Latinas Today

Dora Westerlund, Fresno’s Woman of the Year

Dora Westerlund, founder and CEO of The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, was one of eight women recognized during a special event held by the City of Fresno in honor of Women’s History Month. She leads an experienced group of staff to recruit and retain Foundation membership and develop fundraising activities; ensures that sound financial plans are made and carried out; and oversees the implementation of proposed projects from the beginning until completion.

Westerlund provides the vision for the organization and guides the work to maximize its mission. Under her leadership, the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation successfully established the Microloan Small Business Program with a $1.7 million grant, the only bilingual business incubator in the Western United States. The program has invested over 3 million dollars into hundreds of small Hispanic businesses, creating 500 jobs and reinvesting more than $12 million back into the local economy.

Westerlund has more than 15 years of experience in business leadership, innovation and strategic management. She has guided over 3,000 start-ups and existing businesses with “Next Level” workshops and business resources.


Andrea Sáenz, President & CEO, Chicago Community Trust

Becoming the first Latina to lead the 107-year-old organization, Andrea Sáenz is the President & CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, a community foundation whose strategic focus is on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.

The Trust, one of the nation’s largest and oldest community foundations, is committed to a vision of equity, opportunity, and prosperity for the Chicago region. The Trust’s work is both professionally fulfilling and deeply personal for Sáenz. She is energized by the strength, creativity, connection, and cultural vibrancy that exists across the region. However, she has also experienced the obstacles too many Chicagoans still face as they strive to build financial stability and prosperity.

Before being named president and CEO in 2022, Sáenz served as the Trust’s chief operating officer, overseeing information technology, learning and impact, and talent. In this role, she applied professional and personal insights to improve systems that affect people still left out of decision-making.


Gina Zapanta, President, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana

Gina Zapanta has advocated for employees and injured people her entire career. As an appointed trustee on the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association’s Board of Retirement (LACERA), she has adjudicated injured worker’s claims and made our community a better place. She has expertise in contracting, healthcare management, and personal-injury strategic partnership development between physicians and attorneys.

Zapanta currently serves on the board of trustees at Loyola Law School, White Memorial Hospital and Monterey Park Hospital and is a co-founder of ZAGives, a 501(c)(3) charity devoted to community outreach.