Latinas Unidas is very pleased to have Mercedes Vazquez Simmons, President and Founder of Pretty Girl Productions, LLC, speak at our March Cafe Con Leche event.
Join us March 23rd at RIT MOSAIC Center, as she shares her story “Finding The Fighter In You“, telling us about her successes and challenges as she struggled to make a mark in a male-dominated occupation and does so with pride.
Date: March 23, 2016
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Place: RIT MOSAIC Center
Student Alumni Union – 2nd floor – Room 2510
1 Lomb Drive, Rochester, NY 14623
Tickets: Free for LU members and the RIT community – $5 for the general public.
Refreshments and light food will be served.
Our thanks to the RIT Office for Diversity and Inclusion for sharing their facilities for this event.
Nor a member yet? You can join Latinas Unidas for free on our website.
Here is a complete bio of Mercedes Vazquez Simmons:
Mercedes Vazquez Simmons, President of Pretty Girl Productions, LLC, is New York’s first licensed Latino female boxing promoter and first Puerto Rican female boxing and MMA promoter in the United States.
Mercedes comes from humble beginnings. Her parents moved from Puerto Rico in the 60’s looking for a better future. Her father took on farm work and eventually landed a job at Kodak, her mother worked as a para-professional at the Rochester City School District. Mercedes grew up watching big boxing matches with her father and brothers. She recalls what a momentous occasion it was to watch big boxing matches with Hector Camacho and Muhammad Ali. Both she and her brothers often imitated the boxers.
In 2000 she took on a role with Rock Solid, a boxing management company based out of New York City where she worked with Spanish speaking fighters. Rock Solid represented World Champions William Joppy, Hasim Rahman and Oscar DeLaHoya , just to name a few. Mercedes learned all aspects of the business from boxing management to project managing boxing shows. In 2012, Mercedes left her role with Rock Solid and started Pretty Girl Promotions, LLC, a full service Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion company. She had the privilege of working with world class champions fighters like Lee Murtagh, Hector Camacho, Patrick Hyland, Melissa Hernandez, and up and coming fighters like Lavisas Williams and Renan Ruiz. Within a short period of initiating her business, Pretty Girl Promotions is considered a World Class Promotion company with World Class champions signed to Pretty Girl.
In addition to adding world championship titles under the promotional umbrella, Mercedes has embarked in several projects including a co-promotion with the first lady of boxing Christy Martin that will be featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
Mercedes Vazquez Simmons and Pretty Girl Promotions has represented Rochester well and has been quoted in major publication and media outlets like ESPN Sports and Fight News.
Mercedes has worked endlessly to help improve the lives of fighters. She honed in on health and career development for boxers in Rochester, N.Y. and surrounding towns. She developed the first Professional Career Development & Ring Safety Curriculum. The program educated fighters of health warning signs, provided resources to medical insurance and assisting with employment opportunities outside the boxing industry. The program is being proposed to other state commissions and boxing associations.
Mercedes Vazquez Simmons & Pretty Girl Productions have contributed to the local economy by bringing World Class boxing events to Western NY. Pretty Girl Promotions hires local resources and services with estimated economic benefits exceed $100,000 per year. She’s also provided employment opportunity to those who may have difficulties finding employment such as the individuals that were released from the prison systems, veterans and retired athletes. In 2015, Mercedes was presented a proclamation from the City of Rochester.
Mercedes hold a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Business Administration. She has received several community based awards which include the 2014 Latinas Unidas Career Achievement Reconocimiento Award, and was recently named the 2014 Women of the Year by the Bare Knuckle Hall of Fame and received a Proclamation from the City of Rochester.
Despite the challenges of being a female and Latina in a male dominate industry, she has defiantly made her mark as a World Class Promoter.