New Pittsburgh Courier

Leaders in Pittsburgh: 5 Powerful Latinas

Smiling confident businesswoman posing with arms folded. Happy beautiful black haired young Latin woman in formal suit standing for camera over white studio background. Corporate portrait concept

Getty Images

Pittsburgh is a thriving and innovative city, thanks in part to the strong leaders from all communities who inspire change. These Latina leaders are shining examples of the power that dedication and passion have to support our community.

Latinos make up less than 5% of Pittsburgh’s population. Yet, the Latin-American community in the city is vibrant and robust. Many Latina leaders have emerged over the years to spearhead initiatives focused on empowering individuals and families in the area while also pushing for equity and inclusion in local government and nonprofit organizations.

These Latina leaders use their skills and passion to improve the lives of all Pittsburgh residents. Their commitment to making the city a vibrant place for individuals from all backgrounds is a shining example for all.

Verónica Lozada-Jenkins

Veronica Lozada-Jenkins is the Deputy Director of Programs and Community Engagement at Casa San José. In this role, Lozada-Jenkins provides much-needed support to immigrant families and their communities in the Pittsburgh area. She has helped manage public charter school operations and community service organizations. She has also started several programs at Casa San José—everything from food services to a local garden. The emergency and mental health services offered at Casa San José, as well as other family support programs, ensure that some of the most vulnerable residents in the city have paths towards success. Her work providing essential support for immigrant families earned her a nomination for 2022’s GlobalPittsburgh Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards.

Victoria Snyder

Victoria Snyder is the founder of Self-Care Señorita, a lifestyle blog that helps people everywhere tap into their self-worth and inner success. Snyder doesn’t shy away from hard work and helping others. Over the years, she’s worked in various industries to help shine a light on Pittsburgh’s talents, including as a Senior Producer and Executive Vice President for the Emmy-award winning multimedia studio, Ya Momz House, Inc. Her work as a diversity and marketing consultant and as a leader for community partnerships and small businesses landed her on Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2019 40 Under 40 list.

Melanie Marie Boyer

As the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC), Melanie Marie Boyer is committed to community engagement and developing opportunities for all individuals and businesses in the Pittsburgh area. Her work on multiple organizations and boards around the city has earned her consistent recognition, most recently Pittsburgh Professional Women’s 2021 Distinguished Leader award. She was instrumental in developing online workshops for the Hispanic community and beyond to survive and thrive economically during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She even secured a grant from the Heinz Endowments for the PMAHCC. She continues to seek new partnerships and paths forward to help Pittsburgh communities embrace their full potential.

Rosamaria Cristello

A passionate advocate for Latinx families in Pittsburgh, Rosamaria Cristello founded the Latino Community Center after years of working in various organizing roles throughout Allegheny County. Using her expertise in community planning, education, and networking, she’s initiated many programs that focus on empowering vulnerable populations. She has served on numerous boards and committees that affect all of Pittsburgh, including the Water and Sewer Authority, the Women and Girls Foundation, and the Squirrel Hill Health Center. Her continued devotion to the Pittsburgh community has recently earned her the 2020 Pittsburgh Business Times’ “Women of Influence” designation.

Monica Mendez

Monica Mendez is the Director of Cultural Change and Community Partnerships at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Mendez is dedicated to opening doors for all of Pittsburgh’s youngest residents. A firm and central commitment to diversity is one of the museum’s guiding principles, and Mendez works to forge new partnerships for success. Her extensive education and research in the social sciences working with vulnerable populations informs her commitment to diversity and inclusion in the nonprofit and corporate worlds. Her membership on several boards and grant review committees further demonstrates her commitment to the Pittsburgh community.

The future of Pittsburgh is bright with the work these Latina leaders continue to do every day.