Cuban-American Latina Champions Women’s Empowerment

Meet Mary Muniz-Pellicer a Hispanic Woman of Distinction, PHR, SHRM-CP, Director of Human Resources YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade, Inc.

“Today, Latino/Hispanic women mostly have integrated into the workforce, have achieved higher education levels and constantly strive for work/life balance. While still struggling with gender equity, Latino women are among the more equitable of educated female minorities while still breaking away from gender norms.”

For more than 100 years, YWCA South Florida has been at the forefront of the most critical social movements, offering life-changing services, supports and advocacy across Greater Miami-Dade and Broward County. They have championed everything from women’s empowerment and civil rights, to pay equity and economic literacy, to violence prevention and health care, changing the lives of women in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties by disrupting systems of social injustices. As the Director of Human Resources for YWCA South Florida, Mary Muniz-Pellicer has been helping to continue that charge since 2005 with her vast knowledge and experience in human resources, finance, non-profits and administration.

Mary Muniz-PellicerIn addition to her work with the YWCA, Mary is also the 2020 Inclusion Director for the HR Florida State Council overseeing 28 Florida chapters in their new diversity and inclusion initiatives.

After being born in Cuba, her family returned to her parents’ homeland in Spain. When Mary was almost 12, they immigrated to the United States.

Mary, who is multi-lingual, graduated with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and her MBA in Human Resources from Florida International University. She also earned several certifications in training, diversity and human resources. A life-long student, Mary also studied at Miami-Dade College, Nova Southeastern, Keiser University, and Cornell University among other institutes of higher learning.

Mary served as the Diversity Director, Community Affairs Director, Student Affairs Director and Past President for the Human Resources Association of Broward County. She also had several leadership roles, including President, with the Staffing Management Association of South Florida (SMASF) and the Greater Miami Society of Human Resources Management (GMSHRM) among others. She was also the Vice-President of Advocacy and Legislation for the Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs, where she travelled to Tallahassee to support or defend several bills that were being brought before the legislature during that time.

Her contributions have been honored with several recognitions. She was a finalist for the Dorothy Shula Award for Volunteerism from United Way, was an Excellence in Human Resource Executive of the Year award finalist for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce HR Insights conference. She also was named as the Board Member of the Year for GMSHRM and received the Multi-Cultural Leadership Award of Excellence from the Florida Diversity and Leadership Conference, National Diversity Council.

Mary was honored to be a presenter at the inaugural Florida Women’s Conference in Orlando, as well as speaking at the Broward County Women’s Empowerment Expo, the Miami Beach Women’s Conference and Expo, the Miami Gardens Business & Community Expo and the Regional National Association of Women Business Owner’s annual conference to name a few.

When not working or volunteering, Mary and her daughter, Vanessa, enjoy vacationing in Europe and the North Carolina mountains, and she relishes crossword puzzles, cooking and swimming.

The 19th annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on August 28th at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is anticipating another sell-out of up to 1000 guests paying tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.

The annual cultural event has now grown to be the largest celebration of Latinas in Florida representing a cross-section of disciplines that are changing the face of American culture.  With over 70 nominations this year, 12 Latinas and a Latina Pioneer have been selected to join the more than 200 past honorees.

What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions. The accomplishments of these Latinas stand on their own and are even more significant given the traditional roadblocks that exist for women, especially Latinas.

Presented by Latina Style Magazine, in partnership with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Latin Biz Today, this popular high-powered exciting event includes a complimentary “mojito” and silent auction, hors d’hoerves, entertainment, and an interactive business expo on Facebook Live.

The event benefits FLITE Center, the one and only one-stop in Broward County for youth transitioning from foster care and other transitioning youth who are facing severe risks and challenges with no family support.  FLITE Center works alongside our county’s foster care placement agency, ChildNet, as well as the Judges and Magistrates who oversee their care plans.  They serve over 1500 youth per year and serve as the gap filler in the community for youth and agencies lacking the resources to help them reach full self-sufficiency.

The 2020 Honorees to from Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County are:

2020 Latina Pioneer of the Year:  RITA B CRAIG – President, Top Tier Leadership  

JENNIFER DILIZ – CEO, Founder, Midnite Communications – (Miami)

JANIE FLORES – President, Buena Vida Media – (Hialeah)

ISABEL M. GONZALEZ – Chief of Staff & Vice President of Communications & Community Relations at Broward College – (Fort Lauderdale) 

RUTH CECILIA MOGUILLANSKY – Principal Planner, Palm Beach County Office of Community Revitalization – (Palm Beach Gardens ) 

JENNIFER OLMEDO-RODRIGUEZ – Shareholder, Head of Miami Office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney – (N. Miami Beach)

JENNIFER M. RAYMOND – Executive Director, Family Promise of South Palm Beach County – (Boynton Beach )

MARY MUNIZ-PELLICER – Director, Human Resources, YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade, Inc  (N. Miami Beach )

MONICA RIBEIRO – Vice President, Business Relationship Manager – BankUnited – (Pompano Beach)

LUZ STELLA RIOS, Phd – Managing Director, National Life Group – (Pembroke Pines) 

ESTELAMARI RODRIGUEZ, M.D. – Assoc. Director Community Outreach Thoracic Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – (City of Miami )

ALESSANDRA STIVELMAN –Shareholder –  Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A.  (Hollywood)

ISIS ZAMBRANA – V.P./ Chief Quality Officer, Jackson Health System – (Weston) 

2020 Latina Pioneer of the Year:  RITA B CRAIG – President, Top Tier Leadership  

Rita formed her company more than 20 years ago helping leaders and organizations build winning cultures, deliver results and maximize performance around the world.  An award winning certified speaker and coach she has recently been appointed as one of the 21 women on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Rita is a resident of Palm Beach Gardens.

For more information, visit www.hispanicwomenofdistinction.com or email: hispanicwomenlunch@aol.com.   Tickets are $95 per person.  Sponsorships begin at $1500. All major credit cards accepted.  Follow us on Facebook

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Phyllis Cambria
Phyllis Cambria
Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.

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