALTZ, HONORARY CHAIR
Nelcy Baltz a graduate from Hillsborough Community College and the co-founder of SN Shots Photography. For over a decade, Nelcy has enhaced her clients' images through custom photo sessions with her photography business, using their essence and personality to bring their visions to life.
A member of HPWA since 2010, Nelcy has previously served in several Board positions, including Communications Chair, Membership Chair, Outreach Chair, Mentorship Chair, Treasurer. She was the 2018-2019 HPWA President and currently holds an Honorary Chair position. Nelcy is the co-founder and President Emeritus of HPWF, established in 2019, and was appointed to represent HPWA at the Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) of Hillsborough County Florida (2021-2023). Additionally, she serves as a member of the Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council and supports other non-profit organizations such of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, Miss Latina Tampa, Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc., and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
Nelcy was born in Bogota, Colombia and has called Tampa home for 18 years. Nelcy is excited to continue the legacy of the HPWA, helping Latin women further their education and significantly improve the potential for success.