Latina “Talks Trash” and Helps “Toys for Tots”

Latina Aurora Ortiz waste management

Meet Aurora Ortiz, a 2019 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Education Specialist and Translator, Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County


“Women in our current society occupy many titles including mother, wife or partner, worker, administrator and emotional support of the home, but we must not forget that the first role of women in our society is just being a woman, with their identity, their femininity and their value.”

Being in the solid waste industry does not necessarily mean it’s a dirty business.

At the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA), Aurora Ortiz does her best to educate the public about solid waste management issues programs that have been developed and implemented by the SWA that are designed to integrate solid waste transportation, processing, recycling, resource recovery and disposal technologies and how to best protect the environment and achieve the state’s 75% recycling and waste reduction goal.

Through plant tours, and offering bi-lingual talks in the field to schools, the media, to community groups and to VIPs from around the world, Aurora helps citizens to understand that we each also have to do our part to help keep our planet green and clean.

On the other hand, Aurora will tell you that sometimes the trash is a great place to find a treasure. She notes with a laugh when she talks about how she met her husband of 18 years, Guillermo, who works as a Landfill Operations Construction Supervisor for SWA, “I found my diamond in the rough at the dump!”

Aurora OrtizHowever, it’s not all trash talk for Aurora. For the last quarter century, she has been SWA’s liaison with the U.S. Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program and established the SWA headquarters as a toy drop off location for their employees and the community. In 2018, they collected 639 lbs. of toys for disadvantaged area children. Her efforts earned her a “Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Support.”

In 2017, Aurora was one of 11 American citizens chosen to speak to college students representing all units of the U.S. Army’s ROTC programs at the General George C. Marshall Leadership Seminar in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and received a “Certificate of Appreciation” from them as well.

Aurora also helps raise funds for high school ROTC equipment and programs and, for their annual ROTC Military Ball, collects ladies gowns for the less privileged.

Aurora also works closely with victims of domestic violence and shares her painful past experiences. She also collects appropriate business attire to help these battered women to feel confident and interview well as they try to get back into the workforce and gain financial independence to further help them to end an abusive relationship. Numerous churches and organizations in the U.S. and overseas have honored her with awards for her inspiring work with battered women.

Aurora has been actively involved in the Puerto Rican Cultural Society of Palm Beach County and served as a past president of the chapter and received an “Outstanding Achievement Award.” She also has been a past president and still serves on the board of directors of the Latin Alliance of the County of Palm Beach. They honored her with a “Community Leadership Award.”

She also has received a “Certificate of Recognition” from the National Association of Bilingual Education and a “Triunfo Award” from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County.

Aurora and Guillermo are proud parents of three daughters, two of whom are serving in the military.

Their youngest Alexandra graduated in May from FIU and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. The couple enjoys community volunteerism, dancing, socializing, and traveling.

One of Aurora’s goals is to write an autobiography with her past experiences to help young women facing some of the same challenges she once did. She will name her book “Aurora…A New Beginning”.


Hispanic Women of Distinction 2019

For more information, visit or 954-601-6550 or email:

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Here are the 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction:

GLORIA L.  DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach Colombian Born Latina Shines As Mentor and Walmart Sales Exec

ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County Colombian-American Latina Leads College PR and Community Organizations

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- Cuban-American Latina Brand Manger and Executive Consultant

JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach Colombian Latina Healthcare Financial Officer Supports Those In Need

Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College –  Dade Dominican Bronx Latina Secures Grants to Drive Student Success

MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward  Latina Cuban-American Chief Marketing Officer Is Growing Brands

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 Panamanian-American Latina Community Relations Professional Advocates for Victims


DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partnersa 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.



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