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10 Latino leaders highlighted in two major publications.
10 Latino leaders highlighted in two major publications. Photos: PHL Council Flickr and AL DÍA Archives.

10 Latinos feature across Philly Mag’s, City & State PA’s Most Influential and Philly Power 100 lists

The two outlets dropped their lists on Oct. 31.

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Philadelphia has long been known for its most famous and influential individuals that make a name for themselves in the City of Brotherly Love and beyond. It’s why publications like Philadelphia Magazine and City & State put out annual lists of Most Influential and Power lists, respectively. 

They both highlight 100 of the city’s most well-known and impactful leaders, from politics and business to media, food and everything in between. Both 2022 lists feature 10 Latinos combined.

Those included on either list (some both) include longtime power brokers like Maria Quiñonez Sanchez and Pedro Ramos, but also some new faces and first-time recognitions like Cristina Martinez, Shannon Maldonado, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero, Esteban Vera Jr., Quetcy Lozada, Diana Cortes,  Jennifer Rodriguez, and Jose Garces. 

Romero is the new U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of PA. She was recently sworn in as earlier this year after 16 years at the Eastern District of PA as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

Vera Jr. is head of the Laborers Union Local 57 and oversees a 3,000 person group of construction, utility, and manufacturing workers across five counties. He is the first Latino to lead a major Philly union, and the first Latino to serve on SEPTA’s board of directors.

Rodríguez is President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC). She previously directed the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs under Michael Nutter in which they worked to expand opportunity and access for the rapidly growing Latino population in the area. 

Cortes is the City Solicitor for Philly. As Philadelphia’s general counsel, she advises and collaborates with the mayor, City Council, and other agencies. Cortes works on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the law department that she oversees and also works to fix police reform, gun violence and election integrity in the area. 

Former City Councilmember and now Mayoral candidate Maria Quiñones Sánchez was the first Latina Councilmember and hopes to replace Mayor Jim Kenney next year. She has advocated for more equitable prosperity and services. Her replacement in District 7, Quetcy Lozada, was her longtime chief of staff before announcing her run for city council to fill the four seats left by members seeking the Mayoral office. 

Star chef Cristina Martinez is one of the city’s prominent chefs in addition to being an immigrant rights advocate. In 2017, Univision produced a Spanish-language podcast about her called Mejor vete, Cristina (You Better Leave, Cristina), which won Mejor Cobertura Multimedia (Best Multimedia Coverage) at the 2018 Ortega y Gasset Awards. She most recently won a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic. 

Pedro A. Ramos is currently president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, one of the first community foundations in the nation that helps serve the community in different areas. From North Philly, has chaired the school board and has served as the city’s managing director and city solicitor. His work is felt across the city from the city COVID-19 Recovery Fund to supporting LGBTQ+ rights and many more. 

Shannon Maldonado is Founder and Creative Director of YOWIE, a creative platform, and design studio based in Philly. Now a national name, she has also recently bought a 9,600-square-foot building on South Street where she is expected to open a small hotel, cafe and shop in the near future. 

Jose Garces is an Ecuadorian chef, and restaurant owner. He won the second season of The Next Iron Chef. He now has a chef-residency program at Volvér (and $5K in matching donations) for diverse Philly chefs. He hopes to expand nationally his fast-casual taqueria concept, the revival of Garces Trading Company, and the opening of Amada in Radnor.

The Latino leaders are many in the Philadelphia region and beyond, and the hope is as that power and recognition continues to grow, so does representation on lists like the most influential and power 100.

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