21st Annual LATINA Style 50 Awards
& Diversity Leaders Conference, 2019
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
On the evening of February 20th, LATINA
Style, Inc., the premier company
addressing the needs of professional
Latinas in the United States kicked-off the 21st
Annual LATINA Style 50 Awards & Diversity Leaders
Conference in the nation’s capital with a leadership
reception. Award recipients, speakers and sponsors
were invited to hear sponsor remarks by Ray
Messina, Director of Sales & Marketing, Hyatt
Hotels Corporation; Erika Cribillero, Director of Event
Planning, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Diana A.
Rodriguez, SVP, Corporate Communications,
Enterprise Team Member Communications, Wells
Fargo & Company. Attendees were also invited to
meet and greet with Aflac’s icon – The Aflac Duck.
Gathering leaders from across the country,
on the morning of February 21st, Robert E. Bard,
president of LATINA Style, Inc. greeted and
welcomed the audience to the program.
The awards conference began with sponsor
remarks provided by Mary Lynn Elizondo, Chief
Human Resources Officer, Marriott International, Inc.,
and corporate remarks provided by James Schenck,
President & CEO, PenFed Credit Union.
After the warm welcome, the opening breakfast
awards honoring the 2018 Corporate Executives of
the Year and the 2018 Employee Resource Groups
of the Year followed. In its 10th consecutive year, the
LATINA Style Corporate Executive of the Year
program honors influential Latinas, selected by their
peers, as leaders and examples for the Hispanic
community and for the professional women in the
U.S. Each year LATINA Style, Inc. recognizes the
achievements Latinas are performing at the top of
their respective companies and in various industries.
This year, Catherine Hernandez-Blades, SVP, Chief
ESG and Communications Officer at Aflac was
named the 2018 Corporate Executive of the Year.
Responsible for advertising, brand strategy,
organizational and corporate communications,
sponsorships, social media and philanthropy,
including the company’s International SABRE
award-winning corporate social responsibility
program, Hernandez-Blades joined Aflac in 2014 as
senior vice president of Corporate Communications
The 2018 LATINA Style 50 Award Recipients.
and was named chief brand and communications
officer in October 2017. Prior to Aflac, she served
as chief marketing officer and then chief marketing
and communications officer at Flextronics.
Previously, she served as vice president of
Communications and Public Affairs at Raytheon
Company’s Space and Airborne Systems business
and held various other marketing and international
communications-related leadership positions at
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. She earned a
Nationwide team at the VIP leadership reception. (L–R): Taylor Brown, Consultant,
Diversity and Inclusion, Nationwide; Tahja E. Lauderdale, Accounts Manager, PMM
Agency; Dani Johnson, Associate Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Nationwide; and
Angela Bretz, Chief Diversity Officer, Nationwide.
16 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol . 25, No. 2, 2019