Influentials: LA Focus, Part 3 -->
Senior Vice-President, Human Resources
NBC Universal Network and Cable Entertainment
Since joining NBC in 1995, Ms. Lazo risen through the corporate ranks, taking on increasingly greater human resources responsibilities. In 2007, Ms. Lazo was named to her current role as human resources leader for the TV Network and Cable Entertainment businesses and relocated to Los Angeles. In addition, she serves as national co-chair for Hispanic Forum, an affinity network focusing on the recruitment, retention and development of Hispanic talent across General Electric, NBC's parent company.
Acting Dean of the Division of Social Sciences
As acting dean, Professor Macias brings to his new role 35 years of academic leadership and national service, as well as an outstanding career in research and teaching about language, education, literacy, teacher preparation, and multicultural curriculum issues. He currently chairs the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. He is co-founder of Aztlán—International Journal of Chicano Studies Research and has served as editor on a variety of academic journals.
Author, Scriptwriter, and Columnist
Los Angeles Times
A prolific writer and journalist, Mr. Martinez has been a prominent observer and commentator on the Los Angeles scene since becoming a columnist at the Los Angeles Times in 1984. His journalistic efforts have contributed to the Times earning three Pulitzer prizes, while his movie scripts have been recognized with Emmy nominations. His books often offer gritty details of urban life, in addition to profiling Spanish-speaking Americans. Beyond creating three network television series, he has writing credits for 20 television movies.
J. Mario Molina
President and CEO
Molina Healthcare Inc.
Mr. Molina was elected chairman of the board and assumed the chief executive role at Molina Healthcare in 1996, taking over leadership of the giant healthcare firm from his father, C. David Molina, the organization's founder. Under Mr. Molina, the healthcare giant has seen its revenues rise to nearly $3 billion from $1.2 billion in 2004, with operations spread across nine states. In 2008, Molina Healthcare ranked No. 2 on the Hispanic Business magazine list of 500 largest U.S. Hispanic-owned companies.
Los Angeles County
In 1991, Ms. Molina became the first Latina ever elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She represents the First Supervisorial District, which encompasses parts of the City of Los Angeles and 22 surrounding cities with a population adding up to more than two million. Born in Los Angeles and the daughter of Mexican-American parents, she has consistently placed families at the top of her legislative agenda, working to build new parks, fund public libraries, and create affordable housing and state-of the-art health facilitates. Prior to her election to the Board of Supervisors, she served in the California State Assembly and on the LA City Council. Ms. Molina was the 2006 Hispanic Business Woman of the Year.
Irma R. Munoz
Founder and President
Mujeres de la Tierra
Ms. Munoz established Mujeres de la Tierra, a nonprofit organization that is located in Los Angeles and devoted to protecting the environment. Under Ms. Munoz, Mujeres de la Tierra emphasizes community empowerment and has contributed to such community projects as the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and addressing the negative urban impacts of the Baldwin Hills oil wells on health and air quality. Ms. Munoz also chairs Alianza de los Pueblos del Rio and is a board member of Amigos de los Rios and the Southwest Voter Registration Project.
Armando Nunez Jr.
CBS Paramount International Television
One of the international television industry's most successful executives, Mr. Nunez joined CBS Broadcast International as president in July 1999. Under his management, CBS Paramount International Television distributes a comprehensive slate of top-rated, critically acclaimed entertainment and news/information programming. Mr. Nunez has held leadership positions in international distribution for the past 25 years. Prior to joining CBS, he served as president of Universal International Television, where he oversaw program sales worldwide.
California State Senate
Elected to the Senate in 2006, Sen. Oropeza first launched her career in politics by winning the office of student president at California State University, Long Beach. Elected to the California Assembly in 2000, Sen. Oropeza chaired the Budget Committee. A Democrat representing the 28th District, Sen. Oropeza currently chairs the Revenue and Taxation Committee. She is an advocate for community-friendly business policies and election reform and has written legislation aimed at protecting the environment, transportation funding, and expanded cancer prevention.
California State Senate
Representing the 20th District in California's State Senate, Sen. Padilla, a Democrat, was sworn into office on Dec. 4, 2006 and served on the Senate Rules Committee and Budget Committee. In his short time in the Senate, he has assisted in gaining in legislative approval for 15 bills. The child of Mexican immigrants, Sen. Padilla was a member of the Los Angles City Council from 1999-2006. Before entering public affairs, Sen. Padilla earned a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft.
George L. Pla
President and CEO
Since founding the Cordoba Corporation 25 years ago, Mr. Pla has built the Los Angeles-based company into one of the top civil engineering and construction management firms in the nation. While the company first focused on urban planning, it now provides construction management and engineering services to large public infrastructure projects throughout the Western U.S. Mr. Pla also serves as the chairman of the Cardinal Americas Fund, a $100 million private equity fund that invests in niche markets and targets companies in the infrastructure space.
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