2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials Biographies Graphic
October 9, 2013

Staff — HispanicBusiness.com

President, TABC
Toyota Motor North America

Mike Bafan

Mike Bafan is president of TABC, Toyota's first North American manufacturing plant, in Long Beach, Calif. Previously, he served as vice president of manufacturing and administration.

Before joining Toyota, Mr. Bafan spent 22 years at General Motors, two of them as coordinator at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), Toyota’s former joint venture with GM in Fremont, Calif.

Mr. Bafan began his career at GM’s Saginaw steering gear division as a production supervisor, and was promoted to an executive leadership role to develop GM’s latest general assembly greenfield plant using TPS/GMS principles.

His leadership roles include a stint as general manager of production engineering at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) to support Toyota’s engineering and production process activities on the West Coast.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. Additionally, he completed executive development programs at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

SVP, Global Research & Development
Campbell Soup Co.

Carlos Barroso

Carlos Barroso joined the Campbell Soup Co. as senior vice president-global research and development in July 2013. He is a member of the Campbell Leadership Team, and heads the Global R&D Leadership Team.

He leads Campbell’s 500 R&D employees worldwide, focusing on accelerating innovation and new product development to both strengthen the company’s core businesses and expand into higher growth spaces, including new consumer segments, categories and geographies.

Mr. Barroso has more than 20 years of global R&D expertise in food and consumer packaged goods. Previously, he was senior vice president of R&D at PepsiCo, where he oversaw all R&D efforts for PepsiCo Foods, including Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods and Snacks, a $27 billion business with more than 800 R&D associates.

He earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he serves as chair of the External Advisory Board for the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

President, Mid-Atlantic District

Richard Camejo

Richard Camejo, a 33-year UPS veteran, assumed command as president of the company's expanded Mid-Atlantic District in 2010, directing small-package operations in an area that covers all or parts of three states.

The Mid-Atlantic District is one of 20 districts dividing the U.S. activated that year. It includes all of West Virginia, most of Virginia and the majority of Pennsylvania, and features a package-delivery operation with some 15,000 employees.

Mr. Camejo most recently served as the manager of UPS's Central Texas District.

He began his UPS career in 1977 as a package handler in Miami. After being promoted into management, he moved through a series of jobs of increasing responsibility before being named manager of the Indiana District.

American Public Transportation Association

Flora Castillo

Flora M. Castillo is the 2012-2013 chair of the American Public Transportation Association and its first Hispanic female chair. She is a member of the NJ TRANSIT board of directors and serves as the vice president of corporate public relations at AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, one of the largest Medicaid health plans in the U.S.

“Public transit was something that my family depended on in El Salvador and the United States” when they came to this country, Ms. Castillo said. “I know firsthand the value of public transportation and how important it is to those who need it most.”

One of her current initiatives will focus on the development of the next generation of workers and leaders in public transportation. A second will focus on improving public transportation to health services, and a third will seek to establish a baseline of the policies and plans on diversity in the public transportation industry.

“As the first Latina chair" of the APTA, she said, "I have such
a sense of pride, because this tells people who look like me
that this is an industry that has a place for them and other
minorities around the country.”

Chief Judge
Northern District of Illinois

Ruben Castillo

When Ruben Castillo was sworn in as the first Hispanic federal judge in Chicago while in his late 30s, a court clerk said his youth likely meant he would someday take the reins as the district's chief jurist. The prediction became reality when Castillo, at 58, became chief judge for the Northern District of Illinois, the first Hispanic to hold the post.

As overseer of the third-largest federal court district in the country, Mr. Castillo is in charge of grand jury issues and requests for wiretaps and other surveillance by prosecutors. The seven-year post automatically went to Mr. Castillo as the judge with the most years on the federal bench still younger than 65.

Over nearly two decades as a judge, Castillo has earned a reputation as an intelligent, efficient and sometimes impatient jurist who likes to move cases along — qualities that many think will suit him well as chief judge.

The son of a Mexican immigrant father and Puerto Rico-born mother, Mr. Castillo grew up near Grand and Ashland avenues in the rough-and-tumble West Town neighborhood. His parents instilled in him a work ethic and emphasis on education.

Wide Receiver
New York Giants

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz is a talented wide receiver for the New York Giants. In 2012, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl, where he set the game record with 10 receptions in the NFC’s 62-35 victory. He was only the second Giants wide receiver to be elected to the Pro Bowl.

His career highlights include 23 regular season starts and starts in all four postseason games he's played in to date, a 15.6-yard reception average and 19 touchdowns. Mr. Cruz has back-to-back seasons with at least 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.

His 86 catches place him seventh in the NFC and 12th in the NFL in 2012, and his 1,092 yards put him 10th in the conference and 15th in the league. He was one of only 10 NFL players with at least 10 touchdown catches.

Mr. Cruz has 12 career 100-yard games under his belt, tying him with Kyle Rote and Earnest Gray for fourth place on the Giants’ career list.

Montana State University

Waded Cruzado

Waded Cruzado has served as president of Montana State University since 2010. During her tenure, MSU has won more than $300 million for research and set an institutional record of $112.3 million in research expenditures. The school has also set enrollment records, with an 18 percent increase, and received legislative support to expand its regional medical program to encourage graduates to practice primary care in rural areas.

Other projects that bore fruit under her leadership were the renovation of the school's football and track and field facilities, improvements to residence halls, and the MSU Presidential Award for Emerging Scholars, which recognizes potential rather than prior performance.

Her honors include the 2011 Michael P. Malone Educator of the Year award, recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and the Seaman A. Knapp Memorial Lectureship from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. She was also appointed by President Obama to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.

Prior to coming to MSU, Ms. Cruzado served as executive vice president, provost and interim president at New Mexico State University.

She holds an M.A. in Spanish and a doctorate in the humanities, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Senior Partner
Lydecker Diaz

Manny Diaz

Many Diaz is senior partner at Lydecker Diaz. At only 6 years old, however, he arrived in this country from Cuba and with his family built a new future in America. After working his way through college and law school, he became a successful Miami attorney and served two terms as mayor.

Voted one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report, Mr. Diaz was recognized for helping turn Miami’s urban core into a livable community and international destination. Innovative programs he implemented while in office included noteworthy green initiatives.

At the end of his term, Mr. Diaz was invited to become a Resident Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, where he spent a semester teaching some of the brightest minds in America.

At Lydecker Diaz, he has helped grow the practice in the last four years by more than 70 percent and opened five new offices across the state. He serves on several boards, including City Year National, Bloomberg Family Foundation and Urban Land Institute.

VP, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness

Monica Diaz

As vice president of diversity, inclusion and wellness at ESPN, Monica Diaz ensures that the organization maintains a healthy and flexible work environment that enables employees to contribute to their fullest potential, in alignment with business priorities.

Ms. Diaz brought more than 20 years of HR experience with her when she joined ESPN in June 2012, more than 15 of it in diversity and inclusion. She is bilingual-biliterate in English and Spanish, with proficiency in Portuguese.

Her work with professional and nonprofit organizations includes roles as board member and chair of committees focused on research and strategic planning, as well as development and mentoring of minority students at schools throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

Ms. Diaz earned a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a bachelor of art in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico. She is a board member of Madrinas, a council member of the Conference Board and an advisor to several professional organizations.

Law Offices of Juan J. Dominguez

Juan Dominguez

Juan Dominguez, named the 2013 Latino Attorney of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), is a distinguished bilingual Los Angeles-based attorney who has dedicated his career to championing the rights of the underprivileged in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation and consumer rights.

Previously, he was a patient liaison at the UCLA Medical Center and Saint Francis Hospital in Los Angeles, worked as a legal intern for the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Consumer Affairs, and for the San Francisco Superior Court in Law and Motion.

Mr. Dominguez earned a B.A. in Latin-American and Chinese history from California State University, Long Beach and his juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of Law.

His wife, Edda, is a business administration executive graduate from Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales. They have two children, a boy and a girl.

SVP of Sales
MGM Resorts International

Michael Dominguez

Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of sales for MGM Resorts International, oversees sales strategies in the convention, leisure and transient segments.

Additionally, he offers strategic oversight for the company’s vertical sales efforts, manages strategy for regional sales offices, and oversees the development and execution of a companywide sales strategy for top destination accounts.

Previously, he served as vice president of global sales for Loews Hotels & Resorts, vice president of sales and marketing for Palm Springs Desert Resorts CVA, and director of sales at various resorts across the Southwest.

Mr. Dominguez is certified by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International as a hospitality sales executive, and serves on the Industry Issues and Trends Task Force for the Professional Conference Management Association, the Industry Partner Alliance for the American Society of Association Executives, the advisory board for Starcite, and the international board of directors for Meeting Professional International (MPI).

He is also a past president of MPI's Southern California chapter and was appointed acting chairman of MPI’s international board of directors in July 2013.

Senior Policy Director for Immigration
White House

Felicia Escobar

As senior policy director for immigration at the White House, Felicia Escobar develops the president’s strategy for building a 21st-century immigration system. This involves coordinating efforts across the Executive branch to strengthen the current system and working toward passage of meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Ms. Escobar previously served on U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar’s legislative team, working with him to develop his legislative agenda on a host of issues including labor, civil rights, judicial nominations and immigration. She advised him during the comprehensive immigration reform debates of 2006 and 2007.

She was also associate director of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, where she helped cultivate relationships between Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and Hispanic, immigration and education advocacy groups. She started her career as a state policy analyst working for the National Council of La Raza.

A native of San Antonio, Ms. Escobar received an undergraduate degree from Yale University, a master's degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

President & CEO
BSA-The Software Alliance

Victoria Espinel

Victoria Espinel is president and CEO of the Software Alliance.

Previously, she served in the Obama administration as the first U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, a post she held since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2009. She served in the Bush administration prior to that, first as senior counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and then as the first assistant U.S. trade representative for intellectual property and innovation.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Espinel was an attorney in private practice with Covington & Burling in London and Washington, D.C., and Sidley Austin in New York.

BSA serves as the world's premier anti-piracy organization and as a respected leader in shaping public policies that promote technology innovation and drive economic growth.

VP & Controller
Ryder System Inc.

Cristina Gallo-Aquino

Cristina “Cristy” Gallo-Aquino is vice president and controller of Ryder System Inc., a Fortune 500 transportation and supply-chain management company. She is responsible for corporate accounting and planning, internal and external financial reporting, and various accounting departments. Previously, she served as assistant controller, director and senior director of corporate accounting, and director of technical accounting.

Before joining Ryder, Ms. Gallo-Aquino was senior manager of technical accounting at LNR Property Corp., and began her accounting career in KPMG’s audit practice.

Ms. Gallo-Aquino is a member of Ryder’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Women MBAs. Active in her community, she volunteers in support of the American Heart Association and the MOMS Ministry at St. Timothy Catholic Church.

She holds an MBA and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Florida International University.

SVP, Public Affairs and Government Relations

Monica Gil

Mónica Gil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. She works with elected officials and community leaders to promote Nielsen’s education, philanthropic, government and public affairs initiatives related to multicultural consumers.

Ms. Gil also manages the company's national Latino Strategic Outreach.

Prior to joining Nielsen, Ms. Gil served on Antonio Villaraigosa’s 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns in Los Angeles, as press secretary for the speaker of the California State Assembly, and as senior vice president for the Greer, Margolis, Mitchell & Burns public relations firm. She was also director of public affairs and community outreach for Telemundo TV stations in the L.A. market.

Ms. Gil is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a bachelor of arts degree in political science. She received her master’s in public policy from the University of Southern California, School of Public Administration, and serves on the Girl Scouts National Board of Directors and The Getty House Foundation.


Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez is an American actress and recording artist. She made her debut on Barney & Friends, following that with film and television appearances, including numerous roles for the Disney Channel.

Her first studio album, Kiss & Tell, landed on the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. She has since followed up her initial musical success with top-selling singles and albums.

After releasing the quadruple-platinum single "Love You Like a Love Song," she decided to concentrate on her film career, appearing in Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Spring Breakers (2013).

Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Gomez is involved in philanthropic activities through charity work and various social and environmental causes, notably with the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. She has been the campaign's spokesperson twice, in 2008 and 2009, and was its youngest spokesperson ever.

U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team/L.A. Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez

Omar Gonzalez has emerged as one the best central defenders in Major League Soccer since his rookie season in 2009, anchoring the L.A. Galaxy’s back line en route to two MLS Cups, and has a promising chance to feature for the U.S. national team at the World Cup next summer in Brazil.

Mr. Gonzalez is one of only three defenders to sign a Designated Player contract.

He was named Rookie of the Year in 2009 before earning MLS Best XI selections in 2010 and 2011, and was also named the MLS Defender of the Year in 2011 and the 2012 MLS Cup MVP.

Mr. Gonzalez earned nine consecutive starts with the U.S. national team on the back line, including all six of the team's CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches, and came off the bench to help lock down the team's win over Panama in the Gold Cup final.

Previously, he was with international clubs such as Stoke City of the English Premier League and Mexican side Club America.

Special Assistant to the President & Communications
Director to the First Lady
White House

Maria Cristina Gonzalez Noguera

The White House announced in June 2013 that Maria Cristina “MC” González Noguera was joining the staff as special assistant to the president and communications director to the first lady. Ms. González Noguera started in the East Wing in July.

Ms. González Noguera is an experienced communications executive who previously served as the global vice president, corporate communications, for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. Ms. González Noguera advised the company’s leadership team on strategic communications matters, including government affairs, media relations, issues management and employee engagement. During her tenure there, she played a significant role in leading and integrating the company’s corporate responsibility initiatives.

Prior to joining Estée Lauder, Ms. González Noguera was a managing director for the Washington, D.C., strategic communications firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ms. González Noguera is a graduate of Tufts University. She is married and has a young son.

Managing Director, Head of Investor Services Corporate & Investment Bank
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Carlos Hernandez

Carlos M. Hernandez has been the head of investor services of JPMorgan Chase & Co. since October 2012 and serves as its managing director.

He has been with JPMorgan since 1986, working on a wide array of advisory and financing transactions for both corporations and governments, across various product groups and geographic regions.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Hernandez spearheaded all forms of capital raising and distribution in the fixed income, syndicated loans and equity markets for the company. Previously, he managed the Institutional Equities business for the Americas and served as JPMorgan's regional executive for Latin America.

A director of Marketaxess Holdings Inc. since 2006, he is also a member of JPMorgan's Global Investment Banking Management Committee and served as a director of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

President & CEO
Urban Health Plan

Paloma Izquirdo-Hernandez

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez is president and CEO of Urban Health Plan Inc., a network of community health centers in the South Bronx and Queens, N.Y. Led by her efforts, UHP has grown from a one-site facility to a network of federally qualified community health centers that includes four sites, five school health programs and multiple grant-funded programs.

Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez exemplifies consistent and outstanding leadership in community-based organizations. She has presented her agency’s successes on a national level at professional association meetings and has received numerous awards and honors.

Recently, Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez was elected to a two-year term as president of the board of the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS). She serves on multiple professional and community boards and organizations, including the NYC Primary Care Development Corp. and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Advisory Council, and served as a member to the NYC Commission for Economic Opportunity to develop innovative anti-poverty approaches in New York City.

She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College and holds master's degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University and the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

Dean & Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Distinguished Professor of Law
Loyola University College of Law

Maria Pabon Lopez

Maria Pabon López is the dean and Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans.

She is an expert in immigrants’ rights (including the education of immigrant children), immigration law and diversity/multicultural matters in the legal profession, focusing on issues concerning Hispanics, race and the law, and the status of women lawyers.

A prolific author, Ms. López has placed articles in journals such as the Harvard Latino Law Review, the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, the Hastings Women’s Law Journal and the Seton Hall Law Journal.

Ms. López serves on the Diversity Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association. She served on the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners from 2008-2011 and was also an appointed member of the Indiana Supreme Court's Court Interpreter Certification Advisory Board, a project of the Race and Gender Fairness Commission. She is an inaugural member of the Latino Affairs Committee of the Indiana State Bar.

Chairman Emeritus
The Republican National Hispanic Assembly

Alci Maldonado

Chairman Emeritus Alci Maldonado is a veteran Republican community activist and supporter. Ms. Maldonado has volunteered, worked with, advised or managed political campaigns at all levels of state and federal office for over 30 years in Florida. She has served as an elected Republican precinct committeewoman in Polk County, Fla., for many years and was previously involved in Miami Dade County politics.

Ms. Maldonado’s recent political activities include being the Polk County chair for the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign and co-chair of the Polk County McCain Palin presidential campaign. She served as the county Hispanic Coalition chair with the Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and with Gov. Jeb Bush’s 1998 and 2002 gubernatorial campaigns.

In 2008, Ms. Maldonado had the honor of being selected as a delegate for the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

Executive Director
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility

Jesus Maldonado Reyes

Jesus M. Maldonado Reyes took the helm as executive director of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) in February 2013. He is a driving force behind programs and strategies aimed at creating national awareness of HACR’s mission and accomplishments, while cultivating new relationships and funding resources through outreach to private foundations and Fortune 1000 companies. Mr. Maldonado Reyes reports to Carlos Orta, president and CEO, and works with the HACR’s 16-member board of directors.

Previously, at Accenture LLP, Mr. Maldonado Reyes was engaged in reengineering projects with Fortune 100 financial services firms, including planning and steering the merger of a European and American firm. He spearheaded the diversity recruitment strategy for Goldman Sachs & Co., deploying several key strategic business alliances. He is also credited with leading the North American campus diversity recruiting strategy for the BlackRock investment management firm.

A native of Puerto Rico and a first-generation college graduate, Mr. Maldonado Reyes earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.


Carlos Martinez

As leader of Conill’s operations, Carlos Martinez spearheaded its transformation into one of the most integrated shops serving the U.S. Hispanic market. Under his leadership, Conill has significantly expanded its business and was named Multicultural Agency of the Year by Advertising Age in 2011 and recognized among its “10 Standout Shops” in 2012.

A 20-years-plus industry veteran, Mr. Martinez began his journey at Saatchi & Saatchi in Puerto Rico, where he was responsible for developing integrated marketing/communications plans for multinational clients such as Toyota, Lexus and Procter & Gamble.

During his tenure as general manager of Conill’s Los Angeles office, the agency extended its Toyota and T-Mobile businesses by nearly 400 percent and the office became Conill’s creative center of excellence.

Mr. Martinez is credited with leading the teams that made Toyota the No. 1 brand in U.S. Hispanic market and in Puerto Rico.

Chairman of the Board
Technology Foundation of the Americas

Manuel Medina

Manuel D. Medina, chairman of the board of the Technology Foundation of the Americas as well as founder and managing partner of Medina Capital, has more than 30 years of experience as a highly successful businessman. His areas of expertise include technology, finance, international business and government contracting.

Previously, he was founder, chairman and CEO of Terremark Worldwide Inc., which distinguished itself as a leading global provider of managed IT infrastructure services for Fortune 500 enterprises and federal government agencies. Verizon Communications Inc. acquired the company for $2 billion in 2011 — the highest EBITDA multiple in the IT infrastructure sector at the time.

Mr. Medina is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from technology trends and global business to entrepreneurship. He has also served as the keynote speaker and panelist at large conferences and IT industry tradeshows.

Aiming to establish South Florida as the technology hub for the Americas, TFA is launching the eMerge Americas technology conference to attract and connect global industry leaders with Latin America’s top business executives, IT decision makers and innovative entrepreneurs.

Mr. Medina holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University.

President & Founder
Intero Real Estate Services Southern California

Danny Morel

Danny Morel, founder and president of Intero Real Estate Services Southern California, brings over 15 years to the real estate business as a coach, mentor, investor and broker. It was a simple dream of buying his mother a house that brought him into the industry, and great success in real estate that led him to establish Intero to teach others the business.

Intero is a place where agents are coached on how to utilize sales strategies, build teams and nurture a family atmosphere that allows them to be the best in all areas of life — health, family, relationships, mindset and financial freedom. Agents who join Intero and encompass the company culture under Mr. Morel increase their business by a minimum of 30 percent, according to Intero.

Within the first year of operation, Intero Real Estate Services, Southern California closed over 280 transactions, resulting in over $58 million in volume.

Utilizing the strategies that Mr. Morel coaches his agents on, he is able to spend quality time with his wife, Claudia, and their two sons.

SVP, Sales & Marketing, Customer Quality and Dealer Network Development
Nissan Americas

Jose Munoz

Jose Muñoz joined Nissan in 2004 after a career that included more than 10 years of management positions with automotive companies in Europe. Prior to his current position, Mr. Muñoz represented Mexico, LAC and Brazil on the Management Committee - Americas.

In 2009, Mr. Muñoz was named president of Nissan Mexicana. Under his leadership, NMEX achieved the highest market share in Nissan's history and saw a 42-month run of sales leadership in Mexico.

Mr. Muñoz holds a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and an MBA from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid. He has also completed executive management programs from Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. and INSEAD Business School in France.

Owner & CEO
Group O

Gregg Ontiveros

As principal owner and CEO of Group O, Gregg Ontiveros has provided the vision necessary to attract marquee clients that represent a veritable who’s who of America’s most respected brands, including AT&T, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Best Buy, Caterpillar, John Deere, Staples and Michelin.

Mr. Ontiveros remains very involved in all facets of Group O daily operations. Through his efforts to establish and expand key financial partnerships and client relationships, Group O has become one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in North America and the recipient of the 2011 National Minority Supplier of the Year award. Group O was the No. 14 company on the 2013 Hispanic Business 500, with $560 million in revenue.

In recognition of his leadership and contributions to the community of Hispanic-owned businesses, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) selected Mr. Ontiveros as its 2012 HBE Hispanic Businessman of the Year.

Mr. Ontiveros holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Colorado State University and resides in Davenport, Iowa, with his wife, Carolyn, and their three children.

SVP, Organization Effectiveness
Warner Bros. Entertainment

Andrew Ortiz

Andrew Ortiz, senior vice president, organization effectiveness at Warner Bros. Entertainment, is responsible for developing the company's most important asset, its people. He is responsible for aligning its people with the company’s business strategy through employee learning and development, leadership development, succession management, diversity initiatives, employee communications, employee relations, and change management.

Mr. Ortiz also oversees all global organization development initiatives.

Prior to joining Warner Bros., Mr. Ortiz was a vice president at HealthNet, where he led the company’s talent pipeline, including workforce planning, recruitment, diversity, associate development, leadership development and succession management. Before that, he held leadership roles in a variety of industries, including financial services, cable and automotive.

Mr. Ortiz holds an M.A. in organizational leadership and a B.A. in speech communication. He is also a certified executive coach from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara and a member of the International Coaching Federation.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch

Jerry Pacheco

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas appointed Jerry Pacheco to its El Paso Branch board of directors in April 2013. He will fill the remainder of a three-year term ending on Dec. 31, 2014.

As a board member, Mr. Pacheco provides input on regional economic conditions as part of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy functions.

Mr. Pacheco is president of Global Perspectives Integrated Inc., a New Mexico international trade and project management company. He also is executive director of the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network's International Business Accelerator and a trade columnist.

Previously, Mr. Pacheco was director of marketing for Santa Teresa Real Estate Development Corp., deputy secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, vice president of business banking for Norwest Bank, and director of New Mexico’s Trade and Tourism Office in Mexico City.

He earned a BBA in marketing, an MBA in international management and a master's degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico.

President & CEO

Javier Palomarez

Javier Palomarez is president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), an advocate for nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses and over 200 local Hispanic chambers throughout the U.S.

Prior to the USHCC, Mr. Palomarez served as vice president of multicultural marketing at ING Financial Services, where he was recruited to lead diversity outreach programs. He has also held positions at Allstate Insurance Corp. and Sprint Inc.

Mr. Palomarez was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. He also serves on the FCC Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Board. He is a member of the Pfizer’s Small Business Advisory Council, as well as Aetna’s Latino Advisory Council and the Comcast National Hispanic Advisory Council, and is a director of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).

He holds a degree in finance from the University of Texas - Pan American.

Producer, songwriter, philanthropist

Rudy Perez

Rudy Perez is an International songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. During the last 30 years, he has composed more than 1,000 songs, more than 300 of which have been top 10 hits. He has written and produced tracks for artists including Beyonce, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, Jose Feliciano, Marc Anthony, Jon Secada and Cyndi Lauper.

He is the first Latin record producer to win the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks Producer of the Year for four consecutive years. Mr. Perez has also been awarded ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year five times. In 2010, Billboard Magazine named Mr. Perez Producer of the Decade for having the most No. 1 and top 10 hits chart from 2000 to 2010, more than any other Latin producer in its history.

Mr. Perez has received over 400 gold and platinum album awards, and his works have been nominated for 19 Grammy awards, with five wins. In 2009, he launched his Bullseye Music Entertainment label, a unique boutique indie Latin label that brings together top independent professionals under his direction.

Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor

Thomas Perez

Thomas E. Perez was nominated by President Obama to serve as the nation's 26th Secretary of Labor, and was sworn in on July 23, 2013.

Previously, Mr. Perez served as assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Justice Department, and served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. He has spent his entire career in public service.

At the Justice Department, he chaired the interagency Worker Exploitation Task Force, which oversaw initiatives to protect vulnerable workers. He was special counsel to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, and directed the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for two years under President Clinton.

Mr. Perez earned a bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1983. In 1987 he received both a master's of public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.

He lives in Maryland with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and their three children.

Founder & CEO
ELLA Institute

Angelica Perez-Litwin

Angelica Perez-Litwin, founder and CEO of ELLA Institute, is the oldest daughter of hard-working Dominican immigrant parents. A clinical psychologist, Ms. Perez-Litwin understands the challenges U.S. Latinas face in achieving career success, and has devoted more than 20 years of her professional career to the empowerment of Latinas.

Prior to her current practice, Ms. Perez-Litwin had a faculty appointment at New York University School of Medicine, where she conducted cross-cultural research on Latinos, Alzheimer’s and caregiving.

As publisher of New Latina, Ms. Perez-Litwin focuses on issues that matter to today’s career-driven and progressive Latinas. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post and National Public Radio, and an invited presenter/panelist at national conferences, including National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), Hispanicize, BlogHer and LATISM.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham University. She is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program, the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) Executive Leadership Program and the Center for Creative Leadership.

ELLA Leadership Institute is a professional development center offering personalized and solutions-focused programs, events and access to an influential network.

Executive Director of Marketing-Latin America

Carla Pineyro Sublett

Carla Pineyro Sublett, Dell's executive director of marketing for Latin America, has responsibility for all segmentation spanning consumers to large institutions. She and her team drive all facets of marketing in the region.

Prior to this role she had responsibility for the Americas internal sales organization, which helped achieve more than $4 billion in annual sales. She is also a founding member and co-chair of Adelante, a Hispanic employee resource group at Dell.

Additionally, she is president-elect for the board of the Austin Children’s Museum, which has just completed a $20 million capital campaign to build a new facility in East Austin, Texas, to provide Hispanic youth with access to science, technology, engineering, art and math.

She is also extraordinarily proud of her loving and supportive family: her parents, who migrated to the U.S. from Uruguay; her husband, Jeff; and two children, Quentin and Amelia.

Hispanic National Bar Association

Miguel Alexander Pozo

Miguel Alexander Pozo, a brand lawyer and litigation partner at Lowenstein Sandler PC, was sworn in as president of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) in September 2013, and has served on its board of governors since 2004.

He began his career at Lowenstein Sandler as a summer associate in 1996 and made partner in January 2007. He is a brand lawyer and business litigator with more than 14 years of experience representing Fortune 500 corporations, businesses and nonprofits in federal and state courts.

Mr. Pozo’s work in the legal profession and in his community has brought him numerous honors, including the 2011 Professional Lawyer of the Year award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.

Mr. Pozo earned his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, where he was managing editor of Rutgers Race and the Law Review, and his B.A. from Hofstra University. Mr. Pozo also received honorary degrees from Bloomfield College (doctor of laws) and Phoenix School of Law (juris doctor).

Board Member
FirstEnergy Corp.

Luis Reyes

Nuclear industry veteran Luis A. Reyes sits on FirstEnergy Corp.'s board of directors. He has more than 36 years' experience in the field, including senior leadership positions at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Reyes joined the NRC in 1978 as a reactor inspector for the Region III office in Illinois and was recognized with the Presidential Distinguished and Presidential Meritorious awards for dedicated service. He held progressively more responsible leadership roles before being named executive director of operations in 2004, where he managed the day-to-day operations of the agency. He also served as regional administrator for NRC Region II, overseeing all new commercial nuclear power plant construction in the country as well as operating plant inspections in the southeastern U.S.

He retired from the NRC in 2011 after 33 years of service.

Mr. Reyes holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a master of science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. He also is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and has attended the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Northern Illinois University College of Law

Jennifer Rosato

Jennifer L. Rosato became only the second female Hispanic law school dean in the nation in July 2009 when she was appointed dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law. She is an expert on family law, bioethics, civil procedure and legal ethics.

Prior to coming to NIU, Ms. Rosato served as acting dean for Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law during its inaugural year and then as senior associate dean for student affairs and professor of law.

She has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, New York University School of Law and Villanova University School of Law.

Ms. Rosato is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the American Law Institute.

She earned her B.S. with distinction from Cornell University and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She began her legal career as a clerk for Thomas N. O’Neill Jr. of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, before becoming an associate with Hangley, Connolly, Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia.

Acacia Network

Raul Russi

Raul Russi is the CEO of Acacia Network Inc., managing the day-to-day operations of the largest Puerto Rican-founded organization in New York, with an annual budget of more than $130 million in revenue and $200 million in assets.

Born in Patillas, Puerto Rico, Mr. Russi moved to Buffalo, N.Y., with his family at an early age. In 1996, he was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, having served as chairman of the NYS Parole Board since 1990, and was the first Hispanic sheriff of the City of New York. In 1973, Mr. Russi created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association.

He was Buffalo’s first Hispanic police officer and was awarded the department’s Purple Heart when he was shot in the line of duty. Thereafter, he was appointed to the State Commission of Correction’s Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council and subsequently became superintendent of the Erie County New York Correctional Facility.

Raul Russi has four children and lives in Manhattan with his wife, Rody Reyes-Russi, and his youngest son, Joshua Russi.

VP, Pricing
U.S. Postal Service

Cynthia Sanchez-Hernandez

Cynthia Sanchez-Hernandez, named vice president of pricing at the U.S. Postal Service in March 2013, is responsible for the pricing of all postal products and services. She also leads programs to simplify mailing for small businesses, to create innovative ideas for commercial customers, and to tailor services for specific markets.

She has served as manager of pricing and was acting vice president of finance and planning, where she was responsible for budgets, monthly forecasts and five-year plans. Before that she was manager of finance at USPS headquarters.

Before joining the USPS, Ms. Sanchez-Hernandez served as director of financial planning and analysis and pricing at Spacenet; as a senior manager of Profit and Loss and Deal Management at Intelsat; and as a finance member in the Intelsat/PanAmSat Integration Project Office.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico, and a master’s degree in business administration from the George Washington University.

SVP, Public Policy and Corporate Affairs
Enterprise Community Partners

Alazne Solis

As senior vice president of public policy and corporate affairs for Enterprise Community Partners, Alazne “Ali” Solis works with the administration, Congress, state and local policy stakeholders, and national industry partners to develop affordable housing and sustainable communities. She also heads fundraising efforts and oversees communications and marketing.

Ms. Solis joined Enterprise in 2000 as the director of congressional outreach. She led the Save America’s Neighborhoods Campaign, a cross-industry taskforce to stabilize struggling communities during the foreclosure crisis, and has testified before local, state and federal policymakers about housing, banking and tax legislation. She also has developed strategic alliances with trade associations, regulatory agencies and banking and finance industry partners.

Prior to joining Enterprise, Ms. Solis was legislative director for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., and worked in the private sector for W.R. Grace, AT&T and the Washington Group.

She sits on the board of the Montgomery Housing Partnership, is a former president of Women in Housing and Finance, and serves as a bilingual mentor for the Silver Spring Interfaith Housing Coalition.

She is an INROADS alumnus and a University of Maryland graduate with a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish.

SVP, Gas Operations

Jesus Soto Jr.

Jesus Soto Jr. is senior vice president of gas transmission operations at PG&E, where he oversees public safety and integrity management, project engineering and design, gas transmission, and gas system operations.

Most recently, he served as vice president of operations services for El Paso Corp.’s Pipeline Group, leading a division of more than 400 employees responsible for providing technical services and support to pipeline field operations, as well as risk management programs.

He also served as a corporate representative in an exchange program with Wintershall Gas GmbH in Kassel, Germany.

Mr. Soto serves on the board of directors for Genysys Works and the executive committee for the Pipeline Research Council International.

He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas-El Paso and a master's in engineering from Texas A&M University.

EVP, Corporate Communications
Wells Fargo

Oscar Suris

Wells Fargo & Co. named Oscar Suris the head of corporate communications and an executive vice president of the company in 2009.

Mr. Suris joined Wells Fargo from Ford Motor Co., where he was strategic communications lead for Executive Chairman Bill Ford and the automaker's philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. He previously led Ford's global corporate news and North American product communications teams.

Prior to Ford, he was director of corporate communications at AutoNation Inc. and was a staff writer for five years at The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Suris, a native of Cuba and the son of two retired bankers, is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in finance.

White House Council on Environmental Quality

Nancy Sutley

Nancy Sutley chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). As the principal environmental policy adviser to the president, Ms. Sutley helps to develop and coordinate the administration’s environmental and energy policies and initiatives. During her tenure, the administration has launched a federal sustainability initiative that has already reduced the government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent and established the first National Ocean Policy to support healthy ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.

Prior to her appointment as CEQ chair, Ms. Sutley was the deputy mayor for energy and environment for the City of Los Angeles. She was energy advisor for California's Gov. Gray Davis, and deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations at the California EPA from 1999-2003.

Ms. Sutley received her bachelor's degree from Cornell University and her master's in public policy from Harvard University.

Dean, College of Education
University of South Florida

Vasti Torres

Vasti Torres is dean of the College of Education at the University of South Florida. Previously, she was a professor of educational leadership and policy studies and director of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Prior to her tenure at IU, Ms. Torres was an assistant professor of higher education administration at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., coordinating the admissions process for the higher education program while also teaching and advising master’s and doctoral degree candidates.

She has additional experience as assistant dean of students at the University of Virginia, assistant director for residence life at Emory University, and associate vice provost and dean for enrollment and student services at Portland State University in Oregon.

Ms. Torres, a sought-after conference speaker and the author or co-author of four books, is a native of West Palm Beach and a graduate of Stetson University. She holds a Ph.D. in counseling and student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.

SVP, Multicultural Communications
Porter Novelli

Diana Valencia

Diana Valencia joined global public relations firm Porter Novelli as senior vice president, multicultural communications in February. She oversees client programming targeted at all multicultural demographics.

Ms. Valencia has worked in corporate and agency roles during her career, most recently as senior director, mobile sales and development at Univision Interactive Media in New York. She was director, mobile content and services for Univision prior to that, working out of New York and Los Angeles to lead a team of managers and third-party vendors.

She also spent three years with Verizon Wireless as marketing/segmentation manager and as an advertising consultant, and has held positions with the Bravo Group, Young & Rubicam's Hispanic marketing agency; the Vidal Partnership; and DDB Worldwide.

Valencia earned both a B.A. and an MBA in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Special Assistant to the President & Principal
Deputy Director of Public Engagment
White House

Stephanie Valencia

Stephanie Valencia is special assistant to the president and principal deputy director of public engagement at the White House, overseeing such critical engagement programs as Champions of Change and the Community Leaders Briefing Series.

She has served in the White House Office of Public Engagement since February 2009, originally handling outreach to the Hispanic community, immigration, and housing. She also worked on Puerto Rico issues, served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and was deputy Hispanic vote director on the Obama campaign.

Stephanie also served as press secretary to U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, special assistant and press secretary to U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, and press secretary to U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez.

Ms. Valencia started her career as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow and is a graduate of Boston College. She was born and in raised in New Mexico, and lives with her husband and their two dogs in North Bethesda, Md.

Director of Hispanic Media
White House

Katherine Vargas

Katherine Vargas is director of Hispanic media at the White House. She spearheads efforts to engage Hispanic media, coordinating with all federal agencies on promoting the president’s agenda with the Hispanic community.

Prior to joining the White House, she led media and communications efforts for the National Immigration Forum and worked at the National Immigration Law Center, the Washington Office of Latin America, and the International Rescue Committee in Miami.

Ms. Vargas is a member of the Truman National Security Project, which recruits, trains and positions a new generation of progressives across America to lead on national security. She was also a board member of Enlaces con Raíces, an organization that works to strengthen nonprofit organizations in Latin America through capacity building.

Ms. Vargas immigrated to the U.S. from her native Colombia in 1997. She and her husband, Eric, live in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor's degree in international relations with a concentration on Latin American studies from Florida International University.

Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Latinum Network

David Wellisch

David Wellisch is managing partner at Latinum Network, which he co-founded in 2009. Mr. Wellisch oversees sales, marketing, business development and new platforms for the firm, whose client roster includes MillerCoors, Comcast, Unilever and PepsiCo.

Under Mr. Wellisch’s co-leadership, Latinum has built an analytics, insights and solutions engine that allows it to invest in shared assets and to go deeper into the hardest issues its member companies face in the multicultural marketing space. Based in Bethesda, Md., Latinum has doubled in size in just two years and employs 40 full-time professionals.

Previously, Mr. Wellisch was general manager of AOL Latino, which he originated and where he oversaw operations. He also held senior positions at Allied Capital and Gemini Consulting.

Mr. Wellisch, a native of Ecuador, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's from Brown University. He sits on the advisory board for the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship and the board of trustees for Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.

Chief Talent and Diversity Officer

Magda Yrizarry

Magda Yrizarry is Verizon's chief talent and diversity officer, with responsibility for the development and implementation of Verizon's global diversity, recruitment, executive development and succession planning strategies.

Previously, Ms. Yrizarry was vice president of workplace culture, diversity and compliance for Verizon, responsible for strategic HR issues and policies relating to diversity, ethics, safety and workplace programs.

Her prior positions include executive director for public policy and strategic alliances at Verizon and director of operations and national workforce development programs for the Verizon Foundation.

Ms. Yrizarry represents Verizon on LULAC's National Education Service Centers board and the corporate advisory board of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). She is a founding member of 100 Hispanic Women, an alumnus of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, chairperson of ASPIRA of New York and executive board member of the ASPIRA Association.

She joined Verizon in 1990.


Back to the 2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials List

2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials Overview

2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials Q&A: Luis A. Reyes

Source: HispanicBusiness.com (c) 2013. All rights reserved.

Story Tools

HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters