MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced her appointment of Amy Flores, Vice President and Senior Affordable Lending Manager at People’s United Bank, to the position of Executive Director of the Nassau County Office of Hispanic Affairs. The previous Director, Gabriela Castillo, has joined the County Executive’s office as Government Affairs Liaison.
“I’m thrilled to bring a talented and hard-working leader from the private sector like Amy Flores into County government,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “Amy is a business executive with a proven track record of successfully supporting challenging economic development and affordable housing missions, consistently delivering unsurpassed results. I am confident she will continue building on the great work Gabriela Castillo has done at the Office of Hispanic Affairs.”
“I am honored to serve as the new Executive Director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs,” said Amy Flores. “I look forward to bringing my knowledge and leadership experience to the Department, and I am excited and dedicated to working closely with the County Executive and her administration in close partnership with community stakeholders, to expand equitable, diverse and inclusive opportunities and services.”
“I am honored to have the trust and confidence of the County Executive as I embark on a new role that will allow me to utilize my legal background and skills in areas of policy and government, which I have always had a deep interest in,” said Gabriela Castillo. “I look forward to collaborating with our new OHA Executive Director and will continue to support the mission of all county agencies that work with our immigrant community and communities of color.”
The Executive Director oversees the Office of Hispanic Affairs and its daily operations. Serving as a bridge between the growing Hispanic community and county government, the Executive Director makes appropriate recommendations to other County agencies on best practices in the implementation of programs, delivery of services to the community, and works on and advises the County Executive on policy measures affecting the Hispanic community.
The Office also works with community organizations that serve the Hispanic immigrant community with the goal of building strategic partnerships, collaborations, and a robust resource system for this population.
Under the leadership of Gabriella Castillo, the Office of Hispanic Affairs (under previous Administrations referred to as the Coordinating Agency for Spanish Americans, or “CASA”) has transformed into a robust and responsive resource for Hispanic communities in Nassau County. Castillo oversaw the moving of the agency out of the basement at 40 Main Street in Hempstead, reinvigorating the agency with a new purpose of mission while advancing new partnerships with community organizations.
Castillo has played a critical role in helping implement the County Executive Curran’s language access plan, which ensures that Nassau residents, regardless of their competency in English, have meaningful and timely access to essential County programs, services and activities in such fields as public health, Police protection, emergency assistance, social services, and assistance for the disabled.
“Gaby Castillo has taken the Office of Hispanic Affairs to new heights, and I’m excited to see what she will accomplish in her new role,” said County Executive Curran. “I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of the people of Nassau County.”
Amy Flores – Biography
Until taking on the role as Executive Director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Amy Flores served as Vice President and Senior Affordable Lending Manager at People’s United Bank where she oversaw the Affordable Lending division for the entire North East footprint of the bank expanding from Maine to New York. Amy has partnered with federal, state and local agencies to expand the opportunity for responsible and sustainable homeownership opportunities for all communities including the minority and low to moderate income communities. This includes and is not limited to working with government agencies, HUD approved counseling agencies, non-profits and community organizations via pre-purchase homeownership education, financial literacy programs, foreclosure prevention and other educational workshops delivered in both English and Spanish. Her work also includes maintaining appropriate governance to comply with the Fair Housing Act to ensure the protection against discrimination and unfair treatment of homebuyers looking to build a stable future with their families in efforts of revitalizing and strengthening communities through economic development and homeownership options.
Mrs. Flores is also co-founder of the women's group; Empress Group. Empress Group is an organization dedicated towards promoting the advancement, inclusion and progressing of all women in society and the workplace.
She is a Board Member of the Nassau County I.D.A, Board Member of the New York Mortgage Coalition, Board Member of the Central Islip Civic Council, Advisory Board Member of Nassau County: Office of Hispanic Affairs, Board Member of Circulo de La Hispanidad. Loan Committee Member for Housing Development Fund and an Advocacy committee member for HomeSmart NY and on the Program and Business Development Committee for HomeSmart NY.
Amy Flores was born in Mineola, New York. Her parents immigrated to the United States from El Salvador to Washington DC, and then settled in Hempstead, New York where they bought their first home. Amy grew up in Hempstead, New York, attended St. Joseph’s School in Garden City, and graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale. She continued her education at Hofstra University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with Honors and furthered her coursework in the ABA Accredited Paralegal Studies Program at Hofstra University where she received a certificate of completion with Honors. Mrs. Flores currently resides in South Bellmore, NY with her husband and 3 children ages 4, 7, and 9.
Gabriela Castillo – Biography
Before joining Nassau County, Castillo served as the Director of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table (LICET), a non-partisan group that seeks to increase civic engagement in immigrant and working-class communities of color on Long Island. Castillo worked as a Staff Attorney with Legal Services of Southern Piedmont in Charlotte, North Carolina where she represented families facing foreclosures, victims of fraud, workers facing tax controversies before the IRS, and worked extensively with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking as well as helping those facing possible removal from the United States.
Castillo previously served as a Senior Staff Attorney at Make the Road New York, representing immigrant youth and families in matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, helping develop and conduct Know Your Rights workshops on issues ranging from DACA to preventing immigration fraud. Prior to that, she also served as immigration attorney at SEPA Mujer, a Latina immigrant rights organization on Long Island, representing victims of crime, including domestic violence.
Ms. Castillo was born in El Salvador and came to the United States at the age of five. She grew up in Freeport, NY where she currently resides with her husband and two daughters. She earned her J.D. from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 2007, and her B.A. in Political Science from Molloy College in 2003. She is admitted to the bars of New York and North Carolina. In May 2019, Castillo was elected to a three-year term as a trustee to the Board of Education in Freeport.