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HISPANIC LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE The Hispanic Leadership Institute is a skills-based leadership training program whose goal is to develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders for the St. Louis business community. The HLI consists of nine training sessions conducted once a month each focused on a particular skill set for the developing leader.

The Institute will train this group of young Hispanic professionals on for-profit and non-profit management skills and network development within the St. Louis business community. In addition to leadership training, participants will be encouraged to give back to the St. Louis region through community involvement. The three essential competencies to be acquired in this class are leading an organization, leading oneself and leading others in the organization.

The participants of Class IV are as follows:

Carlos Ayulo

Carlos Ayulo is assistant managing editor for presentation at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is responsible for the newspaper's visuals and editing quality across all platforms. He manages the print design and copy desk staffs. He’s been at the Post-Dispatch for almost ten years where he started as the sports design director. During that time he and his staff have won numerous Society for News Design awards. He has served a judge for the SND annual contest and college annual contests. Before arriving in St. Louis, Carlos worked for The Atlanta JournalConstitution. Prior to Atlanta, he got his professional break at The Albuquerque Journal. Carlos was born in Lima, Peru. He and his mom and dad moved to New York when he was eight-years-old. At 19, he left New York for the University of New Mexico located in Albuquerque. Carlos is married to wife Tiffany. They have three children and live in South City.

314. 340.8361

Alejandra Berra

Alejandra Berra is a Portfolio Associate for The Commerce Trust Company, a division of Commerce Bank. She has been with Commerce Bank for 5 years and is currently pursuing the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in order to become a Portfolio Manager. Alejandra chose to start a career in asset management after being a Trainee in Commerce Bank’s management training program which allowed her to explore different areas of the bank. She also serves as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for Commerce Bank which is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace that will attract and retain talent. Alejandra was born and raised in Honduras and came to the United States when she was awarded a full scholarship from the Walton International Scholarship Program, a program launched 25 years ago by Walmart founder, Sam Walton. This life-changing opportunity allowed her to attend University of the Ozarks in Arkansas where she graduated with a double major in Business Administration and Economics and a Minor in Political Science. She moved to St. Louis 8 years ago with her husband to start a family and a retail business which they managed for two years. Alejandra recently earned her Masters in Business Administration from Webster University. Alejandra resides in Fenton with her husband Chris and two daughters. They are both very active in their church and enjoy planning family vacations together. She also enjoys volunteering to support various community organizations such as Junior Achievement and United Way.


Helena M. Brochado

Helena Brochado has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry developing software platforms for the financial industry. She currently serves as a Lead Business Systems Analyst at Scottrade, Inc., a leading investment services company and subsidiary of Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. Through a large, nationwide branch network, Scottrade partners with more than three million clients, offering them the solutions and support they need to take control of their long-term investing and trading needs. In her lead role at Scottrade, she provides insight and guidance to team members on complex efforts. Helena is responsible for applying business and organizational knowledge and facilitative expertise to eliciting program level business requirements using a solution oriented approach to each project, while taking a wider view of the organization into account. Helena was born in Brazil, and came to the United States when she was 17 years old to achieve her educational goals. Always eager to learn, she received her bachelor’s degree in Information Management from Washington University in St. Louis and her MBA from Fontbonne University. Most recently, she completed a Business Analysis Certificate, a SharePoint Certificate, and a ScrumMasterŽ Certification. Prior to joining Scottrade in 2011, Helena worked as a system implementation and support manager developing software platforms for banks which explains her interest in technology trends. She has also developed a deep connection with family and women’s issues and has spent time volunteering with children, helping families overcome crisis, and knitting blankets for Brazilian families in need. Helena enjoys spending time with friends, and with both her Brazilian and American families. She is very grateful to have two big families: six brothers and three sisters plus a few adorable nieces and nephews. Being from Brazil, she enjoys watching soccer. She also likes traveling, listening to a variety of music, playing volleyball, practicing yoga and meditation.


Jomo Castro

Jomo leads strategic initiatives in AT&T Global Project Management. These projects improve organizational efficiency, accountability and enable teams to better serve customers. In his current role, Jomo also serves as a liaison to sales, marketing and other partner organizations that are stakeholders in Project Management’s success. Jomo’s experience includes leading a team, managing organizational data, goal setting/metrics, executive and targeted reporting, setting system requirements and implementing new processes. Jomo has been with AT&T for over 14 years, beginning his career in Chicago in Corporate Finance. In 2003, he moved to St. Louis in the Customer Care Analysis group in Global Markets. There, he became the Development Team Lead creating applications that automated reports for AT&T’s largest multinational business customers. Prior to AT&T, Jomo excelled in customer service with MCI and managed strategic marketing initiatives for Guardian Savings. He has become an effective ambassador to the community through his volunteerism with the AT&T Employee Resource Group and non-proft organization, HACEMOS. Jomo has been recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever and by AT&T with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Jomo was also selected to be a Diversity Ambassador for AT&T in 2013. Jomo is a native of University City, MO and proud alumnus of Indiana University in Bloomington where he earned a BS in Marketing, with minors in Telecommunications and Spanish. Jomo earned his Masters in Management Information Systems in 2004 from the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Jomo enjoys golf and coaching his daughters’ youth softball teams.


Adrián Coss

Adrián currently serves as GUIA (Guide for Understanding Information and Access) Program Assistant with Casa de Salud. Adrián was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona. After graduating from Nogales High School, Adrián attended Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama. He joined the Army National Guard in his home state of Arizona after a year at MMI. After three semesters at Arizona State University, Adrián’s unit was activated and he completed a fifteen month deployment rotation to Afghanistan from early 2007 to mid2008. Adrián continues to serve as an Infantryman with the Missouri National Guard. Adrián returned to Arizona State after his combat tour eventually earning a BA in English Literature, BS in Business Management, and a Certificate of International Business studies. Adrián’s first “grown up” job was as a Human Resource Manager with the headquarters section of the Joint Counter Narcotic Task Force. With JCNTF, Adrián developed systems to improve the accountability of soldiers’ duty and vacation hours as well as better allocation of Task Force resources. After a year of serving with JCNTF, Adrián applied to and was accepted by Teach For America. Adrián found a home at Casa de Salud after completing his two-year commitment with Teach For America. He now works with the GUIA program to ensure that patients who come to Casa receive adequate health care from outside providers, assist them in obtaining financial aid, and also participates in community outreach events. When not working, Adrián tries to attend as many concerts as possible throughout St. Louis and enjoys working on his creative writing craft. Eventually he would like to operate his own independent publishing company where he could allow Latino writers to put their work into the hands of readers.


Tania Interian

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, the second of four children, Tania lived her childhood and part of her adulthood in Mexico City. Tania earned her Law Degree from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Campus Tlalpan, in 1998. In December 2000, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly after moving to St. Louis, she worked as a volunteer at C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates) working as a sworn-in-officer of the court. Tania’s role was to seek the best long term solution in the child’s best interest, until obtaining placement in a safe permanent home. In May 2008, she started working as a Team Member for a State Farm Agent. In this position, she was responsible for marketing State Farm products to the Hispanic Community. During her 3 years as a Team Member, she significantly increased office production and consistently achieved her sales goals while providing personal, quality service. In May 2011, after completing a challenging selection process, she was chosen by State Farm to enter the Agency Program to become State Farm Agent. Her deep natural passion for helping people, her legal background and her volunteer experiences in the United States enhanced her interest in becoming a State Farm Agent In July 2014, Tania finally signed her lifetime contract with State Farm. Her State Farm Agency is located in Des Peres, MO, her Agency is licensed to conduct business in Missouri and Illinois and she has 3 full time Agents in her office, from which 2 of them are fully bilingual. As a State Farm Agent, Tania wants to help the Company continue to build a strong presence in the fast growing Hispanic community in Missouri and Illinois. Tania is currently engaged and lives in West County with her 2 daughters

and her dog.


Juan Carlos Mayorga

Juan Carlos Mayorga is a Foreclosure Bilingual Quality Specialist. He has worked for Citi for over 10 years, holding positions in various business lines including underwriting, short sales, front-end prospecting and modifications. For the last year he has been a Co-chair for Citi Hispanic Heritage Network-St.Louis. Citi Hispanic Heritage Network-St Louis is a group organized to embrace diversity in the workplace. The vision of the Hispanic Network is to nurture the environment of integrity, excellence, respect, teamwork and leadership consistent with Citi business and diversity initiatives. Specifically, our Network seeks to provide professional development and mentoring programs for members. Citi Hispanic Heritage Network encourages membership from all Citi employees interested in Hispanic and Latino heritage. The Hispanic Network participates and co-leads several community outreach activities. One of our main focuses each year is highlighting Hispanic and Latino heritage and cultural awareness for all employees. Currently our Network has several initiatives to help our Hispanic community. Some of these projects include bilingual books, Financial Education, translating and interpreting in partnership with “St. Charles City-County Library” “Casa de Salud”, “Safe Connection” (United Way) and TAP (Tax Assistance Program). Juan Carlos was born and raised in Los Mochis Sinaloa, Mexico; Graduated in technical accounting. He immigrated to Saint Louis Missouri in 1998, Studied in Delmar English Language School and Meramec Community College. Juan is married to a beautiful woman named Catherine from Cali, Colombia and blessed with three amazing children.


Fran Morales-Neufeld

Fran Morales-Neufeld is currently a freelance marketing communications professional specializing in cross-cultural marketing. Fran’s experience in integrated marketing and communications spans 10 years writing and project management in diverse media platforms — print, broadcast, digital and social — for businesses and mainstream media in English and Spanish-language content. Most recently she served as the Hispanic Marketing Specialist for Liguori Publications, a national Catholic publishing company based in Liguori, Missouri. At Liguori Publications, Fran developed integrated marketing and communications initiatives to help increase the company’s presence in the Latino Catholic communities nationwide. As the sole Hispanic Marketing Specialist for all Spanish-language business from coast to coast, part of Fran’s job was to develop a community of customers with lasting relationships and shared vision to support sales growth. Using print, digital and social media, she blurred the lines between internal and B2B communications to engage customers in products and topical discussions through webinars, focus groups, content marketing and e-newsletters. Prior to marrying into St. Louis, Fran served as the Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for Telemundo Hartford/Springfield in Hartford, Connecticut. There, she led all digital and broadcast media communications and created local partnerships to enhance brand awareness. Fran was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and is the oldest of three. She earned her Masters in Communications Management from Webster University and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Connecticut. She currently sits on the board of the Puerto Rican Society. A city girl, Fran currently lives in the Shaw Neighborhood with her husband Matt Neufeld.


Sandra M. Gonzalez Ortiz

Sandra M Gonzalez Ortiz is a twenty two year old college student who is currently working a full-time job, a part time job and is about to take another challenge in her career with a leadership class. Sandra is currently attending Lindenwood University, expecting to graduate in December of 2015 with a bachelor degree in science of Human Resources. Sandra is a native from Colombia and moved to America eight years ago with the dream of becoming a successful Hispanic woman. She currently works at The Home Depot where she has been the front end supervisor for three years; she also works at Chick-fil-A as the hiring manager. Sandra graduated from high school in 2010 and enrolled in the community college for a year following her enrollment at Lindenwood to finish her bachelor degree. On her free time Sandra enjoys reading different books and learning new processes at her job. Sandra has different skills that have helped her through different jobs in her career including communication skills, leadership skills, coaching skills, and development skills. Sandra’s goals are to obtain her master’s degree after her bachelors and develop further education. Her ultimate goal is to become the District Human Resources Manager for Home Depot and be able to help different people all throughout different stores. Sandra currently resides in Wright City, Missouri.


Jorge Restrepo

Jorge Restrepo is Director of Claims Operations Shared Services at Centene Corporation, a managed care organization serving 3.5M Medicaid and Medicare patients in 20 states. With over 15 years of experience in banking, manufacturing and healthcare, he has spent the last 10 years in the healthcare space. His diverse and successful career at a large pharmacy benefit management company in St. Louis exposed him to the various critical areas of a rapidly growing organization. During those 10 years he held several leadership roles such as Director of IT, WellPoint Business Alignment Team where he oversaw the project execution of the company’s largest client; prior to that he held the role as Director, Pharma and Biotech and as Director of Operations, Government Programs (Medicare and Medicaid). Jorge holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Engineering School of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia and an MBA from St. Louis University. In his new role at Centene, Jorge and his teams are responsible for overseeing the financial planning and forecasting of the claims organization, lead training and development of new claims analysts, developing new reports and tracking productivity to ensure claims are processed in the most timely and efficient manner, identifying opportunities for claims automation as well as implementation of new business expansions. Jorge is also actively involved in Centene’s new venture, opening a new claims center in Ferguson, MO. A native from Colombia, he and his wife, Clara, moved to St. Louis in July of 2001 to pursue their masters’ degrees in Business Administration. Following the two-year full-time degree, they now claim St. Louis as their home town. Other than work, Jorge and his wife spend their time juggling school and afterschool sports activities with their children, Simon (8) and Andrea (5). Jorge also enjoys cooking, baking and photography.


Mario Santander

Mario Santander currently serves as Sales Agent for Industrial and Export customers on a national and international basis. This is a recently new position for him at Graybar Electric Company, Inc., a Fortune 500 company specializing in supply chain management services; and a leading North American, employee owned distributor of electrical, communications, data networking and security products. He started with Graybar in 2011 under their management trainee program. His first role as a business analyst included rolling out Graybar’s newly formed export team; the job included: Formalizing the newly formed team and name (he requested and received approval to name it, Graybar’s Global Support Team), brand and logo, internal and external marketing strategy; managing the daily operations of their Global Support Team; training Graybar’s five export of excellence centers and any of the 7500 plus employees that selected to engage in export business. During that time his title changed from business analyst to Global Support Specialist. In 2013 he took on additional responsibilities as a Strategic Proposal Analyst; and in September of this year he selected to take on the sales agent role. Mario’s goal is to grow Graybar’s export business significantly by developing new business relationships, and nurturing those new revenue streams into multi-million dollar accounts with his customers to the point of starting and managing a new set of sales team here in Saint Louis, Graybar’s headquarters. His educational background consists of a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, minor in Studio Art completed in 2009, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2011, both from Webster University. Upon earning his MBA he was recognized with the Graduate Student Leadership Award 2011. He currently serves on Webster University’s Alumni Board of Directors, President of the Mexican Cultural Society, member of Young Professionals Network of the Regional Business Council, member of Young Supply Chain Professionals group, and member of Saint Louis (MO) - San Luis Potosi (Mexico) Friendship Committee. Mario is the eldest of four, son of Mexican immigrants and the first in his family to earn a college education.


Marcherie Vazquez

Marcherie Vazquez is a marketing director at Meridian Enterprises Corporation, in charge of managing the loyalty and incentive program for two (2) banks in Mexico. Marcherie oversees project teams during development, production of deliverables in the areas of product management, accounting, program administration, staffing, technology, print creative, market research, call center, and award fulfillment. She serves as the client’s single point of contact; initiating and coordinating the communication flow between the client, agencies and vendors in Mexico and the entire project team in the United States. Marcherie was born and raised in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. She moved to Chicago at the age of 17 to study at Loyola University, where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Journalism. In addition, Marcherie earned a scholarship to study French at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. Marcherie worked in the journalism industry in Chicago and in New York for more than 10 years specializing in politics and education. In New York she held the position of New York City Hall Bureau Chief for El Diario/La Prensa, the oldest daily Spanish language newspaper in the country, in charge of covering news emanating from the office of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Marcherie had the opportunity to live in Sydney, Australia as a sports writer, covering the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Subsequently, she was hired to work for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games to develop and manage programs in charge of handling the attendance of the world’s head of state, International Sports Federation members, donors and sponsors. Marcherie earned an MBA from Webster University, married Pompeyo Ríos, and has a son named Daniel. She enjoys running long distance, reading and traveling. Marcherie is actively involved with the St. Louis Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Daniela Velázquez

Daniela Velázquez is owner and principal of D.V. Communications, a strategic communications firm. Her business focuses on communications planning, implementation, training and media relations. She also works on a variety of projects for her clients, such as writing and editing content for websites and social media. She is a strategic partner at St. Louis-based AHC Consulting and also works as a freelance writer for Fast Company, a business-focused magazine and website.

Prior to starting her firm in St. Louis, Velázquez crafted marketing content and directed public relations for clients at education-focused marketing services company Apollidon Learning of Oldsmar, Fla. She also learned how to effectively communicate to customers in a highly regulated industry during her tenure as the digital content editor at WellCare, a Tampa-based, Fortune 500 company specializing in government-sponsored managed health care programs

Velázquez first honed her communication skills covering news in the often headline-making state of Florida. She worked as an online news producer for Tampa Bay Online ( and reported and wrote feature and general assignment stories for The Tampa Tribune and NBC-affiliate WFLA-TV/News Channel 8.

Before moving to Tampa, Velázquez covered public safety for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper in Tallahassee, Fla. She also reported on general assignment stories that included Florida State University football and lake-draining sinkholes. She began her career in 2005 as a reporting intern at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, Velázquez worked as an intern in the marketing and sales department of Nestle Purina PetCare, St. Louis.

A native St. Louisan with Puerto Rican roots from both mom and dad, Velázquez considers herself a full-fledged Missourican/Missouriqueña. She has a Bachelor of Journalism in News Editorial and a Bachelor of Arts in History, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Jennifer Whitlock

Jennifer is an attorney at the Hacking Law Practice, LLC, representing individuals and employers before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the Immigration Courts, and various appellate agencies. She handles immigrant visa petitions filed by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on behalf of their spouses, parents, and children. This representation includes appearing with clients at their immigration interviews conducted at the local USCIS field office in St. Louis. Additionally, Jennifer works to be an advocate for individuals fearing return to their home country and who wish to seek protection in the U.S. Jennifer is a graduate of Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA. She was one of four recipients of the school’s Public Interest Law Scholarship. Before law school, she worked for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau and served as an Intake Paralegal. At the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau she was on the AntiNotario Taskforce, a state wide effort to prevent the unauthorized practice of law by individuals pretending to be attorneys. During law school, Jennifer interned with the Boston Immigration Court. After law school, Jennifer worked at the Boston immigration law firm of Barker, Epstein, Loscocco & McHaffey for several years before moving to St. Louis, MO in 2013. She immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala in 1989.


HCC STL Foundation

Hispanic Leadership Institute Sponsored by Centene Corporation

ESSEnTiaL LEadErSHip CompETEnCiES arE ESSEnTiaL To aLL FirmS To CrEaTE CompETiTivE advanTagE The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro St. Louis knows that by using a competency-based approach to leadership, organizations can better identify and develop their next generation of leaders. As a business partner, the HCC STL Foundation through its Hispanic Leadership Institute promotes leadership competencies by offering a curriculum that emphasizes leadership skills and behaviors that contribute to superior performance.

ESSEnTiaL LEadErSHip CompETEnCiES The Hispanic Leadership Institute has identified some essentials competencies that are consistent among organizations and developed a curriculum in which they are represented and explored throughout the nine monthly sessions of the program. We divide these competencies in three categories:

LEading THE organizaTion | LEading onESELF LEading oTHErS in THE organizaTion » LEading THE organizaTion 1. Managing change 2. Solving problems and making decisions 3. Managing politics and influencing others 4. Taking risks and innovating 5. Setting vision and strategy 6. Manging the work 7. Enhancing business skills and knowledge 8. Understanding and navigating the organization

» LEading onESELF

» LEading oTHErS

1. Demonstrating ethics and integrity

1. Communicating effectively

2. Displaying drive and purpose

2. Developing others

3. Exhibiting leadership stature 4. Increasing your capacity to learn 5. Managing yourself 6. Increasing self-awareness 7. Developing adaptability

3. Valuing diversity and difference 4. Building and maintaining relationships 5. Managing effective teams and work groups

Program Dates: October 10, 2014 November 14, 2014

February 12, 2015 March 13, 2015

December 12, 2014 January 9, 2015

April 10, 2015 May 15, 2015

June 12, 2015 * Graduation

Program Sponsors: Title Sponsor

Session Sponsors

Hispanic Leadership Institute Class IV  

The Hispanic Leadership Institute sponsored by Centene is a skills-based leadership training program targeted at Hispanic professionals. The...

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