Coming and going, hellos and goodbyes
The end of 2015 brings very visible changes in Philadelphia’s Latino leadership.
Richard Negrín, Philadelphia’s managing director under Mayor Michael Nutter, has announced that in January he will become a partner at the Obermeyer law firm in the city.
In his definitive interview with Negrín in March of this year, AL DÍA’s Arturo Varela wrote:
“He certainly has the experience and knows how the city works even beyond the Offices of Human Resources, Information Technology, and the Procurement Department all of which he supervises ... Above all, he has a compelling life story that began with his parents’ exile from Cuba. Among its most dramatic chapters, is the one in which he witnessed his father’s murder (when he was 13), motivating him to become a lawyer and prosecutor. Among its most glorious chapters is when he played with the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets… An all-American dream.” (Read “Richard Negrín stands out among Latinos” here.)
As managing director, Negrín was always responsive to AL DÍA’s concerns and requests. When we were critical on behalf of the Latino community (or on our own behalf) about the administration’s lack of inclusion and access, it was always Negrín who addressed our concerns and found resolution — with professionalism and collegiality. (See a full article about the change of careers here.)
Diego Rincón has been named deputy director of aviation and capital development at the Philadelphia International Airport by Mayor-elect Jim Kenney.
Kenney has indicated that he will look to Rincón to oversee major construction and engineering projects, and to help expand the airport’s prominence. While AL DÍA hasn’t conducted one of our signature long-form interviews with Rincón yet, look for one in the near future after he has taken on his new role. (Read about Rincón’s naming here.)
In mid-October it was announced that Varsovia Fernandez, the CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce would be stepping down after a decade of service. In her profile of Latina CEOs, written in April of this year, AL DÍA’s Ana Gamboa wrote:
“Upon Fernandez’s arrival at GPHCC, the Chamber had fewer than 50 members. It now has more than 600. Eight years ago, it represented 5,300 Latino businesses, currently there are more than 18,000 in the region.”
Direct, forthright and accommodating to AL DÍA’s requests for information, Fernandez was the most responsive and reliable source of business information about the Latino community for the greater Philadelphia community. Several years ago, under her direction, GPHCC produced a comprehensive study of the Latino market in Philadelphia that was, in its scope and execution, groundbreaking. (Read about Fernandez in “Latina & CEO” here.)
Jennifer Rodriguez has been appointed Fernandez’s successor at the GPHCC (go here for a full article about the appointment.)
Rodriguez was already a high profile Latina leader — for the past two years she has led the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs. where her outreach didn’t simply focus on the Latino community, but all ethnic and immigrant communities in the city.