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May / June 2021 Vol. 22 No. 3
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Publisher Jorge Ferraez
President and CEO Raul Ferraez
Administrative Director Lawrence Teodoro Editor Ximena Vivanco firstname.lastname@example.org Business Development Manager Cristina Gonzalez email@example.com Art Director Fernando Izquierdo Editorial Art & Design Carlos Cuevas Luis Enrique González Moisés Cervantes Human Resources Manager Susana Sanchez Administration and Bookkeeping Claudia García Bejarano
NO YEAR has been so relevant for women than this one we’re living. From all the movements we’ve seen to the many policies and strategies we have witnessed, this is one of the most important and strong years for inclusion of woman. Of course, there’s a lot more to do; we might not even be half way to where we need to be in such areas like Corporate Boards, C-Suite Executives, Business Owners, Social Organizations, Government and Public representation, Law practice and many, many more. But on the other hand it has been a good one in terms of new names across the board. That’s encouraging for us as we proudly present our list of the 100 Latinas. Why just a hundred, is just a matter of setting a number, there’s far more than a hundred we could have included, but we also wanted to concentrate in a number that could give us certain sense of familiarity and connectivity, before going massive. So our list, which is included in this edition is just a snapshot of a few Latinas that are leading and their influence is felt in their own environments. These are women who’s work has taken them to a position in which their voices are heard and their visions are key for the future of those areas and industries, and above all, they are a strong inspiration for many young Latinas aspiring to become leaders. Our salutation to all of them. Also, in this edition we’re including our Top Latinos in Energy. A fantastic collection of leaders in an industry that “moves” the planet, the economies and has a big impact in our everyday lives. All these outstanding leaders have an expertise and such an experienced career, that makes them very important to the organizations they work with. Energy is a sector in which we are seeing the footprint of Latinos starting to lead.
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Latino Leaders: The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino (ISSN 1529-3998) is published seven times annually by Ferraez Publications of America Corp., 11300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 300, Dallas, TX, 75243, January/February 2021. Subscription rates: In U.S. and possessions, one year $15.00. Checks payable to Ferraez Publications of America, 15443 Knoll Trail, Suite 210, 75248 Dallas, TX, USA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Latino Leaders, 15443 Knoll Trail, Suite 210, 75248 Dallas, TX, USA.© 2001 by Ferraez Publications of America Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the consent of Latino Leaders: The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino. The periodical’s name and logo, and the various titles and headings therein, are trademarks of Ferraez Publications of America Corp.
We hope you enjoy this edition. Jorge & Raul Ferraez Member of The National Association of Hispanic Publications
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Latino Leaders The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino 11300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 300, Dallas, TX, 75243 Phone: 214-206-9587 / Fax: (214) 206-4970
to a new edition. It’s Summer, the mood is bright and an edition like this is just what we needed. We’re excited to publish our new “100 Latinas” list which recognizes women who not only inspire us but who carry their own authentic stories and inspirations through their leadership and work. I’m grateful for Elizabeth Nieto from Spotify and her beautiful foreword to our annual list. Make sure to read it and don’t miss her exclusive feature. It was also an honor meeting virtually with Julieta Schuster, Miriam Rivera and Sindy Benavides. Listening to them speak is inspiring enough. Their stories have been a learning experience. Also, we are introducing three new sections to our edition. This time around, we present the “Community Honorable Leaders”, women who were nominated by our community who made sure we learned more about them. We spotlight them and their impact. We also are happy to introduce “New Gen: Movers and Shakers”, young professionals who are disrupting businesses and creating what the world needs the most. Please make sure to read more about Zuri, this amazing young lawyer who formed part of the 14-member prosecution team in the trial of Derek Chauvin. We can’t wait to continue working on this section and see it grow. Finally, we are publishing the Entrepreneurs section, where we spotlight founders and startups. Those who are playing in the field. To close it off, the edition also covers a list of Latinos in Energy, Oil and Gas. These leaders continue to work around the challenge of sustainability and our future. It looks like a full agenda but we’re happy to add more to your summer reading. I truly hope you enjoy!
Wishing everyone all the best, Ximena Vivanco Editor 4 LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
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•12 “100 Latinas” -Foreword by Elizabeth Nieto from Spotify -Annual List of Most Influential Latinas •15. Meet Eduardo Campirano, Director of the Port of Brownsville •18. A special Q&A s •36 Meet Cisco’s Latina Executives •38. Julieta Schuster: Transforming Tech and Talent, All Through Intention •40 Civil Rights Leader, Sindy. Benavides •46 The New Gen: Movers & Shakers •55 Latinos in Energy, Oil & Gas •72 Spotlight: Latino Entrepreneurs
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A THIRD GENERATION BUSINESS WITH DIVERSITY IN MIND THIRD GENERATION Cuban-American, Mark Govin together with his younger bother run their family business. Markmaster Inc. has been in existence for almost 90 years. Markmaster is an award winning manufacturer and supplier. As a Hispanic owned and managed company, diversity and inclusion are built into their core values. “There aren’t many of us in the business,” stated Mark. In an area such as Tampa, Florida you would’ve imagined to be more minority owned business like theirs, but in reality it’s the opposite. Markmaster clients include both large corporations together with small local business. From graphic products such as banners and signs to smaller products such as name badges and any other personalized business essentials. The business is built with around 74 employees including a national sales team. Just like many other businesses during this past year, the count of team members definitely dropped. “It wasn’t what we really wanted but not even the PPP covered everything that we needed,” explains Mark. Today, the business continues to run its physical location together with their online presence, which it’s one of their future goals: to increase more online sales. “It’s
coming back. I see us moving forward,” expressed Mark regarding his vision after this past year. Markmaster and. Comerica carry a long and successful relationship as both vendor and customer. “We have a great relationship going both directions and we are very pleased with that,” said Mark. Markmaster takes part of Comerica’s diversity program and has gotten them at a very positive position. They have been coached, mentored and much more. “Through the program, Comerica always has their input and has helped us grow successfully.” As for the future, Markmaster’s business plan is to continue to increase their corporation clients while growing their online capabilities and developing new products.
01 Armand Govin, 1938 02 Mark Govin
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DE LA VEGA ON LEADERSHIP
ACCELERATING LATINA LEADERSHIP IN CORPORATE BOARD ROOMS Ralph de la Vega BY 2050, 24% of the population is projected to be Latino (US Census). That is approximately a quarter of the Nation. Even so, the participation of Hispanics in decision-making positions continues to be dismally low, and even more so if we focus on female talent. According to the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte, participation of Latinas on corporate board of directors hovers at only 1%. Much work remains to be done to include the leadership of Hispanic women at the board level. I am convinced that there is enough female talent. We need to continue to provide visibility to qualified Latino and Latina leaders to stand out prominently. The leadership of Jorge Ferraez in spotlighting our business leaders on the pages of this very magazine for years has brought forth incredible stories of women who are and will be great corporate directors by contributing with their point of view, gender and ethnic diversity to the decision-making. But how do we accelerate the increase in participation? It is not the idea to wait 10 more years to grow by 1%.
THE MOST RECENT LCDA 2021 RESEARCH REPORTED 34 APPOINTMENTS OF LATINAS TO ALL PUBLIC COMPANY BOARDS IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR PROGRESS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT NOT YET A TREND. It’s incumbent upon all of us to support female talent and advancement in the business world, and across sectors of society. So what can we do right now? First, engage with entities like the Latino Corporate Directors Association providing a prominent platform for qualified talent. You can join even when you are not currently a corporate director and access training to be an effective member of the board.
Second, join a local community or national non-profit board to serve, prepare and network with the main leaders in the local communities in which they live and also to get noticed. Finally, Board Prospects offers alternatives both for those who wish to be directors as well as for companies that wish to recruit. Stakeholders come together to establish networking, trends, corporate governance best practices, and then have opportunities to be hired on highly paid boards of directors. The vision of Hispanic women has personally inspired me in the development of my career and in my life - from my mother, to my grandmother, my wife and my sister, all strong women who have had a great influence on me. Hispanic women should be present at the board tables today. A diverse nation requires diverse leadership.
Ralph de la Vega is the former vice-chairman of AT&T Inc. He is the author of the best-selling book “Obstacles Welcome: Turn Adversity to Advantage in Business and Life.” He is also a LinkedIn Influencer, posting regularly on leadership and innovation. MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 7
LATINO ART LEADERSHIP WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN FROM IT.
William Hanhausen Carlos Cuevas
MORE THAN AN IDEOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTION For over a century, Latino art has been conforming its own existence as one of the main currents of the creative canons of the United States
his genre presents itself more established every day thanks to the contribution of all Latino artists. Regardless of trends or preferences, and with a fantastic integration of all personal orientations and gender as part of one same culture, this genre offers a special site for the Latino women. Latinas complement the blend of four quintessential factors. The pre-Columbian culture where feminism as mother nature was highly recognized, the Americas native cultures where motherhood was considered the essence of lifetime, the Hispanic invasion in the continent and lastly the coexistence with the North American culture. It is a great deal, at one point, to discuss the involvement of one gender in this genre for whom today’s fashioned equality should disregard or not considered. The female contribution to this art genre is loaded with a frank pragmatic ex-
pressionism. These are works plagued by a rebellion against public harassment and dissension that has proclaimed women constantly with a feeling of inferior and unreliable beings. Today the image of these artists is conceived with power, standing on its own, with highly developed skills and great originality. These Latinas proclaim the American Latino dual-origin contribution to increasing respect and add value to the community and Latino art as a genre. Boasting and elevating all elements of a culture splendor and traditions that no one can ignore. Latino women are one of the main pillars of this iconic genre, with an extraordinary capacity to reinventing themselves constantly by celebrating a strong legacy and continuous transformation of the sumptuousness and renewal of it with generations of creative talent and bold vision. Women like Delilah Montoya, Xime Izquierdo Ugaz, Candida Alvarez, Maria Gaspar and Judy Baca, are outstanding contributors, among others, to the grandeur of this genre that values and underwrites all characters that have made their mission to be inclusive of all ideologies, colors and hues as a supplement to the community and the support of the Latino Art’s pallet.
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LEADERS HUB WITH JOE
ver had a moment, perhaps while playing sports, reading, or working through a complex problem, where you are so focused on a task that the world around you seems to disappear? It feels like you are on autopilot and work comes naturally with no effort. Athletes call it "being in the zone." Positive Psychologists today have given it an official name: Flow. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD., author of “Finding Flow”, there are key factors that accompany the experience of flow. While many of these components may be present, it is not necessary to experience all of them for flow to occur: 1.There are clear goals that, while challenging, are still attainable. 2.There is a complete focus on the activity itself. 3.People experience feelings of personal control over the situation and the outcome. 4.People have feelings of calmness and a loss of self-consciousness. 5.There is immediate feedback. 6.People know that the task is doable and there is a balance between skill level and the challenge presented. 7.People experience “Loss of Ego” or lack of awareness of their physical needs. 8.There is strong concentration and focused attention. 9.The present is what matters. People experience timelessness, or a distorted sense of time, that involves feeling so focused on the present that you lose track of time passing.
ABOUT JOE Joe Bacigalupo, MBA, MPEC, ACPEC is a Managing Partner and an Executive Advisor at AlliancesHub International, LLC. AlliancesHub offers Change Management and Strategy Consulting, Talent Optimization and Analytics, Leadership Development, and Executive/ Leadership Coaching services.
www.allianceshub.com email@example.com 469-287-2086
Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Model Theory as depicted in the diagram, explains that when people perceive themselves to be above their own personal average level of challenges and skills, they experience flow. The opposite is the state of apathy, where both challenges and skills are low. Other combination of challenges and skills produces feeling of worry, anxiety, and arousal (when challenges outweigh skills), or control, relaxation, and boredom (when skills outweigh challenges). In the business world, is it possible to build flow in organizations? Csikszentmihalyi, in his book “Good Business”, describes that it is impossible to create an environment that will foster flow without commitment from top management. Flow in the workplace means employees are fully engaged when their skill sets are balanced against the challenge at hand. For example, a sales manager might task sales representatives to expand into new territories with a new product line or to develop creative new ways to pitch a product. When this balance is achieved, the employees feel a heightened sense of personal satisfaction in their work. Unfortunately, it is difficult for workers to focus on achieving company goals if those goals are not understood properly or connected to the mission, vision, and purpose of the organization. Between 50-80% of the U.S. working population is not actively engaged at work, costing the nation $483 billion to $605 billion per year (Gallup Research Data) in lost productivity (that includes the price of absenteeism, workplace accidents, and increased health care costs). Four forces of disengagement are the culprit here: mismatch between employee and role, mismatch between employee and their direct manager, mismatch between employee and company culture, and mismatch between employee and their teammates. These four forces result in employees who do the bare minimum to keep their job. Are you measuring what matters today in your organization to help your employees reach flow and become fully engaged? If you want to learn more about how to increase employee engagement, contact AlliancesHub to request a complimentary C-Suite 1:1 Talent Strategy Session. MAY / JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 9
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In Collaboration with:
LATINAS LEAST REPRESENTED BY ANY MEASURE ON FORTUNE 500 BOARDS: LCDA IS WORKING TO CHANGE THAT
THE CALL FOR diversification of US public company boards has largely left out Latinas with a mere 59 seats on the Fortune 500 (F500). Latinas remain woefully underrepresented holding the least seats of any underrepresented group, and last year, received the least amount of new female board appointments and board appointments, overall. According to Deloitte's 2021 Missing Pieces Report, in 2020, White women held 1226 seats, Black women held 183 seats, and Asian women held 89 seats. Latinas account for nine percent of the US population, yet are highly underrepresented in US boardroom leaving them dangerously disconnected from the multicultural marketplace. As corporations increase focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), there is still a long way to go in achieving board diversity that includes Latinas. Based on an analysis of the raw data from ISS Corporate Solutions on the skills and experience of board members holding Fortune 500 board seats, women and minority board members currently are more likely than White men to bring experience with corporate sustainability and socially responsible
investing, government, sales and marketing, and technology in the workplace to their boards. With the understanding that there is more work to be done, it is encouraging to see some of the largest US companies value the Latina perspective. As highlighted by the 2021 F500 appointments of Latina leaders by Apple: Monica Lozano; Expedia Group: Patricia Maria Menendez-Cambo; Biogen: Maria Freire; Keurig Dr Pepper: Debra Sandler; L Brands: Francis Hondal; Tyson Foods: Maria Claudia Borras; and WEC Energy Group: Cristina Garcia-Thomas. As the trend toward diversity continues to expand and include Latinos, The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) is part of the solution. Bringing together some of the most respected and accomplished leaders in business, working to spotlight Latino leaders, and serving as a talent resource to board influencers including nominating and governance committees, search firms, private equity, and venture capital. To learn more about LCDA, visit: latinocorporatedirectors.org
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100 LATINAS INTRODUCTION
by Elsa Castañeda
LATINAS WHO PAVED THE WAY LATINAS have paved the way for the barrier breaking Latinas of today for centuries. From the arts to activism to science, Latina women have been able to break the mold. It's because of the women who came before us that we are able to dream bigger, push the limits of what we can do, and never take no for an answer. Though obstacles are still a part of the barrier breaking journey, these Latinas have made it easier for Latinas to believe in themselves. It is because of them, we are able to say, “Hey if she did it, so can I” A look back into history shows us, these women needed to break the ceiling for women today to fight fearlessly. The famous empowering words "Sí, se puede" come from civil-rights activist Dolores Huerta. She is a great example of inspiration. She is a labor leader who is better known for helping César Chávez as the cofounder of the National Farmworkers Association, now called United Farm Workers.Huerta has fought for economic improvements for Latinx, helped improve the lives and wages of farm workers, and supported laws that included the 1960 bill to permit Spanish-speaking people to take the California driver's test in Spanish, the 1963 legislation to extend the federal program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to California farmworkers, the 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, and more. Another great inspiration is Sylvia Rivera who was the first Latina activist to promote gay liberation and trans rights. Along with one of her close friends, Marsha P. Johnson, they created the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, a group dedicated to helping young homeless gay and trans people and drag queens. Rivera, who identified as a drag queen, was of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent and grew up in New York City. Another was Pura Belpré who was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. Besides taking the name for that first, she was also a writer and a puppeteer. Belpré was attending her sister's wedding in New York when she was recruited by a public library in hopes to have more young women with diverse racial backgrounds. Thanks to that one opportunity, Belpré went all over New York neighborhoods and read to children both in English and Spanish. This had never been done before.Her influence transcended so much that the Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996 as a homage to her. It is a children's book award presented annually to the Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays and celebrates the Latinx cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Another great Latina is Isabel Allende. Born Chilean and now a resident of California, Allende is one of the most popular Latinx authors of both fiction and nonfiction. She is a proclaimed feminist who has made it a mission to spread the message of feminism to women all over Latin America and the world. Allende moved to the United States where she became a resident and continues to write in her attic. Besides Allende, we also have Sylvia Mendez, of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. She was 8 years old when she was denied enrollment to a school based on her race. Back then, Hispanics were not allowed to attend schools that were designated for "whites" only and were sent to so-called "Mexican schools."Mendez's parents, along with four other Mexican parents, fought for equality for their children and organized different sectors of the Hispanic community to file a lawsuit in the local federal court. The lawsuit would eventually bring the era of segregated education to an end, but when Mendez was finally admitted into the school her parents wanted her to attend, she was faced with bullying. She rose above it and became a nurse. Latina women continue to break stereotypes today. Though it has become easier, it is still hard to overcome the obstacles set in male dominated environments. Thankfully, we have these women of the past to not only be icons but forces of inspiration when things get tough. Inspiring women breed other inspiring women. We can only predict there will be more glass ceiling breakthroughs in the years to come.
01 Dolores Huerta, Courtesy of The Dolores Huerta Foundation 02 Sylvia Rivera, Courtesy of The New York Times 03 Pura Belpré Award, Courtesy of American Libraries Magazine 04 Sylvia Menendez, Courtesy of sylviamenendezschool. org 04
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100 LATINAS FOREWORD
FOREWORD by Elizabeth Nieto
Elizabeth leads Global Head of Equity & Impact at Spotify. She was born and raised in Argentina. Elizabeth is committed to her work in non-profit organizations that support access to developmental opportunities for young underserved talent and teenagers at risk.
WHEN I was asked to write the foreword for the 2021 Most 100 Influential Latinas, I was honored and nervous. I checked the previous editions to remind me who has contributed to this before me. The authors of the last two years were, Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girls Scouts of the USA and one of my favorite role models, and my friend and idola Nina Vaca, CEO of the Pinnacle Group. A burst of imposter syndrome shook my whole body, wondering why I said yes to this request. It was late into the evening, when the rest of my family submerges in their own personal screen time before bed, a bad habit that has deepened in our pandemic time, and I started to write the words below on my phone. Taking risks has been the driving force of my career, so why stop now? I am not Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Gabriela Mistral, Juana de Ibarbourou, Adela Zamudio, Rosario Castellanos, or Julia de Burgos, whose poems and writings illuminated my education in Buenos Aires. I am not Julia Alvarez, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Gloria Anzaldua, Cherrie Moraga, Claribel Alegria, Ana Castillo, Elizabeth Acevedo, Ariana Brown, Yesenia Montilla and many others with strong voices for justice and equity that threaded musical verses and stanzas to shape my love for the written word.
One Hundred Latinas Leaders When I see the faces of our Latinas Leaders They represent our abuelas and our hijas, our tías and our madres Their dreams and our accomplishments Their sacrifices and our success Our achievements and their hope. Latinas are immigrants, documented and undocumented Latinas are the daughters of Spanish colonizers that arrived in Florida in 1513 Afro Latinas, Indigenous Latinas, Latinas from European ancestry, Chinese Peruvian Latinas, All of us showing off every color of the palette in our skin, our hair and our voices. When I see the faces of our Latinas Leaders They represent the long and dedicated path for that academic recognition Their commitment to amplifying the voices of our community through public service Their perseverant legacy as they advocate for others The pursuit for excellence. We birth, we seed, we plow We laugh, we cry, we wonder why We give all we have and sometimes more We listen to “the old country” stories and we imagine the new world novelas We sing tangos, bachatas and now reggaeton We dance salsa, cumbia and carnavalitos. When I see the faces of our Latinas Leaders I discover what it takes to be confident The hard work needed to find that seat at the table And when there are no chairs for us We build new tables and bring our sisters along. Latinas are leaders and philanthropists Latinas are mentors and family chefs Latinas are creators and entertainers Latinas are builders and entrepreneurs Latinas are dreamers When I see the faces of our Latina Leaders, I smile, knowing I am in good company. To the 100 Latinas Leaders recognized this year, I am humble to be part of this cohort with you I appreciate those who have come before me, they have shown me the duty I have as a professional immigrant in the U.S. to be a positive role model. You are the bastions of health care, finance, technology, science, sports, politics, journalism and much more. You drive revenue, you architect and build culture, you create impact. ¡Felicitaciones!
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BEATRIZ ACEVEDO CEO & Co-Founder SUMA Wealth
Beatriz has dedicated her career to empower and open doors for the next generation of Latinx leaders. Beatriz started her career in media at a young age, first on radio and later in television. Her work earned her three Emmys, one MTV music award, and a media correspondent award, among many others. She later became a tech media entrepreneur as the Co-founder and President of mitú, the leading digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S. she sits on numerous boards and is an advisor on Mayor Eric Garcetti’s tech council as well as on Annenberg’s foundation tech initiative, PledgeLA. Beatriz recently co-founded LA Collab, a Hollywood initiative to double Latino representation in Hollywood in front and behind the camera by 2030. SUMA Welath was founded with the vision of closing the Latinx wealth gap by providing financial education via digital content, fintech tools, and experiences that are both highly engaging and in culture.
President & CEO Latino Corporate Directors Association
Esther Aguilar is a social entrepreneur and turnaround specialist, leading scale-up, innovative change, and high-performance teams. She led the growth of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for 11 years as its President & CEO. Previous positions also included serving as a principal at the Dewey Square Group, senior advisor to the Secretary of the US Department of Energy, executive and legislative director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and a policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza (now UnidosUS). She has worked in leadership positions with the nations most accomplished leaders from Corporate America, the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch, and the not-for-profit sector. Esther writes on the subjects of board diversity and organizational effectiveness, and is a guest columnist in numerous publications.
President & CEO / Founder & CEO CARCON Industries and Construction / Southwestern Testing Laboratories (STL) Engineers
Arcilia Acosta is an entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, philanthropist and mother. She is the president and CEO of CARCON Industries and Construction, a full- services construction firm. She is also the Founder and CEO of Southwestern Testing Laboratories (STL Engineers), a geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm. In May 2017, Arcilia was elected to the board of Magnolia Oil and Gas Corporation and in July 2018, she joined the board of ONE Gas Incorporated (NYSE:OGS). In 2014, Arcilia was inducted into the National Women’s Business Hall of Fame. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Harvard University Business School- Corporate Governance Program. In March 2016, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Ms. Acosta to the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board.
President and CEO / Managing Director and Co-Head of Real Estate Banking Enterprise Community Partners / JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Priscilla Almodovar is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Across its 40-year history, this company with 1,200 employees, has invested $61 billion in communities nationwide to address rental housing solutions, racial equity initiatives and access to capital products. Almodovar is a former Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase, where she led national real estate businesses for their commercial bank which focused in commercial real estate and community development. Previously, she was the President and Chief Executive Officer of New York state's housing finance and mortgage agencies. Prior to that, Almodovar was a corporate partner at a global law firm. She serves on the boards of VEREIT (NYSE: VER), a diversified real estate operating company, and Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, LLC, a private commercial and multifamily mortgage banking company. She has also served as the co-chair of the New York State Health Innovation Council, an advisory body of the New York State Department of Health. Ms. Almodovar received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Hofstra University.
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Stories, we all carry one. Not only are we inspired by them but we inspire through them. We present this year’s “100 Latinas”. These women continue to influence through their leadership and inspire those around them.
SVP of External Affairs , Chief Sustainable Officer Corteva
Anne is a widely respected global food and agriculture leader and has forged a highly successful and diverse career in the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors. Anne served as President and CEO of the American Egg Board (AEB), the marketing arm of the U.S. egg industry. Before joining the AEB, Anne served as the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Agency (AMS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Anne has also served as Vice President, Global Public Policy, Corporate Affairs at Kraft Foods. While at Kraft Foods, Anne was selected as the first woman to Chair the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). Prior to Kraft Foods, Anne was the Senior Vice President at the National Foreign Trade Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary at the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Environmental Attaché to the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City coinciding with the NAFTA negotiations and Senior Regional Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V, Chicago, IL. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Chicago Network, an elite organization of Chicago’s leading professional women as well as a Fellow, National Association of Corporate Directors. She recently served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Council on Agriculture, Small Business and Labor.
Comedian, Actress, Writer & Producer
Cristela Alonzo is a stand-up comedian that made TV history in 2014 by becoming the first Latina to create, write and star in a network TV sitcom named “Cristela”. Cristela was also the first Latina to star in a Disney Pixar movie when she starred as Cruz Ramirez in “Cars 3.” Cristela also served as one of ABC’s “The View’s” most popular guest hosts and has a one-hour stand-up special (“Lower Classy”) currently streaming on Netflix. Aside from comedy, Cristela focuses on advocacy work, fighting for issues that range from immigration, universal healthcare and lower income communities with numerous organizations including Special Olympics Texas, People for the United Way, Planned Parenthood, LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero) and serves as advisory board member for Define American. Cristela is based in LA and will have her first book to be released in 2019 by Atria Books under Simon & Schuster.
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CEO & Co-Founder New American Funding
Patty is an award-winning entrepreneur and the co-founder/President of New American Funding. A first-generation Latina, she leverages more than 36 years of experience in the mortgage industry to lead the company’s sales and operations efforts. In addition, Patty created the company’s Latino Focus and New American Dream initiatives to improve the home lending experiences for Latino and African-American homebuyers. Patty is also a popular keynote speaker for mortgage events across the nation. She is on numerous committees, including for the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), and the Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC). She frequently visits Washington, D.C. to lobby for the industry and homeowners. Ernst & Young recognized Patty as 2016 EY Entrepreneur of The Year® Orange County.
Vice President of Film Production Marvel Studios
Victoria worked her way up through the industry, beginning as a PA and then working four years at the VFX powerhouse Digital Domain. She served as VFX producer on a number of films, including Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Tim Burton’s Big Fish, Andrew Adamson’s Shrek and Marvel’s Iron Man. She won the Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for outstanding supporting visual effects/motion picture for Kingdom of Heaven. Eventually, she joined Marvel as the company’s executive vice president of visual effects and post production, doubling as co-producer on Iron Man, a role she reprised on Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. In 2011, she advanced to executive producer on the blockbuster hit The Avengers In her current role she serves as EVP, Production, for Marvel Studios as well as serving as producer on a number of important films. She was listed as one of Hollywood Reporter’s 2017/2018 Women in Entertainment Power 100 and was the 2015 honoree for the Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement from the New York Women in Film & Television. She was also the first woman to be presented with the Harold Lloyd Award from the Advanced Imaging Society. In 2017, she was the first woman to be honored with the Visionary Award at the 15th Annual VES Awards for her advancement of unforgettable storytelling through visual effects. She is currently at work on “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.
President & CEO Alvarado Construction, Inc.
Linda Alvarado has 35 years experience in large multi-million dollar commercial development, government and institutional general contracting, construction management, design/build, and program management contracts. In keeping with breaking non-traditional roles, Linda Alvarado made history as the first Hispanic (male or female) owner of a major league baseball franchise. As a co-owner of The Colorado Rockies her role is also significant as it marked the first time that any woman was involved in a bid for ownership of a Major League team. In 2003 Alvarado was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and had previously been honored as the recipient of the Horatio Alger Award. Alvarado was honored in New York along with U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno and poet laureate, Maya Angelou, as a recipient of the prestigious Sara Lee Corporation Frontrunner Award for exemplary achievement and leadership. Her success in business and active community involvement led to her recognition as a trailblazer in her field.
VANESSA M. BENAVIDES
SVP Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals
Vanessa is responsible for planning, oversight, and coordination of activities to drive effective compliance with regulatory requirements and policies across Kaiser Permanente markets. In collaboration with leadership across the organization, she leads the development of strategies to embed ethics and compliance into the core design and operations of the organization and foster a work environment where employees and physicians do the right thing to protect our members, patients, and the communities we serve. Benavides has dual reporting directly to Kaiser Permanente’s chair and chief executive officer and the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Boards of Directors. She is a member of the National Executive Team. Benavides joined Kaiser Permanente in 2015. Prior to that, she was chief compliance officer for Tenet Healthcare. Before joining Tenet, she served as legal counsel for Caremark Rx. Benavides is also a member of the board of directors of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Benavides also served on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign. Benavides holds a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she served as articles editor for the Iowa Law Review. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University.
Sindy Marisol Benavides is a Honduran-American immigrant who has experienced the American dream, and now devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants have the same opportunity. She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer and National Director for Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization for LULAC, Vice President of Field & Political Operations for Voto Latino and as Northern Virginia Political Director for the 2012 Kaine for Virginia senatorial campaign. She has also been National Director of Community Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, and Latino Liaison and Director of Gubernatorial Appointments for Governor Timothy M. Kaine.She received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, where she graduated Valedictorian of her class and studied Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She has also attended American University for her Master’s degree in International Affairs.
Cofounder & Managing Partner MiLA Capital
Noramay Cadena is an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, and former nonprofit leader. She’s the Cofounder and Managing Director of Make in LA, an early stage hardware accelerator and venture fund in Los Angeles. Since launching in 2015, Make in LA’s venture fund has invested over $1.5MM in seed stage companies who have have collectively raised over $25MM and created jobs across the United States and in several other countries. Prior to cofounding Make in LA, Cadena spent over 10 years in aerospace with The Boeing Company. Her roles included technical oversight, shop floor operations management, and program management with profit and loss accountability over budgets of $20MM+ and the delivery of complex technical systems. She cofounded the Latinas in STEM Foundation in 2013 to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields and led the organization through 2015. She also serves on the Housing Authority Commission of Los Angeles and is a founding board member for a newly approved K-8 charter school in Los Angeles. Cadena holds an MBA, a Master’s in Engineering Systems and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering – all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Board Director Ford Motor Company & Mutual of America
As the first Latina woman to serve on any of the top five “Fortune 100” corporate boards, Casiano brings deep board knowledge and over 35 years of experience and perspective on the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America. Kim serves on the boards of directors of Ford Motor Company and Mutual of America. She formerly served on the board of directors of Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and Scotiabank of Puerto Rico. She also serves on the Board of Advisors, and the Marketing and Public Relations Committee of the Board of Directors, of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Formerly, Kim was President of one of the largest U.S. Hispanic publishers of periodicals and magazines in the country and one of the first bilingual (English-Spanish) call centers in the Western Hemisphere. Prior to her tenure in the publishing and call center industry, Kim was founder and president of a management consulting company that assisted the U.S. Department of State, Agency for International Development (A.I.D.), focusing on advising Latin America and Caribbean governments on investment and trade promotion programs, and economic development initiatives. Kim was a founder of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) and has served on their board of directors since LCDA’s inception.
Managing Director, Senior Global Inclusion & Diversity Lead Accenture
A thought leader with deep global experience, Nellie works to raise awareness and increase understanding on the importance of embracing diversity. Nellie joined Accenture in 1986. She created the first role for Diversity efforts and is embraced as a beloved and deeply committed advocate for change, for women, for minorities, for people. As Accenture’s Global Inclusion & Diversity Managing Director, Nellie holds a crucial leadership role and is a driving force behind the company’s diversity initiatives. Under Nellie’s leadership, most recent innovations are creation of a development program for high performing women globally, design of career progression initiatives for women throughout APAC, EMEA and the Americas; global positioning of the LGBT and Persons with Disability agenda; as well as the design and execution of ethnic diversity programs. She is a current Member of the LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board, which provides financial aid, scholarships, and funding for state-of-the-art facilities within the college to prepare LaGuardia students, the future leaders of tomorrow. She has served as a Member of the Board of Aspira of New York, whose purpose is to foster social advancement of the Latino community by supporting its youth in the pursuit of educational excellence through leadership development programs that emphasize commitment to the community and the Latino cultural heritage.
Journalist / News Anchor Univision Network
Ilia Calderón is an Emmy Award–winning journalist, the coanchor of Univision’s flagship evening newscast Noticiero Univision, and cohost of Univision’s primetime news magazine Aquí y Ahora. She is the first Afro-Latina to anchor a national weekday evening newscast for a major Hispanic broadcast network in the United States, having previously coanchored three other news desks for Univision and two for Telemundo.
President & CEO SDI International Corp.
Carmen started SDI in 1993 as a staffing firm for tech companies and in a short period, the company signed a small contract with IBM. As business grew, Carmen became aware about supplier diversity and minority certification, and she swiftly got SDI certified as both Hispanic- and woman-owned. Through the years, SDI expanded its business portfolio to include payrolling, independent contractor compliance programs and Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay solutions for the tail end of the supply chain, becoming one of the largest, if not the largest MWBE in the world. The company followed its global clients and today, it services them through Centers of Excellence located in strategic locations throughout the world. Aside from her role at SDI, Carmen is an advocate for women- and minority-owned business worldwide, sitting on the boards of the International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the Women's Business Development Council of Florida/HERCompany, among others.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Managing Director Catena Zapata and Founder of Catena Institute of Wine Zapata Winery
Laura Catena is a Harvard and Stanford trained biologist and physician, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina, and managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata (Est. 1902). The Catena Institute is dedicated to preserving the Malbec wine variety and to elevating Argentine wine. Under Laura’s leadership, Bodega Catena Zapata has reached new heights. The family winery earned six 100-point wine ratings, was voted most awarded winery in the world by VIVINO WINE STYLE AWARDS three years in a row and was chosen WORLD’S MOST ADMIRED WINE BRAND by Drinks International in 2020. Laura is author of Argentina’s definitive wine guide, “Vino Argentino” and her second book, “Gold in the Vineyards,” received the Best in Wine History award from Gourmand. She lives with her husband and three children between Mendoza, Argentina, and San Francisco, California, where she volunteers as a street physician with the Department of Public Health.
VP, Latin Industry Lead Billboard
One of the world’s leading experts in Latin music, Leila is known for her in-depth interviews with stars like Shakira, Maluma, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, Jennifer Lopez and Rosalía. As Billboard’s VP of Latin music, she is perhaps the first U.S.-based journalist to prominently cover Latin music on a daily basis and has been instrumental in transforming the coverage and perception of Latin music in the U.S. Under her direction, Billboard is the only mainstream publication with daily, in-depth coverage of Latin music –garnering over 2 million unique visits per month to billboard.com’s Latin vertical-- and is also the only publication that consistently features Latin stars on its covers. Leila also programs the yearly Billboard Latin Music Week, the most prestigious and largest gathering for the industry. A Fulbright scholar from Cali, Colombia, Leila is also a classical pianist, novelist and biographer. Her latest book is Decoding Despacito: An Oral History of Latin Music (Penguin Random House). Leila has degrees in journalism from Bogotá’s Universidad Javeriana and in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and a master’s in communication management from The Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President Ambulatory & Community Health Services Children's National Medical Center
Denice is the first and only woman or minority to serve in this role. She leads the tri-state clinical operations of primary care and specialty ambulatory sites including specialty care locations, emergency departments, community health centers, pediatric practices, school-based health centers, mobile medical units, as well as nursing services in DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools. Dr. Cora-Bramble is also Children's National Chief Diversity Officer. After finishing a Bachelor of Science degree at George Washington University, Cora-Bramble completed her medical and pediatric residency training at Howard University and a Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Medical Services Management from Johns Hopkins University. She held several leadership positions at the George Washington University Medical Center and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, she served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She is a Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics. She is the recipient of the highest national honor in community pediatric education, the Academic Pediatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Pediatric Community Teaching Award. She was recognized by Johns Hopkins University with the Distinguished Alumna Award and was awarded the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award by the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences' Center for Faculty Excellence in recognition of her significant achievements in the field of diversity and inclusion.
JULIE CHAVEZ RODRIGUEZ
Director White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Julie is an American political rights activist and current director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. From 2008 to 2016, Rodriguez served in the Obama administration, initially working for the United States Secretary of the Interior and later in the White House Office of Public Engagement. She was appointed state director for Senator Kamala Harris in 2016. She later served on the Kamala Harris 2020 presidential campaign from 2017 to 2019. In 2020, Rodriguez was hired by the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign as senior advisor for Latino outreach. Rodriguez was appointed to be the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs by President Joe Biden, and took office on January 20, 2021.
Global President of Vaccines Pfizer
Nanette oversees an international business and is responsible for the development and delivery of innovative vaccines that address serious and life-threatening conditions, helping to protect communities around the world. She leads a global team of 1,500 colleagues and manages a diverse vaccines portfolio aimed at protecting lives at all stages. Nanette and her team also partner with governments, civic organizations, and others in the biopharmaceutical industry to accelerate global public health progress. She is Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceuticals and Manufacturers Association (IFPMA) Vaccine CEO Steering Committee, advocating for policies and practices that will enable greater access and affordability to vaccines in low and middle-income countries. Prior to her current position, Nanette was Regional President, Emerging Markets, for Pfizer’s Innovative Health business. During her 15+ year tenure at Pfizer, Nanette has held numerous leadership positions in both developed and emerging markets, driving continuous growth for the businesses she managed and bringing novel medicines and access solutions to patients.
Chief Operating Officer Google Consumer Hardware
Ana Corrales is the Chief Operating Officer for Google’s Devices & Services business. She is responsible for bringing Google’s consumer hardware products to life, including Pixel smartphones and laptops among other devices. With a background in business and engineering, Ana leads every aspect of how products are delivered to people around the world — overseeing the end-to-end product development process; IT systems and infrastructure; managing the supply chain to build quality products; overseeing hardware sustainability efforts. Ana grew up in Costa Rica. She studied Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Washington, and went on to get her M.S. in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford. Before joining Google, she held positions as COO and Chief Financial Officer at other major Silicon Valley tech companies.
Senator of Nevada - Democratic
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Catherine Cortez Masto has spent her career fighting for Nevada’s working families. She served two terms as Attorney General of Nevada and in November 2016, she made history by becoming the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina ever elected to the United States Senator. Her position on five Senate Committees allows her to continue to advocate for the issues that matter most to Nevadans. She sits on the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; the Committee on Rules and Administration; and the Committee on Indian Affairs. Cortez Masto currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Economic Policy Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and the Ranking Member of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Cortez Masto earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986, and a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1990. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Paul, a retired Secret Service agent.
Diversity and Belonging Business Partner Airbnb
Maria works as a Senior Diversity Business Partner, focused on fostering diversity and inclusion at Airbnb. Previously, she served as the Global Diversity Lead for Airbnb’s Experiences platform where she worked on bringing equitable opportunities and representation to all communities by serving and onboarding hosts from diverse demographics. Her current work also focuses on creating inclusive products and assets, and ensuring the dignified representation of all people in media. Always a champion of Inclusion, she is committed to nurturing new pipelines for minorities in Tech and believes that Tech is key to social equality. She is also the co-vice-chair of the IGLTA Foundation board and serves as an advisor and consultant to multiple socially focused organizations. She is one of Airbnb’s earliest employees and the founder of their Latino Employee Resource Group “Juntos”.
DORENE C. DOMINGUEZ Chairwoman and CEO Vanir Companies
Dominguez is the chairwoman and CEO of Vanir Group of Companies, Inc., and its subsidiaries Vanir Construction Management, Inc. and Vanir Development Company, Inc. Vanir is ranked No. 26 for Program Management and is the No. 1 Woman/ Hispanic owned PM/CM firm in the nation according to Engineering News-Record. In partnership with Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Enrollment Don Bishop, Dominguez identifies and recruits Latino and first-generation students to Notre Dame. In memory of her father, Dominguez founded The Dominguez Dream, which empowers children in underserved communities to achieve in literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). Currently, Dominguez is a Trustee for the University of Note Dame, Director on the kb Home board, Douglas Emmett Inc., the Coca-Cola Hispanic Advisory Council, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society, board on CALL (Catholic Association of Latino Leaders) and Pride Industries (a nonprofit that creates jobs for people with disabilities). Dominguez is a Governor of the NBA Sacramento Kings. Ms. Dominguez graduated from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Certificate in Corporate Governance from Harvard University.
President and Group Leader, Cargill Aqua Nutrition Cargill
Her unit operates within the Animal Nutrition & Health Enterprise. Pilar joined Cargill in 2002 as an Associate in Corporate Strategy and Business Development. Her operational experience began in 2006 when she was appointed General Manager for the Beef Business with Cargill Meats Canada. In 2008, she moved to Oklahoma City where she led the animal nutrition business for the South Central US. In 2011, she moved to Costa Rica to successfully lead Cargill's integration of Pipasa, a poultry acquisition in Central America. In 2012, she moved to Nicaragua to lead Cargill's poultry operations, which then led to her being appointed as President for Cargill Meats Europe after one year. In 2015, she was named Corporate Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy and Development. In 2017, she was named President of Cargill’s Feed and Nutrition business globally. Outside of Cargill, Pilar serves on the Board of Donaldson Company Inc., a Minnesota-based public company and global leader in engine and industrial air, oil and liquid filtration solutions. Originally from Bogotá Colombia, Pilar has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
SARA DEL VALLE
Scientist Los Alamos National Lab
Sara Del Valle is a Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory where she leads an interdisciplinary team focused on detecting, understanding, and forecasting infectious diseases using heterogeneous data streams and mathematical, computational, and statistical models. Most recently, her team has been investigating the role of largescale data analytics such as satellite imagery, Internet data, and climate on complementing traditional approaches to inform infectious disease modeling. Her work has led to new insights on how human behavior affects disease transmission, better understanding on the role of mixing patters on disease spread, the role of social media to inform nowcasting and forecasting, and pioneered modeling approaches to forecast infectious diseases in real-time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been providing science-based decision support to several stakeholders such as the CDC, WHO, DOE, NMDOH, and the White House COVID-19 Task Force. Del Valle received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences from the University of Iowa. She also has a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
VP Global Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging LinkedIn
Rosanna has broad, cross functional, human resources leadership experience in attracting and developing high performing talent as the diversity leader at companies like Cigna, Vivendi Universal (Seagram) and Merrill Lynch. At LinkedIn, Rosanna’s focus is on empowering all employees, members and customers to realize their full potential. With Rosanna’s leadership, LinkedIn aims to continue to build on our strong culture that values diversity, inclusion and creating a sense of belonging, for all of our employees. In addition to her role at LinkedIn, Rosanna is also a member of the Business Advisory Council of the Human Rights Campaign, where she provides expertise and counsel on LGBTQ workplace issues. She has been recognized as one of the country’s leading professional Hispanic women and an influential mind in the diversity and inclusion space.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Technology Officer McKesson
Flores is responsible for the company’s technology initiatives including software, infrastructure, application development tools and processes, operations, and cybersecurity. She also guides the overall direction for the company’s healthcare technology products and data and analytics. Prior to McKesson, Flores served as CIO at Johnson Controls (JCI) where she was responsible for information technology, cybersecurity and analytics. Previously, she spent 22 years at Abbott in several leadership roles including chief information officer. She also led Global Business Services, Abbott’s back office services, through an extensive transformation. The Greater Milwaukee Women’s Fund recognized Flores as a 2019 Futurist Leader for her strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. She also serves on the board of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and is a member of the CIO Strategy Exchange (CIOSE).
Senior Vice President, Global General Manager, Clinique The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Michelle is responsible for guiding the brand’s overall strategic vision, including innovation, product development and marketing, and all facets of consumer and digital engagement. She works closely with members of the global Clinique leadership team to continue brand momentum by driving consumer relevance globally and connecting emotionally with consumers throughout their beauty journey. Previously, she worked at Johnson & Johnson, where she had a 20-year career holding various leadership roles within its Consumer Health Products division, most recently serving as President, U.S. Beauty. In this role, she was responsible for the company’s portfolio of beauty brands at the time, including Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear and RoC, and led the successful performance of many brands. Notably, she successfully transformed the image of Johnson & Johnson Beauty with a fully re-imagined Celebrity Talent & Influencer Strategy, diversifying the talent portfolio to reflect a more integrated approach. Michelle is passionate about talent development and has a proven track record of fostering workplaces that embrace inclusion and diversity.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Technology Community Officer Kapor Center
Lili works to create new and more inclusive tech innovation ecosystems regionally & nationally. Her work is centered at the intersection of technology, racial justice, and action driven partnerships to tackle pressing social and economic inequities of underrepresented communities. Her areas of focus and interest include tech advocacy themes such as closing the Broadband Access & Adoption, Future of Work(ers), Responsible Technology, and Ecosystem Building as they relate to new models with cross sector partners. Lili believes that it is critical that we help prepare and upskill communities of color for the future and encourage going beyond being consumers to also being creators and owners. Previously, Lili was an Associate Principal at Accenture Technology Labs Open Innovation team, based out of Silicon Valley, focused on partnerships and programming to connect startups to Fortune 500 clients. She was also a founding member of the Innovation Services team at Booz Allen specializing in crowdsourcing, prize challenges, and open data solutions at the federal level.
CEO & Co-Founder Boston Impact Initiative & Amplify Latinx
Betty Francisco is a seasoned business executive, investor and community leader. She is known as a powerful convener and changemaker, unapologetic about advancing Latinx and new majority leaders. Boston Magazine named her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Boston in 2020 and 2018, and the Boston Business Journal named Betty as one of the 2020 Power 50 – Extraordinary Year Extraordinary People. Betty is the CEO of Boston Impact Initiative, a social impact investment fund that invests integrated capital to close the racial wealth divide in Eastern Massachusetts. She is also the co-founder of Amplify Latinx, a social venture that is building Latinx economic and political power by significantly increasing Latinx civic engagement, entrepreneurship and leadership representation in Massachusetts. Most recently, she was the General Counsel at Compass Working Capital, a financial services nonprofit that supports families with low incomes to build assets and financial capabilities. She serves on the Boards of Directors of The Boston Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and Roxbury Community College.
Head of Global Communications, Studios and Networks Groups WarnerMedia
Johanna is responsible for the company’s communications strategies globally. She works closely with the CEO and senior management to ensure the company’s messaging reflects its core values and advances its business interests. Johanna and her staff are also responsible for the company’s corporate media relations, public positioning, executive communications, crisis management, corporate responsibility and philanthropy on a global basis. As Warner Bros.’ senior-most communications executive, she works cross-divisionally—including with the company’s film, television, videogames, consumer products, home entertainment and studio operations businesses, as well as DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TCM (Turner Classic Movies)—to ensure alignment and consistency of messaging. She also serves as the primary communications liaison between Warner Bros. and parent companies WarnerMedia and AT&T. Johanna took this role after a decade leading public relations strategy at Showtime Networks Inc., where she served as Executive Vice President, Communications. During her tenure, Fuentes was responsible for the execution of all global media relations initiatives enhancing the corporate and programming interests for Showtime Networks, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel. She also served as the company’s communications liaison with parent companies CBS Corporation and ViacomCBS.
Chief Legal Officer Macy's Inc.
Elisa is an accomplished C-Suite executive and attorney with over 30 years of experience advising management and boards of directors. Through her broad based experience in all aspects of international business and corporate law, Garcia has guided her clients through a myriad of business, governance and legal issues, government investigations, mergers and merger integration, international acquisitions and investments, debt refinancings, domestic and international labor issues and legislative and regulatory matters. She has worked through activist campaigns, CEO succession, Board refreshment and has developed ERM and ESG strategies and reporting. She is recognized for her well grounded yet creative approach to problem solving.
Activist Black Lives Matter
Alicia is an activist and writer. She is the co-creator of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Special Projects Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Principal at the Black Futures Lab. In 2009, Garza served as the Executive Director for People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) for the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2011, Garza was also board chair for Right to the City Alliance (RTTC) in Oakland which fought gentrification and police brutality. In 2013, Garza along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors officially created the Black Lives Matter Movement.
EVP General Counsel and Secretary Starbucks
Joining Starbucks in April 2018, Rachel handles legal and regulatory affairs, global security, and ethics and compliance, in addition to acting as counselor to the board of directors and executive leadership. She is part of the executive leadership team, reporting directly to Kevin Johnson. In her previous role at Sabre Corporation, Gonzalez led a global team responsible for human resources, corporate communications, legal strategy, regulatory affairs, corporate compliance, and government affairs. She joined Sabre in 2014 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Sabre, Gonzalez served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with Dean Foods in Dallas, Texas. Previously, Gonzalez was Senior Vice President and Group Counsel with Affiliated Computer Services. Earlier in her career, Gonzalez was a partner with the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused on corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, SEC compliance and corporate governance. Rachel serves on the board of Dana Incorporated, where she serves on the audit committee as well as the nominating and corporate governance committee. She holds a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
President & CEO California HealthCare Foundation
Prior to joining CHCF, Sandra was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. She also co-chaired San Francisco’s Universal Healthcare Council, which designed Healthy San Francisco. It was the first time a local government in the US attempted to provide health care for all of its constituents. In February 2018, Sandra was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Covered California board of directors. In December 2019, she was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Healthy California for All Commission, which is charged with developing a plan to help California achieve a health care delivery system that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system. She also serves on the UC Regents Health Services Committee and the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Health Advisory Board. Sandra practiced at San Francisco General Hospital in the HIV/AIDS Clinic from 1984 to 2016 and was an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF School of Medicine.
LILI GIL VALLETTA
Co-Founder and CEO CIEN+ AND CULTURINTEL
After a successful corporate career including a 10-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Lili co-founded CIEN+ and CulturIntel. Her firm, headquartered in New York City with offices in Colombia and Mexico, is a recognized expert in big data market research, business consulting and cross-cultural marketing helping Fortune 500’s to successfully tap into diverse markets and turn cultural trends into profits. She is a regular TV commentator seen on Fox News, Fox Business and CNN en Español, and has been featured by Forbes, CNN Money, The Huffington Post, The NY Daily News, MM&M, among others. Lili serves as a board member of the Harvard Women's Leadership Board, National Board of Directors of the YMCA USA, mentor to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program and was appointed by Governor Cuomo as a member of the New York State Council on Women and Girls and was appointed in 2018 by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a Member of the NYC Technology Leadership Advisory Council.
Senior Vice President & Group CIO Cisco
Jacqueline is spearheading the creation of a digital architecture to accelerate Cisco’s digital enterprise transformation. She is responsible for running and transforming the technology infrastructure, digital platforms, enterprise security, and business applications that enable Cisco’s global workforce to excel and be productive. Prior to joining Cisco, Guichelaar was the Group Chief Information Officer at Thomson Reuters, where she led a technology organization in support of the company’s digital strategy. She was named winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Woman of the Year – Technology category in 2020, as part of the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. She is Co-Executive Sponsor of the Cisco – Cristo Rey Work Study program, ensuring high school students from underserved communities in San Jose are exposed to the latest Information Technology best practices and opportunities, and a board member of Covenant House California, which helps homeless and trafficked youths 18-24 have access to shelter, food, clothing, and education.
MIRIAM HERNANDEZ KAKOL
Global Head of Management Consulting KPMG
As global head of the Management Consulting practice, Miriam plays a significant, strategic role in building and executing its strategy, and continuing the business’ double-digit growth momentum. As part of this role, she is responsible for swiftly driving initiatives and programs that impact KPMG’s relevance in the marketplace and ability to drive new solutions – thus enhancing trust and accelerating growth. Before this role, she led the US firm’s Global Customer and Operations practice, which is focused on delivering industry-specific solutions for the front and middle office challenges of Fortune 500 clients. In this role, she oversaw a team of more than 2,000 partners and professionals. Miriam also serves as a Global Lead Partner for the world’s largest telco company in the US, overseeing more than 300 partners and professionals serving the client globally. Her industry experience was born and bred at Telcordia, where she rose up through the business, gaining expertise in networks, technology and call centers. She became the VP and General Manager, leading the customer care and billing units with full P&L responsibility. Here too, she grew the businesses she managed multifold, with responsibility for both the US as well as an expansion to Latin America. Miriam’s ability to architect and deliver solutions to critical challenges has helped her build organizations and client accounts that become integral components and revenue drivers of the business.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER U.S. Representative R-WA 3rd District
Beutler was first elected to Congress at the age of 31 to represent Southwest Washington’s 3rd District. Both Democrat and Republican presidents have signed Jaime’s legislation into law, helping her earn the ranking as Washington state’s most effective Member of Congress. She is also the first Hispanic in history to represent Washington state on the federal level. She co-founded the bipartisan Maternity Care Caucus, the first of its kind in Congress, and has been a champion for maternal and child health. Most notably, Jaime successfully spearheaded legislation that was signed into law to address maternal mortality, the largest step Congress has taken to prevent moms from dying during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Jaime earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington. She worked on the congressional staff of U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane), and then served as State Representative from Washington state’s 18th Legislative District from 2007 until being elected to Congress in 2010.
County Judge Harris County, TX
Lina is the county judge for Harris County, Texas. She is the first woman and the first Latina to be elected to the position of Harris County Judge. Lina was born in Colombia and grew up in Peru and Mexico, where her parents were offered job opportunities, before emigrating to America in 2005. Lina is a proud product of Houston-area public schools and, as her parents dreamed, was the first in her family to attend college in the U.S. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science the same year she became a U.S. citizen. Lina has dedicated hundreds of hours to our County’s most vulnerable communities—from her time at the Texas Civil Rights Project to serving as a Spanish-English medical interpreter at the Texas Medical Center and supporting immigrants in search of lost loved ones. Over the past few years and while pursuing a joint degree in law and public policy at NYU and Harvard, Lina conducted research on criminal justice policies and coordinated with advocacy groups and governments to push for criminal justice reform. Before that, Lina worked throughout Southeast Asia to promote transparency and accountability by supporting journalists, bloggers and artists. She helped create and fund a program to bring Stanford students to public policy positions and has served the immigrant and incarcerated communities at any opportunity and in various states.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Senior VP and Managing Director CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy for CNN
Cynthia oversees all aspects of CNN's Spanish-language media businesses, including newsgathering, editorial content, programming, production, operations and personnel, of the CNN en Español 24/7 television news networks, CnnEspañol.com and CNN en Español Radio. In first quarter 2019, Hudson inaugurated CNN Radio Argentina, a radio network available in 120 cities and 23 provinces throughout Argentina. In April, she launched CNN en Español's multi-platform anti-discrimination campaign called Proyecto Ser Humano (The Humanity Project).In 2011, Hudson launched CNNEspañol.com and refocused resources to develop CNN en Español's top Spanish-language News Social Platforms on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. In addition, she expanded the radio business to include affiliates in the US Hispanic Market, Latin America and Europe. Hudson's community efforts include being a Director on the board of The National Epilepsy Foundation and acting as a Director and now Vice President of the University of Miami Alumni Association. Cynthia is also on the Advisory Council of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library of New York and part of the Board of Director for the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation.
JESSICA HERRERA - FLANIGAN
Vice President, Policy & Philanthropy Americas for Twitter
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan is an executive with extensive experience working on corporate affairs, public policy, crisis management, regulatory, legal, and social impact in the technology, media, security, sports, and government contracting sectors. Before Twitter, she was the Executive Vice President, Government & Corporate Affairs, Univision and President of the Univision Foundation. She also worked as a partner with the strategic consulting firm Monument Policy Group, where she led the firm's technology, media, sports, and crisis communications practices. She was the first Latina to head up a Congressional Committee, serving as the Staff Director & General Counsel of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security in its early days. She also spent several years at the Justice Department as a cybercrime prosecutor and taught criminal and cybersecurity classes at various universities. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Center for SafeSport and also sits on the Boards of the Peabody Awards, Twitter Foundation, Hispanic Federation, and Regis University. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Founder, Senior Anchor & Strategic Advisor Futuro Media Group
For 25 years, Maria Hinojosa has helped tell America's untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that gives critical voice to the voiceless by harnessing the power of independent media to tell stories that are overlooked or under reported by traditional media. As the anchor and executive producer of the long-running weekly NPR show Latino USA, and as anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/La Plaza, Hinojosa has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing group in our country. Previously, a Senior Correspondent for NOW on PBS, and currently, a rotating anchor for Need to Know, Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the immigrant work camps in NOLA after Katrina, to teen girl victims of sexual harassment on the job, to Emmy Award-winning stories of the poor in Alabama. Throughout her career, Hinojosa has helped define the conversation about our times and our society with one of the most authentic voices in broadcast. Hinojosa is the author of two books including a motherhood memoir, Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son. She was born in Mexico City, raised in Chicago, and received her BA from Barnard College.
CAROLINA JANICELLI Managing Director JPMorgan Chase
Carolina helps run JPMorgan Chase’s new Community Impact Team, leading the implementation of local strategies for the firm’s $30Bn Path Forward Commitment to advance racial equity. In her role, she works across the firm’s lines of business to develop strategies based on community input and needs, ensuring impact and progress toward the goal of reducing the racial wealth gap. Her experience in investment banking covering Latin American companies, and two decades spent in private banking, provide Carolina with a deep understanding of the drivers of value and wealth creation; key components of economic equity. Carolina serves on the Corporate Board of Advisors of UnidosUS and the board of Lineage Project, which brings trauma-sensitive mindfulness practices to young people in need in New York City. She is also a member of the Arts of the Americas Circle at the Americas Society/ Council of the Americas. She has been recognized on ALPFA’s list of 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business and has recently been named by Latino Leaders magazine among The Top 100 Most Influential Latinas in 2020. She is also on Crain’s New York inaugural 2020 list of Notable Women in Financial Advice.
Head of Digital Marketing & eCommerce Avocados from Mexico
Through the span of her 20-year+ marketing career, Ivonne has played leadership roles in multiple corporations representing multi-billion brands, as well as in top advertising agencies such as Lintas, McCann Erickson Worldwide, and The Richards Group, working with well-known brands in almost every category. In 2014, she joined Avocados From Mexico as the Head of Digital Marketing, and in four years has built the organization’s digital practice from the ground up, based on the principles of digital transformation. She leads the innovation agenda for Avocados From Mexico, and under her leadership, the company has been named among the top 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators by Fast Company (2020); among the top 50 Most Innovative Companies (2021), and Top #1 among the top #10 most innovative companies in the Branding Category (2021).
SVP and CTO, Engineering, Infrastructure & Operations McKesson
Maria is responsible for developing McKesson’s technology stack vision, strategy and architecture, which are fundamental to the business portfolio for data and digital technologies. Her responsibilities also include a strong focus on engineering design and operational excellence to optimize performance levels. With extensive and consistent leadership experience, Maria is focused on empowering McKesson through the technology platform that her team develops and sustains. Prior to McKesson, Maria served as Vice President of Healthcare Solutions at AT&T Business, where she was responsible for developing and delivering integrated technology solutions to fuel large-scale digital transformations in the top 1500 healthcare companies worldwide. During her 11-year tenure at AT&T, she held leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including serving as the chief of staff to the CEO for AT&T Business, where she oversaw all operations and business planning for this $70B business unit. She also worked at Rockwell Collins, where she was responsible for global IT operations and solution delivery across all business segments. Maria has a long legacy of engineering, sales and leadership success built on a foundation of innovation. She is also a director for the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC).
DIANE E. LOPEZ
Vice President & General Counsel Harvard University
A magna cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Lopez received her J.D. from Columbia University Law School, where she was an editor of A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, a publication of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Following graduation she joined O'Melveny & Myers where she remained for eight years, concentrating her practice in commercial litigation. At Harvard she assists the University on a variety of commercial transactions, with a focus on ways the University can protect and manage its intellectual property assets. She advises on health care, privacy, and student affairs issues, on concerns involving the use of human subjects and animals in research, and on issues involving third-party access to research data. Lopez has spent significant time on legal and legislative matters related to human embryonic stem cell research. She is a member of the University's Incident Support Team, which coordinates the University's response to major crisis events. She is a former Trustee and Treasurer of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR CEO Voto Latino
María Teresa co-founded a grassroots political organization with actress Rosario Dawson called Voto Latino. Their organization was designed to encourage and empower younger generations of Latinx voters and advocate for inclusive political participation. Using media and technology as a central tool, Voto Latino creates innovative digital campaigns and programming to increase voter registration and civic engagement in Latinx communities. She has served as the President and CEO of the organization since its inception, with the ultimate goal of “franchising as many people as possible to make sure we have a healthy, robust and transparent democracy.” In 2014, María Teresa launched the VL Innovators Challenge which granted up to $500,000 to technological projects that proposed innovative ways to help the Latinx community. Kumar is also a recognized media commentator, speaker, and writer for national publications, and her work has been profiled on HBO’s Celebrity Habla and PBS’s Undergraduates. Additionally, Kumar serves on the boards of the Latino Leaders Network, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and EMILY’s List.
SANDRA LOPEZ Vice President Intel
Sandra is responsible for partnering with the sports and media industry to provide the future fans with the next generation of immersive media experiences. In her role, her team is focused on leading the business, marketing, and business development efforts of Intel Sports. Lopez is also the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on VR/AR/ XR. Previously, she led and managed the fashion wearable business for Intel’s New Technology Group. Earlier in her Intel career, Lopez held various roles within corporate marketing, including director of new business marketing and consumer marketing. Over the course of her career, Lopez has received numerous recognitions, including “Top Ten Influencers in Technology” (SportsPro), “Top 100 Women in Technology” (Technology Magazine), “Most Powerful Women in Tech” (National Diversity Council), “Top Women in Media” (Cynopsis), “Top 10 Latina Executives” (LatinaStyle), “Most Influential and Notable Hispanic Professionals in Information Technology” (HiTec) and “Game Changer” (Sports Business Journal). Prior to joining Intel in 2005, Lopez held various positions at Adobe Systems Inc., Macromedia, Computer Associates International Inc. and several other technology companies. Lopez earned a B.S. in Economics and Textiles and Clothing from the University of California at Davis. In addition, she attended the Stanford’s Executive Accelerator Program in 2016. As part of contributing to the community, she is focused on building the next generation of women leaders.
President & CEO / Board Director College Futures Foundation/ Apple, Target, Bank of America
As president and CEO she works in partnership with organizations and leaders around the state to ensure education pathways are aligned seamlessly for college attainment. She is committed to the vision that California’s low-income students and students of color should have equitable access to bachelor’s degrees and a better life. In January 2021, Apple announced Monica as a member of their board. Prior to joining College Futures Foundation, Lozano spent 30 years in media as editor and publisher of La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the US, helping shine a light on issues from infant mortality to the AIDS epidemic. She went on to become chairman and CEO of La Opinión’s parent company, ImpreMedia.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
President & CEO Argent Associates Inc.
Betty spent over 20 years in Corporate America, primarily in the telecommunications industry, before leaving to launch Argent Associates Inc., in 1998. During her corporate career, she held national and international assignments in technical support, sales, human resources and quality management and control. Named as one of the TOP STEM 100 Executives in the nation, Ms. Manetta believes true business success is interdependent upon the success of the community. She takes her commitment to continuous learning and social responsibility seriously. Ms. Manetta is a champion of ethnic minority, women and small business education and engagement. She served on President George W. Bush’s President’s Export Council, where she advised on international trade matters and their impact on small, women and minority businesses and chaired the sub-committee of Technology and Innovation. Betty is committed to continuous learning and social responsibility. She is a champion and advocate of minorities, women and youth around STEM Initiatives. She serves on numerous boards at the local state and national level.
L&E Litigation Partner Akerman LLP
Erica Mason is a seasoned litigator and advisor. As national and regional employment counsel for her clients, she routinely defends employment claims before state and federal courts and agencies across the country, including, successfully litigating five sexual harassment class actions against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and dozens of class and collective actions against privately-represented individuals and groups. Clients also value Erica’s proactive and practical approach to identifying preemptive HR strategies that will increase employee job satisfaction, minimize risk, and reduce overall litigation spend. Numerous organizations have named Erica a top labor and employment attorney in Georgia and nationally, including nine consecutive years by Georgia Super Lawyers and three consecutive years by Best Lawyers in America, and she is a nationally sought out thought leader on a wide array of legal and non-legal issues.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Television Commentator, Host & Writer
Alicia Menendez anchors MSNBC’s “American Voices with Alicia Menendez” Saturday and Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. ET. She is also the author of “The Likeability Trap” and host of the “Latina to Latina” podcast. Menendez joined MSNBC in October 2019. Prior to joining the network, Menendez served as a correspondent on “Amanpour & Company” on PBS and formerly hosted a nightly news and pop culture show on Fusion called “Alicia Menendez Tonight.” Her reporting and interviews have appeared on ABC News, Bustle, FusionTV, PBS and Vice News. Born and raised in New Jersey, Menendez has been called “Ms. Millennial” by The Washington Post, “journalism’s new gladiator” by Elle, and a “content queen” by Marie Claire. Menendez is on Twitter at @AliciaMenendez.
Chief Operating Officer Cisco
Maria is responsible for the company’s operations and transformation, as well as building high-value experiences for its customers, partners, and employees. Martinez oversees Cisco’s Strategy Execution, Customer Success, Renewals, Customer & Partner Experience, Security & Trust, Supply Chain, IT, Services, and Transformation functions. A transformational leader and engineer at heart, Maria has more than 35 years of leadership experience from a variety of technology sectors including software, services, hardware and networking technology. Martinez has received several distinctions for her leadership, most recently being named as a Technology Visionary on ALPFA’s (Association of Latino Professionals for America) list of 50 Most Powerful Latinas. She holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and a master's degree in computer engineering from Ohio State University.
Chief Operating Officer, Principal Gresham Partners, LLC.
Meredith is Chief Operating Officer, Principal and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. She is responsible for leading investment operations, finance, client operations, technology, business process improvements, administration, facilities and compliance. Meredith is focused on providing strategic quality support services, scalable platforms and process improvements to advance the firm’s differentiated investment solutions and wealth management services. Meredith spent the past 15 years as Executive Director and COO of the global law firm Jenner & Block, where she managed and mentored teams. Meredith earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, an MBA from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a JD from Harvard Law School, and she is an Illinois-licensed certified public accountant. Meredith is a member of the board of directors of Kronos Worldwide, Inc., NL Industries, Inc. and Quanex Building Products Corporation, she serves in independent advisory roles to other companies and she is Vice Chair of the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Co-Founder and CEO Akorbi
Claudia Mirza has led the company’s impressive evolution from a language translation company to a global provider of multilingual business solutions, including interpretation, staffing, contact centers, learning services, and localization. Under her leadership, the company has flourished to become an award-winning, fast-growing, international company with a 5-year growth rate (from 2012-2016) of 1,267%. Claudia is a published author in key industry publications, a sought-after speaker, an inventor with patents pending, a mother of two, a mentor, and a philanthropist. She was recently invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with the Trump Administration at the White House to advocate on behalf of women-owned small businesses. Claudia’s success and business savvy have garnered her interviews by leading business media such as Forbes and Fortune.
Senior Director of Coalitions Media The White House
Jennifer Molina is a bilingual political communications strategist with experience running national, state, and local advocacy campaigns. She previously served Latino Media Director for Joe Biden For President and as Communications Director for the California League of Conservation Voters and it's Education Fund. Jennifer worked on the Hillary Clinton for President campaign as the Constituency Media Director in Nevada where she was instrumental in mobilizing the state’s diverse electorate to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. Prior to joining the campaign, Jennifer held various roles at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and its Action Fund. She led CAP’s state media strategy and ethnic media program.
JESS MORALES ROCKETO
Co-Founder Care in Action, Supermajority & She Se Puede
Jess is the Director of Civic Engagement for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Executive Director of Care in Action, where she spearheads political advocacy campaigns for the 2.5 million domestic workers in this country. She is the Chair of the Families Belong Together Coalition, the campaign to end family separation and detention, and a co-founder of Supermajority, a new women's political action group. Jess is an alumna of Hillary for America, the AFL-CIO, Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee, Rebuild the Dream, and the New Organizing Institute. In 2019, Jess was honored in the first TIME 100 Next , a list of rising stars who are shaping the future.
Managing Director, Co-Head of International Wealth Management Morgan Stanley
Ileana Musa leads the segment and strategy that focuses on Morgan Stanley’s International Client Advisors and international clients to ensure they have access to solutions, research and thought leadership to support their financial goals and legacy. She is a trustee on the Morgan Stanley Foundation Board. She sits on the Girl Scouts National Board (GSUSA) and on the advisory boards of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and Florida International University Honors College. Ileana received her BBA, with a concentration in finance, from the University of Miami and an MBA in finance from Florida International University. She was recently named to the Red Shoe Movement 2021 Hall of Fame. She was named one of the Top 20 U.S. Offshore Women Leaders 2020 by Citywire, one of the Top 100 Most Influential Latinas in 2020 by Latino Leaders, was selected to the 2019 MAKERS class of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and given the 2019 Latina Trailblazer Award by Latino Justice. Additionally, Ileana was named to ALPFA’s 2020 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America list for the fourth year in a row.
Partner Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
Christine Montenegro, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, is one of the leading Latina lawyers handling high-stakes litigation in the nation. Notably, she played an integral role in developing a unique litigation strategy for Harbinger Capital Partners, a majority shareholder of LightSquared, in its lawsuit against Dish Chairman Charles Ergen. Christine represents investment and hedge funds, financial institutions, and corporations in commercial disputes, securities fraud, RICO, antitrust, constitutional law and defamation. A strong advocate for the advancement of women lawyers, Christine spearheads the firm’s Women’s Initiative Committee, which mentors and advises women professionals on career and professional development opportunities.
Director of Strategic Partnerships & Chief of Staff for the Global Policy & Communications Team Airbnb
Marisa has over 25 years of experience as a lawyer, advocate and strategic advisor to businesses, entrepreneurs and government officials. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the 200+ person team who manage multidisciplinary media and policy campaigns. Prior to joining Airbnb, Marisa served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera for over a decade. The office is considered one of the leading municipal law offices in the nation. Earlier in her career she was an equity partner with the Nossaman law firm and associated with the Radcliff Frandsen and Girardi & Keese firms. Marisa has held numerous leadership positions including board level roles at the California Coastal Conservancy and St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Latinas in Tech, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (SF), and the US Spain Council. Marisa has been recognized as a Leading Latina by Hispanic Executive, a Trail Blazer by Forbes Magazine and Top Corporate Executive by Latina Style Magazine. Marisa is a graduate of Georgetown University and UCLA’s School of Law.
VERONICA MUZQUIZ EDWARDS CEO InGenesis, Inc.
Veronica is the CEO of InGenesis, one of the largest workforce solutions companies in North America and an organization that does business with nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies. In 2017 she was elected by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to serve as chair and head of the U.S. Delegation for the ISO Technical Advisory Group developing global healthcare management standards. Edwards’ focus on organizational excellence led to her selection to the 2017 Baldrige Fellows Program. She serves as a Regent for The Texas State University System and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). She is a graduate and Distinguished Alumna of Texas State University. She earned Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degrees from UIW, where she was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumna.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Global Head of Equity & Impact Spotify
Elizabeth joined Spotify in March 2021 to lead Equity and Impact, responsible for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, Campus & Diversity Talent Acquisition, Sustainability and Social Impact. Before Spotify, Elizabeth was Amazon’s Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, working closely with the most senior leaders of the organization in designing and implementing the DEI strategy. Before joining Amazon, Elizabeth was the Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at MetLife since 2012. From 2010 to 2012, Elizabeth was the Global Head of Talent, Learning and Diversity for Marsh, Inc. Before joining Marsh, Elizabeth spent almost 20 years with Citigroup, for more than 10 years in global talent management, diversity & inclusion roles and as an HR business partner. She managed global and regional learning organizations working extensively in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Born and raised in Argentina, Elizabeth is committed to her work in non-profit organizations that support access to developmental opportunities for young underserved talent and teenagers at risk. She is currently a board member at The Opportunity Network, A Fair Shake for Youth and All Stars Project. Elizabeth earned her Master’s degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. In 2017, she was recognized by El Museo del Barrio (NYC) for her philanthropic. In 2018, Crain’s NY inducted Elizabeth in the Notable Women in Finance list.
Board Director Service Corporation International, Mutual America, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Chair at National Science Board
Ellen Ochoa was the Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018. She became the first Latina to go to space when she flew on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours. She currently serves on several boards including as Chair of the National Science Board. Prior to her astronaut career, Ochoa was a research engineer and holds three patents for optical systems. She received a B.S. in Physics from San Diego State University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Founder & CEO My Money My Future
Ramona is the founder of My Money My Future Inc.| Mi Dinero Mi Futuro, a comprehensive on-line financial planning platform and daily newsletter dedicated to empowering Latinas to manage their money with confidence and build wealth in the Latino community. MDMF’s culturally unique approach makes financial matters personal, accessible, and applicable for millions of Latinas. Ramona was recently named one of the most Notable Women in Personal Finance by Crain's Business. Ramona has been an Entrepreneur in Residence with Azlo and is a sought after thought leader in fintech and financial inclusion. She is on the board of Village Capital, Camino Financial and Los Angeles Community Health Council. Prior to founding MMMF, Ramona was a Wall Street attorney and worked on complex securities litigation and corporate matters in private practice and at the SEC and U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Ramona is a contributor to TechCrunch and is working on a book called No Shame in the Money Game: A Broke Girls' Guide to Building Wealth.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ U.S. Representative D-NY 14th District
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a third-generation Bronxite, educator, and organizer serving the 14th district of New York in the Bronx and Queens. Ocasio-Cortez grew up experiencing the reality of New York’s rising income inequality, inspiring her to organize her community and run for office on a progressive platform with a campaign that rejects corporate PAC funds. Alexandria attended Boston University and graduated with degrees in Economics and International Relations. During this period she also had the opportunity to work in the office of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Her role in Senator Kennedy’s office provided a firsthand view of the heartbreak families endured after being separated by ICE. These experiences led the Congresswoman to organize Latinx youth in the Bronx and across the United States, eventually, she began work as an Educational Director with the National Hispanic Institute, a role in which she helped Americans, DREAMers and undocumented youth in community leadership and college readiness. Since her swearing-in to Congress in January of 2019, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has remained committed to serving working-class people over corporate interests and advocating for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, often creating controversy among the stablishment leaders for her statements and high tone comments.
GINA OROZCO MEJIA Vice President, Gas Engineering and System Integrity SoCal Gas
Gina Orozco is vice president, gas engineering and system integrity for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities. Gina oversees gas engineering and system integrity, and has responsibility for engineering support, programs, operations training, asset management, research and development, geographic information systems and operations technology functions. Previously, Orozco was vice president of gas distribution responsible for providing leadership to a team of approximately 2,300 employees at SoCalGas and SDG&E responsible for gas distribution operations, maintenance, construction, resource management, local engineering and planning. Since joining SoCalGas as an engineering intern in 1990, Orozco has held a variety of increasingly responsible roles in engineering, field services, system operations, environmental, international development and labor relations. Orozco has a master’s degree in business administration from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University, Los Angeles. She currently serves on the board of directors for Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation and the California State Parks Foundation. Orozco also is on the Drucker Industry Advisory Board and is an alumna of the Southern California Leadership Network and Leadership California.
Chairman-Elect / Board Director Sidley Austin LLP / Lionsgate Entertainment
Yvette is a member of Sidley’s Management and Executive Committees, the managing partner of the Dallas office, global co-leader of the Litigation practice and a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force. She litigates matters in U.S. state and federal trial and appellate courts on behalf of global clients. She coordinates and tries proceedings in a variety of arbitration venues, serves on the Roster of Neutral Arbitrators for the AAA for commercial litigation matters and on the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals as an arbitrator for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. She served as the Vice Chair, Ethics and Investigations Subcommittee of the ABA Corporate Governance Committee.Yvette is involved in the coordination and argument of appeals in courts across the U.S., which includes the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court and the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas. Yvette has advised many Board Special Committees, including Southwest Airlines, Fossil, Key Energy and NPR. Some of her clients include SM Energy, Sally Beauty, HMS Holdings, Michaels, Best Buy, Sterigenics, Forterra, SAExploration and JPMorgan.
Partner MiLA Capital
Carmen Palafox is a Partner at MiLA Capital, a seed-stage Venture Capital firm in Los Angeles focused on funding tech you can touch. She was Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors where she scaled operations into LATAM, Canada, and Europe going from $75 Billion AUM to $300 Billion AUM. Carmen believes in the power of capital markets to spur growth and innovation. She enjoys coaching entrepreneurs on finance and strategic planning. Carmen was awarded the Rising Star Award from the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce. She was spotlighted by the NVCA as a Rising Star in VC and featured by LA Magazine as 1 of 13 of LA’s Powerful Women. In 2019, Carmen spoke on Bloomberg TVs Top Tech Trends to watch. Carmen is also on the founding team of LatinxVCs. Carmen holds a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California, an MA in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco, and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas.
President of the Southeast States AT&T
Sonia Pérez is responsible for developing the overall strategic direction of AT&T’s corporate initiatives throughout her region of Louisiana, Kentucky and North Carolina. She is committed to engaging the ecosystem of state, local and federal government in creating Smart Cities to solve challenges by deploying 5G broadband speeds so that all customers will have the opportunity to benefit from a connected environment. Based in Baton Rouge, Sonia serves as an Independent Director for Sanderson Farms, Inc., and on the executive committees of The University of Texas Foundation, the Louisiana Board of Regents and The National WWII Museum. Also among her proudest distinctions is the 2006 El Abrecaminos Award from the Texas Mexican American Legislative Caucus and a1996 presidential appointment to the Advisory Council of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, a binational organization supporting the sustainable development of environmental infrastructure on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.
Chief Development Officer Anaplan
Ana drives Anaplan’s Product Management and Engineering teams responsible for Anaplan’s product plans, software and technology engineering, and cloud platform. Prior to this role, Ana was President and General Manager for HPE Pointnext, HPE’s $7B+ services business until August 2018. Previously, Ana was the Chief Product Officer at Veritas where she was responsible for driving a $2.5B products organization/ Prior to joining Veritas, Ana spent 15 years at Cisco where she held various roles including SVP, Global Services Sales, Services COO and SVP, Global Services Support. Ana also spent nine years in the Cisco Development Organization driving Engineering groups, including Cisco’s high-end routing platform and IOS product management and software development. Ana started her career at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a systems engineer and held numerous roles there, including Vice President responsible for deploying AT&T’s Internet backbone. Ana is on the board of Aptiv (APTV) and KLA (KLAC). She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum, Anitab.org Board of Trustees, Cornell Computer and Information Sciences Advisory Board, and Carnegie Mellon Engineering Advisory Board.
BEATRIZ "BEA" PEREZ
Senior VP, Chief Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Officer The Coca-Cola Company
Bea leads an integrated team across public affairs and communications, sustainability and marketing assets to support the company’s new growth model and path to become a total beverage company. In this role, Bea aligns a diverse portfolio of work against critical business objectives to support brands, communities, consumers and partners worldwide. She continues to oversee the company’s sports and entertainment assets, including iconic partnerships with Olympics, Special Olympics and FIFA. Since 2011, Bea served as The Coca-Cola Company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, where she developed and led progress against comprehensive global sustainability commitments with a focus on water stewardship and women’s economic empowerment. Prior to leading the company’s sustainability efforts, Bea served as CMO for Coca-Cola North America, where she built brands by developing some of the company’s most historic relationships, including American Idol and NASCAR. She began her career at The Coca-Cola Company in 1996 and held various roles in brand management and field operations before becoming CMO. Bea serves on various boards including The Coca-Cola Foundation. She also serves on the corporate boards for Primerica and Grainger.
BELINDA PESTANA Partner Ernst & Young
Belinda is a tax partner with the Ernst & Young LLP Financial Services practice and leads the Business Tax Services practice for the Americas. She has more than 26 years of experience working with some of the largest global firms and affluent individuals on a wide array of tax matters. She has helped international banks, investment banks, asset management firms, private equity funds and related management companies with business-critical tax strategy and planning needs. Belinda is a passionate advocate for diversity and equality and is an active member of the firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In 2017 and 2018, Belinda was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Latinas in America.
VP of Corporate Affairs & General Manager Cisco Networking Academy
Laura focuses on social responsibility, delivering ground breaking initiatives that prepare students to participate in the digital workforce and connects them with career opportunities. Her strengths in scaling and accelerating impact helped her and her team to double the size of the Networking Academy over the past 3 years; it now benefits more than 2.1 million students annually throughout 180 countries. As a 20-year veteran of Cisco, Laura leads a global organization of teams based in 50 countries, including strategy, product management, product development, global field, and operational services teams. Prior to her current role, Laura and her team successfully completed Cisco’s multi-year commitment to the Jordan Healthcare Initiative. She collaborated with the Government of Jordan and was instrumental in driving tele-medicine, clinical collaboration, and tele-radiology projects that enabled quality healthcare services and benefited over 175,000 patients.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Founder & President Justice for Migrant Women / The Latinx House / Poderistas / Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Mónica is dedicated to ending gender based violence in the workplace and achieving gender equity. She has been specifically engaged in direct service and advocacy on behalf of farmworkers, Latinas and immigrant women. She also has a long history promoting women’s leadership and political power, including leading LatinasRepresent, the only national non-partisan initiative focused on increasing Latina representation and participation in public leadership positions. She created the first legal project in the US focused on addressing sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination against farmworker women in 2003. In 2014, she founded Justice for Migrant Women, a national advocacy and technical assistance project focused on representing female farmworkers and other low-paid immigrant women who are victims of workplace sexual violence.
JULISSA REYNOSO PANTALEÓN
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the First Lady The White House
Julissa Reynoso is Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States of America. In her role, she also serves as the co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council. Before being appointed to the Biden-Harris Administration, Julissa was a litigation partner at the law firm of Winston & Strawn. She also was on the faculty of Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Reynoso served as trustee for New York-Presbyterian Hospital and for Columbia University, and was on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and the Truman National Security Project. During the Obama-Biden Administration, Reynoso served as U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere in the U.S. Department of State. Reynoso clerked for Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York, and is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia Law School. Reynoso grew up in the Bronx, New York City.
ELENA V. RIOS
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
President & CEO / Trustee National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) / The New York Academy of Medicine
Building a career in health policy research and administration as well as medical school recruitment, Rios has held numerous appointments in both fields. She has served on the UCLA School of Medicine Admissions Committee and California State Bar Examiners Committee, and has been appointed to a series of government-led research initiatives including the White House National Health Care Reform Task Force, in 1993. In 1994 Rios was named advisor for regional and minority women's health at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, served on the advisory committee for health and science recruitment (part of the President's commission on educational excellence for Hispanic Americans) and was also a delegate to the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1998, Dr. Rios became president of the National Hispanic Medical Association (an organization she helped found in 1994) and CEO of Hispanic-Serving Health Professional School, Incorporated.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel, North America Mastercard
Pilar is responsible for all legal, regulatory, government, and franchise affairs in Master- Card’s North American markets. Prior, she was senior vice president, global public policy, and regulatory strategy counsel. In that role, she led MasterCard’s advocacy on public policy and regulatory matters with governments and other relevant stakeholders across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, managing a global team across these markets. She also worked extensively on trade policy matters with the U.S. and other governments, focusing on WTO matters, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other regional trade agreements. Pilar began her tenure at MasterCard as region counsel in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Before joining MasterCard, she worked as in-house counsel in other sectors and was based in Miami and Buenos Aires. Pilar began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, working in the New York and London offices on international capital markets and syndicated finance matters. Pilar is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors of The United States Council for International Business, The World Affairs Forum (Fairfield/ Westchester Chapter), and on the National and Louisiana Boards of Appleseed, an organization dedicated to advancing social justice through pro bono legal work by effecting change at the policy level.
Senior Vice President of Engineering BP
Aleida serves on BP’s global operations executive leadership team and sponsors the company’s Supplier Diversity Council and Gulf of Mexico Women’s Leadership Council, which supports gender diversity and promotes networking and career development opportunities. She is also a member of BP’s leadership council for the Million Women Mentors program, encouraging employees to mentor girls and young women who are interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Aleida began her career at BP as an intern in the oil fields of West Texas, and later went on to work at the company’s world headquarters in London as the executive assistant to the group head of safety and operational risk. Throughout her 25-year career at BP, Aleida has held a variety of leadership posts in operations and engineering. Prior to her current role, Aleida was vice president of operations for the company’s North American onshore business, which spanned seven states and included nine operating centers, 1,300 employees, more than 10,000 operated wells, and 1.5 billion cubic feet of daily natural gas production.
Chief Medical Officer, SVP Global Patient Safety, Medical Affairs and Evidence and Value Development / Member Board of Directors EMD Serono, Inc / Medidata Solutions
Rivas is a pharmaceutical executive, experienced corporate board director, and UStrained, board-certified endocrinologist. At S&P 500 and international companies, Rivas has started-up, led and transformed high-performing global teams of up to 2000 medical, research, safety, and compliance professionals in over 90 countries. She has launched several blockbuster medicines in numerous therapeutic areas and managed budgets of $0.5- 1 billion dollars/year. Rivas’s work has enriched the products’ value propositions throughout their lifecycles, impacted patient outcomes, and enhanced the reputations of their respective companies.
Special Advisor to the CEO HP Inc.
Kim currently serves as a special advisor to the CEO of HP, Inc. She is a seasoned public company executive with a track record spanning technology, health care, and consumer products. She has experience shaping and driving business and go-tomarket strategies, negotiating and integrating major acquisitions, and navigating complex corporate governance, compliance and regulatory issues. Most recently, she was President, Strategy and Business Management and Chief Legal Officer at HP. In this role she led corporate strategy and business development, customer support, procurement, real estate and workplace functions, as well as sales operations and enterprise transformation. Rivera also led HP’s worldwide legal organization, including all aspects of legal, governance, ethics and compliance, and government affairs. Rivera was appointed to the Thomson Reuters Board of Directors in 2019, and the Cano Health Board of Directors in March 2021. She also currently serves on the Boards of the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School.
CLAUDIA ROMO EDELMAN Founder We Are All Human
Claudia is Mexican-Swiss diplomat. She is a Global Mobilization Expert and a Latina Social Entrepreneur, a Marketer for social causes, advocate and catalyst for change. She is the Founder of the We Are All Human Foundation, the Hispanic Star, and Global GoalsCast. She has more than 25 years of experience leading marketing and advocacy for global organizations including UNICEF, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum. She has launched hundreds of successful campaigns and initiatives including the SDG Lions, Product (RED), and the Sustainable Development Goals. She speaks 6 languages. Claudia is an inspiring speaker and media contributor; and an activist for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Screenwriter & Founder Vida, Ojalá Productions
Tanya has been a showrunner since 2018, on the Starz series "Vida". She has also written for shows such as HBO's "Looking," "Girls," and "Devious Maids." Tanya now has a newly created production company, Ojalá.
Co-Founder & Managing Director Ulu Ventures
Miriam Rivera is co- founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, a top seed stage venture fund in Silicon Valley focused on IT startups. Ulu drives better VC returns using decision analysis which helps reduce cognitive bias. Previously, Miriam was vice-president/deputy general counsel at Google, joining as the second attorney. Her work to simplify contracts helped Google scale from $85m to $10b in 5 years. Miriam earned AB, AM and JD/MBA degrees from Stanford; was a trustee at the university and currently serves on Stanford’s Lead Council and the Stanford Law School Venture Fund. She has been honored with the Stanford Medal, awarded to fewer than 1 percent of alumni. Miriam is on the investment committee of Acumen Fund America, is a Kauffman Foundation Board member and an advisor to the Launch with GS Advisory Council, a Goldman Sachs initiative to reduce the investing gap for Black and LatinX founders.
MARIA ELENA SALINAS
Independent Journalist, Producer, Contributor, Philanthropist CBS News
Maria Elena is a Spanish-language news anchor and journalist. She was previously a co-anchor of Univision's nightly newscast, Noticiero Univision, and the network's news magazine, Aquí y Ahora. She has interviewed heads of state and national leaders around the world, including every president of the United States since Jimmy Carter. In 2007, Salinas co-hosted the first Spanish-language presidential forums for Democratic and Republican candidates on Univision. In addition to her role as a broadcast journalist, Salinas is also a radio commentator and a syndicated columnist. Her writing appears in Spanish and English in more than 55 newspapers across the United States. Salinas is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She serves on the board of directors of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Her work has earned the top awards presented in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Gracie Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.
Vice President, Family Care, CIO Procter and Gamble & PGVentures
Julieta is Business Technology an IT executive with multinational experience for over 19 years at Procter & Gamble. Her international experience with Procter & Gamble covers working in Venezuela, Latin America; Toronto-Canada, Frankfurt-Germany and Cincinnati, OH- USA. In her current role, Julieta is the division CIO for Global Feminine Care, Family Care and P&G Ventures businesses. Julieta is responsible for all aspects of Information and Digital Technology, Data & Analytics and Information Security for Procter and Gamble’s Global Feminine Care, Family Care and P&G Ventures. Julieta also serves as IT sponsor for Hispanic Community at P&G and plays a critical executive role in the Corporate Hispanic Leadership Team and in the IT Women Leadership Team. Julieta holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Strategy & Trust Officer Forcepoint
Myrna serves as a strategic business and technology driver of the company’s enterprise vision, strategy and programs to protect people, critical data and IP both within the company and for thousands of Forcepoint customers around the globe. She also serves as a global leader and champion for both the development and execution of strategic initiatives that continue to propel Forcepoint forward as the industry leader for user and data protection worldwide and global enterprises’ trusted cybersecurity partner of choice. Before joining Forcepoint, Myrna served as the Chief Operating Officer in Digital Hands. In this role she was a critical leader in securing the company's first capital round of funding and building the company’s world-class leadership team. Prior to Digital Hands, Soto was a Partner at ForgePoint Capital (Formerly known as Trident Capital Cybersecurity). As a security and information technology veteran Myrna held senior leadreship roles and lead Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Comcast and MGM Resorts. Myrna serves on the Board of CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS) Spirit Airlines ( NYSE:SAVE) and Popular Inc (NASDAQ:BPOP) operating under the names of Banco Popular and Popular Bank.
Deputy Communications Director The White House
Pili is a Guatemalan-American political advisor who serves as White House Deputy Communications Director in the Biden administration. Tobar previously worked as the deputy director of America's Voice and as an aide to Senator Chuck Schumer. In July 2020, she joined the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign as communications director for coalitions.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Aerospace Engineer NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Diana is a Colombian aerospace engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She currently leads the engineering team at JPL responsible for the robotic arm of the Perseverance rover.On February 18th 2021, Trujillo hosted the first ever Spanish-language NASA transmission of a planetary landing, for the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. Trujillo joined NASA in 2007, working at Goddard Space Flight Center on the Constellation program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on human and robotic space missions.She has served many roles, including Surface Sampling System Activity Lead and Dust Removal Tool Lead Systems Engineer. She worked as flight director on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover robotic arm. She has been involved in several initiatives to inspire young women from Latin America and African-American women to pursue a career in science and engineering. She took part in a discussion about Hidden Figures at the University of Southern California alongside Octavia Spencer and Pharrell Williams. She has been a mentor for the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which she created with her husband Will Pomerantz.
Supreme Court Justice United States Supreme Court
Sonia Sotomayor made history on August 6, 2009, when the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Appointed by President Barack Obama, Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. She is the third woman to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor has been identified with concern for the rights of defendants, calls for reform of the criminal justice system, and making impassioned dissents on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity, including Schuette v. BAMN, Utah v. Strieff, and Trump v. Hawaii. In January 2021, Sonia Sotomayor swore in Kamala Harris as the Vice President of the United States. It was a considered historic as Sotomayor is the first Woman of Color to serve on the Supreme Court and Harris is the first Woman, African-American, and Asian American Vice President.
BLANCA TREVIÑO President & CEO Softtek
Blanca has been leading Softtek as President and CEO of Softtek since 2000. Under her leadership, Softtek has become the leading information technology services company in Latin America. Throughout her 30-year career at Softtek, Blanca has gained international recognition as a promoter of the IT services industry in and from emerging countries. To help increase the participation of Latin America in the IT field, Blanca has collaborated with various government administrations in the early strategies of development. As President, Blanca has positioned Softtek as a key component for opening the doors from Mexico to the United States as a provider of IT services. This shaped what is known today as Nearshore, Softtek’s trademarked delivery model, and a term widely used in the industry to define outsourcing services provided by countries within close proximity.
Chairwoman & CEO Pinnacle Group
Nina is Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a Latina-owned global workforce solutions provider named fastest-growing woman-owned company in the country twice in the last six years. The workforce solutions industry has recognized Nina repeatedly as a leader in the industry, including her in the Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing list every year in the list’s six-year history. In addition to her work with Pinnacle, Nina is one of the few Latinas in the nation serving on the boards of publicly traded companies and also serves as a civic leader and philanthropist, working relentlessly to expand opportunities for minorities and women in business. In 2014 she was appointed by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and is a German Marshall Fellow, a British American Project Fellow, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and in 2019 became a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a recipient of the coveted Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneur award, and just last month Vaca was recognized by the SIA in their inaugural list of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Influencers.
Executive President / Principal & Co-Founder Latino Donor Collaborative / Valdez Productions & Consulting, Inc.
An American marketing, media, and political consultant, Ana was born and raised in Mexico City, studied and worked in Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S., and currently lives in Los Angeles. Together with the incredible group of national business leaders on the board of the LDC, she works every day to create a realistic image of the American Latino community nationwide. LDC partners with top universities and think tanks to present information that clearly shows the importance of Latinos for the economy and growth of the US, and by partnering with media and PR giants to distribute such information. Additionally, the LDC has developed close partnerships with ad agencies, CMOs, and content creators to create a realistic portrayal of Hispanics in media, avoid stereotypes, and show the kind of impact this community has at all levels. Ana has 25 years of experience in marketing, media creation, and communications.
ROCIO VAN NIEROP
Co founder & Executive Director Latinas in Tech
Rocio is Co-founder and Executive Director of Latinas in Tech, a powerful non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and connecting Latinas in the Technology Industry. Rocio was previously the Director of Product Marketing at Prezi where she spent several years launching Prezi's products nationally and internationally. Prior to her role in Product Marketing, Rocio was General Manager of Prezi Latin America making Prezi one of the leading presentation platforms pushing the boundaries of innovation and effective communications. Rocío has been an advocate for tech inclusion, participating in multiple boards of charitable organizations that push forward the participation of underrepresented minorities. Besides Latinas in Tech, Rocio has co-founded Silicon Valley Day - a conference that brings the best minds of Silicon Valley to multiple cities and countries in Latin America, helped start Red Global de Talentos Mexicanos in San Francisco, as well as the EXATEC alumni group in San Francisco.
STEPHANIE ZAPATA MOORE
EVP, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, & Corporate Secretary Vistra Energy
As executive vice president and general counsel of Vistra Energy, Stephanie advises the company’s leadership team on legal, regulatory and corporate governance matters, in addition to overseeing the corporate secretary’s office and leading the company’s legal and compliance team. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president and general counsel of Luminant, a competitive power generation subsidiary of Vistra Energy and its predecessor Energy Future Holdings. Stephanie's primary responsibilities included coordination and delivery of all legal services for Luminant, including commercial matters, litigation, environmental advocacy, and regulatory compliance and counseling. Prior to joining Luminant in 2005, Zapata Moore was an associate at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in the corporate and securities practice group, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions and private securities offerings. She also spent a year in the trial practice group at Gardere, where she represented clients in commercial litigation matters.
Founding Partner & Managing Director SV LATAM Capital
Consuelo Valverde is a serial entrepreneur turned VC. Her drive is to produce great financial returns while being a growing force for good in the world. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of SV LATAM Capital, an early - stage vc firm investing in science and technology enabled startups to transform societies, environment, and health on a global scale, with a unique focus on Latin America. Consuelo founded her first tech company at the age of 21. Her first angel investment provided 3,500% in capital gains. She is an electrical engineer with two master’s degrees in science and graduate work in genomic medicine. In 2020, Consuelo was named one of the top 100 most influential Latinas in the US. She is also a Kauffman Fellow.
Partner & Chief Human Resources Officer / Board Member TPG Global / Upwork
Anilu is an expert and prominent voice on both human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. As a Partner and Chief Human Resources Officer of TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm, Anilu oversees the firm’s Human Resources function and provides support and counsel to executives across TPG’s portfolio of more than 200 companies. She is also a member of TPG’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining TPG in 2018, Anilu spent 11 years at the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., serving in a variety of roles, most recently as Chief Diversity Officer and Global Head of Talent. Before Goldman Sachs, she was an associate in the executive compensation and employee benefits group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Anilu currently serves on the Boards of Teach for America-Bay Area, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Fordham University School of Law Alumni, and the Vera Institute of Justice. She has been named one of the Most Powerful Latinas in Business by Forbes Magazine and was listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Latinas in 2020 by Latino Leaders. The Association of Latino Professionals For America also recently recognized her as one of the best Corporate Culture Developers in their 2020 50 Most Powerful Latinas list. Anilu holds a JD from Fordham University School of Law, and an AB in History and Latin American Studies, cum laude from Princeton University.
Captain / Director of Community Outreach and Relations United Airlines / Latino Pilots Association
Claudia is passionate about sharing the piloting profession with women and persons of color and empowering them through outreach programs and organizations. she is a proud member of Women in Aviation International, Latino Pilots Association, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
INSPIRED BY THE PAST, CARRYING IT FORWARD
A leader not only influences at its own way but she has as well found her inspiration and motivation from those that are close to her and have paved her way. We asked the “100 Latinas” who or what has inspired them to be who they are today and this is what some of them had to say. "MY MOTHER. SHE WAS FEARLESS, AND BELIEVED THAT WITH EDUCATION, HARD WORK AND ENTHUSIASM ONE COULD ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING. SHE TAUGHT ME TO SET GOALS, STAY GROUNDED AND EXPRESS GRATITUDE.” Priscila Almodovar
“My parents taught me family values, work ethic, philanthropy, and unwavering honesty. Harvard Business School taught me the importance of nurturing long-term relationships and the skills to rationally dissect businesses.” Kim Casiano
"MY FATHER. BORN IN A TINY VILLAGE, THE GRANDSON OF ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS, HE STARTED A WINE REVOLUTION WHICH PUT ARGENTINE WINE ON THE WORLD MAP. WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME “WAS IT HARD TO BE A WOMAN IN THE MACHO WORLD OF WINE?” ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE NICOLÁS CATENA ZAPATA AS MY FATHER.” Laura Catena
"My father instilled in all of us the overriding importance of a good education and that there is no substitute for hard work and excellence. My mom taught me to always aim high, to reach for the stars in order to get the moon. All this in a home filled with music and books. I was lucky and constantly inspired.” Leila Cobo
"My Hispanic heritage has been an important influence on who I am and my path to date. As immigrants, my parents pushed us to always put forward the best version of ourselves and always strive for the highest level achievable.”
Latinas are the largest growing business sector in the United States, so the American economy thrives on Latina businesses! Let's invest in further growth of Latina businesses to strengthen our nation's economy.”
"The thing that inspires me every day is the number of people dying from infectious diseases. I know through modeling and disease forecasting, we can reduce global disease burden and so that has inspired me to continue and make a difference.” Sara Del Valle
"MY MOTHER ALWAYS INSTILLED IN ME THE NOTION THAT EDUCATION, HARD WORK AND GIVING BACK TO OTHERS WAS MY TICKET TO SUCCESS. HER ENCOURAGEMENT TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS AND TO NEVER FORGET WHERE I CAME FROM HAS MADE ME THE LATINA CHAMPION AND LEADER I AM TODAY." Betty Francisco MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 31
"MY MOM, DIVA, WHO WE LOST TO BREAST CANCER, WAS A PIONEER FOR WOMEN AND EQUITY IN THE WORKPLACE BACK IN COLOMBIA. I GREW UP WATCHING HER DEFY THE ODDS LEADING AS A WOMAN IN ENGINEERING IN THE MALE-DOMINATED OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY. SHE NEVER LOST HER FEMININITY, SHE WAS ALWAYS OBSESSIVELY FOCUSED ON EXCELLENCE AND RESULTS AND ALWAYS STAYED PURPOSEFUL TO IMPACT AND INSPIRE OTHERS ALONG HER JOURNEY. I AM HONORED TO CARRY ON HER LEGACY THROUGH THE WORK I DO EVERY DAY.”
"Over the years, I have been inspired by many individuals whether those individuals are leaders, my management, or intimate family members and friends. And while we can be inspired by others to become who we desire to become, I firmly believe the person that must inspire you most is yourself. Fundamentally, you have to take a bet on yourself and Vincent Van Gogh’s quote best reflects this sentiment: ""If you hear a voice within you saying 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Sandra Lopez
"I keep on my desk a photo of five generations of women in my family: my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mom, and a baby, me. These women exemplified how to balance work and life while being empathetic, determined, and authentic — even in the most difficult situations.” "I was raised to believe I could achieve whatever I set my mind to. That belief planted the seed of curiosity and a sense of duty to make the most of the opportunities life has presented me.” Carolina Jannicelli
"My parents' deep love for family, respect for hard work, investment in education and traditional values are attributes I bring to my authentic self every day. When it comes to where I am today, there are many amazing leaders that have been key to defining my journey. A common element from this group has been their unwavering guidance and support. They have and continue to lift me and others up, and their example of championing one another has been a source of inspiration.” Maria Teresa Lensing
Many people inspire me, but none more than my mother, whose resilience set the stage for who I would become.” Maria Martinez
“My mother inspires me to be passionate about my endeavors and continuously seek personal and professional growth.” Christine Montenegro
"My family and a small circle of very close friends and confidants continue to inspire me to work hard, dream big, stay curious and keep me grounded and honest regarding my values.”
"OUR LATINA TO LATINA LISTENERS ARE BUILDING LIVES THAT ARE OFTEN DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WAS PRESCRIBED TO THEM OR EXPECTED OF THEM. WATCHING THEM UNLOCK THEIR POWER AND CHOOSE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES ON THEIR OWN TERMS INSPIRES ME TO DO THE SAME.”
Lilli Gil Valleta
32 LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
QUOTES "I am constantly inspired and awed by the remarkable Latinas in my life – their intelligence, resilience, ambition, warmth, humor and spirit energize me and carry me forward. The wave starts close to home with my mother and the women in my family, continues with the network of Latina executives and entrepreneurs that I am privileged to be a part of and crests with inspiring women that embody Latina excellence like Sonia Sotomayor and Ellen Ochoa. Every day is an opportunity to help the world recognize our talent, our excellence and what we can contribute.” Kim Rivera
"MY MOM IS MY BIGGEST HERO AND INSPIRATION. SHE TAUGHT ME TO NOT LET FEAR TAKE THE DECISIONS. MY MOTHER’S GREATEST LESSON TO ME WAS NOT TO BE FEARLESS BUT FEARFREE. SHE STARTED OVER MANY TIMES, IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS AND CAREERS, MOST OF THOSE WITH HER CHILDREN IN TOW. BUT HER EXAMPLE TAUGHT ME TO TAKE RISKS.” Claudia Romo Edelman
"The entrepreneurs I have met along the way and many in whom I have invested are my greatest inspiration.” Consuelo Valverde
"I've been blessed with many mentors throughout my life, but my biggest mentor has been and always will be my mother. As my mentor, she constantly pushes me to be my best and challenges me to achieve new heights. She also has taught me to measure success not only in dollars but in the ability to help others who are just beginning their journey.” Nina Vaca
“Thousands of amazing employees, hundreds of clients and one large passionate Latino family. Together they have inspired me to be an impactful global public health leader.” Veronica Edwards
"IN ADDITION TO BEING ENCOURAGED BY MY MOTHER TO PURSUE WHATEVER I WAS INTERESTED IN, I HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY WOMEN WHO CAME BEFORE ME AND HELPED LEAD THE WAY, INCLUDING THE FIRST 6 AMERICAN WOMEN ASTRONAUTS SELECTED BY NASA IN 1978.” Ellen Ochoa
"LATINAS HAVE OFTEN BEEN THE BACKBONE OF THEIR FAMILIES AND I KNOW I STAND ON THE SHOULDERS OF MANY WHO CAME BEFORE ME – INCLUDING LATINAS IN MY OWN FAMILY. MY FAMILY HAS GIVEN ME MY FOUNDATION AND HAS BEEN MY CONSTANT SOURCE OF STRENGTH.”
"I feel I would not be where I am today as CEO/Managing Director of Ulu Ventures if it was not for Gabriel Sandoval. He then inspired me to apply for the Google job where I became VP and deputy general counsel. I followed in his footsteps and was able to get the economic means to start Ulu Ventures.” Miriam Rivera
"Throughout various personal and professional stages of my life, I have been inspired by and learned from strong family members, friends, colleagues and leaders. I have derived equally meaningful lessons from negative role models and experiences. These diverse experiences have refined the kind of leader and human being I have become.” Maria Rivas
MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 33
IN MEMORY OF MONICA MARTINEZ
Latino Leaders Magazine is deeply sadden by the passing of Monica L. Martinez Senior Vice President of national Community Affairs for Comerica Bank. Her work, leadership and care for her community made her one of the most admired and notable Latinas in our Country. As professional storytellers, we want to recognize publicly the service and support she always gave to the Latino Professional and Business Community. “ Monica Martinez was great friend and supporter. I always was told great things about her everywhere I was. Her personal friendship and the care she always showed to me and our magazine is something that I will never forget and for what I will always be grateful. She will be terribly missed”. Jorge Ferraez, Publisher Latino Leaders Magazine “Monica Martinez was a truly amazing individual and leader whose impact on the Hispanic community is immeasurable and will never be forgotten.” Nina Vaca- CEO, Pinnacle Group “Hard work, a commitment to excellence, a passion for the Hispanic community, and the ability to be confident and humble are some of the attributes we should all aspire to. It is what made Monica so special and why she will be missed by so many.” Carlos F. Orta, former boss & mentor “Monica, empowered those around her and found opportunities for them to show their talents. She made sure those in power saw how talented our Latino community was in the business world.” Jess Venegas, President of Ideal Steel "Monica L. Martinez was an incredible Latina leader always lifting her community up! Encouraging her mentees to give back to the community, she lead by example” Jane Garcia, Chair of the Board, SER Jobs for Progres National
34 LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
THE GREAT STORY OF THE ARGENTINIAN MALBEC CATENA ZAPATA MALBEC ARGENTINO 2018
Bodega Catena Zapata
Founded in 1902 by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena, is one of the most iconic producers of wine in Argentina. They are also one of the largest and more important producers of Malbec in the world. They are credited by having put the Argentinian Malbec in the map of the world. One of their flagship wines was once described as the “Lafite-Rothschild of Argentina” by critic Robert Parker (referring to the Nicolas Catena Zapata 2004 Malbec)
What’s so special about the “Nicasia” y “Angelica” vineyards?
Old Vines from the Catena Zapata Family Vineyards, Nicasia and Angélica. The origins of the vines, which we call “The Catena Cuttings”, is a prephyloxeric Massale Selection from the Angélica Vineyard. Harvest time varies depending on each lot's soil composition. Harvest time can vary by several weeks between one lot and another within the same vineyard.
The origin of Malbec
A thick-skinned grape from southwest France with origins in the Languedoc-Roussillon region that was once the main varietal in Boardeaux wine, before substituting it for Cabernet Sauvignon which is nowadays the main varietal. After the terrible Phylloxera plague Malbec found his own terrior in Mendoza, Argentina, where it flourishes fantastically thanks to the weather and vineyard elevations.
• Angelica Vineyard: 3,018 ft (920 m). Lunlunta District, Maipú Region, Mendoza, Argentina. Adjacent to dry river bed. Light gravel, loam and clay. • Nicasia Vineyard: 3,593 ft (1,095 m). Altamira in La Consulta District, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Very shallow loamy topsoil with surface gravel and gravelly (large stones) dry river bed subsoil - optimal drainage. Malbec. Plant selection: Catena Cuttings malbec selection
A survival story
When phylloxera decimated most of the Malbec vineyards in France in the late XIX century, Argentinian Malbec was flourishing in Mendoza, thanks to an effort to stablish Malbec production as an experiment by some of the Argentinian leaders of the time.
The Malbec according to Nicolas Catena; an art piece on a label
“The epic tale of the noble Malbec grape is like no other, and the label for Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino pays tribute to the variety’s history in France and its rise in Argentina. Four female figures embody different landmarks in the history of the grape. Eleanor of Aquitaine represents the birth of Malbec. She is a strong, Old World presence, lingering at the bridge in Cahors, where Malbec came into its own. Next, the Immigrant symbolizes the movement to the New World and the unknown explorers and adventurers who connected Europe with the Americas. Phylloxera personifies the death of Malbec in the Old World, which enabled its rebirth in the new. Finally, there is Bodega Catena Zapata, represented by Adrianna Catena, who depicts birth, earth, and motherhood, sharing the riches of the New World. Today, the Catena family’s fourth generation leads the high-altitude renaissance in Argentina. We are returning Malbec to the sky... where it belongs.”
20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit is handloaded into 225-500 liter new French oak barrels for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 30 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months
Tasting notes of 2018 vintage
Elegant ripeness and dark fruit notes. Medium to full body structure with a well positioned structure and sophisticated texture. Vibrant, complex, expressive notes of raspberry, boysenberry and cherry. Bright and dense in color, with friendly tannins and dark chocolate and mint hints. An incredible expression of terroir and character. Price: $110-$135 MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 35
100 LATINAS CISCO
MEET THE LATINA EXECUTIVES INSIDE CISCO
MARIA MARTINEZ CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Maria is responsible for the company’s operations and transformation, as well as building high-value experiences for its customers, partners, and employees. Martinez oversees Cisco’s Strategy Execution, Customer Success, Renewals, Customer & Partner Experience, Security & Trust, Supply Chain, IT, Services, and Transformation functions. A transformational leader and engineer at heart, Maria brings more than 35 years of leadership experience from a variety of technology sectors including software, services, hardware and networking technology. Martinez has received several distinctions for her leadership, most recently being named as a Technology Visionary on ALPFA’s (Association of Latino Professionals for America) list of 50 Most Powerful Latinas. She holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and a master's degree in computer engineering from Ohio State University. Q: What has your experience in Cisco taught you about teams and individual growth? A: I was drawn to Cisco because of its reputation for a tremendous culture and, even then, it has far exceeded my expectations. This is a company that is deliberate about how we care for one another and for the work at hand. We have a conscious approach to measuring, addressing, and talking about our culture. We are transparent about what we’re doing well and where there are gaps that need solving for. We also don’t shy away from the truth or hard conversations, because we
know that courageous leadership drives the type of clarity we need to thrive, and win, together. Our people strategy is the blueprint for how we navigate the evolving landscape of the workforce of the future and how we capture opportunity through our best asset – our people. We invest heavily in developing individuals, who become a part of powerful teams, who turn Cisco from the “Best Place to Work” to “The Place People Can Do Their Best Work.” Q: Can you tell us more about your work with The Multiplier Effect and its mission? A: The Multiplier Effect (TME) is a globally available sponsorship program built on the belief that we can change the equation for diversity in the workplace through meaningful sponsorships. Data tells us that, when leaders pledge to sponsor at least one person different from them, we can collectively have a multiplier effect on building a diverse pipeline of extraordinary talent – at every level, and across all industries. At Cisco, our mission is to Power an Inclusive Future for all, meaning that we hold ourselves responsible for bridging the gaps of inequity and exclusion globally. I’m particularly passionate about building teams that are reflective of the world we live in, and creating opportunities for our future generation of leaders. We have seen incredible change happen, barriers removed, and underrepresented employees find support in remarkable ways. As the executive sponsor of TME, we have built sponsorship as a core attribute inside of our people strategy and are excited to understand the impact it will have.
VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, CISCO NETWORKING ACADEMY
Laura Quintana leads Cisco Networking Academy, the world’s largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility education program. As Vice President and General Manager, she directs strategy, global field operations, and educational technology offerings to advance the Academy’s skills-to-jobs training in 180 countries. Under Laura’s leadership, 2.3 million students en-
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rolled in FY20, and since 1997, 12.6 million students have participated in the program. Networking Academy has delivered groundbreaking initiatives in sought-after technology fields including cybersecurity, cloud, and networking. Her work at Networking Academy aligns to her personal mission – to bring opportunity to people everywhere, particularly the underserved. She cares passionately about diversity and making an impact on peoples' lives and communities. She is a sponsor of Cisco’s Conexion Latino Network, and Cristo Rey San Jose High School, member of the California Community College Chancellor's Office Economic and Workforce Development Advisory Committee, and serves on the board of SER Jobs for Progress National. Q: As Latinos continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields and technology, what can organizations do to create more inclusive communities? A: Now, more than ever, we must step up to support the Latino community with STEM and education opportunities. The pandemic created an inordinate impact on Latinos. Here in the U.S. white Americans experienced a nearly 11 point increase in unemployment while Latinos saw unemployment jump over 18 percent. The public and private sector must come together with collective resolve to create pathways for reskilling and opportunity. I am proud to work for a company that is investing to create a more inclusive future, advance our partnerships to reach more people, and to develop a skills-tojobs curriculum that leads to meaningful work and fulfilling futures. At Cisco Networking Academy, we’re focused on partnering with Hispanic-serving institutions as well as offering a full array of our courses in several languages. We meet learners where they are and align our offerings to what is needed now. Q: How has your personal and professional journey prepared you for your current role? A: My parents immigrated as adults to the U.S. from Mexico. My Mom never studied past middle school because she worked at an early age. She also did not speak English well nor did she learn to drive. So, I served as her interpreter and we took public transportation everywhere together – a fast track to empowerment! She would share her wisdom in often-repeated encouragement: “querer es poder” (where there is a will there is a way) and “nadie te puede quitar tu educación” (no one can take away your education). My Mom passed away 26 years ago, but the words are as fresh now as when she first said them. She encouraged me by emphasizing the value of education and the importance of working to achieve my goals. Thanks to her guidance, I was the first in my family to go to college and studied engineering at Stanford. This foundation and mentors throughout stages of my education and career prepared me for a position where I can pay it forward with scale to impact the lives of millions. As I progressed and worked for various companies, I tended to seek out large challenges, which naturally led to positions of leadership. I also like to learn and I’m not afraid to challenge the status quo.
JAQUELINE GUICHELAAR SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & GROUP CIO
Jacqueline Guichelaar is Chief Information Officer at Cisco. She is spearheading the creation of a digital architecture to accelerate Cisco’s digital enterprise transformation. She oversees a multi-billion dollar organization responsible for running and transforming the technology infrastructure, digital platforms, enterprise security, and business applications that enable Cisco’s global workforce to excel. Jacqui brings a strong operational background focused on bringing data to the center of business decisions and transforming organizations to align to business strategy and customer needs. She also brings boundless energy, a sharp intellect, and a compelling communication style. She is an authentic, effective motivator who eagerly takes on large challenges, using them as opportunities to educate, lead, and develop others. Jacqui is Co-Executive Sponsor of the Cisco – Cristo Rey Work Study program, and on the boards of Covenant House California, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and Cano Health. She is co-chair for the 2021 American Cancer Society Discovery Gala in San Francisco and in 2020 won a Gold Stevie Award in the Woman of the Year – Technology category. Q: What do you believe are the major technological transformations affecting companies in the next 10 years? A: The last year has shown that transformation isn’t a predictable, one-time event, and I’m sure that the speed of transformation in the next 10 years will continue to increase. It’s challenging but also presents incredible opportunity. Many companies have been undergoing tremendous decentralization – both computing workloads and employees are moving out of corporate campuses. The trend was already underway before and has certainly been accelerated by the global pandemic. Even when things return to relative normal, though, not everyone will be going back to their office. The future of work is going to be hybrid. The technologies that enable that – allowing people to collaborate easily, effectively, and most of all securely no matter where they are will have a tremendous influence on how people work, how productive they are, and ultimately how companies do business. Q: When a young girl, did you imagine yourself in a top leadership role? Was it a dream of yours? A: No. I was born in Uruguay and immigrated with my family to Australia when I was quite young. We had very modest beginnings, and I never would have thought I would end up as a CIO, running one of the largest IT organizations in the world. My career in IT began when I was 17 years old. I started out as a humble tape, print and mainframe operator on the night shift. I learned a tremendous amount about the ins and outs of various technologies by doing many of the roles. Technology has actually been a common theme in the industries that I’ve worked – I love tech for what it can do for the world. MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 37
100 LATINAS JULIETA SCHUSTER
TRANSFORMING TECH AND TALENT, ALL THROUGH INTENTION Julieta Schuster didn’t necessarily plan out her life or know exactly what career she would pursue, but her personality made her a natural leader, driven to see results and create change.
JULIETA SCHUSTER CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER FOR FAMILY CARE AND P&G VENTURES
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AFTER 21 YEARS with Procter & Gamble, she continues to grow with intention, both personally and professionally. Schuster was born in Venezuela during “the precious days of the country,” she proudly describes. Both her parents were immigrants. “My mom was from Spain and my dad from Argentina. I spent the first 23 years of my life in Venezuela, where I went to school and later joined Procter & Gamble,” she said, reminiscing. At the time, Venezuela had one of the most renowned engineering universities, Universidad Simon Bolivar, where Schuster earned a degree in chemical engineering. Growing up, Schuster’s father ran an IT Institute. She attended summer school there and learned to code at eight years old.
“EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE IN COLLEGE, I LIVED AND BREATHED IT FOR A LONG TIME THANKS TO MY FATHER’S BUSINESS,” SHE SAID. Schuster joined P&G in 2000 while in Venezuela, first working as IT Manager in SAP implementations for the Latin America region. Her role with the company brought her to Canada in November 2003 followed by a move to P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters in 2008 where she’s mostly lived ever since. Schuster credits her parents for her work ethic and drive. While her father built his IT institute, her mother worked as an executive assistant for a cosmetics distributor, making it natural for Schuster to think of pursuing her own career. “I always knew I would be doing something where I would have a big future, an opportunity to grow, be a leader and be independent,” she said. Schuster’s father passed away when she was sixteen, so her mother took on the solo responsibility of preparing her and her brother for college. Schuster first thought of pursuing medicine, but her mother helped her think through the pros and cons and get mentors to guide her on the decision. Pursuing a different path in the science field, she shifted her focus to Engineering.
Growth Outside of Venezuela and Beyond In Schuster’s eyes, Venezuela was in many ways ahead of other countries when it came to empowering women in the workforce. After moving to Canada and later the United States, she gained a new awareness for the challenges women and minorities can face at work. But she credits advocates and sponsors for helping her navigate these challenges along her career journey. Because of this, she has prioritized being a mentor to up-and-coming Latinx women and men, both inside and outside of P&G. “Mentoring is my way of paying it forward,” she explains. “I humbly believe the recipe for success is getting the right advice and getting perspectives different from your own.” Schuster leads a diverse team in her role as IT VP and CIO for the Family Care and NBU business units of P&G. She loves that advances in technology have given her team the power to transform the way they work and better serve consumers. “At P&G, IT was focused solely on making the company work more efficiently. That conversation has changed,” Schuster added. “Now it is about driving value and growth as part of the digital transformation she is leading, with irresistible superior products and brands.” Schuster is passionate about leading teams, achieving change, and fostering new talent. “For me, the meaning of leadership has evolved, especially considering the events of last year, including the pandemic. As leaders, we need to serve our people and give them the vision while directing them with clear priorities and what matters most.” Achieving balance in her busy life can be hard. But, at the end of the day, Schuster remains grounded in what is most important for her. TJulieta is the Chief Information Officer for Family Care and P&G Ventures. In this role, her goal is to facilitate the technology needed to help P&G innovate and solve consumer pain points. P&G Ventures is an early-stage startup studio within P&G that creates new brands and businesses by partnering with entrepreneurs, visionaries, and startups—with customized partnerships to deliver a win-win, and create consumer products, brands and businesses that solve consumer needs in new categories for P&G. To learn more, follow P&G Ventures on Twitter ( @PGVstudio) and LinkedIn ( P&G Ventures Studio) for updates on future Innovation Challenges and other opportunities to connect with the P&G Ventures team.
“My family and friends bring me back when I am busy, and my mind is focusing too much on work. I don't make sacrifices when it comes to this matter. I have a support network. I have been very fortunate to have my mom and extended family along my side, including my male family members who take as much responsibility as women around the house,” she said. When it comes to advice to the Latinas coming after her, her message is this: simply remember to be themselves and enjoy what they do for a living. “If you’re your authentic self and enjoy what you do, you are going to be successful,” she said. “If a push is needed that is where advisors come in. Help is always available.” MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 39
100 LATINAS SINDY BENAVIDES
CIVIC LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY Bill Sarno
SINCE 2018, Sindy Marisol Benavides has served as chief executive officer of the League of United Latino American Citizens, the nation's oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organizations with more than a 132,000 members across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In this leadership role, despite the "abnormal" environment created by the coronavirus epidemic, Benavides, a Honduran-American, has been fully engaged in revising the narrative that has left too many Latinos outside the American mainstream and treated as if they don't belong here. "We are creating the change now, going from invisible to being very visible and being very clear in our actions and our words," Benavides said. In moving forward, LULAC is committed to the struggle for greater Latina and Latino representation in the highest echelons of education, business and elected office. As for her position at a top rung of Latino nonprofit world, Benavides relies on a sense of leadership based on consensus building and listening to others, a commitment to giving derived from her family background and a recognition of the strength and ability within the Latino community. Moreover, Benavides has experienced first hand the struggles and hardships many Latinos face as members of the nation's largest minority group. As a one-year-old, Sindy Benavides crossed the border into the United States in the arms of her mother, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, accompanied by her father and three-year-old border. The Benavides family first settled in Los Angeles and endured hard times. She remembers picking up cans in the streets of the California city and later cleaning houses with her mother in Virginia to help her family subsist. Whatever the situation, Benavides held onto her vision of the United States as a land of opportunity and drew upon the values imparted by "pioneering parents" and a clear understanding that she came from a community that is "very strong, resilient and determined," she said. Initially, Benavides found herself moving swiftly through the political ranks as a volunteer. "I have always been involved, she said, and willing
to take on whatever task was needed, even serving as a greeter. Moreover, Benavides "had a lot to say" about her Latino community. What Benavides had to offer was observed by leaders in Virginia's Democratic organization and at the age of 22, she was chosen Latino director in Tim Kaine's gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. The following year she became a senior member of the governor's cabinet. "I was always the youngest in the room," she recalled. Benavides would take her youthful determination and skills on to the Democratic National Committee and then shift into her current vocation. "It felt like a natural pathway to go into state government, to then go into the non-profit world to continue to serve," Benavides said. "I did not even know what public service was," Benavides said, but credits her parents and grandparents for preparing her for this career. "I always knew that we served others. I grew up in a house where my parents kitchen door was always open, even to strangers. Anyone could walk in through that door to be fed, hear stories and stay for the night," she recalled. Moreover, if when Honduras was hit by a devastating hurricane or someone passed away, her parents would provide whatever help they could, Benavides said. Her grandmother, who had nine children, also always served others. "For fun times she would make Rosaries for her local community and if someone knocked on her door she would make sure to provide food, even if it was the little she had," Benavides recalled. Now the parent of two children herself, Benavides is very much influenced by her mother and the "courage she had to leave everything behind and come to a country she did not know."
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Benavides never considered herself a leader. "I always was that person working behind the scenes for the governor or for the DNC," the LULAC CEO said. "It was always about getting things done, and I did not care who got credit." What was important, however, is trying to understand all sides, to a seek consensus and to let others talk, said Benavides. "Part of being leader is opening up the pathway and the door for others to lead and serve," she said. Benavides takes pride that during her tenure, which includes the "abnormal" pandemic period, LULAC's membership has doubled and its visibility has grown. Much of this increased attention comes from the grassroots work of thousands of members, who she describes as the "power of LULAC," to help Latinos experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity and financial insecurity. LULAC has been hosting drives in cities such as Dallas, Miami, and Los Angeles. "We do all that work," Benavides said. In addition, LULAC gained national recognition when it intervened last year to demand action by the military when Latina soldier Vanessa Guillén disappeared and later was found murdered at Fort Hood. "We helped create that awareness, the momentum nationally about what was happening," Benavides said. During this campaign LULAC unexpectedly found it had opened a Pandora's Box, Benavides recalled. "So many women were using our hashtag IamVanessaGuillen to tell us about sexual assaults, the culture of the military and what they had experienced," she said. The coronavirus pandemic brought new challenges. When LULAC asked the Centers for Disease Control for information in Spanish about COVID 19, it was told "we don't have it and don't know when we will," Benavides asserts. So LULAC took on the task of disseminating information about COVID-19 in Spanish. Not only was their need to explain precautions such as wearing a mask and about vaccinations, the Washington, D.C.-based organization had to counter misinformation. "We want to make sure our community understands what they are getting from Facebook and other social media and question the source, Benavides said. As for the present, Benavides said, "We have never been so busy." This activities resonates with the course charted when LULAC was formed in 1929. This mission ranges "from education, to health to housing, to civil rights, to economic empowerment, to political empowerment. You name it we do it," she said. For example, she cites the recent demise of the pay equity bill in the Senate. It is not tolerable, she said that women are still discriminated against when it comes to pay equity. LULAC also is working to stop "hate for profit" and online disinformation that targets people of color, Muslims, the LGBTQ community," Benavides said.
What needs to be emphasized, she said, is "how resilient we are, how intelligent and smart and how proud we are to be Americans. So many in our community are working in terms of their identity, understanding their identity as a Latino, a Latinx in the United States." Since May 1, Benavides has been the vice president of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a conglomerate of activist organizations. "Coming together will be important," Benavides said. "This includes making sure all national organizations are thinking of that big picture plan as well as what we can do collectively to create that impact for our communities across the United States, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. "Part of it is really looking at big picture and making sure we are shifting from being tactical to having strategies, not only having the immediate, long term, short term plans, but also the contingency plan in terms of having the policies whether it be immigration reform, or whether it is infrastructure, health care reform, or education, Benavides said. In addition, Benavides said, "it is important that we begin the hard work of making sure that corporations who market to the Latino community, profit from the Latino community but don't have any Latinos on the corporate board understand that it is unacceptable, that diversity, equity and inclusion, includes Latinos." "There is clearly lots of work to be done," the HonduranAmerican said. "It starts with us today." In 30 years, Latinos will comprise about one third of the U.S. population, or 130 million people, Benavides said. "Yes, America we are part of your destiny." MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 41
100 LATINAS ELIZABETH NIETO
SPOTIFY’S NEWEST MEMBER, Elizabeth Nieto Bill Sarno
Whether it be a new country or a different work environment, Elizabeth Nieto has demonstrated an ability to successfully adapt and succeed, and even be an agent of change, whether it be gender equality or sustainability in the corporate setting.
A NATIVE OF Argentina, Nieto became Global Head of Equity and Impact at Spotify in March, and already is enthusiastic about the Swedish-founded audio streaming company and its corporate culture. As someone coming from the financial world, Nieto said, she has found it both refreshing and surprising that Spotify bandmates as they call their employees are "playful and not taking themselves very seriously," which is one of the company’s values. At the same time, Nieto is very serious about playing a role at a global company that serves hundreds of million listeners worldwide. Several of Nieto's responsibilities at Spotify are familiar and segue with her background in human resources and talent management. This involves leading the 15-year-old audio streaming trend setter's diversity, inclusion and belonging programs. However, there are also two new areas of responsibility, social impact and sustainability, that have aroused her enthusiasm. "We are bringing the three portfolios together," Nieto said, "creating synergies, as we understand that they are part of who we are as a brand and for our employees, we want to be leaders in inclusion, social impact and sustainability. Nieto likes that Spotify has merged the three portfolios, especially "we need to understand what sustainability means for our business, we know that climate change has a high impact on some populations that are already marginalized. Through our platform and with our employees, we want to have a positive impact on the world and support creators from all backgrounds." Moreover, Nieto said, "What we find is that our employees want to do this work and want to work for a company that aligns with their values and want to see we support some of the topics that they believe are important to bettering the world." Nieto advocates that a good opportunity for the business can be a good opportunity for the people who work there. The company benefits when employees feel they have purpose. "It is important for employers to provide inspiration to our listeners, and to do it year after year, you have to believe in the power of audio," she said. "In the case of Spotify, we talk a lot about being a talent first organization. Our mission is simple: we want to unlock the potential of human creativity, giving millions
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of creators the opportunity to live off their art, while giving billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by this art," the company's Global Head of Equity and Impact stated. Spotify wants to ensure its nearly 7,000 employees have success within the organization no matter their background, she said. In meeting with people at Spotify, Nieto is impressed by employees' passion for music and the spoken word. For this workforce, listening is everything. "This is what they wake up every morning to do," she said. For Nieto, the ability to acclimate to new conditions is at least partially derived from her background. She describes herself and her family as immigrants. She was born, raised and educated in Argentina. Her grandparents came from Romania, her father from Spain and her adult daughter already has developed her professional career in Dubai. "We don't stay in one place for more than one generation," she said with a smile, citing war, economics, education and career opportunities as the primary reasons for immigrating. Nieto education includes a master's degree in educational sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. "I thought I would workÂ in early education and I ended up in corporate education," she said, the best serendipity decision I made. As the first member of her family to graduate from a university or work in corporations, Nieto said she didn't know that these kinds of jobs existed. Moreover as a Latina, she has had to rise above a part of her culture that counters the idea of women being ambitious. "That has been the biggest piece of learning, accepting that it is okay to be ambitious. While still wanting others to rise with you. The other myth is that you have it all “all I know is that I have committed to both my career and my family. Soon after she entered the workforce, Nieto's career path brought her to the United States where for more than 30 years she has earned leadership posts in human resources at some of the giants of the financial services sector and more recently in an executive role at Amazon. At the beginning of her career, and what Nieto said led into the area of diversity and inclusion, was her focus on solving for gender inequality and her understanding that
there were marginalized communities that were not having access to either education or work opportunities." "We were really looking at gender as the driver in understanding why women were either leaving the workforce or they were not being promoted at the same pace as their male colleagues," Nieto said. "They were not leaving the workforce to stay at home, they were leaving the workforce to be an entrepreneur, work for a purpose driven, kinder culture or to do other work in philanthropy. I knew we needed to fix the culture of these companies, by evolving the systems that created obstacles for the women to succeed." She focused on studying the systems that existed that were precluding or were supporting one population and not others. She noted that other professionals who came from human resources or talent management, as well as from employment and labor law, were thinking about "the systems that in their estimations needed to change to have a more diverse labor force," she said. "I am kind of the second generation of diversity and inclusion leaders, and clearly the last year and a half has shown the need for people who understand how systemic injustice happens and then how it gets replicated in processes that may land differently based on your previous experiences, your background, your identity. What specifically does she mean by second generation? "Twenty five or 30 years ago, the first generation of chief diversity officers brought their own experiences in human resources and talent management to the conversation for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Today we are incorporating behavioral sciences and we use data to inform the design of strategies to improve our diversity, inclusion and belonging. Our ultimate goal is to create a more equitable work environment, explained Nieto. One of the areas she finds inspiring about Spotify is how the high tech company has removed what were inhibiting "gateways" to publishing and music, and has created platforms and tools to bring creative people a way, internally and externally, to bring their voice to the public. At the same time, Spotify is opening access to listeners to connect via new offerings like Greenroom.
Moreover, Spotify has been working to inform users about vaccinations globally and voting in the U.S. Nieto said the streaming service noticed that in 2020 people were coming to its platform looking for information about the U.S. election and this led the company to include in its Play Your Part hub, targeted to the new generation of voters to pursue civic engagement. In its second generation, Play Your Part informed listeners about climate change and actions to take to address it. Looking to the future, she tells young people to be open to jobs that do not even exist today. "There will be jobs created by new technologies that do not exist now and certainly when I was growing up."
WRITE AND SHARE #ConnectLL
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100 LATINAS MIRIAM RIVERA
THE PIONEER THROUGHOUT LIFE Miriam Rivera has tapped into her extensive business, legal and tech savvy to co-found and serve as chief executive officer and managing director at Ulu Ventures, an early seed-stage venture fund company which has achieved a leading investment role in the start-up rich Silicon Valley. Much of Ulu's success stems from its emphasis on helping businesses in underserved markets and its focus on diverse leadership and data driven decision-making. The Palo Alto, California company has helped numerous business teams with diverse ethnic, racial and gender leadership to start up, to grow and in some cases to become billion dollar enterprises.phoenix. MIRIAM RIVERA is the daughter of migrant farm workers from Puerto Rico. She is a big exponent of what she sees as an important part in building human capital, specifically the investment people make in themselves and in their careers, which also includes even taking risks. She also appreciates the value of social capital through creating relationships with people who can help pave the way to opportunities. Rivera said she was mentored by an attorney she met at a tech company who now works at Ulu. "When that type of person gets to work with you and sees that you are hungry, curious and learning all the time they end up being supporters, sometimes mentors, sometimes champions." she advised.
Rivera received life-changing help from people in education during her formative years. Miriam arrived in Chicago as a youngster, the daughter of parents who had worked on farms in New York State where she was born and in Florida. The family came to the Illinois city to become factory workers and to provide a stable educational relationship for Miriam's older sister who in the past had to seasonally migrate between schools. Miriam impressed her teachers as a bright child, one with a future, possibly as an attorney because of her ability to argue issues in class. In middle school, the Spanish speaking, free lunch student was placed in the gifted program and was encouraged to seek a scholarship to a private high school, which she received. Rivera said she was blessed to get a lot of scholarships during journey that took her to prestigious Stanford University, her first time in California, where she received a bachelor's degree in sociology and graduated from the university's top rung business and law schools. Early in her education process Rivera had developed a strong tech background which included three years of computer science at the private high school. When she was college sophomore, she was chosen to participate in a Chicago city sponsored computer program where she learned about the first generation of personal computers and about software. An inkling of her entrepreneurial future surfaced during her junior year when she and another student developed as a business case a way to transform a typing pool into a computerized job listing. While in college her commitment to learning and building human and social capital started to pick up momentum. In her early days at Stanford, a placement office took Miriam under its wings and, made her go through every one of its classes and learn how to write a resume, how to interview, how to videotape an interview and how to network. After completing her under-graduate degree, Rivera entered the nonprofit sector where she helped women re-entering the workplace to participate in a California equal opportunity program. Soon, Rivera realized she had to find better paying work to support herself and her aging mother.
"WHEN YOU SEE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES JUMP ON FOR THE RIDE, GET INVOLVED." THE MEANING BEHIND “ULU” • What “ulu” means varies by culture as much as Ulu Venture's clients. According to the company's website in Hawaiian it means breadfruit and figuratively means to grow; to inspire; to be possessed as if by a spirit or god. In Hindi and Sanskrit, "ulu" is the word for the owl. This is fitting for a venture capital firm, the website explains, because the owl is associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. In the Inuit language, "ulu" is the carving knife given to brides on their wedding day and is passed down through generations and is believed to carry ancestral knowledge. In Turkish, "ulu" means great, sublime or supreme.
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uluventures.com @uluventures Ulu Ventures firstname.lastname@example.org
Rivera would apply the skills gained at the placement center when it came to making a decision whether she would attend law or business school. After interviewing dozens of people about the value of each vocation, she decided to do both. ”I told of myself I was good with words and documents," Rivera recalled. "I much rather work with words than writing Excel spreadsheets," she said, but eventually did both. Today, Rivera enjoys working with Ulu clients and practicing law in a business context, whether it be working out contracts or helping companies partner with bigger brands. Early in her business career Rivera would take jobs where there was a lot of learning op-
portunities and maybe not a lot of pay. In one case, she took a pay cut to join a start-up company. She would attend meetings and be able to understand and work with much more senior business people. "I wanted see what was happening in 'that back room,” she recalled. Rivera's career included stops at several companies and in various markets. She worked in enterprise software before she went to Google, where she spent five years as a vice president and corporate attorney Having these early exposures to different industries, Rivera said, influenced her ability to understand business, law and technology and being able to build on that.
Among the factors driving Ulu, Rivera said, was that women have been exceeding male educational attainment for a long time at both undergraduate and masters level. "Yet, 2 percent of venture capital is invested in teams lead by women, 12 percent when you have a woman in a company as a founder,” she said. Looking forward to the next ten years, Rivera, "who has been around since before the internet became a big business," sees Block Chain and "fintech" companies as the "next biggest thing" with some diverse investments and underserved markets within this sector. "We are just at the beginning of that wave of technology," she said, suggesting that this will be "a very interesting and fruitful area" for young people to consider and to study. "When you see those opportunities," she said, "jump on for the ride, get involved." Rivera also has some strong suggestions about the future of the growing Latino population. "This is obviously a very diverse population," she said, "and we need to make our voices heard at a more uniform level." The Ulu CEO observed, "I think we don't have an impact as big as the presence in this company. When we sometimes struggle to speak with a unified voice, we have less impact than groups that are smaller than we are." Latinos should put individual country differences aside and concentrate on objectives that are important and beneficial to Latinos as a whole, Rivera said. A major focus of Latino advocacy should be STEM education, according to Rivera. She learned about computer sciences at a private high school in the 1970s and 1980s, and "yet it is not required in most public schools where most of kids are getting educated," she said. Among the other big impact items that Rivera said Latinos should pursue are access to college, participation on boards and representation in all walks of life. MAY /JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 45
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LATINAS / NEW GEN MOVERS & SHAKERS
THE NEW GEN: MOVERS AND SHAKERS No matter time and place, women continue to inspire our communities. This year, Latino Leaders highlights Latinas who are disruptive and who continue to build their career paths within different industries. These Latinas are authentic movers and shakers. We see them and we join them in recognizing their success.
Zuri Balmakund Santiago
Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
Senior Director of Editorial & Strategy, O, The Oprah Magazine
Zuri advises and litigates on behalf of the Department of Human Services. Most recently she formed part of the 14-member prosecution team in the trial of Derek Chauvin. She also has prosecutorial experience from her three years as an assistant county attorney for Hennepin County. She also devotes time to the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, of which she is currently president.
Arianna oversees the editorial direction and strategy across the brand, through the lens of Oprah's mission to help readers not just live their best lives, but to live them well. Arianna is also the author of What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly, inspired by the life of artist and icon Frida Kahlo. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at New York University's Digital & Print Media Master's program teaching writing and editing.
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Founder, AirLev & MITHyperloop
Director Innovation and Strategy Execution, Walgreens
Deborah is developing technology and infrastructure that could be the key to bringing disparate communities together. cofounded the New York startup AirLev, and the student-led research groups Texas Guadaloop and MIT Hyperloop III, to develop Hyperloop technology, one of Elon Musk's visions of a network of trainlike capsules that would carry people and cargo through tubes at nearly 700 mph. Deborah has worked closely with Musk and is currently keeping herself busy designing for the future.
Grace evaluates and executes on new business opportunities, industry partnerships and go-to-market strategies. She works closely with teams in product management, user experience, clinical programs, and technology. She has been involved with organizations such as Prospanica and HACE.
Irma Olguin Jr
Co-Founder & CEO, Bitwise Industries
Irma founded Bitwise Industries to create a bridge between people from underserved and underrepresented communities and the training and resources needed to enter the tech industry. Irma has led the company in creating a software platform which has connected over 600k Americans to vital resources during the pandemic and currently serves one-third of the country. She was most recently named one of the most influential and innovative queer women and nonbinary people transforming the world of business, tech, and beyond by Fast Company.
Téllez founded Parade, a comfort-first underwear brand, while she was an undergrad at Columbia University in 2019, with a $3.5 million seed. By April 2021, Parade had sold 1 million pairs. Téllez’s long-term brand vision is all about inclusivity and sustainability. The company aims to be entirely carbon neutral by the end of 2022.
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THE NEW GEN: MOVERS & SHAKERS
ZURI BALMAKUND SANTIAGO Career prosecutor, serving as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office What’s the story behind what has made you who you are today? I’m the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Guyanese-Indian father; I’m an “Indo-rican.” Both cultures have made big impressions on my self-identity. I was born in Spanish Harlem, New York, and I’m the eldest daughter of a large, blended family. I’m a proud child of Manhattan, where I was taught values of responsibility, humility, and loyalty from an early age. My family has greatly influenced my career path. My maternal grandfather joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Korean war, and I have a long line of public servants on both sides of my family, reflecting a dedication to law enforcement, the armed forces, and medicine. Service to my community is in my blood, and choosing to serve my community through my career as a public-interest lawyer has been my greatest pleasure. What’s one of your favorite things about practicing law today? Legal practice is challenging and varied—both qualities that ensure it never dulls. But, my favorite part of being a lawyer is giving a voice to underrepresented interests in my community. My hope is that government practice becomes so diverse that the sometimes-disparate interests of all community members may be fairly and justly balanced in case management, settlement, and policy development. What can you tell us about your experience on the Derek Chauvin prosecution team? The Chauvin prosecution team was distinguished, not only because it was comprised of a venerable group of impressively accomplished attorneys, but also because it looked like the community it serves. Each team member brought his or her unique perspective and background to our case, and together we worked for the singular aim of presenting the most legally sound, fair case possible. In service of that mission, I think that we earned at least some measure of accountability and justice while also helping heal the relationship between law enforcement and the community. Personally, I had the opportunity to touch almost all aspects of this case, from helping brainstorm legal strategy to marshaling facts. My primary responsibility was to develop our law-enforcement and expert-witness testimony under Special Prosecutor Steve Schleicher’s stewardship. But again, irrespective of our assigned “roles,” each of us was welcomed to contribute to, and felt that we collectively owned, every
piece of this case. Working with this team in service of my community has truly been the highlight of my career. I am immensely grateful to Attorney General Keith Ellison for the honor of placing me in such a position of trust. His vision for a skillful, diverse team of experts was a formula for success, and I hope that forethought is the kind of detail that is not lost on history. Who or what has inspired you the most to be who you are today? Without question, my greatest source of inspiration, support, and motivation has been and is my family. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to make sure my siblings and I had opportunity. I was not born to or raised in a traditional American family, but my family’s unique qualities are what make me a resilient and open-minded person. These are lessons for which I am thankful every day and that I hope to pass on to my future children. I also need to call out my husband, who has helped keep me grounded, fed during late nights of working, and good-spirited throughout with levity and laughter. Finally, I’ve been so fortunate to meet generous people along my legal path that have extended their hands to help me succeed. Their kindnesses cannot be overstated, and these experiences are why I focus so much of my time on career counseling and mentorship. It’s important for me to ensure that whatever insight I might have gained on my path benefits someone else that may be on a similar journey. Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself still serving the community in which I live through my commitment to government practice. I want to continue working to expand the legal system and profession so that it represents the diversity of my state. And I want to help ensure that historically underrepresented communities are given the opportunity to engage their government. Your current go-to for motivation? A good playlist always refocuses the mind. As a profession, attorneys tend to take themselves too seriously. So, I seek inspiration outside of my work, whether it’s through music, meditation, exercise, time with close friends, a creative work of fiction, or volunteering. I refill my cup by stepping outside of my everyday into something new and different. It renews my sense of wonder, interest, and engagement. MAY / JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 49
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COMMUNITY HONORABLE LEADERS
This year, Latino Leaders presents for its first time the “Honorable Community Leaders” List. These Latinas were selected according to nominations the magazine received from the community. The list is dedicated to the local efforts creating waves of impact across the country through diverse networks and industries. Iza Montalvo Founder & Managing Partner of The Olán Group Orlando, Florida Iza Montalvo is an entrepreneur and a leader in the media industry with a background in journalism and politics, recognized twice with the Congressional Record during Hispanic Heritage Month and Women’s International Month. She is the former press secretary of two U.S. Congressmen from Florida. Montalvo is the creator of a multimedia network that’s breaking barriers for bicultural and bilingual Latinas, referred by the media as “the first Spanish-language feminist radio show in the country”. She’s also the executive producer of her own radio show, which aired two seasons in I-Heart Radio, in the Central Florida region. Montalvo is the CEO and founder of Olán-a consulting firm based in Orlando, Florida specialized in the Hispanic market.
Jessica Valdez Senior Program Director of C5 Youth Foundation of Southern California (C5LA) Los Angeles, California Jessica oversees all programing for an organization who's mission is to change the odds for high-potential teens from under-resourced communities by inspiring them to pursue personal success, while preparing them for leadership roles in school, college, work and their communities. As a first-generation student who graduated from UCLA, she has opened the door for thousands of other first-gen students from under resourced communities as they pursue their dreams of achieving higher education.
Tatiana Mackliff Deputy Executive Director, Leadership & Professional Development Services of NAFSA Washington, DC Tatiana Mackliff serves as NAFSA’s deputy executive director for leadership and professional development services. Prior to joining NAFSA, Mackliff served as executive director of international education at Miami Dade College. Her 25-year career in the field of global education includes a number of leadership positions at the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the British Council. At both organizations, she liaised with government officials to implement flagship scholarship programs such as the Foreign Fulbright Student Exchange Program for the Western Hemisphere, the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, the English Language Teaching Assistant Program, and the prestigious Chevening Awards.
Christina Rodríguez Editor and Founder of Beaute In Technology Magazine and Fit Beaute Digital Agency Houston, Texas Christina is an inspiring Latina who is someone who has built her business and career helping others in professional services or community outreach. She is the founding board member for Latinas in Tech Houston chapter and Pretty Smart Foundation for Latina girls in STEM.
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Barbara del Mar Robles Director of Teacher Academies; Central Washington University Ellensburg, Washington Dr. Bárbara del Mar Robles is an advocate, an activist, an educator, and a legal scholar. She currently creates alternative pathways for high school students to become teachers; especially for students from underrepresented/marginalized communities or majority-minority schools. Bárbara has also been a legal advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. She founded the first and only confidential support group for Spanish speaking women in Snohomish County in WA state. She is currently the first Latina and the first woman of color running for City Council in Ellensburg, WA. Gladys Vega Executive Director of La Colaborativa Chelsea, Massachusetts Gladys has worked as an organizer and an advocate to ensure that the Latino community has a role in determining the ways it's needs and concerns are addressed. She has played leadership roles in organizing for immigrants' rights, welfare rights, tenants' rights, open space and the environment, multicultural and anti-racism programs and in numerous grassroots campaigns. In 2007, Gladys led the Chelsea City Council to make Chelsea Massachusetts' third sanctuary City. She served as a Democratic Delegate for the National Convention in 2000. Myrna Maysonet Partner and Chief Diversity Officer at Greenspoon Marder Orlando, Florida Myrna is a partner with the Labor and Employment and Class Action Defense practice groups and serves as the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer. She concentrates her practice in employment litigation, counseling and defending corporations in all areas of employment. routinely protects employers’ rights against administrative agencies such as the EEOC, DOL and the NLRB and multiple jurisdictions in states such as Florida, Nevada, Utah, Tennessee and South Carolina. Maysonet served as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Navy, where she represented service members in felony and misdemeanor cases. She also served as a Staff Judge Advocate and Counsel to the Captain of the Submarine Base at Kings Bay, Georgia.
Ada Arevalo Founder & CEO at iimpact Anaheim, California Ada is founder of REAL - Real Estate Association of Latinx Professionals. She serves to advance the visibility of Latinx professionals in commercial real estate. She is also the founder and CEO of iimpact capital, a female and minority-owned advisory firm partnering with diverse and emerging managers focused on impact and sustainable investment strategies. Ada is looking to bring visibility and support to previously underrepresented firms at the forefront of impact and sustainable investing. Marivette Navarrete Founder and CEO at The Mujerista Miami, Florida Marivette is the founder and CEO of The Mujerista, a digital publication and network dedicated to empowering and celebrating the stories of the next generation of Latinas. Marivette is building a community of millennial Latinas challenging stereotypes and misconceptions, while proudly representing their heritage and making an impact en la cultura.
Orlando: •Myrna Maysonet •Itza Montalvo
Anaheim: •Ada Arevalo
Miami: •Marivette Navarrete
LA: •Jessica Valdez
Houston: •Christina Rodriguez
Chelsea: •Gladys Vega
Ellensburg: •Barbara del Mar Robles
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LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Energy is the force that moves the world, the economy, has a significant impact in our everyday lives An industry on the verge of reinventing itself as technology is advancing rapidly Global warming is setting an unusual challenge to all energy producing activities, we need leader that start working and
ENRIQUE HERNANDEZ, JR.
planning for the next 100 years Latinos are advancing into more leadership positions every year in the energy sector: Mauricio Gutierrez and other as example This list is our own research made out of the most influential Latinos with key positions in this industry.
Hernandez has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. (“Inter-Con”), a global provider of security and facility support services to governments, utilities, and industrial customers, since 1986. He was President of Inter-Con from 1986 until 2018 and was previously Executive Vice President and Assistant General Counsel from 1984 until 1986. He was an associate of the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison from 1980 until 1984. Prior Public Company Directorships (within last five years): Nordstrom, Inc.; Wells Fargo & Company
Board of Directors Chevron
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Senior Vice President, Eastern Refining Operations Marathon Petroleum
Vice President, Permian Completions Pioneer Natural Resources
Hernandez joined Marathon in 1990 at the Garyville refinery. He held positions in engineering and management before moving to Marathon Oil’s upstream organization where he worked in Gulf of Mexico operations in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Houston. In 2000, he joined the Terminal, Transportation & Marine organization in Findlay, Ohio. He was appointed Ashland district manager in 2001 and Marine Transportation manager in 2002. Hernandez was named Maintenance manager of the Catlettsburg refinery in 2004 before being named to the same position at the Garyville refinery in 2006. In 2010, he was appointed director, Refining Reliability and PSM based in Findlay. He was named general manager of the Catlettsburg refinery in 2013 and general manager of the Galveston Bay refinery in 2016. He was named to his current position in 2018. Hernandez earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
Torres has served as Vice President since September 2015. Torres’ team is responsible for designing and completing the company’s new horizontal wells with an emphasis on ensuring safe, environmentally sound wells that perform at maximum capital efficiency. Torres joined the company in 2005 as an Operations Engineer. In 2007, Torres was promoted to Completions Manager and, for the next seven years, he held positions of increasing responsibility within the Completions team before being named to his current leadership role. Pioneer currently drills in the Permian Basin of West Texas, and Torres also led completions in previous regions, including the Gulf of Mexico, South Texas, West Panhandle and Alaska. Prior to joining Pioneer, Torres worked for BJ Services, a pressure-pumping services provider. He served in several capacities and regions for the company, including South Texas, which served the Permian Basin; an international assignment supporting Pemex, which served the Burgos Basin; and the Dallas region, which served the Barnett Shale and East Texas. Torres graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Executive Vice President, Oilfield Services Baker Hughes
Maria Claudia is responsible for setting the business and value-creation strategies of the Oilfield Services business. In this role, Borras leads approximately 26,000 employees. Borras has more than 25 years of experience in the oil & gas sector, serving as Chief Commercial Officer at GE Oil & Gas immediately prior to assuming her current role. In this capacity, she managed a global team of more than 4000 sales, commercial, and marketing professionals. Borras came to GE Oil & Gas in January 2015 from Baker Hughes, which she joined in 1993. From 2013 to her assignment with GE Oil & Gas, she served as President, Latin America Region, overseeing a $2 billion business with approximately 6,000 employees and a diverse range of customers.She earned a degree in petroleum engineering from the Universidad de América, Bogotá, Colombia, in 1991.She also served as President, Europe/Africa/Russia Caspian Region; Vice President, Global Marketing; Vice President, Centrilift Marketing; and Area Manager for a number of countries in Latin America.Borras began her career in the oil & gas industry in 1991 as a production engineer for Esso in Bogotá, Colombia. She then moved into operations, marketing, and management roles at Esso before joining Baker Hughes. She has broad experience in organizational transformation, process improvement and growth strategies.
Tony Duran was named Chief Information Officer in July 2019. Prior to joining EQT, Tony ran PH6 Labs, a technology incubator he founded in 2018. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Information Officer at Rice Energy from January 2016 until November 2017. Tony also held various positions at National Oilwell Varco from May 2002 to August 2015, where he last held the role of Assistant Chief Information Officer. Tony earned a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky.
MARIA CLAUDIA BORRAS
Vice President, Land Continental Resources
CHRISTOPHER VALDEZ President and Chief Operating Officer PureWest
Edmund M. “Ed” Sierra joined Continental Resources in June 2015 with over three decades of diversified commercial experience in oil and gas. Mr. Sierra’s experience encompasses the areas of land management, exploration joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, and gas marketing. He has worked many of the major onshore U.S. basins and plays in the Mid-Continent, Permian, Gulf Coast, Rockies, and South Texas. Prior to joining Continental, he held various leadership roles with Atlantic Richfield Company, Vastar Resources, Inc., and BP America Production Company, most recently in the role of Land Manager for South Texas and Fayetteville for BP L48. Mr. Sierra holds a BA, Masters in Public Affairs, and JD in Law from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Association of Professional Landmen.
Chris was appointed CEO and member of the Board of Managers of PureWest in May 2021 after serving as President and COO of the predecessor company since October 2020. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Middle Fork Energy Partners, a private equity backed Uinta Basin portfolio company that he co-founded. Prior to that, Chris worked for Vantage Energy, a private company with assets in Texas and Pennsylvania, where he served as VP of Planning & Marketing. Before Vantage, Chris held commercial and technical positions of increasing responsibility at Encana where his last role was VP of Planning. He started his career as a consultant focused on natural gas market fundamentals analysis. Chris earned a BS degree in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from the Daniels College of Business at University of Denver.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Information Officer EQT
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FRANCES VALLEJO Board of Directors Cimarex Energy
Vallejo was elected to the Board of Directors in May 2017. She is a former executive officer of ConocoPhillips where she began her career in 1987. She served as Vice President Corporate Planning and Development from April 2015 until December 2016 and as Vice President and Treasurer from October 2008 until March 2015. Prior to October 2008, she served as General Manager Corporate Planning and Budgets, Vice President Upstream Planning & Portfolio Management, Assistant Treasurer, Manager Strategic Transactions, and in other geophysical, commercial, and finance roles. Vallejo served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Colorado School of Mines from 2010 until 2016 and is a member of Colorado School of Mines Foundation Board of Governors. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Crestwood Equity GP LLC.
Board of Directors SM Energy
Quintana currently serves on the Board of Directors of Newmont Mining Company (NYSE: NEM) and of Basic Energy Services (NYSE:BAS). He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Corporation (NASDAQ: TESO), from 2005 until his retirement in January 2015, and served on Tesco’s Board of Directors from September 2004 to May 2015. Prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, Quintana served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tesco beginning in September 2004. Prior to his tenure at Tesco, Quintana worked for five years in various executive roles for Schlumberger Corporation. Prior to Schlumberger, He worked for nearly 20 years for Unocal Corporation, an integrated E&P company, in various operational and managerial roles. Quintana has been a director since 2006 and currently serves as Chairperson for the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee and as a member of the Compensation Committee.
Peru served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Phelps Dodge Corporation from 2004 to 2007 (and its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 1999-2004). He joined Phelps Dodge in 1979 and held various finance and accounting positions prior to his appointment as Chief Financial Officer. Peru currently serves on the Board of Directors of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and of UNS Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of Fortis, Inc. Peru has been a director since 2014 and currently serves as a member of the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee.
Board of Directors SM Energy
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Financial Officer California Resources Corporation
ALEXANDER J. REYES
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary CNX
Vice President of Business Markets TXU Energy
Francisco has 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, andexpertise in a multitude of disciplines, including Management, CapitalMarkets, Corporate Finance, Economic Evaluation, Domestic andInternational M&A Transactions and Planning.He is responsible for the company’s capital allocation, investorrelations, strategic planning, risk management, financial reporting andbusiness development initiatives including mergers and acquisitions.Prior to this position, Francisco served as CRC’s Executive Vice President ofCorporate Development & Strategic Planning. Prior to CRC, he workedfor 10 years in various management positions at Occidental PetroleumCorporation. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin and a B.A. inInternational Business from San Diego State University.He serves on the Board of Directors of the Union Rescue Mission of LosAngeles which is one of the largest privately run homeless shelters in theU.S.
Reyes has served as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of CNX Resources Corporation since December 21, 2020. Reyes has a breadth of corporate legal and business expertise in the energy industry. He first joined CNX in 2006, and spent 14 years with the company, with responsibilities ranging from legal management of major transactions to leading the Company’s Land department. Before rejoining CNX to become General Counsel, for much of 2020 Alex served as Chair of the Corporate Practice Group ofPittsburgh-based Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl, LLC. He began his career at Buchanan Ingersoll PC where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities, financings, and corporate governance. He is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law where he served as an editor of The Duquesne Law Review. Reyes holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in finance from The George Washington University.
With more than 22 years of experience gained from working in multiple facets of the energy business, Castro is now responsible for energy sales through both direct and indirect channel sales across all lines of business. Additionally, he is also responsible for the strategic development and tactical implementation of customer retention and growth strategies throughout the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), as well as heading up the retail gas sales team. He also oversees product development, demand side management solutions, analytics, sales support, service, and deal structuring. Castro joined TXU Energy in 1994, and he has taken increased roles and responsibilities across the company’s competitive business markets. From initially working in natural gas transportation, to focusing on the dynamic power market in Texas, to serving as company representative in Mexico City, to his current role as vice president, Castro is a leading member of the TXU Energy team.
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EVP, General Counsel, & Chief Compliance Officer Vistra Corp.
ARCILIA ACOSTA Board of Directors Vistra Corp.
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer DTE Energy
Vice President Regulatory Affairs DTE Energy
President and Chief Executive Officer Edison International
MICHAEL D. MONTOYA Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Edison International
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Arcilia Acosta is an entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, philanthropist and mother. She is the president and CEO of CARCON Industries and Construction, a full- services construction firm. She is also the Founder and CEO of Southwestern Testing Laboratories (STL Engineers), a geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm. In May 2017, Arcilia was elected to the board of Magnolia Oil and Gas Corporation and in July 2018, she joined the board of ONE Gas Incorporated (NYSE:OGS). In 2014, Arcilia was inducted into the National Women’s Business Hall of Fame. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Harvard University Business School- Corporate Governance Program. In March 2016, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Ms. Acosta to the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board.
Chávez has responsibility for the management and strategic direction of DTE’s office of the general counsel and advises DTE’s board of directors and senior management on legal and related matters. Chávez also has responsibility for the oversight of ethics and compliance, corporate security, corporate emergency management, and tax. Prior to joining DTE in 2007, Chávez served as an international tax partner for KPMG LLP with experience serving large multinational clients. Chávez earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame. Chávez is a strong advocate for young people and is the founder of the Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MiHC), a Michigan non-profit, that focuses on economic equity and provides opportunities for first-generation Hispanic students to graduate from college. MiHC delivers culturally relevant programming for both students and parents to help bring coherence to the chaos of college access. Chávez sits on the DTE Energy Foundation, the Cristo Rey Network, Invest Detroit, the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute boards of directors. She also serves on the Notre Dame Law School and the University of Michigan School of Education Advisory Councils, and the State of Michigan Women’s Commission, and is the past chairwoman of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Serna is responsible for developing and managing DTE Gas and DTE Electric's regulatory initiatives before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). In addition, he plays a key role in developing DTE's long-term state and federal regulatory policy and strategy as well as maintaining the Company's relationship with the MPSC. Prior to this role, Serna was DTE’s vice president of Corporate Strategy where he developed strategic initiatives including the execution of DTE's annual strategic planning process.Prior to joining DTE in August 2016, Serna was vice president for Strategic Planning and Policy for Eversource Energy, where he was responsible for the identification of growth opportunities, development of strategic plans and framing of key energy policy positions. Prior to his time at Eversource, Serna was a leader in Oliver Wyman’s Energy & Utilities management consulting practice, assisting utility and energy companies in Europe, Latin America and North America with a wide array of strategic and operational challenges.Serna holds an industrial engineering degree from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is member of the Board of Directors for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and TechTown.
Pedro is president and CEO as well as a directorof Edison International, the parent company of electric utility Southern California Edison and global energy advisor Edison Energy. Previously, Pizarro was president of Edison Mission Energy, an independent power producer subsidiary, became president of SCE in October 2014. Pizarro was formerly a senior engagement manager with McKinsey & Company. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard. Pizarro is a vice chair for the Edison Electric Institute, the immediate past chair of Electric Power Research Institute and a board member of Argonne National Laboratory, Caltech and the Analysis and Resilience Center for Systemic Risk.
Michael is responsible for ethics education, awareness of the Helpline and internal investigations. He is also responsible for overseeing six separate compliance programs, including records management, energy regulation and privacy. Previously, Montoya was assistant general counsel for SCE, responsible for legal matters in the areas of energy regulation, labor employment, power procurement and resource policy and planning. Before his appointment to assistant general counsel, Montoya served for nine years as manager of the Customer and Tariff section and later the Resource Policy and Planning section of the law department, responsible for overseeing legal matters involving the Long-Term Procurement Plan, the California Renewable Portfolio Standard, the Distributed Generation Rulemaking and energy efficiency programs. He joined the SCE law department in 1992 as a staff attorney. Prior to joining SCE, Montoya practiced with the Los Angeles law firm of Kane, Ballmer & Berkman where he gained extensive experience in the area of municipal and redevelopment law. He also practiced with the Los Angeles law firm of Knapp, Petersen & Clarke. Montoya serves as a trustee for the Mexican American Bar Foundation. Montoya earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal Poly Pomona.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
STEPHANIE ZAPATA MOORE
Before her current role, Stephanie was vice president and general counsel of Luminant, a power generation subsidiary of Vistra. Sheworked at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in the corporate and securities practice group focusing on mergers and acquisitions and private securities offerings. Stephanie's team is responsible for delivering all legal services and advising on legal matters, coordinating with and advising the board of directors on corporate governance, reporting to the board of directors on the efficacy of the company’s compliance programs, and managing all outside counsel relationships. Stephanie is a member of the board of directors of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas and chairs its Board Development Committee. Since 2017, she has been an Honorary Co-Chair of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation’s primary fundraiser to support Hispanic students in the study of law. Stephanie received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her law degree from William & Mary School of Law.
ANDREW S. MARTINEZ Vice President of Safety, Security and Business Resiliency Southern California Edison
LUIS A. REYES
Board of Directors FirstEnergy
EDUARDO A. RODRIGUEZ Board of Directors ONEGAS, Inc.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Luis has extensive experience in the nuclear field and has held senior leadership positions with the NRC, an independent government agency that regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials such as in nuclear medicine. He joined the NRC in 1978 where he held progressively more responsible leadership roles before being named executive director of operations in 2004, where he managed the agency’s day-to-day operations relating to the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. He also served as regional administrator for NRC Region II, overseeing all new commercial nuclear power plant construction in the United States as well as safety and operating plant inspections in the southeast United States. His experience in the nuclear field also provides him substantial experience in physical security and cybersecurity. Reyes retired from the NRC in 2011 with 33 years of service. Reyes’ engineering, physical security and cybersecurity, safety, environmental, regulatory and industry experience is essential to the FirstEnergy Board.
President of Strategic Communication Consulting Group of El Paso, TX, a consulting practice focused on economic development and strategic positioning of businesses for the most effectiveengagements within their business operations based on Eduardo's extensive legal and business expertise garnered from over 40 years of law practice, business and institutional experience within government, major corporations, and nonprofit organizations.A graduate of Texas Tech University, (Bachelor of Arts, with High Honors), Lubbock Tx. and St. Mary’s University School of Law (Juris Doctor), San Antonio, Tx., Eduardo Rodriguez has enjoyed a varied career, starting as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of El Paso; 20 years with El Paso Electric Company, formerly a publicly held company (EE:NYSE), serving as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and as Chief Legaland Administrative Officer with Hunt Companies, LLC in El Paso, TX, a privately held real estate development and construction company.
Vice President, Investor Relations SempraEnergy
Molina is vice president of investor relations for Sempra, responsible for communicating with the investment community about the company’s disciplined focus on delivering long-term sustainable value.Previously, Molina served as chief financial officer for IEnova, managing the company’s corporate finances, business planning, financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, risk management, and information technology. During her time at IEnova, Molina led and completed a range of financing initiatives, totaling $10.1 billion, including the company’s initial public offering. Before joining IEnova in 2010, she spent 13 years working in the energy industry at Kinder Morgan and El Paso Corporation in Mexico.In 2020, Molina was recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine as the best overall chief financial officer among Latin America energy companies in the publication’s list of “Latin America’s Most Resilient Executives and Companies.”Molina is the chairman of the Issuers Committee of the Mexican Stock Exchange and vice president of the International Chamber of Commerce Mexico. She is also a board member and founding investor of NatGas Querétaro and board member of the Institute of the Americas.
Andrés has been a director since February 2017. He has been the chief executive officer of Grupo Aeromexico since 2005. He was a member of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association from 2008 until June 2018 and served as its chairman during the 2015 term. Conesa is a former director of Infraestructura Energética Nova S.A.B. de C.V. He serves on Sempra Energy's Audit and Executive committees and is chair of the Compensation and Talent Development Committee.
Andrew is responsible for the company’s programs and activities focused on employee and public safety, as well corporate security and business resiliency, which are all key priorities for SCE. Martinez provides to safety leaders across the company the support, mentorship and quality programs needed to successfully achieve their work group safety goals. Before assuming his current role, Martinez was director of Safety, Training and Compliance for Transmission & Distribution at SCE. Prior to that, he served as director of Compliance and Safety for Power Supply and Operational Services at SCE. During his 25 years at SCE, Martinez has held several leadership positions in corrective action and performance improvement programs, including roles at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) focused on protecting employees and the public from hazards. Martinez was an Edison International Chairman’s Award winner in 2011, recognized for leading the SONGS Corrective Action Program recovery, which focused on compliance with the federal regulations associated with the identification, evaluation and correction of issues at SONGS. Prior to joining SCE in 1991, Martinez served in the U.S. Navy aboard nuclear powered submarines. Martinez holds a bachelor’s degree in radiation protection and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey.
Board of Directors SempraEnergy
MARIA CONTRERASSWEET Board of Directors SempraEnergy
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Maria has been a director since March 2017. She serves as managing partner of Contreras-Sweet Enterprises and Rockway Equity Partners. Contreras-Sweet served as the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and a member of President Obama’s cabinet from April 7, 2014 to Jan. 20, 2017. She was the founding executive chairwoman of ProAmerica Bank from 2006 to 2014. Contreras-Sweet was co-founder and managing partner of Fortius Holdings from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, she served as the California cabinet secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2003. She was appointed chair of the finance committee of CA-ISO (California Independent System Operator) to help solve California’s 2000-01 energy crisis. She is a director of Regional Management Corp., TriNet Group, Inc. and Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Contreras-Sweet serves on Sempra Energy's Audit and Compensation and Talent Development committees.
Pablo has been a director since 2013. He is an independent energy consultant and the former chief executive officer of Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. His experience includes more than 20 years in the energy industry, including director and senior management positions with major South American energy companies. Ferrero has served as director and chairman of the board of several energy companies and industry-related boards. Ferrero serves on Sempra Energy’s Corporate Governance and Safety, Sustainability and Technology committees.
Board of Directors SempraEnergy
Senior Vice President, Audit Services Exelon Corporation Exelon
JOSEPH DOMINGUEZ CEO, ComEd Exelon
DAVID M. VELAZQUEZ
President and CEO Pepco Holdings Exelon
JUDITH E. TALAVERA
President and COO AEP Texas American Electric Power
ART A. GARCIA
Board of Directors American Electric Power
Dominguez leads ComEd, an Exelon company, which powers the lives of more than 4 million residential and business customers, or 70 percent of Illinois’ population. He is responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to customers and for empowering them to manage their energy use. He oversees the management of the electric grid for Chicago and most of northern Illinois and ComEd’s partnerships with the diverse communities it serves. Dominguez joined Exelon in 2002 as associate general counsel, responsible for all litigation matters in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2004, he was named general counsel for ComEd sister company PECO. In 2007, he was named senior vice president of state regulatory and government affairs and general counsel of Exelon Generation. His role expanded in 2009 to include senior vice president of communications, and in 2010 he was named senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs and public policy for Exelon. In 2012, Dominguez became senior vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy for Exelon. Prior to joining Exelon, Dominguez was a partner in the law firm of White and Williams, LLP, with a broad-based litigation practice counseling large and small corporations, institutions, and government entities. He is a former assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he spearheaded the investigation and prosecution of numerous crimes ranging from money laundering to murder-for-hire.
Velazquez is responsible for leadership of Pepco Holdings’ overall performance associated with service reliability, customer satisfaction, financial management, and regulatory and external affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings employs more than 4,700 people, owns more than $16.1 billion in assets and generates approximately $4.8 billion in annual revenues. Velazquez previously served as executive vice president and leader of the power delivery business for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI). He managed over 95 percent of the business and employee base, and was responsible for all utility operations in three states and the District of Columbia including customer care, asset management, operations, smart grid activities, support services, including IT, and four local unions. Velazquez was also responsible for the development of and now leads the successful enterprise-wide strategic vision to improve reliability and customer service for Pepco Holdings. From 2006 to 2009, Velazquez served as president and CEO of Conectiv Energy, PHI’s competitive merchant energy subsidiary, leading and directing the commercial and operational activities for the company. He served as vice president of strategic planning and chief risk officer of PHI from 2005 to 2006.
Judith is responsible for the company's operations in South and West Texas. Previously, she was director of Regulatory Services for AEP Texas since November 2008. Talavera began her career with AEP in 2000 as manager of Governmental Affairs for AEP Texas. Before joining AEP, Talavera worked in a number of legislative positions for former Texas State Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr., including serving as his legislative director.Talavera has bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and has completed the AEP/Ohio State University Leadership Program and Leadership Texas. Community service and involvement has been a vital part of Talavera's career. She currently serves as a board member on the Senate Hispanic Research Council, Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, United Way of the Coastal Bend, and Texas State Aquarium.
Art is a retired executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ryder System, Inc. Prior to this role, he was a senior vice president and controller for Ryder. Garcia’s qualifications to serve on the Board include his experience as a chief financial officer of a Fortune 500 transportation and supply chain management solutions company and his experience in public accounting. During his tenure at Ryder, he led the financial strategy of the company, including establishing a new business model and implementing plans to improve profitability. Garcia brings to the board strong leadership skills in addition to extensive knowledge in the areas of finance, audit, strategic sourcing, corporate strategy and investor relations.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
David is responsible for managing the execution of Exelon’s audit and controls strategies and activities. Prior to his current role, Diaz served as vice president of finance for Constellation. Diaz joined Exelon in 2001 and has since progressed through a variety of roles across Finance, including Accounting roles both at corporate and the operating companies and various roles as a member of the Treasury department. Since the Exelon-Constellation merger in 2012, Diaz has held several leadership positions within the finance organization, including director of Technical Accounting, director of Treasury Operations and director of Corporate Finance. He has been involved in numerous large-scale systems implementations and supported several acquisitions, most recently leading the finance integration during the acquisition of Integrys Energy Services. Prior to joining Constellation, Diaz performed consulting and audit services primarily for governmental entities as a consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
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SARA MARTINEZ TUCKER
Board of Directors American Electric Power
Sara is former Chief Executive Officer of the National Math and Science Initiative. She is alsao the former Under Secretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education (2006-2008), chief executive officer and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from 1997 to 2006 and a retired executive of AT&T. Tucker’s qualifications to serve on the Board include her experience in governmental affairs as the Under Secretary of Education, her experience in human resources and customer service operations in the telecommunications industry and her experience as a public company director. Her leadership positions in government and education provide perspective on social responsibility and diversity. Tucker brings to the Board relevant expertise from her various leadership positions in government and education and her business experience in the highly regulated telecommunications industry at AT&T in regulatory affairs, government and public policy matters. As an executive at AT&T, she had experience in consumer and retail businesses and human resources.
Helena has over 14 years of progressive managing experience in the construction, energy and service industries. She has been consistently recognized for delivering substantial value to fortune 500 companies, improving operational efficiency and increasing profitability. Possess Master in Business Administration and a Six Sigma Black Belt certification.
MANUEL J. FERNANDEZ
Fernandez has served as Director of Holly Frontier since 2020. He joined KPMG LLP in 1984 and served in a number of leadership positions until his retirement in September 2020, including most recently as Managing Partner of the Dallas office and market leader for KPMG’s Southwest region across audit, tax and consulting services from October 2009 to September 2020. During his career at KPMG, he also served as National Managing Partner for Talent Acquisition, member of the National Inclusion and Diversity Board and as Co-Chair of the National Hispanic/Latino employee resource group.
Vice President Smart Grid and Innovation Florida Power & Light Company
Board of Directors HollyFrontier
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Chief Executive Officer Avangrid
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Nov
JOSEPH E. CASABONA
Dennis was appointed to the position of CEO of AVANGRID in July 2020. With more than 25 years in the energy sector, Dennis joined AVANGRID from Sempra Energy where he was Executive Vice President and Group President and Chief Sustainability Officer. Throughout his career, Dennis has held a variety of leadership positions in gas and electric utilities as well as renewables, including Chairman and CEO of Southern California Gas Co., and Chief Financial Officer of SunPower Corp., San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. Dennis holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. Dennis is on the boards of the Edison Electric Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Auto Club Enterprises and recently served as Chairman of the Board for the California Latino Economic Institute. He previously served as Chairman of the California Business Roundtable and on the board of the United Way – Greater Los Angeles. Dennis has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business magazine.
Jose Bayardo is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of National Oilwell Varco (NOV). Prior to joining NOV in 2015, Jose served as Senior Vice President, Resource and Business Development at Continental Resources, Inc. and spent nine years serving in various roles at Complete Production Services, Inc. including Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Prior to joining Complete Production Services, Jose was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan. Jose brings a wealth of financial experience to NOV having worked both in the oil and gas industry and in investment banking during his career. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Casabona is a certified public accountant and served for many years as Executive Vice President and chief financial officer of Energy Corporation of America, a leading independent natural gas producer. In that capacity he has addressed in depth a broad array of corporate, contractual, capital markets, financing, and regulatory issues.
Senior Financial Advisor to CEO, Board of Directors FirmGreen
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President Atmos Energy
RAFAEL G. GARZA Board of Directors Atmos Energy
President Hurd Enterprises, Ltd.
RICHARD G. MEDINA Vice President Grid Transformation & Engineering CPS Energy
Vice President Supply Chain CPS Energy
Chief Power, Sustainability, & Business Development Officer (CPSBDO) CPS Energy
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Since 2000, Garza has been managing director of Bravo Equity Partners and President of RGG Capital Partners, LLC, which provide capital to middle-market companies in the U.S. and Mexico, primarily in the financial services, retail, food, and educational service sectors. He is also actively involved in various private companies, including Bravo Pizzas Houston and Career Educational Services. Garza has gained a strong understanding of global and domestic macroeconomics and capital market concepts through his more than 25 years of experience in managing and advising companies in a wide range of industries on corporate finance, investment, development and strategic matters. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Texas Christian University, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Baylor Scott & White Holdings.
Eugene is President of Hurd Enterprises, Ltd., part of a fourth generation family business engaged in oil and gas exploration, ranching, real estate development, and investments. Eugene graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering andearned his M.B.A. from the Florida State University in 1995. After spending several years in the co-op program at NASA and working at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a Payload Project Engineer, Eugene changed career paths and joined the Intel Corporation in 1995 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Eugene worked as a Business Analyst and Supervisor at Intel until moving to Austin, Texas to work for Dell Computers in 1999. Eugene was a Manager for Dell’s Product Development and Procurement organizations until 2004 when he joined his family’s business, Hurd Enterprises. Eugene currently serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association and Vice Chairman of the Board ofDirectors for Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio.
Richard Medina is responsible for Grid Transformation, Transmission and Distribution Planning and System Engineering, which includes integrating new technologies into the Grid to support our Flexible Path while maintaining a safe and reliable system. Richard has been with CPS Energy for over 26 years, serving in a variety of positions in various engineering departments, Gas Engineering & Marketing, and Distribution Construction & Maintenance. Richard is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Maria Garcia leads our Supply Chain team toward their goal of making our business practices easier – for both internal and external customers. Maria has been with CPS Energy since 1999, most recently serving as Vice President of Community Engagement & Corporate Responsibility. She’s also served in a variety of positions specific to Supply Chain, Customer Service & Gas Delivery, Key Account Management, and Community Engagement. In 2009, she led the utility's creation of Casa Verde SA, which provides weatherization services to income-qualifying families. She established CRU in 2014, and delivered the mobile customer service unit, Mobile Support Center (MSC), in 2017. Maria has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. She is a graduate of the Executive Education Program at Rice University, in addition to Leadership San Antonio, and she serves on various community boards in San Antonio.
Frank Almaraz oversees CPS Energy’s Power Generation, Energy Market Operations, and Business & Economic Development functions. Previously, he has held the positions of Chief Administrative & Business Development Officer, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, and Interim Executive Vice President, Treasurer. Frank has led the execution of several key initiatives including the acquisition of an 800MW natural gas combined cycle power plant, negotiation of a complex and market-moving 25-year 400MW solar Power Purchase Agreement, and an agreement to deploy advanced metering infrastructure to the CPS Energy gas and electric systems. Frank is also on the Boards of Directors of the American Gas Association, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the DoSeum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. Frank joined CPS Energy in 2011 after serving in various executive roles at Energy Future Holdings in Dallas. Frank has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
JEFF D. MARTINEZ
In January 2020, Jeff Martinez was named president of Atmos Pipeline - Texas. In March 2018, Jeff was named vice president of customer service organization. Prior, Jeff served as vice president of operations in the Mid-Tex Division of Atmos Energy. In his 21 years with the Company, he has held positions in strategic management, engineering and operations.Jeff is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He has been active in a number of community organizations including Big Brothers –Big Sisters and the Fort Worth Diocesan School Advisory Council, as well as American Gas Association and Southern Gas Association committees. He and his wife, Amber, have two children.
JONATHAN R. TIJERINA
Senior Director Business & Economic Development CPS Energy
Vice President of Generation Operations CPS Energy
Chief Customer Engagement Officer (CCEO) CPS Energy
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Vice President Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy CPS Energy
Jonathan R. Tijerina is responsible for overseeing new business growth and bringing economic development opportunities to San Antonio and CPS Energy. He is currently evaluating various smart city initiatives for CPS Energy, including smart street lighting, water AMI and other IOT technologies. Previously, Jonathan served as Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Marketing & Smart City Outreach. Jonathan has held positions with increased responsibility, including Chief of Staff for the President & CEO, and roles in Governmental Relations & Public Policy, Corporate Communications, and two stints in the Office of the President. Jonathan is also on the Board of Directors for The American Red Cross of Central & South Texas Region. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Jose Trevino is responsible for ensuring strong operations of our power plants. Jose has broad experience here at our Company with leadership roles in Power Generation, Power Quality & Reliability, Energy Delivery Service, and Customer Engineering. He is also a veteran who proudly served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy. Jose started his career with us in 2010, and most recently served as the Senior Director of Customer Engineering. Jose is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Old Dominion University and Our Lady of the Lake University. He holds a Professional Engineering certification.
Rudy Garza is responsible for CPS Energy’s business areas of Customer Success; Products & Services; Corporate Communications & Marketing; Community Engagement & Corporate Responsibility; Customer Account Management; and Military Strategic Cooperation & Support. Formerly Senior Vice President of Distribution Service & Operations, he oversaw maintenance and construction activity as well as the Energy Management Center, which operates our distribution system on a daily basis. Before arriving at CPS Energy in 2012, Rudy served as Assistant City Manager and as Intergovernmental Relations Director in Corpus Christi. He also worked for TXU Corporation in Dallas for 13 years. Rudy has a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin.
Kathy Garcia is responsible for Federal, State, and Local Relations at CPS Energy. She executes strategic governmental and regulatory relations, public policy and business development initiatives to protect and advance the interests of CPS Energy.Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Executive Education, Accelerated Development Program at Rice University.
Vice President Chief Integrated Security Officer (CISO) CPS Energy
Shanna Ramirez oversees CPS Energy's Legal, Audit, and Governmental Relations functions. She also provides leadership to the Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy, Claims and Records Management groups, as well as serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Shanna is responsible for driving strategic initiatives to advance the interests of its customers and community, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. In her previous role, Shanna oversaw the cyber, physical and data security, incident response, and business continuity. Shanna joined CPS Energy in 2015 as Director & Senior Counsel and has extensive experience providing business and legal advice. She practiced employment litigation at Haynes and Boone, LLP, and was Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., supervising Legal Services, Safety & Risk, Claims, and Licensing & Compliance. Shanna earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Trinity University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. She is also a graduate of the Executive Education, Accelerated Development Program at Rice University.
Richard Lujan oversees the Gas Delivery strategy at CPS Energy. He is responsible for designing, constructing and operating natural gas operations. Richard previously served as Director of the Northwest Service District. In that role he oversaw construction and maintenance of CPS Energy's electric distribution assets, including Overhead Distribution, Service & Meter, Underground Residential Distribution, and Underground Electric Distribution. Richard is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Trinity University.
Senior Director Gas Solutions CPS Energy
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ALBERTO DE CARDENAS Executive Vice President, Corporate General Counsel MasTec
JORGE MAS Chairman MasTec
JAVIER PALOMAREZ Board of Directors MasTec
GEORGE L. PITA
Executive Vice President and CFO MasTec
President of North America Duracell
Alberto de Cardenas has been our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary responsible for all of MasTec's corporate and operational legal matters and corporate secretary matters since November 2005. From March 2003 to November 2005, Mr. de Cardenas was Senior Vice President and General Counsel and from January through March 2003, Vice President and Corporate General Counsel of Perry Ellis International, Inc. From September 1996 through December 2002, Mr. de Cardenas was a corporate and securities attorney at Broad and Cassel. From September 1990 to July 1993, Mr. de Cardenas was an accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Jorge Mas is a business leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist and an active defender of human rights. Mas is also the managing partner of a Private Equity Group which manages a diverse portfolio of operating companies and investments. He has served on over a dozen corporate boards assisting in strategic growth strategies and corporate governance. Mas founded Neff Corporation (NYSE:NFF) a provider of rental construction and utility equipment. He led and oversaw this business’ growth from a single store in South Florida to over 80 branches nationwide, becoming one of the 5 largest firms of its type in the United States until its sale in 2005. Jorge Mas is Managing Owner of the recently awarded Miami Major League Soccer franchise. The expansion team is the League’s 25th club. The ownership group is committed to building a global team Miami can be proud of. Mr. Mas is the Chairman of the Board of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) founded in 1981 and dedicated to the promotion of a free and democratic Cuba. He serves as director of the Mas Family Foundation promoting an educated society in the preservation of democratic principles. Currently he serves on the Board of Overseers of the University of Miami School of Business. He has testified before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere and lectured at university conferences and has written articles appearing in the Washington Post and the Miami Herald among other national publications. Mas graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1984 and a Master in Business Administration in 1985.
Javier Palomarez, has been a member of the Board since December 2015. Palomarez was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a trade organization that promotes the interests of America’s Hispanic-owned businesses, from 2009 until February 2018. Palomarez has served on a variety of boards and advisory councils in both the public and private sectors, including the Comcast NBCUniversal Diversity Advisory Council, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Board, the International Republican Institute and the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees. Palomarez is a member of the Washington Economic Club and serves on the FCC Diversity Advisory Council. Prior to joining the USHCC, he served in various executive capacities with Allstate Insurance Corporation, Sprint, Inc. and Bank of America. Palomarez was appointed to the Board of Directors of Forward Air, Inc. in 2017.
George Pita became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective January 1, 2014, upon the retirement of previous Chief Financial Officer C. Robert Campbell. Pita joined MasTec in February 2013, as its CFO-Operations. From June 2007 until joining MasTec in 2013, Pita served as EVP and CFO to Stuart Weitzman Holdings, a manufacturer, designer and retailer of fine women's footwear and accessories. From April 2002 to June 2007, he served in various capacities at Perry Ellis International, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2004 - 2007. From 1989 - 2002, Pita served in a variety of financial and operations positions at Sunglass Hut International, including Chief Financial Officer. He earned his Bachelors in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Miami in 1983 and has been a certified public accountant for approximately 30 years.
Roberto's profession started in 1992 when he became the Department Manager for Procter & Gamble. During his time with the company. He held various other positions including Group Manager, Finance Associate Director and Finance Director. His 18 years with Procter & Gamble took him all over the world including working in Mexico, Venezuela and his hometown Puerto Rico. Before becoming the current President, Mendez started his tenure with Duracell as the CFO and Latin American President.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
JOSÉ R. MAS
Jose R. Mas, is Chief Executive Officer of MasTec, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified U.S. infrastructure services providers in the country. Mas was appointed CEO of MasTec in 2007 and during his tenure MasTec’s revenues have more than quadrupled and earnings have grown six fold. Since assuming the top executive position at MasTec, Jose has diversified the company into the growing fields of oil and gas pipeline construction, electric transmission line construction, renewable energy, and wireless infrastructure construction while expanding its traditional communications business, which includes both broad-band infrastructure and installation to the home satellite services. Jose Mas has grown up in the business and over 20 years worked his way from the field to the boardroom. Jose Mas is a graduate of the University of Miami where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration. He is a director of the Mas Family Foundation and an active supporter and coach of various youth basketball teams. He serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises. Mr. Mas, was awarded the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the year award in 2011 and in 2012, he was featured in the season finale of the CBS hit show Undercover Boss.
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Chair, US Renewable Energy Chair, US Energy M&A Co-chair, US Projects and Infrastructure Co-chair, Latin American Corporate and Finance DLA Piper
MARIA S. BOCANEGRA Commissioner Illinois Commerce Commission
Senior Vice President and General Counsel PNM Resources
HENRY E. MONROY
Dino Barajas focuses his practice on domestic and international project development and finance, with emphasis on Latin American infrastructure projects, debt financings and mergers and acquisitions. He regularly represents lenders, investors and developers in a wide range of domestic and international project financings in the energy, power, infrastructure and commercial sectors, as well as in traditional banking, structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, asset finance, joint ventures and venture capital transactions. Dino's clients include commercial lenders, institutional investors, investment funds, project sponsors, and public and private companies. He has worked on transactions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, the US, Yemen and elsewhere. Dino has spearheaded several large project finance projects within Latin America and has accumulated numerous individual accolades and Deals of the Year throughout his career. He is recognized as one of the leading project finance and Latin America practitioners by various industry rankings.
Maria S. Bocanegra was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission by Governor JB Pritzker on April 8, 2019 to a four-year term and confirmed by the Illinois Senate on May 31, 2019. Commissioner Bocanegra is an accomplished, well-respected attorney with prior public service in both Democratic and Republican administrations. She most recently served as Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. There, she managed a docket of nearly 3,000 claims, presiding over various matters including pre-trials, trials, settlements, dismissals, attorney fee disputes along with collateral issues involving Medicare and Social Security. Previously, Bocanegra held the Public Seat on the Labor Advisory Board for the Illinois Department of Labor, participating in critical meetings regarding various laws and issues affecting Illinois workers, including those laws enforced by the Department of Labor. She also formerly worked as an attorney with Katz Friedman, where she handled workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Commissioner Bocanegra earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Quincy University.
Patrick Apodaca is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for PNM Resources, the parent company of PNM and TNMP. He joined PNM Resources in January 2010. Patrick has responsibility for assuring the provision of high quality, efficient and effective legal services to all areas of the company. He also oversees corporate governance and human resources. Patrick previously served as University Counsel for the University of New Mexico. He also served as independent counsel to the City of Albuquerque and associate counsel to the President in the White House from 1977-1981.
Henry oversees the corporate budgeting, tax and controller functions. He joined the company in 2003 and has more than 17 years of experience in the utility industry.
Senior Vice President, Mergers, Acquisitions and Integration Calpine
President and CEO Texas Chemical Council
Rick Peña leads Calpine’s merger and acquisition activities as well as the integration of acquired businesses. His accomplishments at Calpine have included negotiating acquisitions and divestitures of power plants that advanced the company’s strategic priorities of building scale in key competitive markets, as well as the acquisition of retail platforms that provide more direct channels to our power customers. Mr. Peña joined Calpine in June 2007 as a Director of Strategic Origination, serving our Southeast, ERCOT and North regions over the years. He was named Vice President of Corporate Development in January 2013. Prior to joining Calpine, Mr. Peña served as Manager of Mergers and Acquisitions for Direct Energy and as a Senior Analyst, Commercial Services, at Duke Energy North America. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Texas A&M University.
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Vice President and Controller PNM Resources
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JAMES L. ROBO
Chairman and CEO Nextera Energy
ROSE VALENZUELA Senior Vice President Administration and Corporate Affairs CAMAC
JOSÉ L. PÉREZ
Chairman and CEO Hispanics in Energy
LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Vice Chairman East Hispanics in Energy
EDWARD ESCUDERO Board of Directors El Paso Electric Company
RAYMOND PALACIOS, JR. Board of Directors El Paso Electric Company
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Robo is chairman of the company’s rate-regulated electric utility subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, as well as chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy Partners, LP. In December 2006, Robo was named president and chief operating officer of NextEra Energy. Prior to that, he had served as president of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. He joined NextEra Energy as vice president of corporate development and strategy in March 2002. Previously,he was president and CEO of a major division at GE Capital. He also served as chairman and CEO of GE Mexico and was a member of the GE corporate development team. Prior to joining GE, he was vice president of Strategic Planning Associates, a management consulting firm. Robo received his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1984 and his MBA in 1988 from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is a director of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America, and he has served as lead independent director since 2012.
Rose Valenzuela is Senior Vice President Administration and Corporate Affairs. Valenzuela’s responsibilities include managing corporate information technology infrastructure, human resources, corporate affairs and administrative services. Valenzuela holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Computer Information Systems and a minor in Business Administration from the University of Houston; she obtained her master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a master’s in Spanish from UANL in Monterrey, Mexico. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, Association of Women in Computing, National Association of Professional Women, National Association of Female Executives, and the National Hispanic Professional Organization.
President & CEO of Hispanics In Energy (HIE), a national non-profit organization since 2012 designed to drive Hispanic inclusion in America’s all the above $3 trillion energy industry. This year, he was a star witness before the House Energy Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Bobby Rush and Rep. Fred Upton, considering important energy policy. In 2020, Jose was named “Energy Ambassador" by the U.S. Department of Energy to assist in energy equity efforts. In 2019 Jose was named Chair of the Minnesota Energy Utilities Diversity Group, which prepared a legislative report for the Minnesota State Legislature on jobs and business diversity matters. Jose has created and led several for-profit and non-profits, such as the National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC) and the California Utilities Diversity Council (CUDC).
Nelson Diaz concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation, dispute resolution, public housing issues and government relations. He has represented public entities, corporations, hospitals, banks, and non-profit organizations in both state and federal courts. Nelson served as a judge for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas from 1981 through 1993. He was the youngest judge elected to the Court and the first Latino judge in Pennsylvania history. In addition to his legal practice, Nelson served as the city solicitor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Clinton to be the general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he focused on reforming public and mixed-use housing programs. Nelson also served as a White House Fellow as special assistant to Vice President Walter Mondale. Nelson is the author of Not from Here, Not from There/No soy de aquí, ni de allá, an autobiography, success story and vehicle for US Latinos to manifest their American dream.
Escudero has been a member of EPE’s Board since 2013. He is President and CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC, a finance company that specializes in providing capital alternatives to small and mid-size companies. Previously, he served as Secretary and CFO of Petro Stopping Centers, LP, where he managed key departments within the company and helped to double its annual revenue to more than $2 billion and expand its locations to more than 34 states. He believes strongly in community service and currently serves on the boards of several area organizations, including Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, WestStar Bank, Hospitals of Providence Memorial/Sierra Campus, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Texas2036, UTEP Business Advisory Council, Texas Business Leadership Council, and the Trellis Company. He also served on the Texas State Securities Board from 2007 to 2011 and the El Paso Water Utility Public Service Board from 2010 to 2013. Escudero has received several awards that recognize his achievements and philanthropic efforts, including the Lucy G. Acosta Humanitarian Award in 2020, the El Paso Community Spirit Award in 2015, induction into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 2014, the Hispanos Triunfadores Award in 2013 and the UTEP Gold Nugget Award in 2012. Escudero is a Certified Public Accountant and received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Palacios has been a member of EPE’s Board since 2017. He is CEO of Bravo Chevrolet Cadillac in Las Cruces, New Mexico and Bravo Cadillac in El Paso, Texas. He previously served as Vice President of Perry Homes, based in Houston, Texas. He began his professional career with the accounting firm BDO. Mr. Palacios has held various leadership positions in his industry and community. He has served on numerous dealer councils within the General Motor’s network. In 2011 he was appointed to the board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Rick Perry and was reappointed to serve a six-year term by the Governor in 2013. Raymond served as the Finance/Audit Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the board. In 2016 he was appointed as Chairman of the agency by Governor Greg Abbott. Raymond is the current Chairman of the board of the Borderplex Alliance, and also serves on the board of the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development. He previously served on the board of FirstSun Capital Bank. Raymond has been honored to be the recipient of numerous business and community service awards and recognitions. Among them are the Time Quality Dealer of the Year Award for the State of Texas in 2015 and induction into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 2013. Mr. Palacios is a Certified Public Accountant and attained the Certified Financial Planner designation. He received his B.B.A from the University of Houston in 1984. Raymond’s military experience includes a tour of service with the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
MAURICIO GUTIERREZ President & CEO NRG Energy
ANTONIO CARRILLO Board of Directors NRG Energy
Mauricio joined NRG in 2004 and helped build it from a regional wholesale generation business into a national, Fortune 500 energy company. Previously he held the positions of Chief Operating Officer for five years and Executive Vice President of commercial operations overseeing all commodities trading. Mauricio is leading the company’s transformation to a customer-focused organization that empowers consumers with personalized energy choices. Under his tenure, NRG implemented a comprehensive sustainability framework into the business strategy through best-in-class governance and transparency. NRG was the first power Company to report under the Sustainability Standards Accounting Board (SASB) requirements in 2016. It was also one of the first to have Science Based carbon reductions targets and in 2019, the company accelerated its carbon reduction goals to align with the 1.5 degree Celsius scenario and achieve net zero by 2050. NRG has been recognized as one of the best places to work and best employers for diversity by Forbes. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Panamericana and two master's degrees - one in mineral economics from the Colorado School of Mines and one in petroleum economics from the French Petroleum Institute.
Mr. Antonio Carrillo has served as Arcosa Inc.’s President and Chief Executive Officer since November 2018 and serves as a member of its Board of Directors. From April 2018 to November 2018, Mr. Carrillo served as Senior Vice President and Group President of Construction, Energy, Marine and Components of Trinity Industries, Inc. (Trinity). From 2012 to February 2018, Mr. Carrillo served as the Chief Executive Officer of Orbia Advance Corporation (formerly known as Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V.) (Orbia), a publicly-traded global specialty chemical company. Prior to joining Orbia, Mr. Carrillo spent 16 years at Trinity where he served as Senior Vice President and Group President of Trinity’s Energy Equipment Group and was responsible for Trinity’s Mexico operations. Mr. Carrillo previously served as a director of Trinity from 2014 until November 2018 and a director of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. from 2015 to 2018.
Hernandez founded Liberty Power in 2001. Liberty Power was ranked as the #1 Fastest Growing Hispanic 500 company by Hispanic Business magazine in 2007. In 2004 Hernandez received the Distinguished Alumni award from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has appeared on CNN En Espanol, Fox Business News and other national media. Liberty Power provides sustainable energy solutions to tens of thousands of Small and Mid-size Businesses, Fortune 500 companies and Government agencies throughout the United States. Hernandez sits on the Board of Directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Cuba Study Group.
CEO Liberty Power
MARTHA GUZMAN Commissioner CA Public Utilities Commission
ANDRÉS GLUSKI President & CEO AES
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Martha Guzman Aceves was appointed Commissioner at the CPUC by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Dec. 28, 2016. Her portfolio includes issues related to distributed energy, fiscal oversight of utilities, broadband access, water affordability and conservation, increasing access to clean energy programs for Disadvantaged Communities and preventing disconnections of basic utilities. She spearheaded the Interagency Solar Consumer Protection Taskforce, a collaboration with the Contractor State License Board and Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. Additionally, Commissione r Guzman Aceve s serves as co-chair of the Emerging Trends Committee, and is one of two Commissioners on the Senate Bill 350 Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group in coordination with the California Energy Commission. She also represents the CPUC on the California Broadband Council, the Lithium Valley Commission. In May 2021, Commissioner Guzman Aceves was appointed to the NRRI Board of Directors. Commissioner Guzman Aceves earned a Master of Science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University.
Under Andrés’ leadership, AES became a world leader in innovating and adopting new technologies that enable customers to meet their business objectives. He led AES to establish its aggressive carbon reduction strategy in 2018 to show the company’s commitment to creating a sustainable climate future, making AES the first publicly-traded US energy company to issue a climate report that complies with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures. Andrés shaped AES’ culture as an inclusive, innovative workplace that empowers our people to take action toward a greener energy future. He established sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals, resulting in AES’ inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America and designation as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere® Institute since 2014. He served as Member of the President’s Export Council from 2013-2016 and served as an expert witness at US Congressional hearings on the subject of energy policy and Latin America. Today, he is continuing to drive transformation as Chairman of the American Society Council of Americas, and as a member of both the US-Brazil CEO Forum and US-India CEO forum. Andrés began his tenure at AES in 2000, previously serving as the CEO of AES Gener in Chile and as AES’ COO before becoming President and CEO in 2011. Andrés graduated magna cum laude from Wake Forest University and earned his MA and PhD in economics from the University of Virginia.
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President Liberty Power
THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE ON CURT MORGAN AND VISTRA One of the biggest questions facing Texas and the U.S. economy is whether the power industry can achieve a zero carbon foot print economically and in time to make a dent in climate change.
or Curtis Morgan, the chief executive officer at Vistra, the largest energy generator and a major supplier of energy in fossil fuel rich Texas, the answer is a resounding "yes" and comes with a warning for his industry that addressing this challenge is absolutely necessary. He is committed to putting his company at the forefront of the transition from fossil fuels to intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and other new technologies like battery storage and hydrogen. In his fifth year at Vistra, Morgan is focusing his industry experience and open leadership style to position the Irving, Texas-based company on the front line of the fight to adapt to and mitigate climate change while preserving the enterprise's financial viability and reliability to its customers. "As an energy leader we have to realize the world is changing and we have to embrace it," said Morgan who has spent more than 38 years in the broader energy industry, developing an expertise in the electric industry. Morgan envisions Vistra as major innovator and adopter of new technology in transforming a high carbon-emission fossil fuel industry to cleaner, intermittent renewable energy sources, while also making sure the transformation retains sufficient conventional power resources to maintain electric grid reliability.
At Vistra, a publicly traded Fortune 275 company, Morgan inherited a company that had 70 percent of the company's power generation fueled by coal, which leaves the largest carbon footprint of any power generation source. "For a variety of reasons, including economics, environmental challenges, and obsolescence, we have reduced our coal exposure to get it down to 20 percent and we project it will go down below 10 percent in the next few years," he said. For Morgan, the need to successfully handle the power source transition verges on being an existential challenge. "When you face adversity, you have two options – you can hold onto and defend the past and the present or you can can embrace the future and turn a challenge into an opportunity. I want to make sure this company doesn't end up like Blockbuster Video and fail to recognize the fundamental change facing us," he said. Morgan also recognizes that he cannot make it happen by himself and that others need to participate and contribute to the process. "I can have a view of the world," he said, “but if I don't bring our people along the team will not be successful,” he added, stressing that it’s very important to communicate well and make sure that the company's team members understand the vision, too. Team work has always been a key element of Curt Morgan's character. His father was an educator and coach, and he virtually grew up on a field and in a gymnasium
Luis E. González
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playing team sports. "That is who I am and I have carried it into business," he said about his background. “At Vistra, we have a ‘One Team’ mentality, and it is fundamental to who we are and our future success.” Morgan, who is 60, said he was born on the tail end of the Baby Boomers, "but is hellbent on trying to understand all generations." One of the current realities he is tackling - diversity, equity, and inclusion – or DEI, correlates with life in the western Illinois town where he was raised and educated. His hometown has a diverse population and economic base – agriculture, industry and a BNSF transportation hub – which he said almost mirrors the national demographic profile. “I did not know that where I grew up - in a diverse community, exposed to team sports, and where what family you came from did not matter - would be informative in leading our company through today’s DEI challenges,” Morgan explained. During his five years at the helm of Vistra, Morgan has fostered corporate responsibility and diversity, equity, and inclusion within its population, and it’s at the core of its culture. This inclusiveness includes creating opportunities at the top. Curt expressed pride that several Latinos hold board and executive positions at Vistra including Arcilia Acosta as a Board Member, Stephanie Zapata Moore who is executive vice president and general counsel, Cynthia Vodopivec, senior vice president of environmental, health, and safety, Gabe
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Castro, senior vice president of business markets at TXU Energy and named to this year’s Top Latinos in Energy list, and Gabe Vasquez, vice president and associate general counsel – as well as many other Latinos in key positions. Morgan reiterated that Vistra "is very much about helping all people and creating a company that works for everybody." The Vistra CEO adds, "I did not come out of a business family, but somehow I got there when I went to college (Western Illinois University) and obtained an accounting degree, became a certified public accountant, and received an MBA from the University of Chicago.” It was not long until Morgan began his nearly four-decade journey that eventually brought him to the top rung of the energy sector. The path he took included stops at a variety of major players in the energy industry. Along the way Morgan spent 13 years at Amoco (now BP Amoco) and describes this oil and gas leader as "a great company, a great training ground.” Another important stop was at Houston Industries, which was split into two Houston-based companies – CenterPoint and Reliant Energy, which took him deeper into the electricity world. "I've seen it all from upstream oil and gas to downstream retail energy businesses, and everything in between," Morgan said, adding, "I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly and learned a lot from it." Before joining Vistra in October 2016, Morgan was an operating partner at Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in energy infrastructure. He was also CEO for two of the firm’s power-focused portfolio companies. Morgan also has played a role in how Texas restructured the electric industry from a regulated one into a competitive market. “I’ve been in the competitive electric market in Texas from the beginning and watched it evolve. We are at a fundamental crossroad in this market as we integrate intermittent renewables while trying to maintain and grow conventional electric resources, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear-fueled generation – all while maintaining affordability and reliability.” When the deadly winter storm Uri devastated much of Texas in February
2021 and more recently when a heat wave placed a major strain on the power system, Morgan, like millions of Texans, saw that having enough reliable resources to supply Texas’ growing electricity demand while making the transition to new sources of energy was vital but it would be easier said than done. The Vistra leader expects these extreme weather events to happen more frequently and says that it is important to meet these problems. "In my view," Morgan said, "there is enough evidence to suggest that climate change is real and it will take a concerted effort to reverse the trend.” Whatever changes are to be made in the power industry, “they need to be done in a reliable way," he stressed, "and that means we have to have a coordinated effort over a period of time." In leading Vistra, Morgan said, "We have to be aware of all of these things, we have to be involved in all these new technologies and we have to be very good at what we do. All those things are critical to the company’s future." Morgan sees his company as a leader in the electric industry transition process. "We have the building blocks to do it and we generate a lot of capital to invest in it; our base business is very good, we are good at all facets of power generation, we know markets and risk management." Morgan says he will continue to speak out about the need to put reli-
ability first when it comes to electricity. Electricity, he says, is the invisible lifeblood of society. “We are going to be a part of the energy transition, but we are also going to play a role in making sure it is done in a way that we can serve consumers and support the U.S. economy reliably.” Morgan's vision for Vistra is simple in some ways and challenging in others. "Frankly, it is to do what we have always done for the past 140 years – to serve our customers well, to be a company that is reliable and can provide electricity at an affordable price. However, in the age of climate change we must also balance emissions. So, we must embrace innovation and technological change, transitioning our generation base away from carbon-intensive sources of electricity to low-to-zero carbon sources in a way where we will maintain the reliability of the power grid, all while being a sustainable company that’s successful well into the future." He added: "We have to be open-minded to change, even if it is uncomfortable and has a cost to it," Morgan said. "It is not all about money, corporations today have to be much broader in who they are, they have to care about customers, communities, their employees, as well as their investors. We have a mandate to be a part of broader society and a part of the solutions for the problems that ail it.". MAY / JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 69
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THE LATINO ENTREPRENEURIAL PLAYING FIELD The number of Latino founders continue to increase at a fast rate while an investment gap is clearly drawn across the field. According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, there are already 4.4 million Latino-owned companies in the U.S. which contribute at least $700 billion to the economy each year. As of August 31,2020, Black and Latinx founders have raised $2.3 billion in funding, representing just 2.6% of the total $87.3 billion in funding that has gone to all founders so far in 2020.* Today, these businesses not only continue to slowly grow in investments and revenue but work around the creation of jobs and the impact they bring to their communities. In this section, Latino Leaders celebrates the advocates and creators who represent the present and future of Latinos in the entrepreneurial playing field. * 2020 Crunchbase Diversity Spotlight Report
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP MOE VELA
ENTREPRENEURIAL ENERGY TO CHANGE Growing up in a Tejano family, whose south Texas history spans several generations, Moises "Moe" Vela Jr. learned early about politics and community service, and gained an education and drive that carried him to the heights as an attorney, political advisor and an international business consultant.
ela made his political debut at the age of six. He appeared in a campaign commercial for President Lyndon Baines Johnson, he said. His mother played the piano and he sang what was a politicized version of the "Yellow Rose of Texas." He can still sing verses of this song. He was bolstered by a commitment to service fostered by his upbringing and never lost pride in his Latino heritage – "you never lose who you are," – he began a career trajectory that took him to a successful law career and even to leadership posts at the White House. Vela views his path to success as the juxtaposition of parallel aspirations and dreams. These included a love of business and entrepreneurship. Moe Vela's achievements are highlighted by serving in senior posts in the Clinton and Obama administrations, the latter as director of administration for Vice President Joe Biden. Today, Vela has transitioned to the private sector and heads the Vela Group LLC, a global business consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He also has become a strong advocate for the role entrepreneurship can play in the economic improvement of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. "What took me into the business world was that I realized that something, that we will never have equality in this world, in the state of Texas and the Rio Grande Valley until we have economic parity and have equal access to opportunities," Moe Vela said. This spring, Vela channeled his advocacy of democratizing access to wealth creation into a new direction. "I am the co-creator, co-producer and co-star of a hot streaming reality show, 'Unicorn Hunters.'" This show is based on the premise that
knowledge is power and to help people learn about risk taking and how to wisely invest in up and coming pre-IPO companies. This streaming program runs on YouTube and other social media. "Unicorn Hunters" and media such as Latino Leader and other leaders, are for Vela part of the quest for economic equality. "We have a responsibility, an obligation, to partner with Latino non-profits, Latino leadership and community organizations to help them start realizing that we need to add entrepreneurialism to the services we are providing across the country as just a fundamental way to indoctrinate, to enlighten, to educate and to inform." By enhancing these partnerships, Vela said, “allows people to be educated about entrepreneurialism through platforms that are in place.” For Vela, advancing this process of enlightenment is the first of four pillars he detailed in the interview as essential to building economic parity His second "pillar" is to urge officials and political leaders to develop more platforms and to pass policies to help Latinos. A third priority, according to Vela is busting unflattering stereotypes and enhancing the image of Latinos in the business world. As an example of what is the true Latino reality he points out that Latinas have been the number one group in starting new businesses for years. Furthermore, Vela said, "I think entrepreneurialism spirit is inherent, innate in Hispanics and in our community. We need to provide an environment that is more encouraging." The fourth pillar of Vela's commitment to lifting the Latino community concerns overcoming what he calls the "disease of celos." At the core of the "horrible disease" is what Vela describes as jealousy and insecurity about the success of other Hispanics.
"We are so intimidated, threatened by a fellow Hispanic who succeeds because we believe somehow if they succeed it keeps me from being able to succeed," Vela explained. "The exact opposite is true," Vela stated. "We need to be pushing one another, supporting each other. If you reach the pinnacle then we all rise with you." An important corollary to his concern about economic parity that Vela elaborates on is the challenge of attracting capital investment to Latino enterprises. "Only one percent of venture capital investment money goes to women, Latinos and the LGBTQ community. We have to get our fair share of investment dollars," Vela said. "We want this to be 50 percent." As to what can be done, media such as Latino Leaders need to keep highlighting Hispanic business leaders to create role models and to show "you can do this too." Looking forward, Vela sees a future that is "overwhelmingly bright." He is impressed with Millennials and Generation Z. "I see less of the disease of celos and they are hungry and have a can do attitude," he said While Vela said he is proud and blessed to be the first Hispanic and LGBTQ American to serve in the White House twice, he does not want a third stint which he said would be taking a seat that should go to a young person. "My goal is to break down more doors for the next generation of Latino leaders."
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L AT I N O F O U N D E R S
Even though there is still so much growth and change to see within the entrepreneurial field, Latino Leaders celebrates the achievement of leaders, founders and innovators who are building great things. Meet some of the players out there. SUSIE JARAMILLO
Susie Jaramillo is an Emmy Nominated Director, an artist, a storyteller, an entrepreneur, and a mom. She currently serves as Co-founder, President, and Chief Creative Officer of Encantos. She is also the creator of the award-winning Canticos preschool brand. Her adorable characters & catchy songs have been beloved by millions of children who are growing up proud of their Latinx roots. Her magic extends to other storyworlds as well, including Tiny Travelers, encouraging kids to become World Citizens, and Skeletina, a gorgeous Day of the Dead universe where kids learn to conquer their fears and anxieties. Susie ensures everything Encantos does is in service to the child and advances our mission of developing life, literacy, and learning skills by marrying entertainment, education, and technology in ways that amaze and amuse. An accomplished speaker and advocate for her community, Susie has been featured in Forbes, NBC, NPR, Business Insider, NYT, etc., and has spoken at conferences across the country. About Encantos: Encantos’ mission is to inspire children to learn the 21st Century Learning, Literacy, and Life skills they need to thrive. We enable creators to teach the way kids learn best, through story. Our storyteaching platform uses games, activities, videos, books, and storycasts to bring 21st Century skills to life, all built by a diverse community of storyteachers from around the world. Our original brands include: Canticos: an Emmy-nominated, kidscreen award-winning blended learning platform helping kids become kindergarten ready in Spanish and English with Latin nursery rhymes. Tiny Travelers, teaching geography, culture, and world citizenship, and Skeletina, a brand that helps kids learn to conquer their fears and anxieties.
“I’m a two-time entrepreneur. The difference between this business and my first, which was successful and fueled me, is that I’m now building a purpose-based company that is setting out to make a substantial difference in my community. I am using my skills and superpowers to make a positive impact in the world, as well as a living for my family. There is nothing more empowering that building something you believe in, that is bigger than you. I have a tremendous sense of purpose and satisfaction.”
R U B E N A R T U R O G A R C I A
Ruben is a proven innovator in the testing industry. After two decades in product and business development, he founded Innovative Exams, LLC with the goal to provide more exam access by advancing the technology used for test proctoring. In 2012, Ruben was awarded a patent for his invention of new and innovative remote proctoring technologies. PSI Services later acquired Innovative Exams, which by then had a global footprint of testing kiosks and provided services to leaders such as Red Hat, Accenture and Cloudera. Today, Ruben continues to change the market and is focused on making more certification exams within reach for testing candidates. Far from the typical serial entrepreneur, however, Ruben is a naturalized U.S. citizen who used certifications to earn his way through college at nights and weekends. So when he decided to design a test development platform, Ruben's priorities were bringing greater access and value to test-takers. About Certiverse: Certiverse is fundamentally changing the way certification and credentialing exams are developed, transforming from today’s slow, capital-intensive process to a streamlined modern model that encourages innovation and provides more access to certifications. Certiverse’s online platform allows organizations and their industry experts to work together in real-time to develop new exams quickly without high upfront costs and enables professionals to participate in an exam's success. Certiverse helps learners succeed by democratizing the exam development process. Its revolutionary system uses industry-leading psychometric standards, intuitive machine learning, and asynchronous contributions from experts to quickly create rigorous, cost-effective exams. Certiverse is an industry innovator helping organizations to engage, expand and diversify their pools of experts, rapidly develop valid test content at scale, and create exams with lower environmental impact. Since launching in 2020, the company has raised $3M in funding and was the first start-up to receive the IT Certification Council’s Innovation Award.
“It takes a talented team sharing a vision to make transformative change in an industry. I feel lucky every day to be surrounded by people with the same passion to create something new and life-changing for learners and professionals.” 72 LATINO LEADERS MAY / JUNE 2021
Maricel is the founder and CEO of Compound Foods, a company focused on the intersection of climate and food. Maricel has a Bachelors of Commerce, from The University of British Columbia and she attended Singularity University's GSP in 2017. She is from Costa Rica, where coffee and sustainability are a central part of the national identity. Maricel has a background in finance and previously co-founded Nextbiotics a synthetic biology startup addressing antibiotic resistance. She worked in international development in South Africa, with local entrepreneurs, and in Cambodia with Hellen Keller International on a project to empower women. She also started a company to help children with autism and their families better understand anxiety levels and thus improve their behavior. She worked with Monitor Deloitte in corporate strategy and innovation consultancies. About Compound Foods Compound Foods create solutions to the climate crisis by recreating our most loved foods using food science and precision fermentation. We are starting with coffee. Climate change puts coffee at risk; increasing temperatures lead to lower coffee yields and quality and decimates coffee-producing land over the next few years. Coffee is one of the most consumed products globally but also one of the most polluting. At Compound Foods, we are working on recreating the flavors and aromas of coffee without the plant. We are an early-stage food tech company building impossible foods for coffee. We produce the best-tasting and most sustainable coffee with food science and precision fermentation, recreating the same flavors, aromas, and benefits of coffee without the negative environmental impact. With our approach, we can reduce the carbon emissions of coffee by 90% and water use by 95%!
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is assembling a tribe of the smartest, most hard working people who are mission aligned and want to solve the same problem, all the way from team members, advisors, investors, customers, partners.
O S VA L D O M O N T E L O N G O
Prior to ConnectCareHero, Montelongo worked as a global marketing manager for over eight years for consumer goods companies, ranging from oral care to paint and coatings categories, where he managed strategy, product development and brand rollout into new markets and categories. Osvaldo is an active member in the Chicago Tech Ecosystem and focuses on diversity inclusion. He’s currently part of 1871, LatinX Incubator, IHCC, Entrenuity MoxE, Alzheimer’s Association of Illinois and most recently Techstars + Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures whose focus is on the future of longevity. About ConnectCareHero: Being a first-generation Latino and having personally experienced senior living with his father with dementia, Osvaldo knew there had to be a better way to engage older adults in nursing homes with more culturally relevant activities. He quickly realized how underserved brown and black elders were when it came to activity programming. That’s why ConnectCareHero helps organizations tackle social isolation by providing culturally relevant & inclusive activity programming, think of us as the masterclass for older adults 65+. Today ConnectCareHero serves thousands of adults and looks to expand their reach in coming years to other organizations looking to engage their senior populations with enhanced virtual programming.
"I love knowing that the work I’m doing in senior living tech is making a huge difference in the lives of older adults and their families. Bringing a smile to older adults, like my dad, is priceless, and plus who hates mariachi music or culturally relevant programming? No one.”
Co-Founder and CEO of Rever, the Frontline Excellence platform. Previously, Errette worked at Toyota, Airbus, Eurocopter, and Wrike, helping teams and business units to become more effective, efficient, and accomplished; mostly through the use of Lean practices and Change Management. Errette is an Industrial Engineer by trade, MBA by chance, wannabe rock-star by night, an entrepreneur from the start, and a proud father of six. About Rever: Rever is the Frontline Excellence platform. Through an easy-to-use app, Rever connects your Frontline Managers and Team Members so you can solve issues at the source. With Rever, your frontline can expose hidden losses and problems; connect and guide the right people to solve them, and you get real-time visibility and automated recommendations to multiply the benefits. World-class companies like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mars, GlaxoSmithKline, and Grupo Bimbo use Rever to avoid Safety incidents, eliminate defects, and drive preventive Maintenance to stop productivity losses. All of this, driven by your frontline employees, not by a few experts.That is Frontline Excellence: to Activate the untapped potential of the frontline to elevate your people and performance with Rever. Rever is was co-founded by Errette Dunn from Mexico and Borja Gomez from Spain. It is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Barcelona, Spain.
“My favorite part about being an entrepreneur is working alongside people who are talented, good, and fun; all driven by a shared vision to rehumanize people at work.” MAY/ JUNE 2021 LATINO LEADERS 73
100 LATINAS NEW YORK LIFE
LAS PODEROSAS: THE POWER OF WE When strong women with different perspectives align with a common goal, magic happens. This is the thinking behind New York Life’s study group Las Poderosas.
Las Poderosas meeting in NYC on November 2019 with Head of the Latino Market Liliana Canedo and agent Bob Petrocelli, former New York Life Council President, which is the highest honor bestowed annually on any New York Life Insurance Company financial professional nationwide.
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In November 2019, Liliana Canedo, Corporate VP for the Latino Market, launched the program when she realized the importance of bringing top Latina producers together on a regular basis. The goal of the group was to bring agents together to discuss sales ideas, exchange case studies, review product information and learn from one another. Soon, with New York Life’s cultural support and commitment to the growth of its agents, the study group became something much more special: A family in which each member not only offers assistance in their area of expertise, but a space to grow personally and professionally. The study group fosters collaboration and a bigger than me mentality, and for New York Life working through challenges together creates well-rounded financial professionals. “As a result of Las Poderosas we have seen a significant increase in business and the member’s self-confidence and resilience.” shared Canedo.
In 2015, Darinka Lora-Stepan started her career as an agent with New York Life after spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mother to her loving family. Now, as a licensed agent of the Chicago North Shore General Office (GO), she dedicates her time to helping her clients achieve financial success: “Las Poderosas has truly been inspirational personally and professionally. Having a group of like-minded people inspiring me and holding me accountable has given me the support I need to deal with all the highs and lows within my personal life,” she said. “Each group member brings a unique perspective, and they have become like family pushing me to sharpen my business skills and challenging me to set and reach my professional goals. Las Poderosas has taught me that anything is possible, that the sky is the limit, and that fear should not stop you from taking chances.”
For Maria Jimenez who has an office in Queens, NY, helping her clients understand their options and achieve their goals is what makes her job so rewarding. “Being part of this group of women has been a such an experience and motivation to me; I learned that we all share something in common, we want to make an impact in our community and do it with love and passion.”
Today, Las Poderosas is comprised of seven dedicated agents across Chicago, New York, California, Texas, Washington and Boston; and most have achieved great success as a direct result of this initiative. Sharing similar experiences helps each member grow their practice and become better prepared to meet the needs of their clients. “When you become part of a group with a variety of people with different years of experience, from different markets across the country, it is incredible what you can accomplish,” reflects Sarah Perez from her office in Methuen, MA.
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New York Life has a large number of Latino agents serving the Latino Market, which makes it possible to form study groups with peers serving the same community. Aside from Las Poderosas, the more recent La Armada study group is also a great example of how valuable it is to have a group of agents coming together with the same goal in mind: educating and serving the Latino community. “I have had the opportunity to meet awesome women and have grown 300% in my professional life,” said Marisol Madrid who serves the Greater Washington GO. “Witnessing these ladies achieve their goals helped me see that I could do it too. I have also been able to impact my community by insuring an average of 125 families each year and helping them to define their financial goals. Successful women with firm decisions, all with their own businesses and their own families brings a strength that pushes me to continue forward.” “Las Poderosas has helped me to gain perspective” adds
Rhanda Zavala. “Sometimes we can feel that the worst
is happening, and when you are part of a group like this, you start seeing things differently. Our common purpose is to empower each other in every aspect of our lives.”
“Professionally I have had the opportunity to understand that I am not alone, I don’t have to know it all because I have others that genuinely have my back. This group is more than just women getting together to share a dream, it has become a sisterhood that goes beyond work. This is very beneficial because when you have several powerful minds thinking together you definitely have a better outcome. Sharing ideas and solutions makes a big difference in the way I conduct my business; in the way I find solutions to help my clients.”
The Latino Market team sponsors the meetings and provides training, materials, courses and even motivational speakers. They also make it a point to make themselves available whenever needed. For Rhanda M. Zavala, from the South Texas GO, the incredible support they lend the study groups has been the cornerstone of their success. “The New York Life Latino Market team goes the extra mile to make your dreams happen. This is not just another resource; they have become our family. Their leaders do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING possible to find a solution when we have a problem; they genuinely help us to continue to be inspired and to think bigger.”
Beyond sharing their business expertise, Las Poderosas have become each other’s champions, creating a community bigger and more powerful than the single individual: “Las Poderosas has helped me understand that I do not have to do this by myself. It is no longer about the individual; it is several minds all working towards the same goal.”
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THE POWER OF WE
The study group also offered crucial support during the challenges brought on by the pandemic. “Last year was very difficult but the Latino Market team was always helping us, bringing so many powerful sessions to keep us strong, positive and alert. Today, we are stronger than ever and have developed a highly trained team whose focus is to have a positive impact on the lives of our clients. I now believe in myself and in not giving up, in perseverance and always looking at life with a positive attitude.” states Maribel Marquez, from the Covina Valley GO. “The group has allowed me to bring resources into my community that were not possible before. I feel more confident and stronger because I know that there are no limitations as to what we can accomplish. We have created a very strong bond; we are sisters, mothers, friends. Thanks to this support system, my business has expanded tremendously.” she concludes.
“During the worst of the pandemic the study group gave me a sense of purpose and lifted me up, these women across the country were cheering me on, suggesting business strategies and ideas to help me reach my personal and professional goals,” contributes Darinka Lora-Stepan “The key takeaway for me is to stay involved and don’t hold back — join other study groups and never stop learning and growing.” For Monica Rangel from the Fullerton GO Las Poderosas is the perfect recipe for success, where each woman brings their own individual spice. “If there is a challenge you are facing, you can always call on someone and say, ‘This is what I am struggling with, how can we solve this together?’ That is what I love about the group. We are in business for ourselves but not by ourselves.” “In the past, I knew I wanted to reach certain goals and yet I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to move to the next level, I didn’t understand why a ‘Do more’ approach was not advancing my career. Now after collaborating on personal development as a group I quickly realized that it wasn’t about ‘Doing More,’ it was about ‘Being More.’ Being more positive, kind to myself and more optimistic that everything is always working out for the best. Improving the way I talk to myself and my own paradigms, and learning that my only limits are the ones I set for myself has made an impact not only in my business life but in my personal life as well; what I have learned through Las Poderosas will have an impact on my family’s life for generations.”
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RECENTLY had a very interesting chat with Charles Fournier, Commercial and Marketing Director from Chateau Pichon Longuville Comtesse de Lalande, one of my favorite wines. Since they finished their new facility in the center of the vineyards in Pauillac, France they have been improving the details for production quality. But, how much can you improve on the quality of a wine that is already a legend? “We want to increase production, so we want to focus on maintaining and improving the quality. Things like better temperature control, smoother extraction processes, richer soils, biodynamic practices, less plumbing and more gravity use for moving the wine, etc.” They have renamed the second label as Pichon Comtesse Reserve, and made a refresh on the label design of the Grand Vin. This conversation made me crave for a glass of this great wine.
CAHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE COMTESSE DE LALANDE 2002
• Region: Pauillac, Bordeaux • Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc • Price: $230 • Aromas: White pepper, red currant, cherry • Impression: Elegant, big, sophisticated • Structure: Round, delicate, fruity and spicey • Drink with: Filet Mignon with green peppercorn sauce, Duck Confit, Beef Burgignon • Why I loved this wine? It is a beautiful, expressive and balanced wine. • My Rating: 95 pts.
OREMUS “MANDOLAS” TOKAJI FURMINT 2018
• Region: Tokaji, Hungary • Varietal: Furmint • Price: $29 • Aromas: Pear, peach and citrus fruit. • Impression: Fresh, clean, vibrant • Structure: Light and medium body • Drink with: Shrimp Cocktail, Sushi, creamy cheeses • Why I loved this wine? It is savory and has a long finish • My Rating: 90 pts.
SHAFER RED SHOULDER RANCH 2018 “25 ANNIVERSARY LABEL” • Region: Napa, CA • Varietal: Chardonnay • Price: $52 • Aromas: Apricot, valentine, pineapple • Impression: Rich and creamy, exotic. • Structure: Balanced, round • Drink with: Salmon any style Goat cheese salad with walnuts, grilled vegetables. • Why I loved this wine? Fresh, stylish, pleasant. • My Rating: 93 pts.
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MAY / JUNE 2021 VOL. 22 NO. 3