2019 WINNERS Reception




Inspirational Speaker

Latina Leader Award

Lifetime Supporter Award

DJ Music








nj state senate logo

Senator M. Teresa Ruiz was elected as a Democrat to the New Jersey Senate in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2013 and 2017. She was elected by her colleagues in January to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore, becoming the first Latina to serve in a leadership position in the New Jersey Senate. Senator Ruiz is chair of the Senate Education Committee. The senator is the author of a law that overhauled the state’s century-old teacher tenure statute. Signed in 2012, the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act put standards in place requiring tenure to be earned and maintained through ongoing performance measurements, but also to ensure that if deficiencies are identified, educators get the help they need. The legislation was endorsed by the state teachers’ union and received unanimous bipartisan support in the state Legislature ... [Continue reading] 

Hon. NJ Senator Teresa Ruiz

Inspirational Speaker


Fatima Pearn

Vice President Business Development Officer, Valley Bank

A seasoned banking professional with 15+ years of experience providing commercial lending mortgages, lines of credit, leasing, business development, and consultation to clients, Fatima Pearn is a distinguished team player at Valley Bank and a long-standing supporter or Latinas and other women entrepreneurs. Fatima started her banking career in 2002 as an Assistant Manager in another financial institution. However, her charisma and great relationship with clients, especially small business owners, gained her the recognition of several institutions she worked for. Despite she never pursued a formal higher education, she built her career taking courses and accreditations, and learning on-the-job skills from her superiors and mentors. Fatima soon became promoted to achieve higher ranks and increasing responsibilities, managing and growing a portfolio of customers with revenues up to $200M. She is also recognized as a team leader who works with colleagues as well as partners with cross-functional groups such as Cash Management, Trade, and Merchant and Equipment Finance to ensure desired results.


With over 20 years of banking experience, Carlos Yepez has managed to make a positive impact on his clients overall financial well-being. He is a strong leader in the community and is always engaged in community events, educating businesses and consumers as well as delivering brand awareness for Investors and for the Latino community. Carlos is currently a VP Sr Business Relationships Manager with Investors Bank. In his role, he looks to help his businesses and clients to grow and connect by sharing contacts and industry experience.

Carlos Yepez

VP, Sr Business Relationships Manager, Investors Bank