Meet Claudia V. Cubillos Hispanic Woman of Distinction , Founder/Owner/Certified Director of Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy
“Live each day as a living example of a woman who always recovers from setbacks no matter how difficult or frequent they are, to inspire other Hispanic women.”
Claudia V. Cubillos is a “trailblazer” in both the figurative and literal sense of the word. The youngest of nine children of Colombian immigrants, Claudia has not only blazed new trails for herself, but also has created new avenues for achievement for fellow Hispanics and others who would benefit from her guiding force.
A “Jersey Girl” by birth, Claudia excelled in Florida’s school system and graduated from both Miami-Dade College and Florida International University.
Inspired by her father’s love of politics, in 2008, Claudia was proud to win by a landslide the position of the first female Hispanic Councilwoman in the Village of El Portal in Miami-Dade County. Then she defeated the incumbent mayor in 2014 and served for three terms as its first Hispanic Mayor, and after having served as a Board Member for many years, Claudia was elected to the Executive Board making her the first Hispanic female president of the Mami-Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC) in 2019. Her efforts to help her local constituents and promote civic and economic projects of both her community and Miami-Dade County earned her the first “Trailblazer Award” in 2017 during Women’s History Month.
During her mayoral tenure, she started or reinvigorated projects such as the El Portal Art Fair, Armed Forces Day 5K, a quarterly community newsletter, Arbor Day celebrations, the installation of the first “Little Library” (#1257) in Miami-Dade County, and more. She also works with her community’s students to inspire citizenship to help build tomorrow’s leaders. Claudia’s further leadership has helped the elderly and special needs families through a variety of programs.
Claudia’s parents owned a flower shop, but after her mother succumbed to pancreatic cancer, Claudia followed in her family’s entrepreneurial tradition by leveraging her experiences as an Orton-Gillingham trained reading coach and as an International Training-Education Executive to found Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy in 2007. The academy is an infant through kindergarten day school with after school programs and tutoring through 5th grade, camps, and a wide variety of early childhood educational services. Her organization also helps her to educate young girls and to hire, train, and inspire community college students and graduates, and single mothers to help them achieve their higher education goals and develop job skills.
Her civic and business achievements have seen her awarded numerous recognitions including the “Dedicated Service & Outstanding Leadership” award by the Florida League of Cities, the “Latina Trailblazer” award by “Be Productive” Coaching, and many others. Possibly the most impressive of her accomplishments is that she has led a number of these projects while enduring four major surgeries resulting from breast cancer.
She and her husband, attorney and army reserve officer, COL Noel C. Pace, are outdoor enthusiasts, proud paw parents to three dog rescues, and are in the process of adopting a child.
The annual celebration of Community, Culture and Charity honors Latinas in South Florida, past and present.
The 22nd annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on Friday, August 25th, 2023, at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is anticipating another sell-out of up to 1000 guests paying tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.
Founded in 2001 by the late Erwin M.Vasquez, M.D., a Venezuelan-born cardiologist, philanthropist and publisher of the pioneer Spanish newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, the goal was to help to empower Latinas and to recognize the influence they have in the South Florida community. These Latinas, both past and present, are not afraid to dream big, to carve their own paths, to be grateful for the opportunities they have received, and to pay it forward to those who will follow.