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.

2015-2016 Executive Board (Officers, Board of Directors and Advisory Board)


  • R.A. (Rita) Lopez, President
  • Michele R. Fraga, Vice President
  • Alba Hernandez, Treasurer
  • Mayra Luna, Secretary
  • Jesse Rodriguez, Parliamentarian

Board of Directors:

  • Diana Barrero Burgos, Director
    Hospitality / Hall of Fame Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth “Lisi” Cocina, Ed.D., Director
    Scholarship / Mentorship Programs Committee Chair
  • Maria Duran, Director
    Events, Programs and Conference Committee Chair
  • Linda Garcia, Director
    Fund Development Committee Chair
  • Patricia Limón de Rodríguez, Director
    Website / Social Media Committee Chair
  • Debbie Pulido, Director
    Historian / Nominations Committee Chair
  • Vanessa Ramirez, Director
    Membership Committee Chair
  • Luz Elena Rivers, Director
    Public Relations Committee Chair
  • Margaret “Maggy” Solis, Director
    Conference Committee Co-Chair
  • Melissa Young, Director
    Civic Engagement Chair

Advisory Board:

  • Mary Almendarez, Advisory Board Member
    Co-Founder / Past President
  • Gloria Alvarez, Advisory Board Member
    Past President
  • Patricia Cabrera, Advisory Board Member
    Past President
  • M. Helen Cavazos, Advisory Board Chair
    Past President
  • Mary Champion Closner, Advisory Board Member
    Past President
  • Margarita J. Dunlap,  Advisory Board Member
    Past President
  • Sally Morin,  Advisory Board Member
    Past Director
  • Celia Vara Valles, Advisory Board Member
    Past President

    If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact us at hwil-org@mail.com.


9 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.

  5. I am the Program Director for Youth Advocate Programs in Harris County. We are a non-profit organization that provides community-based, prevention / intervention services to youths rescued from human trafficking, on juvenile probation and in CPS custody. Part-time Youth Advocates are hired and paid to provide direct services to the youth and their families. I am in dire need to 10 – 15 part-time Youth Advocates. This is an incredible part-time job opportunity for individuals who have a passion to work with the broken and wounded souls of our children. Can you please assist me by referring individuals who are interested? They only need a valid driver’s license, a vehicle, be over the age of 21 and completed high school or GED. I seek to hire the passion and train the skill. Thanks.

  6. Hello! I am interest in Program Director or something vacancy in South Florida.

  7. Having been part of the original founders, I am very proud of the work that
    the HWIL organization has done over the years. Its growth is the result of the dedicated leadership of its officers and Board members. Hispanic women will have a greater impact on the Greater Houston Community as the organization sponsors programs in education, culture and professional development. Congratulations to all.

  8. We would like to know more about this chapter?
    Do you meet on the Cypress area or
    somewhere near 1960 & 290?
    We are a group of Hispanic Women
    interested in joining.
    Let us know more about this group.

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