Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez was one of six honorees as U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) 7th annual women’s history month celebration.
Before presenting Suarez, both the first Latina and female Hudson County prosecutor, with her award, Menendez gave the crowd at Montclair State University a brief rundown of her job responsibilities and history.
“Prosecutor Suarez oversees a budget of over $23 million, a team of about 300 prosecutor detectives and support staff. In this role, she also helps supervise more than 2,500 law enforcement officers and 17 police agencies in Hudson County’s 12 municipalities,” the Senator explained.
“Before serving as a prosecutor, she was a judge in the Superior Court of New Jersey for more than five years … Before her time on the bench, Prosecutor Suarez served as Bergen County’s counsel.”
While at the podium, Suarez attributed her success to “stronger and braver” women of the past, such as Evangelina Menendez – the Senator’s mother who he named the awards after.
“I’ve slowly and cautiously walked, for the most part, in the footsteps of other women, like Evangelina Menendez, and I’ve relied on their experiences and their hardships to guide me through the process,” stated Suarez.
“And the perils of being a Hispanic women in what has predominantly been a white male’s career path. So you see, I believe I’ve just been walking in those footsteps that were created in the sand by stronger and braver women than me. I, or dare I say we, owe these women a debt of gratitude.”
The other five honorees were NJ Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Janeen Fillari, Camden Sophisticated Sisters Founder Tawanda Jones, Bergenfield Police Chief Cathy Madalone, 2017 NJEA Teacher of the Year Argine Safari (of Pascack Valley High School) and NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Patricia Teffenhart.