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 2004


TINA MARIE BRADLEY is Vice President for INROADS, Inc. serving the Western Territory. She received her BA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and her MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Bradley has been very active working with organizations including: Childhelp USA, Business Volunteers for the Arts, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, The Fiesta Bowl, and her church.


MARIA LOU CALANCHE is the Principal Consultant and Owner of New Urban Networks Consulting that focuses on urban issues including land use consultation, youth delinquency, school safety, and parent education. She is also an adjunct Professor of Political Science at East Los Angeles Community College. She is currently completing her dissertation research focused on evaluating the impact of citizen participation and decentralization in local land use decisionmaking.


JANINA CALDERON-FERGUSON is the Founder and President of Calderon Hispanic Marketing. She earned a BS in Marketing and an International Marketing Certificate from Arizona State University, as well as a Broadcasting Diploma from the Columbia School of Broadcasting. She serves on advisory boards of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Centro Bienestar San Jose and the Minority Enterprise & Educational Development as well as involved with the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Mi Casa Women’s Resource Center, the Colorado Asthma Coalition, Adams City High School, and the Denver Sister Cities program.


HELEN DORADO-ALESSI is the Senior Program Officer at the Edwin Gould Foundation for Children. She received her Master’s from Bernard M. Baruch College of Public Affairs and completed study with the New School University Milano Graduate School. Ms. Dorado-Alessi serves on the boards of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Edwin Gould Academy, and is also a member of the Steering Committee for the New York City Youth Funders Network.


ELIZABETH EGUIA-GARCIA is the Director of Institutional Advancement and Public Affairs at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. She received a MA from St. Mary’s University and a BA from Our Lady of the Lake University. She is a community activist for women and children who experience issues of domestic violence. Mrs. Eguia-Garcia’s community involvement includes work with the Benedictine Resource Center’s P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, Corporate Responsibility, and Hispanas Unidas.


MARINA ESPINOZA is a Youth Development Faculty at Washington State University, serving primarily underserved populations in the King County area. She received her Master’s in Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon. Ms. Espinoza serves on the Willamette Valley Law Project Board, Chair of the Community Alliance for Youth and on several other committees related to education. She has been very active in grassroots community organizing efforts in the areas of education and farm worker issues.


ROSEMARY FLORES is President and CEO of Bilingual Consulting Services. Her contracts include Educational Achievement Services and Public Health Foundation of N. Nevada. She served as Vice-President of Nevada’s Block Grant Commission and has served on the Latin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors serving as Chairperson of the Latino Youth Leadership Conference. She received her BS in Secondary Education from the University of Nevada.


LENI GONZALEZ is the Northern Virginia Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Motor Vehicles and a member of the Virginia Council on the Status of Women, Board of Directors of the Arlington Community Action Program, Inc., The Urban Alternative Foundation and the Project Family.  She is a founder of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia. She serves as the President of LULAC Council 4609 in Arlington and on the Advisory Council of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad. Ms. Gonzalez came to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar and received her Master’s in Education at Catholic University of America.


CYNTHIA HERNANDEZ CASSANO is the Managing Director of the Crowley Children’s Fund that provides outreach to children at risk. She received her Master’s in Social Work and Chemical Dependency/Alcohol and Drugs from California State University, Sacramento. She is a Board Certified LCSW and holds a certification in Legal Meditation from the McGeorge School of Law. Ms. Hernandez-Cassano served on the boards of the United Way, People Reaching Out, Sierra Adoption Services, the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento, Child Abuse Prevention Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as the Army & Navy Military Academy.


ELIZABETH HERNANDEZ MCNAMEE is Associate Director, Community Development for St. Luke’s Health Initiatives dedicated to the health care needs of underserved populations. She holds a BA from Trinity University, a MPH from the University of Texas, School of Public Health, and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She serves on the Board of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association and works with a number of health and human service organizations.


MILLIE HERRERA is the founder, owner and president of The Miami Group, Inc., a management consulting and public affairs firm. She received her MBA from Florida International University. She serves on the Miami Dade County Community Council 12 and on the Board of Directors of Union Positiva, and on the Community Advisory Board of the Girls Advocacy Project.


JOHANNA B. MAES is the Director of the Pre-Collegiate Development Programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder assisting first generation middle and high school students to pursue their higher education goals. She received her BS from the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication and her Master’s of Education from Regis University. Ms. Maes serves on the Board of Directors of Assets for Colorado Youth, the Mayor of Denver’s Commission on Youth, and was also a guest columnist for the Denver Post.


EVELYN MONTALVO is the President/Founder of Evelyn Montalvo Associates, providing executive coaching and talent development consulting services for newly emerging diverse workforces. She received her MBA from New York University in Finance and Marketing. Ms. Montalvo serves on the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Community Impact Plan Development Committee and Marketing Communications Steering Committee.


CELIA NUÑEZ is a Policy Analyst to the Oregon Senate Democratic Leadership Office – the highest ranking Latina staff member in the Oregon Legislative Assembly – and is responsible for conducting analyses of policy issues as well as being the primary liaison to state agencies. She has a BA in Organizational Management and is working towards her MBA from George Fox University in Oregon. She is on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement and is a member of the Oregon Community Foundation-Northern Willamette Valley Advisory Council.


MONICA PALACIO is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the National Crime Prevention Council. She received her degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Palacio also serves as a master trainer and board member for the National Coalition Building Institute. She dedicates herself to building cross-cultural understanding across all identity groups with the goal of of ending racism, and all forms of discrimination, within the Latino community and for all communities.


MARIA DEL SOCORRO PESQUEIRA is the President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción a community-based organization that provides a comprehensive array of social services and advocacy initiatives to promote non-violence and leadership development. Ms. Pesqueira is a board member of the Jesus Guadalupe Foundation and the Coalition Against Domestic Violence Foundation. She is co-founder of Latinos in Development, a professional association of those with careers in resource development and other fundraising activities.


MARIA TERESA PETERSEN serves as Regional Director for LawMedia, a strategic political consulting firm based in Washington, DC. She advises on grassroots organizing, Congressional and State issues and strategic corporate giving. Her strong community service record advising non-profits includes work with the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention. Ms. Petersen received a Bachelor’s in International Economics from the University of California, Davis and her Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.


SUSAN SÁNCHEZ is the Director for the Policy, Planning and Major Projects Division in the Seattle Department of Transportation. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Urban Planning School. Ms. Sánchez volunteers for Leadership Tomorrow and the University of Washington Career Mentor Program. She is also a board member of the Sisu Foundation dedicated to helping handicapped students meet the physical challenges of a college education.


AMY SERRANO is the Director of Siren Studios, an independent film production organization. A 2003 recipient of the TESOROS award in Art and Culture, she serves as an Advisory Board member of the Next Gen International Film Festival and is Project Director on “Of Hope, Courage and Justice: A Global Mosaic of Women in Human Rights,” a multimedia film project exploring the dual role of women in human rights; not just the victims of harsh cultural legacies, but the creative agents of global, social change.


ANA MARIA SOTO is the Director of Latino Cultural Affairs at Columbia College Chicago where she is charged with developing a Latino cultural agenda. She graduated from University of the South and received her Master’s from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She serves on advisory boards on Latino Council on the Media, Chicago Latina Leadership Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women as well as a host for two public access television programs dealing with issues that concern Latinos.


ELIZABETH SUÁREZ is the Founding Partner of Xcelente Marketing & Advertising, a cross cultural, full service marketing and advertising agency specializing in marketing to Hispanic consumers. Ms. Suárez earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. She is a board member of the Denver PBS Station KBDI, where she chairs both the Latino Committee and the Marketing Committee, and she sits on the boards of Adelante Mujer Inc. and the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


CONNIE VALIENTE is the Director of Event Services for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities include fundraising, pre-planning and development of all events and their logistics. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Master’s Degree in Education. Previously, she worked as Corporate Liaison for the National Puerto Rican Coalition. Mrs. Valiente also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Communications from American University.