News Column

2009 Corporate Elite--The Complete List

Jan. 28, 2009
corporate elite, hispanic executives

Trinidad Aguirre
Area President-South/West
Verizon Telecom
Mr. Aguirre is responsible for marketing, sales, and operations in 15 states, including California, Florida, and Texas. His mission is to provide exceptional customer service, drive revenue growth, increase operational efficiency and maximize profitability. Mr. Aguirre began his career in 1980 as an office technician in Network Services and has advanced through various management positions in region operations, headquarters and international. He holds an undergraduate degree with a computer science concentration from Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, and a master's degree in telecommunications from the University of Dallas.

Norma Barnes-Euresti
VP and Chief Counsel, labor and employment and intellectual property
Kellogg Co.
Ms. Barnes-Euresti manages all labor and employment business units, and intellectual property. She joined Keebler Co. in 1999 and became an employee of Kellogg as part of the 2001 acquisition. In 2003, she was promoted to counsel for the legal department and promoted to senior corporate counsel, labor and employment, in 2005. She formerly served as an administrative judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Ms. Barnes-Euresti earned a bachelor's degree from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., and a juris doctor degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.

Carlos A. Cabrera
President and CEO
UOP LLC (Universal Oil Products)
Mr. Cabrera runs this Honeywell company, which has been delivering cutting-edge technology to the petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical production and major manufacturing industries for more than 90 years. Positions he has held over 35 years with UOP include: senior vice president, process technology and equipment; and senior vice president, refining and petrochemicals. He has been granted seven patents by the U.S. Patent Office. Mr. Cabrera holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Carlos Cabrera
SVP of Operations, North America
Global Hyatt Corp.
Mr. Cabrera is responsible for owner relations, financial performance, standardization of product and services, and development of new Hyatt properties in Florida and the Caribbean. He began his career with Hyatt about 30 years ago and has served in various capacities, including general manager of Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino. In 2002, he was appointed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the Commission on Tourism, where he chaired the Multicultural Committee for Visit Florida. He has also served as chairman of the Puerto Rico convention bureau. Mr. Cabrera attended the University of Central Florida.

Miguel Centeno
VP of Strategic Market Development
Aetna Corp.
Mr. Centeno is responsible for leading Aetna's efforts in the Northeast region to better serve the needs of targeted growth market small business owners, such as Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans. His initial target area is New York City. Before coming to Aetna, he served in various capacities for the U.S. Small Business Administration's New York office. Before that, he served as the deputy director of economic development for Brooklyn's borough president. Mr. Centeno earned his bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master's degree in public administration from New York University.

Teresa Diaz Ellenburg
VP, Office of Employment Rights
Sodexo Inc.
Ms. Diaz Ellenburg oversees investigations into discrimination, harassment and retaliation within the company. Before joining Sodexo, she worked as a judicial clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and then as an associate in the Washington, D.C., law firm Shaw Pittman. She holds juris doctor and bachelor's degrees from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Colorado and District of Columbia bars and is a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association and Society of Human Resource Management.

Ernesto de la Fe
Managing Director, Head of Latin America for Private Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley

Mr. de la Fe's responsibilities include business development of ultra high net worth relationships and institutions in Latin America and South Florida. He also oversees the group's operations in New York, Geneva, Switzerland, and Latin America Private Wealth Management offices. Previously, Mr. de la Fé was a managing director of Lehman Brothers Investment Management Division and head of business development for Latin America. He holds an MBA and a master's degree in international management from Thunderbird-Gavin School of Management, and received a bachelor's in business administration from the University of Miami.

Jorge Figueredo
EVP of Human Resources
McKesson Corp.
Mr. Figueredo's responsibilities include talent acquisition, training and organizational development, compensation and benefits, diversity, community relations, and corporate communications and branding. Before joining McKesson, he served as senior vice president of human resources at Dow Jones Inc. Before Dow Jones, Mr. Figueredo spent 22 years at Liz Claiborne, his last position as president of its international division. Mr. Figueredo holds a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

James Gallegos
VP and Corporate General Counsel
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
Mr. Gallegos joined BNSF in 2003. Previously, he was vice president, legal affairs, for Qwest Communications International. He was a marketing analyst for the former Burlington Northern Railroad, a BNSF predecessor, and for Soo Line Railroad. In 1995, Mr. Gallegos joined US West Inc. in Denver as senior attorney, regulatory, and was later promoted to director, public policy. After the company's merger with Qwest, he became corporate counsel and later vice president, legal affairs, for Qwest. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado, and a juris doctor degree from the University of Minnesota.

Art Garcia
SVP and Controller
Ryder System Inc.
Mr. Garcia is responsible for corporate accounting, internal and external financial reporting, vehicle administration, payroll services, and insurance accounting.
Before this appointment, Mr. Garcia served as group director of accounting services, where he was responsible for all of Ryder's internal financial reporting activities, vehicle administration, and payroll services. Before joining Ryder, Mr. Garcia worked for the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand LLP. Mr. Garcia is a Florida Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Florida State University.

Dave Gonzales
SVP, Great Western Zone
State Farm Insurance Cos.
Mr. Gonzales has held numerous jobs at State Farm since he joined the company in 1980. Previous positions include personnel manager in Tempe; vice president-operations at corporate headquarters; and regional vice president in Arizona. He is an alumnus of Southern California Leadership and is a past member of the State Farm General Company Board. A native of Colorado, Mr. Gonzales received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1987.

Jimmie Gonzalez
EVP, Operations and Systems
Prudential Financial Inc.
Mr. Gonzalez is responsible for the management and integration of domestic relocation operations capabilities and client-focused solutions. He is also responsible for the development, implementation, and management of all systems initiatives and infrastructure for both real estate and relocation services. Mr. Gonzalez is a member of such organizations as National Council of La Raza; Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting; and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Mr. Gonzalez received Career Focus magazine's National Eagle Leadership Institute Award in 1998.

J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez
McDonald's Latin America
Mr. Gonzalez-Mendez is responsible for operations of all McDonald's restaurants in Latin America (more than 1,700 restaurants in 28 countries with sales topping $4 billion). He started at McDonald's in 1984 as the first employee for McDonald's Mexico, where he was responsible for developing supply sources for the first restaurant that opened in Mexico in 1985. He has a bachelor's degree in biochemical engineering with minors in food technology and marine sciences from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Grace Lieblein
President and Managing Director, GM de Mexico
General Motors
Ms. Lieblein is the first woman to serve in this role. She joined GM in 1978 as a co-op student at the GM Assembly Division in Los Angeles. She earned a master's degree in management from Michigan State University in 1987, and a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Kettering University in 1983. Ms. Lieblein led the development of award-winning crossover vehicles such as the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. She is the company's highest-ranked Hispanic woman executive and its first Hispanic woman to serve as vehicle chief engineer.

Amador Lucero
VP of Network Operations and Engineering
Qwest Communications
Mr. Lucero oversees the network operations reliability center, which monitors Qwest's external and internal voice and data networks. Mr. Lucero has spent more than 36 years in the telecommunications industry. Previously, he served in leadership roles in sales and support, human resources, IT, and data networks. He has an electronics degree from Mesa Community College and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix in 1986. He earned an MBA from Arizona State University in 1994.

Carlos Minetti
EVP, Cardmember Services and Consumer Banking
Discover Financial Services
Mr. Minetti is responsible for all card member services functions, including card member assistance, customer service and engagement, corporate security, operational risk and information security, and planning and national operations. He is also responsible for all of Discover's consumer banking businesses. Before joining Discover in 2001, Mr. Minetti served as senior vice president of card operations for American Express. Mr. Minetti holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Elizabeth Munoz
President, Lucky Brand
Liz Claiborne Inc.
Ms. Munoz is responsible for the creative direction of Lucky Brand Jeans product, stores, marketing and visual, as well as the strategic planning, budgeting, and direction for Lucky Brand Jeans retail, wholesale, e-commerce, and international business. During her tenure, she has built Lucky Brand Jeans' specialized design teams, while creating a production infrastructure, and supervising marketing and merchandising. Ms. Munoz began her career by getting a job as a pattern maker and putting herself through college at the Fashion Institute of Design.

Jorge Perez
SVP, Senior Finance Business Partner, North American Lodging Operations
Marriott International Inc.
Mr. Perez provides financial support to North American Lodging business leaders. His key focus is on the overall financial results and development of financial business strategies that maximize profitability and growth. Before this appointment, Mr. Perez served as chief financial officer and regional vice president, finance, for the central region. Before joining Marriott, he was employed by Schering-Plough. Mr. Perez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with master's and bachelor's degrees in economics.

Barbara Radous
SVP-Commercial Operations
American Electric Power
Ms. Radous is responsible for energy marketing and trading, power projects and asset investments, market operations, and commercial analysis. Ms. Radous joined AEP in 2001 and brings more than 16 years of experience in energy trading and marketing. Before being appointed to her current position, she was vice president, commercial and financial analysis. Before joining AEP, Ms. Radous worked for a subsidiary of Enron Corp., where she worked in positions that included marketing, risk management, structuring, and accounting. Ms. Radous has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.

Josue Robles Jr.
President & CEO
United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
Mr. Robles oversees a diversified financial services company that provides financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. Mr. Robles joined USAA in 1994 after retiring from the U.S. Army as a major general. He was named CFO and controller in 1994, and added corporate treasurer to his responsibilities in 1995. He became president and CEO in 2007. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Kent State University and a master's degree in business administration from Indiana State University.

Ed Rodriguez
VP, Human Resources
The Pepsi Bottling Group, West Business Unit
Mr. Rodriguez joined Pepsi Bottling in 1995. After serving as a human resources manager in several locations, he became regional staffing and training manager. In 2001, he joined PBG's headquarters HR team as a labor manager. A year later, he joined the acquisition and integration team for PBG Mexico, and later was named director of human resources. In his current position, he is responsible for 7,500 employees across California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, and Alaska. Mr. Rodriguez earned a bachelor's degree in English from UC Santa Barbara, and a master's degree in communication management from USC.

Carlos Torres
VP of Emergency Management
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York
Mr. Torres oversees instituting emergency-management principles in all of the company's operations. The cornerstone of this effort is based on the fostering of the Incident Command System as the company's operating procedure for response to emergency incidents. He serves on the board of directors for the American Red Cross of Greater New York. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management, both from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Raul Vazquez
President and CEO,
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Mr. Vazquez oversees the online development and operations of the world's largest retailer. He was promoted to this position in early 2007. Previously, Mr. Vazquez served as the chief marketing officer of, and was responsible for all consumer marketing and customer-facing site functionality. Before joining, Mr. Vazquez spent four years at startup companies such as Ventro and Onsale. Mr. Vazquez is a graduate of the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, and also received bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Henry Vigil
SVP, Strategy and Partnership
Microsoft Corp.
Mr. Vigil works with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Microsoft Senior Leadership Team in developing and managing strategic relationships, mergers, acquisitions, and investment partnerships with media, consumer electronics, telecommunications, software, and Internet companies. Mr. Vigil helps to develop Microsoft's online advertising and audience strategies and is a key business leader driving Microsoft's overall consumer partnership engagements. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and an MBA from Stanford University. He currently serves on the board of Thomson SA, the Stanford Business School board of advisors, and the Mercy Corps board of ambassadors.

Geisha Williams
SVP, Energy Delivery
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Ms. Williams is responsible for all aspects of the electric and gas infrastructure serving more than 15 million Californians. Ms. Williams comes to PG&E from Florida Power and Light Company, where her career spanned nearly 25 years. She most recently served as vice president, power systems, distribution, responsible for asset management and planning, engineering, construction, maintenance, and restoration for the entire electric distribution infrastructure. She has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Miami and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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