National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  

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Executive Leadership Program

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Sponsored By:

Anheuser Bush


Center for Creative Leadership


Miller Coors




Class of 2012

Alma Anguiano

Karina Aguilar
Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist,
US Department of Health and Human Services     
New York, NY

Karina Aguilar is the Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Region II.  Karina also serves as a Lieutenant Commander with the US Public Health Service and has been serving since March 2006.  

Karina works with Region II; New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands representing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the country’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to the most vulnerable communities.  It is currently the federal agency in charge of improving American health and implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to joining the federal government, Karina worked with the Alzheimer’s Association in New York City and Western New York.  In this capacity, she joined seasoned leaders in the field of aging and dementia while at other times delivering new information to Latino communities who were not yet aware and informed about the illness and its impact.

Karina received her B.A. in Health and Human Services with a concentration in Social Gerontology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from D’Youville College.  Karina holds a second Masters in Social Work from Hunter College.  Currently, Karina is completing a doctorate in public health policy and management from New York Medical College.

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Midy Aponte

Teresa Albizu-Rodriguez, Ed.D
Co-President, R-A Pinnacle Group, Inc.
Palmetto Bay, FL

Dr. Teresa Albizu possesses vast experience in higher education administration having served Carlos Albizu University for 21 years, the last 10 as system-wide Vice President. Currently, she serves as co-president of the R-A Pinnacle Group, Inc., a consulting firm she founded in 2008. Teresa has demonstrated achievement in leading the creation of outcome-driven strategies, and in developing and implementing plans, policies, and procedures guided at achieving organizational improvement and strategic goals. She possesses an in-depth understanding of institutional culture and behavior with demonstrated ability in helping clients promote a mission- and vision-driven organizational environment.

Teresa has made numerous presentations at local and national conferences, such as ACE, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the NCSPPP. She has been actively involved with various civic, professional and charitable organizations such as Business Network International, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, and the Women’s History Coalition of Dade County, among others. She served as a member of ASPIRA of Florida’s Board of Directors for a period of six years, having served as Chair of the Board in 2002.

Teresa has received extensive accolades from the Miami-Dade community for her leadership and civic service, including the 2006 South Florida Business Journal’s Business Woman of the Year Honoree Award, the 2005 Florida Commission on the Status of Women Award, the Revista Mujer: Mujer Fenomenal 2004 Award, the Teresa Albizu Day Proclamation by Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office, and the 2002 Woman of Impact Award, among many others.

Teresa completed a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree at Nova Southeastern University, a master’s degree in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University, and a bachelor’s of science in psychology from The Florida State University. She is married to Gerardo Rodriguez-Menendez, a clinical psychologist, and has two children, Gerardo and Raquel, both of whom are attorneys.

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America Baez

Beatriz Arsuaga
Marketing Director, MillerCoors
Frisco, TX

Beatriz Arsuaga is the Marketing Director for MillerCoors, the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Beatriz represents the Central Sales region where she is responsible for leading the local and regional marketing efforts for the MillerCoors brand portfolio.

Since the beginning of her career in 1997 as an assistant brand manager for Coors Brewing Company in Puerto Rico, Beatriz has worked her way through different marketing roles and levels of the company.  Her most recent role was Director of Retail Marketing for Miller Lite, where she led the development of retail focused promotions and programs for the brand. 

Beatriz was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is the oldest of four siblings.  She is married to Chris Browne and has two young girls, Sofia and Elena.  She received her bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida and has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.  Beatriz balances her workload by spending quality time with her family. 

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Bella A. Castillo

Sandra Del Toro
Director of Development and Communications,
Mujeres Latinas en Accion
Chicago, IL

Sandra Del Toro has eleven years of experience in policy, program development, organizing and advocacy.  Currently, she is the Director of Development at Mujeres Latinas en Accion, the longest-standing, incorporated Latina organization in the country, where she oversees fundraising for the organization’s $2.5 million budget. 

Prior to joining Mujeres, Sandra served as the Director of Education at the Southwest Organizing Project, a community organization of 29 member institutions on the southwest side, where she led on the organization’s education initiatives.  While at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), she played a key role in passing legislation permitting undocumented immigrant students access to in-state tuition at all Illinois public colleges and universities. At ICIRR, she also organized to open voting opportunities for Latino communities in the Western suburbs, which eventually resulted in the Kane County Clerk entering into a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to properly abide with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Ms. Del Toro received her Masters degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University.  

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Ruth Noemí Colón

Irma Diaz-Gonzalez
President, Employment & Training Centers, Inc.
Houston, TX

As President and CEO of Employment & Training Centers, Inc., Mrs. Diaz-Gonzalez provides human resource, business, education, and training solutions.

A native of Zaragoza, Mexico, Irma began her professional career with the Illinois Migrant Council where she worked in various capacities while attending college, eventually becoming its Executive Director. She married in 1982 and moved to Houston, where she began working as Manager of the City of Houston's Youth Employment Program, an initiative that placed over 10,000 inner-city young adults in jobs every year.

Her community involvement includes serving on the United Way of Greater Houston Board of Trustees, the Memorial Hermann Hospital System Board, the Mexican Institute of Greater Houston, Pan American Round Table, the Governor’s Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal, HISD’s Volunteers in Public Schools, the Citizenship Coalition of Houston, and the Center for Houston’s Future Scenario Building Team.

She has been honored for her accomplishments in both Illinois and Texas by the Illinois Migrant Council, the Martin Luther King Center, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Hispanic School Administrators, Empresarios Latinos de Houston, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Pan American Round Table, Univision and others. Her company has received various accolades such as one of the Fastest Growing Companies, One of the Best Places to Work, and in the Top 50 Family-Owned Businesses.

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Georgina Fabian

Guille Gil-Reynoso
Executive, Special Projects, Santa Barbara Foundation
Santa Barbara, CA

Guille Gil-Reynoso is the Executive Special Projects Assistant to President & CEO Ronald V. Gallo of the Santa Barbara Foundation, a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy.

Guille (pronounced Gee-ye) brings a unique set of administrative, design, and marketing skills to this position. Previously, she worked for Wallace, Roberts & Todd, a landscape architecture firm in San Diego. Guille has also worked for George W. Girvin Associates as a landscape architectural designer in Santa Barbara for nearly 5 years. In 2003, Guille expanded into the nonprofit sector where she worked for Santa Barbara Channels. In this position as a liaison, she supported nonprofit organizations with the local culture, arts and educational programs on television. Guille has also served as a marketing coordinator for various realtors and as an interpreter at local community events.

Guille is fluent in Spanish.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. In addition, she holds an Associate of Arts degree in Multimedia Arts from Santa Barbara City College.  Guille is an active volunteer of Carpinteria AYSO and has supported the work of the Partnership for Excellence Conference in Santa Barbara.  Guille believes in collaborative, creative, and compassionate work and values the opportunity to serve her community.

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Lucia Jennings

Detra Montoya, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing,
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Dr. Detra Montoya is Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. (Marketing) and M.B.A. from Arizona State University and B.S. (Finance) from the University of Arizona.  She has worked in marketing and customer business development for over 15 years.

Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Montoya spent over five years in Procter & Gamble’s Customer Business Development Organization as an Account Executive and in the Multicultural Business Development Organization as a Project Manager. She was responsible for managing national multi-brand Hispanic marketing programs. 
Dr. Montoya currently serves as Board Vice President and Chair for the Governance committee for Consejo Counseling and Referral Service.  She is an Advisory Board member for the University of Washington’s (UW) Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC) and serves as the Faculty Advisor for the ALPFA-UW student chapter.

Dr. Montoya’s research is focused on consumer behavior with a focus on multicultural issues. Her research has been published in the Journal of Business Research, European Retail Digest, and America’s Pharmacist. Dr. Montoya has presented her research at Advances for Consumer Research, Society of Consumer Psychology, the Academy of Marketing Science, and the UW Diversity in Business conferences. She has received research grants from the UW Institute of Ethnic Studies in the United States, State Farm® Insurance, and the Michael G. Foster School of Business BEDC to conduct research on multicultural consumer behavior.

Dr. Montoya has taught numerous marketing courses at Arizona State University and University of Washington over the past 9 years, including consumer behavior, marketing management and a student consulting course to assist local small minority-owned businesses. She also conducts marketing seminars for small business owners throughout Washington state.  

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Patricia Lally

Angélica Pérez, PhD.
Publisher & CEO, NEW LATINA
Valley Cottage, NY

Angelica Perez-Litwin, Ph.D. is best known as the creative force, Publisher and CEO of New Latina ( a bicultural lifestyle online destination centered on personal growth and career success for today’s ambitious Latina.  New Latina was created to provide a unique platform with relevant and smart content for the New Latina woman who wants more out of life.  The progressive online community is a genuine expression of today’s Latina life experience and an organic platform highlighting user-generated content and features. 

Angelica’s distinct life experiences as an entrepreneur, psychologist, and bicultural Latina, have positioned her to be an invaluable resource to media seeking greater understanding and insights on the multifaceted dimensions of the growing Hispanic market and their contributions to the ever evolving multicultural American society.  Angelica is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and other online publications.  She has appeared as a guest panelist on iVillage’s Turbo Talk show and has been featured as a psychologist guest expert on Univision, Telemundo and HITN (Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network) commentating on topics such as depression, dementia, and self-esteem.

Angelica is a 16-year clinical psychologist practitioner with academic degrees from Columbia University and Fordham University.  She formerly held a Research Assistant Professor Faculty Appointment from the New York University School of Medicine. She has served as a consultant to community programs, organizations and facilities providing support and services to Latino populations. Her consulting work has included developing culturally relevant mental health programs, training modules for diverse audiences, and program evaluations. Angelica has delivered over one hundred workshops, staff training sessions, and presentations at community-based organizations, healthcare facilities and regional and national conferences.

Of Dominican descent, Angelica was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York.  She lives with her husband and children in New York.

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Madeline LaSalle

Andreina Pradas
HR Director, Mary's Center
Washington, DC

Andreina Pradas is the HR Director of Mary's Center,  a non-profit, non-religious organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides comprehensive and integrated healthcare, education, and social services to individuals and families whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private systems.

Andreina is responsible for coordinating all aspects of human resources management within Mary's Center. She also coordinates all aspects of employee training, employee relations, and other activities that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Mary's Center’s human resources. Andreina has worked in human resources for more than ten years at companies including The Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, and Hyatt Hotels. She has a B.A. in Tourism Administration and received a Master’s in Human Resources Development from The George Washington University.

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Nidia Malone

Barbara Quiorga
Director, Cash Operations, Delta Airlines
Atlanta, GA

Barbara Quiroga has more than 12 years of experience in finance, including 10 years in Treasury. She is currently the Director of Cash Operations at Delta Air Lines, Inc. with responsibility for daily cash positioning, investment management, letters of credit, treasury accounting, worldwide bank relationships, FX transaction management and hedging strategy.

Barbara joined Delta Air Lines through the merge with Northwest Airlines where she held the position of Director of Corporate Finance. At NWA she was responsible for debt and lease management, interest expense forecasting, and capital markets. Her experience at the airline includes optimal capital structure analysis, interest rate hedging strategies and liquidity management. Barbara worked in Monterrey, Mexico, where she is from, prior to moving to the US to pursue her graduate degree. She started her career at an investment management firm and transitioned to treasury working for Cemex, a multinational cement company.

Barbara has been actively involved with the Latin American Hispanic Employee Network (LAHEN) at Delta Air Lines, Inc. As a Board advisor for LAHEN, she has organized several professional and networking events including a panel discussion with 5 Consul Generals of Latin America about the new immigration reform in Georgia. Barbara is also the Vice Chair of the Institute of Mexico (IDM), a non for profit organization dedicated to the Mexican community development and to promote and to disseminate the history and culture of Mexico.

Barbara has a degree in Economics from the Institute of Technology and Superior Studies of Monterrey and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.

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Christine Marquez-Hudson

Lisa Ramirez, Ed.D.
Director, Office of Migrant Education, US Department of Education
Washington, DC

As the director of migrant education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Lisa R. Ramirez brings a unique combination of personal and professional experiences to help improve the academic success of migrant students across the country.

A daughter of migrant workers and a former migrant worker herself, Dr. Ramirez left the fields to serve in the United States Army Reserves. She financed much of her college education through the GI Bill and began her career as an educator in 1992, first as a middle and high school teacher in English and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in Texas, then serving as an assistant principal and principal. In 2004, Dr. Ramirez took on the challenge of opening the Lubbock Independent School District’s first charter campus, the Ramirez Charter School. She successfully led all aspects of the new school, from writing and evaluating grant applications, to selecting and training a new staff, to building an effective learning community for students and staff.

Dr. Ramirez joined the U.S. Department of Education in 2006 when she was appointed group leader for the discretionary grants team, which plans and coordinates the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), and the Migrant Education Even Start (MEES) program. In her current role as director of the Office of Migrant Education, she manages a staff of 20 and leads the planning and coordination of all aspects of the migrant education program office, including grant and contract administration, policy, evaluation, and special initiatives.

Dr. Ramirez received her B.A., M.Ed., and Ed.D. degrees from Texas Tech University. She is an alumna of an Executive Leadership Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dr. Ramirez enjoys cycling, hiking, and writing. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Roymi Membiela

Dr. Patricia Ramos
Dean, Workforce and Economic Development,
Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, CA

Dr. Patricia Ramos is the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development for Santa Monica College, one of the nation’s premier community colleges, serving nearly 35,000 students annually.  As a senior administrative officer in academic affairs, she is responsible for designing and implementing the strategic vision for all career and technical education programs and for creating vital career pathways for students in current and emerging occupations.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Ramos held a variety of leadership roles at Santa Monica College, including part-time faculty, and Director of the Small Business Development Center, where she helped hundreds of small businesses successfully launch and grow.  Her woman-owned business of twenty years began with two coffee houses and eventually turned into one of the top espresso catering companies in Los Angeles.

Currently she serves as Commissioner on the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Los Angeles County.  Dr. Ramos holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Master’s degree in Educational Counseling. She resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband.

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Esmeralda Mora

Raquel Vega-Gaskins
Property & Casualty Underwriting Consultant,
State Farm® Insurance
Bloomington, IL

Raquel Vega-Gaskins, CPCU, is a Property and Casualty Underwriting Consultant for State Farm® Insurance Companies. Raquel started her State Farm® career in 1999 as a Fire Underwriter in Dallas, Texas after working for a State Farm® Agent in El Paso, Texas for three years. In 2004, she became an Auto Underwriting Team Manager responsible for the El Paso and Fort Worth territories.

In 2008, she was selected as Auto Underwriting Section Manager in the Atlanta Operations Center with responsibilities for the state of Georgia.  In 2010, Raquel also assumed the responsibilities for the state of South Carolina.  In April of 2011, she assumed her current position.

Raquel graduated from University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in Business Administration. She also completed the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation (CPCU) in 2003. She is currently pursuing her Chartered Life Underwriter designation as a means to continue to grow in her professional role.

Raquel and her husband, Joe, are actively involved with their daughters, Alyssa and Isabelle. 

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