Board of Directors


 

Diana Walker -  President 

Diana Walker obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida and has been living in Tampa Bay for almost 10 years. Her passion is entrepreneurship and giving back to her community.

She currently works for Hillsborough County as a Special Projects Coordinator in the Small Business and Minority Business department with Economic Development.

She is an active member of Status of Latino at USF (SOL), 1 Million Cups and serves as President of Delta Tau Lambda Sorority Inc.'s National Board.

 

Megan Rapozo  President-Elect and Fundraiser Chair

 Megan Rapozo received her bachelor's degree from the University of

South Florida. She currently works as an Accountant for PODS Enterprises, while pursuing her CPA.

Megan was a mentee in HPWA's Mentorship program and has served on the board of directors this past year on the mentorship committee.

She is committed to helping Hispanic women with their personal and professional development to become the best version of themselves.

 

 Ivonne Alvarez  Treasurer  


 

Ivonne Alvarez  is a graduate of Montclair University and is an experienced

Commercial Vice President with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry.

Ivonne is very dedicated to helping business owners grow. She has served on the TAC Committee as Vice Chair for Prospera and currently is on the Regional Board. She recently received the Community Engagement Award by Prospera.

While serving on the board for HPWA, Ivonne was part of the mentorship committee this past year. Ivonne is passionate about nurturing relationships and giving back through mentorship.

Ivonne Pelaez - Secretary  

Ivonne Pelaez  is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, AASDN Nutrition Specialist, a

certified group fitness instructor, and certified Holistic Health Coach. She is also the Director of Wellness of Hanaq Prana Studio. Ivonne empowers individuals during fitness classes and also in one-on-one nutrition coaching.

She provides the knowledge and support you need to take charge of your life.

Ivonne believes in forging strong connections with her community and giving back.

 

Olga AranzabalMentorship Chair

Olga Aranzabal is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree at the University of South

Florida and has been serving on the Tampa Hispanic Heritage Inc. Board of Directors since 2017.

She believes in the importance of education, and the opportunities that it brings.In addition, she feels that her different roles as Ambassador have given her the opportunity toshare her personal experience and connect with other students to mentor and motivate them to keep up with their dreams. Olga was also a mentee in HPWA's Mentorship program this past fiscal year. 

 

Catalina Botero - Immediate Past President 

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. She becomes a part of her client’s team and their marketing solutions. Before Spectrum and Bright House, Catalina was the Research Manager for Univision Tampa. She has always been fascinated with data, research and how people consume media. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate for the Hispanic market by promoting, researching and learning about the growth of our Hispanic community in the Tampa Bay Area.

Catalina in active participant with the Hispanic Community serving as the Immediate Past President for HPWA – Hispanic Professional Women’s Association. She is also part of the USF Latino Scholarship with the Latin Community Advisory Committee. In 2019, she was part of the Technical Assistance Committee of Prospera.

She loves supporting our community and exploring growth within our Hispanic market.

 

 

Margarita Gonzalez - Active Honorary Chair

Margarita Gonzalez joined the City of Tampa staff in 1987 and currently serves on the Community Affairs Division. Through the years, her responsibilities have included the creation of public information campaigns, community relations, translation, and simultaneous interpreting for Mayors and other city officials, as well as, for visiting dignitaries. In addition, she has served as liaison to the City of Tampa’s Hispanic and international communities. In that capacity, she coordinated all the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council activities, including the Latinos Unidos Luncheon. For seventeen years, she produced and hosted two television programs, Community Affairs Report and "Nuestra Tampa.” She also produced and hosted a Spanish language radio program, and handled other media relations duties.

Gonzalez’s television productions and other video productions have received several Golden Cassette Awards. Other awards she has received for her professional achievements and civic involvement are: Outstanding Contributions to Civic Affairs; Tampa Bay Business Journal "Up and Coming” Government Category; Rotary Club Outstanding Citizen; Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. "1989 Hispanic Woman of the Year”; Public Relations Society of America "Outstanding Community Service Award”; Suncoast Girl Scouts of America "Woman of Distinction” Award, Tampa Bay Hispanic Media Council’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Human Rights Award, Cuban Club Centennial Award, Club Social Ecuatoriano, the Tampa Bay Business Journal Minority Business Award (Government category), Hispanic Professional Women’s Association Public Service Award, as well as, many other types of recognition. 

Gonzalez is a founding member and Honorary Chairperson of the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association and other local organizations. She was the first woman to preside over Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. (1988) and to serve as a member of the Superbowl Task Force (1991). She has served on chambers of commerce, numerous boards, and advisory councils dealing with law enforcement, government agencies, healthcare, tourism, civil rights, international and cultural affairs, and the arts.

Nelcy Baltz  - Active Honorary Chair

Nelcy Baltz is a graduate from Hillsborough Community College, the co-founder of SN Shots Photography, and the past president for the Hispanic Professional Women Association. She has a strong sense of leadership and commitment to the Tampa Bay community for the past 12 years.

For over a decade she has been enhancing the image for her clients via her photography business creating custom photo sessions to accomplish her client’s vision, based on their essence and personality, making images speak louder than words. For the past 7 years, she has been an intricate part of the growth of HPWA serving in positions of increasing responsibility, to grow the non-profit organization.

Nelcy is excited to continue the legacy of the HPWA, helping Latin women further their education and significantly improve the potential for success.

Jennifer Whelihan, M.A. - Honorary Chair

Jennifer Whelihan, Business Development and Communication Professional with over 15 years of experience, is known for her expertise in business consulting and entrepreneurship, as well as her diverse work in new media, and the public, community, and government relations.

Her exceptional background has led her to career positions as a television and print journalist, media director for the Florida House of Representatives, press secretary for political campaign work, communication director for a leading research facility and other non-profit organizations, certified business consultant for USF Small Business Development Center and currently an adjunct instructor at the University of Tampa and Economic Development Manager at Hillsborough County. Jennifer is honored to be recognized as a finalist in the Tampa Bay Business Journal 2015 BusinessWoman of the Year Awards.

Jennifer is a proud Seminole and received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Media Communication and Master of Arts in Interactive and New Communication Technology degrees from Florida State University. While at FSU she received the prestigious Florida State University Seminole Leadership Award. Bilingual in Spanish and English, Jennifer is an Honorary Chair for the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association in Tampa Bay and received the Leadership Excellence Award for outstanding service to her community during her years as President of the organization. She has served and is a member of the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women (COSW), USF Research Foundation Council of Professionals, Empath Choices for Care, Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council (SHAC), Leadership Hillsborough, Tampa Bay Seminole Club, The Iron Yard Technology Education, American Advertising Federation (AAF), and faculty advisor for the Advertising Student Association at University of Tampa.

 
Matilda Martinez Garcia - Honorary Chair (Deceased)

Matilda Martinez Garcia, a devoted human rights advocate, was born in Tampa and is a second-generation Floridian. She has led an extraordinary life, witnessing both injustice and acceptance firsthand. Her resolve and energy for the welfare of others are legendary.

Employed by the Social Security Administration for 43 years, Martinez Garcia retired as Hispanic Program Officer of the West Florida Region. She received the Commissioner’s Award for exceptional commitment to public service in 1991, the same year she retired at age 72. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established the "The Matilda Martinez Garcia Total Commitment Award" in her honor. In 2009, she received the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award recognizing her over 40 years of service.

Through her service on the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council, the Hispanic Advisory Council of the City of Tampa’s Chief of Police, and the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Martinez Garcia worked diligently to positively impact human rights, housing, schools, civic groups, government, and the elderly. She was the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Florida State Director for over a decade, Outstanding Member in 1988, and was inducted into the LULAC Hall of Fame at the 1996 National Convention. The Tampa Bay LULAC Council’s Meritorious Achievements of Teen Ideals (MATI) scholarship award is given annually in her honor.

Numerous honors and awards have been bestowed upon her. She was recognized for her work on the MacDill Air Force Base Special Emphasis Program, for her commitment to a fair housing through the Hillsborough County Community Housing Resource Board, and the Hillsborough County Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee presented Martinez Garcia with the Dr. Martin Luther King Drum Major Award for Human Rights.

Honoring her heritage, Martinez Garcia dedicated much of her life to serving the Hispanic cause. Governor Lawton Chiles appointed her to The Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. She served on the boards of the Hispanic Professional Women's Association, the Hispanic Business Institute, the Spanish Lyric Theatre and the Hispanic Bone Marrow Program. She sponsored scholarships for the Latino Scholars Fund (ENLACE) at the University of South Florida and served on USF’s President’s Council.

Martinez Garcia was secretary of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and an advocate for the plight of farmworkers, which has taken her to Immokalee and other remote locations to march for attention to issues of concern. As a member of the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County, she utilized her bilingual skills to the fullest registering voters. She served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2000, 2004, and 2008 and served as the Affirmative Action Chair for the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. In 2015 Garcia was inducted into the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women Hall of Fame.

She was married to the late Marcelino (Max) and they are the parents of Gwen MacKinnon and Marcelino (Max), Jr. Martinez Garcia has five grandchildren and seven great-granddaughters.