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This is the second group of 10 honorees of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
This is the second group of 10 honorees of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

These are the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees: Group 2

Meet the 10 diverse leaders of the Philadelphia region that make up the second set of honorees of the third annual celebration of young professionals.

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Each day brings us one step closer to the third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty celebration.

As the critical nomination and selection process are now behind us, it’s time to announce more honorees for the annual event.

The first group of honorees for the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty were announced last week, and can be found here

AL DÍA is excited to announce the second group of 10 individuals who will make up the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees, Class of 2022.

Learn a little about Group 2: 

  • Miguel Esteban Andrade, Communications Strategist at Reframe

Miguel E. Andrade is a queer immigrant communications strategist based out of Philadelphia. His work has been featured in various outlets, such as Democracy Now!, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Al Punto con Jorge Ramos.

An active member of Philadelphia’s Latino-immigrant community since late 2008, Andrade has become one of Philadelphia’s leading young voices for immigrant rights. 

His passion for intersectional social justice has led him to work with GALAEI, the city’s only Queer-Latinx Social Justice Organization. 

  • Deana Gamble, Assistant Vice President of Communications at Jefferson Health/Thomas Jefferson University

Deana Gamble is a seasoned communications executive with nearly two decades of experience in public sector leadership. 

In her role as Assistant Vice President of Communications for Jefferson, Gamble leads internal communications and national media strategy for the health system of 42,000 employees, 18 hospitals and over 50 outpatient and urgent care locations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

Among her greatest passions are improving health outcomes and expanding quality education for all Philadelphians.   

  • Shawnna L. Williams, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator at Morgan Lewis and Artist & Founder of SLW Portraits

Shawnna Williams serves on the Diversity and Inclusion team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. In her role, she leads and assists in the development of new Practice Group talent management programs to ensure all attorneys receive fair opportunities. 

Williams is also the incoming Vice Chair of the Young Professionals Council (YPC) Advisory Board of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, where she co-founded YPC’s first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Subcommittee of the Advisory Board. 

In addition to those roles, Williams is also an artist specializing in pencil-drawn and oil-painted portraits inspired by resilience, moments of solidarity and anti-racism, and embodiments of self-love and self-reflection. Her personal artwork and client commissions have been shown locally in Philadelphia, as well as nationally and internationally. 

  • Rashaad Lambert, Senior Executive Vice President at Forbes

Rashaad Lambert is an award-winning marketing architect, philanthropist and community builder, who has aimed to level the playing field for Black professionals and create more equitable pathways through his expertise in marketing, diversity & inclusion, and corporate consulting. 

Lambert is the founder of For(bes) The Culture, an organization that serves to help current and future leaders of color to connect, collaborate and drive change within underrepresented communities. Since its inception in 2017, For(bes) The Culture has grown organically to welcome thousands of members and expanded its popular in-person #CultureTalks platform to Instagram where high-profile leaders across diverse industries and sectors are featured. 

  • Mahmud (Abe) Ibrahim, Market Executive & Regional Vice President at Northwest Bank

Mahmud Ibrahim is an established banking executive with more than a decade of experience in the industry. 

In his current role as Market Executive & Regional Vice President of Commercial Banking, Ibrahim leads all aspects of Northwest Bank’s expansion into the Delaware Valley region. This includes recruiting, loan production origination & execution, portfolio management, compliance, marketing and communication, diversity & inclusion efforts, with the goal of increasing the profile and market presence of Northwest in the Delaware Valley region.

  • Hector Colon-Rivera, Medical Director for APM & Physician at UPMC

In his role as Medical Director for APM, Hector Colon-Rivera guides the community organization’s behavioral and substance abuse counseling services.

As a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Colon-Rivera, whose specialties include adolescent care and addiction psychiatry, is part of a community program to increase medical access to rural communities in Pennsylvania facing substance abuse.  

He is also currently the co-chair for the Spanish Language American Psychiatric Workgroup.

  • Tirsa Marie Vazquez, CEO & Founder of VX Apparel & COO of Milan Candles

Tirsa Marie Vazquez is a business owner & entrepreneur, and a military veteran with nine years experience within HR & Operations. 

In her roles as CEO & Founder of VX Apparel and COO of Milan Candles, Vazquez has demonstrated a deep understanding of operating successful and profitable businesses and acquiring strategic partnerships. 

Her journey into entrepreneurship has been aided by her desire to inspire, support and motivate people into reaching their fullest potential. 

  • Julia Rivera, Vice President of External Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at Congreso de Latinos Unidos

In her role as Vice President of External Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, Julia Rivera is responsible for spearheading and managing Congreso’s communications, marketing, community and advocacy work. 

Throughout her tenure with Congreso, Rivera has helped significantly increase Congreso’s digital marketing efforts and social media presence, coordinated the agency’s civic engagement work, supported program teams across all service areas, and led new initiatives to cultivate staff engagement. 

Rivera is constantly looking for new volunteer and community engagement opportunities. 

  • Mercedes Smith, Vice President of Public Relations at Tierney Agency

In her role as Vice President of Public Relations at Tierney, Mercedes Smith is in charge of developing strategic campaigns to solve unique challenges for various brands. She currently leads national communication efforts for global brands and drives innovative consumer campaigns for various brands across the hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, consumer lifestyle and technology sectors.

Smith also plays an active role in the agency’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, where she works with all employees to ensure diversity and inclusion are embedded in the culture of Tierney’s operations and work. 

She has long had a passion for empowering others to live their truths, both personally and professionally. 

  • Maryelis Santiago, Director of Family and Community Engagement & Citizens Police Oversight Commissioner at Esperanza Cyber Charter School

As Director of Family and Community & Engagement at Esperanza Cyber Charter School, Maryelis Santiago works on improving the accessibility of resources for students and families of at-risk youth.

Santiago is a passionate ladder and product of the Philadelphia public school system. She has collective volunteer and work experience within the educational, local government, and non-profit sectors, and has assisted in the development of services and programs tailored for the Philadelphia community.

Throughout her career, Santiago has had the approach of collaborating with others to increase knowledge, engage in thoughtful discussions, and improve outreach and opportunity for members of her community. 

Within their respective fields, industries and areas of expertise, these 10 individuals represent the diversity that makes Philadelphia the rich, progressive city it is — a key requirement in selecting the honorees for this annual event. 

The 20 remaining individuals who make up this year’s AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Class will be announced in two more groups of 10 over the coming days. 

The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty celebration will take place Friday, August 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vie by Cescaphe. To secure your seat for the special event, click here

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