My name is Awilda Alicea. I’m married and mother of two boys, 23 & 12 years old. I was born in NYC and raised in Moca, PR. After graduating from high school, I did two years of college in Universidad Interamericana in San German, PR. I moved to Buffalo in 1992 due to not so good decisions, I made at a young age, I dropped out of Buffalo State College. I worked at Tops in Niagara St. and with help from Mrs. Carmen Melendez who at the time directed HUB I landed a job at Columbus Hospital. From there, with all the transitions in the local health care hospitals, I ended up where I currently work, at Buffalo General Hospital. I’ve worked for what is now known as Kaleida Health for 24 years. Working for Kaleida have giving me the opportunity to help the Hispanic community at different levels, from helping them to obtain medical insurance, to connect with medical providers and social workers that can assist them with there needs, especially the patients that are Spanish speaking only. Currently I hold a position as a Cardio-Vascular Quality Abstractor. I am also a Chief Union Steward at the local CWA 1168. In my free time I cut & style the hairs of family & friends for which I am a licensed cosmetologist , I also enjoy motorcycle riding, I've been a rider for 14 years. I became a HWL member in the last three years, but been around the league for much longer, since Blanca Rodriguez’s time. I am currently a board member and Co-chair the fundraising committee. I would love to be re-elected for this position and with my experience and my connections with businesses and other professionals in the community help bring the financial assistance needed to help out the mission of the League in all the aspects of development of the Hispanic woman.
SorAngeles "Soda" Kuczkowski
SorAngeles "Soda" Kuczkowski is the owner of START WITH SLEEP, an integrative education resource center and retail boutique that focuses on both behavioral and medical sleep challenges located on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, NY. She is committed to addressing sleep concerns and questions by providing sleep health education through a channel of various educational components including sleep consulting + coaching, facilitation of medical sleep testing, health workshops, and community programs for both corporate wellness initiatives and school trainings. She is certified in maternity, child and adult sleep health. She is the daughter of Olga Sonia Davila, founding member of the Hispanic Women’s League and celebrates her Puerto Rican culture proudly. Her interest in being part of this organization ties to her desire to serve her community, mentoring young woman entering the work force, to her family history of the league’s creation and a focus on closing the health disparities in the Hispanic community, as statistically in the area it holds a higher likelihood for both sleep challenges and the development of more serious medical conditions as they often undiagnosed or left untreated. Her work experiences and education include a degree in marketing and communications, roles in healthcare, teaching, business development, marketing and graphic design. She is interested in helping re-brand and carry the organization into the future ensuring it maintains strong roots in the community.
Natalia is an Associate Director in the Client Service Department at Liazon/Willis Towers Watson. She has been working for Liazon/WTW for 10+ years. She currently manages the Client Service Support Department. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Concentration in Management. Prior to this she worked in the HR field for seven years. She enjoys working with people and her passion is to empower others to do their best. She especially enjoys working with younger men and women providing the tools needed with their carrier path. She truly understands the meaning of starting over and moving up the latter. She was born in Nicaragua and her family migrated to San Jose, CA in 1986 when she was eleven years old. She watched how her parents self-sacrifices leaving their families and carriers behind to start a new life where they knew her and her siblings would have better education and opportunities. She watched her parents start all over again in country where opportunities are endless. She is married to a Buffolonian and they have a 17 year old daughter. They moved to Buffalo 12 years ago and a year later she was introduced to the Hispanic Women's League by Alicia Granto. Natalia Land has been an active member since 2007. She has been part of the Scholarship Committee, Co-chair of dinner committee, empowerment committee. Natalia created the HWL website and is the main reason why HWL has been able to keep up with the benefits of technology. Additionally, she is the Chair for the marketing and branding committee, was Treasurer for two years and has served as Vice President from 2016 to present. Being an active member of the league has been an honor as it has made her appreciate other Hispanic/Latino cultures other than her own. With your vote, she hopes to continue to collaborate with HWL hermanas and with the Buffalo community by finding innovative ways to make Hispanic Women of all ages more marketable in their carrier path, open doors and exposing them to new opportunities, expanding HWL partnership with other organizations to continue to build a bridge were all women from any background and any age feel welcomed.
I am a native of Colombia, South America and have lived most of my adult life in Buffalo, NY. I am a retired Health Program Health Manager and Registered Dietitian and spend my time teaching chronic disease self-management workshops for Erie County Department of Social Services and volunteering for various organizations. I have been a member of the League for many years and have served in many capacities as member and board member.
I wish to re-join the board because I fully believe in the League’s mission to help Latino women pursue higher education by providing financial support and recognition. I will bring to the board good organizational skills, experience in strategic planning, experience in mentoring students. Also, reliability and great dedication to the League.
Alexsandra was born to Puerto Rican parents and has been a member of the Hispanic Women’s League since 2001. She has served on the board of directors for 16 years. She has served as Vice President, Treasurer, and Corresponding Secretary. For much of her tenure, Alexsandra has served as the membership chair. Alexsandra was instrumental in many initiatives through the league such as participation in the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Parade of Western New York, collaborations with various organizations, such as the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute and various other membership activities. Alexsandra is drawn to the league by its commitment to provide Latina women scholarships for higher education and its history of hermandad (sisterhood). Alexsandra’s sole motivation is service to community and connecting people and making them feel included. She combines this with her extensive knowledge and organizing of non profit boards/groups. Alexsandra is passionate about education and mentoring and is currently mentoring two women of color, one early in her career as a speech language pathologist and another who just began college. Alexsandra works for the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Center (RSE TASC) which is a state funded network though the NYS Department of Education. She serves as the Bilingual Special Education Specialist and assists school districts in Western New York who serve English Language Learners suspected of or diagnosed with a disability through training and technical assistance. Alexsandra has also had the honor of being recognized by the Hispanic Collation Rising Star of the Year, Hispanic United of Buffalo Rising Star, and 40 under 40 for Business First of Buffalo. Alexsandra is also a member of various organizations such as NYSABE (NYS Association for Bilingual Education), NYS ALAS (NYS Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents) and an advisory board member of CHAI (Cultural Heritage and Arts of India). Alexsandra would be honored to receive your vote and continue her service to the Hispanic Women’s League and Latino community at large.
I have a 25-year commitment to helping Hispanics progress through education and employment. I do this through job sharing, college and career counseling. The HWL gives me a platform to connect with individuals in the community. It is important for me to use my experience to help be a part of building the leaders of tomorrow and I can do this through encouragement, guidance, empowerment and commitment. I have been a member of the HWL for over 10 years and I am currently ending a 3-year term as the President. In addition, I have held the role of the Membership chair. In everything I do, I am committed to stay focused on empowering our community. Employed at UB, I have chaired Latino Affairs, a statewide board for SUNY. United University Professions is the largest higher education union in the country. Our committee is focusing on the success or lack of Hispanics students attending SUNY colleges with little to no Hispanic faculty and staff. Please vote for me so I may continue to empower and encourage Latina women to become leaders.
Francesca B. Mesiah
Francesca B. Mesiah, Senior Marketing Associate, Community Relations Community Relations at Kaleida Health. She is responsible for leading KH system-wide community outreach programs and services. This includes collaborating with departments and clinical managers across KH to accomplish outreach objectives participate in evaluating outreach programming and host a radio program on WUFO AM / Power 96.5 Great Lakes Health Program. In addition, she’s the Executive Director of Near East and West Side Task Force (NEWS TF), not-for profit organization, though collaborative partners provides health and education programs for underserved populations for Buffalo’s African American and Latino communities. Francesca has a Master of Science from SUNYAB, and BA Degree in Sociology and Urban Planning from SUNY Albany and graduate from the NYS DOH Administrative Fellowship Program. She’s held positions in marketing, public relations and communications at the Community Foundation of Western New York; Good Schools for All and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. She served as Analyst at the New York State Legislative Research. Francesca is very active in the community. She is Vice President of NAACP Buffalo Branch, chairperson of Health Committee and serves on several Advisory Boards, including FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Botanical Gardens of Erie County and WNED Public Broadcast, Hispanic Women’s League of Buffalo Board of Directors, Leadership Buffalo Class chair and mentors in the area of careers and education. She’s a member of St. John Baptist Church, chairperson of the Health Ministry, where she is responsible for implementing second Sunday as Health Sunday. She has served on membership, scholarship and dinner committee. Currently, Sargent at Arms.
Maggie Orta work as a Medical Assistant at Buffalo Medical Group with Dr Battaglia, neurologist for 12 years. She has been a member for HWL a few years. Serving as a Recording Secretary and Co-Chair of dinner committee. She would like to continue serving on the board and would like your vote to be re-elected. She enjoys being part of HWL and for what it stands for. Learning new things,giving and helping out as much as she can. She is a mother of three, has a supportive husband whom also helps her keep grounded and helps out the league in various events.
Amélida Ortiz Weinmann
Amélida Ortiz Weinmann, a current board member, is actively involved in the Annual Scholarship Dinner & Fundraising, & Women Empowerment Committees and any where else help is needed. She would appreciate your vote to be re-elected to the Hispanic Women’s League Board for the 2018-2019 year. Thank you for your vote.
Marcelina Rodriguez-Rondon has more than 35 years in the field of education young and mature adults with the University at Buffalo as Counselor promoted to Senior Counselor, Supervisor of Counselors in the EOC and most recently twenty years in higher education as EOP Senior Counselor. Community involvement and participated in various programs and committees. She has been in the scholarship committee for the last 3 years. She would like to continue to serve on the board and be part of the scholarship committee.