Bill Aguado, Arts Advocate, Godfather of the Arts;  ; María Celeste Arrarás, Host, Al Rojo Vivo, TELEMUNDO/NBC; Dolores Batista, Owner, Allstate Insurance Company, Karma Business Group LLC; La Familia Figueroa, (Rafael Figueroa, cellist, Guillermo Figueroa, violinist, Narciso Figueroa, violinist, and Dr. Ivonne Figueroa, pianist, for their contributions to the classical culture of Puerto Rico dating back to 1850); Roberto Sancho, VP Development & External Affairs, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and JW Cortés, Activist and Actor, Gotham who is also our Spokesperson.


  • 2017       Eric Crespo, Founder, Lunchera; Steven Feliciano, Co-Founder& President, Hunger Corp. Daniella Rodríguez Besosa, Farmer and Agroecology Advocate, Siembra Tres Vidas, Raul Russi, Chief Executive Officer, Acacia Network; Cristina Sumaza & Fernando Sumaza, Founders, LOTE 23 and Stephanie Llanes, Bertha Justice Institute Fellow, Center for Constitutional Right Government Misconduct Racial Justice
  • 2016       Héctor J. Figueroa, President, 32BJ SEIU; Betty Lugo, Esq., President, Puerto Rican Bar Association, Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, Former President, Puerto Rico Bar Association and Gay & Women’s Right Activist; DiaspoRicans/DiaspoRiqueños and Richard Colón, Crazy Legs, Founder, Rock Steady Crew
  • 2015       Bill Aguado, Arts Advocate, Godfather of the Arts; María Celeste Arrarás, Host, Al Rojo Vivo, TELEMUNDO/NBC; Dolores Batista, Owner, Allstate Insurance Company, Karma Business Group LLC; La Familia Figueroa, (Rafael Figueroa, cellist, Guillermo Figueroa, violinist, Narciso Figueroa, violinist, and Dr. Ivonne Figueroa, pianist, for their family contributions to the classical culture of Puerto Rico dating back to 1850); Roberto Sancho, VP Development & External Affairs, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and JW Cortés, Activist and Actor, Gotham.
  • 2014   Maestro José Buscaglia Guillermety, educator, sculptor, Fellow, National Sculptor Society & founding member, Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, Jacqueline J. Gonzalez, Executive Director, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, New York, EMMYS, Sebastian Villarini-Velez, Member, New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet, Ana Celia Zentella, Professor Emerita, University of California San Diego, (UCSD) Department of Ethnic Studies, John Calderon President, Theracare and Johnny Lozada, Host, Univision’s Despierta América!
  • 2013   Giselle Blondet, Actress/Host & Humanitarian, Univisión, Luis Alberto Ferre Rangel, Editor in Chief / Grupo Ferre Rangel Media, Board Chair/Agenda Ciudadana; Jason Nieves,  Writer, Producer, The Nieves Company, Luis D. Ortiz, Million Dollar Listing, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Allan Villafaña, News Anchor, Noticiero/Primera Edición, Telemundo/NBC and Marybeth Melendez,  Graduate Student, College of Staten Island, Hurricane Sandy & Volunteer
  • 2012   Bobby Sanabria, Latin Jazz legend and educator, Roger Maldonado, Esq., Balber Pickard Maldonado &Van Der Tuin, PC, Soprano Eva de la O, Founder, Música de Cámara, Dr. Caleb Gonzalez, MD, MA (Hon. Yale), Professor Emeritus, Yale University & ‘First Hero’ School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, Lourdes Robles, Singer, songwriter, actress, Jaime Espinal, Silver Medalist, Wrestling, Puerto Rico, 2012 London Olympics and Juan Gonzalez, Journalist & Author
  • 2011   Karina E. Alomar, Esq., Alomar & Associates P.C, Angie Benitez, Founder, Susan G. Komen of Puerto Rico, Nestor V. Figueroa, President, Nagnoi, Inc., Jorge Silva-Puras, SBA Regional Administrator for NY, NJ, PR & USVI US Small Business Administration, and Lisette Nieves, Belle Zeller Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy, CUNY & Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Blue Ridge Foundation
  • 2010   Oscar Hernández, Renowned Pianist, Arranger & Grammy Award Winner, Carlos López López, Esq., Partner, Wolf Popper, LLP; Pedro Julio Serrano, AIDS/Human Rights Activist,  Founder, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s; Julia Velez, Esq. MHSA; Executive Director, Centro de Salud Comunal Dr. Jose S. Belaval, Inc.; Olga Tañon, Grammy Award Winner & Latin Pop Artist
  • 2009 – Choco Orta, La Sonera del Milenio, Carlos A. Picón, Curator in Charge, Department of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Katilia Velez, Student & Community Activist, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San German, Jesús Omar Rivera, El Boricuazo, Historian & Author
  • 2008 – Catherine Gonzalez, Senior Architectural Designer Thornton Tomasetti, Hector Feliciano, Author The Lost Museum, Margarita Lopez, Community Activist, Board Member, NYC Housing Authority, Carlos Alberto, Couture Fashion Designer, Melina Leon, Singer/Actress
  • 2007 – Lisa ThonFashion Designer, Yolandita Monge,international recording artist, Dr. Luis O. Reyes and Dr. Diana Caballero, education activists, and Maestro Antonio Martorellrenowned artist, poet, author.
  • 2006 – Lynda Baquero, Anchor, NBC 4 New York, Luis Fonsi, international recording artist and producer, Daisy Martinez, Chef, Entrepreneur, and Host of Daisy Cooks andAnthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU..
  • 2005 – Mary E. Medina, Executive Director, Center for Trustee Initiatives and Recruitment, Greater New York Hospital Association, Dennis Rivera, President, 1199 SEIU, Monsi C. Roman, Chief Microbiologist Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Design and Development Group, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center and Salsa Sensation Frankie Negron
  • 2004 – Orlando Figueroa, Space Mission Director, Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs, NASA Headquarters,Jorge Ramos, Anchor, Telemando 47, Ada Rodríguez, Chief Marketing Officer, Health Plus and In Memoriam, Richard Perez, former Young Lord, Community Activist, co-Founder, the Justice Committee, National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights.
  • 2003 – Dr. Ricardo Alegría, Historian/Anthropologist, theHonorable Sila María Calderón, Governor, Puerto Rico,Danny Rivera, Humanitarian, world renowned Puerto Rican Singer, Rafaél Tufíño, el Pintor del Pueblo.
  • 2002 – Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, United States Surgeon General Commander, USPHS, Nydia Caro, Singer and Entertainer, Debbie Delgado Vega, Founder and Chairperson of the Latino Organization for Liver Awareness, Carmen Gomez Goldberg, President, AVET Transit, Inc. and José R. Sánchez, CSW, ACSW, Senior Vice President, Generations+ Health Network.
  • 2001 – Selma Betancourt, Director of External Communications, Health Plus, Dr. Ricardo R. Fernández, President, Herbert H. Lehman College, Luis Garden Acosta, Founder & CEO, El Puente, Inc., and Denise Quiñones, Miss Universe 2001.
  • 2000 – Roberto Clemente Jr., Broadcast Analyst/New York Yankees and President of The Roberto Clemente Foundation,Susan Hernandez, attorney at Law and Carol Robles Román, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, and José O. Agiuar, President & CEO, Kleener King Industries.
  • 1999 – Dr. Antonia C. Novello, NYS Commissioner of Health, Carlos M. Morales, Esq., Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Merrill Lynch & Company, Angelo Figueroa, editor-in-chief, PEOPLE en Español and The Young Lords Party.
  • 1998 – Nereida S. Andino, Former Deputy Manhattan Borough President, Actress Jennifer LopezFernando L. Perez, Senior Specialist for Customer Outreach, Con Edison andPolito Vega, on-air personality for La Mega.
  • 1997 – Actress Miriam ColónCarlos L. Santiago, Vice President, NYNEX, Millie Hernández Becker, President & CEO, Westchester Air, Tonio Burgos, President, Burgos & Associates and Carlos D. Nazario, Jr. President & CEO,
    Metro Beer and Soda Distributors.
  • 1996 – Dr. Antonia Pantoja, founder of ASPIRA, Goya Foods and Luis A Miranda, President of Miranda y Más.


Through Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad award, Comité Noviembre recognizes outstanding individuals who are the unsung heroes of our community and who are making a difference in the Puerto Rican communities of this country. Puerto Ricans whose pride in their heritage and strength of character have empowered themselves and inspired others to make significant impact on the community are recognized. The recipients of this award are chosen by Comité Noviembre from nominations submitted by the community. These individuals are honored at the kick-off celebration of Puerto Rican Heritage Month.
Nomination Process for 2015 is Closed.

The Puerto Rican Women Legacy and Women’s History Month Celebration was instituted in March of 2014, to honor Puerto Rican women whose pride in their heritage and strength of character have empowered themselves and inspired others to make a significant impact on our community. Who have worked tirelessly on behalf of women’s issues and have empowered women with their actions and have always kept their Puerto Rican culture ever present in all their endeavors. The award will be given annually during Women’s History Month.

Additionally, since its inception, CN has developed programs all geared to the support and enhancement of educational opportunities and leadership development for Puerto Rican and Hispanic youth with a cultural twist. The event was created to include an educational component for Puerto Rican/ Latino student. A motivational presentation segment was developed that will feature strong Puerto Rican women role models for CN scholars and Puerto Rican/Hispanic female students from Hostos Community College, ASPIRA of New York, El Puente, CENTRO de Estudios Puertorriqueños/Hunter College, the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women and others as part of Women’s History Month.

On March 30, 2015, the ceremony took place at the Terrance Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center.
The 2015 Puerto Rican Women Legacy Award recipients were: Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, President & Founder, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Marisol Seda, Assistant News Director & Investigative Reporter, WNJU Telemundo 47; Nitza Tufiño, Artist & Activist; Dawn Diaz Founder & CEO, Milagros Day Worldwide.

In 2014 the inaugural event to place on Monday, March 31, 2014 at the headquarters of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, (PRFAA), in Manhattan.  The first recipients of the Puerto Rican Women Legacy Awards  were Dr. Virginia Sánchez-Korrol, Ph.D. , Historian & Professor Emerita, CUNY-Brooklyn College, Chair, Centro Library and Archives Advisory Group; The Honorable Sallie Manzanet-Daniels, Associate Justice New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court First Judicial Department; The Honorable Melissa Mark Viverito, NYC Council Speaker and Caridad De La Luz, “La Bruja” Poet, Actor & Community Activist & Founder, Latinas 4 Life

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Dr. Antonia Pantoja, founder of ASPIRA of NY receives award from Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, VP for Education & Government, Cablevision & former Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York

Teresa A. Santiago, Chairperson, Comité Noviembre, Suleika Cabrera Drinane, President, IPRHE and renowned Singer and Activist Danny Rivera

Jennifer Lopez receives CN Heritage Award from Miriam Colón

Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones receives award from Miriam Colón.

Suleika Cabrera Drinane, Nydia Caro and Supreme Court Justice Sallie Manzanet.

First Puerto Rican US Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez presents award to actress and AIDS Activist Rosie Perez.

Miguel A. Fuentes, President & CEO, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, US Surgeon General Commander Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, award recipient