National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 20 Years of Latina Leadership  
 
 
 
 

ELP Header



Executive Leadership Program


Twitter
LinkedIn Facebook
Donate Now

Sponsored By:

Anheuser Bush

Herbalife

Center for Creative Leadership

Microsoft

Miller Coors

UPS

 

   

ELP Class of 2014


Shirley Acevedo Buontempo

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo
Founder/Executive Director
Latino U College Access
Mahopac, NY

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo is a nonprofit and marketing professional with over 25 years of experience. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Shirley is a bi-lingual Hispanic professional whose first language was Spanish. She began her career in Hispanic Advertising and Marketing working for the Hispanic Marketing division of Grey Advertising and Saatchi and Saatchi. Shirley also worked as a Brand manager at CPC International and as a Hispanic Marketing Consultant on projects for Coca-Cola, Avon Products and Schering Plough. Through her marketing experience Shirley has developed strong skills in strategic planning and consumer marketing. Shirley began her nonprofit career assisting the Latino community. Her non-profit experience includes 10 years as a Program and Volunteer Manager at Neighbors Link and as the Assistant Director of Client Services at The Community Center of Northern Westchester. In 2012, Shirley founded and launched Latino U College Access. A nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing college enrollment and success among first generation Latino youth. Shirley’s passion and dedication is to serve the Latino community by helping students pursue their educational goals and meet their aspirations. Shirley has a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from Pace University. She lives in Somers, NY with her husband Anthony and two daughters.

Back to top

Lymaris Albors

Lymaris Albors
Director of Project Management
Acacia Network
New York, NY

Lymaris Albors is currently working at Acacia Network, a nonprofit organization in New York City. In her capacity as the Director of Project Management, she is responsible for special new business opportunities, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Acacia, served as the Assistant Site Administrator for the William F. Ryan Women and Children‘s Community Health Center where she was responsible for the day to day operations of the delivery of primary care services of the center. Lymaris also served as a Project Director and Capacity Building Specialist at Cicatelli Associates Inc. in her capacity at Cicatelli, she provided technical assistance such as capacity building, implementing best practices, conducting patient flow analyzes to improve efficiency, to health agencies throughout New York State, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Lymaris earned a Master Degrees in Public Communications from Fordham University and received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico. Lymaris lives in New York City with her husband Tino Hernandez and she is the proud aunt of thirteen nephews. Lymaris enjoys reading a good book, taking yoga classes, dancing salsa and traveling.

Back to top

Griselda Aldrete

Griselda Aldrete
Executive Director
Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI

Griselda Aldrete is the Executive Director of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM). Most recently served as the Executive Director at the Cream City Foundation, an organization she also serves on the board of directors. Aldrete was also the Director of Corporate Events at UMOS, a former criminal justice instructor at Bryant and Stratton College and an investigative reporter and photographer for ¡Aquí! Milwaukee magazine. She received her B.A. from Marquette University in Criminology/Law Studies and Spanish, her M.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and is currently pursuing her J.D. and M.B.A. from Marquette University. She currently serves on the board of directors for St. Joan Antida High School and is a proud member of Professional Dimensions, TEMPO Milwaukee and Milwaukee Forum. Aldrete also serves on the advisory board for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and Visit Milwaukee Multicultural Committee. Most recently, she completed the Future Milwaukee Leadership Program at Marquette University and was named one of the 2013 Business Journal's 40 under 40.

Back to top

Cynthia Aragon

Cynthia Aragon
Policy Advisor/Community and Constituent Outreach Director
Arizona House of Representatives
Phoenix, AZ

Cynthia Aragon has worked at the Arizona House of Representatives for the past five years. She is the community and constituent outreach director and policy advisor for the Democratic Caucus. Cynthia earned her bachelor’s degree in business and public administration from Arizona State University. Additionally, she has extensive community organizing and outreach experience and has worked on many campaigns, including a recent congressional race. On a personal level, Cynthia comes from humble beginnings and is a single mother raising a teenage son. She is family-oriented and believes family is the most important foundation to have. Her dedication and commitment to community service is exemplary. One of her best qualities is the tenacity that she applies to completing any job she commits to whether it is a part of her employment or a volunteer project. Cynthia demonstrates her ability to lead as well as her desire to make a difference in her community. Everything she does enhances her reputation as a tireless servant on and off the job. Cynthia has been recognized for her community and public service contribution with the 40 Under 40 Hispanic Leaders Award in 2010 and the 40 Under 40 Leaders Business Journal Award in 2011.

Back to top

Norma Figueroa

Norma Figueroa
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX

Dr. Norma Isa Figueroa works as assistant professor at the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington since 2010. Besides teaching at UT, Norma serves on several committees and conducts research on gender and architecture, and on healthcare design. Her writings about female architects in Puerto Rico have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented in national and international forums. Prior to joining UT-Arlington, Norma taught at the university level in Puerto Rico and Kuwait. Countries where she also developed a practice that spans more than 25 years, 18 of those in Kuwait. In Puerto Rico she taught Community Design Studio and gave students real-life projects with non-profit clients like the Rafael Cepeda Bomba y Plena School in Santurce. At UT-Arlington, she has been able to incorporate service learning in her courses and students have done object design for the homeless, the aging population, and for autistic and Down syndrome children. Norma obtained a PhD in History from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, a Master in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a BA in Environmental Design from the School Of Architecture, also at UPR. She has three independent and successful adult children.

Back to top

Melody Gonzalez

Melody Gonzalez
Latino Appointment Program Director
National Hispanic Leadership Agenda
Arlington, VA

Melody Gonzales is the Presidential Appointments Program Director for the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 36 of the pre-eminent Latino civil rights, non-profit and advocacy organizations in the nation. She is managing a new program to increase and support Latinos pursuing presidential appointments, state-level appointments and careers in the federal government. After graduating from the University of California San Diego, Melody began her career working for her local chamber of commerce managing the city’s leadership program and serving as General Manager of the Chula Vista Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also worked as a writer and assistant producer for San Diego’s NBC News affiliate before leaving to attend graduate school at Georgetown University, where she earned a Master of Public Policy degree concentrating in International Policy Development. Passionate about helping strengthen diversity in the political pipeline, Melody served as Vice President of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, founded The New Latino Movement, and has been active in encouraging young Latino professionals to get involved in fundraising for charitable and political causes. Among her recent honors, Melody was named in The Huffington Post as one of the “Top Latino Voices to Follow on Twitter,” a "GameChanger of 2012" by Politic365 and UCSD's young alumni of year in 2010.

Back to top

Raquel Gutierrez

Raquel Gutierrez
Associate Director
St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
Tempe, AZ

Dr. Raquel Gutiérrez is committed to cross fertilization between sectors and world-views to realize solutions to complex social issues. Raquel’s has worked in the social sector for 25 years as nonprofit line staff, management, and consultant. As an Associate Director for St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, she is responsible for developing, managing, and supporting efforts that build the capacity of community stakeholders to effectively work along the policy continuum. Among her peers she is known for master facilitation, freely sharing resources, building relationships between groups unfamiliar to one another, partnering with trusted and resourceful associates, challenging people to explore possibilities outside their routine paradigms.

Back to top

Verenice Gutierrez

Verenice Gutierrez
Principal
Portland Public Schools
Hillsboro, OR

Verenice Gutierrez is a first generation Mexican American, born and raised in El Paso, TX. Verenice’s parents are both from Mexico. She is the oldest of five girls. She is proud to have been raised to value bilingualism and biculturalism. Verenice was the first member of her family to attend college. She began her educational pursuits at the age of 16 and spent 17 years pursuing her various degrees. Verenice holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Bilingual Special Education from the University of Texas at El Paso, and she completed her Doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a dual minor in Instructional Technology and Educational Administration from New Mexico State University in May of 2007. Verenice has worked as a Bilingual Elementary Teacher, an Instructional Technology Coordinator, and a Data Analyst. She served as the Assistant Principal at Hosford Middle School for last three years. Verenice has been serving as the Principal of Scott K-8 with Portland Public Schools since 2010. Verenice’s greatest accomplishment is the creation of a Future Hispanic Leaders clubs for adolescents. The clubs promote pride in heritage, culture, and language for the Hispanic community. “Seeing the students finally feel empowered. Having them feel valued and proud of who they are. All those beautiful Hispanic faces now held high is what inspires me to go to work every day.”

Back to top

Marisa Herrera

Marisa Herrera
Director of Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Dr. Marisa Herrera is the Director of Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. A native of Arizona, Dr. Herrera served in past positions at UCLA, was the Associate Director of El Centro Chicano and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford University and served as the Assistant Dean of Students on Semester at Sea, where she worked alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Dr. Herrera received her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California, with her research focusing on Leadership and the Globalization of Higher Education. She holds a Masters degree in Business Management from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness from Arizona State University. She currently serves as a National Advisory Board Member to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and the College Board's Native American Student Advocacy Institute. She was a recent delegate for the College Board's Chinese Bridge Delegation and has circumnavigated the world, traveling to 15 countries and 5 continents. She is active in her community and is a strong advocate for undocumented students, currently serving as a member on the Washington State Coalition for HB1079.

Back to top

Gia Irlando

Gia Irlando
Community Relations Ombudsman

Office of the Independent Monitor, City and County of Denver
Denver, CO

Gianina Irlando (Gia) is from Denver, Colorado. Gia attended UC Berkeley and California State University, Hayward, focusing on politics, communications and Chicano studies. As the child of union organizers and later as a student senator on campus, she participated in numerous political campaigns, including efforts to increase Latino recruitment and retention, Latino faculty hiring, and equal representation for people of color in elected office. She has spearheaded numerous non-profits and campaigns in California, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado since that time. As a campaign manager and political consultant in Colorado, she ran campaigns that elected the youngest Latino in history to the Denver City Council and the youngest Latina in history to the Colorado State house. Gia is now the Community Relations Ombudsman for Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM). She is responsible for outreach to Denver residents to understand community concerns regarding law enforcement, and she manages the nationally-recognized police/community mediation program. Gia was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Colorado Latino Forum, the largest statewide advocacy organization focusing on issues of importance to Latinos in Colorado. She also serves on the board of the Youth Empowerment Support Services – YESS Institute. She has three children who are all enrolled in college in the Denver area.

Back to top

Daphne Outerbridge Louie

Daphne Outerbridge Louie
Claim Manager
State Farm Insurance
Columbia, MO

Daphne Outerbridge Louie grew up in Panama, Central America, and relocated to the United States in 1992. She began her career at State Farm Insurance in Victoria, Texas as a claim representative and is currently a Claim Manager with responsibility for the non-complex (Express0 Auto Claims process. Her career has taken her to many locations and she currently resides in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband, John, and 9 year old daughter, Daniella. Daphne holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua in the Rep. of Panama. She has also achieved the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. She currently serves on the Board of the Heart of Missouri United Way.

Back to top

Veronikha Salazar

Veronikha Salazar
Associate Dean of Students
Henderson State University
Arkadelphia, AR

Dr. Veronikha Salazar is the Associate Dean of students at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR. Before joining HSU, she was the Director of Hispanic Outreach and Retention at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA. She also served as the Associate director for Leadership, Education and Development from 2008-2011 and the program Coordinator for International Student and Scholars from 2001-2007; both at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Chiclayo, Peru, Dr. Salazar earned an Ed.D. in Adult Education with emphasis in Multicultural Education and Instructional Technology and an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Salazar is an accomplished educator; she is also a sought-after speaker on a range of issues relating to diversity. She has served on numerous boards and committees in the states of Arkansas and Georgia, and has an extensive list of presentations she has made. Her many awards and recognitions range from Outstanding Faculty Award/NAACP Image Award, Heroes de Corazon Award nominee for Outstanding Teacher to Most Outstanding University Faculty/Staff by the UofA chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc.
She is currently the president and CEO of ARBLL – Association Rosa Barrios Llumpo; a non-profit organization serving illiterate Peruvian women.

Back to top

Anitza San Miguel

Anitza San Miguel
Interim Associate Dean, Science and Applied Technologies Division
Northern Virginia Community College
Reston, VA

Dr. Anitza San Miguel is the interim Associate Dean for the Science and Applied Technologies Division at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Manassas Campus. She was Assistant Dean of Science and Assistant Professor of Biology prior to becoming the Associate Dean. She has taught General Biology, Microbiology and Cell Biology courses. Prior to working at NOVA, Dr. San Miguel worked at the National Institutes of Health as a student and as a full-time federal employee. She then began working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Examiner. Dr. San Miguel has a doctorate degree in Higher Education from The George Washington University, a master's degree in Biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University and bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico.


Back to top

Nancy Sanchez-Warren

Nancy Sanchez-Warren
Director of Academic Advisement and Student Development
Kaplan Educational Foundation, Kaplan Inc.
Brooklyn, NY

Nancy Lee Sánchez-Warren is the Director of Academic Advising and Student Development for the Kaplan Educational Foundation, joining the organization in 2006. She designed and implemented the Kaplan Leadership programmatic model serving underrepresented minority community college students seeking transfer to competitive four-year institutions. Currently, KEF yields a 92% bachelor’s completion rate, earning Nancy The Kaplan Way Leadership Award for Student success in the Fall of 2013. Nancy has over 16 years of expertise providing greater access to higher education, improving the college experience, and supporting leadership among low-income, underrepresented and non-traditional students through collaborative partnerships and services that directly target factors affecting degree-attainment gaps. Nancy has a proven record of success in developing the whole student while preparing them for a lifetime of personal, financial, and socially conscious professional. Previously, Nancy worked in Kingsborough Community College’s College Discovery Bilingual Studies Program, ensuring greater access and delivering support services to highest-needs students. Nancy graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS degree in Education from Long Island University, and holds a Master’s in Sociology from Brooklyn College. Nancy was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the NYC at the age of twelve. She resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.

Back to top

Élida Sarmiento

Élida Sarmiento
Branch Chief
Social Security Administration
Washington, DC

Élida Sarmiento started working for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1992 as a Summer Aide in the Denver, CO. Since that time, she's developed an extensive SSA résumé through a variety of increasingly responsible staff and management positions in a number of different field and regional components in the Denver and San Francisco Regions, as well as in Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland and Falls Church, Virginia. She is currently a Branch Chief for Employee Services and Career Program Branch where she provides professional and career development for 13,000 employees in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review a component of SSA. ODAR is responsible for holding hearings and issuing decisions as part of the SSA’s process for determining whether or not a person may receive benefits. It is one of the largest administrative adjudication systems in the world. Elida is a graduate of SSA’s Advance Leadership Development Program-Class V (2010-2011). A prestigious and highly competitive leadership development program in the agency. Throughout her career, Elida has received numerous awards, such as the Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources team honor award on behalf of the Hispanic Affairs Advisory Council, the Denver Regional Commissioner’s Citation, and an Executive Recognition Award.

Back to top

Martha Troncoza

Martha Troncoza
Vice President, Air Operations
Viking Cruises
Sun Valley, CA

As Vice President of Air Operations for Viking Cruises, Martha Troncoza directs a team of more than 50 staff responsible for selling and arranging for air travel in conjunction with the company’s cruises, cruisetours and land extensions. In addition to managing all aspects of her department, she is also a valued member of the company’s executive team. With background in computer programming and IT, a bachelor’s in psychology and an MBA in finance, Ms. Troncoza began her career with Trans World Airlines and Singapore Airlines, helping them leverage technology and automation; she then managed market planning and yield for Cunard and Princess Cruises before joining Viking in 2007.

Back to top