A Message from the 2023 DHBA President, Carla Green

DHBA Familia,

We are officially off to a new year and I am truly honored to be serving as President of the DHBA in 2023!

I want to start by saying that I know I have some big shoes to fill following Elsa Manzanares, our 2022 fearless, hard-working President. Elsa’s dedication to the DHBA has been an inspiration and I hope to carry on and grow the already wonderful momentum, initiatives, and support Elsa was able to garner for the DHBA this past year. I am thankful Elsa will continue to serve on our Board as Immediate-Past President and we look forward to working with her. I also want to acknowledge and give many thanks to some of our outgoing Board members that have given their service and (for some) several years of their time—many thanks to Jake Torres, Tyrone Valdivia, Fabiola Segovia, and Javier Perez. I want our members to know that the DHBA would not be the organization that it is without you. Without your support, your time, and yes, even your donations—the DHBA would not be able to accomplish the wonderful work that it does. We are grateful for each of you and encourage you to participate, become involved, and socialize with your familia. The DHBA is only growing, getting stronger—we’re excited that we’ve seen substantial increases in our membership numbers, we’ve raised record-setting donations for our incredible initiatives, including for the DHBA’s pipeline initiative, the Dallas Latina Leadership Program, and our Judicial Externship Program.

Throughout my years of service on the DHBA Board, I’ve had the honor of meeting and having long discussions with our DHBA members. In those discussions, I often hear about how the DHBA has impacted our members, many times in different ways. For some, the DHBA has been an organization that has introduced them to other attorneys with similar backgrounds that have resulted in long-lasting, inspiring friendships/mentorships. For others, the DHBA is an organization that has rallied behind causes and initiatives that inspired our members to participate and become more involved in our Dallas-Hispanic community.

For me, the DHBA has always felt like home, like family. My first introduction to the DHBA was in law school when I attended Texas A&M University of Law. I was a single mother, juggling raising an 8-year-old son, trying to get through my law school courses, and keeping up a comfortable household for the both of us. Scholarships were game-changers. The DHBA awarded me one of my first scholarships in law school—and to this day—I remember how excited I was to receive those funds. It was a relief. I needed and the DHBA responded. That’s familia. After graduating and moving to Dallas, the DHBA became an organization of support and comfort. I’ve met so many life-long friends/colleagues through this organization that I consider familia.

It is truly inspirational to hear (and experience) how the DHBA has impacted our members’ law practice and lives. We want to continue to do so. So, join us! Come celebrate with us! We are excited about this upcoming year and look forward to working with our members to reach our goals and continue our mission.

Carla Green 

2023 DHBA President

A Message from the Departing 2022 President, Elsa Manzanares

Friday, February 10, 2023 7:30 AM | Anonymous

Serving Our Community

By Elsa Manzanares. Featured in LATINA Style Magazine 

November 16, 2022

It has been an honor serving as the 2022 President of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA).  We are a volunteer organization supporting Hispanic attorneys and the greater Hispanic community in Dallas for more than 50 years. As we emerged from almost two years of lockdowns at the beginning of 2022, our Board of Directors sought to ensure that this year’s initiatives and programming would be relevant and responsive to the needs of our most important constituents – our members. We agreed that our affection for DHBA was a primary factor behind our decision to take on a leadership role within the organization and that one of our goals would include fostering that same enthusiasm in all of our members.

We began the year by surveying our members on activities and programming they enjoyed most in the past year as well as how our organization can provide more value to members. In February, we invited Liz Cedillo, Assistant City Manager for the City of Dallas, to provide inspiring words to our members on the importance of volunteerism.

Recognizing the potential to expand our reach to members and the community through social media, we appointed a professional marketing consultant to serve as chair of our communications committee. It made sense that a former corporate relations manager for LATINA Style, Diana Maltez, would answer the call to serve our organization and do so in a transformational way. With her support, we have also taken our non-profit to a new level by optimizing our member experience, and, according to our members, our communications have never looked better.

As a leading Hispanic bar association in the country, we continued fostering ties with the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) in 2022 for the benefit of our members and to ensure that our work on the ground in Dallas is visible to other HNBA affiliates in Texas and nationwide.

Every year, the DHBA in coordination with our affiliate, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Foundation, welcomes our members and the greater Dallas community to support the worthy causes our work makes possible through our annual fundraising gala, Noche de Luz. This event benefits various DHBA pipeline initiatives, including law student scholarships at the three Dallas-area law schools: SMU Dedman School of Law, University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, and Texas A&M University School of Law. This event also supports our annual Dallas Latina Leadership Program, which focuses on the professional development needs of our Latina attorneys and law students. Finally, our Judicial Externship Program seeks to increase access by Hispanic law students to judicial externships in the federal district courts and state appellate courts of Dallas.

We are grateful to the numerous law firms, companies, and individuals who supported Noche de Luz this year. The community’s response to our call for support was unprecedented and heartwarming. We raised more funds for Noche de Luz this year than ever before.

Noche de Luz was also noteworthy this year because of our special partnership with LATINA Style to recognize additional outstanding member-leaders of our DHBA familia. This year’s special recognition “DHBA Women of Distinction” spotlighted 10 members who selflessly give to our bar association and community, paving the way for others to succeed. Robert Bard, CEO of LATINA Style, joined us in Dallas to present this recognition to our honorees. It was an unforgettable evening and DHBA looks forward to our continued partnership with LATINA Style!

 - Elsa Manzanares

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