News Column

25 Dynamic Leaders: The 2012 Corporate Elite

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Armando J. Olivera
President and CEO
Florida Power & Light Co.

Mr. Olivera has headed up one of the largest investor-owned electric utilities in the nation since June 2003. He manages a multiyear, multibillion-dollar capital investment program that includes expansion of nuclear capacity; a new natural gas, combined-cycle power plant that is the most efficient of its kind in the nation; and three new solar energy centers that have made Florida No. 2 in the nation in solar power. Mr. Olivera joined FPL in 1972. He has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Miami. He also is a graduate of the professional management development program of the Harvard Business School.

Grace Lieblein
President and managing director
GM do Brasil

Ms. Lieblein is responsible for the total operations of GM's subsidiary in Brazil. Prior to the appointment, she was president and managing director of GM de Mexico, the first woman to serve in that role. She began her career at GM in 1978 as a student at the company's assembly plant in Los Angeles, and was named industrial engineer at GM in 1984. The highest-ranking Hispanic woman at GM, she was the company's first female Hispanic managing director and the first vehicle chief engineer. Ms. Lieblein earned a bachelor's degree from Kettering University in 1983 and a master's degree from Michigan State University in 1987.

Darren Rebelez
Executive VP and COO
7-Eleven Inc.

After joining 7-Eleven at its Dallas headquarters in 2007 as a senior vice president, Mr. Rebelez was in charge of operations for U.S. and Canadian stores that then numbered 6,030. He was promoted to his current position in early 2009. His responsibilities include the franchising of 7-Eleven's more than 1,000 remaining company-operated stores in the U.S. as well as managing and enhancing the company's relationships with its franchisees. Before joining 7-Eleven, he was with ExxonMobil. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned an MBA from the University of Houston. He was a co-chairman at a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention.

Robert Rodriguez
Executive VP and COO
Denny's Corp. Worldwide

In this capacity, Mr. Rodriguez has the oversight of just fewer than 1,700 Denny's restaurants worldwide. He has more than 40 years of food service experience. He has been instrumental in expanding brands nationally and internationally, as well as turning established brands around while maximizing stakeholders' wealth. Mr. Rodriguez has served on a number of nonprofit boards. He holds an MBA from Northwestern J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Toby Eduardo Redshaw
Executive VP and CIO
American Express Co.

Mr. Redshaw oversees the day-to-day operations of the technologies organization. He is a member of the Global Services Executive Team as well as the company's Business Operating Committee and Global Management Team. Before joining American Express, Mr. Redshaw served as global chief information officer at Aviva and as a corporate vice president at Motorola. He began his career as a media manager with an international ad agency in Mexico City. Mr. Redshaw holds a double-major bachelor's degree in economics and philosophy from the University of Memphis. He also attended Motorola's Chairman Institute at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Geisha Williams
Executive VP, electric operations
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Ms. Williams handles all aspects of PG&E's electric distribution, transmission and substation operations, responsible also for smart grid and technology integration, work order fulfillment and project services operations. She most recently served as senior vice president, energy delivery. Williams is on the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter board of directors and is the executive sponsoring officer of the Black Employees Association and the Nu NRG Employee Resource Group, an adviser to the Latino Employee Resource Group. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

Daniel Ayala
Executive VP, Global Remittance Services
Wells Fargo & Co.

Mr. Ayala manages product development, product management, operations and customer service for Wells Fargo's consumer remittance service activities. He is a founding senior leader for Wells Fargo's Hispanic team member resource group, Amigos, and has represented various lines of business in the Corporate Diversity Council. Mr. Ayala has a bachelor's degree from DePaul University in Chicago and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In 2010, he graduated from the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.

Mike Garcia
Senior VP, CFO, acquisitions and development
Omni Hotels and Resorts

Mr. Garcia was promoted to his current position in 2007. He spearheads Omni Hotels & Resorts' growth cycle. Prior to his promotion, Garcia served as senior vice president of finance and CFO from 2004 and senior vice president, financial services from 2002. Mr. Garcia joined Omni in 1996. Prior to joining Omni, he worked La Quinta Inns Inc. and KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Garcia graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He is a certified public accountant.

Grace Puma
Senior VP and chief procurement officer

Ms. Puma joined PepsiCo in November 2010 and she is responsible for the company's strategic supply management's agenda, including ensuring quality along the supply chain; driving innovation within PepsiCo's supplier base to accelerate the transformation of the company's portfolio and advance its environmental sustainability goals; and facilitating the growth of PepsiCo's Global Nutrition Group. Prior joining PepsiCo, Ms. Puma worked for United Airlines, where she served as senior vice president, chief procurement officer since 2007. She holds a bachelor's degree from Illinois Benedictine University.

Patrick Apodaca
Senior VP and general counsel
PNM Resources

Mr. Apodaca has responsibility for assuring the provision of high-quality, efficient and effective legal services to all areas of the company and for corporate governance matters, ethics and compliance. He joined the company in January 2010. He previously served as university counsel for the University of New Mexico. He also served as independent counsel to the city of Albuquerque and associate counsel to the president in the White House from 1977-81. Mr. Apodaca earned his bachelor's degree at Georgetown University and his J.D. at Harvard Law School. He is a member of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, the American Law Institute and the Albuquerque Bar Association.

Barbara Radous
Senior VP, shared services
American Electric Power

Ms. Radous is responsible for information technology, human resources and business logistics. She joined American Electric Power (AEP) in 2001. Prior to her promotion she had been senior vice president, commercial operations. Previous positions include vice president, commercial and financial analysis, and manager director, hedging and financial analysis. Before joining AEP, Ms. Radous worked for a subsidiary of Enron Corp. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.

Joseph Dominguez
Senior VP, federal regulatory affairs, public policy and communications
Senior VP, state governmental affairs
Exelon Generation

Mr. Dominguez oversees federal regulatory compliance and strategic efforts related to state regulatory and legislative initiatives. He joined Exelon in 2002. Previously, he was a partner in the White and Williams law firm, and is a former assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he investigated and prosecuted crimes ranging from money laundering to murder for hire. Mr. Dominguez holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law.

Marlene Dooner
Senior VP, investor relations
Comcast Corp.

Ms. Dooner has responsibility for developing and managing the Comcast Corp.'s relationships with the investment community and shareholders. Before joining Comcast in December 1995, she had been a vice president with PNC Bank's Communications Lending Group. In 2005, Ms. Dooner received the Woman to Watch Accolade from Women in Cable and Telecommunications Foundation. This annual award is presented to a telecommunications industry leader who exhibits outstanding achievements and recognizes those individuals with the highest level of commitment to developing women leaders. Ms. Dooner earned a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's University and a master's degree from Drexel University both in Philadelphia.

Ralph Betancourt
Senior VP
Macy's Logistics and Operations

Mr. Betancourt was appointed to his position in February 2006 and is responsible for Macy's National Distribution Network. The network provides the logistics support for more than 800 Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores. Previously, he served as senior vice president of operations at Filenes/Kaufmanns. Mr. Betancourt began his retail career in 1978 as an executive trainee. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

Tony F. Sanchez III
Senior VP, government and community strategy
NV Energy Inc.

Mr. Sanchez joined NV Energy in 2007. Currently, he oversees the company's government, regulatory, environmental and safety, communications, community strategies. He previously served as associate legislative counsel for Nevada's then-U.S. Sen. Richard H. Bryan before practicing law as counsel for the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. In 1998, he became executive assistant to Nevada Gov. Bob Miller and thereafter joined the statewide law firm of Jones Vargas, where he practiced law before joining NV Energy. He received his law degree from the Arizona State University College of Law in 1991. Mr. Sanchez has served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, including the Latin Chamber of Commerce board for 10 years.

Patricia Salas Pineda
Group VP, national philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation
Toyota Motor North America Inc.

Ms. Salas Pineda joined Toyota Motor North America Inc. (TMA) in September 2004 as group vice president, corporate communications and general counsel. Prior to joining TMA, Ms. Pineda spent 20 years at New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., a venture between Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. She served as vice president, human resources, government and legal affairs, and corporate secretary. Ms. Pineda received a bachelor's degree from Mills College in 1974 and a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1977.

Arturo F. Agra
VP, strategic planning
Pepco Holdings Inc.

Mr. Agra also is president and CEO of Conectiv Energy where he led the effort to sell Conectiv Energy to Calpine. At Pepco, he is responsible for preparing and documenting the company's strategic plans. He serves on the Board of Energy Systems Northeast, LLC; Millennium Services, LLC; Microcell Corp.; and several PHI subsidiary internal boards. Agra was born in Havana and holds an MBA in finance from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

James H. Gallegos
VP, general counsel
Alliant Energy

Mr. Gallegos joined Alliant Energy in 2010 where is responsible for legal, public affairs, community affairs, corporate secretary, and insurance and risk. Prior to his work at Alliant, he was a vice president and corporate general counsel for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Corp. In addition, Mr. Gallegos served with the U.S. Department of Justice, as a law clerk and on the SOO Line Railroad. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado. He received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law Center.

Ramon Baez
VP, IT services and CIO

Mr. Baez began work at Kimberly-Clark in February 2007. He is responsible for the information systems initiatives supporting the company's growth and maximizing the return on its information technology investments. Before joining Kimberly- Clark, Mr. Ramon served as chief information officer for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. He previously served as chief information officer and vice president of information technology for Honeywell International Automation and Control Solutions. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of La Verne in California.

Ricardo J. Echevarria
VP, Intel Architecture Group General Manager, Business Client Platform Division
Intel Corp.

Mr. Echevarria is responsible for the desktop and notebook platform business for products targeted at the corporate segment, as well as small and medium businesses. Prior to assuming his current position, he was a vice president in the sales and marketing group and general manager of the Enterprise Solution Sales division at Intel Corp. Before joining Intel in 1994, he was a software developer for IBM Corp in Austin, Texas. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and a master's degree in computer systems management from Union College.

Jorge Lopez
VP, distinguishes analyst
Gartner Inc.

Mr. Lopez focuses on issues of concern to business executives, especially the CEO, and their relationship to information technology and the CIO. He has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Before joining Gartner, he was vice president, corporate development and strategic planning, for Frontstep, as well as vice president, strategic alliances and Latin America, for Avalon Software. He also worked on various assignments at IBM. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the University Notre Dame, and a master's degree in electrical engineering at Rice University.

Juan Galarraga
VP, healthcare and store compliance
Target Corp.

Mr. Galarraga's team supports operations, strategies, vision and new initiatives for 1,600- plus pharmacies across the country. He transitioned to headquarters in November 2010 to oversee international growth. As the Hispanic Business Council executive sponsor, he helps the company define strategies to hire, retain and develop future Hispanic leaders as well as making a positive impact in the community and business place. He is a member of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. He was born in Venezuela and graduated from Lynn University in 1999.

Rolando Ortiz
VP, application solutions, corporate functions and Latin America
Kellogg Co.

Mr. Ortiz has been with Kellogg Co. since November 1999, starting as vice president, information technology, for the company's Latin American operation. He relocated to Chicago in 2002, and has led several key projects ranging from technology infrastructure to business process re-engineering. Mr. Ortiz leads the diversity and inclusion council for the company's information technology group. Prior to joining Kellogg Co., he was employed by Procter & Gamble as an associate director he received a bachelor's degree in from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

Javier Polit
Bottling Investment Group of The Coca-Cola Co.

Mr. Polit is responsible for setting strategic process enablement by leading the information technology function. His primary focus is driving team member development and progression, revenue generating capabilities and operational excellence to create shareholder value. He supports more than 80,000 associates and multiple business functions. Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Co., Mr. Polit spent eight years with Office Depot Inc., and 12 years in the banking industry. Mr. Polit was born in Ecuador and earned an MBA from Purdue University, a master's degree from Budapest University, a master's degree from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and a master's degree of science from Barry University.

Edward Munoz
Director, government relations and business development
Raytheon Co.
Mr. Munoz is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to work with local, state and federal officeholders and agencies and to find opportunities for collaboration on projects. He has served as regional director of government affairs, established the western government affairs operation and was tactical expert and manager of public policy issues for Raytheon Co. Before joining Raytheon in 1997, Mr. Munoz held a series of senior manager and staff positions at GM Hughes Electronics, and had worked with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He holds a bachelor's degree from California State University, Pomona, and a master's degree from the University of Southern California.

How The Top 25 Were Selected
The HispanicBusiness Media Corporate Elite are selected from a pool of many qualified candidates nominated by readers, website visitors, magazine editors and the nominees themselves. A biography, résumé or curriculum vitae in addition to other supporting information is collected on each candidate and then reviewed by an editorial panel. To qualify, individuals must be U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin and preferably have made a significant professional contribution to their respective field within the last year. In addition, selected individuals should be committed to fostering the advancement of the Hispanic community as demonstrated by their involvement in charitable organizations and community service.

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