ALPFA Boston - 2017 Latina Summit
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ALPFA Boston - 2017 Latina Summit

When: 5/10/2017
5:00 PM
Where: MIT
20 Ames St
Cambridge, Massachusetts  02139
United States
Presenter: Bartos Theater
Contact: Giselle Rubiera

Online registration is closed.
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ALPFA Boston’s 11th Annual Latina Summit will provide attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to grow sustaining Power for continued personal & professional advancement. During this event, we will also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Women of ALPFA (WoA). The Latina Summit includes a keynote speaker, several panel discussions, TED-style talks, and a networking reception.

The night will encompass the following topics:

  • Types of Power – Understanding the various forms of leader power. Interpersonal Power vs. Position Power, Hard power vs. Soft Power, and power of Influence as a leadership skill.

  • Understanding leadership positions and defining your power - Leadership offers various avenues for people to be in power and to empower others.  As Latinas pave their way into positions of power what are they finding that can help others get there.  Are they using their Leader and power to bring others to take a seat at the table?

    • Positions of power are not just about their descriptions and responsibilities, it goes beyond that and takes grooming, dedication, commitment, and support

    • Acquiring the right sponsors and training for a leadership position

    • Power vs. Empowerment, which one do you want and which one do you need.  Power is often misunderstood and even more frequently misused.  Understanding the difference of both and how to balance one with the other to better understanding leadership positions and that we all have the power to accomplish our goals and objectives regardless of where we are today.


Executives with high self-efficacy, sense of self and internal locus of control believe they can succeed.  Understanding and believing in yourself-efficacy, your sense of self, and your internal locus of control can help you in gaining the power.


  • Negotiating to achieve power Women executives with the appetite to negotiate have higher performance ratings, motivation, and greater control. They are viewed as having leadership potential and ability.


  • Gain exposure to prominent women leaders by expanding their professional and personal networks

  • Identify role models and informal mentors

  • Develop a safe learning space with Latina Leaders that inspire empower and educate

  • Build a robust network of local women professionals that will allow and promote the free flow of knowledge and ideas


5:00 - 5:30pm     Registration

5:30 - 6:00pm     Welcoming Reception

6:00 - 6:10pm     Introduction from MIT and Women of ALPFA

6:10 - 6:45pm     Panel Discussion:

  • Jennifer de Leon

  • Malena Gonzalez

  • Sonia Chang Diaz

6:45 - 7:00pm     Q & A

7:00 - 7:30pm     Keynote Speaker: Lourdes Melgar

7:30 - 7:45pm     Q&A

7:45 - 7:55pm     Awards Presentation and Reception

7:55 - 8:00pm     Closing Remarks

8:00 - 8:30pm     Closing Network

Directions to the Bartos Theater

MIT Bartos Theater is located on the ground floor of the Wiesner Building on MIT campus (20 Ames St E15, Atrium Level, Cambridge, MA 02139).  The Wiesner Building is found on the eastern edge of the MIT campus.  It is in close proximity to Kendall Sq, Memorial Driave and the Longfellow Bridge.


By T subway:

Take the red line to the Kendall/MIT stop, follow Main St. west to Ames St., turn left, walk the distance of about one block to the cross walk and the Wiesner Building, identifiable by its white gridded exterior, will be on your left. 

By bus:

Take the MTBA Route 1 Harvard/Holyoke Gate - Dudley Staton via Mass. Ave. & B.U. Medical Center and stop at the MIT main entrance on 77 Mass. Ave. 

By car:

Coming across the Longfellow Bridge or from Memorial Drive, follow signs for Kendall Square. Limited metered parking is available on Ames Street. There are pay public parking lots near the MIT campus, the Marriott Parking Garage being close to Kendall Square.


ALPFA Established in 1972, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) is the leading Latino professional organization focusing on developing Latino business leaders in the United States. With 81,000+ members assembled in 44 professional and more than 160 student chapters across America. Our vision is to be the premier business organization for expanding opportunities for Latino leadership in the global market.


Women of ALPFA is dedicated to the professional success of Latinas. We empower and encourage professional Latinas to reach their full potential and become trailblazers in their industry. We offer targeted programs, training through a professional development curriculum, exposure to senior leaders via networking, mentoring and sponsorship opportunities. WOA provides professional Latinas with the tools and road maps to strengthen their leadership and management skills, fostering both their professional and personal development.


Key Note Speaker

Lourdes Melgar

Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar is a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS). Her work has transformed Mexico’s energy sector, and was a key player in the design and implementation of Mexico’s historic energy reform.

She served as Under-Secretary for Electricity from 2012 to 2014, and as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs from 1998 to 2002, at the Ministry of Energy. As a member of Mexico’s Foreign Service, she held various diplomatic positions between 1993 and 2007.


Dr. Melgar is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Mount Holyoke College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT.



Caro Ruiz 

Caro Ruiz is the Corporate Strategy Manager at Tufts Health Plan (THP) where she leads strategic assessments, in collaboration with colleagues, to grow THP’s existing business. Previously, she was the Product Planning and Strategy Manager for Senior Products at THP where she established the strategic direction of the Senior Products portfolio and assisted with new product and geographic assessment.  She also worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for nine years where she held different roles such as Product Manager in the Commercial line of business and Senior Business Analyst for the Medicare Advantage product line. 


Caro is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), a Latino non-profit organization with over 7,000 members.  She held other board positions such as the Vice President of the ALPFA Healthcare Committee, Secretary of the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) and President of the Boston Women’s Rugby Football Club. Caro is also the chair of the Women’s Business Resource Group at THP. 

Caro has a Masters’ degree in Science with a concentration in Health Care Informatics and a Certificate in Project Management from the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University.  She also has a Systems Engineering Bachelor’s Degree from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela.


Sonia Chang-Diaz


First Latina elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. She is serving her fourth term on behalf of the Second Suffolk District. She has both Chinese and Costa Rican heritage.

Prior to attaining elected office, Senator Chang-Díaz served as a public school teacher in the Lynn and Boston school systems.

Senator Chang-Díaz has also worked in public service as a Senior Legislative Aide to former state Senator Cheryl Jacques, as a key political adviser at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, and as the Director of Outreach at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a non-partisan fiscal policy think tank.


Jennifer De Leon

Author, editor, speaker, and creative writing instructor who lives in Boston. She is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, published by the University of Nebraska Press, and the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library. Wise Latinas is a collection of personal essays addressing the varied landscape of the Latina experience in higher education.

She was born in the Boston area to Guatemalan parents. A graduate from Connecticut College, with a master’s in teaching from the University of San Francisco.


After a decade teaching in Boston Public Schools and Teach For America, De Leon is now a freelance writer, editor, and a consultant, and a creative writing instructor at Emerson College.



Malena Gonzalez



Malena Gonzalez has 10+ years of experience working in startups and Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about solving the healthcare challenge, which inspired her to start NutriCount in 2016. Prior to that, she was the Head of Finance at Schneider Electric, overseeing the $1.5B Datacenter division. Throughout her career she has worked in a number of different roles in manufacturing, supply chain, sales operations, and finance. Malena holds an Executive MBA degree from MIT Sloan and a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico.




Please be advised that photographs will be taken at this event for use on the ALPFA website, social media, marketing materials, and other publications. By registering for this event, you consent to ALPFA’s photographing and using your image and likeness. 

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