The Nominations are now open!
Friday, December 9, 2022
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Chando’s Cantina – 805 15th St, Sacramento, CA 95814
The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SACHCC) is pleased to honor the achievement of Latinas who are creating a positive impact across the Greater Sacramento Region.
SACHCC is now accepting applications and colleague nominations for the following awards categories:
Business professional, for 20 plus years and contributed to the Latino community and at large through extraordinary leadership and mentorship creating a legacy in the Sacramento region. Demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Leader, who through exemplary leadership is contributing to the betterment of the Latino community and at large in the Sacramento region. Demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Leader, who has overcome challenges and achieved success that inspires and motivates others to work towards fulfilling their goals. Demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Rising Star Award
Young Professional (35 and under) demonstrates leadership and commitment to the Latino community and at large and has created an impact that shows that they are creating and impact and rising in the leadership in the Sacramento region.
Meet our 2021 Estrellas!
Paula VillescazRising Estrella
Shayne Corriea-FernandezInspiration Estrella
Mayor Martha GuerreroChampion Estrella
Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-CurryLegacy Estrella
Paula Villescaz is an advocate, public servant, and proud San Juan Unified graduate. She was elected to the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education in 2016. In addition to serving on the Board of Education, she is the Director of Legislative Advocacy for the County Welfare Directors Association of California, a nonprofit association with a mission to promote a human services system that encourages self-sufficiency of families and communities and protects vulnerable children and adults from abuse and neglect. Paula is a product of public schools and graduated from SJUSD. She was raised by a single mother and is the first person in her family to go to college. Ms. Villescaz earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Paula has a long record of demonstrating leadership and commitment to the Latino community and at large and has created an impact as a leader in the Sacramento region.
Paula has committed her elected and professional career to supporting and improving equitable educational and socioeconomic outcomes for all our neighborhoods. From 2018 – 2021, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Paula served as the Assistant Secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency in the administration of Governor Gavin Newsom, where she coordinated the human services related budget and policy work of the Agency, the California Department of Social Services, and the Child Welfare Council. In addition to this portfolio of work, she was engaged in emergency response work including supporting communities impacted by fires, public-safety-power-shutoffs, supporting Latino immigrant and refugee families crossing into the US at the US/Mexico Border, and COVID-19 response efforts.
Prior to COVID-19, Paula worked with the Department of Social Services to protect communities impacted by federal rules and regulations aimed at adversely impacting communities of color and the Latino community in particular. This included coordinating a state response to protect families from federal changes to the “public charge” rules meant to scare families away from public assistance programs. Additionally, Paula advocated for the establishment of the CalNEW program which provides funding to school districts statewide with a significant number of eligible students who are newcomers to California to improve their well-being, English-language proficiency, and academic performance. This includes supporting refugees; asylees; Cuban and Haitian entrants; victims of severe forms of trafficking, children classified as Special Immigrant Juveniles and unaccompanied undocumented minors.
During COVID-19, Paula was a key subject-matter-expert for the SJUSD governance team on how to navigate the constantly changing COVID-19 guidance and provided guidance for school districts across the State. Paula led the efforts to establish COVID-19 school testing efforts throughout the State, which paved the road for schools to open safely.
In addition to COVID-19 response and efforts, as SJUSD Board President, Paula led our district efforts to move to trustee area elections, and away from an “at-large” voting system, as well as expanding our Board of Education from five members to seven. This was the most significant change in how our school board representatives are elected since SJUSD became a “Unified” school district. It will significantly increase the voting power of communities of color.
Paula is also a frequent community volunteer. During the summers, Paula volunteers as a coach for the South Sacramento Junior Giants Baseball Program, which serves a large population of Latino youth. Paula is a youth counselor at Camp Okizu, which provides peer support and recreational programs to meet the needs of children and families affected by childhood cancer. Additionally, Paula serves as a member of the Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps, which engages medical professionals and support volunteers to strengthen public health, emergency response and community resiliency. Paula is a regular volunteer for the Loaves & Fishes’ Friendship Park Breakfast Program, which provides meals for homeless adults in the community.
When Shayne Corriea-Fernandez was growing up, talking about money was largely taboo. Her parents were children of immigrant farm workers and money was always tight, so “the only time it was ever really talked about was the fact that we didn’t have any,” she says.
It wasn’t until Corriea-Fernandez experienced what she calls “a perfect storm” of events — including a divorce, her father’s death and experiencing a short-term disability, among other things — that she realized she needed to talk about money and finances with someone. She started working with a Northwestern Mutual financial advisor and about six months in, decided to start the training to become one herself. She recognized how having a financial plan was helping her, and she wanted to help others — especially women of color — experience the same.
Nearly five years later, the Sacramento, California–based financial advisor shares who influenced her personal financial planning journey, and how she’s passing those lessons along to her two children.
Martha Guerrero was elected Mayor on November 3, 2020. She served on the City Council since November, 2018 and previously was a member of the City’s Planning Commission from 2013 to 2016.
Martha is a mother of twin daughters and grandmother to her sweet Grandson. She is with the Rotary Club of West Sacramento Centennial and Advisory Board Member of the USC Sacramento Price School of Public Policy.
Martha is Los Angeles County’s Legislative Representative.
She has dedicated over 19 years in public service covering legislative strategy and advocacy, public administration, strategic planning, and legislative and budget analysis. Martha has received a Commendation by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her legislative leadership and dedication to foster children.
Prior to working in Los Angeles County’s Sacramento office, Martha began her career in 1998 at Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health where she helped secure the passage of California’s Mental Health Parity law authored by Assembly Member (ret) Helen Thomson. She received the Director’s Commendation for Outstanding Achievement in the Countywide Strategic Planning Process.
Martha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She represents California’s Social Workers at the National Association Social Worker’s Board and prior to that on the Board of the NASW-CA Chapter as their Legislative and Political Affairs Vice-President.
Martha has served as Chair of the West Sacramento Planning Commission, Aging Commission, and the Economic Development Advisory Commission. She has also served on the Universal Pre-School for West Sacramento (UP4WS) Advisory Council, the Yolo County Local Mental Health Board and the Yolo County’s Citizen’s Advisory Transportation Committee.
In November 2016, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry was elected to the California Assembly to represent the 4th District that includes all or parts of Napa, Lake, Yolo, Sonoma, Colusa and Solano counties.
Cecilia grew up in western Yolo County and has long served her community. After going to school and working in the Bay Area for several years, she moved back to her hometown of Winters where she almost immediately became active in the local community and a regional leader on several issues. She first served as planning commissioner and then was elected to the city council eventually serving as the first female mayor of Winters.
While growing up, Cecilia was surrounded by agriculture. As a youth, she cut apricots in the packing shed and helped her father in the walnut orchards in the area. She is still involved in local agriculture to this day as she and her brothers own an 80-acre walnut orchard.
After earning a degree in business administration from San Jose State University, she launched a consulting firm that specialized in public outreach with government agencies.
As mayor of Winters, Cecilia oversaw improvements in the downtown area and worked to improve local schools, including securing computers for every sixth grader in the city. She also brought broadband internet to rural communities, built senior housing and helped the area to become an agricultural and food innovation hub for the region.
With the understanding that employment is central to any successful community, Cecilia helped bring a PG&E training facility to Winters that provided hundreds of jobs for local residents.
Cecilia was also involved in efforts to create the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in the inner California Coast Ranges that was proclaimed by President Obama in 2015.
She currently resides in Winters a block from her childhood home with her longtime partner, Larry Harris, and has a stepson and two grown daughters.