These are the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees: Group 3
These 10 diverse innovators of the Philadelphia region make up the third set of honorees of the third annual celebration of young professionals.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty is exactly seven weeks away.
As a result, the announcements of the honorees of the third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty are officially underway.
AL DÍA is excited to announce the third group of 10 individuals who will make up the honorees for the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees, Class of 2022.
Learn a little about Group 3:
- Amaris Hernandez Padgett, Founder & CEO of The Cybher Group
Amaris Hernandez Padgett is an Information Systems professional who has worked out of the Delaware Valley for over 22 years.
In 2021, Hernandez Padgett founded Cybher, LLC, with a focus on performing cyber security assessments, helping businesses create long-term IT road maps, and planning program implementations for clients. With her diverse background as an IT leader in education, banking, energy, insurance and non-profit industries, she brings a wide array of experience and a unique perspective to her clients.
- Katrina Gilbert, CEO of Petite Féte Philadelphia
Katrina Gilbert has made both a bold and bright name for herself through entrepreneurship. She started a successful wedding and event planning business, called KG Weddings & Events. Her success from planning weddings and events led to the grand opening of not one, but two event spaces.
From there, Gilbert went on to launch Petite Féte Philadelphia, often referred to as the “original intimate event space.”
In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Gilbert has also spent years giving back to her community through book-bag drives, Thanksgiving giveaways, dorm room makeovers, prom sponsorship experiences, and community service events.
- Sandra Mosquera, Vice President & API Marketplace Product Manager at JPMorgan Chase
Sandra Mosquera is subject matter expert in developing and executing visions, strategies, OKRs, and roadmaps for API products/gateways and technology modernization at large enterprises. As Vice President & API, she is able to do just that.
Throughout her career, Mosquera has been able to successfully introduce new capabilities for enterprise software platforms, utilizing agile methodologies and lead high-performing technical teams.
She is passionate about diversity, inclusion and civic engagement, and strives to inspire women, immigrants, Black people and other underrepresented communities to overcome the fears of engineering education, imposter syndrome and risk aversion to become part of the tech industry through mentorship, conferences and volunteering.
- Naida Elena Montes, Community Engagement Practitioner, PhD Candidate & Youth Mentor at Temple University Geography & Urban Studies and Norris Square Community Alliance
Naida Elena Montes is an experienced community engagement practitioner working in the field of Community Development and with Out of School Time (OST) youth programs.
Throughout her career, Montes has led outreach initiatives addressing issues pertaining to neighborhood stability, zoning, greening, nutrition and health, resident engagement, education and employment access, housing development and community revitalization.
Ultimately, her goal is to elevate resident voice and engage in intersectional community-based work to address the needs of vulnerable and marginalized communities around the city, and one day, around the globe.
- Keighan Gunther, Assistant Vice President at The LaunchCode Foundation
Keighan Gunther is the founder of TheLaunchCode Foundation's Philadelphia Office. The nonprofit seeks to open doors to free tech education and job opportunities for aspiring developers and technologists.
In his role as Assistant Vice President, Gunther and his team work to engage Philadelphians in free, part-time and full-time training and career development programs and support placement through their apprenticeship and direct-hire employment initiatives.
Throughout his career, Gunther has worked in the Philadelphia region supporting various nonprofits in workforce development, education, supportive services, and children’s advocacy.
- Erlina Ortiz, Co-Artistic Director & Resident Playwright at Power Street Theater
Erlina Ortiz is a notable playwright, performer and theater maker whose heartfelt and humorous plays range from topics of gentrification, women’s rights and cultural preservation. All of those have been presented with her role with Power Street Theater.
In 2021, she began serving as secretary of the board for Theater Philadelphia.
It is Ortiz’s belief that being an artist is a superpower, and she believes in using her powers for good.
- Rasheed Zaire Ajamu, Journalist & Organizer at Resolve Philly/Germantown Info Hub
For Rasheed Zaire Ajamu, his identities and related experiences have helped develop his passion for storytelling. As a journalist for Resolve Philly, he is able to produce community-centered journalism that approaches stories for a solutions-based standpoint in Germantown, the neighborhood in which he was born and raised in.
As a reporter, Ajamu also co-hosts the Germantown Info Hub Hour radio show, where he reports on the solutions that can go toward addressing gun violence, food insecurity, gentrification and other problems affecting the community.
- George Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer at Latino Connection
George Fernandez is the founder & CEO of Latino Connection, a strategic communications firm that has served millions of Latinos and helped hundreds of other organizations maximize its reach and project its core operations.
Fernandez is also the mastermind behind the CATE (Community-Accessible Testing & Education) COVID-19 Mobile Response Initiative. The very first day the United States announced a national state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fernandez began forging a strategic partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and leading community health organizations to ensure that the Commonwealth’s underserved communities would be provided with the essential resources and education needed during that unprecedented time. Months later, the CATE initiative was born.
The initiative put wheels to motion to deliver free, essential COVID-19 resources and education into the communities being severely impacted by major social, economic and health disparities, and is an extension of Fernandez’s passion for communication and service.
- Odin Palacio, Co-Founder of HigherThan7 Productions
Odin Palacio is a Panamanian music artist whose involvement in the music industry has led him to discover a multitude of other passions, such as acting, radio and TV hosting, modeling and community activism.
Palacio is one of the founding members of HigherThan7 Productions, a group of like-minded creatives pushing the boundaries of music, art and fashion. He makes sure to surround himself with innovators, successfully building a team on the belief that “if the opportunity doesn’t knock, you build a door.”
Throughout the years, he has also developed a passion to give back to the community through engagement with local youth and students, where he engages children and provides them with an example of hard work, a positive mindset and perseverance.
- Nigel Charles, Director of Donor Organizing at Bread & Roses Community Fund
As Director of Donor Organizing at Bread & Roses Community Fund, Nigel Charles leads a team in supporting and guiding community members through a process of collective learning, fundraising and participatory grantmaking.
A handful of years ago while working at Philadelphia LISC, Charles created a group to support the development of emerging professionals in community development, and led the creation of the Belinda Mayo Scholarship Fund to support the development of young professionals interested in the field.
As a native Philadelphian, Charles has a deep commitment to the city. It is his belief that it is possible to create a more just and equitable world, and it only looks impossible because there hasn’t been enough of an effort yet to reach that goal together.
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 10 remaining individuals who make up the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022 will be announced early next week.
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.