News Column

Women of Vision, 2009

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In addition to the five women featured in our April issue -- Frances Garcia, Lily Eskelsen, Marion Luna Brem, Amelie Ramirez, and Ramona Romero -- here are the other finalists that comprise our Top 25 for 2009.

Cecilia R. Aragon
Staff Scientist, Computational Research Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Her research involves developing collaborative visual interfaces to foster scientific insight. Previously, she was a computer scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, and before that, the founder and CEO of Top Flight Aviation, where she was an air show and test pilot and aerobatic champion. She is a founding member of Latinas in Computing. Ms. Aragon received her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her bachelor's degree in mathematics from California Institute of Technology.

Christine Marie Arguello
Federal Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

She has been a federal judge since October 2008. Prior to her presidential appointment, Ms. Arguello was the managing senior associate counsel at the University of Colorado. Previously, she was a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP and a professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. In 1999, she left academia to join Ken Salazar's new administration in the Colorado Attorney General's office. Ms. Arguello was the first Latina from Colorado to be admitted to Harvard University School of Law, graduating in 1980. She also holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Colorado.

Violeta Bermudez-Pardo
Systems and Process Assurance Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

She has been with the company for 22 years and has been a partner in SPA for 10 years. Ms. Bermudez-Pardo has led technology audits and other assurance related projects. Some of her recent clients include Thomson-Reuters, Dun & Bradstreet and Pitney Bowes. She has also worked closely with firm leadership to support people initiatives, including diversity and work/life balance. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Rutgers University. She holds a Certified Public Accountant license in the states of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Laurie Carrillo
Spacecraft Thermal Design Engineer, NASA Johnson Space Center

She conducts thermal analysis to support the development of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, NASA's next generation spacecraft. Ms. Carrillo came to work at NASA in 1995 through a student internship. She has also been a flight controller in the Mission Operation Flight Design and Dynamics Office. She spent five years in the Advanced Space Propulsion Lab conducting thermal analysis. Ms. Carrillo has bachelor's degrees in Mathematics, Computational and Applied Math, and Materials Science and Engineering from Rice University. She also holds a master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado.

Felicity Fowler
Partner, Haynes & Boone LLP

She is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group and has more than 16 years experience representing management in employment litigation and related proceedings. Ms. Fowler is also the chair of the firm's Attorney Diversity Committee. She counsels employers on all aspects of labor and employment law and is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in the field of Labor and Employment Law. She has frequently lectured on employment law topics for both lawyers and human resources professionals.

Yvonne Garcia
Managing Director, Affinity Marketing, Liberty Mutual Group

She is responsible for the development and implementation of segmentation and marketing strategies for personal markets. Ms. Garcia also focuses on securing partnerships with companies and associations to implement progressive marketing initiatives and manages complex accounts to promote Liberty Mutual's products and services through alternative strategies. Previously, she served as Vice President for Bank of America's China Construction Bank Strategic Assistance. She holds an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor's degree from SUNY Albany.

Col. Madeline F. Lopez
Commander of Defense Logistics Agency, Warner Robins detachment at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

She leads a 265-person organization helping to support our nation's war fighters. The agency's core mission is to supply products with a direct application to aviation. Col. Lopez received a bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico. She is a graduate of the Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, Chanute AFB, Ill.; and the Squadron Officers School. Col. Lopez has an MBA from Tarlton State University, Stephenville, Texas. She also holds a master's degree in Strategic Studies from Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

Wendy A. Lopez
Vice President, URS Corp.

Her responsibilities include increasing URS' infrastructure business in the high-growth Texas market. She is formerly co-founder and CEO of LopezGarcia Group. Under her leadership, the firm expanded its practice into multiple areas of engineering, environmental services, and planning, expanding from a one-person office to more than 200 employees upon its purchase by URS in 2008. Wendy holds a master's degree in Engineering and a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is president-elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Monica L. Martinez-Canales
Principal Engineer, Intel Corp.

She works in the Platform Validation Engineering organization within the Digital Enterprise Group. She addresses efficiency and financials, customer satisfaction, workforce development, and technology innovation. She completed a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellowship in Geological and Earth Sciences at Stanford University after earning a Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University. Ms. Martinez-Canales holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Stanford University. Her current research interests are in decision making in complex and uncertain environments, data analysis and structures, and communication systems.

Valerie Martinez-Ebers
Professor of Political Science, University of North Texas

Her teaching interests and research areas of expertise include race, ethnicity and politics; Latino politics; public policy; political tolerance; and the politics of rock and roll music. She is a one of the principal investigators for the Latino National Survey, a state-stratified survey of 9,800 Latinos in the U.S. Most of Ms. Martinez-Eber's publications are on the consequences of education policies for minority students. She has written a forthcoming book titled "Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Religion: Identity Politics in the United States."

Ana Duarte McCarthy
Chief Diversity Officer, Citigroup

She is responsible for the development and integration of Citigroup's workforce diversity strategy for attracting diverse talent, workforce development, fostering an inclusive work environment, and ensuring management accountability. She was previously Director of Diversity-Global Consumer Group at Citi, and Vice President, Diversity Management, at Citibank. She also worked at Kidder, Peabody as Assistant Vice President of Compliance and Diversity Programs, where she focused on developing the firm's diversity strategy. She received her bachelor's degree from Lafayette College and a master of education degree from Columbia University.

Imelda Navarro
Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, International Bank of Commerce-Laredo, TX

She has worked her entire 29-year career within the IBC family. When IBC began to grow dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, Ms. Navarro saw her responsibilities evolve to include financial accounting, human resources, and bank operations. As senior executive vice president, she serves as second-in-command to the president/CEO and as CFO and COO for IBC. Her duties include management of the operations and accounting functions for International Bancshares Corp. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in accounting, at Laredo State University.

Ellen Ochoa
Deputy Director, Johnson Space Center

She became a NASA astronaut in 1991. Assignments in the Astronaut Office included serving as the crew representative for flight software, computer hardware and robotics, lead spacecraft communicator in Mission Control, and director of Flight Crew Operations, where she managed and directed the Astronaut Office and Aircraft Operations. Ms. Ochoa is a veteran of four space flights, logging nearly 1,000 hours in space. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from San Diego State University and master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Marla E. Pérez-Davis
Chief of the Project Liaison and Integration Office,
NASA Glenn Research Center

Ms. Perez-Davis, who has worked at the center since 1983, has made major contributions to NASA through leading and managing both space and aeronautics research projects. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, directing, and supervising all phases of the office work. Primary responsibilities are to implement, integrate and manage all phases of technical management and resources analysis and controls. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and University of Toledo, respectively. She also holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Grace Puma
Senior Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Chief Procurement Officer, United Airlines

She is responsible for building innovative sourcing strategies and technologies that will improve total cost of ownership, while ensuring suppliers meet quality standards for products and services. She oversees $15 billion in spending for maintenance components, corporate real estate and jet fuel. She was previously
Vice President, Global Indirect Materials and Services Procurement, for Kraft Foods. She also led an international team responsible for the strategic sourcing of Motorola's cell phone accessories and electronic components. She has held leadership roles in procurement at Gillette and BASF Corp.

Monica C. Regalbuto
Head of Process Chemistry and Engineering Department, Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory

She manages the programmatic activities and facilities of three groups that conduct research on spent fuel separations, repository waste form corrosion and engineering process development. She has also worked for Amoco Oil Co. (now BP Co.), where she applied her research and development expertise in an industrial setting. She is currently on assignment with the Engineering and Technology Office of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management. Ms. Rebalbuto holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Lillian Rodríguez López
President, Hispanic Federation

She leads the nonprofit membership organization serving about 100 Latino health and human service agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. She joined the federation in 1996 as vice president. Under her leadership, the federation has dramatically increased its organizational capacity to serve an ever-increasing network of member agencies and respond to the Latino community's local and national needs. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Fordham University and completed the Executive Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University under the 2003 National Hispana Leadership Institute.

Gisel Ruiz
Senior Vice President, Wal-Mart Stores People Division, Wal-Mart Inc.

She oversees the Human Resource Organization that supports more than 3,800 stores across the U.S. She has also served as Store Manager in field operations; Labor Relations Manager; Director of Personnel; and Vice President, Regional General Manager, in which she was responsible for 150 Wal-Mart stores in the Western Texas and New Mexico territory. She holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Santa Clara University, where she also completed the Retail Management Institute program.

Myrna Soto
Vice President of IT Governance and Chief Information Security Officer, MGM Mirage

Her areas of focus include Information, IT Audit and Compliance, and Business Analysis. She is responsible for the design and development of a comprehensive Information Security program within MGM Mirage. Ms. Soto joined the company in 2004 as Corporate Director of Solutions for Mandalay Resort Group. She has also served as Vice President of Business Solutions. She holds a bachelor's degree from Florida International University, in addition to a Master of Science degree in Industrial Psychology and an MBA, both from Nova Southeastern University.

Sandra G. Thompson
Law Foundation Professor of Law and Criminal Justice Institute Director, University of Houston

She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, federal criminal law, sentencing, and evidence. She previously served as an Assistant District Attorney with the New York County District Attorney's Office in Manhattan. She received her bachelor's degree in economics from Yale College in 1985 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1988. She has served for more than 15 years on the board of directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston. She is licensed to practice in New York and has been admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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