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Flora Castillo Honored as "Distinguished Woman 2001" by Popular Publication

NEWARK, NJ, November 9, 2001 -- NJ TRANSIT’s first and only Latina Board member, Flora Castillo, was honored Sunday, November 11 by La Tribuna newspaper -- the oldest Spanish newspaper in New Jersey -- as a Distinguished Woman 2001.

Castillo, a resident of Ventnor in Atlantic County and a NJ TRANSIT Board member since 1999, was cited for her numerous contributions to the Hispanic community. Among her contributions at NJ TRANSIT:

  • Successfully securing a bus from Motor Coach Industries in February 2001 for use in a humanitarian aid effort for earthquake victims in El Salvador. She also personally worked behind the scenes to raise $12,000 for earthquake relief efforts.
  • As Chairperson of the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors Customer Service Committee, she helped design and implement the Corporation's Capacity and Transit Toons campaigns. Transit Toons takes a light-hearted approach in reminding customers to be considerate of their fellow travelers. The Capacity campaign has helped educate customers on the steps currently underway to help ease overcrowding on the Corporation's bus and rail systems.
  • Working as a Board member to enhance public transportation to the residents of southern New Jersey, including members of the Hispanic community.

Castillo is also a member of the Congress of Minority Transportation Officials, the Women’s Transportation Seminar and the American Public Transportation Association.

Born and raised in El Salvador, Castillo immigrated to the United States in 1981. She received a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Marketing and Accountancy from Long Island University. Castillo is an Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing with Keystone Mercy Health plan, headquartered in Philadelphia.

Among her other public service contributions:

  • Serving as First Vice President of the Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic County.
  • Serving as Chairperson of the Latin American Festival.
  • Serving as a Board member for the South Jersey AIDS alliance.
  • Serving as Chairperson of the Atlantic County Advisory Commission on Women’s Public Policy Committee
  • Serving on the Board of the LPGA Urban Youth Golf Program.

Castillo has been the recipient of numerous awards from organizations over the past several years, including:

  • The 1997 Kiwanis International Community Key Award.
  • The 1998 JAYCEE of the Year.
  • The 1998 Hispanic Alliance Service Award.
  • The 1999 Zonta International "Women Making A Difference Award."

Castillo also accompanied former New Jersey Governor Whitman on economic trade missions to Latin America and Asia. She was selected to be in the first class of the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Services Series. She is a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the New Jersey Public Relations Healthcare and Marketing Association and Mainland Toastmasters International.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.