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Boca businesswoman among Esperanza Award nominees

Well-known Boca Raton businesswoman and community leader Rosie Inguanzo-Martin can add another feather to her cap. She was one of 16 nominees for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce fourth annual Esperanza Awards – “Hispanic Women Making a Difference.”

As CEO and president of Allegiance Home Health with 300 employees, Martin was nominated in the health category.

Roxana Scaffidi, Boca Chamber’s 2019 Small Business Leader of the Year was last year’s Esperanza business award winner. She nominated Martin, Boca Chamber’s 2016 Small Business honoree.

“Rosie is a role model for any Hispanic business owner and for her big heart,” said Scaffidi, CEO and owner of Florida Accounting and Advisers.

“I was really honored. There’s a lot of Hispanic women in business now,” Martin said.

Now 51 in July, Martin fled Havana, Cuba in the Freedom Flights with her family when she was just 6 months old. They never looked back, and her parents never saw their parents again, she said.

 “Without freedom there is no success,” was her late father’s mantra.

Rosie Inguanzo-Martin and her husband Joe Martin with 12-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Dara Torres, the speaker at the 2019 YMCA of South Palm Beach County Inspiration Breakfast. Photo by Carlos Aristizabal

Martin went on to Florida Atlantic University, where she met her husband Joe Martin, a physical therapist. When she had trouble finding a caregiver for her mom, he encouraged her to go into business, she said.

The Boca-based firm has grown to 300 employees providing nursing, physical, occupational, speech therapy and private caregivers in Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Her personal story is on the company’s web site at http://www.ahhrehab.com/rosie-story

The Martins remain active FAU alumni, starting an endowment at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. They’ve been married 21 years. Joe Martin is vice president and CFO of Allegiance Home Health. Their son Joe Martin IV, just graduated from St. John Paul Academy in Boca and will be a freshman and play ball at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Among the city’s most active couples, the Martins support nonprofit events and fundraisers. She is secretary of West Boca Medical Center’s governing board, a YMCA of South Palm Beach County trustee and on the board of the American Association of Caregiving Youth. A member of The Rotary Club of Boca Raton, she remains active in the Chamber.

The winners of this year’s Esperanza’s held Wednesday were Susy Diaz Piesco, Victoria Mesa-Estrada and Dr. Shell Persaud-Vasquez.

By Marci Shatzman

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