Florida’s First Brazilian Bank Manager for Major National Bank and Community Leader

Meet Monica Ribeiro a 2020 Hispanic Woman of Distinction  and Vice President – Business Relationship Manager, BankUnited


“The role of the Hispanic/Latina woman today is to create a path for themselves and others to follow where leadership, passion for their careers and families are respected and well balanced.”

As a child, Monica Ribeiro and her family traveled from their Rio de Janeiro home throughout the world learning about the diversity of different cultures, cuisines and languages. Her travels also helped to instill in her the courage to test her boundaries.

Indulging her wanderlust, Monica, who studied psychology at Brazil’s Santa Ursula University, along with her husband, Ed, who was a chef and business owner, moved to the United States in 1988. She soon began a successful career in retail management, but after about a decade, she was anxious to spread her wings in a new career. After completing a management training program, Monica became South Florida’s first Brazilian bank manager for the Bank of America.

After several years, Monica left Bank of America and held a variety of bank management positions for BankAtlantic and BB&T before being given the opportunity to open a de novo BankUnited branch in Pompano Beach. She now serves as their Vice President and Business Relationship Manager.

Serving the community has always been important to Monica, so she joined the fledgling Brazilian Business Group 13 years ago where she has served as both their president and as a board member. Her responsibilities included increasing the group’s membership, so she created partnerships with several networking/business organizations which has benefitted all the various groups’ members. Monica also created the Brazilian Business Group-Asia branch in Japan. This expansion led her to being invited by the Focus Brazil Foundation to speak at the Brazilian Embassy in Tokyo.

Her other community outreach includes the Greater Pompano Beach, Margate and Lighthouse Point Chamber of Commerce, Greater Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International, and she is spearheading a drive to get members of the Brazilian community to complete the U.S. 2020 Census.

Monica’s community leadership has earned her the 2019 Women of Purpose Honoree award for the City of Pompano Beach Tiger Trail, being named the 2018 Person of the Year by the Brazilian Press Awards, being designated the 2016 Business Woman of the Year by the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce and enjoying numerous other accolades.

When not volunteering, networking, or reading, Monica, Ed and their three children, Eddie, Daniel and Gabriella, along with grandchildren Vasari and Talis, love to travel.

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: [email protected].   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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