Stella Aquino (left) with Consul General Theresa Dizon-de Vega.  (Photo by NYPCG)

Stella Aquino, a Filipina executive of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the largest insurance providers in the world, was honored along with five other women by the Queens Tribune, the largest newspaper in the Borough of Queens, N.Y. at its Glass Ceiling Awards in commemoration of Women’s History Month.

The other awardees included the first-ever elected woman President of the Borough of Queens, Claire Shulman; New York State Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook; Lawyer and New York Director for Immigration Affairs and Special Counsel Jenifer Rajkumar; Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi, Executive Director of India Home; and Barbara Amand, President of Amand Corporation and the organization Professional Women in Construction.

The awardees were chosen on the basis of their individual professional achievement in addition to pioneering and groundbreaking work in community service, particularly service to the women’s sector in their respective communities.

Aquino, a magna cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippine Diliman School of Economics and masteral degree graduate from the University of Chicago, played an integral role during Empire’s efforts to convert from being a non-profit to a for-profit organization.

She likewise helped establish an Asian-American employees association in Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to make Asian-American employees more visible in the company.

She is currently the company’s business director for actuarial valuation.

Her community involvement includes serving on the Board of the Asian-American Federation, one of the largest and most visible organizations for Asian-Americans, which has undertaken research work on the socioeconomic, demographic, political and health issues affecting Asian-Americans, including Filipino-Americans.

The Federation’s various studies continue to be used by policy makers as a reference point in determining programs and funding for the Asian-American sector.

On hand to witness Aquino receive the award was Philippine Consul General Theresa Dizon-de Vega, family members of the awardee, and colleagues from Empire and the Asian-American Federation.

Queens is acknowledged as the most diverse borough of New York, as well as the preferred residence for the largest concentration of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the U.S. Northeast.


Awardees (from left) Barbara Amand, Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi, Stella Aquino, Claire Shulman, Jenifer Rajkumar and Vivian E. Cook.  (Photo by NYPCG)

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