Hispanic Federation Names New Florida Director As Organization Continues to Expand Services Across Central Florida

Orlando, Fla. - Today, the Hispanic Federation announced that Yanidsi Velez will assume the role of Florida Director effectively immediately. Yanidsi Velez has been serving as the organization’s Florida Deputy Director since April 2018, and assuming greater responsibilities as of recent while long-time leader, and current Florida Director, Betsy Franceschini had been on personal family leave. Betsy has made the decision to step away from the Hispanic Federation at this time to dedicate herself completely to attending to family health issues.

“From the first days of the Hispanic Federation’s engagement in Central Florida it was clear that no one could have brought both the credibility and the skills needed to guide our work as Betsy Franceschini has. She is a fierce and talented advocate and has given so much of herself to the development of our work. Thanks to Betsy, we have become an essential source of support and strength for our growing community in Central Florida. She will always be part of the Hispanic Federation family,” said Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation.

Calderon continued to say, “Yanidsi Velez embodies the courage and strength within our community. She has committed herself from day one to advancing the economic, social and civic well-being of our community. In the last year she has been a fierce advocate for the thousands of displaced Puerto Rican families that have sought to rebuild their lives in Florida as well as those that continue to work to rebuild on the island. We are excited to have her lead the Federation’s next chapter in the state as our Florida Director.”

Betsy joined the Hispanic Federation in August 2016 and has helped oversee the organization’s programs and policy campaigns in the state, especially after Hurricane Maria displaced thousands of Puerto Ricans who have been restarting their lives in Florida. Last year, Betsy led the Federation’s efforts to register and mobilize hundreds of thousands of Latino Floridians to participate in the Midterm Elections.

“Now more than ever, Florida’s Hispanic community needs a champion like the Hispanic Federation that has their ears and feet on the ground and is responding to the local needs of this community from fighting poverty to pushing for environmental justice and educational equity” said Betsy Franceschini. “I’m proud of all the work we have accomplished in Florida, and once I’m ready to jump back into this fight, I know I can count on the Hispanic Federation as a partner and source of great energy.”