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CLass of 2021

We are proud to announce the 23rd cohort of HLI, made up of 32 Latina leaders from across California who have made their mark in academia, political advocacy, government, law, and the non-profit and private sectors. This phenomenal group of leaders will embark on their 9-month journey in a virtual setting, and will enjoy rigorous sessions & prestigious guest speakers in the fields of civic engagement, leadership, political campaigning, health, education, and economic empowerment from the safety of their homes. The 2021 cohort will join a network of hundreds of HLI alumnae committed to improving political and economic parity for all communities and increasing Latina leadership representation in California & beyond.

Meet the HLI Class of 2021

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ariana H. Alejandre

Assistant Public Defender | Northern California

Ariana H. Alejandre is an attorney and emerging community leader. She is an Assistant Public Defender in Sacramento County and has the passion to serve her greater community. Ms. Alejandre is a first generation college student and a proud daughter of Mexican immigrant parents.  As a Public Defender, she sees firsthand the injustices and social inequities in the criminal justice system.  There is a disproportionate amount of the LatinX Community and people of color incarcerated.  Through her work as an attorney, she is committed to uplifting her community by providing a voice to those marginalized by the criminal justice system.  She is a zealous advocate and works hard to ensure that all of her clients are treated with dignity and respect throughout their criminal proceedings. She earned her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2015.  During law school, she served as the co-chair for the La Raza Law Students Association at UC Hastings and completed her post bar at the Santa Clara Public Defender's Office.  She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2010 and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology.  After college, she worked for the Northern California Innocence Project which helped further her interest in social justice and criminal defense.

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Program Manager, Workforce Development, Common Spirit Health | Bay Area

Sofia is passionate about reducing health disparities and increasing access to high-quality healthcare for underserved communities. She holds a MPH in Health Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, and BA in International Studies from the University of San Francisco. Sofia completed an Administrative Fellowship at Dignity Health, now CommonSpirit Health, and had the opportunity to work with and learn from executive leadership in Human Resources and Community Health. Sofia now serves as a Workforce Development Program Manager at CommonSpirit Health, building pipelines for underrepresented communities to enter into the healthcare workforce. Prior to graduate school, Sofia worked in the California State Legislature as a Legislative Aide.

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rosalie barcinas

Director of Regulatory Affairs, Southern CA Edison | Greater Los Angeles

Rosalie Barcinas has over twenty years in the energy industry and with Southern California Edison (SCE). She recently transitioned to a new role as Director of Energy Procurement Policy in the Regulatory Affairs department managing the strategy and engagement for matters related to reliability and renewable energy.  Previously she spent over four years as the Director of the Infrastructure Licensing group, also within Regulatory Affairs. In this capacity, she oversaw regulatory activities and overall strategy related to the permitting and construction of infrastructure projects. She previously served SCE in multiple capacities, including operations, land rights management, local community engagement, and project management.


briana m. calleros

Director of Community Education, SUMA Wealth | Orange County

Briana M. Calleros is a strong advocate for creative solutions to achieve community empowerment with policy experience in education, nonprofit, and government. As Director of Community Education at SUMA Wealth, she oversees the SUMA Academy platform by breaking down complex financial concepts to create relatable and accessible content. In her previous role at California State University, Fullerton, she contributed to the university's ability to register more students to vote than any other institution of higher education in the state during the 2020 general election cycle. Briana is a former California Capital Fellow and White House Associate. Her career goal is to increase participation and inclusion for our comunidad.

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linda castillo

Vice President, Comerica Bank | Northern California

Linda Castillo has extensive experience developing, implementing, and managing marketing and community relations programs that reinforce branding, shape culture, and strengthen communities. She is currently the Vice President for Small Business Marketing and Chair of the California Hispanic Business Resource Group at Comerica Bank. In this role, she fosters relationships with local leaders, business groups, and community organizations to develop programs that help small businesses thrive. Previously, she worked at the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she created events and managed communications to raise awareness about ocean conservation. She founded Modern Latina, an online magazine designed to celebrate, inspire, and empower Latina women. She launched the Modern Latina Book Club, a robust online collective, to support Latinx authors. She is a fellow of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley Latino Board Leadership Academy. She serves as a board member for the SJSU Latino Alumni Network, Circle Leader for Lean In Latinas, member of the Latina Coalition Silicon Valley and ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) San Francisco, Girl Scouts Troop Co-Leader and a mentor for SJSU and WELI (Women Education and Leadership Institute). Linda holds a B.S. in Marketing and M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.

Tracy Colunga

tracy M. colunga

Chief Innovation Office, City of Long Beach | Greater Los Angeles

Tracy M. Colunga is the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Long Beach. She leads the Office of Civic Innovation which partners with City departments on several projects including Police Recruitment, Long Beach Airport Customer Experience (CX), Census 2020, the African American Cultural Center Visioning Process and most recently Reducing Homelessness in Long Beach. Under her leadership, the Office of Civic Innovation worked closely with the Long Beach Police Department to understand trends and patterns of people cycling in and out of the justice system. The City of Long Beach launched the Long Beach Justice Lab to strategically break the cycle of incarceration. She has focused her career around community improvement. She holds a master’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. Tracy sits on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy and was the visionary for BRAVE Young Women’s Empowerment Conference rescuing girls from human trafficking. Tracy and her family reside in Long Beach, Ca.

Carolyn Flores-Conrad

carolyn flores

Operations Manager , Youth Leadership Institute | Central Valley

Carolyn Flores works at Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) as the statewide Operations Manager working with seven offices and across departments from Human Resources, Development to Finance and Training and Consulting Services. Carolyn has used the diversity of skills gained through over a decade of work in the community benefit sector to inform her model of leadership. She loves working with young people and adults to identify and uplift their unique gifts. She engages in her neighborhood through serving on the board of Lowell Community Development Corporation focusing on fair housing policies and housing development in one of the areas of concentrated poverty in Fresno, CA. Additionally, she serves as a member of the District Advisory Committee for Fresno Unified School District. This committee is a voting body that assesses LCAP funding for the district. Carolyn in previous positions has led fourteen different teams across the country to hold a training conference for over 1,000 volunteer leaders. Carolyn values the investment made into teams to move the community forward with an emphasis on how policy impacts daily lives.


ashley fumiko dominguez

Associate Director of Federal Relations, UCLA | Greater Los Angeles

Ashley Fumiko Dominguez serves as the Associate Director of Federal Relations within UCLA’s Government & Community Relations department. Ashley leverages her expertise in immigration, education, national security, international affairs and government to assist UCLA in building a strong and robust relationship with the federal government. At UCLA, Ashley serves on Chancellor Block's Advisory Council on Immigration Policy, the Student Conduct Committee, the Hispanic Serving Institute Committee, and the External Affairs Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Task Force. Ashley is a recipient of AAU’s 2021 New Innovator Award, which recognizes members for their active engagement and leadership on an issue or area affecting the higher education community. Prior to joining UCLA, Ashley served in the district office of Congressman Ted W. Lieu as his Special Projects & Events Supervisor, in the district office and leadership office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and in the state office of Senator Dianne Feinstein as a Constituent Services Representative. Ashley was a first generation college student and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University

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darcie green

Executive Director, Latinas Contra Cancer | Bay Area

Darcie Green is a single mom and the Executive Director of Latinas Contra Cancer (LCC). LCC exists to create just and equitable access to health and healthcare for the Latino community around issues of cancer. She is also Chair of the Santa Clara County Race and Health Disparities Board and a member of the city of San Jose Reimagining Public Safety Advisory Committee. Latinas Contra Cancer is an organization that believes in the power of women to change the world and that invests in the leadership of Latinas. In her role at LCC, Darcie leads efforts to build the capacity of Latino communities to advocate effectively for themselves in healthcare settings and guides LCC’s commitment to providing culturally and linguistically sensitive cancer education, navigation and survivor support. While at Kaiser Permanente and as Community & Government Relations Manager, Darcie led local efforts on health policy, often bringing together unlikely allies and resources in order to support improved health outcomes for uninsured or underinsured populations. Prior to entering the healthcare industry, Darcie worked as a field representative to former California State Assemblyman Joe Coto. There she helped to address many public policy issues affecting the residents of San Jose, with a particular emphasis on access to healthy lifestyle choices and quality public education. Darcie brings with her 20 years of community activism and public policy experience.


christine hernandez

Interim Associate Dean of Students, Whittier College | Orange County

Christine Hernandez (she/her/hers) is dedicated to empowering others through opportunities in education and leadership. She is the Director for the Office of Student Engagement at Whittier College. Prior to coming to Whittier College, Christine was the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership, Civic Engagement, and Assessment at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles.


norma g. jasso

Recently Retired Regulatory Case Management, SDG&E | San Diego

Norma G. Jasso is a recently retired Regulatory Case Manager with over 20 years of experience in the energy industry working at San Diego Gas & Electric Company. Norma was the Associate Executive Director for Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council from 1992 to 1997, and worked as an Accountant at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego from 1987 to 1992. Norma is a passionate advocate for higher education as a pathway towards upward mobility for Latinas and first-generation immigrants. Since 2011, Norma has served in a volunteer capacity as a mentor and leader for MANA de San Diego’s “Hermanitas” youth mentorship program with a focus on college readiness for mentees and their parents. To further support these mentees, Norma created a support team “Tias” to communicate, encourage and provide career opportunities to them during their college years. 


dr. margarita landeros

Counselor Support Specialist, Green Dot Public Schools CA | Greater Los Angeles

Dr. Margarita Landeros is a proud Compton-native and the oldest of four, born to two Mexican parents. It was Landeros’ upbringing in her Compton community and being the first-generation to pursue higher education that fuels her work as an educator and volunteer leader. Landeros currently serves as a Counselor Support Specialist for Green Dot Public Schools California (GDPSC) where she uses her experience as a former high school counselor and school leader to support and coach school counselors across GDPSC, including leading professional development, refining and initiating school counseling policies and systems, and overall consulting with counselors to maximize their student impact. Prior to GDPSC, Landeros served as a counselor at Camino Nuevo HS - Dalzell Lance, where she built a robust college counseling program for students and families. Landeros is actively involved in different communities including being the Co-Chair for the Los Angeles Chapter of the UC Berkeley Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association (CLAA), and Secretary for the greater Board, the Co-Chair for the Greater Los Angeles NACAC College Fair, and Vice President of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association-Los Angeles Chapter. Landeros is passionate and committed to increase the number of households from underrepresented populations with a college degree.


jacqueline S. loza

Real Estate Administrator, Delta Galil Premium Brands LLC | Greater Los Angeles

Jacqueline S. Loza is the proud daughter of a Mexican immigrant Father and a mother whose

parents were Mexican immigrants. Ms. Loza received her B.A., Political Science from Cal State

University Los Angeles where she participated in the Model United Nations program twice.

Earned an M.A., International Relations and Diplomacy with specializations in Global Health and the Middle East from Seton Hall University. She has interned for then State Senator Hilda Solis, the World Health Organization (WHO) at the United Nations and American Red Cross.  Ms. Loza earned her Paralegal Certificate from Cal State University Los Angeles and was inducted into the LEX Legal Honor Society. She graduated from Pacific Coast University School of Law in 2019 and works full-time for Delta Galil Premium Brands as a Manager, Legal and Contract Administration. Jacqueline is a native Angeleno and has lived in New York City and Ecuador.


stephanie martinez

Community Relations Manager, Microsoft | Central Valley

Stephanie Martinez is a Community Relations Manager for Microsoft. Her role with Microsoft has allowed her to be active in communities across California, especially in rural and inner cities where the digital divide is most pronounced amongst students of color. Stephanie is the founder of the SoCal Chapter of Microsoft’s Employee Resource Group – Hispanics and Latinx Organizers and Leaders in Action (HOLA). She also serves as an Ambassador for Microsoft’s Diversity and Inclusion council. Prior to her role at Microsoft, Stephanie worked for several non-profits including the YMCA and Alternatives to Domestic Violence Counseling Center. Stephanie pursued a bachelor’s degree of Social Work due to the degree’s heavy emphasis in political advocacy, social justice, and theories of human behavior. She later pursued a master’s degree in Public Administration.


ana laura martinez

Community Representative/SD Board of Supervisor, Chair Nathan Fletcher | San Diego

Ana Laura Martinez grew up in a working-class and immigrant household in Tijuana and San Diego. She is a worker justice advocate, engages in mutual aid work, and is committed to envisioning different futures together for impacted communities.

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lisette idalia mendez

School Psychologist & School Board Member, El Monte City School District | Greater Los Angeles

Lisette Idalia Mendez is an advocate in the field of public education, specifically bringing awareness to educational equity, mental and behavioral health, and the needs of the most vulnerable children. She currently serves as a Governing Board Member for the El Monte City School District in California. In addition, she has been a School Psychologist for the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District since 2012. As a School Psychologist she provides direct and indirect interventions to support student social-emotional learning, mental and behavioral health, and academic success.  Lisette’s advocacy is focused on creating systems within her community to ensure children have access to the support they need to be successful. She helps raise money annually for the El Monte Promise Foundation Scholars Saving Program, assists in creating a community little library initiative to promote literacy, and supports other Latinas running for elected office. She received her Master’s in Educational Psychology at Azusa Pacific University, a Preliminary Administrative Credential from Cal Poly Pomona, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Pitzer College.

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veronica miramontes

School Board Member for Monterey Peninsula USD /Finance & Operations Manager,  MILPA | Northern California

Veronica (Ronnie) Miramontes is a first-generation college graduate and believer in breaking barriers. Ronnie currently serves as the first Latina Board Member for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD), whose student population is 58% Latino. She uses representation to serve all students, teachers, and families of MPUSD and beyond. She fell in love with Monterey County and its communities. Ronnie hopes to bring all her experience in life with her as she sunrises at the nonprofit Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement (MILPA). Originally from Mendocino County, Ronnie, is a mother of three children, ages 2, 5 and 16. Ronnie graduated from CSU Monterey Bay in 2012 with a double concentration in creative writing/social action and journalism/media studies. Ronnie has a eight-year background in nonprofit professions, restorative justice, and has worked with K-12 schools throughout the county; as well as facilitating inside the Monterey County Jail to promote victim advocacy. Ronnie carries a background and education in conflict resolution, mediation training, volunteer management, event planning, operation support, circle facilitation, public speaking, youth advocacy, parent engagement and more.

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monica montaÑo

Community Relations Director, Scripps Health | San Diego

Monica Montaño joined Scripps Health in 2002 where she first served as the Marketing and Communications Manager for Scripps Mercy Chula Vista. She became Director of Community Relations in 2010 where she is responsible for representing Scripps in business, industry, civic associations and local legislative offices as well as community organizations in San Diego County and northern Baja California. Prior to joining Scripps, Monica worked at Southwestern College for eight years holding different positions in the Community Relations department.  She also worked for Chula Vista City Councilmember Jerry Rindone and formed part of the Assembly District office team for Assemblymember Denise Moreno Ducheny. Monica has served leadership roles including Past Chair, current Chair of the Public Policy Committee and Executive Board Member of the South County Economic Development Council, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce International Business Affairs Committee Member, board member of the Public Policy Committee of the SDSU Campanile Foundation and the San Diego Padres Hispanic Community Advisory Council. Monica received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Journalism from San Diego State University. She then completed her Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Global Management.  Monica has received several accolades throughout the years including 2016 Woman of the Year, 78th Assembly District on behalf of Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Regional Leadership Award 2016 from the South County Economic Development Council and was named one of San Diego Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2008. Monica, her husband Luis and daughter Isabela reside in Chula Vista, CA.


glenda monterroza

Community Health Manager, Kaiser Permanente| Bay Area

Glenda Monterroza is a program manager at Blue Shield of California Foundation. In this position, she is responsible for executing the grant making process across the Foundation’s initiatives as well as providing programmatic support. Prior to joining the Foundation, Glenda worked on learning & evaluation at the California Endowment, where she contributed to various evaluation projects and provided analytical and grantmaking support for the Endowment’s Building Health Communities initiative. She has extensive experience in philanthropy, working on various issues such as healthy eating/active living, access to health care and mental health services, education systems transformation, and building community power. Glenda holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and Spanish from UC Santa Barbara.


iso nakasato

Associated Governmental Program Analyst, CA Dept. of Insurance | Greater Los Angeles

Iso Nakasato is a community servant. Iso is a Los Angeles County native and brings extensive knowledge of Los Angeles’ communities. She is the daughter of migrant parents from Japan and Costa Rica. As first generation American and bilingual in Spanish/English and she understands the struggle that many families go through when establishing roots in the United States. Ms. Nakasato has worked for state and local elected officials for more than 10 years. Ms. Nakasato has strong relationships throughout California through government agencies, community and faith-based organizations, and elected officials. This extensive experience allows Iso to work on a variety of outreach projects with the California Department of Insurance.

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herminia ramirez

Program Manager, Vista Community Clinic | San Diego

Herminia Ramirez, MPH serves as Program Manager for Vista Community Clinic (VCC). She oversees VCC’s Migrant Health and Community Outreach Programs, and has been with the clinic for over 8 years. During her time with VCC, Ms. Ramirez has led efforts to ensure farmworkers and migrant communities have access to health care. Her work ranges from program management, grant administration, community engagement, direct service coordination, as well as policy advancement. One of the focuses in her role is supporting the work of Poder Popular, VCC’s legacy promotor group, working with over 40 Lideres in the City of Vista on health equity advancement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Ramirez led efforts to implement COVID response efforts out in the community. Efforts included ensuring connection to resources like food and diaper distributions, distribution of PPE items, bringing the vaccine to community, and continuing to provide health education out in the field. One highlight of this work, was working with agricultural sites to bring COVID resources and vaccine access to their teams. In March of 2021, Ms. Ramirez became the first Latina to serve in the City of Escondido’s Planning Commission. She was most recently appointed to the San Diego County’s Human Relation Commission. Ms. Ramirez also serves on the following leadership positions: Community Advisory Board Member for Communities Fighting COVID!, Board Member for Community Health Improvement Partners, Co-Chair of the San Diego County Promotores Coalition, Vice- Chair of the Farmworker CARE Coalition, Steering Committee Member of the San Diego Food Vision 2030, and is an active member of many other coalitions in the county of San Diego.

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maria samaniego

Deputy Director, UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative| Greater Los Angeles

María Samaniego is the Deputy Director at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative where she oversees strategy and operations in support of their policy, advocacy and leadership development work. Prior to UCLA LPPI, she served as the Senior Program Manager at the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program where she spearheaded all aspects of their programming and partnership efforts to maximize the impact of their economic mobility policy work and increase representation of Latinos throughout the Institute’s policy and public programs. María has held several roles with Voto Latino and Occidental College’s Neighborhood Partnership Program where she led education, civic engagement and leadership development initiatives utilizing data driven best practices to improve access to opportunities in underserved communities. Maria currently serves on the Advisory Council for Support Latino Business Day and previously served on the board for Viva Panama, a nonprofit focused on raising awareness of the Panamanian community in the United States. María is part of the 2021 cohort of the HOPE Leadership Institute, a Hispanic’s in Philanthropy Líderes Fellow and an alumnus of the Schusterman Foundation’s Reality Program. In 2020 she was awarded with an Aspen Institute Staff Achievement Award and in 2019 was named 40 under 40 in Washington, DC by Prospanica DC. She holds an MA in Education from Michigan State University, an MA in Latin American Studies from California State University, Los Angeles and a BA in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Davis.

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adriana ramos

Founder & CEO, Heritage Investment Properties | Orange County

Adriana Ramos is a Senior Advisor in Edison International’s Public Affairs unit and provides policy support to Edison's Washington, D.C. and Sacramento offices. Adriana also manages policy support to Edison’s CEO office.  In 2018, Adriana served as the President for Latinos for Engagement, Advancement & Development, an Edison Business Resource Group dedicated to supporting the development and upward mobility of Latino employees. Adriana joined Edison in 2014 as a Local Public Affairs Region Manager. Prior to joining Edison, Adriana practiced law with a municipal law firm, where she advised local government agencies on public policies and litigation strategies.  She served as the Assistant City Attorney for a city in the Inland Empire and as Deputy City Attorney for cities across California.  Adriana earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and bachelor’s degrees in Criminology, Law & Society and Psychology & Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine.

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paula tapia

Executive Vice President, Desert Resort Management | Inland Empire

Paula Tapia first joined the Associa Desert Resort Management team in 2015 as Director of Business Development and quickly rose to her current role as Executive Vice President. In this capacity, she continues to grow as an effective leader, facilitating change management while serving internal and external clients with integrity and respect, two of her core values. Her knowledge and exposure to the growing CID (common interest development) industry in the Coachella Valley was a natural progression from her decade-long success with Pacific Western Bank, where she served as Vice President of Business Development. This position proved to be a pivotal one, as it afforded her opportunities to give back to the community through involvement with local non-profit organizations. Paula's educational background includes a recently attained Masters Degree in Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Business. In her free time, Paula devotes her energy to the causes closest to her heart--LifeStream Blood Bank and The Ophelia Project. She's an avid health and fitness enthusiast and enjoys teaching Zumba Fitness.


michelle teran-woolfork

Legislative Director,  CA State Assembly | Northern California

Michelle Teran-Woolfork currently serves as the Legislative Director for Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva, representing the 65th Assembly District. Michelle maintains the Member's legislative package, makes vote recommendations, directs Floor Session and staffs the Member on policy committees among other things. She also worked as a Legislative Aide for Assembly Members Susan Talamantes Eggman and Cristina Garcia. Prior to working in the State Capitol, Michelle worked for the United Farm Workers where she advocated for the dignity and respect of farm workers. She led a number of political campaigns and was instrumental in the passage of AB 1066 (Statutes of 2016) which extended overtime wage protections to farm workers statewide. Michelle was the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university and graduate school. She received her Master of Science in Law from McGeorge School of Law in 2017 and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Merced in 2011. She brings 9 years of experience in politics and policy making.


alexa tijerino

Social Media Consultant Marketing | Northern California

Alexa is a Social Media Specialist and Science Communicator for the CLEAR Center at UC Davis. Prior to working in higher education she worked in local radio and television news, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera and microphone. She eventually transitioned into digital communications and marketing. Alexa also works as an independent market research consultant and is passionate about online audience targeting and engagement.

Alexa studied broadcast electronic communication arts at San Francisco State University.

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samantha torres

Clinical Research Coordinator, UC Davis School of Medicine | Northern California

Samantha is a public health scientist with extensive experience in project management for research and clinical programs in government and academia. Growing up in rural Fresno County, she witnessed health disparities in her largely migrant farmworker community, particularly for women's health issues, which motivated her career in health, science and public service. She pursued her Bachelors of Science degree first at Reedley College then transferred to University of California, Davis, and later completed her Master's in Public Health at the University of Washington. Samantha participated in the UC Center in Sacramento's Health and Environmental Policy Scholars program, where she experienced firsthand how science and data are used to develop effective policy solutions. Currently, Samantha works as a clinical researcher at UC Davis School of Medicine, working on research studies investigating the effects of the Northern California wildfires on pregnancy and fetal health. She lives in the Bay Area and enjoys cycling, coaching girl’s soccer and watching movies with her family. 


vivian velasco paz

General Counsel, Paz Dermatology | Central Valley

Vivian Velasco Paz is the General Counsel and co-founder of Paz Dermatology, a practice she founded with her husband, a dermatologic surgeon.  In addition to overseeing the business, Vivian is actively involved in two boards in the Central Valley.  She is serves as the board president of Arte Américas, a Latino cultural arts center, and is a board member of the Central Valley Community Foundation.  Prior to starting the family business, Vivian prosecuted unfair labor practices as an Assistant General Counsel with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.  Two notable cases she prosecuted involved a crew of farmworkers who were fired because they protested a piece rate decrease, and a case involving a farmworker who was fired after she complained about sexually harassment.  Before returning to California, Vivian worked for the Illinois Attorney General in Chicago, where she prosecuted fraudulent lending practices and mortgage rescue fraud during the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis.  She previously worked as an employment litigation associate at Paul Hastings, LLP in Los Angeles.  Vivian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and a Juris Doctorate degree from UC Berkeley School of Law.  She has two daughters, Carolina, age 6, and Gabriela, age 4.

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kenia zamarripa

Director, International Business Affairs, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce | San Diego Area

Kenia Zamarripa serves as Director of International Business Affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she is responsible for facilitating business, political, and cultural relationships across the regional business community and advocating for business-friendly legislation that encourages cross-border trade and an improved binational business climate. She leads the Chamber’s team in the organization of annual binational delegation trips to Mexico City to promote cross-border advocacy, and quarterly Cross Border Business Forums that provide business leaders the essential knowledge and resources needed to thrive within the binational marketplace. Zamarripa previously served as Director of Marketing and International Affairs for the Sportfishing Association of California. Zamarripa acquired her BA in Marketing from CETYS Universidad in Tijuana, Mexico in 2009. In 2015, she completed her MSc in Global Marketing Management from the University of Liverpool, UK, where she also received her PG Certificate in Human Resources in 2017.

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jessica zaragoza

Legislative Director, Assemblymember. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (South-LA) | Northern California

Jessica Zaragoza is the Legislative Director for State Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (51st District). Prior to this role, Jessica served as a Legislative Aide for State Senator Mike McGuire (2nd District), where she managed legislation relating to data-sharing agreements, developmental services and advised the member on legislation relating to immigration, transportation, and housing. Jessica was also formerly a Capitol Senate Fellow. Prior to her legislative work, Jessica helped manage program operations for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles, which provides job opportunities for youth who are enrolled in CalWORKs, low-income households, or foster youth. She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills with honors. Her honors include a Leon & Sylvia Panetta Congressional Intern.

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