Board Members

 

Executive Board

 

Yolanda Quiñones-Culver

Yolanda Quiñones-Culver has over 20 years experience working in investment banking and telecommunication. She has eleven years as the Customer Care Manager for Century Link overseeing the North American Region and most recently supporting Latin and Central America.

Yolanda is the President of the Puerto Rican Parade of Rochester, a local cultural organization that showcases the art, music, and dance of Puerto Rico. Yolanda’s history with the Puerto Rican Parade and Festival spans over 45 years, as she served as the first Miss Puerto Rican princess of the inaugural Puerto Rican festival of Rochester in 1973.

Gloria E. Perez-Matos

Born and raised in NYC, Gloria moved to Rochester in 1986. Her knowledge of her culture comes from strong family ties where many of her family members were either musicians or dancers.

Gloria is currently the Special Events Coordinator/Bilingual for the City of Rochester. She has served her community in this position for the last 12 years of her 23 years employed with the City of Rochester.

She is also the Founder and Choreographer for “Oshunmiyeye…an Afro-Caribbean Dance Company” dedicated to preserving our culture through the arts of music and dance. She has also served on several other community event committees in various capacities. ¡Que Viva La Tradición!

 

Katelyn Plonczynski-Figueroa

Katelyn was born and raised in Rochester, NY. Her Father came from Ciales, Puerto Rico when he was five years old to better his life. It has been instilled from childhood to have pride in her culture and give back to the city that helped both her mother and father. She currently works for her uncles company Casco Security as the Central Station Manager, and on her spare time she actively networks with communities bringing them together. She currently sits on the La Cumbre Board, Advocates for the Rochester Latino Theater Company, and is a Makeup Artist. 

 

Germaine Matos

Born and raised in the Bronx, Germaine moved to Rochester in 1986. Her knowledge of her Puerto Rican heritage comes from her grandmother Maria Perez and her grandfather Ramon Perez who were from Ponce and Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.

Germaine is currently employed with the Rochester City School District. She has served her community with the district for 7 years. She graduated from East High School in Rochester NY and has a degree in Business Administration. She is also an alumni of the Latino Leadership Development Program (LLDP). Germaine enjoys raising her eight year old granddaughter and takes pride in teaching her to be a proud and educated Latina.

 

Committees

Nemesio Martinez Vellon

Nemesio is one of the founders of the PPORNY. He is currently Chairman of the Entertainment Committee. He works as Coordinating Chaplain at Livingston Correctional Facility (Catholic) and has been appointed as permanent Deacon at Holy Apostles Church. He is a producer of the Don Vellon program at WEPL 97.1 FM. Every Sunday from 6:00 am until 10:00 am.

Santos Cruz

Born in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico but raised in Rio Grande until the age of 8. Santos Enrique Cruz Cardona, is one of 5 with a twin sister that attended #35 school, Monroe High School and later would transfer to East High School for the Firefighter trainee program. Three years later he  became a City of Rochester firefighter and attain an associate degree for Fire Science and Applied technology. He also works on building a videography organization called Young and Empowered which works on bringing some light to positive events and people with in our community. He continues to work  for organizations like The Rochester Latino Theatre Company inc with Annett Ramos , RocAwards  with Yolanda Smilez and Poder 97.1 FM with Ibero American Action League in which he also Co-hosts The Mambo in the Morning show with DJ Johny Mambo.

Caeriña Carbonell

Caeriña Carbonell was born and raised in Rochester, NY, with a loving family that included her grandfather, Domingo Carbonell. Domingo was a pioneer/founder of the first Puerto Rican Festival in Rochester and held the position of Master of Ceremonies for numerous years; he was also one of the
individuals who started the first Hispanic radio program. At a very young age, he introduced Caeriña to the music and the many traditions of the Puerto Rican culture.

In 2015, she received her associate degree in Communications and Media Studies from Monroe Community College and her bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising from SUNY Cortland in 2017. While working towards her bachelor’s degree, she had the amazing opportunity to intern with the City of Rochester’s Communication and Special Events Bureau for two years. Caeriña currently works as a Researcher at Edelman Intelligence, a global research and analytics firm. She is also enrolled in the GRE program at the University of Rochester, with the intent to eventually receive an MBA.

 
 

Volunteers/Committee Members

Noe Gonzalez Jr.

Founder of “Good deeds in the Roc” and owner of “Jafet Image Photography”.
One of four siblings Born in Manhattan NY in 1985 brought up in an artistic family of painters and song writers. Originally a painter and now a Photographer inspired by the beauty in colors and the word of God. In this year of 2018 he was voted the Roc Awards best Photographer of the year Award in Rochester NY.

 
 

Advisors

Jackie Ortiz

Jackie was one of the founding members of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee back in 2006, when it was reintroduced.  She has served in many capacities on this committee and is now a valuable Advisor.

She was elected to her first term as an At-Large Member on the City Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013, and then again in 2017. She serves on the Neighborhood and Community Development and Public Safety & Youth Recreation Committees which focus on legislation that impacts neighborhoods and services provided to our youth respectively. 

Jackie is proud to be a small business owner since 2006, and with the support of State Farm and City Hall, she relocated her business from Greece, in the suburbs, to the city's center in January 2009. Additionally is an advocate for many community organizations catering to the arts, youth, education, and many other issues important to our community.

Gilbert Ricardo Perez

Gilbert Ricardo Perez (“Gil”) came to Rochester, New York with his family from Cuba at the age of eight years old. Gil is a product of the Rochester City School District. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and then received a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law. Gil and his wife Laurie have been married for 38 years. They have three daughters, Siobhan, Kirsten and Ashley, who work as teachers in the Rochester City School District. Also a son, Justin who works as an attorney.