National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  

Executive Leadership Program

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Sponsored By:

Anheuser Bush


Center for Creative Leadership


Miller Coors




Graduates of the Institute

Class of 2000


Susana Paulina Anaya is State Director of the Title IV/ Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program, in the Department of Education. She received an MA in Guidance and Counseling from the University of New Mexico located in Albuquerque and a BA from the California State University. She has an extensive background in administration, mental health, bilingual/cross-cultural, Indian, vocational and alternative education. Ms. Anaya's has professional experience in grades K through 12, junior college and university levels. She is a Governor's appointee to two cabinet councils and serves on southwest regional boards that focus on violence and substance abuse. She is a U.S.O.E. National Expert panelist for Exemplary Schools Recognition Program. She has an outstanding community service record which includes work in the Albuquerque Public Schools and UNM, Juvenile Justice, T.V.I., Indian education, and many professional and community organizations.



Maria Luisa Clemente-Legazpi has served as the Director for Hispanic National Relations for Ameritech since November 1998. Born in Galicia, Spain, she relocated to Chicago in 1972. In her extensive career. she has developed computer and supervisory skills in 25 years work in telecommunications and international assignments in Switzerland, Mexico and Spain. Ms. Clemente is a candidate for a Doctoral Degree in Management. She has a MBA in International Business, BAs in Education and Psychology, a certificate in Project Management, and training in Strategic Planning. She is a former President of the Spanish Association of the Midwest and currently on its Board of Directors. She is also a former president of the Hispanic Bell Management Association‹and served in the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Council, the National Hispanic Corporate Council Institute, and the Corporate Alliance for the League of United Latin American Citizens.



Dalia Diaz-Olivarez is a Professional Development Manager in the Information Technology Systems Department of State Farm® Insurance Companies in Bloomington, Illinois. She received her BA in both International Business and Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. She just celebrated 17 yearsr with State Farm®. Dalia has been very active in the National Latino community serving on Boards of MANA: A National Latina Organization, and Business Councils for Southwest Voters, the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, and HACU. She has worked very closely with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans helping implement awareness and find solutions for stopping the drop out rate of Hispanic children in the U.S.



Serena Cruz is a County Commissioner in Multnomah County, Oregon where she is dedicated to promoting social justice, sustainability, good government, and regionalism. Ms. Cruz received her BA from Lewis & Clark College, her MPP from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and her JD from Berkeley's Boalt Hall. Ms. Cruz currently serves on Advisory Boards for the Oregon Food Bank, Capital Campaign, the Library and Cascade Aids Project. She is also working to promote widespread community participation as Chair of Multnomah County's Complete Count Committee for Census 2000.



Olga Garcia is Manager of Corporate Relations at Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado. She produces national Hispanic market programs and works with major community-based organizations to address key community issues. Ms. Garcia received her MSS in Applied Communications from the University of Denver, CO and a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has been with Coors Brewing Company for 14 years. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Corporate Council, the Smithsonian Institute's Center for Latino Initiatives, and the Museo de Las Américas.



Dr. Nora de Hoyos Comstock is the President of Comstock Connections in Texas, which trains and consults human resource personnel in areas of management, human resource development and women's issues. She received her Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been the President of Comstock Connections for the past nine years. Her outstanding community service record includes Chairwoman of the Capital Workforce Development Board, board member of the Austin Museu[ of Art and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and East Austin Rotary Club President.



Madeline Figueroa is the Application Manager of Oce-USA, Inc. in Chicago, Ill., where she serves as a Project Leader for several software upgrades and implementations. She received a BS in Computer Information Systems from the DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago. She has an extensive community service record which includes: Big Brother/Big Sister programs in Phoenix, AZ, and Chicago, IL, mentorship programs for young Hispanic children interested in technology, and volunteering and presenting seminars about interviewing and resume building to Hispanic women and young adults.



Antonia Jimenez is the Director of Administrative Operations of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Massachusetts. She received her BS in Biology from Emmanuel College. Prior to her current job, Ms. Jimenez was a Special Assistant to the Governor of MassacŸusetts. She served as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts Education Initiative for Latino Students, which improved the quality of public education in general while also addressing educational issues confronting Latinos. She has an extensive community service record that includes the Census Bureau Kick-off Campaign and serving on the WGBH Community Advisory Board.



Rebeca Ana Lee-Pethel is the Diversity Coordinator for the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control. She received her MPA from Georgia State University. Ms. Lee-Pethel has been with the CDC for nine years and a total of 22 years in the Civil Service. She has worked with her community through the Red Cross as a Hispanic Community HIV/ AIDS Prevention Education Instructor Trainer, served as President of the Association of Latino Employees of CDC/ATSDR; and worked on various federal task forces that worked to develop strategies to engage Hispanics in Federal employment, development of health, and communications initiatives.



For 13 years, Yvonne Martinez Vega has been the Executive Director of Ayuda, Inc. in Washington, DC. She received her BA in Political Science from Rutgers University. Ms. Vega has an outstanding community service record, which includes serving on the board of directors of the National Council of La Raza and promoting the civil rights of the Latino community. In addition, she was recently selected as U.S. representative for a conference held in and sponsored by Chile where she promoted the nonprofit sector's role in a civil society.



Maria Mercedes Olivieri is the Director of the Office of Diversity for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. She received her BA in Secondary Education from the University of Puerto Rico. Ms. Olivieri has an outstanding community service record, which includes her work with the Federal government and activities at the national and local level. She has held several elected positions with the National Council of Hispanic Program, regularly speaks on cultural diversity issues, and recruits and mentors Hispanics and other Federal employees.


Raquel Ortiz is currently writing a book, her memoir, and working as a freelance consultant and producer. For the past four years, she has been a Senior Producer with VPG, Inc. a multimedia production company catering to textbook publishers. Prior to that, she was co-owner and president of Ortiz/Simon Productions, Inc., an independent production company and completed Mi Puerto Rico, a documentary on Puerto Rico/U.S. relations for PBS. Her community service record includes serving as Chair of the…ASPIRA National Board of Directors, which focuses on youth development; founding the Amigos De La Plaza Advisory Committee; and serving two terms as Trustee to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.



Bertha Pérez, Ed.D., is a Professor of Education and Bilingual Studies and Associate Dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her Doctor of Education from the University of Massachusetts and her Masters of Education from Our Lady of the Lake University. Dr. Pérez is a recognized scholar on issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and has conducted research in the United States, Latin America, Spain and China. Author of two books and numerous publications in the areas literacy and biliteracy, Dr .Pérez also serves on editorial boards for professional journals. Her community service record comprises serving on numerous community boards, including the Bexar County Child Welfare Board, Trinity Coalition, The Bridge Human Services, and the Board of Trustees at her church. Additionally, she volunteers time to schools and community groups conducting parent education, mentoring and tutoring young Latinas.



Nereida Perez is the Regional Communications Advisor for North, Central and South American operations at Shell Services International, Inc. in Houston, Texas. She has an MS in Human Resources from Nova Southern University and a BA in Public Relations from University of Florida School of Journalism and Communications. She was born in Cuba and grew up in South Florida where her family currently resides. Ms. Perez has an extensive community service record that includes managing UPS's annual United Way Campaign in Puerto Rico and Miami, counseling the American Cancer Society, and serving as executive vice-President of the National Society of Hispanic MBA's Houston Chapter and has been an ongoing member of the International Association of Business Communicators.



Dr. Maria de Lourdes Pizana is the Founder and CEO of Rosa Verde Family Health Group. The outpatient mental health clinics provide culturally sensitive services to economically challenged families in South Texas. Dr. Pizana completed her studies in Psychology at UNAM in Mexico City, her Master's in Counseling from UTSA San Antonio and her doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary's University in San Antonio. Her extensive community service record includes serving on the Boards of Directors of Planned Parenthood, the March of Dimes, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, Child Abuse Prevention of San Antonio and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.



Deborah Marie Romero is the Director and Head Tennis professional at the Santa Fe Country Club. She is the administrator and supervisor of the entire tennis operations which includes lesson programs, activities and tennis functions and USTA Leagues. She is the owner of the Santa Fe Country Club tennis shop. Ms. Romero received her BA in Business Administration with an emphasis on Management Recreation from the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been a certified tennis professional for over 16 years and has an outstanding community service record that includes free tennis clinics to children that would normally not have the opportunity to learn tennis, donating time and money to various charities and schools through auctions by offering lessons, and organizing clothing drives for homeless shelters.



Diana Romero Campbell is a Program Associate for the Piton Foundation in Denver, Colorado currently developing a program area in Youth Development. She received her BA from the University of Colorado in International Affairs and her Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. She was a Peace Corps volunteer who served as a maternal child health specialist in Honduras. Her passion is children and youth. After the Peace Corps, she developed a statewide home visitation program for new parents in Colorado. Currently, she is dedicated to developing leadership opportunities and a voice for youth while building their capacity to meet the challenges facing young people today.



Lidia Soto-Harmon is the Deputy Director of the President's Interagency Council of Women. The Council is charged with coordinating the implementation of the Platform of Action adopted at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She received her Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University and her Bachelors in International Relations and Spanish Literature from Drew University. Lidia recently coordinated 13 outreach events across the United States to serve as an input from the non-governmental community to the fifth anniversary of the UN Women's Conference to be held at the United Nations in June 2000.



Dr. Gloria Trujillo-Sanchez is the Director of Human Resources & Affirmative Action at the University of Southern Colorado. She received her BA in Business Management from Loretto Heights College (Denver, CO), her MA from Norwich University in Vermont and her Ph.D from The Union Institute in Ohio. Dr. Trujillo-Sanchez has been very active in her community. In 1998, she was named Board Member of the Year for the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce. She is currently President of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, and Co-chair of the Joint Education Committee (JEC) of the Greater Pueblo and Latino Chambers of Commerce.



Linda Villegas Bremer has worked for the State of Washington for nine years. Currently, she is an Assistant Director for the Department of General Administration. Ms. Villegas Bremer has a BA in Chemistry and an MBA in Financial Management. She has spent 27 years in the computer information systems field in both the private and public sectors. In February, she completed her term as a community representative on the Editorial Board for the local newspaper, The Olympian. She is now on their Diversity Panel. Her other volunteer efforts include the Tumwater's City Center Task Force (citizen member), the Tumwater School District's Superintendent's Roundtable, the Hispanic Women's Network, and the South Puget Sound Chamber of Commerce.