Josefina Bonilla

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Josefina Bonilla (Fina) is the founder and publisher of Color Media Group.

Color Magazine, the flagship publication, launched in 1997 and the first hard copy edition came out on January 2008. The magazine contains articles on entertainment, wine, fashion, food, and book reviews, in addition to pieces about business leaders, community activists, and noteworthy interviews with individuals of color.

Color Magazine transitioned from a printed edition to its current online form. This monthly glossy features notable persons of color on the covers and highlights their professional accomplishments. Past covers include acclaimed novelist Chang-Rae Lee (“Surrendered” & “Native Son”), Vinay Mehra (CFO of WGBH), celebrity chef Ming Tsai, and business mogul Russell Simmons of Def Jam Recordings.

In part due to the greater visibility of her roles as publisher and founder, Josefina is regarded by her supporters as one of the fresh and new players in the claustrophobic world known as the Boston media circles.[citation needed] Despite a frosty reception by some of the old guard, she soon became a familiar face on the Boston charity circuit and critical recognition of her magazine soon followed.

She is an upstart in the traditionally masculine world of publishing that has yet to prove herself. However, Josefina’s business savvy quickly became apparent to her detractors and supporters alike as Color Magazine surged ahead in the poor economic climate of 2008, which saw much unrest in the publishing industry.

Prior to launching Color Media Group and Color Magazine, Josefina was Editor-in-Chief of EntreAmigos Magazine, which translates as between friends.[1] EntreAmigos Magazine was part of the Hispanic News Press (HNP) that includes El Planeta. She was recruited to HNP by Javier Marin, one of the founders of El Planeta, who in 2008 sold his share of the company. Javier Marin is now the CEO/Owner of Massachusetts Spanish TV Network.

This publication focused on the social, community, and philanthropic events where the Boston Hispanic community was present and quickly established itself as a niche publication with a loyal following. “When I see pictures in a magazine, first I scan for myself and then for the people I know and then I smile. I smile for a number of reasons. First, I think how cool are they for being there and how cool am I for knowing them? I generally don't admit this but it is true!" Josefina was quoted as saying about EntreAmigos Magazine.

Brought on board to Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2005 as the Public Relations Director, Josefina was in charge of managing the external communications with media outlets and being on call as the go-to-person for new president, Dr. Zorica Pantic. Dr. Zorica Pantic, a native of Serbia (former Yugoslavia), is the first female president of Wentworth.[2]

Josefina’s professional style is warm, forthcoming, and reflects her Latino upbringing. In one of her Publisher’s Letter, she discusses enjoying “café con leche” with her Mother and that she has “been on a quest for transformative experiences.” She also shared in September 2010 that “this [past] summer….has been one of deep connections, healings, and a new unit formed.” In addition to enjoying travel, skiing, horseback riding, and the arts, she is a voracious reader and writer in her own right. Josefina has co-authored 5 screenplays. Two of her screenplays, I Love You So Much and Ontrial were selected as finalists at the Sundance Screenwriter’s competition in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Josefina is currently a board member of The Musum of Fine Arts, Eastern Bank, The Partnership, Inc., on the corporate advisory board of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and is a member of the National Association of Asian American Professionals.[3]

Signature Events[edit]

According to Josefina Bonilla, one of the best decisions she made was to start the magazine's Signature Events. The Women of Color Leadership & Empowerment Forum, Men of Color Leadership Forum, and the All Inclusive Awards bring together industry leaders while also celebrating diversity.[4] The upcoming December 2013 6th All Inclusive Awards with feature Rita Moreno. Past speakers included, Russell Simmons, hip-hop mogul and founder of Def Jam Records, as the keynote speaker. The magazine’s first annual All Inclusive Awards featured CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien as the guest speaker. Subsequent speakers were Forest Whitaker, the Academy Award winning actor, and Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Philanthropy[edit]

According to Josefina, she started planning the Color Magazine Foundation in the fall of 2009. A portion of the proceeds from their events such as the Women of Color Leadership & Empowerment Forum, Men of Color Leadership Forum, and the All Inclusive Awards go to the Foundation, which provides aid to minority professionals pursuing post college degrees.

Personal life[edit]

Josefina was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico to a close knit family and grew up in Massachusetts. Her bi-cultural environment enabled her to retain her Spanish.

After attending Boston Latin High School, she completed her undergraduate education at the State University of New York in Utica with a Computer Science degree. Even at that time, Josefina had a business mind and frequently sold jewelry purchased during her travels to her fellow college students. She has lived in Miami and Spain.

Presently, she is a single mother to two elementary aged boys named Edwin and Xavier and resides in Brookline.[5]

References[edit]