Mercedes Vazquez Simmons Named Hispanic Business Person of the Year
The Rochester Hispanic Business Association, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, named Mercedes Vazquez Simmons its 2016 Hispanic Business Person of the Year. Vazquez Simmons is founder and president of Pretty Girl Promotions, a full-service boxing and mixed martial arts promotion company based in Rochester.
RHBA Chair Vilma Burgos Torres said, "I am thrilled that we are honoring Mercedes. She has broken another glass ceiling, becoming the first Latina to gain national recognition as a boxing promoter for both male and female athletes in a once male-dominated industry.”
Vazquez Simmons, the first Latina licensed boxing promoter in New York State, was named the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. Born to Puerto Rican parents, her love for the sport stemmed from the strong boxing culture of Puerto Rico. She began her career in boxing management working with Spanish-speaking fighters for Rock Solid Management in New York City. In 2012, Vazquez Simmons left her role with Rock Solid and started Pretty Girl Promotions. She has worked with champions including Lee Murtagh, Hector Camacho, Hector Camacho, Jr., Patrick Hyland, Melissa Hernandez , and up and coming fighters Lavisas Williams and Rosalinda Rodriguez.
Pretty Girl Promotions hires local resources and services with estimated economic benefits exceeding $100,000 per year. The company also provides employment opportunities to the formerly incarcerated, veterans, and retired athletes.
Mercedes Vazquez Simmons has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Master of Business Administration degree.
The Rochester Hispanic Business Association honors Vazquez Simmons with its 27th annual Hispanic Business Person of the Year award at a gala luncheon September 20 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Visit www.RochesterHBA.org for more information on the gala and the Rochester Hispanic Business Association.