Adriana Torres is a transformational leader and a global operation visionary, with more than 30 years of experience in large and global businesses in the technology, financial and manufacturing sectors. She combines her strong people skills, operations foundation, turnaround and integration expertise, and community engagement with a track record of achieving a first-class customer experience, service excellence, scale gains and productivity outcomes. Adriana has managed P&L units up to $1.0B and has led up to 15,000 employee organizations. She is recognized for her skills and ability to turn around challenging operational environments, to drive business and process improvements and ROI initiatives. Adriana is currently the Senior Vice President Global Head of Support at Oracle Corporation. She joined Oracle in June 2016 to lead the turnaround of the technical customer support organization as part of Oracle’s acquisition strategy of Micros Point of Sales and Property Management Solutions Systems. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President of Global Customer Care Services at Visa, Inc. At Visa, Adriana developed and implemented a new customer experience strategy and digital transformation to better serve 2.2 billion Visa card holders. During her tenure, she was the recipient of the Top Entrepreneur Award in the Corporate Champion for Diversity & Inclusion category by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Prior to Visa she spent 18 years with Citigroup, where se hold the position of Managing Director, Global Head of Customer Service for Consumer Business. During her career in Citi she led customer service operations strategy and initiatives for Consumer and Corporate Bank Businesses. Adriana started her professional career at British Petroleum in Brazil, working her way from trainee, to the lead in Quality Management & Human Resources. Adriana is a strong advocate of Diversity & Inclusion. She is member of the Board of Directors of HITEC, Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council, a non-profit global executive leadership organization of senior business and technology executives; Chair of the International School of Management (ISM) D&I Committee; member of the Advisory Board for the National Diversity Council Orlando Chapter and, member of Oracle’s D&I Executive Council. She has been recipient of many industry awards for her contribution and engagement with the community. In 2018, Adriana was recipe of the Powerful Women on Bay Awards, and Executive Excellence Award from great Minds in STEM. She was nominated HITEC 100 Most Influential Hispanic in Technology for three years consecutive: 2019, 2020 and 2021. Adriana holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Fla., a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Campinas PUCC, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with an emphasis in International Business from the International School of Management in Paris, France.
Al Morales joined Tech Data as Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) in January 2021. In this role, he leads Tech Data’s global transformation initiatives, driving efforts to deliver improved experiences and greater agility for both colleagues and channel partners across the technology ecosystem. He oversees the global Transformation Office Team to enable and deliver Tech Data’s transformation strategy. Previously, Al served as CTO at AmerisourceBergen, leading a company-wide transformation program focused on enabling business excellence and innovation. Before becoming CTO, Al joined AmerisourceBergen in 2014 as Senior Vice President of Finance. With more than 25 years of senior-level transformation and financial leadership experience at companies including AT&T, Schering-Plough, Tyco International and Pentair Valves and Controls, Al is a passionate and inclusive leader who understands how every colleague can contribute to companywide transformation. Al holds a master’s degree in Taxation and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, both from Florida International University. He is also fluent in English, Spanish and French — and continues to work on Portuguese.
Alberto is a Senior Diversity Officer at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). Born in Caracas, Venezuela. He completed an MBA from Saint Leo University, Tampa, FL Over 17 years of experience in corporate, educational recruiting and workforce development, focusing on diversity and inclusion. He gained this experience through his talent acquisition work for Fieldcore (GE), Coca-Cola, Humana and Nova Southeastern University. He worked as a refugee case manager and job developer for Catholic Charities and Lutheran Services in Florida, helping refugees to get an education and find employment. In 2013, he created and launched Metro Trabajo with WMATA in Washington, DC to promote employment opportunities to recruit Latinos in the DC metropolitan area. This initiative helped increased doubling the number of Latino candidates hired by Metro since its inception in the Authority. His community work includes representing WMATA as Appointed Commissioner of the Mayor of the District of Columbia on the Adult Education Career Pathway Task Force, Chairman of the Board of the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council, Montgomery College-Hispanic Business & Training Institute Advisory Council Member, Director-Board of Directors of Latinos in Transit and Chairman of the Workforce Development Committee of the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Alberto has been recognized by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as “Corporate Affirmative Action Leader of the Year 2017,” and considered one of the 100 nation’s capital most influential people for the Hispanic community (Powermeter 100 Nominated by El Tiempo Latino/Washington Post Cohort 2017 and 2019), Prospanica Brillante Award for Community Service Excellence in 2019. Also, awardee of Top 100 Diversity Officers in the U.S. 2021 by the National Council of Diversity. In the Washington Latino community, Alberto is known for hosting Minuto Metro, a TV broadcast produced by Telemundo, featuring Metro news and updates in Spanish.
Anais Calderon is a Business Development Representative at NielsenIQ. Prior to NielsenIQ, her nearly 20 years of experience spans customer service, digital marketing, and customer relationship management for major restaurant brands, and consumer packaged goods manufacturers. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at National University and a licensed Florida REALTOR® . On her free time, Anais volunteers to foster cats and kittens for Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida. Much of what goes into her foster volunteering, Anais brings back to her working style— to be a true, authentic, caring person others can feel safe with. “The most rewarding part of what I do professionally and as a volunteer is seeing that sigh of relief from a human or relaxed gaze from an animal that shows they feel safe, that they can trust me.” Anais has a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish and Graduate Certificate in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from the University of South Florida and an M.A. in Strategic Communications from National University. Anais currently resides in Margate, FL with her husband (a proud U.S. Army National Guard Veteran of Bolivian heritage), 5 cats, and 2 small dogs. She grew up in Miami-Dade County since the age of 4 and has lived in different areas of South Florida and Tampa throughout her life. Anais es orgullosamente una hija de inmigrantes desde la República Dominicana- nacida en los Estados Unidos en Nueva York.
Andrés Tapia is a Senior Client Partner and is Korn Ferry’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist. He has been one of the leading voices in shaping a contemporary, next-generation approach to diversity and inclusion. The approach is global, deeply integrated into talent systems, and focused on enabling marketplace success. He has over 25 years of experience as a C-suite management consultant, diversity executive, organizational development and training professional, and journalist. Throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and his native Latin America, Mr. Tapia has served clients in shaping their enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion business cases and strategies across industries—including financial, technology, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government, not-for-profits, and education—with dozens of Global 500 organizations as well as non-US multinationals in Brazil, South Korea, and India. Mr. Tapia, the author of a groundbreaking book, The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity, as well as the co-author of Auténtico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success and of The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leadership: Unleashing the Power of All of Us. He is a frequently sought-after speaker globally on the topic of diversity and inclusion. He has been published in major dailies throughout the US and Latin America, primarily through his writing for the New America Media wire service as well as on the Huffington Post. He is the recipient of numerous leadership and diversity awards and is currently serving on the boards of Leadership Greater Chicago, Jobs For The Future, and Ravinia Festival. He is also a Commissioner on the Highland Park (IL) Housing Commission overseeing that city's Inclusionary Housing code.
Ani Palacios is a Peruvian author and journalist who emigrated to the U.S. in 1988. She has built a career in the world of Latino literature in the United States and abroad. Editor of Contacto Latino and Pukiyari Publishers. Conducts the literature podcast, Primera Persona. In the last ten years Pukiyari has published close to 150 books and worked with more than 200 internationally-located authors, many of which went on to become well-known writers. To discover new talent and promote a new Latin American boom in Spanish language, she has organized several international literature contests. As an author, she has won ten International Latino Book Awards (including three first place for best novel) and holds author contracts with Random House. Her books include: “Nos vemos en Purgatorio”, “Plumbago Torres y el sueño americano”, “99 Amaneceres”, “Noche de Penas”, “No Strings Attached: Your Journey to Unconditional Loving”, “El último clóset”, “Paloma aventurera”, “Hay un muerto en mi balcón”, “Los amantes de la viuda Cuevas”, “Herida pendientes”. Her first book, “Living in a Double World: A Practical Guided Tour Through the Immigration Experience”, published under the Ana M. Quevedo name, was later repurposed and launched as webisodes. Has done presentations in professional conferences, college, and book fairs, in the United States and abroad. Organized the International Latino Book Fair Ohio 2017 & 2018. Recognized by Who is Who in Latino Columbus as a Game Changer in Literature. Has received the Premio Mi Gente in recognition for her work with Latino Literature. Serves in the Indiana delegation of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE) a branch of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (Real Academia de la Lengua Española, RAE) as President of the Committee to Recognize and Promote Latino Authors who write in Spanish in the U.S. She’s coined the term “Literatura Fusión” for the content produced by these authors. Featured in “How they Made it in America” (Fiona Citkin, 2019), a book that focuses on successful immigrant women, including highly recognizable names such as Isabel Allende.
Antonina Robles is a Program Manager at HP Inc. She leads on quality solutions for printer setup for Small/Medium Business printers. She is Diversity ambassador at HP where is actively involved with diversity recruiting and other inclusion activities. Antonina has served in the board of directors for various local & national organizations. She has received various awards for her community involvement including the Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year Honoree in 2014 and in 2012, she received the award Woman of Today & Tomorrow. Most recently she was awarded the Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) 2021. Antonina Robles attended Boise State University and graduated with a degree in Computer Information Systems. As a hobby, she is the cofounder, dancer, and representative of the Aztec dance group Tonatiuh. She loves sharing this hobby with all her daughters as a way of sharing her traditions with them. She is married and has five daughters.
Candelario Cervantez (he, him, his, él) is a business executive who opens educational opportunities to historically underrepresented and underserved minority populations and a champion for educational equity and excellence. Candelario is also a strong advocate of the promotion and advancement of diverse leaders in all industries. Currently, he is the Head of the National Latinx Alliances on the National Public Partnerships and Government Affairs Team at Teach For America. Teach For America’s mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. At Teach For America he also serves on the Latinx Advisory Council. The Council analyzes organizational data through the Latinx perspective with the intention of understanding, communicating current reality of the Latinx community in the organization. He is currently the President Emeritus of Prospanica, formally the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Dallas-Fort Worth board. The board focuses on the advancement of Latinxs to executive level positions across all industries. He is also currently serving on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Houston Advisory Council which focuses on empowering Latinx families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Latinx American students as possible. He is also currently serving as Co-Chair of the National Diversity Council’s TX CEO Roundtable that is working to help Texas-based CEOs in advancing DEI in their organizations. Finally, he is the CEO of Art By Cervantez. The company focuses on utilizing art to connect with others on a deep level and to evoke passion, reflection and gratitude for the gifts of nature and faith. Candelario is an operations and strategic planning executive with over 15 years of expertise in the areas of business development, procurement, project management, fundraising, sales and non-profit management. He has served on a number of boards related to healthcare, K-12 initiatives, and higher education. He was one of the youngest members of the International Affairs Advisory Council of the Texas Medical Center. He also served on Rice University’s K-12 committee to help bring Rice University educational resources to underserved communities. Candelario holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and certificates from Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, and a certificate in Board Leadership from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. He lives with his wife Andrea K. Pihlaskari, Ph.D. in Houston, Texas.
Daisy Auger-Domínguez has made it her mission to make workplaces more equitable and inclusive. As the Chief People Officer at VICE Media Group, Daisy oversees human resources, diversity, equity and inclusion, and social impact practices globally. Her TEDx talk Inclusion Revolution and upcoming book with Seal Press by the same title calls on everyone, from an individual contributor to a CEO, to take on the work of dismantling inequity in the workplace. Daisy has designed and executed organizational transformations at Moody's Investors Service, The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Viacom, and founded Auger-Domínguez Ventures, a workplace culture consultancy. A dynamic speaker, writer and advisor, Daisy serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and The 19th.
Elizabeth Martinez is President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Ohio (BBBSCO), a social profit organization that creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships and helps all youth reach their biggest possible futures. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio is one of the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in the country, spanning 14 counties across Ohio and serving more than 4,700 children last year through one-to-one mentoring programs and Camp experiences. Committed to building mentoring capacity, safety, and sustainability, BBBSCO operates Mentor Central Ohio to support organizations in the community offering mentoring services. BBBSCO also has the distinction of being one of only two agencies nationwide that owns and operates its own camp, Camp Oty’Okwa in Hocking Hills. From 2003-2015 Elizabeth served in several roles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio including Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Programs, and Vice President of School-based and Hispanic Mentoring, becoming President and CEO in 2016. Under her leadership, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio received the 2008 “Our Familia” award from The Commission of Hispanic and Latino Affairs. Elizabeth, along with leaders from 12 other agencies, helped develop Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Hispanic Mentoring Initiative, which evolved into the model used by agencies nationwide. Elizabeth has over 18 years of experience working with children, youth and families. She received the 2004 “Lider de la Comunidad” award while serving as a Board Member for the Latino Empowerment Outreach Network (LEON) from 2004-2006. She has been featured by Columbus Business First as one of the “20 People to Know in Education”, in Who’s Who in Latino Columbus, and in The 2010 Women’s Book. Elizabeth was honored with the 2012 Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs, and the “Making a Difference” award at the 2010 Ohio Diversity Latino Talent and Leadership Conference for her work with youth. She was a member of the Franklin County’s Poverty Project Steering Committee and in 2017 she was recognized as a Woman WELDing the way honoree by Women for Economic Development and Leadership (WELD). In 2020, Elizabeth was recognized among the most admired executives in Central Ohio as an honoree of Columbus Business First’s C-Suite awards. She was also a finalist for 2020 Small Nonprofit CEO of the Year as presented by Columbus CEO magazine. Elizabeth currently serves on the Franklin County Children Services Board of Directors, the Human Service Chamber Board of Directors, the Columbus Africentric Early College Advisory Committee and the United Way Finance and Audit Committee. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is a Registered Corporate Coach with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC). Elizabeth is a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Ellen Rodrigues is a Service Assistant Professor at West Virginia University. She serves as the Interim Director of the LGBTQ+ Center and teaches a Women’s and Gender course focused on LGBTQ+ Perspectives. She is responsible for advancing the Center’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Through strategic partnerships, outreach initiatives and student engagement, Rodrigues implements advocacy efforts while overseeing programs and training that address the inclusion of queer, trans, gender nonbinary and all sexual orientations at WVU. For two years as assistant director of the LGBTQ+ Center, Rodrigues was responsible for implementing gender-inclusive practices, including providing nearly 35 safe zone trainings to more than 1,000 individuals each academic year. She also served as the faculty advisor for the minor in LGBTQ+ studies and as the supervisor of the Center’s student ambassadors. Before serving in this capacity, Ellen served the WVU community as a Diversity & AA/EO Specialist, and previously as a Sociology instructor at WVUP. Rodrigues is a WVU alumna and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science. Currently she is the Principal Investigator on a project to document Morgantown’s Queer History. Rodrigues was also recently awarded a grant to implement a peer education program on gender inclusive & anti-racist practices.
Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet (he/they) is the executive director of the Hope Community Center. Previously, he was the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Sr Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the City of Orlando. In this capacity, he proposed policy recommendations, programs, advocated for best practices on LGBTQ+ issues, immigrant and refugee affairs; as well as, outreach in the Muslim, Brazilian, Haitian American communities to encourage greater participation in city services. Previously, he was the Manager of Collaborative Partnerships at the City of Orlando. In this role, he served as the point of contact on behalf of the City on all issues focused on the long-term recovery from the Pulse tragedy. Felipe managed deliverable, removed barriers, and created qualifiers and quality standards for those served at the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC), a program created to serve those directly impacted by the Pulse tragedy. The OUAC was made possible by a collaboration between the City of Orlando, Orange County, and Heart of Florida United Way. He advocated and supported the various stakeholders of the mental health and social service systems, the LGBTQ+ community and communities of color, all whom are integral in the creation of a successful support system. Felipe is a proud immigrant from Brazil, and he came to Miami when he was 14 years old. In 2010, he walked on the Trail of Dreams, a 1,500 mile walk from Miami to Washington, DC, to share the stories of immigrant youth and to push for administrative relief for millions of undocumented immigrants. He also worked with Presente.org, an organization seeking to solve some of the most pressing issues impacting the Latino community through communication strategies. He co-directed GetEQUAL, a national social justice LGBTQ organization, and he served as the Deputy Managing Director at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the country. He worked at ThoughtWorks, a multinational software company, working at the Office of Social Change Initiatives as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. He graduated from Miami-Dade College with an Associates in Arts in International Relations and bachelor’s degree in Business Studies and a Minor in Economics from St. Thomas University. Felipe has a long track record of creating strategic and collaborative partnerships in philanthropy, government, private, and the non-profit sectors. His lived experience as an undocumented immigrant and LGBTQ+ person has been the guiding light for his advocacy for equity. He believes those most impacted by issues should be at the forefront of their own struggle for liberation, which it includes changing unjust laws, building solidarity movements, and life saving services. Most importantly, he believes in the power of love. Felipe is happily married to Luis Sousa-Lazaballet (he/him) and together they have a beautiful puppy, Cosito. He is on the board of Blisscares Healthcare and he is the chair of the One Orlando Alliance board of directors.
Francisco Criado serves as vice president, Next Generation Solutions for Tech Data. He is responsible for providing the strategic direction and driving sales performance across multiple routes to market and vendor lines in the Americas, while responding to industry, channel and market trends. This includes aligning strategies and actions to deliver a competitive advantage within the Cloud, Security and Data/IoT ecosystems, growing Tech Data’s brand recognition in world-class capabilities, and serving partners through strategically focused offerings. Criado joined Tech Data in 2017. Most recently, he served as vice president, Global Security Solutions and vice president of IBM Solutions, Americas for Tech Data where he developed strategy, drove growth and optimized vendor and customer engagement. Prior to his service at Tech Data, Criado served as vice president of marketing for Avnet, where he was responsible for the global Integrated Solutions strategy development, market research, demand generation, events and communications. With 17 years of experience in the channel, he has held multiple roles of progressive responsibility including in vendor management, sales, and program management. Criado holds dual Bachelors of Applied Arts degrees in International Business Management and Marketing from Florida International University. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his business and channel achievements and is passionate about volunteering and supporting his local community. Criado is based in San Antonio, Texas.
Frank Carbajal is Founder and President of “Es Tiempo”, the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership (SVLLS) Summit and Author of “Building the Latino Future: Success Stories for the Next Generation”. An inspiring collection of success stories from the country’s most prominent Latinos, Building the Latino Future offers insight and advice for Latinos in any industry who want to succeed spectacularly. The SVLL Summit brings together the best and the brightest for inspirational discussions on everything from entrepreneurship, to politics, to executive management. “Es Tiempo” is one common thread that aligns its speakers year after year. This unique event happens to cater to Latinos, particularly young up-and-comers hoping to build meaningful careers As formerly part of the Ken Blanchard network of keynote speakers and a former member of the Silicon Valley Coaching Federation, Frank Carbajal provides small business owners, CEOs, executives, managers, and directors, with the framework and tools necessary to achieve their personal best. Frank also advises many Diversity & Inclusion teams across the Silicon Valley and beyond. Frank holds an MA, with an emphasis in Human Resources Management. Currently, Frank sits on the Advocacy Board for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Link: www.svlls.com
Ivette Mayo is an awarding winning entrepreneur, international author, globally recognized career coach, motivational business speaker and philanthropist. Ivette’s POWER is that she gets what is important, the bottom line – people, profits, and productivity. As the CEO of Yo Soy I AM, LLC, a professional development and consulting firm. Ivette is a master trainer in a host of disciplines, certified coach and speaker. Ivette is also known as a POWER ADVOCATE by her clients for creating POWERFUL and IMPACTFUL results quickly. Her 27 year global career was spent working in business development, sales, marketing and training for both employees and clients throughout five continents. Her focus is to incorporate cultural awareness into all her training programs to assist participants in inspiring performance, build stronger interpersonal skills and build an agile team of leaders. This dynamic facilitator has worked with Fortune 100 & 500 all over the world. Her high energy style, direct approach and humor make Ivette a powerful motivational business speaker. Her message is always centered on these three key areas – Culture, Leadership and Courage. These components are certain to empower and unlock potential to lead with confidence in today’s multicultural marketplace. Most importantly, she dares her audiences to challenge limited thinking, to take bold action, to push past excuses, and move beyond complacency to be POWERFUL. Some of Ivette’s recent accomplishment and recognitions 2019 - Ivette was recognized by TalentLMS and made their global list of "Top Female Career Coaches to Follow in 2020". 2019 – Recognized as “2019 Woman Worth Watching” by the Diversity Journal, a national publication. 2018 - Establish POWER On Heels Fund, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on advancement of Latinas and to advocate to minimize the impact of the social inequity of gender pay gap among Latinas and women of color. Through their specialized programs, mentorship and scholarships, Power On Heels Fund, Inc. is able to accelerate their professional growth, increase earning potential and cultivate future leaders. 2017 – Ivette became an award winning international author by pinning her book “A 30 Day Guide to Your POWER - Powerful Outcomes through POWERFUL Words”. 2012 to 2016 - Ivette served as a Public Diplomate for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues For more information visit www.ivettemayo.com or send an email [email protected]
For decades, Jessica has passionately invested her service and expertise in empowering and developing inclusive leadership and management for hundreds of nonprofit, K-12, higher education and corporate audiences. For over 25 years she has created, developed and implemented educational and organizational capacity building initiatives that foster equitable spaces and facilitate thriving communities, locally and internationally. As the current President of Estrategia Group, Jessica uses her collaborative management skills to help the consulting firm provide ideas, strategies and solutions to non-profits, educational institutions and businesses. Some of her clients have included Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, InterCultural Advocacy Institute, Latinx Racial Equity Project, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, American Association of Colleges and Universities, The Obama Foundation, Hispanic in Philanthropy, Goodwill, Girls Scouts, Fort Worth Texas and Hillsborough County School District, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Rio Grande Valley Associated Care Organization and others. Additionally, she served at the Institute for Community and Justice at Greenville College where she provided leadership, strategic direction and building collaborative partnerships to meet the vision and goals of the Institute. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation chose Jessica to serve as a national fellow for its Community Leadership Network. In that role, she uses her “love without fear” philosophy to promote community and civic engagement and racial equality. In her previous position as the Community Tampa Bay programs director, Jessica managed leadership and diversity programs that cultivated more than 5,000 area leaders, empowering them to take on the challenges of social injustice. Her work drew the attention of a United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group, which invited her to present on the nonprofit’s trademarked “ANYTOWN” program in Geneva, Switzerland. Jessica’s efforts earned her the USA Network Characters Unite Award in 2010. She has been coaching and developing leaders using a strength-based and transformational leadership model. She received part of her training from Donald Clifton, developer of CliftonStrengths Finder, Gallup’s online assessment. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jessica holds a Masters of Management from Heller School at Brandeis University and a Bachelors of Arts from Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated at the age of 19. She also has an online teaching certification from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her husband Edwin Estévez and daughters Taina and Natalia share residence in TX and travel regularly to FL, New England and the Mid-West.
Jesus Hernandez is committed to well-being and community access. As an active parishioner at the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit, his family and education have instilled in him powerful commitments to community involvement and public service. He currently serves as board treasurer for the Michigan Hispanic Collaborative, a non-profit focused on accelerating economic mobility and access in the Detroit Hispanic community. He also serves as vice-chair for Detroit MOTTEP (Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program) Foundation, a Gift of Life affiliate committed to educating Detroit’s multicultural community about organ and tissue donation. In February 2020, Hernandez was appointed to serve a 5-year at-large term by Mayor Mike Duggan on the City of Detroit Board of Police Commissioners and was confirmed by Detroit City Council. He was also appointed in December 2020 by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to serve a 3-year term on the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. Mr. Hernandez currently leads the Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy for Employee Resource Groups at Ford Motor Company. Previously, he worked at DTE Energy and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan – where he held roles in diversity and inclusion, taxation, and HR consulting – and is a 2019 recipient of Corp! Magazine’s Most Valuable Millennials Award. He is a lifelong resident of southwest Detroit and attended Wayne State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the Mike Ilitch School of Business.
Dr. Jose L. Cantu is currently the Vice President for Enrollment Management at University of Houston-Victoria. He has been in higher education for over 28 years working in various capacities leading to the success of enrollment growth at each institution. Dr. Cantu is currently the Vice President for Enrollment Management at University of Houston-Victoria. In addition, he has worked as the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at New Reach Media, Vice President for Enrollment Services at Schreiner University, Director of Admissions and Recruitment at University of Houston-Downtown, and the Associate Director of Transfer Admissions at University of Houston. Much of Dr. Cantu’s drive and momentum comes from understanding our growing diverse populations. His passion stems from his own personal college journey as a first-generation student from a low-socioeconomic status that had no guidance or direction while transitioning and attending college. Once graduating from University of Houston in 1995, he began his first job as a recruiter and learned quickly that he wasn’t the only one who experienced these impacts. This led to ultimately making his passion into a career dedicated in improving and supporting all students from the recruitment cycle through graduation. Along the way, Dr. Cantu was promoted several times paving the way to leadership opportunities. This led to his personal investment in his education as he went onto receiving a Master of Science in Training and Development from University of Houston and a PhD in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University with his dissertation topic: A Study of Chief Enrollment Officer’s Personality Styles and the Impact to Student Enrollment. As a progressive leader who believes that dynamic teams are the success of an organization, Dr. Cantu also has a proven record in creating, developing, and training high performing teams and leaders. He fosters and maintains collaborative, engaged, and transparent relationships with all those around him. He is an experienced systems user when it comes to integrating, shifting, and finding solutions through technology by streamlining, upgrading, and creating platforms that serve to support current and future trends. He is also exceptional team player who is committed to support the overall efforts of engaging community, increasing visibility, and building more prominence for the university. Dr. Cantu has been involved in countless higher education organizations, served in several committees, presented at various workshops, and taught a few college courses. In addition, he believes it is important to contribute time to community service organizations and has been part of many as a member or in a leadership role. Dr. Cantu has been honored with several leadership awards, served as key-note speaker for events, and has worked with external organizations by facilitating team building and leadership development workshops. Outside of work, Dr. Cantu loves spending time with his family and close friends. He has been married for 19 years to his wife, Theresa, and they have two children, Zachary (17) and Emilie (15). Dr. Cantu’s hobbies include working out, jogging, cycling, obstacle course races, hiking, camping, fishing, cooking, eating, reading, researching, laughing, traveling, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and just trying anything new that is adventurous or outdoorsy. He is a firm believer that people should always find a passion outside of work that will enable them to become a more balanced person and give back to our communities as much as possible. His favorite quote is "An enthusiast may bore others, but he never has a dull moment himself.”
As a dual certified HR Professional with a Master’s in Management, Jovanka is a change agent with over 18 years of varied and progressive experience in the HR discipline. In her current role as a Director of HR for Tech Data’s Latin American region, Jovanka is responsible for leading the development, implementation strategies and plans focused on human capital management, customer satisfaction and business performance. In addition, Jovanka is a DEI advocate and enthusiast, championing inclusiveness and awareness across cultures in the U.S. and Latin America. Jovanka was born and raised in the great city of New York and relocated to Florida to attend college at the University of South Florida. 17 years after the completion of her Bachelor’s degree, Jovanka fulfilled her personal goal of obtaining her Master’s degree as a full time Human Resources professional in a new executive role and a mother of two blossoming children. Absorbing all of life’s wonders, Jovanka enjoys traveling, reading, outdoor activities and most importantly spending quality time enriching the lives of those most important to her. Also known as “mom” to Isabel, 16 and Julian, 13, Jovanka shares the joys of parenting with her husband Jahnu of 19 years.
Karina was born in Argentina where she studied Accounting at the University of Buenos Aires. She moved to the U.S. 20 years ago and now lives with her husband and three daughters in Boca Raton, FL. Karina worked for Brookdale Senior Living as their Lifestyles Director for 9 years and for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as their Associate Executive Director for nearly 10 years where she developed, led and executed many fundraising and educational events including the MDA Summer Camp. She also worked very closely with the MDA multidisciplinary clinic team at the University of Miami and has advocated for patients and caregivers to educate and raise awareness about muscular dystrophy especially in the Hispanic communities. Karina joined PTC Therapeutics as their Patient Engagement Liaison for the Southeast Region in June 2021 and her role is to educate and empower patients and families in the rare disease communities.
Dr. Karla Hernandez DeCuir is the Associate Provost for Distance Learning at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) at Katy and she was recently named a Houston Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree. In her role, she oversees the recruiting efforts, external relations, and strategic partnerships for UHV Katy. She earned a Doctor of Education in Professional Leadership from the University of Houston, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans. Her work experience includes business development, partnership development, and enrollment management. Dr. DeCuir is passionate about volunteering and helping the community. She currently serves as the President of the Texas Diversity Council - Gulf Coast chapter, the President of the Latino Faculty and Staff Association at UHV, and the President of the Katy Technology and Education Foundation. She also serves as the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at UHV, Katy EDC’s Diversity Taskforce, and she co-chairs the TXDC’s Young Women Leadership Symposium. In 2021, Dr. DeCuir was recognized with the National Latino Leader Award by the Council for Latino Workplace Equity and the Diversity Council, she is a Texas Association for Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) 2020 Fellow, she was recognized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Houston and the Houston Rockets as one of Houston’s Female Leaders in 2020, she is a 2016 Texas Diversity Council DiversityFIRST awardee, and in 2003, she was honored with a proclamation from the City of New Orleans.
Lorna Hernandez is the Vice-President of Human Resources for Ricoh Latin America, a division of Ricoh Company, Ltd. Ricoh is a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. Under its corporate tagline – imagine. change. – Ricoh continues to empower companies and individuals with services and technologies that inspire innovation, enhance sustainability and boost business growth. These include document management systems, IT services, production print solutions, digital cameras, and industrial systems. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in over 190 countries. Ms. Hernandez manages the HR departments of 13 countries where she provides strategic guidance on talent acquisition and retention, performance evaluation, professional development, compensation and training. Her human resource strategies attract and retain top level candidates, which contributes to the company’s achievement of its overall financial and strategic goals. Hernandez is committed to structuring and cultivating a learning organization that drives the business forward and ensures a sustainable operation. She successfully applies out-of-the-box thinking to find creative, cost-effective solutions that work. Her success is attributed to supportive leadership, strategic partnerships, and investing in people development strategies that grow and attract Ricoh’s talent. She is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion inside and outside the organization. Currently a member of Ricoh’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council. Ms. Hernandez earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management from the University of Puerto Rico. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources and an active member of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Ms. Hernandez generously gives of her time and talents in supporting several community and environmental initiatives.
Luis M. Martínez-Alicea earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Sacred Heart of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Ana G. Méndez University, Orlando. Luis also obtained The DiversityFIRST™ Certification by the National Diversity Council, which makes him a certified diversity professional to create and lead highly successful diversity, inclusion and equitable strategies for organizational excellence and a competitive edge in today's global marketplace. Martinez founded Starlight Productions, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit organization that encouraged talented kids and youth to develop their artistic abilities through training and musical theater performances. Luis led media and public relations efforts, helped increase awareness in the community on the organization’s mission and goals, created partnerships with corporations and government agencies and organized fundraising events and promotional initiatives. In 2000, Martinez relocated to Orlando to enhance his professional career and pursue a master’s degree in business. Subsequently, Martinez worked at El Nuevo Dia newspaper as a marketing coordinator and reporter. Afterward, he served five years as director of marketing & recruitment at Ana G. Mendez University, Metro Orlando Campus, where he implemented student recruitment and marketing strategies to create strong community bonds with the Hispanic/Latino adult population, increase corporate branding and diversify the student population in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity. In January 2012, Luis was pleased to be appointed by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to establish the city's Office of Multicultural Affairs to enhance the engagement of the Hispanic, multicultural and LGBTQ+ communities with the municipality. Under his role, Luis makes recommendations to the Mayor in the implementation of city policies, advocacy and initiatives that foster diversity, inclusion and equity. He also serves as the Mayor's spokesperson to Hispanic/multicultural media, manages international relations and Spanish communications, as well as coordinates cultural events and creates community outreach strategies to keep residents, newcomers and businesses from different cultural backgrounds and walks of life informed about the city services and programs. In addition, he maintains ongoing relationships with multiethnic chambers of commerce, professional associations and consulates.
Originally from Nicaragua, Luis grew up in Wallace, North Carolina and graduated from Wallace Rose-Hill high school in 2006. At age of 17 he was a junior in high school overflowing with dreams when an automobile accident that left him in a wheelchair threatened his dreams. He was ejected from the back window of the car and suffered a C3, C4 and C5 spinal cord injury. Moments later the doctors would inform my family that I would never walk again. Against the odds, Luis was able to graduate from high school on time and continue with his dreams of obtaining a college education. He attended Baptist university of the Americas (BUA) where he served as Missions Society President and Student Government President during his senior year in college. He later joined the BUA staff and served as Director of Missions/Ministries and Alumni Affairs for 8 years. Currently Luis serves as Director of Student Services at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. He is also a regular keynote speaker at youth conferences across the nation. Luis obtained a Bachelors in Theology and Biblical Studies from Baptist university of the Americas. He received a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Dallas Baptist University in 2013. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Education Administration from The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. His dissertation topic is Raising The Ethical Standards in Christian Colleges. He has served in youth and collegiate ministry for the past 12 years and speaks around the nation in youth camps and conferences. He is married to his beautiful wife of three years Cesia Juárez.
Luis Santos has a unique understanding of the administrative and legal challenges faced by clients in industries like hospitality, retail, restaurant, and grocery. His previous experience as a hospitality and grocery employee gives him a particularly unique insider’s perspective. Prior to attending law school, Luis worked for many years in hospitality management. He began as a front desk clerk and worked himself up to the position of assistant hotel manager. Luis also worked as a grocery store cashier. After becoming a lawyer, he wanted to continue helping companies in those industries with their employment-related issues. Luis regularly represents clients in the restaurant and food service industry. As co-chair of FordHarrison’s Restaurant Practice Group, Luis has extensive experience addressing the challenges faced by employers in this industry. Additionally, Luis represents employers in a wide variety of industries, including, transportation, healthcare, and insurance, in all facets of employment law, including wage and hour disputes, discrimination claims, union avoidance, and regulatory compliance. Luis is fluent reading and writing in Spanish. He often uses his bilingual skills to train and educate Hispanic management and staff in their native language. Luis also serves as FordHarrison’s Deputy Diversity Partner and is focused on recruiting and mentoring diverse attorneys with a particular emphasis on Hispanic outreach. Luis is the son of migrant parents and the first in his family to attend college. Through his childhood experiences, Luis developed a great appreciation for hard work and an understanding of the importance of education. During law school, Luis was an American Bar Association Merit Scholarship recipient. He was also a Moot Court board member and a member of the Diversity Committee. While on Moot Court, Luis participated in the Seventh Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, winning the Best Respondent Memorandum and receiving an Honorable Mention for Best Oral Advocate. He also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Covington-Hernandez, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. In addition, Luis served as the Secretary for Stetson University's Hispanic Bar Association, Vice-President of the Part-Time Student Society, and a member of Phi Delta Phi Honor Society.
Hello I am Manuel Torres. I have 6 years of experience in Quality Control, from diverse industries inclusive of oil, candy and pharmaceutical. Currently I work at PTC Therapeutics as an Associate Scientist helping create their GxP Quality Control Lab. I come from Integra Life Sciences, where I held the position of Quality Control Chemist II. At Integra, I conducted testing on artificial skin and other biomedical products. I have previously worked at ExxonMobil performing physical characterization testing on catalyst and Promotion in Motion performing QC testing on candy. I was born and raised in Newark, NJ while my family is from Puerto Rico. I received my Bachelor’s in chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.
For the past 30 years Maria has worked extensively in three sectors: retail, consumer packaged goods, and telecommunications. In 2005 Maria joined the community investment team at Comcast where she helps to implement and manage programs that deliver social and business value to their nonprofit organizations and communities. Comcast is a company known for achieving social impact through innovative employee engagement, solid community partnerships and CSR initiatives that include foundation grant giving, scholarships, volunteer opportunities and sponsorships of local community events. As the Regional External Affairs Manager, she helps to identify corporate giving opportunities for Comcast’s core focus areas of youth leadership, volunteerism, digital literacy, and work force development. Having been born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen community, it has brought her back full circle and has allowed her to bring much needed resources to that community as well as to other incredible Chicago area nonprofits. Her favorite quote is “if you don’t have a seat at the table, bring your own chair”. She currently serves as the Chairwoman for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Chicago Chapter, Telemundo Chicago’s Action Board, Women’s Business Development Center’s Advisory Council, and the DePaul Art Museum Board of Directors. She is a co-author of Today’s Inspired Latinas Volume V, Today’s Inspired Leader Volume II and Hispanic Stars Rising, A New Face of Power Inaugural Edition. Maria has served as a panelist, moderator, and MC for numerous events and as a speaker for Latina Talks (New York Times & Chicago). She has received numerous award acknowledgements; Negocios Now 2019 Who’s Who Hispanic Chicago, 2019 Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’ Hispanic Catalyst Champion, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, People with Disabilities Champion Award from Seguin Services, Corporate Visionary award from El Valor, 2020 Hispanic Style Latina of Influence, 2020 Today’s Inspired Latina’s Woman of the Year Award and Founder & CEO of Inspiration for the #LovePurse project. She also received a 2009 proclamation of Maria Castro day in the City of Aurora (second largest city in Illinois).
Maria Manautou-Matos is the Founder & Editor of PRESENTE, the Pittsburgh region's first online Latino-focused magazine. PRESENTE publishes culturally relevant content that celebrates, connects, and empowers thousands of Latinos, supporting a more inclusive and diverse community in Western PA. The bilingual magazine has become a key resource for Latino organizations to share programs and news with the community. Presente has been highlighted in Pittsburgh City Paper, NextPittsburgh, the Latino Americans Pittsburgh series, and the Carnegie Mellon University alumni website among others. Prior to launching PRESENTE, Maria served as Marketing Director, and worked in marketing communications for 15+ years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree from Duquesne University.
Marie Muniz is the Director of Marketing for US Gene Therapy at PTC Therapeutics and has been a driver of equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) programs throughout her career. Marie currently sits on the Diversity Steering Council at PTC Therapeutics and has a established company-wide ED&I initiatives at prior organizations. Marie is well adept at bringing people from all levels of an organization together to clearly define high level ED&I strategy, goals, and metrics. In addition to her strategic work, Marie has developed programs such as Unconscious Bias Training, D&I Speaker Series, Intern Partnerships, and Cross-Cultural Awareness Training. Marie was a member of the first KSA DEI Learning Community, and also sits on the board for Latinos in Bio. Marie Muniz has over 17 years of experience in the rare disease space (at companies such as Genzyme, Alnylam, and PTC Therapeutics), within both Global and US organizations, and has launched 7 novel products. Marie received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University and has completed graduate-level coursework at Harvard University.
"Maximo Anguiano is a multi-talented, dynamic young professional out of San Antonio, Texas. He has emerged as one of the most talented, versatile, and poised individuals of his generation. As a critical, intellectual voice on the intersection of culture, social justice, and diversity related issues, Maximo has been a credible, consistent champion of the Latinx/a/o community & beyond."
Michelle Martinez Reyes has over 20 years of experience as a trusted business advisor in the field of marketing and public relations. She has earned a proven national reputation as a publicist, brand builder, and catalyst to growth. Ms. Martinez Reyes is the Chief Relations Officer for Kelley Kronenberg. She was most recently named “Corporate Latina Executive of the Year” by LatinaStyle, “People of the Year” and “Top Women in PR” by PR News, “Top Women in Communications” as a “Game-Changer” by Ragan Communications and PR Daily, “Women of Influence” by Lifestyle, “Most Prestigious Women” by South Florida Business & Wealth, and named a “National Latino Leader” by the National Diversity Council. Prior to joining Kelley Kronenberg, she previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Greenspoon Marder. She was under 40 when she first ascended to the C-Level amongst the AmLaw 200 and NLJ 300 ranks. She also worked as part of the marketing and business development teams for some of the largest firms in Florida and the U.S., including Hunton Andrews Kurth, Akerman, Holland & Knight, and Greenberg Traurig. She is actively involved in communities throughout South Florida and the U.S. Her sphere of influence has been built over the course of 25 years working across the country and internationally. Fluent in English and Spanish, she holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University with a specialty in global management, a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University, FIU Honors College, and an associate’s degree in political science from Miami Dade College, MDC Honors College.
Ms. Villalobos was named President & CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber after serving as the Vice-President and Foundation Executive Director for seven years. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic growth initiatives of the chamber. She is also the operator of the Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, Native American Business and Economic Development Center (NABEDC), and Ascend Phoenix funded by JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Her background and experience as a corporate marketing executive and as an entrepreneur result in a unique combination of skill and talent. She is also, Editor-In-Chief of eighteen research publications over the last eight years including the annual DATOS: State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market (2012-2019), DATOS Tucson (2012- 2015), Minority-, Women-, Hispanic-, Family-owned Business Enterprise Reports (2012-2013) and the AZ Supplier Diversity (2012), Employee Resource Group (2013), Sustainability (2014), Global Trade Best Practices (2015), and Minority Business Economic Indicator (2017-18) white paper series. Ms. Villalobos is the founding principal at ResearchByDesign, a marketing research firm specializing in primary qualitative and quantitative research. She works closely with client partners to develop category specific studies as the foundation for marketing strategy decision-making. She was selected as the 2015 Latina Style Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year and ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Visionary Awardee, 2017 Achieving My Purpose: Celebration of Women award recipient, 2018 Cox Communication Hispanic Heritage honoree, 2018 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business recipient, and recognized as one of the 2020 Most Influential Women in Arizona by AZ Business Magazine.
Myriam serves as Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Programs at Nielsen. In her role, Myriam educates, inspires, influences and empowers associates to value and leverage Diversity & Inclusion as pivotal to business growth and innovation. Myriam is responsible for leading Nielsen's Employee Resource Groups in 80+ countries around the world. Prior to her appointment as VP, Diversity & Inclusion programs, Myriam led Nielsen's Hispanic Organization of Leaders in Action (HOLA) Employee Resource Group. HOLA's mission is to advance the careers and education opportunities of Hispanic professionals. During her tenure at Nielsen, Myriam has led transformational initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Nielsen's data by re-engineering operational tools, processes and driving a high-performance culture globally. Throughout her career, Myriam has led and deployed several programs and volunteering opportunities aimed at improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the organization and community. As a Diversity & Inclusion practitioner, Myriam has facilitated numerous webinars, conferences and workshops in North America, Latin America and Europe, where she has shared best practices in leading global D&I strategies, the role of D&I in driving business impact, women parity in the workplace, re-imaging Employee Resource Groups among other topics. Myriam's professional background in Business Process Improvement, Business Intelligence, Financial insights and Training & Development has enabled her to become a Diverse leader passionate about leveraging a sense of higher purpose to drive growth for our associates and clients. Myriam received her Masters of Marketing from The University of Tampa in Florida where she graduated Alpha Chi. She earned a BA in International Business from St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida and earned a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. Myriam graduated from Nielsen’s Diverse Leadership Network program where she completed a certification on Leadership, Innovation and Value Creation from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Myriam was selected to Diversity MBA's list of Top 100 under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders list for 2015. Myriam currently serves in the Board of Directors of the Florida Diversity Council and as Membership Co-Chair in the Tampa Bay Diversity Council Advisory Board.
Neddy Perez serves as chief global diversity & inclusion officer, at McCormick & Company. In her role, she is responsible for advancing the organization’s global strategy for inclusion and diversity and will work in partnership with HR business partners and other leaders. She is also part of the Global Talent Management Center of Excellence which has oversight for the company’s talent acquisition, development and learning programs. Prior to joining McCormick in 2018, Neddy served as head of Campus & Diversity Talent Acquisition at TIAA. She has also developed and led global inclusion and diversity initiatives in various industries, including the utilities, manufacturing, financial, and food service. Additionally, she has worked in Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, China and India. Neddy served as Chief Diversity Officer for other Fortune 50 and 250 companies likes Ingersoll Rand, National Grid, and KPMG. Neddy is a very active civic leader who serves on the Board of Directors for Diversity MBA Magazine, Diversity in Higher Education Magazine and on the Talent Acquisition Advisory Board of the Asia Society. In the past, she has served on the Society of Human Resources Management’s Foundation board, the Center for Accounting Excellence Advisory Board at Howard University, Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina board. In the manufacturing space she has served on the National Association of Manufacturing Institute Foundation and Ingersoll Rand Foundation boards. She also served on the National Utilities Diversity Council Board as Vice Chair. Neddy is also co-founder of STEMConnector.org which focuses on raising awareness about careers in STEM and serves as an information resource to corporations, educational institutes and nonprofits as well a government agencies. Born in Havana, Cuba she immigrated to the U.S. at an early age and grew up in the Midwest as well as South Florida. She strongly believes that access to education and educational resources is an enabler to creating equity personal and professional equity. Neddy has a Bachelor’s in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Human Resources Management and International Business from Nova Southeastern University. In 2015 she was recognized as one of the Top Corporate Hispanic Executives in the U.S. and in 2014 was recognized as one of the top Global Chief Diversity Officers by her peers.
Pilar specializes in motivating and positively transforms leaders and teams in the US and South America. She is a bilingual speaker and coach. Interactive, fun and versatile with the audience. She delivers an inspirational, powerful message that motivates the audience to take action, change their mindset and empower others. As a speaker, she delivers her keynote, workshops and trainings on Public Speaking, Executive Presence, Communicating with Confidence. As a coach, she helps hundreds of executives, professional speakers and entrepreneurs to build confidence and enhance their strengths to succeed to their fullest potential in front of a live audience, a microphone or a camera. As a spokesperson she becomes the video ambassador of your brand. Pilar has 25 years of broadcasting experience and is the creator of the Speak Easy™ System, the Influence Accelerator and the Proyecto Comunicarte programs. She is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA). She is the author of two books: Reinventing Yourself and El genio de la botella.
Rafael Granados is a manufacturing professional with over 20 years of experience. His career has taken him from the food and beverage (dairy) industry, to the building materials sector, and now the wine & spirits industry where he currently serves as director of manufacturing for M.S. Walker, Inc. headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts. In his current role, Rafael provides direction in leading the manufacturing division on initiatives related to business KPI; operational efficiency; cost reduction; warehousing; sourcing and logistics; new business; union relations; and human resources. Rafael is also a professional member of The American Society for Quality (ASQ) and The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC). A native of Crystal City, Texas, Rafael is a first-generation college student who has long been passionate about improving and removing workplace paradigms related through which some in society view manufacturing industry roles. This drive for enacting change within the manufacturing industry has been driven by serving as a champion for diversity and inclusion, while fostering awareness on the importance of the minority presence in S.T.E.M. to our academic, professional, and executive communities. Rafael is fluent in English and Spanish and is a proud ally to the LGBTQ community. A graduate of Texas State University located in San Marcos, Texas, Rafael earned undergraduate degrees in microbiology and biochemistry. He also holds a graduate degree from Columbia Southern University in occupational safety & health and environmental management. While studying at Texas State University, Rafael was a member of his university chapter of MAES, Latinos in Science and Engineering, an inclusive organization where he served in various roles from volunteer, to treasurer, and vice president up to chapter president. As a community volunteer, Rafael’s service and involvement have included not for profit organizations such as Society for Advancement of Chicanos / Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES); United Way; Habitat for Humanity; San Antonio Food Bank; American Cancer Society; National MS Society; and The Angel Fund for ALS Research. Prior to M.S. Walker, Rafael worked as a Sr. Production Manager III for Dean Foods. In this role, his focus was facility operational efficiencies and system reliabilities to high temperature short time (HTST), ultra-high temperature (UHT) and vacuum thermal steam injection (VTIS) pasteurization systems. These systems were in one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the Northeast dedicated to the manufacture of extended shelf life dairy products. In addition, he was responsible for ensuring compliance to both state and federal regulatory agencies and served as continuous improvement champion leading many corporate initiatives regarding loss (shrink) reduction, process review, site optimization strategy and lean manufacturing. Prior to Dean Foods, Rafael served with Oldcastle Building Products (Oldcastle) based out of Atlanta, Georgia and prior to that with H-E-B Grocery Company (HEB) based out of San Antonio, Texas. Rafael has previously held the positions of operations manager; warehousing manager; production manager; continuous improvement manager, dairy operations manager, environmental compliance and safety manager, and plant manager. Rafael currently resides in Attleboro, MA with his wife Bertha and their daughter Isabela Katherine.
Rogelio Sáenz is a sociologist and demographer at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where he is professor in the Department of Demography. He has written extensively in the areas of demography, Latina/os, race, inequality, immigration, COVID-19, health disparities, aging, public policy, and social justice. Sáenz is co-author of Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change and co-editor of the International Handbook of the Demography of Race and Ethnicity. He has written widely over the last year on the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community. Sáenz regularly writes op-ed essays and research briefs for a variety of media and academic outlets throughout the country. Sáenz recently received the prestigious 2020 Saber es Poder Academic Excellence Award from the University of Arizona’s Department of Mexican American Studies and the 2021 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association.
Corporate US operations, where her primary goal is to develop solutions that enhance the colleague and client experience for MMA's Private Client division. Roxy is also a founding member of MMA's National Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion council. Her passion for DE&I comes from being a member of the LGBT+ community, and during a time in her life not having felt like she could be herself fully, personally or at work. Working for an organization like MMA has allowed her to use her voice to make a difference, helping to create an inclusive culture that encourages all to bring their whole selves to work. In the community, Roxy leads as Chair of the Miami based nonprofit organization YES Institue, whose mission is to prevent suicide and ensure the healthy development of all youth through powerful communication and education on gender and orientation. Being a part of this organization and in the community has added to her purpose of inclusivity for all. Roxy obtained her BS in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University and MBA from Florida International University. In her personal life she is an avid traveler, seeker of adventure, and self proclaimed foodie!
Sandra Campos has been successfully building consumer-led global fashion lifestyle brands for more than twenty years. In her role as CEO of Diane von Furstenberg, she is leading a financial and operational turnaround by implementing bold strategic plans that will turn a wholesale led organization into a healthier retail DTC company. Sandra is finding new alternatives to old problems and is spearheading growth initiatives across all four channels of distribution. Prior to joining DVF, Sandra played a pivotal role in restructuring licensed brands within Global Brands Group. As President of six global Women’s contemporary brands with more than $500mm in revenues and all in different phases of progress, she restructured and leveraged teams by creating centers of excellence in e-commerce for Bebe and BCBG brands. Her innovative and forward thinking brought Juicy Couture back to prominence after hiring a Hollywood stylist to lead the creative direction of the brand. An executive with broad skills and experience, Sandra has been leading turnarounds and launching new businesses for corporate organizations totaling more than $2bn in market cap. She has overseen organizations with hundreds of employees as well as startups with a team less than a hundred people in businesses that encompass wholesale, DTC, ECOM, international, and direct marketing. Her additional career successes include entrepreneurial ventures and successful exit with Mobi, a consumer products company sold in sixteen countries and Cynosure Holdings-ACH, a celebrity brand management company responsible for launching Selena Gomez’s lifestyle collection at Kmart for five years with thirteen licensed categories. Ms. Campos has been named as one of 2019 Top Líderes in Business by Hispanic Executive Magazine, a 2020 Top Women in Retail, speaks across the country on innovation at retail, leadership, and diversity and inclusion. She’s an investor, and mentor/advisor to companies in tech, lifestyle, beauty, and fashion. Sandra started her career in retail buying at J.McLaughlin and then moved into wholesale sales at Donna Karan-DKNY. She went on to launch brands within iconic organizations such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Nautica and led their sales, planning, production, merchandising, design and visual teams.
Santiago Villegas is Co-Founder and CEO of 1903 Public Relations. His award-winning PR strategies have motivated multimillion-dollar investments. Before helping to create 1903 Public Relations, Santiago Villegas amassed experience from a wide variety of different industries including machine learning, cybersecurity, augmented reality, renewable energy, automation, ag tech, and environmental conservation. Since founding the agency, Santiago has won gold in the 2019 Bulldog Award for PR Up and Comer, as well as a 2020 Stevie Award in the Communications Professional of the Year category. Santiago is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, a Forbes Business Council member, and recently made the Forbes Next 1000 list. Born in Mexico, raised in a rural town in central California and the son of field laborers, Santiago has passionately pursued advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in business media. He works to elevate non-traditional founders, usually those creating disruptive technologies, into the spotlight to create a representative/accurate view of the innovators pushing industries forward.
Stephen F. Macias serves as Executive Vice President Entertainment, and Multicultural Marketing & Communications Practice Lead, R&CPMK. In the role, Macias leads overarching strategy for the agency’s Multicultural Marketing & Communications division, as well as related efforts for a collection of R&CPMK’s talent and Fortune 500 brand clients. Macias is responsible for creating and executing multicultural communications initiatives, partnerships, and programs – including traditional and earned media, digital and social tactics, crisis communications, and integrated marketing solutions – that further connect brands and talent to consumers and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community, communities of color, and female driven initiatives. Prior to joining R&CPMK, Macias served as Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Lead at MWWPR. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing LGBTQ+ and multicultural marketing and programming for existing and incoming clients, managing LGBTQ+ and multicultural resources within the firm, and serving as MWWPR’s steward for issues pertaining to public relations associated with diverse communities. During his career, Macias has worked across the entertainment and media landscape with companies including Comcast, Focus Features, FX, Netflix, United Artists Releasing, and Amazon Studios. In addition, he has lead accounts with global brands such as Kellogg’s, Frito-Lay, and Hilton Worldwide. Prior to joining MWWPR, Macias founded Macias Media Group LLC., where he grew the agency into one of the top boutique PR firms specifically targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Previously, Macias spent eight years as Executive Vice President and GM for Here Media Inc., overseeing iconic media brands, including The Advocate and OUT magazine, and served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Macias has also held a succession of senior leadership positions and worked with numerous leading non-profits and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Equality California, the U.N., and the Global Equality Fund.Macias is responsible for creating and executing multicultural communications initiatives, partnerships, and programs – including traditional and earned media, digital and social tactics, crisis communications, and integrated marketing solutions – that further connect brands and talent to consumers and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community, communities of color, and female driven initiatives. Prior to joining R&CPMK, Macias served as Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Lead at MWWPR. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing LGBTQ+ and multicultural marketing and programming for existing and incoming clients, managing LGBTQ+ and multicultural resources within the firm, and serving as MWWPR’s steward for issues pertaining to public relations associated with diverse communities. During his career, Macias has worked across the entertainment and media landscape with companies including Comcast, Focus Features, FX, Netflix, United Artists Releasing, and Amazon Studios. In addition, he has lead accounts with global brands such as Kellogg’s, Frito-Lay, and Hilton Worldwide. Prior to joining MWWPR, Macias founded Macias Media Group LLC., where he grew the agency into one of the top boutique PR firms specifically targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Previously, Macias spent eight years as Executive Vice President and GM for Here Media Inc., overseeing iconic media brands, including The Advocate and OUT magazine, and served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Macias has also held a succession of senior leadership positions and worked with numerous leading non-profits and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Equality California, the U.N., and the Global Equality Fund.
Tomas Ramos is the founder and president of the Oyate Group’s Bronx Rising Initiative, an organization dedicated to providing and distributing critical resources across the Bronx in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on the borough. Driven by his belief that residents of the community he loves deserve to not just survive but to thrive, he is committed to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges they face. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tomas temporarily suspended his campaign for New York’s 15th congressional district to support New York’s hardest-hit borough by launching the Bronx Rising Initiative. Beginning by raising funds to increase ICU bed capacity and provide PPE for local hospitals, he has since expanded his efforts to include fighting hunger, uplifting local youth, supporting small businesses and more. Tomas’s successful approach has been covered in numerous local, national and international news outlets including The New York Times. Prior to founding BRI, Tomas began his community organizing career as the Program Director for Children's Arts and Science Workshops at the Bronx River Community Center, bringing with him a background in youth education and hospitality. While working in the community center, Tomas fought to secure funding for the first technology center in New York City public housing and secured numerous awards and grants for local community centers and families living in low-income housing. He also worked to develop financial literacy, civic engagement, and college and job readiness programming for residents; planned and organized a conference to empower young men and boys of color, focusing on the negative impact of toxic masculinity; and was appointed to New York State’s My Brother’s Keeper planning committee, which resulted in the creation of a Young Men’s Initiative mentoring program at the Bronx River Community Center. He has also worked with restorative justice agencies to facilitate a diversion program that enables low-level offenders to avoid the legal system and provides them with needed support, and he was a pioneer plaintiff of NYC’s Fair Chance Act, being one of the first individuals to sue a large corporation for discrimination. A first-generation Dominican American, Tomas was born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. In the late 1980s while his father was incarcerated, Tomas and his mother relocated to Pennsylvania due to the effects of the crack cocaine epidemic and the war on drugs on his neighborhood. Upon his father’s release, the family moved to the Dominican Republic, where his parents remain to this day. Tomas later returned to the United States with his siblings and went on to finish high school and graduate from Temple University, where his passion for progressive ideas and social justice deepened.
Vanessa Nazario was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Trenton, NJ. She has worked in the field of Community Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for over 25 years. Her career began at MECHA, a Hispanic based nonprofit organization providing home ownership training and counseling to low-to-moderate income families. She later joined PNC Bank where she worked and had the honor of working in several roles over the course of her 20 year career within the Community Development Banking Department. In early 2017, she transitioned into a new role with RWJ University Hospital, which is part of RWJ Barnabas Health System, as Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she was responsible for diversity and inclusion and healthcare equity initiatives. She managed several key programs that helped transform the culture into an inclusive environment for both staff and patients. Vanessa also launched the Hospital’s first Diversity Council and provided oversight for the seven Business Resource Groups. She was also a key leader in the development and launch of the PROUD Gender Medical Center Program: a comprehensive medical program serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. In early 2021, she joined Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, FL as Director of DEI and to lead the System’s diversity, health equity, and inclusion strategy and Language Interpretation Services. In June 2022, she was promoted to Corporate Director, Chief Diversity Officer. In addition, she is leading the System’s inaugural health equity strategy. Vanessa serves on several committees: Florida Diversity Council’s Education Committee; Human Resources Association of Broward County’s (HRABC) DEI Committee; serves as a Student Mentor for Rider University’s Women in Leadership Council; HISPA’s South Florida Advisory Council; ARC of Broward’s Business Advisory Council. Vanessa has spoken at numerous conferences on topics such as: diversity, inclusion; health equity; community development; diverse women in leadership. Vanessa received her MBA from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and also has a Masters in Science degree from Southern New Hampshire University. She completed a Non Profit Management Certificate from Seton Hall University and is certified as a Diversity Executive (CDE) from the Institute for Diversity Certification. She is currently completing an Executive Leadership program at Cornell University.
Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she will continue to advance the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She will also focus on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large. Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she also served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils. Ms. Valenciano was the TXDC’s first executive director with responsibility over operations and policy implementation as adopted by the Board of Directors. She directed the agendas of the regional diversity council’s advisory boards in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Under her leadership, the annual Women in Leadership Symposium was created and is now a national and global event held in more than twelve states and several countries including England, Mexico, Canada and most recently United Arab Emirates. Formerly, Ms. Valenciano was the director of diversity and inclusion for 84 Lumber Company. She provided leadership and direction for the infrastructure, design, formulation, implementation and execution of the organization’s overall diversity strategy, which included external communications, public relations, and community engagement. She was also responsible for ensuring the efficacy of these business practices, processes, and procedures. Ms. Valenciano’s role was carried out in the company’s business expansion into Mexico and Canada. As an assistant vice president and officer at JPMorgan, she served in the capacity of leadership development consultant in Credit Card Services and Organizational Development, and consultant to Customer Services’ clients. Ms. Valenciano also managed the strategic direction and execution of organizational-wide development processes as well as diversity programs and initiatives. She served as subject matter expert on global diversity, overseeing the company’s initiatives in various countries. Active in charitable and civic affairs, Ms. Valenciano is a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de San Luis Potosí located in the City of San Luis Potosí in Mexico with a degree in business and computer information systems. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certificate from University of Villanova. She has completed various leadership and professional development programs across the country and abroad. Ms. Valenciano is fluent in English and Spanish. She serves on the board of the Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. She is a strong advocate and chairs several committees for people with disabilities in the workplace. She is a proud ally to the LGBT community and is active with several chambers of commerce across the country. Ms. Valenciano lives in San Antonio, TX, with her sons.