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The HBA-NJ Installs Melinda Colon Cox as its 40th President, Swears in its 2019-2020 Officers and Trustees and Kicks Off its $40,000 in 40 Days Fundraiser

05 Nov 2019 3:40 PM | Melinda Cox


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2019    

The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (“HBA-NJ”) held its 40th Annual Installation and Swearing-In Ceremony of its Officers and Trustees at the Pleasantdale Château in West Orange, New Jersey on October 22, 2019.  The Honorable Michael A. Shipp, District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, swore in the Officers and Trustees.  After 11 years of service to the HBA-NJ, Melinda Colón Cox, partner at the law firm of Parker Ibrahim & Berg LLP (“PIB Law”), was sworn in as the HBA-NJ’s 40th President. 

Longtime member of the HBA-NJ, Albertina (“Abby”) Webb, Vice President for the Southern Region of the HBA-NJ and a partner at Hill Wallack LLP, served as the mistress of ceremonies at the sold-out event.  Judges, lawyers, and students from all over the state were among the 400 guests.  Julia A. López, Immediate Past President of the HBA-NJ and an attorney at Reed Smith LLP, highlighted the HBA-NJ’s accomplishments over the past year during her presidency, including the creation of the HBA-NJ Scholarship Endowment Fund and the recent CBS news segment on the HBA-NJ’s American Dream Pipeline Programs.  Irene Oria, National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”) and partner at Fisher Broyles, also made remarks highlighting the importance of collaboration with the HBA-NJ and congratulating the organization for being named as the HNBA’s 2019 Affiliate of the Year.  We also recognized long-term board member Jonathan Barrera, Esq., HBA-NJ Region 4 Trustee for Passaic County and Assistant Prosecutor at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, with the Corazon Del HBA-NJ Award for his outstanding dedication and unwavering service to the organization, which includes his years of leading our Union City High School American Dream Pipeline program. 

During her presidential remarks, Melinda Colón Cox announced this year’s theme for the HBA-NJ:  “Rise Up – Engage, Empower, Educate.”  While looking at the diverse guests in attendance, Melinda remarked:  “Against all odds, we have succeeded and we should be proud.  But with that success comes a great responsibility – we each have an obligation to pay it forward and to ensure the success of our Latino community.”  With the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and the political and social state of our nation, there is no question that 2020 will be a big year and President Cólon Cox underscored the need for the Latino legal profession to rise up, reminding attendees that “we rise, by lifting others.”  In discussing this year’s theme, President Cólon Cox explained:  “If we want to see progress, we must all rise up by engaging in community, political and social activism, by empowering and elevating one another, and by educating ourselves and our future leaders to promise a better tomorrow.” 

In celebrating the four decades of the organization, during the Installation, the HBA-NJ launched its $40,000 in 40 days Fundraiser in Celebration of the HBA-NJ’s 40th Anniversary and raised nearly $18,500 in one night.  All donations will go to the HBA-NJ Scholarship Endowment Fund, and 100% of the proceeds will be used to award annual scholarships to deserving high school and law school students.  If you would like to donate, please text “HBANJ40” to 44321 for more information – all donations are tax deductible.  The HBA-NJ also presented a special 40th Anniversary video presentation, entitled: The Past, the Present and the Future, which included photographs and video messages from the HBA-NJ’s 39 past presidents and 40th president, and also published and circulated a special 40th Anniversary edition of its Abogados Newsletter, highlighting the HBA-NJ’s robust 40-year history, which is available on the HBA-NJ’s website at

The HBA-NJ thanks its sponsors and Installation attendees for their generosity and support.  In particular, we would like to thank PIB Law for its Underwriter Annual and Diamond Installation sponsorship, as well as our Amigo Annual and Gold Installation sponsors: 1) Archer & Greiner P.C.; 2) Day Pitney LLP; 3) Hudson Court Reporting & Digital Media; 4) Lowenstein Sandler LLP; 5) Prudential; 6) Reed Smith LLP; and 7) Sterling National Bank; Amigo Annual and Silver Installation sponsor: 1) Stark & Stark; and Silver Installation sponsors: 1) Bederson LLP; 2) D’Arcy Johnson Day; 3) DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP; 4) Fox Rothschild LLP; 5) Law Offices of George Rios, P.A.; 6) Norris McLaughlin P.A.; 7) Norton Rose Fulbright; and 8) Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga.


About The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey

Founded in 1980, the HBA-NJ is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association that is comprised of attorneys, judges, law professors, law students, and other professionals who share a common interest in addressing the issues affecting Hispanics within the legal community. 

The purpose of the Association is to serve the public interest: (i) by cultivating the art and science of jurisprudence, (ii) by advancing the standing of the legal profession, and (iii) by preserving high standards of integrity, honor, and professional courtesy among Hispanic lawyers.

Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey
P.O. Box 25562, Newark, NJ 07101

©2019 Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.
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Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey

P.O Box 25562

Newark, NJ  07101

HBANJ is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization

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