Meet Betty Alonso, the Hispanic Woman of Distinction 2019 Latina Pioneer, Founding President/CEO ConnectFamilias
“As Hispanics continue to grow in numbers, we must create pathways that support and are reflective of our diversity in every industry and at every level.”
As anyone who has ever succeeded at achieving their goal will tell you, it’s often as important whom you know as it is what you know. Betty Alonso likely had that thought in mind when she created ConnectFamilias (CF) in Miami-Dade County over six years ago.
Today, CF is a catalyst for incubating and developing new ideas that improve the quality of life for families in their communities. Betty and her team are leading the development of a comprehensive ecosystem with the help of their partners to co-design solutions that build communities where children and families thrive and succeed.
Together they envision communities of hope and pride, whose neighborhood environments and urban core are safe, attractive and healthy, enriched by cultural diversity and engaged families.
Betty and her team at CF understand that it is not enough to help one family at a time. It is also important to find solutions that have larger community impact for all families.
Betty knows she cannot do this alone and has enlisted the help of over 80 cross-sector partners such as parents, researchers, family, and children and family service practitioners, policymakers, local business leaders and child advocates to connect their expertise and design new innovative programs to expand a family’s ability to create a successful life. In turn, CF’s team helps families navigate and connect to community resources as well as assists partners to connect those they want to serve.
Betty received her B.A. in Public Administration from Florida International University and her Masters in Human Resource Development from Barry University. She is also a Southeastern Council of Foundation Hull Fellow.
After graduation, Betty worked as a Program Administrator for Lockheed Martin Corporation Workforce Public-Private partnership where she oversaw countywide workforce programs to help families move from government assistance. Betty spent the next decade of her career in philanthropy as Director of Programs at the Dade Community Foundation (now The Miami Foundation) working both locally and nationally to strengthen the third sector capacity to ensure the highest return and impact on community investment dollars. It is there where she first began and to dream up what today is ConnectFamilias.
Betty has served as a speaker at national and international symposiums and expert resource for the media.
Her efforts have been honored with awards such as receiving the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioner District 5 Hispanic Leadership Award, featured in Miami-Dade County’s Culture of Health Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Children’s Trust Excellence in Health, Family and Community Award to name a few.
She serves or has served on boards and committees for organizations such as the Grassroots Grantmakers, Community-Based Care, Community Advisory Board for the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, the Department of Children & Families Region 5 Planning Committee, the United Way Health, and Early Childhood Council and others too numerous to mention.
A Miami girl, Betty’s Cuban ancestry continues to shape how she views and interacts with the world around her. She celebrates her Cuban American dual heritage (as she refers to it) and reminds those around her you do not need to pick one over the other celebrate them all because it is that which makes us great.
Whenever possible, she enjoys getting away to explore and connect with people and the world around her, be it across the U.S., or abroad. Betty also enjoys sailing or just spending time by the ocean to clear her mind and find her center.
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Here are the 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction:
GLORIA L. DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach Colombian Born Latina Shines As Mentor and Walmart Sales Exec
ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County Colombian-American Latina Leads College PR and Community Organizations
BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages –Dade Cuban Latina Excels at Education and Preserving Heritage Languages
KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward: Outstanding Venezuelan Latina Excels as a “Hispanic Fashion Advisor”
Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade Cuban-American Latina Is a Premier Healthcare Anthropologist
LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward Argentinian-American Latina Attorney Helping Hispanic Community
CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade- Cuban-American Latina Brand Manger and Executive Consultant
JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach Colombian Latina Healthcare Financial Officer Supports Those In Need
Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College – Dade Dominican Bronx Latina Secures Grants to Drive Student Success
MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward Latina Cuban-American Chief Marketing Officer Is Growing Brands
MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward Latina of Ancestry Cuban-Peruvian Making Waves in PR
RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade Panamanian-American Latina Community Relations Professional Advocates for Victims
LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR:
DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partners, a visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States.