Actor/Writer/Producer J.M. Longoria is an Imagen Award-nominated actor for his leading role as Enrique Salazar in the award-winning telenovela/online series “Sin Vergüenza”. The series won the Imagen Award in 2014 for its first season as "Best Online Series: Informative or Educational" and just released its third season worldwide on January 8th, 2018.
JM is best known for his breakthrough supporting role in Sony Pictures’ feature film “Miracles From Heaven”, starring Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, Eugenio Derbez and directed by Patricia Riggen. Some of his other notable credits include co-starring roles in the ABC sitcoms, “The Real O’Neals”, starring Noah Galvin, Martha Plimpton, and Jay R. Ferguson, “Don’t Trust The B— in Apartment 23”, starring Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, and James Van Der Beek, and in the FOX sitcom, “Mulaney”, starring John Mulaney, Nasim Pedrad, and Martin Short.
As a producer JM will soon be releasing the reality docu-series "Bushido Battleground" which following 40 MMA fighters from around the world, profiling the sacrifices they make for their careers. The show is executive produced by Robert Rodriguez.
Melinna Bobadilla is an actor, educator, voice over artist, and the co-host of Tamarindo Podcast - Latinx voices at the intersection of politics & pop culture serving comedic & critical interventions. Melinna holds an M.A. in Theater & Education from New York University, a BA from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies & Mass Communications and is passionate about the intersection of social justice and media/arts while focused on equity race & gender representation.
Most recently, you may have seen her portraying the tough Pachuca ‘Bertha’ in the historic revival of Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum opposite Oscar nominee Demian Bichir. You can also see her work as the lead in the comedic thriller We Know Where You Live, currently on the film festival circuit and also as Lidia in the buzzworthy MACRO digital media series GENTEfied, executive produced by and starring America Ferrera, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
In addition to being an on-camera artist, Melinna is proud to have honed her skills as a seasoned stage actor, after having performed in theaters across LA, the SF Bay area, New York City and abroad in Spain, India, and Cuba- but her creative roots stem as an ensemble member of Luis Valdez’s renowned company El Teatro Campesino. She is also a multidisciplinary teaching artist, lecturer and consultant, focusing on Theater of the Oppressed, Theater for organizing, diversity & inclusion and educational theater curriculum and has taught in the non-profit sector (MALDEF), public schools, arts institutions (Center Theatre Group, Coburn School) universities (USC, NYU, LMU, UofM, etc) and international conferences (Cuban Hip Hop Symposium (Havana), Unitinere (Madrid, Spain), Jana Sanskriti (Kolkata, India).
You can hear her voice on multiple national radio/TV spots as well as hit dubbed novelas (she was the voice of young Celia Cruz for Telemundo’s Celia) Call her if you want to talk about Intersectional Feminism, Selena, Representation of Latinxs in TV/Film, or Salsa recipes. Born & raised in Los Angeles y orgullosatente bilingue!
Ana Sheila Victorino
Salón Series Speaker Profile
Ana Sheila Victorino is an experienced technology professional committed to to increasing access and exposure to resources for underserved communities.
Ana Sheila was most recently the product manager for cyber security leader Symantec where she managed all mobile and desktop platforms for their VPN consumer product and launched their cross-platform product in over 18 countries. She was formerly a product manager for a social fashion e-commerce startup Little Black Bag where she was one of the first 3 employees and defined the original user experience and grew the user base to over 100,000 monthly users.
Her tech trajectory has also included working for notable companies like travel search engine Kayak.com, running operations for a startup incubator run by Facebook, and as a tech consultant advising Latin American tech startups entering the US market.
Beyond her day job, she is passionate about working on endeavors that help, motivate, and allow others to be their best selves personally and professionally. As a senior tech advisor for LOFT, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation workforce initiative, she leads workshops and ‘charlas’ on topics like product management, software development methodologies, but also on topics such as well as health and wellness and personal life hacks. One of Ana Sheila’s proudest achievement was co-founding LAtinas, a public service and leadership development program that targets and trains high school aged Latinas from low income areas in Los Angeles.
Ana Sheila received her BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management where she was the VP of Diversity and Inclusion for the student body and also served on the board for the Latino Management Association, and the LGBTQ association. She currently continues to serve on the board of ALMA, the Latino Alumni organization for UCLA Anderson. Originally from Mexico City, she has a passion for romance languages and is a deeply committed sport, fitness and is a clean eating and primarily plant based enthusiast.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
Tony Moraga is the Manager of Social Impact for BBVA Compass and leads the bank’s efforts for a portfolio of national and global corporate social responsibility programs such as BBVA Momentum, Opportunity Fellows Program, the Center for Financial Education and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Previously, he served for four years as the bank's local champion for lending, investments and services for community development efforts in Southern California. He managed certain initiatives for low- to moderate-income communities, such as financial education, charitable contributions, employee engagement and disaster responsiveness.
Prior to his role at BBVA Compass, Tony managed various non-profit organizations focused on economic development and asset-building to support the LGBT community. His expertise is in organizational development, business strategy and access to capital ranging from micro-lending to venture funding. Having run both local and national organizations, he has accumulated a wealth of experience in community development, entrepreneurship and social impact.
Moraga currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Youth Business Alliance in Los Angeles, as a member of the Board of Directors of Casa Familiar in San Diego, and as a member of the Loan Appeals Committee of the Adelante Fund in San Francisco. Additionally, he is a member of Southern California Grantmakers, the Funders Alliance of San Bernardino & Riverside Counties and was named a 2016 Next Generation Latino Philanthropy Fellow from Hispanics in Philanthropy. Previously, he has served on the Board of Directors of HIP Housing and Kitchen Table Advisors in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Nancy C. Mejía
Salón Series Speaker Profile
Nancy C. Mejía is currently the Writer & Story Editor of Vida on the Starz Network. The writer/director was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. In 2014 she was awarded the Latino Film Fund Seed Grant and 2015 Latino Screenwriting Project Fellowship, a lab organized with consulting support from the Sundance Institute. Her short, Mateo, about a Latino teen’s fraught relationship with his abusive father, aired on El Rey Network in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month; and her dramatic screenplay Jennifer’s Tigers, a coming-of-age story following an interracial lesbian couple in the American South in the mid-20th century, was selected as part of NALIP 2015 Diverse Women in Media Residency Lab and a 2014 quarter finalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. She is first-generation Salvadoran-American and endeavors to explore and share authentic portrayals of diverse, overlooked communities.
Salón Series Moderator Profile
As a Member of the Montebello City Council and past Mayor and Vice Mayor of her city, Vivian Romero has been a tenacious leader in protecting and improving the quality of life for every constituent.
Vivian is the first openly LGBTQ Councilmember of Montebello, and likewise was Montebello’s first openly LGBTQ Mayor. She is delighted to inspire others, as she has been inspired, to break historic barriers and pave the way for change and opportunity.
Transcendent issues tackled by the Councilmember in her governmental efforts and charitable enterprises include homelessness, anti-bullying, domestic violence, defending and advancing reproductive rights, environmentalism, public safety and gun violence, economic revitalization and job creation, support for labor, affordable health care and access for all to free, high-quality education. Major initiatives she’s been a key part of have included addressing homelessness through the San Gabriel Riverbed Task Force, clean air through the Advanced Clean Trucks Now Plan, infrastructural projects, jobs and improvements along the Pomona SR-60 Freeway corridor through CalTrans Rehabilitation, renovation of the City of Montebello Veterans Memorial and Constitution Bicentennial Monument, and making Montebello Downtown Plaza Senior Villas (affordable senior housing) ADA compliant.
Always a Democrat, Vivian was elected in 2013 as a first-time candidate and has proved to be a distinguished champion for the city and communities she represents. Council Member Romero has also been a strong advocate for all cities and unincorporated areas throughout the 32nd State Senate District, having been President of the Independent Cities Association, comprised of 42 cities in Southern California. In addition, Vivian is L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ appointed Alternate on the Metrolink Southern California Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors, and Chair of L.A. Metro’s San Gabriel Valley Service Council.
Vivian lives in Montebello with Shannan Calland, her partner of 16 years. They belong to Christian Assembly and Evergreen Baptist Churches. A lifelong local resident and daughter of a World War II veteran of the United States Navy, Vivian attended Montebello schools before studying at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. She then embarked on a 20 year career as a music industry professional, including creating and producing the theme song for the Emmy and Golden Globe winning television show “The Shield.” As a successful entrepreneur and small business owner, she has been a significant job creator and has also been an eloquent spokesperson for the arts and their place in our society and our schools.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
Bamby Salcedo is currently the Executive Director of the Translatin@ Coalition, where she works to advocate for the specific needs of the Trans Latin@ community that reside in the U.S.A. and works to plan strategies that improve quality of life.
Previously she dedicated eight years working as the Health Education and HIV Prevention Services Coordinator at Children's Hospital Los Angeles - the nation’s largest and most experienced clinical program - providing multidisciplinary healthcare and services to trans youth.
Her remarkable and wide-ranging activist work has brought voice and visibility to not only the trans community, but also to the multiple overlapping communities and issues that her life has touched including migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and Latin@ communities. Through her instinctive leadership, she has birthed several organizations that created community where there was none, and advocate for the rights, dignity, and humanity for those who have been without a voice.
Bamby’s work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues. Bamby has served and participated in many local, national and international organizations and planning groups. This work mediates intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV+ status, immigration status and more.
Bamby has participated as an inspiring keynote speaker in numerous state and national conferences, universities and organizations as well as a workshop leader and panel member.
Her powerful, sobering and inspiring speeches and her warm, down-to-earth presence have provided emotional grounding and perspective for diverse gatherings. She speaks from the heart, as one who has been able to transcend many of her own issues, to truly drop ways of being and coping that no longer served her, issues that have derailed and paralyzed countless lives. Her words and experience evoke both tears and laughter, sobriety and inspiration.
Her activist public speaking has ranged from testifying to governmental bodies, human rights and social justice organizations, universities and colleges and national and international conferences and featured speaker in various demonstrations and rallies. Bamby speaks to diverse audiences on many topics and intersecting issues. Bamby has spoken about transgender-related issues, social justice, healthcare, social services, incarceration, immigration and detention as well as professional and economic development for trans people. In 2012, Bamby has been invited to participate in several panels at the White House including in 2012 for Women and Girls National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and in 2015, Transgender Women of Color and Violence and LGBTQ People of Color Summit. Bamby has also participated as the Opening Plenary Speaker at several conferences, including The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, The United States Conference on AIDS in 2009 and 2012. She has participated as facilitator with The PanAmerican Health Organization while developing the Blue Print on how to provide competent health care services for trans people as well as health care for LGBT people and Human Rights in Latin America and The Caribbean. Bamby also has participated in The People of Color Conference as a plenary speaker and the Civil Liberties and Public Policy for reproductive justice conference among other.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
Javier Angulo has responsibility for Walmart’s national community and associate engagement strategy with the focus on reinforcing Walmart’s position as the most valued retailer in the community. Javier was previously responsible for Walmart’s regional and state business growth strategy, legislative and policy affairs, stakeholder outreach, and regional philanthropy in Central/Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii.
Javier has over ten years of experience working in the non-profit and political sectors. He began his career in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Fellow and served as a constituent liaison for the Senate Democratic Steering and Coordination Committee. He returned to California to join the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where he served as Director of Development. He then joined the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) to direct their national civic engagement programs.
Prior to joining Walmart, Javier served as a senior associate for Progressive Strategy Partners where he managed political and educational campaigns for local and statewide candidates, ballot initiatives, and public and non-governmental organizations.
Javier is currently Chairman of the LA Plaza de Cultura Y Artes in Los Angeles. He is also a member of the US Conference of Mayors Business Council. Other current board memberships include: American Red Cross of Los Angeles, Southern California Leadership Network, Valley Industrial and Commerce Association (VICA), and Adventist White Memorial Hospital Foundation. Javier also co-founded HONOR PAC, a political action committee dedicated to electing Latino LGBT candidates. He served as a mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Review Commission and the Los Angeles East Area Planning Commission where he served as President.
Javier earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and resides in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles with his partner Ryan and his two doggies Canela and Kobi.
Felicia Escobar Carrillo
Líderes del Mes Febrero
Salón Series Speaker Profile
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Helen is the Founder of The Imagen Foundation and Executive Producer of the Imagen Awards. Over the last 32 years, the Imagen Foundation has honored such entertainment industry professionals such as Placido Domingo, George Lopez, Andy Garcia, Kenny Ortega, Cristina Saralegui, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, John Leguizamo, Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Lopez and Hector Elizondo. Under her leadership, the Imagen Awards have become one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry and have often been referred to as the “Latino Golden Globes.” These awards exemplify the best of what Hollywood can produce in portraying the image of Latinos and Latino culture. For the last few years, the Imagen Awards have aired on local PBS stations nationally.
Prior to establishing the Imagen Foundation, Ms. Hernandez was the Vice President of Public Affairs for Embassy Communications (presently Sony Pictures Entertainment). Acting as this major television production company’s local and national liaison, she was most instrumental in developing and supervising various corporate programs that enhanced the company’s reputation in the national community for socially and culturally sensitive programming.
In 1981, Helen was awarded a Fellowship to study Labor History from the National Endowment for the Humanities at City University of New York; presented with a Congressional commendation which was read into the Congressional Record for her work in the entertainment industry by then Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis in 2004; named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 25 most influential Latinos in Hollywood; was profiled in Hispanic Executive Magazine in early 2014; and in 2012 she was recognized by the LAPD Hollenbeck PAL with the Humanitarian Award. Most recently, Helen received the 2016 Woman of the Year Award from Los Angeles County First District Supervisor, Hilda Solis.
In addition, Helen is the CEO of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), which represents travel media and destination marketing organizations in the United States, Mexico and Canada. NATJA is the 2nd largest association in the United States that represents travel writers, photographers, bloggers, radio and television personalities and is known for creating a community of influencers in the travel media industry.
She is a member of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) Board of Directors; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Presidents Council, California State University, Los Angeles; and member, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Helen formerly served on the boards of the national PBS; the Dolores Huerta Foundation; the National Association for the Hispanic Elderly; and Workplace Hollywood.
Helen is married to Bennett Root and has three children: Michelle Ruedy in Simi Valley, CA; Rick Bielke in Washington, D.C. and Jacqueline Lebesnerais in Paris, France as well as seven grandchildren. Helen was raised in Azusa, California and was the oldest daughter out of 12 children.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
What previous professional experiences were the most helpful in achieving your current career position?
"Every experience has provided me the opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally. Over the years I have learned that to demonstrate value, I have to look beyond my own function and learn the operation. To really understand how the business works, cross-functional priorities and importance of cultivating relationships with colleagues so we can come together as a team to implement solid strategies. Every professional experience has also afforded me the opportunity to develop long-standing relationships and friendships that have often served as a gut-check throughout my career."
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Lizette Carbajal is the Vice President of Community Relations at Telemundo 52 Los Angeles, Telemundo’s West Coast flagship television station, serving the Spanish-speaking community in the Los Angeles market. Lizette spearheads the station’s community relations initiatives to foster awareness about the issues of importance to viewers and continue Telemundo 52’s commitment to inform, empower and enrich the lives of the Hispanic communities it serves.
Lizette has nearly two decades of experience as a skilled communications practitioner, seasoned strategist and respected community relations executive implementing local, regional and national stakeholder engagement and outreach programs for Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to joining Telemundo 52, Lizette was the Manager of Community Education & Outreach at SoCalGas, the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities. In her role at SoCalGas, she defined a public outreach model and successfully led a team to implement strategies to prepare customers and communities of SoCalGas’ largest capital investment initiatives such as Advanced Meter and the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. Lizette joined SoCalGas in 2006 and held positions implementing marketing and communication programs for both internal and external audiences.
Prior to her tenure at SoCalGas, Lizette worked at Conexión PR, a public relations agency based in Santa Monica, CA, where she managed nationwide public relations campaigns targeting the U.S. Hispanic market for clients within the fashion, finance, public service, and automotive industries.
Lizette is a Southern California native and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Community College District Foundation, Woodcraft Rangers, and LA Plaza Cultura y Artes.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
What’s the one thing you are doing in your personal life that has benefitted your professional career?
"I shut down my phone from 5:30 pm – 8:00pm on weekdays to give my eight year old daughter quality time. After she goes to bed at 8:00pm, I log back on and prepare for the following work day. This has allowed me to balance longer work days and motherhood. It has also allowed my team to structure my days more efficiently so that it supports a healthy work life balance. During times that I need to travel or attend evening events, the forever “motherly guilt” is not as prominent. I have learned to take care of myself in order for me to continue to take care of others."
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From Government advocacy to non-profit health care systems and educational programs for high-risk families to clean air coalitions and social justice movements; there is no one more passionate about our community than Jennie Carreón.
Jennie is the AVP for Strategic Partnerships and Foundation Management for AltaMed which delivers more than 930,000 annual patient visits through its 47 sites in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of AltaMed’s PAC and oversees fundraising and the endorsement process for Elected Officials in all levels of office for the State of California.
Working closely with AltaMed’s CEO and SVP, Jennie actively participates in multiple phases of interaction with Foundations, Fortune 500 companies, professional organizations, trade groups, and any other entity which has an impact on the demand for quality health care. She also builds and implements strategies to achieve AltaMed’s Foundation priorities and represents the company to promote eliminating disparities in healthcare access in underserved communities.
Prior to joining AltaMed, Jennie served as Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. In this position she served as a liaison to environmental officials and business groups; as well as local, state, and national elected officials and oversaw the largest open space Park initiative in the County. Jennie has also been active in numerous statewide and local political campaigns, and in 2005 Jennie worked as East Side Field Director for the historic Villaraigosa for Mayor Campaign which produced record voter registration and turnout in low-income communities.
Jennie was also on Governor Davis’s team of International Relations and worked under the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with an emphasis in Latin America. Her strong ties with Labor and being a daughter of Farm Workers motivated her to work on a State Wide Arbitration Campaign with the United Farm Workers of America. Along with UFW President Arturo Rodriguez and Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Dolores Huerta, Jennie helped to organize a 150-mile, 10-day march from the San Joaquin Valley to Sacramento that resulted in Governor Gray Davis signing the historic Labor Arbitration Legislation.
Jennie was recently appointed by Senate President Pro Temp Kevin de Leon to The Health Professions Education Foundation whose mission is to encourage and support medical professionals to practice in California’s medically underserved communities. Jennie studied International Relations in 15 different countries around the world and when she isn’t busy with her philanthropic efforts, she enjoys spending time with her 8-year-old daughter, Isabela, on the soccer field.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in your field?
- Connect. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with someone in your field of interest whether it is at your school, within you network, or someone who touches your network.
- Learn. With information at our fingertips via our smart phones, we can easily search for trends, news, projects, and people in any industry. Take time to learn about your field of interest.
- Show Up and Do The Work. It is not enough to be somewhere, be present and show up as the person you envision yourself to be. When presented with a task, do the work—finish what you start.
- Ask Questions. Asking the right questions and getting the right answer go hand-in-hand. Whatever you are curious about, just ask. You will be surprised at where questions can lead you.
- Be Confident. Even when you are scared or nervous, be confident and trust the decision you made."
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Avygail Sanchez was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the City of Huntington Park. She attended Francisco Bravo, M.D. Medical Magnet Senior High School in the community of Boyle
Heights in Los Angeles. She graduated in 1997.
In July 2014, Avygail joined Parsons where she serves as Policy & Community Engagement Manager. Sanchez works from the Parsons’ world headquarters located in Pasadena, California and has nearly 15 years of community and business development experience within the Los Angeles area.
During her industry tenure, Avygail has worked for two other major A/E firms helping to develop business plans and strategic development. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles and earned her Master’s in Urban Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2004. While studying at UCLA, Sanchez served as Field Deputy for former Los Angeles City Councilmember and Mayor Antonio R. Villraigosa. Avygail also served on the transition team for LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar in 2005.
Avygail formerly served on the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), Los Angeles Chapter Board as Chair of the Professional Development Committee. Currently, she serves as a Member of the Mobility 21 Advisory Council; member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Mayor’s Business Council to the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and Board Member of the Pasadena/Sierra Madre YMCA.
Her Policy & Community Engagement efforts are focused throughout the Southern California area with an emphasis on Los Angeles-based agencies such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, and LAWA, to name a few. She is a Riordan Leadership Institute Fellow and 2015 graduate of Leadership L.A., Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) programs and an active member of the Latina Golfers Association (LGA).
Recently, Avygail convened Los Angeles County-based transportation agencies for the launch of the Small Business Partnership Program (SBP) creating a collaborative space to promote, connect, mentor, and grow local small businesses.
Salón Series Speaker Profile
What’s the one thing you are doing in your personal life that has benefitted your professional career?
"The one thing I’ve done in my personal life that has benefitted my career most is being engaged in the community. Giving back has provided me so many opportunities and rewards. I’ve served on numerous nonprofit boards including leading a few; participated in countless committees and helped elect thoughtful leaders. This involvement has expanded by professional network, created strong friendships, honed my leadership skills, developed skills I didn’t realize I had or needed and most importantly helped me grow as an individual and professional."
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Susan Trigueros is a highly skilled Public Relations professional with twenty years experience in corporate, governmental, community, and media relations. She joined the Southern California Gas Company in 1982. Prior to her current position in External Affairs, Susan held several positions within the company’s Accounting and Human Resources departments. In her position as Regional Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Gas Company, she is responsible for Public Affairs and local community giving strategies in the Los Angeles County area. Susan manages a professional staff of seven.
Susan attended the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Susan also serves in a number of leadership positions. She currently serves on the Central City Association Executive Committee, HOPE Champion Advisory Council, and CSULA College of Economic & Business Advisory Board, is Board Chair of the USC-Latino Alumni Association, Co-Chair of the USC Unruh School of Politics Ambassador program and is a Board member of BizFed, Latinas Lead California, Future Ports, and USC Board of Governors. Susan has received numerous legislative certificates of recognition for her community and advocacy work. In 2002 Susan was honored by Women’s Enews as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” for her work in civic participation, in 2004 she received the HOPE PAC leadership award, in 2007 she received the Corporate Award from Girls Today Women Tomorrow mentoring program, in 2009 she received a USC Widney Alumni House Volunteer Award, in 2012 she received the East Los Angeles Community Youth Center Corporate Award, in 2013 she received the Latina of Influence award from Hispanic Lifestyle and the Women of Influence award from ProAmerica Bank, in 2015 she received Latina Empowerment Mentoring Program Corporate Leader award and ELLAS Leadership award, in 2016 Susan received the USC LAA Legacy Award and in 2017 received the Hermandad Nacional Mexicana Corporate Leadership Award and the Gardena Chamber Outstanding Women’s Award.
Susan received certificates of completion from the Southern California Leadership Network, HOPE Leadership Institute, UCSD Manager’s Toolkit Leadership program, Leadership in Action, USC Executive Development Building Effective Teams and San Marcos Environmental Leadership programs.
Susan resides in Walnut with her husband Mario. They have seven children and five grandchildren. She is passionate about social justice issues, supporting leadership development and higher education. Susan most enjoys mentoring youth and young professionals helping them achieve their full potential.
What previous professional experiences were the most helpful in achieving your current career position?"As the Manager of Special Events at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), I worked on behalf of the most prominent city, state and federal elected officials throughout the U.S. During those years, I recall the environment being both robust and rigorous, which provided a solid foundation in the world of business, and a professionalism that would grow to serve a range of people, as well as a variety of needs. However, it is my time here as the Senior Outreach Representative in the Diversity & Economic Opportunity Department at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro LA), where I feel I have truly been able to attain the furthest reach in my career. In this position, I have the privilege to serve by showing small business owners the way to possibilities, in giving them the opportunity to access the American Dream not only for themselves, but for their families."
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Olga López was born in Tijuana, Mexico and at the age of 9 years old her parents relocated to the diverse metropolis that is Los Angeles. She is the oldest of four children.
Ms. López has dedicated her professional career to public service. Over the last 22 years, she has worked in local government and the nation’s leading nonprofit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Most recently, Ms. López has served the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for over 13 years. Today, she serves as Senior Representative in the Strategic Business and Construction Career Services unit within the Diversity & Economic Opportunity Department (DEOD). As a spokesperson for DEOD, she is responsible for hosting and participating in numerous outreach events where she aims to increase awareness of contract opportunities available through Metro. At these events, small business owners learn about vendor requirements, the certification process, contract opportunities, engage in networking with other small business owners and large contractors, and develop relationships with Metro.
The Small Business Workshop Series, How to do Business with Metro workshops, Meet the Buyers and Project Managers Program, and the Meet the Primes events are just a few of the programs that Ms. López is responsible for.
Ms. Lopez, however, began her career at Metro in Construction Relations. As the Construction Relations Manager leading the public outreach, stakeholder communication and construction impact mitigation programs on three major capital projects, she was the face of the project and maintained the quality control of public information related to construction activities.
Ms. López holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a recipient of Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s, 2015 “Mujer Del Año” Award for Women Making a Difference.
Líderes del Mes Diciembre
Jarrett Barrios serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. He leads a team of talented humanitarians providing care and comfort to those afflicted by disasters, serving veterans and members of the Armed Forces, and assisting refugees and their families. Over his first two years, he has led the design of the Region’s effort to build resilience in Los Angeles’ most vulnerable communities against disasters ranging from home fires to earthquakes. This work builds on his prior role as the chief executive of the Massachusetts Red Cross where, for his transformational leadership, he was awarded the American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence in 2014.
Barrios is an honors graduate from Harvard College (AB ’90-’91) and Georgetown Law (’95), practiced law at the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow, then began public service in 1999 as a Massachusetts State Representative for four years, then as a State Senator for five years. In the House, he authored a broad range of legislation from a law to improve emergency room services for immigrants to the creation of a state low-income housing tax credit. In the Senate, he chaired the Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee and was the Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee.
As a state senator, Barrios led the first comprehensive rewrite of the state fire code in the wake of the Station Nightclub fire, authored the nation’s strongest “buffer zone” legislation to protect women’s health centers, led the passage of a statewide assault weapons ban and gang-prevention legislation, as well as authoring foreclosure prevention bills, consumer data privacy legislation, and laws to protect victims of domestic violence. During this period, he was a Senate leader in the effort to protect marriage equality for gay and lesbian families in the Commonwealth and helped found the Massachusetts statewide Latino political group, Oíste. Upon leaving the legislature, he served as the president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in Boston and of GLAAD in New York and Los Angeles.
Outside of Red Cross, he currently serves as a supervisorial appointee to the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, as a board member of the Los Angeles BizFed Institute, as well as the boards of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and the Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. Along the way, he has lectured on transnational gang violence in El Salvador, represented the United States in a delegation to Australia with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, counted hanging chads in the disputed presidential election of 2000, toured Mexico to train university students on American political process on behalf of the State Department, studied the public health systems and lectured on US health reform in Brazil as an Eisenhower Fellow. He recently participated in the inaugural cohort of the Presidio Institute’s Cross Sector Leadership Fellows in partnership with the White House Office on Social Innovation. He speaks Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese, and for twenty years, has engaged in licensed humanitarian efforts in Cuba.
Barrios has two children, Javier, 23, and Nathaniel, 18.
Líderes del Mes Noviembre
Fernando Vasquez was first elected to the Downey City Council in November 2010 to serve the citizens of the Fourth District. He was elected Mayor by a unanimous vote in November 2013, becoming one of the youngest council members to hold that position. In 2014, he was re-elected to serve four more years on the Downey City Council.
Mayor Vasquez has championed the causes he promised to address when campaigning in 2010. He has led the charge to bring the City into the 21st century by bringing forth new technology and open government initiatives to make government more transparent and accountable. He supported public safety services, a healthier and active City through the Stay Healthy Downey initiative, enhanced streets, parks and sidewalks, helped create thousands of jobs, and revived downtown by initiating numerous events, public art and new businesses.
A respected public policy speaker, Mayor Vasquez has presented at forums and seminars involving the Urban Land Institute, Forecast LA, Workforce Investment Healthcare Policy, COMCE de Occidente, A.C. (Latin American trade association), and other industry groups. He has been a guest lecturer at USC, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, San Diego, Universidad de Guadalajara and other academic institutions. He is a board member of Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG), I-5 Freeway Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Independent Cities Risk Management Authority (ICRMA- Alternate), Los Angeles City Selection Committee, Avanti Hospitals, Los Angeles County Medical Association Latino Advisory Committee and Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL). He is also a member of the National Association of Latino Elected Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the Downey Kiwanis.
In 2011, Mayor Vasquez founded and launched Primawaste, a medical waste management company. Today, Primawaste offers a variety of medical services throughout the western United States and is one of the fastest growing minority owned businesses in its industry. In 2015, he co-founded Mi Cielo Restaurant and Rooftop Lounge, an upscale fine dining restaurant in Downtown Downey. Mayor Vasquez holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from San Diego State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Riverside. He is married to Donna B. Vasquez, who is a partner with the Law Offices of Musick Peeler & Garrett.
Mayor Vasquez was raised in the City of Downey and is fluent in English and Spanish. He is the son of immigrant parents who came from a small town near Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.