Estuardo Rodríguez is a principal and co-founder focused on Government Affairs. He specializes in direct lobbying in the financial services and telecommunications industries. Having cultivated a powerful network of media relationships, Estuardo is also Raben’s Counsel on Media and Communications. Throughout his diverse political career, Estuardo’s commitment to outreach in the Hispanic community has been a constant. At the DNC, he built a cross-platform, Spanish-language media network that was leveraged in support of John Kerry’s presidential campaign. He was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development under Secretaries Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo, and has worked on behalf of the U.S. Department of State as an independent political analyst in Latin America and Europe. Estuardo draws on this expertise, along with a reputation as a tough and charismatic professional to advise telecommunications clients on their engagement with civil rights and political leaders, identifying partnership opportunities and ways to mutually support innovation in the industry, while at the same time providing low-income and diverse communities with the access needed to compete. At Raben, he advises nonprofit organizations such as the Hispanic Federation, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Latino Corporate Directors Association, as well as corporate clients including Charter Communications, TIAA Institute, and Sprint. Estuardo has been featured as a political analyst and commentator on Hill TV, CNN, CNN en Español, NTN 24, Univisión, and Telemundo. Estuardo also employs his influence and leadership on a number of nonprofit and industry boards. He currently serves as the president and CEO of the Friends of the American Latino Museum, a campaign to create a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino on or National Mall. He is also a co-founder of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Estuardo has always been drawn to the District’s unique position at the nexus of national and international politics. He considers himself fortunate to have achieved the opportunity to educate and advocate on behalf of political and community actors to advance key policy priorities.
Nina Vaca is Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, the largest Latina-owned workforce solutions provider in America, and the fastest-growing woman-owned company in the country in 2015 & 2018. Vaca is one of the few Latinas in the nation serving on the boards of publicly traded companies. In addition to her business leadership, she has served as a civic leader and philanthropist, working relentlessly to expand opportunities for minorities and women in business. In 2014 Vaca was appointed by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Vaca is a German Marshall Fellow, a British American Project Fellow, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2016 she was inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum. She is a recipient of the coveted Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneur award. ALPFA and Fortune Magazine named Vaca one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in America for the last four years.
Tony Plana recently starred as Ignacio Suarez, the widowed father to America Ferrera’s Ugly Betty, in ABC’s landmark, groundbreaking hit series for which he received the 2006 Golden Satellite Award from the International Press Academy, an Imagen Award, and an Alma Award. Ugly Betty was the first Spanish speaking series to be adapted to English for a major American network and received the highest ratings and the most critical acclaim of any Latino-based show in the history of television, most notably 11 Emmy nominations and a Golden Glove Award for best comedy. Previously, he also starred in Showtime’s original series, Resurrection Boulevard, and was nominated for two Alma Awards for best actor. Resurrection Boulevard was the first series to be produced, written, directed and starring Latinos, and the most awarded series in Showtime’s history including an Alma Award for the best television series of 2002. Besides recurring roles on Alpha House, Madam Secretary, Jane the Virgin, Cristela, Motive, The Fosters, and the CW’s newest hit, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, his latest television features are Meddling Mom for Hallmark Movie Channel with Sonia Braga and The Jodi Arias Story for Lifetime where he plays the renowned prosecutor Juan Martinez. He has directed two feature film comedies, A Million to Juan with Paul Rodriguez and The Princess and the Barrio Boy, the first Latino family film to be produced by Showtime, starring academy award nominee Edward James Olmos and Maria Conchita Alonso. The film received two 2001 Alma Award nominations for Best Made for Television Movie and Best Ensemble Acting and won the 2001 Imagen Award for Best Made for Television Movie. Plana is the co-founder and Executive Artistic Director of the EastLA Classic Theatre (ECT), a group comprised of multicultural, classically trained theatre professionals. For the past 18 years, the EastLA Classic Theatre has been dedicated to serving economically challenged communities through educational outreach programs for primary and secondary schools. Through the EastLA Classic Theatre, Plana has challenged the boundaries of the teaching and learning of language through an innovative approach called Language in Play (LIP). Working directly with language arts teachers, LIP utilizes the performing arts to impact literacy skills in academically at risk and bi-lingual students.