Rankings
October 3, 2012

Staff — HispanicBusiness.com


MISCELLANEOUS

Esther Aguilera
President and CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Esther Aguilera has been president and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) since 2004. Under her leadership, CHCI continues to expand national programs and services to Hispanic high school, college and graduate students.

Prior to joining CHCI, Ms. Aguilera served as principal at the Dewey Square Group, directing strategic national projects for a variety of Fortune 100 companies, trade associations and nonprofits.

She is a member of the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment; serves on the board of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and the CEO Advisory Board of the American Society of Association Executives; and is chairwoman of the Independent Sector’s NGen Fellows Selection Committee.

Ms. Aguilera holds a B.A. in public policy from Occidental College, Los Angeles. A native of Mexico, she began her career in Washington, D.C., as a policy analyst for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

In March 2012 she was bestowed the Cross of Isabel la Catolica, as decreed by Royal Proclamation from King Juan Carlos I of Spain.



TEXAS FOCUS

Rafael Anchia
State Rep., 103rd House District of Texas

Rafael Anchia has served as the representative of District 103 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2004. Rep. Anchia serves as vice-chairman of the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee and also serves on the Land and Resource Management Committee.

Scholarships took him to Southern Methodist University, where he triple-majored in Latin American studies, Spanish and anthropology, and to Tulane University in New Orleans, where he studied law. He is an attorney with Haynes & Boone LLP, specializing in public and corporate finance.

Rep. Anchia began his public service at the local level where he was twice elected to the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Independent School District, the nation’s 12th largest.

In 2006, he was chosen chairman of the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund for a three-year term.

Rep. Anchia also is a member of the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, the Dallas Assembly, the SMU Clements Center on Southwest Studies and the Oak Cliff Lions Club.



GOVERNMENT

Katherine Archuleta
National Political Director, President Obama’s re-election team

Katherine Archuleta was named President Obama’s national political director in 2011, the first U.S. Hispanic female national political director of a presidential campaign.

At the time, she was serving as chief of staff to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis.

Before her work with Labor Secretary Solis, Ms. Archuleta was a force in Colorado’s Hispanic community, working as an aide for Mayor Federico Pena—the first and so far the only Hispanic mayor of Denver.

When President Clinton appointed Pena to Secretary of Transportation, he named Archuleta chief of staff in 1996 and 1997. Later in 1997, when Pena became the Secretary of Energy, Archuleta was named senior policy adviser.

She was also a senior adviser to then-Mayor John Hickenlooper, Denver's lead city planner for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and executive director for the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.



GOVERNMENT

Hector Balderas
State Auditor, New Mexico

Hector Balderas was raised by a single mother in the small village of Wagon Mound, N.M., where he was the first person to graduate from law school and become an attorney. He was elected New Mexico state auditor in 2006, the youngest U.S. Hispanic statewide elected official in the country.

Previously, he served a term as a state representative.

As state auditor, he has regulatory oversight of more than $60 billion in government assets and 603 government entities. Under his leadership, the Auditor's office hired criminal investigators whose sole job it was to look into complaints of fraud in state and local government.

He was reelected statewide in 2010 with the overwhelming support of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Mr. Balderas received his college degrees from New Mexico Highlands University and UNM Law School. He lives in Wagon Mound with his wife and three young children.



CORPORATE

Dino Barajas
Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Dino E. Barajas, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, focuses his practice on domestic and international project development and finance, with particular emphasis on Latin-American infrastructure projects, debt financings and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Barajas represents lenders, investors and developers in the energy, power, infrastructure and commercial sectors, as well as in traditional sectors such as structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital transactions. His clients include commercial lenders, investment funds, and public and private companies in Latin America and the Middle East.

His numerous awards and recognitions include nods from MCCA's Diversity and the Bar, the Financial Times and Chambers & Partners Global. He previously appeared among the HispanicBusiness 100 Influentials in 2008.

Mr. Barajas received his J.D. in 1993 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude in 1990 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was awarded the “Outstanding Graduating Senior Award” and the “Distinguished Scholar Award” and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.

He is a member of the California and Los Angeles bar associations, and is admitted to practice in California.

Read Our Exclusive with Q&A Dino Barajas


GOVERNMENT

Abel Barrientes
USAF

Brig. Gen. Abel Barrientes is the mobilization assistant to the director of operations (J3), Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. In this capacity he assists the director of operations to maintain situational awareness, operational control and employment of assigned joint U.S. military forces in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.

A native of San Antonio, Gen. Barrientes earned his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982 and achieved his present rank in February 2012. He has held command positions at the squadron, wing and numbered Air Force levels. The general was mobilized for operations Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and for operations Enduring/Iraqi Freedom in 2003. In 2006, he was deployed as the senior military adviser to the Iraqi Air Force. Prior to his current assignment, he was the vice commander, Fourth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.

In his civilian capacity, he is employed as a commercial airline captain with more than 9,000 hours of civilian flying time.

Gen. Barrientes holds a B.A. from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MBA from Touro University International. His education also includes Air Command and Staff College; the Senior Manager Course in National Security, George Washington University; and Advanced Joint Professional Military Education, Joint Forces Staff College.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with Brig. Gen. Abel Barrientes



GOVERNMENT

Rafael Borras
Under Secretary for Management, Dept. of Homeland Security

Rafael Borras was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the under secretary for management at the Department of Homeland Security. He joined the department in April 2010.

Mr. Borras exercises leadership authority over all aspects of the department's management programs as the designated chief management officer and chief acquisition officer. As chief management officer, Mr. Borras oversees management of DHS's nearly $60 billion budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance. As chief acquisition officer, he administers control over the department's approximately $19 billion in procurement. Mr. Borras oversees the management directorate's six lines of business -- financial, human capital, information technology, procurement, security and administrative.

Mr. Borras has more than 30 years of management experience, including more than 20 years in federal government and city government, and 10 years in the private sector. Prior to his appointment with DHS, Mr. Borras served as a vice president with URS Corp., a global engineering services firm.

Prior to joining URS, Mr. Borras served as the regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. General Services Administration, where he managed an organization with more than 1,300 employees, providing federal customer agencies with real estate, supply and procurement, vehicle acquisition, and information technology services. Mr. Borras also served as deputy assistant secretary for administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mr. Borras began his public sector career as administrative officer for the Office of the County Manager in 1982 with Metropolitan Dade County Government in Dade County, Fla.

Read More About the Important Role Rafael Borras Has at the DHS



CORPORATE

Nellie Borrero
Managing Director, Global Inclusion and Diversity

Nellie Borrero brings her wisdom of experience and awareness on topics including best practices in diversity initiatives; development and advancement of women globally; and ethnic minorities in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa. As managing director, global inclusion and diversity at Accenture, Ms. Borrero holds a crucial leadership role and is a driving force behind the company's diversity initiatives.

She has received numerous awards, among them the 2000 National Society of Hispanic MBA's Individual Corporate Executive Award, the 1999 National Management Consulting Diversity Achievement Award and the 1999 ASPIRA Circle of Achievers Award. She has served as chairwoman for the ASPIRA Mentoring Program as well.

Ms. Borrero earned her Bachelor of Arts degree after attending New York University and Lehman College. Her degree is in management, specializing in human resources. She quickly became an advocate, personally and professionally, championing women and minorities in the workplace and in the world.

She is married with two children, a grown daughter and an elementary school-aged son. She enjoys her family life, reading, playing tennis and purposefully giving to the world.



EDUCATION

Angel Cabrera
President, George Mason University

Angel Cabrera was named the sixth president of George Mason University effective July 2012. Previously, he served as president of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona.

Mr. Cabrera has pioneered efforts to educate women entrepreneurs in emerging markets and co-founded The Oath Project, an international initiative to establish a code of conduct for business leaders. In 2011, the Financial Times recognized him as one of the top 20 business school leaders in the world.

His views on global leadership, higher education and corporate citizenship have been quoted by leading global media, including The Economist, Forbes and The New York Times.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Cabrera also serves on the boards of PetSmart, the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars and ESSEC Business School.

Mr. Cabrera holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in Spain, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology and cognitive science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.



GOVERNMENT

Tony Cardenas
Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives

Tony Cardenas was elected to the California State Assembly in 1996, the first U.S Hispanic to represent the San Fernando Valley in the legislature.

He served three terms in the Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly budget committee, and eight years as a Los Angeles City Councilmember, earning national acclaim for his groundbreaking gang prevention strategies.

As chairman of L.A.’s Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development, he identified millions of dollars overlooked by the city to help keep kids off the streets and away from gangs. As a legislator, Mr. Cardenas co-wrote the Schiff-Cardenas Crime Prevention Act that keeps at-risk youth off the street.

He also created Los Angeles' first Animal Cruelty Task Force and chaired the city council's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which established timelines for the Department of Water and Power to obtain 20 percent of its energy from cleaner sources such as wind and solar power.

He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and resides in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Norma, and their children.

He now seeks to become the first Hispanic to represent the San Fernando Valley in Congress.



CORPORATE

Maria Cardona
Partner, Dewey Square Group

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group (DSG) and founder of Latinovations, the Latino Strategies Practice of DSG. A Democratic strategist and a political contributor for CNN/CNN en Espanol, she has more than 18 years of experience in politics, government and public relations, among other arenas.

While at DSG, Ms. Cardona served as a senior adviser to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, and following the primary, she was a key surrogate for the Obama for America general election campaign.

Before joining the Dewey Square Group, Ms. Cardona led the New Democrat Network’s (NDN) outreach initiative with U.S. Hispanics nationwide. Her government and political background includes five years at the Department of Commerce, first as deputy press secretary to Secretary Ronald H. Brown, and later as press secretary to secretaries William Daley and Mickey Kantor.

During her time at the Commerce Department, she acted as a lead communications strategist for the passage of NAFTA in 1993. In 1997, she was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal Award for Meritorious Federal Service.

Boards Ms. Cardona serves on include Hoops Sagrado, New America Media, Citizenship Counts, PODER PAC and the National Hispana Leadership Institute.

Ms. Cardona is a native of Colombia and lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

She is a graduate of Duke University.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with Maria Cardona



GOVERNMENT

Richard Carmona
U.S. Senate Candidate, Arizona

Born to a poor immigrant family in New York City, Dr. Richard Carmona learned tough early lessons about economic disparities and social injustice.

After dropping out of high school, he enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam. In order to apply for Special Forces and become a combat medic, he earned his high school equivalency degree, and left the Army with two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and a combat medical badge.

The first member of his family to earn a college degree, Dr. Carmona worked as a registered nurse while earning a bachelor of science degree at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his medical degree two years later, and received the gold-headed cane as the school's top graduate.

Trained in general and vascular surgery, Dr. Carmona also completed a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns and critical care. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Carmona was recruited jointly by the Tucson Medical Center and the University of Arizona to start and direct Southern Arizona’s first regional trauma care system.

Dr. Carmona has been surgeon general of the United States; chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System; a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona; and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon.



TEXAS FOCUS

Julian Castro
Mayor of San Antonio

A 37-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Julian Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. First elected in 2009, he won re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote.

Throughout his tenure, Mayor Castro has focused on positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy and raising educational attainment across the spectrum. In 2011, the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio the nation’s top-performing local economy.

In March 2010, Mayor Castro joined executives from Google and Twitter in being named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics.

Mayor Castro also serves on the board of directors of the National League of Cities, is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow. In addition to his community service, Mayor Castro has taught courses at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity University and St. Mary’s University.

Mayor Castro earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors and distinction in 1996 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2000.



TEXAS FOCUS

Joaquin Castro
Democratic Candidate, 20th Congressional District of Texas

Joaquin Castro is among the vanguard of a new class of Hispanic leaders emerging across the country. The Texas Tribune has called him a 'rising star in his party,' and Politico.com named him one of the top 50 politicos to watch in the nation.

Mr. Castro currently represents the 125th State District of Texas, serving as vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee and Democratic Floor Leader in the Texas House.

A second-generation Mexican-American, Mr. Castro was born in San Antonio, raised on the city's Westside and is a proud product of the public school system.

Mr. Castro and his brother co-own a private litigation practice in San Antonio. He has also taught as a visiting professor of law at St. Mary's University and as an adjunct professor at Trinity University, and is active on several boards of nonprofit educational organizations, including the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Taskforce on Education.

Mr. Castro graduated with honors from Stanford University and holds a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.



CORPORATE

Juan Cento
President, FedEx Express Latin America and Caribbean Division

As president of FedEx Express Latin America and Caribbean Division, Juan N. Cento is responsible for a region that includes more than 8,000 employees in more than 50 countries and territories. His primary focus is on magnifying the FedEx Express presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

He began his career with FedEx in 1989, when the company merged with Flying Tigers Line. He has since expanded the company’s presence in Latin America and has led FedEx Express in offering domestic service throughout Colombia and acquiring MultiPack in Mexico.

Mr. Cento has received numerous awards as a business leader, including the Corporate Generosity Leadership Award from the United Way and the International Kids Fund, the Excellence Award from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, and the International Air Cargo Achievement Award and Florida International Trade Award from the Florida Council for International Development.

He serves on the boards of directors of the Council of the Americas and Assurant Inc., and is a member of the International Advisory Board of Baptist Health System. Additionally, Mr. Cento is director of the board of the Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Express Companies (CLADEC), the founding chairman of the board of directors for the International Kids Fund, and a board member of the United Way of Miami-Dade.

A Cuba native, Mr. Cento moved to Miami in 1960 and graduated from Florida International University College of Business Administration. He lives in Miami with his wife and family.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with Juan Cento



CORPORATE

Francisco Cerezo
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Francisco J. Cerezo is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is chair of the Latin America Practice and co-chair of the International Practice. He advises U.S. and foreign companies, family groups and sovereigns doing business in the Americas and the Caribbean.

His professional memberships include the Council of the Americas, American Bar Association, International Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and The Florida Bar.

He is active in the community as well, serving as board member and trustee of the Carlos Albizu University Foundation and membership in Lawyers for Children America Inc., Columbia University School of Law Alumni Association and Leadership Circle of the United Way of Miami.

Mr. Cerezo earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School. He received an LL.M. in European Union Law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He earned an M.A. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.



TEXAS FOCUS

Roberto Coronado
Assistant Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch

Roberto Coronado is the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' El Paso branch. Mr. Coronado, an economist, began working for the El Paso branch in 2001, and worked at the Dallas Fed's Houston branch three years.

Mr. Coronado provides oversight of the branch's operations. The branch, in downtown El Paso, provides cash and coins for financial institutions in West Texas and New Mexico. It also conducts symposiums and other presentations on financial and economic information and does economic studies.

"The Fed has been a great place for me to work, and I am eager and looking forward to the opportunities ahead of me," Mr. Coronado said. He also focuses his and the Fed branch's research on the economies of the U.S.-Mexico border and of Mexico.

The El Paso branch is the Fed’s "eyes and ears for the Mexico economy because of our border location," Coronado said.

Coronado, a native of Juarez, Mexico, received a business degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2000, a master's degree in economics from UTEP in 2002, and a doctorate in economics from the University of Houston in 2010.

He is also a clinical assistant professor at UTEP, where he teaches in the master of science in economics program.



TEXAS FOCUS

Ted Cruz
U.S. Senate Candidate, Texas

Ted Cruz is running as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from Texas. Previously, he served as the solicitor general of Texas, the youngest solicitor general in the nation, the longest serving solicitor general in Texas, and the first Hispanic solicitor general in the state.

He has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and personally argued 40 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Among his accomplishments, he includes defenses of the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas congressional redistricting plan, and the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument.

He currently serves as a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston, where he leads the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice. When Mr. Cruz clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he was the first Hispanic to clerk for a chief justice.

Mr. Cruz studied at Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.



TEXAS FOCUS

Henry Cuellar
U.S. Representative, 28th Congressional District of Texas

Henry Cuellar represents the 28th Congressional District of Texas. His previous public service includes stints as a Texas state representative and as Texas secretary of state.

While in the Texas State Legislature, he coauthored the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which ensured health care for thousands of previously uninsured children, and co-sponsored the largest tax cut in Texas history, which included a three-day tax holiday for consumers and small businesses.

He also served on several national legislative committees dealing with state budgets, the U.S.-Mexico border and international trade.

He currently serves on the House Homeland Security and Agriculture committees, is vice chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and is a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

Rep. Cuellar graduated cum laude from Georgetown University, holds a master's degree in international trade from Texas A&M International University, and earned a law degree and a Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin.

He and his wife, Imelda, live in Laredo, Texas, with their two daughters.



CORPORATE

Yvette Donado
Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President,
People, Process & Communications, Educational Testing Service

As CAO and senior vice president of people, process and communications, Yvette Donado is responsible for corporate quality and process management; communications, marketing, government and community relations; human resources and facilities for Educational Testing Service (ETS). She oversees a staff of over 500 employees in an organization that employs more than 3,000 people.

She also directs the Office of the Corporate Secretary and leads an ETS-wide initiative to address the needs of the nation’s English learners.

Ms. Donado is on the boards of Junior Achievement of New Jersey, United Way of Greater Mercer County and Hispanics Inspiring Students' Performance and Achievement. She is the former vice president of human resources and communications for the executive board of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Inc.

Ms. Donado has addressed conferences at Princeton University, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and the International Association of Professional Administrators, among others.

Her education includes a B.A. in sociology from Queens College in New York, a degree in human resources from New York University and an executive M.B.A. from Harvard University. She also completed the Executive Development Program at Wharton Business School and a labor relations/ conflict resolution program sponsored by Cornell and Boston universities.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with Yvette Donado



CORPORATE

Sonia Dula
Managing Director, Head of Global Wealth & Investment
Management for Latin America, Bank of America

Sonia Dula heads the Bank of America Global Wealth and Investment Management Latin American business, managing all onshore and offshore financial advisors in Latin America.

She joined Merrill Lynch in 2006 to head investment banking for the region, subsequently coordinating the integration between Bank of America and Merrill in Latin America. Since 2009, she has had the added responsibility of overseeing the build-out of corporate banking in Latin America.

Ms. Dula also served as treasurer of the board of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and was, until recently, a member of the board of Women's World Banking.

Born in Mexico and raised in Brazil, Ms. Dula graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude in economics from Harvard University and received an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University.



TEXAS FOCUS

Veronica Edwards
President and CEO, InGenesis Inc.

Veronica Edwards is president and CEO of professional health-care staffing services company InGenesis Inc., which she founded in her hometown of San Antonio in 1998. Her initial focus was on staffing the telecommunications industry, a natural fit based on her years as a high-performance sales director with a Fortune 100 company.

Recognizing the tremendous potential in health care, she shifted to medical staffing and achieved tremendous growth by servicing top commercial clients, government medical centers and military treatment facilities nationwide.

InGenesis was No. 97 on the 2012 HispanicBusiness 500 directory and No. 5 on the 2012 HispanicBusiness Fastest-Growing 100 directory.

Ms. Edwards sits on the board of directors for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Nursing and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration at the University of the Incarnate Word. She also serves on the board of directors of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She holds an M.B.A. and is pursuing a Ph.D. with a concentration in human resources and organizational leadership.



ARTS & ENTERTIANMENT

Giselle Fernandez
Managing Director, Creative World Talent Management

Five-time Emmy-winning journalist, producer, filmmaker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur Giselle Fernandez is the managing director of Creative World Talent Management, a division of the Trump Group. She oversees a diverse global media operation with special emphasis in Latin America and the U.S. Latin market.

Previous posts include stints as an anchor of NBC's weekend edition of the "Today Show" and Sunday edition of the "NBC Nightly News." She has reported international news stories from the field during the Gulf War and the invasion of Panama, and has interviewed such global figures as President Clinton and Fidel Castro.

Ms. Fernandez oversees an impressive cadre of Latin artists and professionals who seek to build their brands in a cross-over market and expand their presence, while finding multiple applications for their businesses. She also consults to corporate America on marketing strategies to the Hispanic consumer.

She is a member of the board of trustees of the Latin Grammys, Latina magazine, the Los Angeles Center for Dance Arts and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Born in Mexico and raised in Southern California, Ms. Fernandez graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor of arts in journalism and government. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, John Farrand, former president of Atari and CEO of Panavision, and their 4-year-old daughter, Talei.



MISCELLANEOUS

Cynthia Figueroa
President and CEO, Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Cynthia Figueroa began her tenure as president and CEO of Congreso de Latinos Unidos in January 2011. In this capacity, she has fiscal oversight of more than $22 million dedicated to strengthening Hispanic communities through social, economic, education and health services.

Founded in 1977, Congreso is Philadelphia’s largest nonprofit agency providing expert services to the Hispanic community, and has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Hispanic Nonprofits by HispanicBusiness.

Before leading Congreso, Ms. Figueroa served as the deputy commissioner for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS).

In 2010, Ms. Figueroa was selected for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, and travelled to Chile and Argentina to explore women leadership models in the government and the private sector.

Based on her leadership, she has also received the following awards and recognitions: The University of Pennsylvania Outstanding Leadership Award; Al Dia Latina Woman of Merit; Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40; Impacto’s Most Influential Latinos, top 10 under 40; and the Philadelphia Flyers Community Leadership Award.

Born in Puerto Rico, Ms. Figueroa has a bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. She lives in Mount Airy, Md., with her husband and two children.



TEXAS FOCUS

Bill Flores
U.S. Representative, 17th Congressional District of Texas

William H. "Bill" Flores is the U.S. Representative for Texas's 17th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party and the former president, CEO and director of Phoenix Exploration Co., an oil and natural gas exploration company.

Born in Wyoming and raised in the Texas Panhandle, Rep. Flores got his Hispanic surname through his patrilineal great-great-great-grandfather.

In addition to his stint with Phoenix Exploration, he served as CFO for Marine Drilling Companies Inc. and Western Atlas Inc., and was senior vice president and CFO of Gryphon Exploration Co. from 2002-2005.

He serves on the board of the Private Enterprise Research Center of Texas A&M University and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Houston Baptist University.

He is a member of the Conservative Republican Study Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Conference.

Rep. Flores holds a B.B.A. in accounting from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from Houston Baptist University.



ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Angel Franco
Senior Photographer, New York Times

Angel Franco, senior photographer at the New York Times, began his career as a professional photographer at the age of 18. After winning a full scholarship and obtaining a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he was hired as a staff photographer by the New York Times.

In addition to his documentary photography for the Times, Mr. Franco has filmed documentary videos for the Discovery Times channel on subjects in Brazil, Ireland and New York as well as a video report on Guantanamo's detainees for the News Hour.

His work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, the Corcoran Gallery and the Museum of the City of New York. He is a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Concerned Photographers Fund. His awards include the Leica Medal of Excellence and a Pulitzer Prize.

Mr. Franco's work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and The George Eastman House as well as private collections. He was an adjunct professor at New York University, an instructor at the International Center of Photography and the New School for Social Research.

He was born in 1951 in the South Bronx, New York.



EDUCATION

Mildred Garcia
President, California State University, Fullerton

Mildred Garcia was appointed president of California State University, Fullerton in June 2012. Previously, Ms. Garcia served as president of CSU Dominguez Hills, where she was the first Hispanic female president in the California State University system.

Leading one of the largest and most diverse universities in the western U.S., Ms. Garcia is committed to multicultural alliances and a belief that these coalitions strengthen institutions and communities as well as students' self-development and opportunities.

Ms. Garcia’s research in higher education is concentrated on the impacts that equity, diversity and outreach have on policy and practice. She has served on editorial boards for a variety of scholarly publications and been a participant and consultant in the policy work of the National Science Foundation, the American Educational Research Association and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Ms. Garcia serves on President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She also serves on the boards of directors for the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, on the advisory boards of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education and Higher Education Abstracts, on the board of trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, on the board of visitors for USAF’s Air University, and as a founding board member of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships.




EDUCATION

Gerardo Gonzalez
Professor and University Dean, School of Education, Indiana University

Gerardo Gonzalez, professor and dean at the Indiana University School of Education, is an international expert on alcohol and drug education. His work has been presented in numerous scholarly publications, including The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, The Journal of Drug Issues, and The International Journal of the Addictions. He is also active in multicultural counseling and education issues.

He was founder and first president of the Association of Hispanic Faculty at the University of Florida. He also served as co-chairman of the university's Quality of Life Task Force, which reported to the university president on ways the campus could enhance the success of African-American and Hispanic students.

Previously, Mr. Gonzalez served as professor and chairman of counselor education, interim dean, and associate dean for administration and finance in the College of Education at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Mr. Gonzalez is a proponent of creating a seamless system of education from pre-kindergarten through college. This led to the creation of the IU School of Education Center for Research and P-16 Collaboration, which focuses on promoting research-based practices to strengthen preparation for college and 21st-century jobs among urban, poor and minority youth.

Mr. Gonzalez came to Florida from Cuba with his family when he was 12. He holds a B.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in counselor education and higher education administration, both earned at the University of Florida.



TEXAS FOCUS

Antonio R. Grijalva
Chairman and CEO, G&A Partners

Tony Grijalva is co-founder and CEO at G&A Partners, a Houston human resources and administrative services company with more than 50,000 employees statewide. G&A Partners was No. 17 on the 2012 HispanicBusiness 500 list.

Mr. Grijalva is a former chairman of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and served as a director with the Center for Houston's Future, Sister Cities of Houston and Amigos de las Americas. He currently serves in the executive committee of the Governor's Business Council.

He is also a board member of the Christus Foundation for Health Care and the Houston Technology Center. Mr. Grijalva has been recognized in Houston for his commitment and contributions to the local Hispanic community and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award, as well as the recipient of the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Triunfando Awards.

Mr. Grijalva is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society and the Houston Chapter of Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Mr. Grijalva and his wife, Magdalena, have three children and five grandchildren.



MISCELLANEOUS

Johnny Hernandez
Chef

Chef Johnny Hernandez is founder of La Gloria restaurant and True Flavors Catering in San Antonio. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America-Hyde Park in New York, he has been honored with the titles of Business Owner of the Year by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Leader of the Year by the North Chamber.

His early career took him to some of the most exclusive resorts in the country, including the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., and the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Calif.

True Flavors Catering received the 2006 Operator of the Year award and was a two-time recipient of the National Association of Catering Executives Caterer of the Year. Mr. Hernandez also started the popular seasonal MesAlegre Chef’s Table at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Throughout his career, he has been inspired by Mexico and the cultural nuances of each region’s art, agriculture and, most importantly, street food. La Gloria has been recognized by San Antonio Magazine, Siempre Hombre, Texas Monthly, Travel and Leisure and Bon Appetit.

Mr. Hernandez created the Paella Challenge, an annual fundraising event, and strives to nurture young culinarians through mentorship and by serving as a leader in his industry and as a positive role model in his community.



TEXAS FOCUS

Ana Hernandez Luna
Representative, District 143, Texas House of Representatives

Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna was elected in 2005 to represent District 143 in the Texas House of Representatives. District 143 covers part of Houston, including areas of Magnolia Park, Manchester, Port Houston, Cimarron and Denver Harbor; the cities of Galena Park and Jacinto City; and portions of Pasadena and Channelview.

She serves as vice chairwoman of the Committee on Elections and serves on the House Committee of Pensions, Investments and Financial Services.

In addition to representing District 143 in the Texas House of Representatives, she practices law at Carrigan, McCloskey & Roberson LLP. She is a member of various professional, civic and charitable organizations, including the State Bar of Texas and the board of directors for the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston.

She is also a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow and she serves on the Board of Regents for the Texas Chiropractic College and Precinct2gether.

Rep. Hernandez Luna received her B.S. in political science and psychology from the University of Houston. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Texas School of Law. She received her doctor of jurisprudence degree in 2004.

Born in Reynosa, Mexico, and raised in Pasadena, Texas, Rep. Hernandez Luna is the younger of two daughters. She is married to Greg Luna, who is a practicing attorney, and together they have a son, Gregory Eli Luna.



TEXAS FOCUS

Ruben Hinojosa
U.S. Representative, 15th Congressional District of Texas

U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, is serving his 18th term as representative of Texas' 15th Congressional District. The district stretches from the Rio Grande Valley to historic Goliad County and the Coastal Bend region. He serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Committee on Financial Services, and advocates for education, housing and economic development.

Recognized as a champion for investing in human capital through education, he joined President Obama for the signing of the Health Care and Education Reform Act, which invests $2.55 billion in historically black colleges and universities and in Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and other minority serving institutions.

His successful initiatives include a landmark $510 million investment in minority institutions and a program to support graduate degree attainment at (HSIs). He also co-founded the House Financial Literacy and Economic Education Caucus in 2004, which currently numbers 87 members from both sides of the aisle.

Prior to his election, Rep. Hinojosa served 20 years as president and CFO of a family owned food processing company, H&H Foods. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas in Austin and in Edinburg, respectively. He is married to Martha Lopez Hinojosa and has one son, Ruben Jr., and four daughters, Laura, Iliana, Kaitlin and Karen.



MISCELLANEOUS

Maria Teresa Kumar
Executive Director, Voto Latino

Maria Teresa Kumar is the founding executive director of Voto Latino. She grounded the organization in technology, developing the first voter registration via text message in 2006.

She has grown the organization from a voter registration outlet to a leading social media online community with more than 15 media partners, 120 bloggers, 20 national partners and a field operation in seven states that has registered over 120,000 voters.

She has leveraged more than $16 million in gratis air-time and technology since the organization's founding.

Ms. Teresa Kumar created and directed Voto Latinos' civic engagement campaigns, all of which have garnered awards and praise from both the public and private sectors.

Featured in HBO's Celebrity Habla, Ms. Teresa Kumar most recently negotiated, co-produced and hosted an English-language, prime-time town hall with MSNBC called "Beyond Borderlines: Latinos & Immigration."



MISCELLANEOUS

Leo Manzano
Olympic Athlete, Team USA

Leonel "Leo" Manzano is a Mexican-American middle-distance track and field athlete specializing in the 1500 meter and the mile. He won the silver medal in the 1500 meter at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico, Mr. Manzano moved with his family to the U.S. at the age of 4. He discovered a passion for running early on, winning a total of nine Texas high school track and field titles. He also won five NCAA national championship titles while attending the University of Texas.

Immediately upon graduating, Mr. Manzano headed to the 2008 Summer Olympic Trials, earning a runner-up spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He represented the U.S. in the 1500 meter in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Since advancing to professional running in 2008, Mr. Manzano has competed nationally and internationally as a three-time member of the World Championships Team USA, and has earned five podium finishes in nine major international races. He is the 2012 USA Indoor Champion in the 1500 meter and ranks among the top five fastest men in the U.S. in both the 1500 meter and the mile.

He currently lives and trains in Austin, Texas.



CORPORATE

Annette Martinez
Human Resources VP of Operations, State Farm

Annette Martinez is the human resources vice president of operations for State Farm Insurance. In her 23 years at State Farm, Ms. Martinez has worked in several departments, including Life/Health Insurance, Diversity and Inclusion, and Claims, and has held other key operational assignments that led her to her current role in human resources.

Ms. Martinez is a role model for other professionals who believes whole-heartedly in paying it forward. "It is our obligation to ensure that future generations are well-equipped and knowledgeable to reach their aspirations," she says. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and in 2009 was named one of the top five Latina executives by Latina Style Magazine.

She is a member of the OSF St. Joseph Community Board, the John M. Scott Healthcare Commission, the National Hispanic Corporate Council for Corporate Executive Development Program, and the Multicultural Leadership Program Advisory Board.

Ms. Martinez has her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Northern Colorado.



GOVERNMENT

Cecilia Munoz
Director of the Domestic Policy Council, The White House

Cecilia Munoz is the director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House. Prior to this role, she served as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs.

Before joining the administration, Ms. Munoz served as senior vice president for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Her particular area of expertise is immigration policy, which she covered at NCLR for 20 years.

Ms. Munoz has testified numerous times before Congress and appears regularly in the Spanish- and English-language media. Her media credits include the "Today Show," "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "The O’Reilly Factor" and National Public Radio.

Ms. Munoz is the former chairwoman of the board of Center for Community Change, and served on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the board of directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies and the National Immigration Forum.

The daughter of immigrants from Bolivia, she was born in Detroit and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in recognition of her work on immigration and civil rights.



GOVERNMENT

Alex Padilla
California State Senator, President, NALEO

Alex Padilla represents the 20th State Senate District of California. A Democrat, he picked up nearly 70 percent of the vote in a district that is only 54 percent Democratic when he was elected to his second term in 2010.

Among his top concerns as a senator are public safety, health, education and green technology. He was chairman of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, and chairs the Select Committee on Obesity and Diabetes and the Select Committee on College and University Admissions and Outreach.

Prior to running for public office, he worked for Hughes Aircraft, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and then-Assemblyman Tony Cardenas. He began his public career on the Los Angeles City Council, where he was the first Hispanic and youngest person elected council president.

Today he serves as a member of the board of trustees for the M.I.T. Corporation and is president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) board of directors. He was also the first Hispanic president of the League of California Cities.

Born to immigrant parents from Mexico, Sen. Padilla he was raised in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima, where he still lives, and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering.



CORPORATE

Fernando Palacios
Executive Vice President and Chief Integrated Supply Chain Officer, MillerCoors

Fernando Palacios is executive vice president and chief operations officer for MillerCoors. He is responsible for everything that goes into the brewing, packaging and shipping of the company's beers.

Mr. Palacios joined MillerCoors in June 2011, bringing deep technical and quality expertise acquired through his more than 25 years of supply chain experience.

Prior to MillerCoors, he was executive vice president of supply chain and operations at Land O’Lakes, where he also held other senior level positions, including executive vice president and chief operations officer-feed division, as well as vice president of supply chain and operations.

Before going to Land O’Lakes, he held supply chain leadership positions at Haagen-Dazs, Pillsbury and Kraft.



EDUCATION

Nilda Peragallo
Dean, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Miami

One of the nation’s foremost researchers in HIV/AIDS risk reduction and prevention in Hispanics, Nilda P. Peragallo, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami, is recognized internationally for her leadership in the areas of health disparities, cultural competency, and the recruitment and retention of minorities in nursing.

She is immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and co-editor of Hispanic Healthcare International.

A sought-after speaker, Ms. Peragallo has authored or co-authored many peer-reviewed publications and served as principal investigator in numerous research and training grants. She was recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Advisory Council to the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Ms. Peragallo holds a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.



TEXAS FOCUS

Guillermo Perales
President and CEO, Sun Holdings LLC

Guillermo Perales is president and CEO of Sun Holdings LLC, managing more than 300 restaurants employing more than 10,000 employees.

When Sun Holdings, of Dallas, acquired 96 Burger King restaurants in Texas and Florida, it made Mr. Perales the largest minority franchisee in the U.S. He operates 167 restaurants total in Florida and Texas.

Born in Saltillo, Mexico, Mr. Perales founded Sun Holdings in 1997. The company ranked at No. 32 on the 2012 HispanicBusiness 500 list.

Mr. Perales "is an exemplary Burger King franchisee with a passion for the Burger King brand and a drive for success," said Steve Wiborg, president of North America, BKC. "His keen business sense and operational know-how have been key elements in the successful turn-around for us in the Dallas market."

Mr. Perales is president of the International Hispanic Franchisee Association and represents this association on Burger King Corp.’s Inclusion Advisory Council, a group of diverse franchisees and community leaders that helps integrate diversity and inclusion into Burger King's business strategy.

He has been bestowed with an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the International Business Achievement award by the Dallas Regional Chamber, and a Hispanic Business Man of the Year award from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.



GOVERNMENT

John Perez
Speaker, California State Assembly

John A. Perez was elected in 2008 to represent California's 46th Assembly District, which is composed of a variety of cities and communities around downtown Los Angeles. He was sworn in as the 68th Speaker of the California Assembly in 2010.

He spent more than 15 years in the labor movement, working to create jobs, expand health care and protect workers’ rights. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Speaker Perez served as political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324, and served in a similar position for the California Labor Federation.

He has served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, as an elected member of the Democratic National Committee, and as a board member for the California League of Conservation Voters and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

As the first openly gay person to be elected as speaker of a state legislature in the country, Speaker Perez has been a longtime advocate on behalf of the LGBT community. He has been a leader with AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Latino Coalition Against AIDS, and the California Center for Regional Leadership. In recognition of his work, he was appointed by both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Speaker Perez grew up in the working class communities of El Sereno and Highland Park, and attended the University of California, Berkeley.



CORPORATE

George Ramirez
Chief Diversity Executive, Union Bank

George Ramirez was appointed the first chief diversity executive at Union Bank N.A. in April 2012, with the mission of broadening the diversity of the company's senior management and executive ranks.

In addition to working with executive leadership and members of the UnionBanCal Corp. board of directors, Mr. Ramirez operates in talent acquisition, talent management, diversity and inclusion, and training and development.

Mr. Ramirez, who joined Union Bank in 1986, has more than 30 years of banking experience and has served in various executive, line management and staff roles. In 2010, he was appointed to lead the effort to integrate Tamalpais Bank and Frontier Bank into Union Bank. Before successfully leading the integration of these two institutions, Mr. Ramirez led Union Bank’s Priority Banking program.

As senior vice president and market president from 2000 through 2008, Mr. Ramirez led a division of more than 120 branches in Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and was responsible for all aspects of retail branch operations.

In 1997, he was appointed to manage and develop Union Bank’s Diverse Markets Administration, established to cultivate new and existing business and to assist in recruiting employees in the African-American, Asian and Hispanic communities throughout Union Bank’s service areas.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with George Ramirez



MISCELLANEOUS

Anthony Romero
Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Anthony D. Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a position he assumed seven days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU achieved court victories on the Patriot Act and filed the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration's illegal NSA spying program.

Mr. Romero led the ACLU in its challenge to patents on the human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer; in its challenge to Arizona’s that invites law enforcement to engage in racial profiling; and in its ongoing campaign to end mass incarceration.

An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Mr. Romero presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's history and a large increase in national and affiliate staff.

The ACLU's sixth executive director, Mr. Romero is the first Hispanic and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. In 2005, he was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.

Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Mr. Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. Mr. Romero is a member of the New York Bar Association and has sat on numerous nonprofit boards.



GOVERNMENT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
U.S. Representative, 18th Congressional District of Florida

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District, which includes Miami, Little Havana and the Florida Keys. She was born in Havana, and fled the Castro regime with her family when she was 8 years old.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen began her career as a Florida certified teacher, and founded a private bilingual elementary school in Hialeah, Fla.

She was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives in 1982 and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. In 1989, she became the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

She supports plans to balance the federal budget and increase tax incentives for small businesses and middle-class families, and advocates for programs that address domestic violence.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Florida International University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Miami.

She is married to Dexter Lehtinen, and is mother and stepmother of four adult children and grandmother of two girls.



CORPORATE

Horacio Rozanski
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Horacio Rozanski is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Booz Allen Hamilton. His expertise and leadership extend to business operations, talent and resource management, diversity and inclusion, and technology capability building. Previously, he was Booz Allen’s chief strategy and talent officer.

Throughout his 20-year career at Booz Allen, Mr. Rozanski has played a key role in major strategic initiatives, including the 2008 separation of Booz Allen’s core government and commercial businesses into two distinct firms; Booz Allen Hamilton’s 2010 IPO; its 2011 expansion into international and commercial markets; and Vision 2020, a leadership initiative designed to chart the firm’s future.

Mr. Rozanski has been vigilant in embedding diversity and inclusion into the firm’s business strategy and employment cycle. As a result, senior leaders have become champions and mentors; representation of minorities has increased; turnover of women and minorities at senior levels has decreased; and Booz Allen continues to be recognized widely as an employer of choice.

He holds an M.B.A. with high honors from the University of Chicago and a B.B.A. (summa cum laude) from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He sits on the boards of advisors for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital.



GOVERNMENT

Marco Rubio
U.S. Senator, Florida

Marco Rubio is the junior U.S. senator from Florida, elected in 2010 and serving since January 2011. Previously, he served as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Sen. Rubio won a three-way race between Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran as an independent.

An outspoken conservative, Sen. Rubio was vetted as a running mate for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential campaign.

In 2007, Sen. Rubio championed a major overhaul of the Florida tax system, arguing it would reduce property taxes and decrease the size of government.

In 2002, Sen. Rubio was appointed Florida House Majority Leader by Speaker Johnnie Byrd. In November 2003, Sen. Rubio clinched the speakership after state Reps. Dennis Baxley, Jeff Kottkamp and Dennis A. Ross dropped out. He became the first Cuban-American to become Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Sen. Rubio serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet; the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard; the Subcommittee on Science and Space; and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

Sen. Rubio was born in Miami of parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1956. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School.

Sen. Rubio is married and has four children.



GOVERNMENT

Francisco Sanchez
Under Secretary of State for International Trade, The White House

As under secretary of state for International Trade, Frank Sanchez leads the International Trade Administration (ITA), an organization of 2,400 employees with offices throughout the U.S. and  in 73 countries. Mr. Sanchez leads efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. organizations compete abroad.

As one of the architects of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Mr. Sanchez directs programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses. Under his leadership, ITA has helped reach significant export milestones.  In 2011, for instance, U.S. exports reached a record $2.1 trillion in total value, supporting nearly 10 million jobs, an increase of 1.2 million since 2009. 

Mr. Sanchez also reenergized ITA’s Advocacy Center, which has helped companies win international government contracts totaling approximately $160 billion, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, since the beginning of the Obama administration.  He has also strengthened relations with priority markets, including Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.

Mr. Sanchez holds a B.A. from Florida State University, a J.D. from Florida State University College of Law and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A with Francisco Sanchez



GOVERNMENT

Hilda Solis
Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

Secretary Hilda L. Solis was confirmed as Secretary of Labor in 2009. Prior to her confirmation, she represented the 32nd Congressional District of California, a position she held from 2001-2009.

In the Congress, Secretary Solis' priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment and improving the lives of working families. She authored the Green Jobs Act, which provided funding for green-collar job training.

In 2007, she was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), as well as the Mexico-United States Interparliamentary Group. In 2007, she was elected vice chairwoman of the Helsinki Commission's General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She was the only U.S. elected official to serve on the committee.

Secretary Solis received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues, the first woman to receive the award.

She was first elected to public office in 1985 as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees, Secretary Solis served in the California State Assembly from 1992-1994, and in 1994 became the first Hispanic female elected to the California State Senate.

Secretary Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.



TEXAS FOCUS

Jesse Torres
CEO, Genesis-ATC

Jesse Torres was appointed CEO of Genesis-ATC in July 2010, when the company was formed as a joint venture between Genesis Networks Enterprises and ATC Technology Corp. As CEO, Mr. Torres sets the strategy and vision of the company, while overseeing its day-to-day business operations.

Genesis-ATC ranked at No. 10 on the 2012 HispanicBusiness 500 directory, with 2011 revenues of $606.9 million.

Mr. Torres brings to Genesis-ATC 30 years of telecommunications industry experience, having held network engineering positions at AT&T, SW Bell and SBC Communications. He also managed the company’s $5 billion DSL supply chain.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Torres served as president of Genesis Networks’ Telecom business division, where he led efforts instrumental in Genesis’ significant revenue growth from 2008-2010.

Mr. Torres holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas.



GOVERNMENT

Josh Valdez
Chairman, Health Care Insurance Industry Group,
Romney for President Campaign

Josh Valdez is chairman of the Health Care Insurance Industry Group for the Romney for President campaign. He is a former regional director for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Valdez, who is president and CEO of Right Way HealthCare Consulting, was also the highest-ranking Hispanic and the senior vice president of Health Care Management for WellPoint from 2003-2007.

Mr. Valdez serves as a commissioner at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for eliminating racial disparities in health care and is a board member for the Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity. He has held appointments as a member of the White House Council on Aging, chairman of the U.S. Latino Health Task Force, and gubernatorial appointee of the California Health Policy and Data Commission.

He has been recognized as one of the 10 most influential Hispanics in the health-care sector by HispanicBusiness.

Mr. Valdez and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children.

 



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