As we empower, observe and celebrate National Women History Month and their leadership roles in business, government and community today, let us honor the first Queens Top Latino Women being featured in this special edition.

I’ve always loved a good story and was inspired by the women who kept their families and started their businesses. Latino women have been strong and they are getting stronger. We need the power of women to come out of this economic crisis as soon as possible. Women’s love and passion are guiding us to the top of the mountain.

The leadership that these women have shown is incredible. They are young and old. They are streetwise or have professional degrees. Or both. They came to this country to prosper and they are conquering their dreams. Some of them were born in this country and are helping the new arrivals.

QueensLatino and myself are here together to help empower Latino women in Queens and beyond. This is the reason why we are very connected to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens and other organizations such as Business Outreach Center. This is why on our website and newspaper we cover job fairs, business gatherings and expos, power breakfasts and networking events. We recognize the importance of working together as a team, share information and develop new strategies in this new economic environment.

My company, Events by Donna, is a very innovative enterprise that focuses on helping women in Queens. I plan and produce events of any kind. I connect women to other women. I connect women to powerful businessmen. And I also connect men to powerful women.

Please call and tell me how I can help you or your business.

Best Regards,

Donna La Bassiere

(646) 427-9217

El lanzamiento de la Cámara de Comercio de Mujeres de Queens será este 11 de abril a partir de las 6 de la tarde en el Vaughn College, cerca al aeropuerto LaGuardia. Informes al teléfono (718) 807-7080 o (718) 490-1985.

Dr. LUCIA PATINO / Optometrist

Doctor Lucía Patiño.

Dr. Lucia Patiño, owner of Patiño Eye Care, opened her doors in 2008. She has been serving the Queens community since 2002. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, FL, and completed a residency in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy. She specializes in Pediatrics, Amblyopia, Learning Related Vision Disorders, Contact Lenses, Keratoconus, and primary eye care.

She works with all types of insurances, MetroPlus, HelathFirst, Wellcare, Medicaid, and also accepts locals/unions. The office also accepts CareCredit and CitiHealth Card. The office speaks English, Spanish, and Italian. Dr. Patiño’s goal is to make the community aware of eye diseases, and to get annual eye exams.

Dr Patiño treats patients as young as 6 months old. She also sees emergency patients. Office hours are 10-7 Monday through Saturday. Her office is located a few steps away from the 7 train station on 82nd Street, in Elmhurst. The address is 40-07 82nd, first floor.

“We welcome everybody, our service is excellent and prices are affordable,” said Dr. Patiño.

PATRICIA MAHECHA / Dreamer and Entrepreneur

Patricia Mahecha.

I dream positively to achieve my goals. When I was a teenager I loved to see fashion shows and I dreamt about this way of life. I am from Bogotá, Colombia and New York opened its doors for me in 1981. In 1990 I created “Modelamos Talent” to teach modeling, good manners, etiquette, charm glamour and protocol.

I am the Vice President of Abetx International Brokers where I have increased sales through marketing and networking. I graduated from St. John’s University with a master insurance (CPCU). I recently worked for the New York Labor Department.

In 2002 I was selected as a representative of one of the 100 fastest growing companies in the United State. I was one of the 10 businesswomen in Queens. In 2005 El Diario/LA PRENSA recognized me among the 50 most distinguished Latinas in New York. In 2009 the Center for the Women gave me the award “Woman in Leadership.”

I was also President of the Lions Club, Treasury of the Queens Hispanic Parade, Founder of Universal Lions Club of Queens, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens and I am President of the Women Chamber of Commerce of Queens.

I have three sons and my husband is Eduardo Giraldo. All of them make me truly happy.

SILVIA T. SUAREZ / Real State Broker and Entrepreneur

Silvia Suarez.

Silvia T. Suarez was born in Mendoza, Argentina. Being raised with lots of love and strong roots, Silvia soon learned that dignity, honesty and hard work were the base to build her future. Silvia married Rodolfo L. Suarez and together they had son, Eduardo M. Suarez.

Silvia is a license Real Estate Broker since 1985, working with Keller Williams Landmark II, Golden Properties Group as an Associate Broker Specializing in Short Sales and Foreclosures since 1989. Mrs. Suarez is very grateful to the Latin Community that has entrusted her to represent their home investments and properties for sale and have been loyal to her Real Estate expertise.

Her mission is to educate the community in all Real Estate needs and help them to achieve their goals.

Silvia is a member of Long Island Board Of Realtor, Multiple Listing Service, Core, Veterans, Who is Who Encyclopedia and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens. “It was very difficult at the beginning, but hard work and perseverance paid off. We immigrants need to keep planning and working hard to accomplish our goal,” said Suarez in her office in Jackson Heights, Queens.

YAMILE CORTEZ / Entrepreneur and Dancer

Yamile Cortez.

Yamile Cortez arrived to New York in 1990 at the age of 33 to seek opportunities for progress in her life. She knocked on many doors to find an opening that would lead her to becoming a successful woman. It was not easy at first, for she had to balance two jobs in order to move up the ladder.

Waiting tables for low pay and working at a tapestry for long hours was an arduous task, but hard work finally paid off when she landed a job as a manager for a large company.

Aside from managing, she is also a representative for a line of cosmetic products called Seacret. When Yamile is not hard at work she dedicates her time to the art of dance and the practice of yoga. “Congratulations to women all over and those being celebrated in this special edition of QueensLatino.”

Yamile Cortez

Representative of Seacret


STEPHANIE CAMPOS / Young Entrepreneur

Stepahnie Campos.

Stephanie Campos was born in New York, raised with Colombian routs. She’s very excited to start college and major in journalism, a career Stephanie is very passionate about.

One of her dreams is to help other women have better and improved self esteem by expressing their inner beauty through their style in clothing and make up.

Stephanie is also starting a blog and will begin uploading her work on YouTube as well – regarding beauty and styling for clothes and hair. She wants to put up skin care routines, make up technique, outfits of the day and everything in between. Stephanie hopes to inspire a lot of women of all ages to try out her system and is willing to help them figure out what works best including creating their own version or spin on outfits.

“I’m honored and happy to be part of the top Latina Women edition in QueensLatino”, said Stephanie Look for her on Instagram with daily uploads.

Instagram: mini_campossxo

YAMILE PENA / Community Activist

Yamile Peña.

Yamile Peña was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and came to New York in 1968. Before coming to the United States, she worked as a translator for Foster Parents Plan and the American Embassy.

While raising her two children, Danny and Claudia in 1974, together with her husband, Ruben, they opened a restaurant, La Herradura, featuring Colombian and latin American specialties. Presently she co-owns Cristal Liquors in Corona. In 1989 she joined the Department of Education and after serving for over 20 years she retired recently.

Yamile was active in PTA’s and president of the Big Apple Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. For the past five years with great enthusiasm she’s been an active member and devoted supporter of an organization focused in providing wellbeing to seniors and children overseas. The non-profit organization, Boyacenses por Colombia, thanks to her continuous commitment,  has touched, changed and improved the lives of many people by sending wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, diapers, school supplies and medical supplies to different individuals and organizations overseas. Presently, the organization is supporting two youngsters in Colombia with their college expenses.

With her enthusiasm, honesty and smile she is always rendering a helping hand to those who seek her assistance or advice. “Thank you to QueensLatino and congratulations to all women.”

MARIA GUILLEN / Home Lending Specialist

María Guillén.

Maria Guillen is an Ecuadorian who immigrated to the United States in 1980 searching to get ahead in her career. As immigrant, Maria confronted many difficulties and obstacles, but she never gave up. Maria continued to pursue accomplishing her objectives.

Having started her university studies in Ecuador, Maria continued her academic work at Baruch College, part of City University of New York. Her perseverance and dedication allowed her to embrace a rewarding career in banking. For 20 years Banco Popular, NA gave Maria the opportunity to enjoy a career as a prominent Mortgages Advisor. She was then promoted as Assistant Vice-President of the Residential Mortgages Department. Maria is currently working at Citibank as a Home Lending Specialist.

She has won many awards in her professional life. Maria Guillen volunteers as a board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens, Executive Director of Queens Hispanic Parade, Inc., belong to Queens Universal Lions Club and President of the HCCQ community Development Fund Corp, a Non-Profit organization dedicated to provide scholarships.

She is married to Edgar Gallego and mother of two beautiful daughters Melissa and Gabriela who are the engine of her life. “I’m honored and proud to be part of this special Latina Women edition.” Maria Guillen (646) 425-9568.

ALEXANDRA ARISTIZABAL / Occupational Therapist

Alexandra Aristizábal.

I was born in Colombia and came to the United States when I was a 9-years-old. My parents brought my brother and I to New York and since then we have lived in Queens. We love this borough because it is the real melting pot.

I became a single mom at the age of 20 and I realized my responsibilities were way beyond myself. Then I decided to get a degree to be economically independent. I became an Occupational Therapist. I currently work with special children, most of them with autism and I love to help each one of them.

My son is now married and I am a grandmother of a sweet 15-month-old boy. My son is an emergency medical technician, he’s in the National Guard (reserve) and is pursuing a degree as a civil engineer.

I hope that my life story can be used as an inspiration to young people. My journey has not been easy. However, with perseverance you can achieve all your goals. I did it. I am an example.

Thank you to QueensLatino for allowing us women to share our stories and be part of this special edition that truly celebrates women.

RUTH STELLA WILLIAMS / Fish Expert and Entrepreneur

Ruth Stella Williams.

Inside of Stella Ruth Williams great memories is effective the giant panorama of the sea and its beautiful sunsets. It can be seen as the evening of the day arrives and slowly hides sun king, the skyline of beautiful Pacific Ocean that washes the shores of her home department of Choco, Colombia northwestern.

She’s proud to come from a cradle of African descent and is thankful to God for the support of her parents who helped her finished her education and got a degree, thus receiving the title as a professional fish technologist at the Technological University of Choco.

Stella is capable of making developments in shipbuilding, keeping rapprochement with artisanal fishing communities. She harbors a spirit of adventure and decided to travel to New York City. Immediately she had to pick her shirtsleeves and work on anything from babysitting to housekeeping. Since then Stella Ruth Williams has managed to build a charitable foundation, with the purpose of helping people in her hometown.

She’s also part of a company that helps people manage their electricity and gas bills. For more information about this lucrative business please email

“I’m honored to be part of the Top Latina Women in QueensLatino”.

MARTA RAMIREZ / Business Opportunity Consultant

Martha Ramírez.

My main assignment is to help women. Before Martha Ramirez came to the land of opportunity, she lived in her native Venezuela for many years and was mesmerized with world of business in real estate.

Martha persued real estate and for thirteen Years has made a successful career out of it. When the industry deteriorated to the point of leaving millions of people in precarious economic situation, Martha considered a very active person and inquires always new possibilities  and business opportunities, she  discovered a new source of employment, which allowed her to continue working independently.

Martha enjoys the fact that her new job allows her to help and empower many people and give them the chance to save money on their electricity and gas bills. She believes that this is a great opportunity for women all over and can consult with them regarding enrolling in her type of business.

“This is a great convenience and advantage which will allow women to have good earnings and be independent,” said Martha.

Martha Ramirez considers herself a woman with great direction and leadership within the community. “I’m thrilled to be awarded such a great recognition in QueensLatino”.


Michelle Fernanda Varela.

Born in Palmira Colombia, Michelle’s family came to New York after a common goal in our community: greener pastures, better opportunity. Like any love, photography captured her passion unexpectedly, and since she was 16 she has been developing her art and diversifying her style.

Through her stylistic method of photography, she hopes to break the preconception of photography as a business of “pretty pictures” and show that each photo is a representation of the artist behind the camera. After working under professionals for 4 years, she has begun her own photography business; as a female she hopes to show any aspiring women, and artists alike, that their talent coupled with dedication can bring the same success of any lawyer or doctor. Her new journey is not easy, nor will it get easier, but she welcomes the opportunity to prove herself. She hopes her story, and that of our other successful latina women will show that our women are an untapped resource; if success in this country has a man’s face, then women need to fight THAT much harder.

Michelle Fernanda Varela,

Photographer, 646-863-1872

AURORA RODRIGUEZ / Sales Associate

Aurora Rodríguez.

I am from the state of Puebla in Mexico and I moved to New York at the age of 16. I got here as everybody else, willing to work for a better future. I got lots of experiences. I have worked in garment factories, restaurants, coffee shops, cleaning and many other jobs.

I also studied English and that’s how I discovered that education is the best way to succeed in life. Then I decided to get a Nutrition and Health certificate at Cornell University.

I also worked part time as a group leader in a company where I gained extensive experience and training in telemarketing. I value any kind of work because I am a team worker.

All my life I’ve been a pet lover and I take care of animals in the best way possible. I currently work as a sales associate in Venus & Delilah Pet Spa, located at 90-12 37th Avenue, in Jackson Heights.

While I see my daughter and my dog grow up, I am happy and thankful to God and life for being considered among the most prominent Latinas in Queens. I aspire to achieve more goals. This is just the beginning. I hope my story will inspire other women to move forward in life.

SOLEDAD MURILLO / Independent Consultant

Soledad Murillo.

Soledad Murillo is from Colombia. She’s been working for 12 years in the Health care industry as part of a management team. This management position develops and implements region-based tactics closely aligned with the business objectives and strategy.

As an individual she accomplished the objectives of this position by selecting, developing and managing a strong  team committed to the mission of the organizations she served.

Part of Soledad’s job is to hold staff accountable for their performance expectations. She’s now working as an Independent Consultant and one of her dreams is to help motivate other women who would like to make your career in the health care industry and be successful and prosperous. ‘I’m thrilled and privileged to be part of the top Latina Women edition in QueensLatino” said Soledad.

Take the next step in your career and contact Soledad Murillo at

JOHANA BOLANOS / Owner of Flavors & Colors

Johanna Bolaños.

Johanna arrived in the United States in 2005 and had to start her life just like anyone else.

Her first job was at McDonald’s on Junction Boulevard where she worked for 6 months.

Johanna was employed in a many industries from retail to food service where she gained a great deal of experience. In 2008, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Ariana.

Johanna’s passion for creative cake design was sparked by her daughter’s 1st Birthday in 2009. Although everything was not designed by her, it was at that point that she knew cake design is what she wanted to do. From then on, all her efforts were aimed to establish her own cake business. Johanna takes great pride in her work and does not believe in using out of the box ingredients. All cakes are made from scratch using recipes she created.

Juggling her full-time job as a dental assistant, family life and her cake business has not been an easy task. For the past five years she has been growing her business and now incorporates event planning as part of her services. She has catered to many events with her most recent one being “The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala”, which she was a corporate sponsor. Last year she also decided on formally naming her company Flavors & Colors.


Nubia Allbritton.

Born in Colombia, married and mother of two. Mrs. Allbritton arrived to New York City in 1989 when she was seven months pregnant. She has worked very hard to maintain her family.

Her first job in The States was recycling bottles in order to buy her children their needs. For the following fifteen years, she worked in the cleaning industry, taking care of houses and business offices. She also worked as a baby sitter, taking care of senior citizens, in a beauty salon, and in the sales industry. In other words, she’s done it all. One can describe her as the solid rock of her household for everything she’s accomplished and done to support her family.

Today, Nubia is a trained dancer and the manager for upcoming pop Latin superstar Winstar (her son.)

Mrs. Allbritton says that she owes all her success to God, to her parent’s support and her siblings when she first arrived to this country.

Please visit or email: for more information. “It’s a privilege to be part of such a special edition in QueensLatino, helping to empower and celebrate Latina Women all over”

SILVIA NAVA / Anthropologist and Communicator

Silvia Nava.

Silvia Nava, born in Mexico, is the Director and Founder of White Gardenia Feminine Leadership Project, Inc. (501-C3).  Her “Lead, Excel and Experience Personal Power” self-sufficiency and sustainable project with a School for Parents is a highway to success for women and the family. Current workshop series include an empowerment program for women/moms every Thursday from 10:15 to11:30, English classes every Saturday from 11 to12 and two monthly trainings for couples (Couple Communication), next is Sunday, March 24 from 2 to4 pm and Parents/Teens (Building Bridges of Communication), next on Sunday, April 7th from 2 to4 pm at 71-11 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens.

Her certifications include Neuro Linguistic Programming, Creative Response to Conflict and Couple Communication. Utilizing these skills, Silvia has been focusing on the personal, professional and academic development of women and families. Her academic focus has been in Medical Anthropology and Comparative Studies in World Religions with extensive hands on fieldwork service. Silvia is a writer and a poetess and her book entitled “The New Meaning of Femininity” along with 10 teaching manuals include over 25 years of experience training women and teens. Her “Open Frame Meditations”, is a recorded program for self-sufficiency and personal growth. • 646-712-4863

JUDITH ALMONTE / Certified Massage Therapist

Judith Almonte.

This woman is a proud Latina. Judith was born in Dominican Republic and came to New York when she was 3-year-old and raised in Astoria, Queens. She was one of the first in her family to graduate with a high school diploma and go to college.

She then pursued a career in Massage Therapy and focused on medical massage, deep tissue massage, Swedish, and clinical massage for chronic pain.

Judith integrates a range of treatment approaches to bring relief to clients recovering from specific injuries and helps people maintain or regain their health through physical therapy.

She considers the health and well being of her patients/clients to be the most important aspect of massage therapy and provides excellent and professional care to each individual. She always works with a smile in her face and makes her clients feel at home.

She’s a license massage therapist currently working at Aqua Physical Therapy in Brooklyn and sees patients by appointment only. She can be reached at 646-597-3287 or e-mail her at Judith thanks QueensLatino for “creating such a phenomenal edition that authentically celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of women in Queens County.”

MARIA DEL ROSARIO / Professional singer

María del Rosario.

Maria del Rosario is a woman who sings for life. At a very young age Maria was always charmed and fascinated to be singer. Growing up her home was always filled with the sound of music.

Maria considers herself to be a good representative from the beautiful City Bucaramanga, the capital of the department of South Santander. Land of the villagers, who helped to consolidate the independence of Colombia, from the Spanish yoke. After docking in New York, she had wonderful opportunities to familiarize herself with a few places where the best artists were dedicated to singing. Maria was very honored to debut for the third time with Vicente Fernandez, who performed earlier in her dear homeland Colombia.

Here in the big city, she alternates with major stars and by the grace of God have been recognized and perceived, as the woman with the high soprano voice.

Maria del Rosario has performed at various theaters, Ritz, Park, Lincoln Center and recently at Oheka Castle luxury hotel in Long Island. She’s very proud of her accomplishments as a woman and feels that her work has helped make her part of leadership to her community. “What a privilege it is to be part of this phenomenal top Latina women edition, congratulations to all women.”