Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients. From left, Victoria Mesa-Estrada, , Susy Diaz Piesco, and Dr. Shell Persaud-Vasquez. (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

For a fourth consecutive year, the Esperanza Awards by the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of Palm Beach County was a celebration and recognition of the significant impact Hispanic women are making in their community or professional lives. The Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients were three outstanding women out of 16 nominees in different categories.

The event —which is held during a luncheon— took place at the Manatee Lagoon, the Florida Power & Light Company’s Eco Discovery Center. All nominees (16 in total) were top-notch women who are making strides in our Hispanic community and are critical to the economic growth and prosperity of Palm Beach County.

Victoria Mesa-Estrada, founding attorney of Mesa-Estrada Law, P.A., is a native of Colombia who immigrated to the U.S. in 1992. Since graduating from St. Thomas University of Law in 2008, Mesa-Estrada has been working hard for civil right organizations and she is a zealous advocate for workers, immigrants, and women.

Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Esperanza Awards 2019 recipient Victoria Mesa-Estrada (center) receiving her plaque from Chair of the Board Steven J. Rivera and Maria Antuña, CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

Mesa-Estrada also designs and provides guidance and customized employment law compliance training for employees on a variety of topics.

She is the Esperanza Awards recipient under the ‘Community’ category.

Susy Diaz Piesco is a highly committed person; currently a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Council, the Leadership Business Council, and Non-Profit Firsts. She is the Esperanza Awards recipient under the ‘Education’ category.

Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Esperanza Awards 2019 recipient Susy Diaz Piesco (center) receiving her plaque from Chair of the Board, Steven J. Rivera and Maria Antuña, CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

A proud graduate of both Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University, Diaz Piesco holds dual Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Political Science, and Social Sciences and a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science.

Her professional career spanned through various sectors including public, private and non for profit, both domestically and internationally. The knowledge she has gained through all these years of service in various sectors of her professional career, has provided her a unique perspective on how to work cohesively toward a greater good.

Diaz Piesco is the Executive Director of the Middle School of Arts Foundation whose mission is to develop permanent resources to ensure world-class standards of excellence in arts and academics at Bak Middle School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, where she is making great contributions to arts education at both local and state level.

Dr. Shell Persaud-Vasquez of drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. was the Esperanza Awards recipient under the ‘Health’ category.

Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Esperanza Awards 2019 recipient Dr. Shell Persaud-Vasquez (center) receiving her plaque from Chair of the Board, Steven J. Rivera and Maria Antuña, CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

Dr. Persaud-Vasquez has been the Medical Director and Chief Medial Office for the non-profit organization based out of Delray Beach. She is responsible for the overall management of medical facilities and medical care and under her leadership, Medical Assisted Treatment (‘MAT’) programs have been implemented with special focus on at-risk pregnant women who require substance abuse treatment.

“It was always my dream to work in medicine,” says Dr. Persaud-Vasquez. “Being given the opportunity to serve the undeserved population of Palm Beach County is a dream come true.”

Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Esperanza Awards 2019 nominees along with the event’s Keynote Speaker, Myriam Masihy of Telemundo 51 and NBC 6 South Florida. From left to right: Argentina Brito-Benitez, Enid S. Cochran, January Romero Reissman, Susy Diaz Piesco, Dr. Shell Persaud-Vasquez, Rosie Inguanzo-Martin, Keynote Speaker, Myriam Masihy, Sindy De Leon, Yimarie Rivera, Jennifer Raymond, Patricia Trejo, Suzanne Cordero, and Victoria Mesa-Estrada. (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

WPBF 25 news Co-anchor, Felicia Rodriguez, who was the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies, received a special recognition.

Esperanza Awards 2019 recipients
Left to right, Esperanza Awards 2019 Mistress of Ceremonies, Felicia Rodriguez with Chair of the Board Steven J. Rivera and Maria Antuña, CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County (Photo by Addiel Perera, WPB Magazine)

“Thank you, Felicia,” said Maria Antuña, CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County. “As always, you deliver memorable moments at our events.”

Felicia Rodriguez joined WPBF 25 in 1998 and has spent over 20 years covering stories and issues important to South Florida. Rodriguez is very active in a number of community charities and can often be found hosting local events.

The Esperanza Awards by the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce recognizes stellar Hispanic professionals in Palm Beach County who have made a significant impact in their profession and the community. The event has been held for four years now, featuring the contributions and leadership of Latina professionals in business, education and community.

Look for a special feature in WPB Magazine’s summer edition —to be released July 7th— for a full report on this special event.

Esperanza Awards 2019 Recipients the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce