Karla G. Sanchez
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Fewer than a half percent of the partners at New York's top 100 firms are female and Hispanic, leaving this trial attorney still somewhat of a rarity since she was named a partner in 2003, where she remains the only Hispanic partner. An expert in commercial litigation, the Fordham University School of Law graduate has also made a name for herself in the Hispanic community, sitting on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, which gave her its inaugural Lucero Award in 2004. At Patterson Belknap, she leads the firm's diversity committee and chairs the Patterson Attorneys of Color. This year she was named one of the "40 under Forty" by Crain's New York Business.
Director of Arbitration and ADR in North America
International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce
New York-raised Ms. Sicard-Mirabal cut quite a swath through the legal community of her native Dominican Republic, serving as chief justice of the Civil, Commercial, and Labor Court in La Vega. She worked for law firm Greenberg Traurig before taking her new post with the ICC in August. The trilingual Ms. Sicard-Mirabal (Spanish, English and French) founded and chairs Dominicans on Wall Street and can often be seen commenting on the news on television or in domestic and international newspapers.
President & COO
Mr. Velazquez has overseen day-to-day operations at Conectiv Energy, Pepco Holdings competitive merchant energy subsidiary, since June. In 1981, after graduating from Widener University with a bachelor of science degree in engineering, he joined Pepco subsidiary Delmarva Power and has worked his way up in management positions since, including two vice-president positions at Delaware-based Connectiv.
President, CEO and Founder
PS Energy Group Inc.
Ms. Whisenhunt has been a go-getter since graduating high school, when she bought a convenience store and sold it for an 800 percent profit half a year later. Since founding PS Energy in 1985, Ms. Whisenhunt -- her mother is a native of Colombia -- has stressed high morale and diversity. She has won plaudits from the Small Business Administration and a Hammer Award from Vice-President Al Gore's National Performance Review Board. This year PS Energy was recognized as a Georgia Small Business of Excellence.
Chairman of the Board
National Mental Health Association
In June 2006, Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola became the first Hispanic chairman for the NMHA, which entails providing direction and leadership to the organization and its 340 affiliates nationwide. He is currently a professor of Clinical Internal Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, at the University of California, Davis. Among awards, earlier this year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office honored Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola with a Minority Health's National Minority Health Community Leader Award (Hispanic Community).
Saving the World - 2006
In her various works of poetry and fiction, this Dominican author gives voice to the themes of displacement, alienation, and search for identity. A prolific author since publishing her first book in 1991 -- How the García Girls Lost Their Accent -- Ms. Alvarez has authored four other books of fiction, a book of essays, five collections of poetry, and five books for children. In 2006, Ms. Alvarez released her latest novel Saving the World. She currently lives in Vermont, where she is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.
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