News Column

100 Influentials: LA Focus, Part 1

Oct. 2, 2008
100 Influentials 2008, LA Focus: Part 1

Ana Andrade
Vice-President Latino Programs
Health Net
Ms. Andrade is responsible at Health Net for leading the assessment, development, and implementation of culturally relevant initiatives that meet the needs of the Latino market. In 2006, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, she led the development of a first-of-its-kind portfolio of health insurance products for individuals and their family members providing access to medical care on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The portfolio includes Mexi-Plan, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of the uninsured and underinsured Mexican immigrant population of Southern California.

Celia C. Ayala
Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Universal Preschool
Appointed in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Ayala is working to grant preschool access to all Los Angeles County four-year-olds. For more than 31 years, Ms. Ayala has worked as a teacher, administrator, and advocate for the children of Southern California. Prior to joining LAUP, she was the Assistant Superintendent, Division of Children & Family Services, at the Riverside County Office of Education. Ms. Ayala has also served as the Pasadena Unified School District's Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Technologies; principal at James Madison Elementary School; and director of the Los Angeles County Department of Education's Division of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

Dino T. Barajas
Partner in the Corporate Practice Group
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Dino Barajas became a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP this March. Mr. Barajas has extensive experience representing lenders, investors, and developers in a wide range of domestic and international project financing in the energy, power, infrastructure, and commercial sectors, as well as traditional banking, structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, asset finance, joint ventures, and venture capital. His clients include commercial lenders, institutional investors, investment funds, project sponsors, and public and private companies. A member of the State Bar of California, he earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Xavier Becerra
Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
First elected to represent California's 31st Congressional District in 1992, Representative Xavier Becerra serves on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means. As the first Hispanic representative appointed to that committee, Rep. Becerra uses his position to increase opportunities for working families, improve the Social Security program for women and minorities, combat poverty among the working poor, and strengthen Medicare and ensure its long-term viability. He is also a member and former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Magdalena Beltran-del Olmo
Vice-President of Communications
The California Wellness Foundation
In 2002, Ms. Beltran-del Olmo became vice-president of communications for The California Wellness Foundation. She oversees all communication and public education efforts for the foundation, which is nationally recognized in the field of philanthropy for its grants to improve the health of the people of California through education, disease prevention, and other health programs. Ms. Beltran-del Olmo's resume includes prior positions with Kaiser Permanente and Coronado Communications. While working as an associate director with the California Chicano News Media Association, she helped found the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Enrique Cadenas
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
Mr. Cadenas holds the school's 2007-2008 Charles Krown/Pharmacy Alumni Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is the author or co-author of over 90 scientific articles on biochemistry, and received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires. He served as a research fellow at the Universities of Dundee (Scotland), Pennsylvania, and Dusseldorf (Germany). Prior to joining USC in 1989, Mr. Cadenas was an associate professor of pathology in Sweden.

Jorge G. Castro
Chief Executive Officer
Lombardia Capital Partners LLC
As CEO for Lombardia Capital Partners, Mr. Castro manages more than $1.7 billion of equity investments on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, and high net-worth individuals. Mr. Castro also serves as vice-chairman and a founding member of the board of directors for the New America Alliance, an organization of the nation's most prominent Hispanic business leaders. In addition, he sits on the board of directors of Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation, a publicly traded insurance company with an $800 million market capitalization.

Gilbert Cedillo
State Senator
California State Senate
A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Senator Cedillo was elected to the State Senate in November 2002, representing the 22nd District, which includes the cities of Los Angeles, Alhambra, Maywood, San Marino, South Pasadena, and Vernon. His legislative record demonstrates a strong commitment to tackling tough issues and making improvements in the day-to-day lives of the people he represents. Before joining the Senate, Sen. Cedillo previously served his constituents as assemblyman for California's 46th District from 1998 to 2002.

Ramon C. Cortines
Senior Deputy Superintendent
Los Angeles Unified School District
On April 4, 2008, Mr. Cortines was named senior deputy superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In that position, he is responsible for overseeing the district's functional operations and instruction. The LAUSD is the largest public school district in California and the second largest in the nation. Mr. Cortines served as Interim LAUSD Superintendent in 2000 and has also led the school systems in New York City, San Francisco, Pasadena, and San Jose.

Castulo de la Rocha
CEO
AltaMed Health Services Corporation
Mr. de la Rocha has been a community health leader for 27 years. As CEO of the healthcare provider AltaMed, he leads the No. 1 Hispanic nonprofit in the country. His success in providing affordable and accessible healthcare to Hispanics and the under-served has earned him national recognition. He is also a board member for the Latino Issues Forum and an executive committee member of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.


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