Everyday People, Make the World Go Round – Elaine Miceli-Vasquez
Name: Elaine Miceli-Vasquez
Company: Hispanic Women of Distinction & We Do Events, Inc.
Major City Where You Work: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
City Where You Live: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Elaine is the owner of Broward’s first bilingual newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, publishing since 1974 and now has expanded to include event production. She is a seasoned public relations and marketing executive who co-owned and pioneered the cable television industry in Broward County from 1970 to 1985. She created one of the first multicultural communications agency since 1992, Latin Power, Inc., and a special events company, We Do Events. The company has produced more than 50 events, including the Hispanic Women of Distinction charity luncheon the past 18 years. Elaine’s pioneering ventures inspired her to develop a unique set of skills that formed the backbone of her story and still makes an impact on her business and social life today.
She and her late husband, Erwin M. Vasquez, M.D., established a $1 million Erwin and Elaine Vasquez Family Foundation with the Community Foundation of Broward to focus on the senior issues in our community, as well as her tireless fundraising efforts to provide the only free healthcare facility for the immigrant poor and underserved communities in Broward, the Light of the World Clinic. Founded by her husband and herself in 1989, Elaine has raised more than $2.5 million, helping more than 3/4 million women and children receive quality healthcare and medicines for free. She continues his legacy by developing a long-range plan to sustain the volunteer clinic.
Elaine’s career led her into two passions that have become an integral part of her life – politics and multicultural understanding. She became politically savvy, and through her political voluntarism, she has been able to influence and provide access and support to a number of minority communities in Broward. She was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush, for 8 years, to the Post Secondary Education Commission and CEPRI in Tallahassee. Here, she chaired the Minority Access to Education Committee, the Council for Education, Policy, Research and Information, a state-mandated independent council that among many duties, created the Master Plan for Education K-20 for Florida.
Elaine has been, and continues to be active on numerous non-profit boards, some of which include: March of Dimes, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, United Way, Community Foundation of Broward, Boys & Girls Club, Communities in Schools, Broward Center for the Homeless, Governor’s Mansion Foundation, Girl Scouts of Broward, Foundation for Florida’s Future, First Call for Help, (now 211 Broward) Riverwalk Trust and Light of the World Clinic. Elaine has recently been appointed to the AARP State of Florida Executive Council, based in Tampa.
Elaine has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career including the Leadership Broward Leader of the Year, Woman of Distinction of March of Dimes, 1999 Spirit of Lincoln Honoree, Humanitarian of the Year from Broward Homebound, Justice for Family and Children, Goodwill Industries, Women in Communications Lifetime Achievement, Mother of the Year for Health Babies and Woman of the Year for American Cancer. As a devout Catholic, Elaine was invested as Lady Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem with a Papal Order from Pope John Paul for her charity work.
Elaine’s achievements have not rested here. She continues to work to combat stereotypes, empower minorities, and educate the public for better access to education, healthcare, business, and services. Her greatest gift and joy of all – her 3 daughters, 4 granddaughters, and grandson – her family is woven into every aspect of her life.
Elaine spent the majority of her adult life as a single mom, and understands the limitations that women have during these difficult times trying to balance a career while raising children. Focused on the diverse communities, she created the Hispanic Women of Distinction charity luncheon in 2001, with the goal of highlighting the contributions of Latinas in society.
“I have spent my life trying to help others, whether it was taking care of my father with Alzheimer’s in my home, or helping those in need in our community”, said Elaine. “Doing God’s work was instilled in me as a young child, and through the decades I have tried to pass this on to my children and grandchildren.” As her late husband would say, “GIVING IS ONE WAY.”