Moderators

Caridad Cruz

Caridad Cruz

National Managing Director of Leadership & Development Operations
Teach For America

Caridad Cruz
Caridad Cruz
National Managing Director of Leadership & Development Operations
Teach For America

Caridad Cruz (she, her, hers) is a business executive who is a strong advocate for educational equity and the advancement of diverse leaders.

She joined Teach For America originally as a corps member in 2009 where she taught 2nd grade in Kansas City, MO. Teach For America’s mission is to

find, develop and support equity-oriented leaders - individually and in teams - so they can transform education and expand opportunity with children, starting in the classroom. After spending several years in the classroom, she returned to TFA in 2016 and now serves as the National Managing Director of Leadership & Development Operations. In addition to her full-time role, she has served on TFAs Latinx Advisory Council and been a co-chair for TFA’s Latinx Summit (2016). Outside of work, she has served on the Prospanica Orlando Board as the VP of Education (2019-2020) and mentored young women through Advanxing Women (2019-2022).

She is originally from the Bronx, New York. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida (2009) and her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri- Saint Louis (2011). She currently resides in Oviedo, Fl the ancestral and unceded land of the Seminole people with her two children Luca (6) and Eleanor (4).

Daniela Sierra

Daniela Sierra

Director, Associate Experience
AAA

Daniela Sierra
Daniela Sierra
Director, Associate Experience
AAA

Daniela Sierra is the Director of Associate Experience at AAA, Inc. in Heathrow, FL. In her role Daniela leads a team of functional experts to deliver a best-in-class employee experience acting as a strategic HR business partner to senior leader to affect business outcomes. Her areas of focus include talent acquisition, employee engagement & retention, learning & development, employee relations, and diversity & inclusion. Daniela is a certified HR professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) with 15 years of HR leadership experience. She has a B.S. in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida. Her career includes roles in Human Resources at Wyndham Hotels & resorts, Select Medical, and Salamander Hotels & Resorts, and Kingwood International Resorts. Her pronouns are she/her, she is proficient in Spanish was born in Colombia and is passionate about creating inclusive organizational cultures.

David Flores

David Flores

Director of Client Services and Program Performance
GreenPath Financial Wellness

David Flores
David Flores
Director of Client Services and Program Performance
GreenPath Financial Wellness

David has been with GreenPath Financial Wellness for 15 years and oversees the entire client-facing world of the workforce — from the team that handles the very first call a client makes, to the people that advise and support clients as they work to meet their financial goals. David also oversees the Quality Assurance team. This team ensures that our team members are providing our clients with a world-class financial wellness experience.

As the son of immigrants who had to work extremely hard to make ends meet, David knows first-hand the importance of financial literacy, access to opportunities and seeing possibilities. He is especially driven to connect with people who have limited access to the tools they need to be financially healthy.

David is a graduate of the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center of Touro College in New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Michigan State University where he was a student manager for the Men’s Basketball team, under Coach Tom Izzo.

Emily Pickett

Emily Pickett

Event Manager
National Diversity Council

Emily Pickett
Emily Pickett
Event Manager
National Diversity Council

Enna Jimenez

Enna Jimenez

Head of Quality Assurance & Senior Director
IDEMIA

Enna Jimenez
Enna Jimenez
Head of Quality Assurance & Senior Director
IDEMIA

Enna is an Award-Winning Change Champion who has over 30 years in multiple industries with expertise

in Leadership, Technology and Transformation Management. Currently, Enna is the Head of the Quality

Assurance team at IDEMIA, an augmented identity security organization. She is a Coach and Mentor and

has a huge passion for Diversity and Inclusion, talent engagement and community organizations. The

March edition of Hispanic Executive magazine featured Enna as one of the 2021 Leading Latinas. In

March 2021, Enna received the Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering (E.L.I.T.E.) Award

from NSBE Boston Professionals. Dr. Lynn Wooten, President of Simmons University appointed Enna as

the Presidential Adviser for Alumni Engagement. In addition, Enna has joined the Greater Boston

Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Board and the ALPFA National Board of Directors. Enna is

one of 92 Hispanics featured in the first edition book Hispanic Stars Rising: A New Face of Power. The

Multicultural Symposium Series Black History Empowerment Recognition Breakfast recognized Enna as

one of the Black and Brown Innovators of Action Honorees in March 2020. In 2019, the National Diversity

Council selected Enna as one of the 2019 National Latino Leader Award winners and she received a

Citation from MA Governor Charlie Baker on Leadership and Excellence.

Gavin Villareal

Gavin Villareal

Partner
Baker Botts LLP

Gavin Villareal
Gavin Villareal
Partner
Baker Botts LLP

Gavin Villareal is the Partner in Charge of the Austin office of Baker Botts L.L.P. and the Austin office Litigation Department Chair. He represents clients in a wide variety of complex business-related disputes in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has significant first-chair experience litigating claims alleging professional negligence, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and financial services fraud, as well as claims involving state and federal constitutional and preemption issues.

Mr. Villareal won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court victory as lead counsel in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, 139 S. Ct. 2356 (2019). The case overturned almost half a century of precedent interpreting Exemption 4 to the Freedom of Information Act. Commentators described the case as “one of the most important business-related cases on the Supreme Court's docket” in the 2018-19 term.

Mr. Villareal has held leadership positions in numerous professional and community organizations. He is an Elected Member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and he has held leadership roles with the Austin Bar Foundation, the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Young Lawyers Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, the HBAA Charitable Foundation, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, the Mexic-Arte Museum and the Harvard Club of Austin. He currently serves on the board of Austin PBS and is a member of the President's Council of Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Luis Pardo

Luis Pardo

AVP of Bank Omnichannel Sales & Service Performance
USAA

Luis Pardo
Luis Pardo
AVP of Bank Omnichannel Sales & Service Performance
USAA

As AVP of Bank Omnichannel Sales & Service Performance, Luis leads business strategy and channel performance analytics for the country’s leading digital bank, USAA Federal Savings Bank. USAA’s mission is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates, and their families through provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services in doing so, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community. Luis resides in Tampa, Florida and has the honor of serving on the board of directors for the Florida Diversity Council. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Ferris State University in Michigan and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wichita State University in Kansas. He is also a graduate of the Consumer Bankers Association Executive Banking School. Luis’ banking experience spans 20+ years. Previous to USAA, he served as Vice President, Sales and Service Support at Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio. In this role, he led teams in charge of incentive plan design & administration, workforce management, and goal allocation for the Consumer and Business Banking divisions.

Manuel Martin

Manuel Martin

Global Head of Retail
Nuveen

Manuel Martin
Manuel Martin
Global Head of Retail
Nuveen

Manuel oversees Nuveen Real Estate’s retail sector platform. He is responsible for leading the company’s dedicated retail sector investment team and overseeing all retail acquisitions, dispositions and asset management.

Previously, Manuel was head of retail for the U.S., overseeing all investment activities and asset operations in a portfolio of 90+ assets. During that period, Manuel restructured major legacy JVs and focused investment activity around mixed-use and necessity retail. He joined the firm in 2008 as the head of Spain and Portugal where he opened the Madrid office and led the firm’s initial expansion into the region. During his time in Europe, he was also involved in launching a Southern European value-add retail fund and in managing the firm’s interest in the Sonae Sierra Strategy. Prior to Nuveen Real Estate, Manuel worked at Unibail Rodamco, repositioning a number of retail assets involving acquisitions and expansions.

Manuel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the Universidad de Granada and an M.B.A. from the Universidad Comercial de Deusto and Bradford University School of Management and is a lecturer at the Madrid IE Business School and a member of the University of Miami Business School Advisory Board and a trustee of the ICSC.

Myriam Vidalon

Myriam Vidalon

Senior Vice President Diversity, Talent and Culture
NielsenIQ

Myriam Vidalon
Myriam Vidalon
Senior Vice President Diversity, Talent and Culture
NielsenIQ

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.

Sofia Anthony

Sofia Anthony

Vice President
National Diversity Council

Sofia Anthony
Sofia Anthony
Vice President
National Diversity Council

Sofia Anthony joined the National Diversity Council’s team in 2011 as the Coordinator for the Florida Diversity Council (i.e., FLDC). The FLDC grew and developed significantly under her leadership and continues to gain momentum. In 2012, Sofia was promoted to the Senior Coordinator position and was given the Tri-State Diversity Council (i.e., TSDC) to grow and develop. In 2013, Sofia became the first Regional Manager for the National Diversity Council (i.e., NDC) and in 2015, she became the first training and development lead as the Manager of Training, Development, and Regional Operations. The state diversity councils that primarily fall within her region include Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York. Sofia works very closely with multiple teams of Board members who oversee diversity councils throughout the NDC.

As the Assistant Vice President, Sofia Anthony strives to ensure that Coordinators, Senior Coordinators, and other staff members receive the proper support they need to fulfill the NDC’s mission, vision, and goals to the best of their abilities. Not only does Sofia assist with training and development, recruitment and selection, and operational management, but she also helps with business development as well. Some of Sofia’s key contributions to the NDC include formalizing on-boarding and training documentation and processes for new employees developing, communicating, and launching a 360 performance appraisal process establishing metrics and developing feedback surveys to obtain valuable data for evaluation and improvement purposes conducting the organization’s first training needs analysis to identify Coordinator¹s primary training needs creating an online database of sample email templates for external communication purposes and raising over $250,000 in new corporate partnership dollars since joining the Council, amongst others.

Sofia Anthony graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where she obtained a B.A. in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies. While working for the NDC, Sofia obtained an M.S. in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University in 2013 and in 2014 obtained her PHR and SHRM-CP credentials. Sofia was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, yet spent the majority of her life in Tampa, Florida. She has always had a deep passion for diversity and inclusion efforts, and feels incredibly fortunate to have found a job that allows her to fulfill her passion each and every day.

Stephen Macias

Stephen Macias

Executive Vice President Entertainment, and Multicultural Marketing & Communications Practice Lead
Rogers & Cowan PMK

Stephen Macias
Stephen Macias
Executive Vice President Entertainment, and Multicultural Marketing & Communications Practice Lead
Rogers & Cowan PMK

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.

Tina Loarte-Rodriguez

Tina Loarte-Rodriguez

Vice President of Nursing
Wheeler Health

Tina Loarte-Rodriguez
Tina Loarte-Rodriguez
Vice President of Nursing
Wheeler Health

Tina Loarte-Rodriguez, MSN, RN, CIC, CPPS, CPHRM is the Vice President of Nursing at Wheeler Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center with five integrated primary care locations in central Connecticut. Her priority is supporting the team in providing high quality, safe, patient centered care. She oversees the nursing department, medical assistant practice, and infection control at the Health and Wellness Centers, school and congregate care homes.

Her professional experience includes teaching middle school math for four years and over sixteen years in health care in perioperative and primary care nursing, performance improvement, infection control, risk management, and patient safety. A graduate from Cornell University, UCONN, and Quinnipiac University, she is certified in infection prevention and control, patient safety, and healthcare risk management.

She is an eternal learner with a passion for health equity and high reliability. Tina is a Hartford Business Journal Healthcare Hero Award winner and led the Wheeler nursing team to win the Ct Nursing Association Excellence in Team Award, both in 2021. An active member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses- Hartford Chapter and the Ct Nursing Association General Assembly Committee, Tina is committed to giving back and advocacy. She loves dancing, eating, reading, and traveling. Originally born and raised in the Bronx, NY, she now resides in CT with her husband, three children, her father, and two rescue dogs.