Class of 2018
The Inaugural HOPE Binational Fellowship class has been selected through a competitive 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 Fellowship Class of 2018.
Director of Human Resources of Elektra, Grupo Salinas
Adriana Alcalá is the Human Resources Director for Elektra at Grupo Salinas. With more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources areas such as Organizational Development, Cultural Transformation and Talent Management. She holds a Master's degree in Management from the Institute of Stock Market Studies in Spain and an Industrial Relations Bachelor's degree. As well as different specialization diplomas in Leadership, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching, among others. She is a member of Wo / Men in Mexico, an association that seeks to empower women in companies, participating in different forums such as Women In Forum: “Women’s Inclusion in the Hospitality Business” and Women Success Congress: “Equity & Gender”.
Lydia A. Aranda, M.A.
Founder & Principal, DiVeritas Group
Lydia A. Aranda is an award-winning and influential voice for women, having keynoted, moderated or co-hosted hundreds of Fortune-500/1000 events or fundraisers in the U.S. and abroad. She is widely known for her years as Wells Fargo vice president of diverse segments; her leadership roles in National Hispanic Corporate Council / NBCUniversal Summit; CEO of Tucson & Southern Arizona Hispanic Chambers, and as Arizona Governor’s Office advisor, small business advocate and small business services director.
A 3rd-generation Arizonan, with a Masters in Social Impact from Claremont Lincoln University and a B.S. in Intercultural Communications from Arizona State University, she is an advocate for equality, education and economic success, giving of her time and talent to Girl Scouts, HSF, IME, AIPAC, NetImpact, CPLC, AllOfUs Research Project and USHCC, among others. Her multi-regional activities support integration of diverse leaders, business owners and college students into collaborative initiatives such as AIPAC’s pro-Israel mission; The Latina Giving Circle; Ivy League Project; and the Media, Democracy & Policy Institute. Other notable projects or initiatives she has founded or led to new acclaim include Southwestern Donors Circle, the Liberty Project en Español, the First Ladies International Project (FLIP), AIPAC Hispanic Leaders Outreach Summit; Hispanic Heroes Mentor Network; Presidente Fox World Leaders Dinner Video Series, and the independent national assembly of advocates called Coalition of American Latino Leaders.
Chief Operating Officer, LULAC
Sindy Marisol Benavides is a Honduran-American immigrant who has experienced the American dream, and now devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants have the same opportunity. She is currently Chief Operating Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country. She previously served as the National Director for Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization for LULAC, Vice President of Field & Political Operations for Voto Latino and as Northern Virginia Political Director for the 2012 Kaine for Virginia senatorial campaign. She has also been National Director of Community Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, and Latino Liaison and Director of Gubernatorial Appointments for Governor Timothy M. Kaine.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, where she graduated Valedictorian of her class and studied Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She has also attended American University for her Master’s degree in International Affairs and is working on submitting her substantial research paper. Sindy is the founder, co-founder, or founding board member of LULAC Council 4611, VA Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN), VA Coalition of Immigrant Rights (VACIR), and the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA).
Adriana Berrocal, ASA BV/IA, FRICS
Partner, Financial Advisory – Valuation Services, Deloitte Mexico
Partner at Financial Advisory in Deloitte Mexico, Adriana has over two decades of consulting and technical experience in Valuation Services, Transaction Support and Corporate Finance. She has led hundreds of large and complex multidisciplinary projects in more than 20 countries, regarding businesses, real property, machinery and equipment, and intangible assets, collaborating with international consulting firms and government entities.
Civil Engineer with postgraduate studies in valuation and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, Adriana was the first professional in Latin America to attain the Intangible Asset Specialty Designation under the auspices of the American Society of Appraisers and the first international member appointed to the Appraisal Practices Board of The Appraisal Foundation, the foremost authority on the valuation profession in the United States. During 2017 she served as President of the National Board of Directors of the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF). Adriana complements her professional activities as lecturer, author and professor on issues of valuation, financial reporting, intangible assets, corporate governance, and diversity and inclusion in national and international scenarios. She speaks, in addition to Spanish and English, Portuguese and French.
Director Executive Information of Banco Azteca, Grupo Salinas
Laura Cordova Lara is the Director of Executive Information at Grupo Salinas and has a trajectory of 21 years in the company. She is responsible of the measurement and generation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Profit and Loss (P&L) of the different businesses in order to help the decision making processes of the Executive Council. She has the mission of Data Government, providing each business detailed information for their analysis. In 2008 she developed the Information System for Grupo Elektra, which unifies the Top to Bottom follow-up results, creating a new information culture. In 2003 she began working at Banco Azteca, where she created the Direction of Executive Information. In 2000 she was General Administrator at TV Azteca, where she was in charge of 10 entertainment productions with the ultimate goal of having a direct control of the investments, highlighting the participation of the first generation of La Academia and El Conquistador del Fin del Mundo. In 1997 she began working at TV Azteca as News Assistant Administrator, controlling the expenditure of the different notes. Laura has a B.A. in Business at the Universidad Intercontinental with a specialty in Balanced Scorecard by the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).
Co-Founder and Executive Director, ART Is Love & Action
Namibia is co-founder and Executive Director of ART IS Love & Action in 2011, which fosters collaboration among people in the spheres of art, education and social justice through consultation and experiential programming in universities, social service agencies and community based organizations. As Executive Director, she is spearheading the second phase of a project in Hoboken, NJ that invites artists-in-residence to work with children and families to reimagine their communities through a series of interactive events, collaborative art-installations, and strategic partnerships; like the Hoboken Housing Authority and Hoboken Smart Cities.
She advocates for the inclusion of politically conscious, arts-integrated practices in schools through curriculum design. She’s provided consultation and leadership training for over 200 New York City educators and institutions like NYU Metro Center Hostos Student Leadership Academy and Urban Arts Partnership. Born in Panama, she lives in New Jersey where she is equipping children and families from low-income backgrounds with tools to re-envision their neighborhood. She has a Masters from New York University in Educational Theater in Colleges and Communities.
Melisa Lopez Franzen
Senator, Minnesota Senate District 49
Senator Melisa Franzen is currently serving her second term in the Minnesota State Senate. She represents Senate District 49 which includes the communities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, and Minnetonka. Senator Franzen currently serves on the Taxes and the Transportation and Public Safety Finance Committees. Senator Franzen is a small business owner and was previously an attorney at Target Corporation. She earned her Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Economic and Community Development from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and her J.D. at Hamline University School of Law.
Senator Franzen has received a wide range of credentials from various organizations at the state and national level. She received the William B. Garner National Boating Safety Leadership Award on behalf of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators for her work on Sophia’s Law. Her commitment to supporting Minnesota’s most vulnerable children has earned her recognition as an Early Education Four Star Leader and Legislator by Parent Aware for School Readiness and Close Gaps by 5. She was named Legislator of the Year by the American Heart Association in 2014 and the Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and chemical Health (MARRCH) in 2015. Leading initiatives in housing and racial equity have also gained her accreditations from Voices for Racial Justice and Housing First Minnesota.
CEO, WebHead Group
Janie Martinez Gonzalez, is a founder and business partner of several companies in various industries ranging from technology (Web Development), nonprofit (STEM), real estate (commercial properties) and consultant (Business/Life Coaching). She is a well-respected technologist, philanthropist and industry influencer with twenty-four years of professional executive experience.
She is currently the CEO of Webhead, one of largest privately women owned Web and IT Security companies in Texas. An Internet pioneer, she paved the way for minorities men and women in tech. Her business acumen grew Webhead from a small start up to an established multimillion company with a customer portfolio of twenty-eight million in contracts over the years. She is also the founder of LATINA CEO™, an online platform of seminars, lectures, classes, and workshops that provide tools to change career, increase income, improve relationships, and empower its users’ lives by teaching individuals to “Create Exceptional Opportunities”.
Head of Community Engagement, Supermajority
Yvonne Gutierrez is the Head of Community Engagement of Supermajority, a membership-based organization that affirms and builds women’s power and serves as a one-stop shop for advocacy, community building, and electoral participation aimed at transforming our country and building an intergenerational, multiracial movement for women’s equity. Previously, Yvonne served as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV), the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood in Texas. She worked for Planned Parenthood in Texas for over 13 years and possesses a strong knowledge of public affairs, advocacy, government relations and legislative issues, as well as campaign management.
Prior to becoming executive director of PPTV, Yvonne served as Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), where her role included lobbying state legislatures in Texas and Louisiana and overseeing grassroots organizing efforts. Before that she served as Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of South Texas (PPST), where she worked to advance the public policy agenda of Planned Parenthood with the media and build support for their agenda with community leaders and coalition partners.
Active in civic engagement efforts, Yvonne chairs the board of directors for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, serves on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Political Action Fund Committee and on the board of the Workers Defense Action Fund which engages historically under-represented Texas voters in campaigns to elect representatives that care about the needs of working families.
Elsa I. Holguín
President & CEO, Denver Preschool Program (DPP)
Elsa I. Holguín is President & CEO of Denver Preschool Program (DPP), an organization which helps make preschool possible for all Denver families—regardless of income—through tuition support and access to information. In addition to serving as a liaison between parents and preschools, DPP works to improve preschool quality, studies how preschool affects kindergarten readiness, and is a national advocate for excellence in early childhood education. Previously, Ms. Holguín served as senior program officer at Rose Community Foundation, where she directed the Foundation’s Child and Family Development area, which supports the development and improvement of early childhood education, parent education programs that help parents raise healthy children, and the development of economic self-sufficiency strategies to strengthen families. She has also been instrumental in creating and directing several initiatives including the Denver Opportunity Youth Investment Initiative, the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, Early Milestones Colorado, and the Skills to Compete Coalition.
Named the 2000 Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in Colorado, Ms. Holguín has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She came to Rose Community Foundation from The Hunt Alternatives where she served as executive director. In addition, she worked at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and served as associate director of Mi Casa Resource Center, where she established and oversaw the Business Center for Women, a nationally recognized entrepreneur training program. Ms. Holguín was appointed in 2015 by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for a second term as a commissioner for the Early Childhood Leadership Commission. She currently chairs the board of Early Milestones Colorado and serves on the boards of the National Early Childhood Funders Collaborative and Tools of The Mind.
National President, Centro de Estudios y Formación Integral de la Mujer (CEFIM)
For 20 years, Lucía Legorreta De Cervantes has served as the founder and National President of CEFIM, Centro de Estudios y Formación Integral de la Mujer, a non-profit institution dedicated to the instruction of low income women. Lucía is an accomplished author, television and radio host, and international public speaker. She has published two books, Mujer: ¡Apuéstale a la familia! (2017) and Ser Mujer Hoy (2013), and is a columnist for Mujer Ejecutiva, a national Mexican women’s business magazine. She is also a weekly contributor for the daily Televisa news program Matutino Express.
She serves on the Board of Red Familia, Early Institute, and Centro de Análisis para la Familia. Currently, Lucía participates in the Advisory Board of the association A favor de lo Mejor A.C. and is a Member of the Board of the foundation Mier y Pesado. In October of 2014, the General Consulate of Mexico in Miami, Florida awarded her a recognition for her career dedicated to women’s empowerment. Lucía received the Premio Nacional de la Mujer in March of 2014, granted by the Cámara Nacional de la Mujer. The Montblanc company named Lucía the “2007 Woman Revelation" for her altruistic achievements.
State Senator, California Senate District 19
Senator Monique Limón was elected to the California State Senate in November 2020 and represents the 19th Senate District that includes all of the County of Santa Barbara, as well as over half of the County of Ventura. Born and raised in the 19th district, Monique has worked continuously to serve her community as an educator, leader, and an advocate for causes advancing the quality of life in her community. Monique previously served as the Assemblymember for California Assembly District 37.
For Monique, education has always been a priority. A UC Berkeley graduate with a Masters degree from Columbia University, Monique served two terms on the Santa Barbara Unified School Board and as Assistant Director for the McNair Scholars Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara prior to serving in the Assembly. Monique has worked with countless local students at Santa Barbara City College and UCSB as an advisor and mentor to help them achieve their professional and academic goals through higher education.
Women’s issues are also a priority for Monique. As former Commissioner on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women she helped connect private and public resources with women in the community. Monique has a passion for bringing community groups together and building strong coalitions among local nonprofit organizations and civic groups.
State Representative, Texas House District 124
Named "Rookie of the Year" by Texas Monthly, Representative Ina Minjarez was elected to serve the constituents of Texas House District 124 after a special election victory in April 2015. Currently, Representative Minjarez serves on the House Committee on Transportation, the House Committee on Human Services, the Local and Consent Calendars Committee, and was appointed during the interim by Speaker Joe Straus to serve as a member of the House Select Opioids & Substance Abuse Committee and the House Select Cybersecurity Committee.
In San Antonio, she has been appointed as a Community Representative by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to the San Antonio Mobility Coalition (SAMCo) and the ConnectSA Board, a nonprofit the Mayor recently created with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. Ina is also part of the Planning Advisory Group for the Young Children's Resource Center and Crisis Nursery. Representative Minjarez is married to her husband, Leo Gomez, whom she has two wonderful step children with---Manuel and April Gomez.
Eve Rodriguez Montoya
Founder & President, Rodriguez Media Communications
Eve Rodriguez Montoya is the President & CEO of Rodriguez Media Communications Inc., an MBE/WBE firm established to assist clients looking to elevate and expand their brand, product, mission or service in the fastest growing market. Eve brings over fifteen years of experience and expertise in communications and public affairs from within the public and private sectors. She has worked directly for two mayoral administrations in Chicago including serving as Deputy Press Secretary for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. While working in the public sector, Eve managed press for the major city departments including, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). While working in the private sector she managed corporate and private work in New York City and Chicago. Eve’s strong record of personal and professional achievement is highlighted by her Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.
Eve and her work is being recognized nationally as demonstrated by her feature in Google + Thrive magazine which focused on highlighting women entrepreneurs who use Google platforms to grow their businesses and drive economic impact; as well as being named to Negocio’s Now Latinos 40 under 40; receiving the 2017 Business Leadership Award from the Hispanic Women’s Corporation (HWC) in Phoenix, AZ; and receiving the 2018 FOLIO: Top Women in Media Up and Comer Award honoring women on the rise, making their mark.
Principal | MCR Partners, Ltd.
Mara Candelaria Reardon is a Principal at MCR Partners, Ltd. and a current Director on the Indiana American Water's Board of Directors.
Mara was the first Latina elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2006, ultimately serving 5 terms. She served in the 12th House District, which encompasses, all of Munster, all of Highland, parts of Griffith, and Hammond. She has served on the Ways and Means, Education, Environmental, Governmental/ Regulatory Reform, Small Business/Economic Development Committees, specializing in budget and fiscal issues. Additionally, she has served as a Commissioner for the Indiana Commission for Women, Market Development Recycling Board, Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Commission, Hispanic/Latino Affairs Commission and the Indiana Commission to Combat Substance Abuse. Ms. Reardon is also a Principal at MCR Partners, Ltd. a consulting firm, which specializes in Development, Government Affairs and Economic Development Finance. She is the Vice Chair of the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs (BHCC), and serves on the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund Board of Directors, is a member of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), and the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC). She has been married to Matt Reardon for 20 years and they reside in Munster, Indiana with their two teenage children.
Sara Soriano de Teresa
Executive Director of Transformation, Grupo Salinas
Sara Soriano de Teresa is the Executive Director of Institutional Relations for Banco Azteca and Executive Director of Transformation for Grupo Salinas. From 2014 to 2016 she was in charge of the Direction of normativities, laws, compliance, prevention and risks of money laundering for Azteca’s Financial Services, she also served as President of the Administrative Council of Banco Azteca in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama and Peru. Previous to that, she served as Deputy Director of Credit in Banco Azteca. She has years of experience in financial operations and international business. From 2011 to June 2017, she was Coordinator of the Credit Committee for Physical Persons at the Mexican Bank Association. She has a law degree from the Universidad Anáhuac del Norte.
Vice-Chairwoman, San Diego County Board of Supervisors | District 1
Nora E. Vargas is the Vice Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, representing District 1. She previously served as the Vice President of Community & Government Relations for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She was responsible for leading the agency’s education and public affairs team and the day-to-day operation of the agency’s political organization, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest.
Vargas was elected to the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board and most recently, she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the 12-member California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Committed to community service, Vargas is also a champion for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), a boardmember for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and a boardmember for Run Women Run. She was the first Latina executive at Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties and at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and is a passionate advocate for women and communities of color.
Miriam Y. Vega, PhD
Chief Operations Officer, Kendren Health Center & Hospital
Dr. Vega is an experienced executive of non-profits, including federally qualified health clinics, who has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Vassar College in Psychology. While a healthcare executive, she also identifies as a scientist-advocate particularly in the HIV/AIDS field. Her research focuses on issues of social identity, stigma, culture, social marketing and health. She created the CHANGE model of capacity building assistance that helped build culturally-responsive programing, quality improvement and organizational infrastructure at community-based organizations across the nation. At the United Nations, she served as Secretary of the Psychology Coalition of NGOs at the UN, and also as a UN NGO main representative of the ECOSOC-accredited Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Monica S. Villalobos
Vice President, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Villalobos is the Vice-President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she is responsible for the operations and marketing of the chamber. Her background and experience as a corporate marketing executive and as an entrepreneur result in a unique combination of skill and talent. She is also Editor of seventeen research publications over the last four years including the annual DATOS: State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market (2012-2017), DATOS Tucson (2012-2015), Minority-, Women-, Hispanic-, Family-owned Business Enterprise Reports and the AZ Supplier Diversity, Employee Resource Group, Sustainability, Global Trade Best Practices, and Minority Business Economic Indicator white paper series. Ms. Villalobos is the founding principal at ResearchByDesign, a marketing research firm specializing in primary qualitative and quantitative research. She works closely with client partners to develop category specific studies as the foundation for marketing strategy Decision-making. She was selected as the 2015 Latina Style Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year and ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Visionary Awardee, 2017 Achieving My Purpose: Celebration of Women award recipient and a 2018 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business honoree.