Meet Rachel Tourgeman the 2017 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Community Relations Director, Florida National University
“It is women who truly are given the responsibility to educate, to impart knowledge and guide the incoming generation with inner strength. Women will always hold in their hands, against all odds, the power to change and mold society.”
For the past thirty years Rachel Tourgeman has dedicated her career in addressing morally compelling issues in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
She has proven to be a true champion in bringing awareness and social reform in the areas of human trafficking, domestic and teen dating violence and missing children.
To help her in this quest, Rachel valiantly spearheads the FNU POWERHOUSE at Florida National University where she is the Community Relations Director. The FNU POWERHOUSE is composed of governmental dignitaries, Miami-Dade County Public Schools administrators, the Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police; Homeland Security, fire officials, State Attorney’s Office, media venues, members of various Chambers of Commerce, Missing Children Global Network, concerned citizens, corporate representatives and other not-for-profit entities.
Rachel retired from Miami-Dade County holding various key positions such as the Community Relations Director for the Department of Human Services Advocates for Victims Office. She worked as Community Liaison for the Department of Human Services and assisted in their welfare reform efforts.
She acted as the Director of Community Oriented Programs and Intergroup Relations Program in the Department of Community Affairs. Rachel also worked as in instructor for the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Rachel is a proud graduate of the Florida Martin Luther King Institute for Nonviolence and is certified as a Kingian Nonviolence Trainer. She received her B.A. in Political Science with honors from Florida International University.
Born of Panamanian-Jewish heritage, Rachel received the “Outstanding Hispanic Community Relations Leadership Award” by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, “Outstanding Community Relations Recognition” award by Toys for Kids Miami Foundation, recently received a tribute by the City of North Miami Mayor and Council Members for “Outstanding Community Relations Initiatives in honor of National Women’s History Month” and was honored with the “Education Community Leadership Award” by the Florida Association of Post-Secondary Schools and Colleges, to name but a few.
She’s an active member of the Human Trafficking Task Force for Homeland Security, Hispanic Coalition, Entre Nosotras, Centro Cristiano Adonai, numerous Chambers of Commerce and other community organizations.
Rachel has a long history of appearing on television and radio, and recently completed acting as co-host of the Simplemente Ser Mujer Hispanic TV series.
Rachel enjoys working tirelessly as well as being a proud mother to her lovely and multi-talented daughter, Rosseta. Rachel also enjoys time out at the beach near her Surfside home where she unwinds and gets her inspiration to plan her work activities.
Her favorite place to visit is her childhood hometown of New York City which she loves for its culture, the theater and her childhood friends. But more than any place else, she treasures the multi-cultural beauty of sunny South Florida.
2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees
At PACE Center for Girls, girl-centered culture celebrates the power and potential of girls. With 19 non-residential centers throughout Florida, they provide a safe environment where middle and high school aged girls can thrive.
The balanced emphasis on academics and social services is combined with a program model to produce an experience that is nationally recognized as one of the most effective programs for helping at-risk girls realize brighter and more productive futures.
The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) is a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 by Sandra Muvdi shortly after the loss of her only child to cancer. Its mission is to provide emergency financial assistance for children fighting cancer to ensure access to basic human necessities. The Foundation also advocates for and raises awareness of childhood cancer.
Presented by Latina Style Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for Latina entrepreneurs, in partnership with Bank of America and AARP, the highly-promoted celebration brings to the forefront the contributions of Hispanic women from South Florida. Co-sponsors include Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Walmart, Latin Business Today and La Poderosa Radio. What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions.
“This year was truly a difficult decision for our judges. With more than 50 nominations submitted, selecting 12 became a week-long effort to cast votes for the “crème de la crème” stated, Elaine Vasquez, founder and producer of the annual event. Nominations were solicited from past honorees and community leaders in south Florida.
“We are delighted to continue our long-time partnership with Hispanic Women of Distinction and provide insight and support to the entrepreneurs and community leaders who are making a difference, “said Robert Bard, CEO and Publisher of Latina Style Magazine.
The 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction are:
GLORIA L. DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach
ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County
BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages -Dade Cuban Latina Excels at Education and Preserving Heritage Languages
KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward: Outstanding Venezuelan Latina Excels as a “Hispanic Fashion Advisor”
Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade Cuban-American Latina Is a Premier Healthcare Anthropologist
LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward Argentinian-American Latina Attorney Helping Hispanic Community
CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade
JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach
Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College - Dade
MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward
MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward Latina of Ancestry Cuban-Peruvian Making Waves in PR
RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade
LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR:
DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partners, a visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States.
Daisy joins past Latina Pioneers: Columba Bush, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Maria San Juan, Caridad Asensio, Joyce Kaufman, Nelly Rubio, Aida Levitan, Maria Elena Torano, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Marielea Villamil and Millie Herrera.
Tickets to the luncheon are $95 per person. Table sponsorships are $1500. The luncheon includes a social hour with complimentary “mojitos”, a business expo, raffles, Latin entertainment, as well as a runway fashion show presented by the Las Olas fashion designer, Zola Keller.
About the author
Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.Website