Latinas in the US: Breaking Boundaries and Moving Forward


ALPFA Boston recently held their 11th   annual Latina Summit, Latinas in the US: Breaking Boundaries and Moving Forward and the 15th Anniversary of the Women of ALPFA program, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies who was the head sponsor for this impactful event. Sponsors for this event also included State Street, KPMG, Eastern Bank, John Hancock, and Edward Jones.


This year’s lively discussion focused on Latina women who are breaking barriers in the U.S.  ALPFA Boston’s own Chief Relationship Officer, Natalia V Hilton, kicked off the event as the MC for the evening. The resilient speakers were Jennifer de Leon, Author, editor, speaker, and creative writing instructor who lives in Boston. She is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, published by the University of Nebraska Press. Malena Gonzalez, an entrepreneur who has 10+ years of experience working in startups and Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about solving the healthcare challenge, which inspired her to start NutriCount in 2016. Lastly, Sonia Chang Diaz, First Latina elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. She is serving her fourth term on behalf of the Second Suffolk District. The discussion was moderated by Caro Ruiz, ALPFA Boston’s Chief Administrative Officer.


The evening continued with keynote speaker Lourdes Melgar, Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons, Melgar is a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS). Her work has transformed Mexico’s energy sector, and was a key player in the design and implementation of Mexico’s historic energy reform.During her speech, she shared her journey and spoke about balance as a mother and as a woman. The energetic ceremony concluded with the Excellence in the Community Award which went to Judith Cullinane, Director of research, Evidence Based Practice and Innovation at Tufts Medical Center.