September 7, 2020 Buffalo, NY–The Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, Inc. proudly announces the election of their officers for the term 2020-2022.
ELECTED: President: Esmeralda Sierra Vice President: Maritza Vega Treasurer: Felipe De Jesús Martínez Secretary: Elda Pichardo.
Esmeralda Sierra, a SUNY-Buffalo State College Masters Graduate in Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management has served as the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, Inc. Chief Financial Officer for the past several years. She has a long history of activism in the community; VOICE-Buffalo Inc., Community Access Services, and the Near East & West Side Task Force. She was also involved as an adult advisor and teacher at Holy Cross R.C. Church, where she had held positions as president and secretary of the Parish Council.
In addition to her many community activities, Esmeralda is a member of various professional organizations. She was chair of the Cultural Competency Workgroup for the Health Equity Coalition for P2 Collaborative of WNY Inc., Co-Chair of the public relations workgroup for the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation; a member of the Erie County Caregiver Coalition, the Community Health Workers Network, American Diabetes Association Diversity Committee, and the WNY Cancer Coalition. Ms. Sierra was a former board member of Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo and Vice-President of the Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade of WNY, Inc. and Pageant Coordinator of the Miss Borinquen of WNY Leadership Program.
Maritza Vega, is a past Vice President of HHC 2018.  Kaleida Health has been her employer for the last 20 years, She is presently a Financial Counselor Bilingual Facilitated Enroller. She has been involved in many community advocacy groups, such as Immigration Reform for America, The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY, Financial Officer, Inc. Hispanic & Friends Civic Association, Inc., Treasure, Grassroots, Inc., she is currently a participating member of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Diversity Council, SBA Small Business Administration -SCORE, Erie County Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises MWBE advisory board, Erie County commission of the Status of Women ECCSW advisory board. Maritza is a motivated hard worker who enjoys family, heritage and has a passion for the arts, civic engagement and bike riding. She established a bicycle group Urban Bike Riders UBR in June 2015 to keep the community and family ready to move into health and wellness. She also retired as an entrepreneur owner of the VP Home Improvement Contracting LLC construction company. Her favorite quote is “Life is for living; Love is for Giving”
Felipe De Jesús MartínezFSP, Vice President of Mission Integration at Catholic Health Systems with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, with almost thirty years of experience in healthcare and hospital chaplaincy. Felipe began an unexpected career in healthcare because of the needs of the large population of Spanish speaking patients. As the mission leader for the Administrative Regional Training Center and for Home & Community Based Care, he has oversight of integrating the mission and values at Catholic Health for the Long Term & Home Care Facilities. His team of Chaplains provide for spiritual care needs of patients, families, and associates in various healthcare settings. He also provides support to the Bioethics Consultation process when families are facing difficult choices.
Elda Pichardoa SUNY-Buffalo State College Masters Program Student in the field of Public Administration, an employee at Catholic Health as Nurse Assistant she volunteers for many community based organizations like Citizen Action, PUSH Buffalo, and The Belle Center. Her passion is to nurture and engage youth for leadership roles in the future.
Casimiro D. Rodriguez Sr., past president of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Inc. (HHC) will continue working with the council he founded in 2010 concentrating efforts on the new project the organization recently announced to build the first Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute in Upstate New York in the Hispanic Heritage District on Buffalo’s Lower West Side. He said; “for me personally it has been an honor to lead this organization for the last decade with such committed and dedicated people, I am very thankful to the HHC Board for their trust and confidence in being able to serve with great pride and grace. However, all good things must come to an end, now it’s time to nurture and foster new leadership, public service is a privilege that many do not get and I am very grateful to serve a community that I love and respect.”
The mission of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc., is to foster and inspire awareness, understanding, and appreciation of past, present, and future contributions of the Hispanic Community in Western New York.   HHC is “dedicated to preserving the history of Hispanics in Western New York for future generations” HHC is a United Way of Buffalo & Erie County General Campaign List of Charitable Agencies.

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