About Us


To encourage and promote the development and advancement of all women in general, and Hispanic women in particular. Hispanic Women in Leadership (HWIL) is a service organization committed to promoting the advancement of Hispanics and women in the areas of education, professional interaction, leadership training, mentorship and the perpetuation of the Hispanic culture. In addition, the Hispanic Women In Leadership organization shall strive to provide a forum for addressing issues affecting the Hispanic community.


Hispanic Women in Leadership was chartered in June 1988, soon after a pioneering group of Hispanic women in Houston successfully produced the first Hispanic Women’s Conference. Membership has grown from 20 founding members to today’s figure of over 400 professional women and men who are committed to advocating Hispanic women’s issues and to improving the quality of life for Hispanic women.

Executive Board (Officers, Board of Directors and Advisory Board)


  • R.A. (Rita) Lopez, President
  • Gloria Guerra, Vice President
  • Alba Hernandez, Treasurer
  • Cecilia Davila, Secretary
  • Maria “Curly” Alvarado, Parliamentarian / Conference Chair

Board of Directors:

  • Elizabeth “Lisi” Cocina, Ed.D., Director – Scholarship / Mentorship Programs
  • Elba De Melo, Director – Memberships
  • Margarita J. Dunlap, Director – Historian/ Past President / Hall of Fame & Nominations
  • Patricia Limón de Rodríguez, Director – Website / Social Media
  • Josie Reyes, Director – Fund Development
  • *Vacant Director Position – Events / Programs
  • *Vacant Director Position – Marketing / PR

Advisory Board:

  • Mary Almendarez, Advisory Board Member / Co-Founder
  • Gloria Alvarez, Advisory Board Member / Past President
  • M. Helen Cavazos, Advisory Board Chair / Past President
  • Mary Champion Closner, Advisory Board Member / Past President
  • Michele R. Fraga,  Advisory Board Member / Past Officer
  • Sally Morin,  Advisory Board Member / Past Director
  • Celia Vara Valles, Advisory Board Member / Past President

* Vacant Positions: If you are interested becoming a director, please contact us at hwil-org@mail.com.


5 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I would love if you have any information regarding a non profit organization or community center that give services to Latino Children in the Houston area. We would love to organize a toy drive for Christmas.

  2. Dora, almost any Neighborhood Centers location would qualify, but you might want to start with Ripley House. Also recommend checking out the Pancho Claus organization.

    Are you looking for something specific?

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  4. Please support other non for profit organizations in the greater Houston Area such the upcoming Red Dress Day on Feb. 8th regarding a healthy heart life and the Houston Hispanic Forum’s Career and Education Day on February 14h. Thanks you. Dorothy Caram, Ed. D.

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