AAA celebrates Latina leaders in San Francisco


by Victoria Sanchez De Alba

The NAHJ Bay Area Chapter thanks Rose Castillo Guilbault, former chief diversity officer for AAA Northern California, for her part in securing a $3,000 donation to the Ysabel Duron retirement celebration fund.

With this financial support, we were able to host a ceremony for a Bay Area broadcaster who changed public perception of Latina journalists. The funds that remained after expenses were paid were earmarked for a new scholarship fund created in Ysabel Duron’s name that will enable undergraduate student members to exit college with less debt.  The first recipient will be named in  the Fall of 2014.

This donation to the Bay Area chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is emblematic of Castillo Guilbault’s career, which revolves around giving multicultural communities a voice.

She is known in the Bay Area for her work at ABC-7, where she was the television station’s Director of Editorials & Public Affairs. She produced programs that recognized and lauded Latinos for their contributions to society. She is the creator of the series “Profiles of Excellence.”

The Salinas, California native has an impressive history of success and recognition for her leadership in diverse communities and civic organizations.  She was named one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in the Bay Area in 2005 and 2006.  She was also honored as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business for three consecutive years, and named Forever Influential in 20ll.

Notably, The San Francisco United Nations Association bestowed the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award upon her.  The San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame has inducted her into their ranks, while the San Francisco League of Women Voters named her a “Woman Who Could Be President.” Watch out, Hillary Clinton.

Castillo Guilbault is no stranger to the political arena. The Bush Administration appointed her to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. She is the former Chair of the Board that governs the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans), where she continues to serve.  She has also served as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum where she is a lifetime board member.  Additionally, she is on the Mineta Transportation Institute’s Board of Directors; she is a Trustee Emeritus at the University of San Francisco.  And Castillo Guilbault was formerly on the board of directors for Catholic Healthcare Hospitals and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Fluent in Spanish, Guilbault earned a BA in journalism from San Jose State University, an MA from the University of San Francisco, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.  She is now retired, although she continues to volunteer her time to bolster causes that align with her values and author literature that unveils socioeconomic disparities across cultures.  Her latest book, “The Latina’s Guide to Success in the Workplace,” is available on