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© 2009-2018 Hispanas Organized for Political Equality–California.

The Second HOPE Binational Fellowship cohort has been selected through a rigorous process following nomination by recognized leaders, mentors, national partners, or the HOPE Binational Fellowship Advisory Group. The HOPE Binational Fellows are outstanding Latina professionals with the potential to make urgent and long-lasting changes in the lives of Latinas in the United States and all communities.

Meet the 2019 fellows.

Mercedes Lopez Arratia

CMO and Clients Strategy Head, Azteca Financial Services

Mercedes Lopez Arratia is a global advertising and marketing expert, digital marketing pioneer, with over twenty years of experience. Since February 2016, Mercedes is the CMO at Azteca Servicios Financieros, one of the top 5 finantial services groups in Mexico. From 2010 to 2016, Mercedes worked at Citibank. Her last role was Head of Retail Marketing for Banamex, leading finantial institution in Mexico and fully owned by Citi USA. She also was the Digital CMO and Customer Experience Director of the bank. Before that, she worked at American Express for twelve years, eight of them at the corporate headquarters in New York. There, she became the Vice President in charge of digital sales in the United States.

 

Mercedes is also an entrepreneur. In 2008 she became co-founder and CMO of iQuanti, a firm based in the United States and India dedicated to accelerating the growth of companies through the implementation of Digital and Database Marketing solutions.Mercedes has a BA in International Relations from the National University of México and an International Economics Masters degree from the University of Warwick in the UK. She is a speaker at various industry events internationally; she was the chairman of the board of CIM Digital Media (Media Research Center), a founding member of the Bureau of the IAB Advertisers and the Mobile Marketing Association in Mexico & LATAM.

Lourdes Berho

President & Chief Catalyst, Alchemia Communications Group

Lourdes Berho has more than 25 years of experience in C-Suite positions heading global organizations and has been an indisputable growth leader. Her professional career focuses in senior management, business plan development, media, strategic marketing communications, travel and tourism, luxury and sustainability. In 2011 she founded Alchemia Communications Group, where she currently is President and Chief Catalyst. In 2018 she was appointed as Regional Director for Brand USA in Mexico. In this position, she is responsible for the strategic travel trade and marketing efforts of the company in the Mexican market. Prior to that, she served as head of the Mexico Tourism Board and occupied positions such as VP of Premium Marketing at Banamex-City, CEO at Condé Nast Mexico and Latin America and CEO of Publicitas Promotion Network and CMG for Mexico and Latin America. As an activist, she co-founded Casa Hogar Alegría IAP and is a member of several non-profit organization’s Advisory Boards, such as Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society. She is frequently invited as a speaker on travel and tourism marketing, innovation, sustainability and women empowerment in international forums.

Marisa Bono

Chief of Policy, Office of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg

Marisa Bono is the Chief of Policy for San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.  She advises the Mayor and oversees the implementation of his policy agenda, including priorities related to transportation, public safety, housing, and education and workforce development.

Before joining the City, Ms. Bono served as the Southwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s premier Latino civil rights law firm.  At MALDEF, Marisa led statewide cases and directed the organization’s litigation and policy agendas in the areas of education, immigration, voting rights, and political access. 

Ms. Bono has tried school funding cases in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico, where she challenged the inadequacy of school funding for low-income and English Language Learner students. She was the first Latina to argue a school funding case in the Texas Supreme Court, and most recently served as the lead attorney in Martinez v. New Mexico, a landmark case where she and her team secured a court ruling after a 9 week trial that education is a fundamental right in New Mexico. 

Ms. Bono is an expert on education issues and funding in Texas, and has advised and presented to state lawmakers through committee testimony and direct advocacy.  She has presented testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, lectured at universities and law schools, and regularly serves as a panelist at state and national conferences. She holds a J.D. and M.P.P. from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in political science from Rice University.

Cindy Chavez

Santa Clara County Supervisor, Vice President of the Board of Supervisors

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez is vice president of the Board of Supervisors and represents over 400,000 people in the most ethnically diverse, disadvantaged Silicon Valley communities in Central, East and South San Jose. The board oversees an $8 billion-dollar budget including three public hospitals and 12 clinics. In one of the nation's most expensive housing markets – an area considered “one valley, two worlds” because of income disparities - Supervisor Chavez was the primary architect of Santa Clara County's groundbreaking $950 million-dollar affordable housing bond in 2016. To date, 1400 units of new housing have been approved and funded to house people who are homeless, mentally ill, disabled, Seniors and veterans. After years of underfunding, Supervisor Chavez has been a champion of policies and programs for survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault. Her efforts have resulted in increased law enforcement training and a 400% increase in funding to help thousands of survivors change the trajectory of their lives. As the incoming chair of the $400 million Valley Transportation Authority and as Board member of Caltrain, Supervisor Chavez is tackling transportation and traffic congestion in Silicon Valley.  She also works on environmental issues as a Director of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, a national leader in protecting air quality, and chairs the committee driving one of the nation’s first public-private partnership to catalyze new technology investments.             

Ruth E. Dávila

Director of Corporate Communications, Cox Enterprises

Ruth E. Dávila is a global communications and marketing leader with a passion for innovation, multicultural engagement, and social causes.

 

In her current role as Director of Corporate Communications at Cox Enterprises, Ruth leads executive and external communications for a $21-billion company with 25+ brands – including Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Cox Homelife and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution – as well as investments in technology to build a sustainable world.

 

Previously, Ruth held leadership roles with InterContinental Hotels Group, where she embedded its digital transformation; Habitat for Humanity International, where she forged multi-million-dollar marketing/social media partnerships with Procter & Gamble, Nissan, AT&T and others; and AmericasMart, the world’s largest tradeshow organization, where she earned a MAGS gold award. Launching her career with Atlanta Latino Newspaper and VIVA 105.7 FM, Ruth was a trailblazer in Spanish-language media in metro Atlanta. She has profiled more than 100 prominent figures, including C-suite execs from Fortune 500 companies ranging from Microsoft to Facebook; the Mayor of L.A. and Latin American heads of state; and celebrities like Ricky Martin.

 

Ruth holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Literature and a master’s degree in marketing from Georgia State University. She received post-graduate certifications in nonprofit management and Spanish translation and is a Prosci® change management practitioner. Ruth is a 2019 fellow with Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), a program facilitated by the Woodrow Wilson Center and Aspen Institute Mexico.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Ruth enjoys world travel, gourmet pizza, dancing and thought experiments with her three hilarious children.

Crisanta Duran

Director, National Center for Women & Information Technology; Former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives

As Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Crisanta fought to ensure a brighter future for ALL Coloradans. The two sessions she has served as Speaker are widely recognized as being the most productive in many years as she demonstrated a proven ability to rise above divisive politics to make problem solving her top priority.

Crisanta advocated for fair wages for workers, access to affordable healthcare, and brought the fight for action on climate change to the house floor. She carried legislation to help hardworking Coloradans with the high costs of housing and childcare; for voter protections and civil rights, to broaden access to broadband internet in rural areas; to increase consumer protections against identity theft; to set standards for investigations of sexual misconduct on college campuses; and to reform our redistricting process to prevent partisan gerrymandering. Significant strides were also made in the 2018 session on tackling the opioid epidemic, reforming our criminal justice system, and holding irresponsible corporations accountable. Crisanta worked to reform the culture at the capitol and took on the issue of sexual harassment, striving to ensure that individuals are evaluated based on their hard work, qualifications, merit and skill in Colorado workplaces.

Crisanta focused her work in the Colorado House on expanding access to good paying jobs in growing industries like STEM. As the House Majority Leader in the 2015 and 2016 sessions, she coordinated and marshaled strong bipartisan support for the legislative package known as Colorado Ready to Work – more than a dozen new laws to boost Colorado businesses and train Coloradans for the good-paying, highly skilled jobs the state's growing, modernizing economy is producing.

Leticia Gómez

Account Leader of TV Azteca, Grupo Salinas

Leticia is a happy mother of a 6 year old boy, and she is also Account Leader of TV Azteca’s Image & Promotional department where she is in charge of three main areas: Internal Client Service, Media and Integrated Communication. She is part of the creative team that works in the strategic brand construction of the tv channels and their shows. She is also the link to communicate through TV Azteca’s productions and news broadcasts, the main social campaigns of Fundación Azteca, Grupo Salinas’ philanthropic foundation.  She has the responsibility of optimize the self-advertising stocktaking of each tv channel in order to develop efficient media campaigns.  In 2013 developed a digital application address to have an internal updated catalogue of the company’s talent: hosts, actors and actresses. In 2002 she began working in TV Azteca, with the mission to create an integrated communication department in charge of developing out of the box communication campaigns for all the prime time shows and special projects, such as: La Academia, MasterChef México, La Isla, 13 Wonders of Mexico, broadcasts of the Olympic Games and FIFA’s World Cups, among others.  Before TV Azteca, Leticia worked for two of the main PR agencies in Mexico, Edelman and Hill & Knowlton. Leticia has a Marketing Master Degree at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communication at the Universidad Intercontinental. She recently got a specialization diploma on advertising of digital media by the Mexico’s Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Jane Gonzalez

President & CEO, MEDwheels Inc

Resonating from the San Antonio native is the strong demeanor of a compassionate woman who sets no boundaries, only opportunities for her life and the lives of countless others. As founder of MEDwheels, Jane says it’s not simply a company to her, it’s a mission. She sets the stage as a leader, visionary, pioneer and political activist to provide patients who are under medical distress, offering all the same conveniences and care a hospital provides in the comfort of their own homes and surroundings.

 

Due to the Healthcare crisis and the impact the financial distress brings to patients including small businesses the company pivoted as a National Medical Equipment Distributor.  Medwheels provides solutions to EMS and Fire Departments responding to community emergencies.  The company serves all sectors from local agencies, hospitals, schools, and commercial with a wide range of medical equipment.  Jane’s advocacy extends to the challenges that Latina business owners face due to market equity disadvantage compared to other types of companies.  She engages in continual political advocacy for Minority Owned businesses, negotiating with local agencies, politicians, and collaborates with community leaders solve barriers to entry and create positive policy recommendations.

 

Jane currently serves on the Boards of Bexar County SWMBE, Southside First, and Fair Contracting Coalition, as well as the City of San Antonio amended SBEDA Diversity Sub-planning committee and the City of San Antonio Economic Development Dept. Five Year Diversity Action Plan Oversight Subcommittee. She has received the 2017 Bank of America Foundation Scholarship for Tuck Building a high performance Minority Business, is a Goldman Sacs 10K Small Business Scholar (2015) and a graduate of Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders (2017). 

Maria Regan Gonzalez

Mayor, Richfield, Minnesota

Maria Regan Gonzalez is part of a movement to change the face of politics as the first Latina Mayor in the state of Minnesota. Maria leverages her passion and voice to help Minnesota’s mainstream institutions include more voices and create equitable outcomes for all in her roles as mayor and as a Senior Program Manager in Community Health and Health Equity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

 

Recognized as a 2018 Changemaker by the Minnesota Women’s Press and a 2019 Bush Foundation Fellow, Maria is committed to advancing racial and social justice issues by bringing people together to improve health outcomes and create more equitable systems and policies. Maria is known for her authentic communication style and connecting the needs of the community to corporate strategy and local government.

 

Among her achievements, Maria is most proud of her role as a co-founder of La Red Latina de Educacion Temprana, a network of over 250 Spanish speaking childcare providers working to change Minnesota's early childhood system and grow healthy and school ready children. Maria is currently finishing her Masters of Public Health from the University of Minnesota.

Vanessa Rubio Márquez

Senator, Mexican Congress

Vanessa Rubio Márquez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She has worked in the public sector for almost 25 years: 14 at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, 9 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 1 at the Ministry of Social Development. She has held all the positions at the Federal Government promotion ladder, from Head of Department up to Deputy Minister, being the only person to be appointed thrice as Deputy Minister at three different offices (Finance, Foreign Affairs and Social Development). In 2016, she became the first woman in the history of Mexico to be appointed Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. She is also the only woman to have presided the Boards of the nine Mexican Development Banks and those of the financial system regulators.

She is a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), and the Mexican Council of Foreign Relations (COMEXI). She has been decorated with the Order of San Carlos by the Government of Colombia; the Order of Bernardo O´Higgins by the Government of Chile; the Order of The Quetzal by the Government of Guatemala and the Order of Merit for Distinguished Services by the Government of Peru. Rubio taught for over 14 years at the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM). She is author of the book “Financial Reform”, published by Fondo de Cultura Económica in 2017; co-author of the book “Networks of Influence”, published by Oxford University Press in 2009, and she has various publications on international finance, financial education and international politics.

Susana Mendoza

Comptroller, State of Illinois

Susana A. Mendoza was sworn in as Illinois Comptroller on Dec. 5, 2016, after running for office on a platform of prioritizing the most vulnerable residents at a time when the State had gone without a budget for more than two years. An advocate for stability, bipartisanship, comprehensive budget solutions and open and transparent financial reporting, Comptroller Mendoza serves as the State's chief fiscal and accountability officer. Now in her third year in office, Comptroller Mendoza has initiated a transparency revolution in state government working with legislators of both parties to introduce and pass several transformative bills that have made state financial information more available to the public and press than ever before. These measures include: The Debt Transparency Act, The Truth in Hiring Act, the Budgeting for Debt Act, and the Vendor Payment Program Transparency Act. Mendoza is a trailblazer when it comes to women in politics. She was the first Hispanic independently elected to statewide office in Illinois after her historic win as the first woman elected City Clerk in Chicago in 2011. She was also the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly when she was elected to the House, where she served six terms, representing Chicago’s southwest side, including Little Village, where she was born. Mendoza lives in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood with her husband, David Szostak, their 6-year-old son David Quinten Szostak, and her 83-year-old mother.

Adriana de la Puente

Head of Culture and Engagement, Grupo Salinas

Adriana de la Puente is the current Head of Culture and Engagement at Grupo Salinas. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, both from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. With more than 20 years of professional experience, Adriana is a woman who has been dedicated to developing strategies, programs and measurements in order to improve the employee’s productivity and engagement within all of the companies forming Grupo Salinas.  Her main goal is to create an emotional bonding between the employees and their companies. Currently, Adriana is member of the ‘Grupo Salinas Empowered Women Committee’ which seeks to develop the guidelines and policies about Gender Equity, Sustainability and Social Response efforts within all the company. These kinds of efforts have been recognized by a number of national and international organizations, such as ‘Empresa Socialmente Responsable’, ‘Empresa Familiarmente Responsible’ and ‘The Employee Engagement Awards North America’.

Carolina Trujillo

Director of Community Relations/Publisher, La Voz Newspaper, Essex Media Group

Carolina is Community Relations Director and Publisher of La Voz Newspaper, developing and implementing culturally sensitive media interventions that capture the specific needs of Latinos residing in the North Shore and working on empowering her community through information. She recently worked in the health care sector for Joslin’s Professional Education Department and Blue Cross Blue Shield, identifying opportunity areas to improve health disparities and service quality for minority and socio-economically deprived patients.

Originally from Cali, Colombia, Carolina immigrated to Boston 22 years ago. She has over 19 years of management experience working in the human services, non-profit sector including: Director of Social Services at the Latin American Health Institute; a group facilitator for multiple Batterers Intervention Programs; and working with minority and immigrant groups, supporting them in the process of exploring and questioning their belief system, and understanding ways in which their culture impacts their decision-making process.

Carolina has degrees in Journalism-Mass Communications, Public Administration and Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Currently a Lynn, MA resident, she is active in many civic, business and cultural organizations. Carolina is a member of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), the Lynn Business Partnership and the North Shore Latino Business Association and was recently appointed to be part of the YMCA of Metro North, St. Jean’s Credit Union and Beyond Walls Executive Board of Directors. Ms. Trujillo also belongs to the Impact Lynn, Lynn TDI Partnership, Latino Scholarship Fund and Stop the Violence Lynn committees. 

Sonya Ulibarri

President & CEO, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver (GIMD)

Sonya Ulibarri serves as President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver (GIMD), an organization that inspires 2,500 girls annually to be strong, smart, and bold. She is a seasoned executive and successful fundraiser with 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining GIMD in 2012, Sonya was the Executive Director of YouthBiz and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. An active leader in the community, Sonya is on the board of the Girls Incorporated national organization and is a Denver Public Library Commissioner. She is a 2017 Latino Leadership Institute Fellow at the University of Denver, 2011 Lead the Way Fellow with the Women of Color Policy Network, and 2010 Livingston Fellow with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Sonya is a Colorado native and mother of two who is deeply passionate about the empowerment of women and girls.

Anna Valencia

City Clerk of Chicago

Anna Valencia was sworn-in as City Clerk of Chicago on January 25, 2017 overseeing one of the largest offices in the City serving 1.2 million Chicagoans and generating more than $130 million annually. As City Clerk, Valencia has focused on making government accessible to all Chicagoans. Under Valencia's Leadership, the Office of the City Clerk has made it a priority to find new and innovative ways to bring services directly to residents, increase civic engagement, improve efficiencies and collaborate across government the private and public sectors. Valencia has also been charged with implementing the Municipal ID program which will roll out later this year. Available to all Chicago residents, this government-issued ID will combine access to government and city services into one card. Prior to becoming Clerk, Valencia served as the second woman and first Latina to run Mayor Emanuel's Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs (LCGA) where she spearheaded the passage of police accountability reform, the modernization of the CTA’s Red and Purple lines, the stabilization of pension funds and creation of the City’s legal fund that assists immigrants and refugees threatened with deportation. In 2017, Chicago Magazine listed Valencia as an Emerging Power Player highlighting her as a rising star in Chicago politics. Valencia has also been awarded Negocios Now 40 under 40 for her work as part of the next generation of Latina leaders. Valencia earned her degree in International Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Elizabeth Balli Van Sickle

Managing Attorney and Owner, Van Sickle Law Firm

Elizabeth Balli Van Sickle is the managing attorney and owner of the Van Sickle Law Firm located in San Antonio, Texas.  She is a diligent and experienced attorney that has been advocating for the rights of disabled individuals, military veterans, and those affected by family violence for the past 20 years.

 

Aside from being an attorney, Elizabeth is dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Latina women in her community.  She is a graduate of the Latina Leadership Institute (LLI), a leadership program dedicated to increasing the number and influence of Hispanic women to elected and appointed office positions throughout the United States. Since graduating from the LLI, Elizabeth and another fellow LLI graduate, have co-founded the Latina Power Network.  Latina Power Network (LPN) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose focus is to create a networking platform for Latina women that would propel them into leadership roles across business industries, political communities, and non-profit entities. 

 

Elizabeth is also civically involved in her community and devotes her time to several organizations in San Antonio.  She is currently on the boards of several non-profit organizations in San Antonio including the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, Suit Me Up, Inc., and the March of Dimes (San Antonio) where she and her husband are currently Gala Chairs for the upcoming Signature Chef’s Auction and Gala for the 2019 season.   She has also been a member of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for several years and currently sits on the Government Affairs and Arts and Culture Committees.

 

Elizabeth Balli Van Sickle is also a South Texas native and was born and raised in McAllen, Texas.  She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration at Texas A&M University - College Station in 1995 and her Juris Doctorate from Texas Southern University in 1998. 

Luz Weinberg

C.E.O., GlobComm, LLC

An appointed and elected official, Luz Weinberg is C.E.O. of GlobComm, LLC, a communications consulting firm specializing in construction impact mitigation. Luz served as a City of Aventura Commissioner from 2005 to 2014 and was the first Hispanic elected to that city council. In 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed her to the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority – the state transportation agency governing the five tolled highways of the county – and reappointed her in 2018. A Magna Cum Laude Psychology Graduate of Florida International University, Luz spent over a decade as Case Manager for renowned forensic Psychologist Dr. Leonard Haber before switching careers and running for public office. Her versatile career path includes PR Director and COO stints, and Director of Communications posts for South Florida’s largest construction projects: The Port of Miami Tunnel and Brickell City Centre. Luz’s career encompasses extensive, results-driven, public and private sector skills in impact mitigation, stakeholder/client crisis and reputation management, media/public relations, government affairs, consensus/relationship building, team-building, advocacy/public policy, technical writing, PIO and community outreach. Luz is a noted public speaker with excellent bilingual presentation skills who has been featured on CNN, CNÑ C-SPAN, Univision, Fox, MSNBC, the Florida and U.S. Senate. In 2013, Luz was the only woman and the only Hispanic invited to testify in the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Voting Rights Act Amendment, following the Shelby v. Holder U.S. Supreme Court decision of that year. She often serves as keynote speaker, trainer and moderator at local and national events on a wide range of topics. Over 400 of her English/Spanish marketing/PR and op-ed articles have been published, and one book: The Port Miami Tunnel Project was published December 2015. Luz is currently working on her second book “Woke On: Public Speaking” – a guide to managing stress, self and others to master the art of speaking in public.

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For questions or more information on the HOPE Binational Fellowship contact:

Helen Torres 
Executive Director & CEO

213.622.0549
htorres@latinas.org

Maya Gomez-O'Cadiz

Research & Communications Strategist

213.286.2061

mocadiz@latinas.org

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