Industry and Community Leaders Join the Board of the Friends of the Amercan Latino Museum
Friends of the American Latino Museum Announce Addition of New Board Members and Hispanic Heritage Month Regional Events
Washington, D.C. – The Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc (Friends of the American Latino Museum), a 501(c)3 formed in 2008 to advance the creation of a national museum in our nation’s capitol dedicated to the story of Hispanic American pioneers and leaders who contributed to the founding and strength of our nation, is pleased to announce seven new board members, who will assist in the nationwide campaign to honor Hispanic heritage and history with the creation of a National Museum of the American Latino.
To further the cause, the Friends of the American Latino Museum has also planned its next two events in September; the first will be in Washington, D.C., in tandem with the 2011 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Hispanic Heritage Month Events on Monday, September 12 in the Washington National Convention Center. The second will be in Miami, coinciding with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd Annual National Convention & Business Expo on Wednesday, September 21st.
“The breadth of talent and experience that these new board members bring to our organization is boundless,” said Jonathan Yorba, Chairman. “With their inclusion to the board we are poised to continue creating the building blocks for the movement toward a national museum dedicated to the contributions of American Latinos.” Four of the new board members are former National Museum of the American Latino Commissioners. Information on each of the new Board members is found below:
Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez is the Executive Vice President for Multicultural Markets and Engagement of AARP. She comes to this position with over 30 years of extensive service in the nonprofit, corporate and private sectors including being named the first Hispanic to serve as New York’s Secretary of State. In addition to her media experience while at Cablevision Systems Corporation, Ms. Cortés-Vázquez brings with her a career dedicated to youth and the Hispanic community as Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York and President of the Hispanic Federation.
Ivette Fernandez serves as the Director of Community Affairs in the Office of Corporate Diversity at News Corporation. She is responsible for developing and managing partnerships with a wide range of strategic external advocacy, community and industry stakeholders to promote education initiatives and expand workforce, program and supplier diversity. Additionally, she works closely with executives across News Corp’s various business units on community reinvestment programs and the value proposition of diversity-related issues. Ms. Fernandez is a native Alaskan with a long history of public affairs experience, including positions in The White House, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Senate. She is a Board Member of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and Comunilife Corporate Advisory Council, and Chair of the United Way of New York City’s Young Leaders Council Steering Committee. She was the feature of LATINA Style Magazine’s summer 2008 article “Inspirational Latina, Ivette Fernandez,” and in 2000, won the title of 2001 Miss Alaska USA.
Mónica Gil holds the position of Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations of Nielsen. Ms. Gil also manages Nielsen’s national Latino Strategic Community Outreach and the company’s education, philanthropy, government and public affairs initiatives. Ms. Gil has a long history of communications experience including work with Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa’s historic election campaign. Additionally, she was press secretary for the Speaker of the California State Assembly; Senior Vice President of for Greer, Margolis, Mitchell & Burns, a public policy, advertising and public relations firm; and she managed philanthropic efforts at Telemundo as the Director of Public Affairs. She received a “Champion of Diversity” Award from Diversity Business Magazine and Los Angeles Business Journal named her one of their “Women Making a Difference.”
Susan Gonzales served as Vice Chairperson of the U.S. Commission for the National Museum of the American Latino (NMAL). Prior to her work on the Commission, Ms. Gonzales worked on the Advisory Committee for NMAL for several years. Professionally, Ms. Gonzales recently joined Facebook in northern California to lead External Affairs for the company. Prior to joining Facebook, she was the Senior Director of Federal and External Affairs as well as Vice President of the Comcast Foundation where she maintained the partnerships between Latino, African American, Asian, LGBT and Disabled community leaders. Ms. Gonzales has over twenty years experience in public affairs and corporate communications in both the public and private sectors in Washington, D.C. and the Bay Area of California. Ms. Gonzales currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and Board member of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.
Dr. Aida Levitan, is the President of The Levitan Group, Inc., a strategic marketing consulting firm, and also serves as the president of ArtesMiami,, Inc, a nonprofit cultural organization. Previously, Dr. Levitan was also the president of Bromley, then the number one Hispanic advertising agency, as well as the CEO of Publicis Sanchez & Levitan, one of the top ten Hispanic advertising agencies. She also founded Sanchez & Levitan, an agency sold to Publicis Groupe in 2003. Dr. Levitan currently serves on the boards of many organizations, including the Miami Art Museum, Spanish Cultural Center, and the Latin Chamber of Commerce. She was recently named Latina Pioneer of the Year in South Florida. During the last two years she chaired the communications committee of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission.
Raul “Danny” Vargas is the founder and president of VARCom Solutions, a Washington, D.C. area-based marketing and public relations firm; additionally, Mr. Vargas has served as Chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, National Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, founder of the Hispanic GovCon Network, member of the Virginia Workforce Council, vice president at AOL and at France Telecom, and Director of Corporate and Carrier Sales for Global One, among other capacities. He is a regular national media commentator on issues ranging from politics to business. Mr. Vargas also served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force.
Cid Wilson is a New Jersey resident who has worked in the financial services industry since 1993. In 2006, Wilson was ranked #1 equity financial analyst in his field by Forbes Magazine. He is the Senior Equity Research Analyst for Cabrera Capital Markets LLC in New York City. He serves on the Ethnic Advisory Board for PepsiCo Inc. and the Consumer Advisory Board for Verizon Communications. In addition to his corporate energies, Mr. Wilson serves on the boards of directors of leading non-profit organizations including the National Council of La Raza, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Dominicans On Wall Street. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ. He serves on the boards of various Dominican American organizations throughout the country. He is a “Gold Life Member” of the NAACP. Mr. Wilson’s corporate and community successes have garnered him national media attention including the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine in 2004 and a profile story on ABC News in 2008.
The Friends of the American Latino Museum welcomes its new Board members, and looks forward to the opportunities they can contribute towards the building of the National Museum of the American Latino.
Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (www.americanlatinomuseum.org) Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc., a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.
Estuardo Rodriguez: (202) 631-2892
Laura Rodriguez: (310) 956-2425