Latin Business Today Advisory Board

Hispanic business experts, Hispanic business mentors, Latino entrepreneurs

 

 

Carola Bracco-Latin-Business-TodayCarola Otero Bracco is the Executive Director of Neighbors Link Northern Westchester and CEO of Neighbors Link Network.  A first generation American born of immigrant parents from Bolivia,Carola earned a Masters in Business Administration from Duke University.  Before assuming her post with Neighbors Link in April of 2004, she had 12 years experience in financial management with General Electric Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Time Warner, Inc.  Carola has a passion for motivating constituent families and advocating for personal growth through education and economic development Read more

 

Deb Cruz-Latin-Business-TodayDebra Cruz is a VP in Global Brand & Marketing at MetLife. She has over 20 years of experience in Customer Experience Design with a focus on Digital. She  joined MetLife in 2000 where she led a major redesign for MetLife’s Corporate website, formed their first User Experience team (which included a strong qualitative research function) and eventually acquired and led the full digital team as Director of eBusiness. Debra was part of the original innovation team that created the US Direct Distribution business at MetLife. Read more

 

Bob Dorf-Latin-Business-TodayBob Dorf is among the most knowledgeable Lean Innovation and Customer Development experts on the planet, second only to Steve Blank, who developed the methodology and spent a decade extending and refining it. Together with Steve Blank, Bob published The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, the seminal text outlining every step of the lean customer development process. After two years of near-fulltime research and writing, it became Amazon.com’s #1 Business/Entrepreneurship bestseller, with some 400,000+ copies in circulation in more than 17 languages worldwide.  Read more

 

Giselle Fernandez-Latin-Business-TodayGiselle Fernandez is a five-time Emmy award winning journalist, producer, film maker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur, Giselle Fernandez is the creator and host of the award winning on line interview series, "Big Shots.” Her exclusive interviews with titans of industry, thought leaders and trend setters from around the globe, not only delve into the economic landscape of America but the impact diversity and multi cultural demographics have on our future.As President of her own production, management and messaging consulting company, Fernandez consults to corporate America on marketing strategies to multi cultural markets.  Read more

 

Senen-Garcia-Latin-Business-TodaySenen Garcia, attorney and accountant operates a thriving law practice in multiple states assisting clients with their corporate, real estate, estate planning, and property insurance claim needs. Additionally, Mr. Garcia has accounting practice assisting small businesses with tax and accounting needs. Along with his work with SCORE, Mr. Garcia has also provided assistance with the local Small Claims Clinic that provides assistance to individuals filing small claims cases. Mr. Garcia has spoken on a variety of topics such as: How to start a business, Communication within your organization, Importance of Capital Accounts, What’s in Business Name Anyway? Read more

 

Maria Hernandez Latin Business Today Advisory BoardMaria Hernandez, Maria is currently a consulting excutive formely Chief Innovation Officer for IBM- Latin America, where she’s a visionary leader and evangelist in driving innovation with IBM’s largest Strategic Outsourcing clients in Latin America, opening doors to new business and increasing client satisfaction through innovative technologies and solutions.  Prior to this role, IBM was spearheading the strategy and transformation of IBM’s Business Partners in North America around key growth initiatives such as Cloud Computing, Business Analytics, and Smarter Cities.  She has also been a worldwide leader for IBM’s Corporate Strategy team responsible for business development initiatives in the emerging markets. Read More

 

Tony Jimenez Latin Business TodayTony Jimenez, President and CEO MicroTech, Tony's personal story is as dynamic and inspiring as his achievements. Since founding MicroTech more than 10 years ago he has grown MicroTech into a multimillion dollar company with more than 100 contracts supporting Federal, State, and Local Governments and Fortune 500 companies. Several national organizations have paid tribute to MicroTech including Inc Magazine, Digital Software Magazine, Deloitte, Washington Technology, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, and National Veteran-Owned Business Association.  Read More 

 

Theresa Kushner-Latin-Business-TodayTheresa Kushner, Senior Vice President performance analytics group at Dell. Previously vice president, Information Innovation Center, VMware, Senior Director, Customer Intelligence, Cisco and Director at Marketing IBM.Big data! It's this decade's new technology advantage. At least, that's what most people think. But data has always been my passion and now that it's gotten BIGGER, I'm sharing my passion with lots of people who want to get into Big Data, little data or any size data. Read More

 

Kiki Mekendez-Latin-Business-TodayKiki Melendez actress, producer and businesswoman is best known for her versatility; this communications major turned clinical hypnotherapist became an actress, producer and businesswoman. As CEO of Latin Hollywood Films, Kiki was involved in a host of critically acclaimed hits including Galavision’s “Kiki Desde Hollywood”, Showtime Network’s “Kiki Melendez Hot Tamales Live” and the docu-comedy “The Journey of a Female Comic”. Ever the comic, Kiki’s says she’s “hoping to remain happily married…LOL”. Kiki is also the proud mom of twin girls. Read More

 

Elias Mendoza-Latin-Business-TodayElias Mendoza, Senior Managing Director, Siris Capital, LLC A global leader with a strong technology background and experience in global strategy, business development, and all aspects of M&A execution. I defined, built, and managed successful business efforts globally within large multinational companies, as well as in smaller, entrepreneurial settings. Specialties: Global Strategy and Business Development, Global Mergers and Acquisitions, Technology Sector Mergers, Acquisitions, and Integration, Worldwide Operational Excellence, Teambuilding and Leadership, Global Corporate Finance and Capital Markets and Entrepreneurship Read More

 

Mara Perez Latin Business TodayMara Perez, Ph.D. Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services, she provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits. Mara has helped over seventy organizations obtain funding, design innovative work strategies, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Community service includes: 2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital; 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, twice Board President; 2005 Spirit of Marin Award, Business Person of the Year; Coro Leadership Community Fellow.Born in Argentina, she resides in California. Read more

  

diane sanchez Latin Business TodayDiane Sánchez is recognized as an IT and Telecommuncations leader for her contribution in the Americas Region in setting up operations for some of the leading Global Corporations in the IT and Telecommunications industry where she has held key executive positions for some of the world market leaders and played a key role in leading their entry into Canada, Caribbean, Europe, India, Latin America and the USA. Read more

 

 

Miles Slater-Latin-Business-TodayMiles A. Slater is a former President and CEO of Salomon Brothers International, Ltd. and also served as a member of Salomon Brothers’ Mr. Slater began his career in investment banking working at the Federal Open Market Committee Trading Desk and held senior executive and board positions with several Wall Street firms globally. Read more,

 

 

Joe-Steranka-105x105Joe Steranka, following a 34 year career in professional sports, the final seven as the PGA of America's Chief Executive Officer, Joe Steranka is enjoying a much earned sabbatical from the corporate world. He's involved with philanthropic organizations including Children's Healthcare Charities of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla, and the Folds of Honor Foundation of Owasso, Okla, for whom he chairs the Board of Directors. During his 25 years with The PGA, Steranka guided the world’s largest working sports organization's efforts to grow the game of golf and its biggest professional tournaments. Read more,

 

Fernando Valenzuela-Latin-Business-TodayFernando Valenzuela is currently head of Aspen Institute education program in Mexico and Partner at Global Impact Edtech Alliance. He was formerly President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background.  He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, and board member at Inroads.  He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America.  Read More 

Daniel O. Vargas has more than 30 years of experience in advertising. In New York City he was lead Art Director at Avon Products, an Art Director at many top New York agencies such as: Wells Rich & Greene, Shaller Ruben, and William Douglas McAdams. Vargas became Executive Art Director for BBDO, which brought him to Atlanta, Georgia to work on the Delta Airlines account, Dan became a principle in Rafshoon, Shivers, Vargas, Tolpin, the agency that put President Jimmy Carter in office and became well-known to Atlanta as the person who designed the Georgia Peach logo for the State of Georgia. Read More

 

Elaine Vasquez Latin Business TodayElaine M. Vasquez was the owner of Broward’s first bilingual newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, publishing since 1974.. She is a seasoned public relations and marketing executive who pioneered the cable television industry in Broward County from 1970 to 1985 having co-owned a company that eventually became Comcast Communciations. She previously owned a multicultural communications company, Latin Power, Inc. and presently owns a special events company, We Do Events, Inc. which produces the annual Hispanic Women of Distinction charity luncheon, Fiesta! Fort Lauderdale, Viva Broward!  Read More

 

Ross M. Weale previously co-founded Country Bank in Carmel, New York, most recently President of The Putnam County Economic Development Corp. A career banker with The Bank of New York and Country Bank, a Carmel, NY based commercial Bank he started. Was The New York State Chairman of the NY’s Small Business Advisory Board, a Governor Pataki appointee. Formerly active in SCORE as a counselor and active in the Westchester Putnam Boy Scouts of America. A graduate of Nichols College and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Carola Bracco- Latin Business Today

Carola Otero Bracco During Carola's tenure at Neighbors Link, the number of programs offered and individuals served has more than doubled.  She is now focused on strategically replicating the Neighbors Link programs and model in interested communities to further our mission of healthy integration of the whole community. 

She serves as a Trustee on the Board of Directors of Northern Westchester Hospital and is a board member of Non Profit Westchester and the Emergency Shelter Partnership.

Her awards include the 2007 “Woman of the Year” Award from the Westchester Community Federation of Women’s Clubs and the 2009 “Circle of Giving” Award from the Westchester Community Foundation. She was an Honoree at the 2009 Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 20th Anniversary Awards Gala. In 2014, Carola was named by Westchester Magazine as one of the top Women in Business. 

Back to top

  


 

Deb Cruz-Latin Business Today

Debra Cruz is a VP in Global Brand & Marketing at MetLife. She has over 20 years of experience in Customer Experience Designwith a focus on Digital. She joined MetLife in 2000 where she led a major redesign for MetLife’s Corporate website, formed their first User Experience team (which included a strong qualitative research function) and eventually acquired and led the full digital team as Director of eBusiness.

Debra was part of the original innovation team that created the US Direct Distribution business at MetLife, and in 2010, she launched a Global Social Media Program at MetLife. Today she is focused on rolling out a framework to support a consistent Global Digital Brand for MetLife. In 2014, she took on a temporary assignment in Japan to support the local market with a rebrand effort and Digital Strategy.

She has a professional and personal interest in supporting her global partners with Digital Marketing best practices as well as motivating, educating and building the next generation of leaders at MetLife. She is an Advisor to the Global Multicultural Professionals Network, which helps to foster awareness, respect and inclusion, and was a member of the MetLife US Diversity and Inclusion task force.

Debra started her career at Prodigy Services Company – where she designed digital experiences to generate leads and sales across industry verticals from Travel to Entertainment and Finance to Real Estate. She then moved on to IBM Global Services where she was responsible for one of the largest global content databases designed to enable IBM Global Business Partners to access the information needed achieve and maintain success.

Back to top

 


 

Bob Dorf- Latin Business Today

Bob Dorf is among the most knowledgeable Lean Innovation and Customer Development experts on the planet, second only to Steve Blank, who developed the methodology and spent a decade extending and refining it. Together with Steve Blank, Bob published The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, the seminal text outlining every step of the lean customer development process. After two years of near-fulltime research and writing, it became Amazon.com’s #1 Business/Entrepreneurship bestseller, with some 400,000+ copies in circulation in more than 17 languages worldwide.  

Bob has trained and coached scores of established companies, and literally more than 1000 startups.  He’s worked with GE, Merck, NewsCorp, and Carvajal SA; and intimately with six established, growing Latin American Companies in the ECLA program at Columbia Business School, where he’s an Entrepreneur in Residence. In his world travels, he’s coached scores more on behalf of the governments of Colombia, Mexico, Russia and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which he’s keynoted four times.  His coaching focus centers around refining and optimizing business models(often with “pivoting”) and particularly on scaling sales and marketing activities(which has been the heart of his 40-plus year startup career). 

Entrepreneurial from the age of 12, Bob received his last W-2 some 40 years ago, when he left a great news editor’s job at WINS Radio in New York to launch his first startup. Since then, he has personally founded seven companies, including—as he puts it—“two homeruns, two base hits, and three solid tax losses.”  His 27 personal investments included 7 IPO’s, six colossal failures, and--­as he puts it—“everything imaginable in between.”  here’s shorter. edit as needed…

Bob Dorf is among the most knowledgeable Lean Innovation and Customer Development experts on the planet, second only to Steve Blank, who developed the methodology and spent a decade extending and refining it. Together with Steve Blank, Bob published The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, the seminal text outlining every step of the lean customer development process. After two years of near-fulltime research and writing, it became Amazon.com’s #1 Business/Entrepreneurship bestseller, with some 400,000+ copies in circulation in more than 17 languages worldwide.  

Bob has trained and coached scores of established companies, and literally more than 1000 startups.  He’s worked with GE, Merck, NewsCorp, and Carvajal SA; and intimately with six established, growing Latin American Companies in the ECLA program at Columbia Business School, where he’s an Entrepreneur in Residence. In his world travels, he’s coached scores more on behalf of the governments of Colombia, Mexico, Russia and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, 

Back to top

 


 

Giselle Fernandez

Giselle Fernandez is a five-time Emmy award winning journalist, producer, film maker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur, Giselle Fernandez is the creator and host of the award winning on line interview series, "Big Shots.” Her exclusive interviews with titans of industry, thought leaders and trend setters from around the globe, not only delve into the economic landscape of America but the impact diversity and multi cultural demographics have on our future.

As President of her own production, management and messaging consulting company, Fernandez consults to corporate America on marketing strategies to multi cultural markets and also a Senior Advisor with Monarch Global Strategies, where she advises clients on strategic communications, brand

development and management, capital formation, and marketing strategies, especially in multicultural markets. She is based in Monarch’s Los Angeles office.

Fernandez is best known over the past decade, for her coverage of international news stories and major events and for her documentary film production. Fernandez completed her first feature length documentary in 2004, "Our Story", the compelling tale of an eleven year old Hispanic boy with cancer who hoped telling his story would shed light on the health care crisis facing low income kids in the Latin community.

Fernandez has made significant contributions to the CBS and NBC networks. Among her numerous posts, Fernandez anchored NBC's weekend edition of the "Today Show" and was the first Latina to host the Sunday edition of the "NBC Nightly News." She also handled special and foreign assignments for the NBC network. Prior to that, Fernandez served at CBS News substituting for Paula Zahn on "CBS This Morning," Dan Rather on the "CBS Evening News" and Connie Chung on the "CBS Weekend News". Additionally, Fernandez was a regular contributor to CBS "Sunday Morning," "Face the Nation" and "48 Hours." 

Back to top

 

 


 

Senen-Garcia-Latin-Business-Today

Senen Garcia has been an Entrepreneur from an early age. Mr. Garcia was sole owner of two businesses before completing his Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. His concentration in Entrepreneurship and International Business only fueled his desire to pursue life as an Entrepreneur. Prior to receiving his undergraduate degree, Mr. Garcia opened his accounting and tax practice.

While continuing to manage the operation of his accounting and tax practice, Mr. Garcia would eventually complete his Graduate and Juris Doctorate degrees. Mr. Garcia now operates a thriving law practice in multiple states assisting clients with their corporate, real estate, estate planning, and property insurance claim needs. Additionally, Mr. Garcia is Vice-Chair and a certified counselor for SCORE advising small businesses on various topics to help propel their businesses to the next level. In addition to his work with SCORE, Mr. Garcia has also provided assistance with the local Small Claims Clinic that provides assistance to individuals filing small claims cases.

Mr. Garcia has spoken on a variety of topics such as: How to start a business, Defining a business’ cost & profit centers, Seeking financing for a business, Proper budgeting, Communication within your organization, Estate Planning for Business Owners, Maximizing your tax refund while minimizing your costs, Importance of Capital Accounts, What’s in Business Name Anyway?, Tax planning, Stock Purchase Agreements vs. Asset Purchase Agreements, and Reducing member apathy.

Back to top

 

 


  

Maria Hernandez Latin Business Today Advisory BoardMaria Hernandez is Chief Innovation Officer for IBM- Latin America, where she’s a visionary leader and evangelist in driving innovation with IBM’s largest Strategic Outsourcing clients in Latin America, opening doors to new business and increasing client satisfaction through innovative technologies and solutions.  Prior to this role, IBM was spearheading the strategy and transformation of IBM’s Business Partners in North America around key growth initiatives such as Cloud Computing, Business Analytics, and Smarter Cities.  She has also been a worldwide leader for IBM’s Corporate Strategy team responsible for business development initiatives in the emerging markets.   In her 20+ years in the IT industry, Maria has demonstrated her leadership and technical knowledge in a broad spectrum of experiences ranging from sales, marketing, growth businesses, technology research and development.

She has expanded her leadership into the entrepreneurial space by launching StartupFlorida as one of the first States to be part of the StartupAmerica initiative bringing together the private sector, incubators, investors, and other organizations to support entrepreneurs who leverage technology to drive innovation.  She was also the thought leader and catalyst within the So. Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem to conduct the first IBM Smart Camp event for Healthcare in Miami aimed at identifying early stage entrepreneurs who align to IBM’s Smarter Healthcare vision.   Given her entrepreneurial accomplishments, Maria was selected as a core team member of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge team in Malaga, Spain working with the City government and other key stakeholders to recommend best practices and ideas to drive economic development and job growth through entrepreneurship.   Maria’s entrepreneurial ability coupled with her cross-IBM experience have given her the experience to lead teams and organizations to develop breakthrough ideas, solutions, and technologies across global markets.

Maria is the founder of Madrinas, a first of its kind virtual network and non-profit organization for Corporate Latina leaders with a track record of accomplishments in networking and mentoring.   Maria has received recognition for being a Latina role model and is a frequent speaker at women conferences and university events.

Back to top

 


 

Tony Jimenez Latin Business TodayTony Jimenez, President and CEO MicroTech, Tony's personal story is as dynamic and inspiring as his achievements. Since founding MicroTech more than 10 years ago he has grown MicroTech into a multimillion dollar company with more than 100 contracts supporting Federal, State, and Local Governments and Fortune 500 companies. Several national organizations have paid tribute to MicroTech including Inc Magazine, Digital Software Magazine, Deloitte, Washington Technology, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, and National Veteran-Owned Business Association. Tony’s been named "Entrepreneur of the Year," "Small Business Person of the Year," "Executive of the Year," and "CEO of the Year" by several national organizations. He’s also been named to the list of "Most Influential Hispanics in the Nation" by the Hispanic Business Magazine, “50 Most Influential Virginians” by Virginia Business and "Veteran of the Year” by Veterepreneur Magazine.

Jimenez is the award-winning Founder, President, and CEO of MicroTech, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), His company is an industry leading prime contractor on over 100 Federal projects and holds more than 25 procurement vehicles, offering access to 2500 vendors and over a million technology products and services. The nationally recognized company is also certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). MicroTech offers Technology Integration, Telecom & Cloud, and Product Solutions commercial enterprises, as well as the public sector — managing over half-a-million tech users daily.

Since founding MicroTech in 2004, Jimenez has grown the business into a profitable multi-million dollar company with highly skilled professionals across the U.S. MicroTech supporting over 100 prime contracts with civilian and defense agencies of the Federal government and providing IT and network support to numerous Fortune 500 companies around the globe. MicroTech’s suite of services and solutions has ensured that clients in government, education, and the technology industry accomplish their mission while simultaneously maximizing their return on investment (ROI) and lowering their total cost of ownership (TCO). As a result, customers continuously realize the business advantage of utilizing MicroTech and its innovative and reliable solutions and processes.

Back to top

 


 

Theresa Kushner Latin Business Today

Theresa Kushner is currently senior vice president performance analytics group at Dell. Previously vice president, Information Innovation Center, VMware, Senior Director, Customer Intelligence, Cisco and Director at Marketing IBM.

 Big data! It's this decade's new technology advantage. At least, that's what most people think. But data has always been my passion and now that it's gotten BIGGER, I'm sharing my passion with lots of people who want to get into Big Data, little data or any size data.

I am a marketer who got tired of not being able to do effective marketing because I couldn't find my customers, didn't know for sure what they had purchased and was constantly sending messages to contacts who had no interest or idea what I was selling. At the heart of this problem was BAD DATA.So, I set out to fix the problem. In doing so, I learned about all the challenges that my IT counterparts face with users who can't take the time to enter data properly and with data cowboys that download data from major systems and transform it for their own islands of information. It's funny what happens when you walk in the other guys' shoes.

My journey has led me to write a book (with the help of my good friend and colleague, Maria Villar) about how to manage data effectively in an enterprise. Today, I manage data governance for the fastest growing software company of all time -- VMware, and my passion is growing just as data gets bigger. My goals for this incredibly important part of any business also get bigger. Bringing data management expertise to marketers, sales operations professionals and business people, in general but small businesses particularly, is my goal and my passion. Specialties: Database Marketing /Customer Data /Customer Experience Management /Analysis and Insights

Back to top



  

Kiki Melendez- Latin Business Today

Kiki Melendez is an award-winning comedienne, actress, writer, and producer Kiki Melendez grew up in New York City of Dominicandescent.  She spent her childhood watching classic televisions shows such as The Brady Bunch and Bewitched during the day and Spanish telenovelas at night. As a teenager Melendez’s family moved to Miami. She went back to New York to get training in the performing arts.  She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater, The New York Film Institute and TheHerbert Berghof Studio.

She started her career in show business as a morning radio host for stations such as La Nueva FM, 105.9 in New York and KRLA, Groove 103.1 in Los Angeles.

In 1998, Melendez successfully transitioned from radio to television. Her first pilot, Salsa desde Hollywood was acquired by Galavision Network. Following its success, Melendez went on to create America’s first bilingual variety show Kiki desde Hollywood, which became the highest rated entertainment show on the Galavision Network.  Melendez has also been an entertainment reporter the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and other international media outlets.

Back to top

 

 


 

Eli Mendoza- Latin Business Today

Elias Mendoza, Senior Managing Director, Siris Capital, LLC A global leader with a strong technology background and experience inglobal strategy, business development, and all aspects of M&A execution. I defined, built, and managed successful business efforts globally within large multinational companies, as well as in smaller, entrepreneurial settings. Specialties: Global Strategy and Business Development, Global Mergers and Acquisitions, Technology Sector Mergers, Acquisitions, and Integration, Worldwide Operational Excellence, Teambuilding and Leadership, Global Corporate Finance and Capital Markets and Entrepreneurship.

Back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mara Perez Latin Business TodayMara Perez Is Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services. Mara provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits and educational institutions. She has helped nearly eighty organizations obtain millions of dollars in funding, design innovative work strategies, establish high-impact visions and missions, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Mara writes for Latin Business Today, and has published for other entities, including Stanford Social Innovation Review and Grassroots Fundraising Journal. She has also written articles, book reviews and contributed to chapters in books in academic publications. Her writings are about immigration, social change, fundraising, the Latino population in the U.S., the non-profit sector and philanthropy. She has also conducted fundraising workshops in the U.S. and abroad.
Community service includes: 2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital (Greenbrae, CA); 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, and twice Board President (San Rafael, CA). Mara has been serving on Boards since 1995. In 2005 she received the Spirit of Marin Award and was named Business Person of the Year by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Marin. In addition, Mara was a Coro Leadership Community Fellow in San Francisco. Born in Argentina, she resides in Northern California.

Back to top

 

 


 

Diane-Sanchez-Latin Business-Today

Diane Sánchez is recognized for her contribution in the Americas Region in setting up operations for some of the leading Global Corporations in the IT and Telecommunications industry where she has held key executive positions for some of the world market leaders and played a key role in leading their entry into Canada, Caribbean, Europe, India, Latin America and the USA.

Ms. Sánchez continues working as a catalyst in transforming key industry sectors through innovation and technology in the Americas after her successful launch of the eMerge Americas movement. She most recently lead this initiative as the CEO for the Technology Foundation of the Americas, a strategic private and public sector initiative to launch a Technology Hub for the Latin America in Miami and establish a technology corridor in the Americas. She is currently working with the healthcare and creative industry sectors to develop strategic centers of excellence in the Americas. Prior to this, she served as President, Global Operations for Mozido, a global provider of multi-channel mobile transaction services bringing mobile phone users including the unbanked and disenfranchised into the financial ecosystem. She also served as President and CEO for Telefónica’s operation in North America and Puerto Rico. Before coming to Telefónica, Ms. Sanchez served as President, Terremark, NAP of the Americas, leading a consortium of public and private corporations in establishing Miami as the Fifth Communications and IP hub in the world. She also served as President and CEO of Global Crossing Latin America, where she was responsible for launching Global Crossing’s operation in the sub-regions of South America, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.

Back to top

 


 

 

Miles Slater- Latin Business Today

Miles A. Slater is a former President and CEO of Salomon Brothers International, Ltd. and also served as a member of Salomon Brothers’Brothers’ Board of Directors. Mr. Slater began his career in investment banking working at the Federal Open Market Committee Trading Desk and held senior executive and board positions with several Wall Street firms globally. He also has been Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer. Since his retirement from Salomon Brothers, Mr. Slater has served on numerous private-company and not-for-profit boards and has taught leadership at the graduate level. Mr. Slater holds a degree in Finance from New York University. Back to top

 

 

 

 

 


 

Joe Steranka v1Joe Steranka Following a 34 year career in professional sports, the final seven as the PGA of America's Chief Executive Officer, Joe Steranka is enjoying a much earned sabbatical from the corporate world. The 55-year-old SOJ graduate continues to give back through his involvement with numerous philanthropic organizations including Children's Healthcare Charities of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla, and the Folds of Honor Foundation of Owasso, Okla, for whom he chairs the Board of Directors.

During his 25 years with The PGA, Steranka guided the world’s largest working sports organization's efforts to grow the game of golf and its biggest professional tournaments domestically and around the world. In addition to his duties as PGA CEO, he served as Chair of the World Golf Foundation and as a member of the leadership teams for the World PGA Alliance and the International Golf Federation’s work to return golf to the Olympic Games. More recently, Steranka steered a new industry government relations program We Are Golf, designed to achieve legislative and public affairs goals on behalf of the $68 billion a year golf industry.
His stewardship produced long standing broadcasting agreements with CBS, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting and others to distribute the PGA’s premier events including the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship to record worldwide audiences. He also cultivated a relationship with Leo Burnett, leading to popular public service announcements for PGA members and steered an unprecedented new media alliance with Time Warner establishing PGA.com as a leading golf destination on the Web.

A 1979 graduate of West Virginia University with a B.S. in journalism, he and his wife, Joann, live in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Back to top

 


 

Fernando ValenzuelaFernando Valenzuela is recognized as one of Latin America's most capable digital transformation catalyst with direct influence over hundreds of institutions and thousands of solutions, that have impacted millions of users in over 25 countries Trilingual senior executive, entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, with Global multi-industry and multi-cultural capabilities. Expert in Latin America and Hispanic content markets.  Able to work in the US, Europe & Mexico. Lived in Miami, Sao Paulo, Medellin, Mexico.
Has decisively accelerated digital transformation, with deep understanding of the needs of new generation digital natives, by re-envisioning seemingly disconnected delivery models, designing data driven engaging experiences, capitalizing diverse formats-devices-digital assets. Brings broad perspective and inspirational leadership skills, a culture of global high performance executive teams within complex environments, dealing equitably with people.
Track-record of setting & implementing breakthrough strategic agenda both for creating and growing new businesses as well as for transforming under-performing organizations into collaborative environments.
Successfully delivering profitable multi-million, complex projects in high profile situations of multiple stakeholders, broad segments and diverse portfolios.
Strategic thinker able to drive change with creative ideas implemented in efficient ways. Possesses a strong personal drive, integrity and focus. Sustains a valuable global network of high level contacts. Gifted communicator, receiving recognition as featured on media, from his speeches and publications, on such topics as: Learning Experiences, Future of Education, Technological Innovation, Education for Sustainability, Gamification, Global EdTech. Ex-professional soccer player and Professional Soccer coach creatively uses competitive leadership lessons from the sport world to motivate and develop talent.

 

Back to top

 

 


 

Daniel O. Vargas is CEO and President of Vargas&Amigos, based in Atlanta. His experience in advertising started on Madison Avenue, New York as an Art Director at William Douglas McAdams, Shaller Ruben, Avon Products, and Wells Rich & Greene. Vargas became Executive Art Director at BBDO Atlanta, Georgia where he was brought in to work on the Delta Airlines account. Dan later became a principal in Rafshoon, Shivers, Vargas, Tolpin, the agency that put President Jimmy Carter in office and where he designed the Georgia Peach logo. Known for opening the first Latino advertising agency in Georgia, serving accounts as HUD, the CDC, the National Arthritis Foundation, AMI Hospitals, Tobacco Use and Prevention, The Army, The Marines, Pizza Hut, General Mills and has just added to the list the Atlanta Visitors and Convention Bureau. Dan’s work can be viewed at the Pentagon, hanging in the Hall of Heroes, a painting honoring Hispanics in Americas Defense created for the Coca-Cola Company. He’s earned national and international creative awards including Se Habla Español, Clio’s and National Addy’s. Mr. Vargas was honored last year in Washington D.C. by the head of the FBI, Robert S. Mueller, who presented him with the Director’s Award for Community Leadership. His most recent accolade is being profiled on the American Express Open Forum.

Back to top

 


 

Elaine M. Vasquez Latin Business TodayElaine M Vasquez is the owner of Broward’s first bilingual newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, publishing since 1974.. She is a seasoned public relations and marketing executive who pioneered the cable television industry in Broward County from 1970 to 1985 having co-owned a company that eventually became Comcast Communciations.

She previously owned a multicultural communications company, Latin Power, Inc. and presently owns a special events company, We Do Events, Inc. which produces the annual Hispanic Women of Distinction charity luncheon, Fiesta! Fort Lauderdale, Viva Broward! Calendar of Events for Hispanic Heritage Month and over 200 galas, outdoor fairs and festivals, private fundraisers and political activities.   Elaine’s pioneering ventures inspired her to develop a unique set of skills that formed the backbone of her story and still makes an impact on her business and social life today.

Elaine has been active on numerous non-profit boards, some of which have included: Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, Community Foundation of Broward, March of Dimes, United Way, Broward Sheriff’s Explorers, Boys & Girls Club, Florida Humanities Council, Broward Library Foundation, Broward College Community Board, Communities in Schools, Broward Center for the Homeless, Broward Education Foundation, Governor’s Mansion Foundation, Diversity Committee of Broward County Schools, Girl Scouts of Broward, Meals on Wheels, Foundation for Florida’s Future, First Call for Help,(211 Broward) the Riverwalk Trust and Light of the World Clinic.

Elaine’s achievements have not rested here. She continues to work to combat stereotypes, empower minorities, mentor young students and educate the public for better access to education, healthcare, business and services.  Her greatest gift and joy of all is – her 3 daughters, 4 granddaughters and grandson – her family is woven into every aspect of her life.

Back to top

 


 

Ross M. Weale is an Assistant District Director for SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business) serving the Chapters in the Hudson Valley. He retired just last year as President of The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation, Carmel, New York, after serving in this capacity for 7 years.

Mr. Weale, prior to his Putnam County assignment, successfully co-founded Country Bank in Carmel, New York in 1988 and managed its growth to a level of $75MM in assets. As President & CEO of Country Bank, Mr. Weale served the needs and financial requirements of small business and entrepreneurial ventures in the Putnam/Westchester marketplace. During his tenure with Country Bank, he successfully co-founded and chaired the Putnam Business Connection, a 2-day economic development conference for small businesses focusing on business retention issues in Putnam County. Prior to the successful start-up of the new commercial bank venture, Mr. Weale had been associated with The Bank of New York for 23 years serving in a number of senior level positions, including the Presidency of the Bank’s Westchester/Putnam Division.

Mr. Weale maintains numerous Directorships on Boards, including ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York, and had served 10 years as Chairman of New York State’s Small Business Advisory Board within the Pataki Administration. He currently serves on the boards of The Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association and is the immediate past President of The Westchester-Putnam Boy Scout Council.

Mr. Weale holds a B.S. in Finance from Nichols College and completed The Advanced Management Program, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Back to top