At Doral, we take great pride in being a leading community bank for Puerto Rico. Each day we are inspired by our customers and the communities that we serve. Over the past several years, Doral, as part of its community banking efforts, has put great emphasis on developing programs and services to support the Puerto Rican community and its entrepreneurship.For instance, we have already helped over 30,000 families who have been through difficult times keep their homes, avoiding the foreclosure process and ensuring that our customers retain their property. Likewise, through 2013, Doral will have counseled thousands of people through its financial education program; provided support services to local small businesses to help them develop, strengthen and grow; helped obtain homes for low income families and donated over $1 million worth properties; and proudly invested nearly $3 million in initiatives to support the professional and entrepreneurial development of Hispanic women. With proper financial support and mentoring, these individuals and the communities that they support, stand to accelerate their progress, gaining in leaps and bounds. Financial institutions must play a vital role these efforts. If fostering entrepreneurship and empowering women are made distinct priorities at the local level, Hispanics will be empowered to take action, rebuilding their respective communities one household at a time. We offer our best wishes to the UHSCC and each of its members. We look forward to coming together again next year to celebrate our accomplishments, and to be inspired to do all that we can for the Hispanic community. Ms. Gigante, with the support of Doral’s executive leadership team, has been instrumental in formulating dynamic entrepreneurial and community programs across Puerto Rico. Ms. Gigante will also deliver remarks at the Convention’s honorary luncheon, discussing Doral’s innovative Mujeres De Exito program. By year end 2013, Doral will have invested over $3 million in targeted initiatives that support the professional and entrepreneurial development of women.
As Ms. Gigante noted, “Doral prides itself on being a community banking institution, and as such we believe that empowering, educating, and providing capital for women has a multiplier effect on the economy and in our community. The success of the Mujeres De Exito program is a testament to the power that Puerto Ricans have on our local economies when properly supported by financial institutions. Female focused programs like Mujeres De Exito are grounded in the belief that the disproportionately low number of educated women in Puerto Rico who own businesses stunts the Puerto Rican economy as a whole.”Participants on the panel, which Ms. Gigante will moderate, include:
- Carmen Castillo, Founder and President of Superior Design International, Corp., a Florida based workforce solutions firm. SDI ranks as one of the 50 largest Hispanic businesses in the United States and is the largest Latina-owned business in the nation according to Hispanic Business Magazine. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Castillo was recently selected as the 2013 Woman of the Year by the editorial board of Hispanic Business.
- Beatriz M. Manetta, Founder, President and CEO of Argent Associates, a supply chain and technology services company. Argent, a certified minority and female-owned company, has been widely recognized as one of the fastest growing female owned businesses, and has been ranked within the 500 largest Hispanic owned companies from 2006 through 2011 and as high as #22 in 2007. In 2011, Argent was named Supplier of the Year by AT&T, and Innovative Company of the Year by DiversityNXT.
- Nina G. Vaca, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc., an information technology services provider to Fortune 500 companies. Among her many professional accolades, Ms. Vaca is the recipient of the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology and Communications in the Southwest Region. She has also been recognized in each of the past three years as one of the 101 Most Influential Latinos in America by Latino Leaders Magazine and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Vaca also serves as a Director of Comerica, Inc. and Kohl’s Corporation.