Top 100 Influentials 2010 - The Chicago Contingent
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The Chicago Contingent


Edward Acevedo
Edward Acevedo   State Representative, Illinois House of Representatives

Edward 'Eddie' Acevedo has served the Illinois House for 15 years, representing the 2nd District. He has sponsored and passed a number of bills since taking office, including the Safe Neighborhood Act, a $500 tuition tax credit, a child firearm access prevention initiative, a low-cost insurance program for children and the Senior Citizen's Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.

Sergio Acosta
Sergio Acosta   Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Law Firm

Mr. Acosta is an experienced criminal and appellate litigator and investigator. His cases have involved criminal civil rights, fraud, violent crimes, labor racketeering and domestic terrorism. During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Acosta tried more than 25 jury trials in federal court and many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Anita Alvarez
Anita Alvarez   State Attorney, Cook County

Ms. Alvarez first joined the State's Attorney's Office in 1986, where she handled hundreds of felony cases ranging from homicides, narcotics and armed robberies to criminal sexual assault and domestic violence. After serving more than 22 years, she won the race for Cook County State's Attorney in August of 2007.  She scored a dramatic upset by defeating five opponents in a hotly contested primary, and then soundly defeating her Republican challenger in the general election.

David Arenas
David Arenas   Managing Director, Reilly Partners, Chicago Office

Mr. Arenas has completed senior level executive searches for major corporate clients. Positions filled include Board of Directors, CEO, President and General Managers, as well as functional heads and directors including CFO, Treasurer, Controller, Financial Planning, Tax and Audit. His industry experience includes consumer financial services, corporate and investment banking, and insurance, industrial/energy, consumer and technology.

Maribel Mata Benedict
Maribel Mata Benedict   Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Law Firm

Ms. Mata Benedict has worked on tax-exempt and taxable financings for municipalities, other governmental units, and governmental agencies as well as health care facilities, educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations. She has served as bond counsel, underwriter counsel and borrower counsel. She also practices in the area of public finance tax law and arbitrage rebate.  Ms. Mata Benedict is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the American Bar Association and Women in Public Finance.

Martin Cabrera Jr.
Martin Cabrera Jr.   Founder / CEO, Cabrera Capital Markets

Mr. Cabrera is responsible for all investment banking, trading, institutional sales activity and oversight of Cabrera Capital Markets. He has been involved in the financial services industry for over 12 years. Before forming Cabrera Capital Markets, Mr. Cabrera was Senior VP at Amerivet Securities, Inc. and later became the General Principal and Branch Manager for Salomon Grey Financial Corp.'s Chicago office. Prior to that he worked for CNA Insurance and Merrill Lynch International's London office.

Ramon Cepeda
Ramon Cepeda   Sr. VP and Managing Director, Northern Trust Co.

Mr. Cepeda works to build a portfolio of commercial real estate properties both locally and throughout 18 states. His focus is on Term and Bridge loans on industrial, retail, multifamily and office properties. Additionally, he serves as in-house commercial real estate adviser to private bankers throughout Illinois.  Mr. Cepeda currently serves as a member of the board of Trustees of the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Gery J. Chico
Gery J. Chico   Senior Partner, Chico & Nunes P.C., Law Firm

Mr.Chico has represented companies in Chicago and the nation for 25 years, mainly in the areas of real estate and land use, and government regulation. He served as Chief of Staff to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley from 1992 through 1995. Mr. Chico is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Urban League, DePaul University, and is one of the founders of the Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce.

Joseph Dominguez
Joseph Dominguez   Senior VP, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Public Policy and Communications, Exelon Corp.

Mr. Dominguez is a senior VP for Exelon Corp., one of the nation's largest electricity companies. He oversees Exelon's federal regulatory compliance, controls, government affairs and communications. He also is senior VP of state governmental affairs for Exelon Generation Co. Dominguez joined Exelon in 2002 as associate general counsel. In 2009, he became Senior VP of Communications and in 2010 he became Senior VP of Federal Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy.

Gabriel A. Fuentes
Gabriel A. Fuentes   Partner, Jenner & Block, Law Firm

Mr. Fuentes is a former federal prosecutor and professional journalist who practices primarily in white collar cases, antitrust litigation and First Amendment practices. He joined Jenner & Block in 1994 and became a partner in 2000. Mr. Fuentes co-chairs the firm's Pro Bono Committee and has maintained an active pro bono practice.

Phil Fuentes
Phil Fuentes   Member, Board of Directors, City of Chicago Regional Transportation Authority

Mr. Fuentes serves on the Board's Audit and Planning committees and Bus Rapid Transit sub-committee. Additionally, he is owner of a chain of McDonald restaurants in Chicago and Cicero. He has been presented the Ronald McDonald Award by the McDonald's Corporation for demonstrating extraordinary community service. He has also received two presidential citations from the town of Cicero.

Ana Gil-Garcia, Ed.D.
Ana Gil-Garcia, Ed.D.   Professor, Dept. of Educational Leadership and Development, Northeastern Illinois University

Dr. Gil-Garcia is a three-time Fullbright scholar and has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She has additional expertise in the areas of psychometrics and global teaching and learning strategies across content areas. She is the author of 17 journal articles and a presenter both nationally and internationally.

Rick Gomez
Rick Gomez   Vice President, Marketing, Coors Family of Brands, MillerCoors LLC

Mr. Gomez is responsible for leading the marketing plans for a $2.6 billion portfolio of brands consisting of Coors Light and Coors Banquet.  He oversees all aspects of the marketing mix.  His top priorities include developing the strategy for the Coors brand, managing the brand's advertising and identifying new growth opportunities.  Prior to MillerCoors, Rick worked at PepsiCo for 8 years and the Quaker Oats Company for 10 years.

Rey B. Gonzalez
Rey B. Gonzalez   Vice President, State, Legislative and Community Affairs, Commonwealth Edison

As vice president of State, Legislative and Community Affairs, Mr. Gonzalez is involved with Commonwealth Edison, a subsidiary of Exelon. He assists in building and strengthening relationships with suppliers and community organizations. Prior to his current role, Gonzalez was the VP of Corporate Diversity for Exelon Corp. He is a member of many community boards, and serves as chairperson of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.

Marco E. Jacome
Marco E. Jacome   CEO, Healthcare Alternative Systems Inc.

Under Mr. Jacome's leadership, H.A.S. has grown from a budget of $1.8 million to $8 million, and from four facilities in the Chicago area to 10. He is a member of the Hispanic Latino Caucus for the Target Capacity Expansion for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the Cultural Competency and Diversity Network and CSAT Hispanic/Latino Stakeholders.

Annette R. Martinez
Annette R. Martinez   VP of Operations-Human Resources, State Farm Insurance

In her 22 years at State Farm, Ms. Martinez has worked in several departments, including Life/Health Insurance, Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion. Additionally, she has served as an instructor for Junior Achievement of Central Illinois and a board member for the McLean County YWCA.

Iris Martinez
Iris Martinez   State Senator, 20th District, State of Illinois

Ms. Martinez made history on the day she was sworn in by becoming the first Hispanic woman in Illinois to be elected to the state Senate. She again made history in January 2007 when Senate President Emil Jones Jr. named her Assistant Majority Leader. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Pensions and Investments Committee, which she chaired from 2005 to 2007. She is also a member of the Executive, Labor, Housing and Community Affairs and Public Health Committees.

Michael E. Martinez
Michael E. Martinez   Partner, K&L Gates LLP

Mr. Martínez concentrates his practice on multidistrict class actions and arbitrations involving a wide spectrum of antitrust and complex commercial litigation issues. He also counsels clients on antitrust regulatory matters, helps them obtain approval for mergers and acquisitions, prepare Hart-Scott-Rodino filings, respond to Second Requests and negotiate licensing issues.  Mr. Martinez has substantial experience seeking and defending emergency injunction matters involving trade secrets, covenants not to compete and unfair competition.

Salvador Mendoza
Salvador Mendoza   VP Diversity & Inclusion, North America Operations, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Mr. Mendoza oversees Hyatt's diversity efforts for women and minorities, community relations and training.  He manages ongoing partnerships with: National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, the National Council of La Raza and  Black Colleges and Universities.

Ricardo Meza
Ricardo Meza   Head, Office of the Executive Inspector General

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Meza was the Midwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.  Meza served for more than a decade in the U.S. Attorney's Office, where he prosecuted more than 30 federal criminal trials involving public corruption, mail, wire and bank fraud.

Christopher P. Moreno
Christopher P. Moreno   Shareholder, Vedder Price Law Firm

Christopher P. Moreno has counseled a broad array of technology companies on complex subject matters, including medical devices, wireless communication networks, signal processing, semiconductors and computer software. Drawing upon his prior work as an electrical engineer, Mr. Moreno has prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications.

Antonio Munoz
Antonio Munoz   State Senator, Illinois

Sen. Antonio 'Tony' Mu–oz has served the 1st Senate District since January 1999 and was recently appointed Assistant Majority Leader.  Seantor Mu–oz is co-founder of the Latino Caucus, which consists of the four Latino legislators in the Senate and ten Latino members of the House of Representatives. The Caucus is dedicated to bettering the lives of Latinos, working to pass legislation that will have a positive impact on the lives of the nearly 1.4 million Latinos in Illinois.

Gregg Ontiveros
Gregg Ontiveros   CEO, Group O, Inc.

Mr. Ontiveros has been deeply involved in Group O and its operations for over 23 years. In addition to his role as CEO, he serves on the Board of Directors. He has been behind the company's significant growth trajectory over the past few years, and has been instrumental in establishing and expanding key financial partners and client relationships that have secured a solid foundation for Group O's continued growth.

Jose D. Padilla
Jose D. Padilla   VP and General Counsel, DePaul University

Mr. Padilla directs an office of seven distinguished attorneys, drawn from some of the best law schools in the nation and from some of the best law firms in Chicago. They provide advice and counsel on a wide range of legal issues, including governance, compliance, employment, litigation, contracts, intellectual property, constitutional law and higher education regulations. Under his leadership, the Office of the General Counsel instituted a program of monthly seminars on topics of interest to university clients.

Richard L. Rodriguez
Richard L. Rodriguez   President, Chicago Transit Authority

Mr. Rodriguez heads the nation's second largest public transit system, serving Chicago and 40 communities.  On an average weekday, CTA provides 1.8 million rides. Prior to joining the CTA, Rodriguez was Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation, which oversees the Chicago airport system.  During his tenure, O'Hare and Midway Airports transported nearly 95 million passengers and shipped more than 1.7 million tons of cargo each year.

Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez   Senior Director of Diversity Initiatives and Corporate Learning, Kaplan University

Dr. Rodriguez oversees curriculum design, course development, and course delivery for Kaplan's MBA programs. Prior to Kaplan, he taught at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University.  Prior to academia, Robert held human resource leadership roles at several Fortune 500 firms, including Target Corp., 3M Co. and BP Amoco.

Hipolito (Paul) Roldan
Hipolito (Paul) Roldan   CEO, Hispanic Housing Development Corp.

Mr. Roldan has developed more than 3,100 affordable apartments and townhomes in 30 developments for families and elderly residents of several Hispanic communities in and around the Chicago area. In addition, he has initiated the development of more than 82,000 square feet of commercial space in five Chicago-based business developments. Previous to his experience with Hispanic housing, Mr. Roldan developed low-income housing in Brooklyn, New York.

Jesse H. Ruiz
Jesse H. Ruiz   Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP, Law Firm

Mr. Ruiz oversees a large variety of business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, reorganizations and capital financing. He counsels key business clients on corporate governance issues and on the formation of business entities in the United States, Latin America and throughout Europe. He also serves as co-chair of the firm's diversity committee. In addition, Ruiz serves on the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Edison Co.

Daniel Solis
Daniel Solis   Alderman, 25th Ward, City of Chicago

In Oct. 2009, Mr. Solis was appointed chairman of the Committee on Zoning. He has served in a variety of positions leadership positions in Chicago, including teacher, founder and Executive Director of Latino Youth Alternative High School. An ally of Mayor Richard Daley, in 2001 he was appointed president pro tempore of the City Council, where he oversaw proceedings in the mayor's absence. Solis is a key part of Chicago's political landscape, representing a burgeoning Hispanic community.

Carmen Velasquez
Carmen Velasquez   Executive Director, Alivio Medical Center

As a former community activist, social worker and founder of Alivio Medical Center, Ms. Vel‡squez has spent most of her life advocating for universal health care. Ms. Vel‡squez has received numerous awards, including the Hispanic Center of Excellence in Medicine Certificate of Appreciation; and the prestigious Ohtli Award bestowed by the Mexican Government on distinguished members of the Mexican community in the U.S. for outstanding contribution to the advancement of Mexican communities abroad.