Bernie Rodriguez, Board Member
Director of Volunteers
New York City Fire Department N / A
Bernardo “Bernie” Rodriguez
FDNY Firefighter Engine 95
FDNY Hispanic Society, First Vice President
Born and raised in Washington Heights to Dominican immigrants, I was brought up with a deep-rooted sense of pride for my culture and a love for my countrymen. Washington Heights in the ‘70s and ‘80s was the manifestation of the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. The Heights was far from prefect, but everyone knew you and we all took care of one another.
I was blessed to have always gone to school in The Heights. From kindergarten at Reina Daycare Center on 167th St. and Edgecombe Avenue to finishing some college credits at Boricua College on 155th St. and Broadway and everything in between. Even most of my jobs were in The Heights. The first job I had once I received my working papers in 1988 was serving burgers at McDonalds on 170th St. and Broadway. I also worked for “C.L.A.V.E.”, a vocational school provided by Alianza Dominicana, which served the youth of Washington Heights. I served there as a computers instructor and now I am proudly serving my community as a New York City Firefighter stationed in Inwood, NYC.
My community has always been my affinity. Being able to serve, help and uplift my community is my enduring passion. Becoming a New York City Firefighter was my dream and I am grateful because through my profession I can serve my people, not only as a first responder but also as a role model for others.
Today I am the Vice President of The FDNY Hispanic Society. I am the first and only Dominican to ever hold the position since it was formed in 1962. The FDNY Hispanic Society is an organization devoted to uniting and improving the quality of life of its members, as well as contributing to the civic and cultural endeavors of the Hispanic community at large. Along with the FDNY and other affiliated groups, the FDNY Hispanic Society has contributed in diversifying the FDNY. Efforts to achieve this include everything from career day presentations and recruitment to marching in almost every parade that represents the Hispanic/Latino culture.
- Cristina Contreras, Chair, Board of Directors
- Wilton Cedeno, Immediate Past Chair & Special Advisor
- Maria M. Khury, Chair Emeritus & Education/Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
- Jose Ramon Martinez, 1st Vice-President & Education/Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
- Leonardo Ivan Dominguez, 2nd Vice President & Arts/Culture Committee Co-Chair
- Maria T. Osorio, Secretary
- Estela Vazquez, Audit Committee Chair & Arts/Culture Committee Co-Chair
- Bernardo “Bernie” Rodriguez, Volunteer Committee Chair
- Manny Saez, Treasurer
- Maria Lizardo
- Annie Minguez
- Remysell Salas
- Gregoria Feliciano
- Dorian Rojas
- Ysmael De Castro
- Alexander Nunez-Torres
NatDDP’s Board regularly evaluates the board composition to ensure it includes the appropriate experience, perspective, and community relationships necessary to drive growth for our organization and its mission.
We would like to congratulate Cristina Contreras for being elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Dominican Day Parade. Cristina Contreras, (MPA, LMSW, FABC, Chief Executive Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals / Metropolitan) is an accomplished healthcare professional with a passion for our community.
Cristina is an outstanding leader and will be focused on moving NatDDP’s mission to new heights along with our outstanding board members, volunteers, community partners and Sponsors.