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.


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