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Local women among Top 50 Latinas of Michigan

• Oct 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Ottawa County employees Reyna Masko and Juanita Bocanegra and retiree Pat Sosa VerDuin are among the top 50 Latinas in the state, according to the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan.

They were officially recognized at the Statewide Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations in Saginaw on Oct. 12.

The award recognizes distinguished Latina leaders who have significant involvement in their communities and their chosen professions.

"All three of these outstanding employees ... are shining examples of the Ottawa Way,” Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg said. “Not only have they excelled as leaders in their daily work with Ottawa County, but they have dedicated themselves to improving their communities, region and state. It is great to see Juanita, Reyna and Pat achieve well-deserved statewide recognition for their contributions.”

Masko, of Grand Haven, is an 18-year county employee as Friend of the Court investigator. She is also the chairperson of the organization's Cultural Intelligence Committee.

Bocanegra, of Holland, is an assistant prosecuting attorney for the county since 2011.

Pat Sosa VerDuin, of Grand Haven, served Ottawa County for more than 29 years, retiring from her role as 20th Circuit Court juvenile services director. She now serves as the principal and co-founder of Mobius Coaching and Sisters Who Lead.

In addition, Masko, Bocanegra and VerDuin volunteer on many committees, boards and commissions in their respective communities.

Also named to the list were Liz De la Luz, vice president of community impact for the Greater Ottawa County United Way; and Lupita Reye of Holland, the founder of Latin Americans United for Progress and owner/clinical therapist of LAR Counseling Services.

County to host Diversity Forum

Ottawa County will host a Diversity Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the West Olive Fillmore Complex.

The forum will promote an inclusive culture and establishes a welcoming community for diverse populations. It will feature various leaders from several sectors, including government, business, community and education. It is an opportunity to hear diverse perspectives and enhance the ability to welcome, accept, affirm and respect others.

Presenters will include Leslie Boker, Grand Rapids Pride Center; Abe Carillo, Herman Miller; Gregory Conyers, State Bar Association; Alfredo Hernandez, Michigan Department of Civil Rights; Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker; Barbara Lee VanHorssen, Momentum Center; and Stacey Trowbridge, Disability Network Lakeshore.

To register, visit www.miottawa.org/CI/diversity-forum.htm. 

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