Latina With Puerto Rican- Cuban Roots Drives Philanthropy

Vanessa Seltzer, 2022 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Director of Philanthropy, Arc Broward

“The Hispanic women of today lead with a focus to empower others to transform their communities and build the leaders of tomorrow.”

Vanessa Seltzer

Vanessa Seltzer

Vanessa Seltzer, a New Jersey native made South Florida her home more than 16 years ago. She has a passion for serving this community and has built her 12-year career around connecting the community to philanthropy. She currently serves as the Director of Philanthropy for Arc Broward and is responsible for driving individual and corporate giving initiatives to support the nonprofit’s mission.  For 66 years Arc Broward has worked with the community to change how people with disabilities are embraced and included. These critical efforts ensure that people with disabilities can live, learn, work, play, and most importantly, thrive. Arc Broward support more than 1,200 children and adults each year through 21 programs, including two pioneering Social Enterprises, Arc Educates and Arc Culinary.

Prior to joining Arc Broward, Vanessa served in development roles at the YMCA of South Florida, and Muscular Dystrophy Association, and most recently spent 5 years as the Director of Development for Gilda’s Club South Florida. During her tenure at Gilda’s Club, she doubled corporate partnership support and tripled the number of corporate partners for the organization, helping ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

Vanessa received her B.A. in psychology from Florida International University (FIU). She also attended Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and received her certification in Developing Major Donors. She is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) candidate and is expected to receive her certification this year.

Vanessa Seltzer and colleagues at YMCA of South Florida

Vanessa Seltzer and colleagues at YMCA of South Florida

Vanessa is currently the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fort Lauderdale/Broward Chapter. She has served on several boards including the Elite Foundation which supports survivors of human trafficking. She was named one of the co-chairs of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council “Excuse Me,That’s My Seat” conference and is the incoming Chair of the Women’s Council’s board. She also serves as co-chair for the Nonprofit Executive Alliance of Broward’s Development Professionals group.

Vanessa is a first-generation Latina American whose parents sacrificed leaving their families behind to advance their careers in the United States and build a good life for their family. Like so many Hispanic Americans, Vanessa struggled with her cultural identity being so far from family and her roots. Vanessa attests to finding a connection to not only to Latinas, but the greater Latin American immigrant community through her parents’ tireless community service. Latinos from all over the world, who look and sounded differently come together to support each other and, in many ways, become a chosen family. Vanessa carries many of the same traditions and community into the lives of her children today.

A nature enthusiast, Vanessa and her husband, Sean Seltzer, a car broker with The Car Concierge Group, enjoy vacationing in Puerto Rico and Islamorada, FL where the couple were engaged and married. The couple’s four-year-old son, Cole, and baby sister, Aubrey, also enjoy the couple’s outdoor excursions.

Related Content:

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:


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


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.

JOIN US on August 26th to honor these fantastic women! Tickets $95 per person, table sponsorship $1500.  For more information email: [email protected].

More related content

The Hispanic Women of Distinction Reaches a Milestone Celebration of Community, Culture and Charity honoring Latinas in South Florida, Past and Present

The 19th Annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity Luncheon


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