12th Annual Hispanic Business Award Banquet & Scholarship Ceremony Highlights

The Hispanic Business Award Banquet and Scholarship Ceremony honors successful businesses, organizations and individuals who have proven their commitment to the Hispanic Community. Our honorees advocate for economic development, higher education and promote initiatives that continue to empower the Latino community and beyond.

The pride of our banquet has always been the scholarships awarded to students in need of financial assistance. Over the past 11 years the NYCHCC has awarded more than 140k to students who attend an accredited university in New York City. We invite you to work with us to collectively give back to the next generation.

Our Honorees

monique ONE

Exemplary Teamwork - Career Network Healthcare -
Monique De La Oz

Monique De La Oz joined Phipps Neighborhoods in October 2011. As the Senior Director of Learning and Career Development, Monique oversees programs that support youth and adults in building the skills and knowledge they need to be ready for work and to gain financial independence. These programs help participants find meaningful and stable employment, giving them the opportunity to earn a living wage, develop their careers, and improve their quality of life. Our programs combine job training, internships, life-skills development, job placements and educational support to the “hardest to place” populations, including the growing number of young people who are out-of-work and out-of-school, many of whom are also court-involved. Monique oversees a plethora of programs including Phipps Neighborhoods’ Career Network: Healthcare, NYC Justice Corps program, Summer Youth Employment Program, Neighborhood Development Areas: Opportunity Youth, Arches: Transformative Mentoring program, Literacy Connection and an array of educational services including New York State High School Equivalency classes, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Technology: Software Made Simple throughout the Bronx, NY.


Exemplary Teamwork - Career Network Healthcare -
Peter Mertens

With over thirty-eight years of experience in the education field, Peter Mertens has a proven track record in overall fiscal and administrative management of large organizations concentrating on fundraising, volunteer management, school based and life-long learning programs and community partnerships.  Currently, Peter is Assistant Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD), Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York.  During his thirteen-year tenure at Hostos CEWD and in his current rank as Assistant Dean, he has helped to develop a flourishing Division with over 22,000 registered students per year and 50 industry-based certificate programs in one of the poorest communities in the country.  Peter and his staff grew enrollment 23% in the past year and almost 500% over the past ten years.  As Assistant Dean, he oversees a $7.5M budget. Under Peter’s leadership, revenues have increased by 500% and close to 120,000 individuals have improved the quality of their lives as a result of their being served by CEWD’ programs.

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Exemplary Teamwork - Career Network Healthcare -
Dana Politis

Dana Politis, Director of Community Workforce Programs leads Montefiore’s community workforce development strategy, managing programs such as; Health Education and Research Opportunity (H.E.R.O.) High School, Phipps Neighborhoods Career Network: Healthcare, and Project SEARCH. Her role also includes new initiatives such as Health Career Pathways, an initiative focused on building competency-based career pathways for entry and middle-level skilled jobs in the healthcare industry, in collaboration with the White House and the Hope Street Group. Dana holds a Master of Public Health, with a concentration in Health Policy and Management, from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.


Advocacy Excellence Award -
Joe Herrera

Joe is a native of South Brooklyn. He previously worked as a communications specialist for New York City Off Track Betting, where he managed communications for telephone and branch operations. Prior to that, he was employed at Multimedia Services Inc. where he handled the quality development of customer service representatives.

An avid runner, you can usually catch Joe running on the Coney Island boardwalk or beating his two teenage boys badly on the basketball court.

His struggle to find a quality education for his children led him to become a passionate advocate for school choice. He joined Families for Excellent Schools as an organizer in 2012 and currently spearheads the organizing efforts in Coney Island, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Joe is currently enrolled in Baruch’s School of Public Affairs.


Latina Trendsetter of the Year Award -
Mayra Linares-Garcia

Mayra Linares-Garcia is Director of Public Affairs and Communications for New York and Puerto Rico at The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to that she served as Director of Latino Affairs in the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

From 2011 to 2015 she was Citizen Services Representative in the Cuomo administration, working on community affairs with a focus on the Latino community throughout New York State, including Latino outreach and building and improving the government’s relationships with New York’s communities.

She has coordinated international disaster relief efforts between the city’s immigrant communities and organizations that aid afflicted areas, and has been active in the movement to bring social, political and economic equity to New York City communities.

She received her B.A. in political science from Marymount Manhattan College in 2001.

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Educational Excellence Award -
Will Moya

Will Moya of Queens, NY, was appointed Berkeley College Vice President of Campus Operations, in January 2017. In this role, Mr. Moya oversees a team of nine Berkeley College Campus Operating Officers.  He is also responsible for Financial Aid Operations system-wide, and for overseeing initiatives that benefit students and their paths toward academic success.

Mr. Moya most recently served as Campus Operating Officer of Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, NY. In that role, he handled day-to-day operations and collaborated with many departments to ensure that the policies, procedures, and goals of the campus and College were met.

He also continued to build partnerships with businesses in the community to support the growth of internships which led to permanent positions for Berkeley College students and graduates.


Trailblazer Award -
Joe Ithier

Joe Ithier’s career as a leader and community advocate began on November 25, 1997 when he was appointed Director of Economic Development for the Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.  While working with Fernando Ferrer, Mr. Itheir also served as President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and as a voting member of the New York City Empowerment Zone Corporation.  Throughout the span of his career, Joe served as board member to various business organizations, including but not limited to, the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Regional Economic Development Assistance Corp (REDAC), Port Morris Economic Development Corporation, Bronx Initiative Corporation (BIC), Envirosol Corporation, Bronx Initiatives Network (BIN), Bronx Health Link and the New York Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and the New York State Comptroller’s Office.