Read bios of Feature Guests for the 2014 Latina Trailblazers Networking Forum presented by Verizon

Read bios of Feature Guests of the 2014 Latina Trailblazers Networking Forum presented by Verizon to be held on Wednesday, July 30 at Drumbar Chicago. 

Evangelina Gallegos, Senior Manager, Hemophilia Consumer Marketing, Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Evangelina has nine years of experience in marketing for the healthcare industry. She is currently a Senior Manager within Baxter’s BioScience Consumer Marketing team serving the Hemophilia patient community. She is responsible for patient advocacy programs, medical education, media and community relations. She works closely with the bilingual healthcare educators to build programs for the Latino hemophilia population.
Baxter International Inc. through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions.
Evangelina’s experience includes multi-channel marketing, global brand management, digital marketing and community relations. She is also the marketing lead for Latinos@Baxter, a Baxter employee resource group and sits on several commercial boards within the company. She received an award for team collaboration and project execution in 2012.
Through Baxter, Evangelina volunteers with Junior Achievement, as a bilingual facilitator for the elementary work-readiness and entrepreneurship program for children in K-12th grades.
Evangelina has a B.A. in Marketing from Barat College of DePaul University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Evangelina is originally from Waukegan, Illinois and is of Mexican descent originating from the state of Michoacan. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and volunteering in the community.

Laura Sanchez, CEO, SWATware LLC.

Laura Sanchez is the founder and CEO of SWATware LLC, a full-service Information Technology (IT) firm that delivers comprehensive IT and Web solutions, with a focus in Cyber Security. Laura’s intent when founding SWATware was to create a one-stop IT consulting firm that develops and executes customized solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Her goal is for SWATware to become an integral partner for each client with the mantra “Big enough to provide all of your solutions and small enough to care for all of your concerns.”


With over ten years of experience as a consultant, Laura has assisted numerous businesses in improving their online presence, while at the same time improving the security and reliability of their IT infrastructure. She is one of the few existing Latina entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Technology field, combining her quality services and passion for IT by sharing her experience with small business owners in various capacities. Laura has utilized her proficiency in both English and Spanish to perform work internationally and is well recognized for her expertise in the IT field. She has spoken for the City of Chicago (BACP), the IHCC (Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce), HACIA, UNAM Chicago and other organizations dedicated to educational and economic development that encourage the proper use of technology both professionally and personally.


Laura received her Master’s degree in Innovation and Business Development from the Tec de Monterrey, one of the top universities in Mexico. She graduated Summa Cum Laude when receiving her undergraduate degree in International Business and Marketing. In 2013, Laura was awarded the Nueva Latina Estrella Award in the Technology category by Verizon, and was an honorable mention recipient for the 2013 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards by Enterprising Women Magazine that same year. These awards are meant to honor women business owners who have demonstrated high potential-growth and stand out as leaders in their communities.

Rosa Zamora, Strategy Consultant, Education Initiatives, CE Social Impact

Rosa Zamora is dedicated to building a national cross-sector collaborative of schools, community based organizations, higher education institutions, companies, and government associations with a goal to increase college attainment for underrepresented students. Being the first in her family to graduate from college Rosa Zamora understands the challenges many first generation colleges students face and is motivated to helpings students across the country achieve their life dreams. Her efforts to decrease the education achievement gap go beyond her role as a Strategy Consultant to serving on the KIPP Chicago Advisory Board, Mujeres Latinas en Accion’s Young Professional Advisory Council, and the Chicago Community Trust’s Latino Giving Circle. She previously served on the Mujeres de HACE Advisory Board, a professional development program designed to empower high potential women to become leaders in their fields. She is an alumna of the Metropolitan Leadership Institute and YNPN’s Leadership Institute. Rosa has also held positions with organizations such as Lutheran Social Services, Instituto del Progreso Latino, YWCA, Junior Achievement, New Futuro, and College Greenlight. Rosa was the 2012 recipient of the Verizon Nueva Latina Estrella Award for her contributions in education.


She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois, a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago. She is in the process of completing a Masters of Business Administration at National Louis University. In addition to these roles, Rosa is a proud mom of two young daughters.

Silvia Bonilla, Director, Small Business Development Center at Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Silvia Bonilla currently serves as Director of the Small Business Development Center at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in Illinois. In this role, she is responsible for the overall administration of the program, leading day-to-day operations as they relate to all aspects of small business.


Silvia is an experienced business consultant with an expertise in small business development, providing one-on-one consultation in both English and Spanish to small business owners on all phases of their business. Her services include, but are not limited to, financing, business plan creation and development, feasibility analysis, loan packaging, franchising, government contracts, intellectual property, legal, manufacturing, marketing, technology and product development. Silvia is also responsible for developing strategic assistance plans designed to stimulate business growth as well as various business educational trainings.


Silvia has spoken and participated as a panelist at many business-related venues such as at the City of Chicago’s Monthly Business Education Workshops Series, Instituto del Progreso Latino’s Mujeres Avanzando Program, Women Business Development Center’s Child Care Business Expo, Chicago City Treasurer’s Expo Business Workshops, and the U.S. Department of State’s La Idea Competition, to name a few. She is also a member of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and runs the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, which focuses mainly on accounting, human resources, negotiation, and marketing.


Born in El Salvador, Silvia received her Bachelor of Arts and History in Education from Loyola University in Chicago as well as her Master’s in Business Administration. She has participated in two certificate programs, one focusing on nonprofit growth leadership at the University of Notre Dame, and the other on executive education at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Silvia spent over 5 years teaching K-4th grade at CPS prior to joining the Chamber in 2008. Her love of teaching now fuels her passion for assisting small businesses in their mission to grow and thrive.

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