Susy Diaz Piesco, 2022 Hispanic Woman of Distinction and Executive Director, Middle School of the Arts Foundation
“There is a long line of women who blazed the trail and paved the way so that Hispanic women like me could succeed. It’s our responsibility to pay their sacrifices forward by mentoring, cultivating, and encouraging the next generation of mujeres hispanas to work toward gender and ethnic equality.”
As the Executive Director of the Middle School of the Arts Foundation (MSAF) in West Palm Beach (WPB), Susy Diaz Piesco’s management skills help support a unique school program for talented art students in Palm Beach County. Students can take advantage of not only one of the highest rated academic programs in the state, but also explore and refine their chosen art form skills. The Foundation also provides employment income for area arts professionals..
Prior to MSAF, Susy’s career spanned the public, private and the not-for-profit sectors having worked as COO for an event production company serving Atlantis, Paradise Island, as associate director for the American Cancer Society Palm Beach Unit, and as the Assistant to the Mayor for the City of West Palm Beach.
A magna cum laude graduate, Susy received both her B.A. in interdisciplinary sciences and political science and her M.A. in political science from Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
There she also received a certification in ethnic studies. Her education and prior government experience proved to be very helpful when voters helped her unseat an eleven-year incumbent in the City of Greenacres, electing her as Councilmember for District 4 and the only Latina on the council. With nearly half its population identifying as Hispanic, and as the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Susy felt she needed to advocate for more equitable representation and looks forward to helping not just the Hispanic demographic, but all under-represented groups.
Susy is a Leadership Palm Beach County alumna class of 2021, serves on the Advisory Council for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of directors for the Hispanic Human Resource Council. She was appointed to the WPB’s COVID-19 Response Team and aided her community by making and donating over 5,000 face masks to area non-profits so they could continue their community efforts. She also aided those without computer access to make vaccination appointments and advocated for multi-lingual access to the portals.
Connecting with resources from her time working in the Bahamas, Susy partnered with the Bahamian Air & Sea Rescue to hand-deliver more than two truckloads of needed supplies to those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
For her community dedication and charitable efforts, Susy was awarded with a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Esperanza Award, the Oakley Award for Extraordinary Service by the Lake Worth Playhouse, the Lucian Martinez Humanitarian Award, and seven Palm Beach County School District awards.
Susy’s husband, Michael Piesco, a swimming pool designer, along with their blended family of Briana, Caroline, and Chace, and, dachshund Dapper Dan, enjoy visiting Disney’s Castaway Cay where the couple were married three years ago. For more romantic vacations, the “newlyweds” enjoy Jaco, Costa Rica.
21st Anniversary of Hispanic Women of Distinction set for August 26, 2022
The annual celebration of Community, Culture and Charity honors Latinas in South Florida, past and present.
The 21st annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on Friday, August 26th, 2022, 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.
Founded in 2001 by the late Erwin M.Vasquez, M.D., a Venezuelan-born cardiologist, philanthropist and publisher of the pioneer Spanish newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, the goal was to help to empower Latinas and to recognize the influence they have in the South Florida community. These Latinas, both past and present, are not afraid to dream big, to carve their own paths, to be grateful for the opportunities they have received, and to pay it forward to those who will follow.
The 2022 Honorees are:
- ODALYS AREVALO – co-founder, Las Madrinas de Los Seguros, managing partner Sunshine Life & Health Advisors.
- ALEXANDRIA AYALA – School Board Member, Palm Beach County
- DUNIA CUNEO – Owner, Doral Human Resources Consulting
- SYLVIA DAUNERT, PhD, PharmD, MS – Lucille P. Markey Chair and Professor, Dept. Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Miller School of Medicine
- JESSICA JOSEPH – Manager. Philanthropy/Public Relations, Catholic Hospice, Inc.
- NAELYS LUNA- Ph.D., MSW – Founding Dean & Professor, College of Social Work & Criminal Justice – Florida Atlantic University Work & Criminal Justice – Florida Atlantic University
- AYENZA A. MATTHEWS – Wellness Director, Heal the Planet
- MONICA PAYARES-LIZANO, M.D. – Pediatric, Orthopedic Surgeon, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
- SUSY DIAZ PIESCO – Exec.Director Middle School of the Arts Foundation, City Councilwoman Greenacres City
- KARINA de OLIVEIRA RODRIGUES – Assistant County Attorney, Broward County Attorneys Office
- VANESSA SELTZER – Director of Philanthropy, Arc Broward
- PATRICIA TREJO – Adm. Program Planner Hispanic/Latino Studies, Palm Beach County School District, FL-ALAS President
2022 LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR
ANA VEIGAMILTON – President, José Milton Foundation, Chair of Jackson Health Foundation, UM Trustee and President of the Citizens Board, lawyer and engineer, committed to impactful philanthropy and community engagement throughout South Florida. Family Values • Community-Wide
UP & COMER HONOREE
ARLETTE GOMEZ – Third year law student at NSU, Shepard Broad College of Law, Dean’s list with awards for outstanding service. Cuban born, this young woman is active on numerous community boards, and NSU’s President’s 64 Member, whose purpose is to strengthen the relationship with the community.
More related content