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. Lopez, President
  • Gloria Guerra, Vice President
  • Alba Hernandez, Treasurer
  • Cecilia Davila, Secretary
  • Maria “Curly” Alvarado, Parliamentarian

Board of Directors:

  • Elba De Melo, Director – Memberships
  • Elizabeth “Lisi” Cocina, PhD., Director – Scholarship / Mentorship Programs
  • Josie Reyes, Director – Fund Development
  • Lillie R. Aranda, Director – Events / Programs
  • Patricia Limón de Rodríguez, Director – Website / Social Media
  • Mary Champion Closner, Director – Marketing / PR
  • Margarita J. Dunlap, Director – Historian

Advisory Board:

  • M. Helen Cavazos, Advisory Board Chair / Past President
  • Gloria Alvarez, Advisory Board Member / Past President
  • Celia Vara Valles, Advisory Board Member / Past President
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