Danny Vargas, Chair
VARCom Solutions, LLC
President & CEO, Eventus and Former NMAL Commissioner
Restaurant Owner of El Sombrero
CEO, AT&T Business
Chairman of The Latino Coalition and Former SBA Administrator
Juan Carlos Benitez
President Washington Pacific Economic Development Group
Former SVP Coca-Cola and Former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan
CEO, YWCA and Former National Director, MBDA
Dir., Major Giving, Army Museum
Sergio Fernandez de Cordova
Chairman, PVBLIC Foundation
Former Governor of Puerto Rico
Becker & Poliakoff
Former NMAL Commissioner
President, The Libre Initiative
CEO & Cofounder CIEN+
Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Former CEO of Kellogg Company
Executive Director, External Affairs, Comcast
Utah Attorney General and Former NMAL Commissioner
Board Secretary the Latino Coalition
Former Federal Drug Free Communities Commissioner
President/CEO of US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Former Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board, Retired Army Major General
President & CEO
VP of Advocacy and Partnerships
Senior Creative Associate
Monica Lopez Romo
Danny Vargas, Chair
President, VARcom Solutions, LLC
Raul “Danny” Vargas is a noted business and community leader, accomplished media commentator, and marketing/public relations professional. A product of the mean streets of New York City, he has created opportunities, overcome challenges and beaten the odds all his life. He has made a mark not only in business but in the community as well. Danny is a proud US Air Force intelligence veteran, serving seven years on active duty.
Danny is the Founder and President of VARCom Solutions, a nationally- recognized, award-winning marketing communications, technology and management consulting firm. He is a regular media commentator in both English and Spanish, appearing on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo, and many more and has penned op-eds for Wall Street Journal, NBC and others.
A proven corporate executive, Danny was an executive at AOL, France Telecom, Global One and Raytheon. He was appointed by Virginia’s Governor to chair the Virginia Board of Workforce Development to ensure the future economic vitality of the commonwealth. He served as Chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (the first Hispanic to chair a mainstream chamber in Virginia history) and sits on the board of the Northern Virginia Chamber.
Active in politics and the community, he was a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, was one of the top races in 2015 and was endorsed by the Washington Post where they called him “one of the region’s more impressive first-time candidates for the House of Delegates in recent memory.” He was appointed by Congress to a commission studying the creation of an American Latino Museum within the Smithsonian Institution and chairs a nonprofit group advancing this museum effort and has served on boards of various other nonprofit groups. He serves on a commission to study and promote economic opportunities for struggling families in Virginia.
Danny has advocated for commonsense solutions for a variety of causes—workforce development, veterans support, economic development, health IT and more. A sought-after public speaker, Mr. Vargas is committed to keeping his community and our nation vibrant, thriving and strong.
Vice Chair, Vice President of Government Relations
Ivette Fernandez is a native Alaskan with over 17 years of experience in the public and private sectors and currently serves as Vice President of Government Relations for Endeavor. Prior to joining Endeavor she was at the LIBRE Institute. Ivette has also served as News Corporation’s Director of Community Affairs in Corporate Diversity and Pfizer Inc.’s Director of Advocacy and Professional Relations for the Northeast Region and Puerto Rico in the Office of U.S. Public Affairs. Prior to joining the private sector, Ivette served as an Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison at The White House, and a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Fernandez also worked in the U.S. Senate for former Senator Frank H. Murkowski, and current Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Fernandez has been recognized for her contributions to the community by numerous entities, including LATINO Magazine; U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; The Latino Coalition; University of Alaska Fairbanks; and Eielson Air Force Base,
Alaska. She was featured in LATINA Style Magazine’s summer 2008 article “Inspirational Latina, Ivette Fernandez,” and was recognized in 2006 as a young Hispanic American leader by the Government of Spain’s “Young Hispanic Leaders Program,” where she was honored by HRH Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.
Fernandez is a Board Member of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and Friends of the American Latino Museum, and a Member of Junior League of Washington.
Fernandez was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in 2000, won the title of Miss Alaska USA and competed in the 2001 Miss USA Pageant. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and her Master’s degree in International Affairs (concentration) from Georgetown University.
Jon G. Muñoz - Treasurer
Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion
Jon Muñoz is Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion for Hilton Worldwide. Muñoz plays a key role in executing Hilton Worldwide’s strategies focused on culture, talent and marketplace.
Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Muñoz served in a diversity role for Sprint Nextel Corporation and marketing roles for Nextel Communications, Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank Corporation (now Bank of America).
Muñoz actively serves in numerous leadership positions of diverse non-profit organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Corporate Alliance, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO Advisory Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Corporate Advisory Council and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board.
Muñoz was recognized in 2011 by Hispanic Business Magazine on their list of the Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics. Muñoz holds a BS in communications and advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
John Huerta - Secretary
Former General Counsel
John Huerta is the former General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Huerta served on the Commission to study the potential creation of the National Museum of the American Latino.
Mr. Huerta served as the General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution for 13 years where he provided legal advice to the Secretary and Board of Regents. While in the counsel, he directed lawyers and support staff which operated on a $1.2 billion budget along with the nation’s 19 museums and art galleries, the National Zoological Park and 9 research centers with facilities in 9 states, the District of Columbia and the Republics of Panama and Chile.
He also served as a counsel in Western Center on Law & Poverty, Los Angeles, where he specialized in housing, land use and rights of the homeless in class action litigation. John Huerta was also a partner in Gronemeier, Barker & Huerta and an associate counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund where he focused in business and civil rights litigation. John also served as the deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and was acting Law Professor at the University of California, Davis.
John E. Huerta graduated from the University of California Berkeley, School of Law and was a Law and Humanity Fellow at Harvard University. He was designated as a Super Lawyer in Super Lawyer’s Magazine in 2008 and has been listed in Hispanic Business 100 most Influential Hispanics on numerous occasions.
Meridian Design Associates
Tony is the Managing Principal and a founder of Meridian Design. As such he has spearheaded the development of the firm’s Integrated Design Methodology. With his skillful balance of design vision and detail orientation, Tony leads the conceptualization and design of all of the firm’s projects. He is also an accomplished furniture and industrial designer and has led the firm’s efforts to explore the humanization of the workplace. In addition, he leads the firm’s Quality Management, Cost Estimating and Production Technology processes. Prior to his career in architecture he followed his passion for art and painting and to this day remains active and productive in this area. Tony’s diverse past project experience includes design and construction administration of a broad spectrum of projects, including: media and entertainment, network operation centers, New Media spaces, as well as commercial interiors (offices, restaurants and cultural facilities) and residential spaces (modular, single-family and multi-family apartments). Other aspects of his practice include a cultural center, educational facilities and research projects. Education: Bachelor of Architecture, Pratt Institute, 1976; Masters of Architecture, Pratt Institute, 1980.
Rachel Campos Duffy
Fox New Contributor, Author
Rachel Campos-Duffy may have gotten her start as one of the stars of the iconic show, MTVs The Real World: San Francisco, but today she is ranked one of "Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans" and sought after for her honest, insightful, and often humorous real world view of the news cycle and American politics.
Rachel is a published author, communications consultant, and television personality specializing in political analysis, culture and parenting.
She is a FOX News and FOX Business Contributor and a recurring guest host on hit shows, FOX & Friends and Outnumbered offering her unique view on political news, parenting, and everything in between.
Rachel has also appeared as a frequent guest on NBC's Today Show and ABC's
The View. In 2008, she co-hosted the series "Speaking of Women's Health" on the Lifetime Network with the legendary Florence Henderson.
Her advocacy work has included serving as the national spokesperson for The LIBRE Initiative, a non-profit group that advocates for the economic empowerment of Hispanics through limited government, entrepreneurship and self-reliance.
Rachel's debut children's book set to be released in Spring 2018 by Regnery Kids, is a story about a little girl's adventure inside the U.S. Capitol inspired by real life events where she learns about patriotism, courage and her immigrant father's journey to citizenship.
She has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Arizona State University's Honors Program and a Masters Degree in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego.
Rachel lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Congressman Sean Duffy [R-WI], and her eight awesome kids!
Luis R. Cancel
Artist, arts administrator, and distinguished public servant
Harvard University – Master of Arts in Public Administration, 1990
New York University – Master of Arts in Art Administration, 1987
Pratt Institute – Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1975
Luis R. Cancel – artist, arts administrator, and distinguished public servant has a distinguished 30- year career as the head of various not-for-profit and public agencies. Until recently he served as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Francisco, appointed to that position by Mayor Gavin Newsom in January 2008. In that capacity, he oversaw the San Francisco Arts Commission (www.sfartscommission.org) until July 2011 when he resigned after Mayor Newsom was elected Lt. Governor of California. While serving in San Francisco, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Mr. Cancel to the National Museum of the American Latino Commission (2009-2011), established by Congress and the President to study the potential creation of such a museum as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
From 2005 until December 2007 he was Executive Director of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center in New York City, where he raised $14.04 million in capital renovation grants. He has served as an independent curator and consultant in the areas of institutional development and strategic planning for various foundations and government agencies (see ECC below). In 2009, he became a founding member of Rio Cidade Criativa (Rio Creative City www.cidadecriativa.org/en/), a decade-long initiative based in Rio de Janeiro to foment the arts and community development in the city that is being impacted by hosting the World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016).
Formerly, Mr. Cancel was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (www.nyc.gov/html/dcla/html/home/home.shtml). Appointed by Mayor David N. Dinkins in December 1991, Mr. Cancel became the first Latino ever to hold that position as the fifth Commissioner in the agency's history. During his tenure (1991-1994), he worked closely with Mayor Dinkins to raise the level of city support for the arts and sciences, increasing the agency's operating support budget from $69 million to $89 million, making it the nation's third largest public agency supporting arts and culture. In addition, Mr. Cancel oversaw the Capital Improvements budget of $100 million. As Commissioner, Mr. Cancel worked with leaders from all of the arts disciplines to document the economic contributions of the arts to New York City's economy.
In 1978 he was named Executive Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts. He was the youngest Museum Director and the only Latino in the country to direct a county museum. During his tenure (1978-1991), he was responsible for the Bronx Museum becoming one of the most respected and innovative cultural institutions in New York City. He guided the Museum's expansion from the Bronx County Courthouse to a 42,000 square feet (3,902 square meters) permanent building and successfully oversaw a $6.5 million capital campaign and renovation project. Under Mr. Cancel’s direction, the Bronx Museum subsequently developed a master plan for a second physical plant expansion of $22 million and Mr. Cancel secured municipal capital support of $18.75 million for that project.
While Directing the Bronx Museum, Mr. Cancel received a Museum Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to research Latin American art. He traveled extensively throughout Latin America and established important contacts for the Museum with major collectors, galleries and museums. He also curated several major exhibitions including: the First, Second and Third Emerging Expressions Biennials: The Artists and the Computer; Devastation/Resurrection: The South Bronx; Krishna Reddy, a Retrospective; and the highly acclaimed Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920-1970.
The Bronx Museum received extensive national and local media coverage for its exhibitions and public programs. Mr. Cancel has conducted numerous print and broadcast interviews on a wide variety of topics and has been featured as the cover story for the Sunday Arts and Leisure Section of The New York Times (September 25, 1988).
He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council for the Arts (ACA is now known as the Americans for the Arts), having been appointed to that post in April of 1994. ACA was a national membership organization, founded in 1960, whose mission then and now is to promote public policies that advance and document the contributions of the arts and artists to American life. During his tenure, Mr. Cancel helped ACA to focus its activities and become an arts information provider. In 1994 he conceived and established ACA’s pioneering Internet Web site, ArtsUSATM (www.artsusa.org).
Mr. Cancel has maintained an active consulting practice via Entrepreneurial Cultural Consulting (ECC), which he originally founded in 1995 as Esperanto Internet Services (EIS) to facilitate network communication between individuals of diverse nations and cultures. EIS positioned itself to benefit from the growing need to translate information over the Internet. This information technology company provided multilingual, Web site design; quality translations in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish; and proofreading services. EIS assisted clients with the design and development of those multi-lingual Web sites and EIS sold its domain name www.esperanto.com to the International Esperanto Society in 2007.
Since then, Mr. Cancel has used ECC to undertake selective cultural consulting projects involving strategic planning, fund raising and institutional development for numerous clients including The Rockefeller Foundation, The US-Mexico Fund for Culture and in 1998 he conducted a feasibility study for the establishment of a Museum of the Americas for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. Other consulting clients include: Thor Equities (NYC); Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo); the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Fundación Eugenio Mendoza (Caracas), The Quipus Cultural Foundation (La Paz), Lord Cultural Resources (Toronto), The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts (Utah).
As a member of the Smithsonian Council (1990-1997), he headed up a review of the Smithsonian Institution’s publishing and electronic projects. As a consultant, he conducted a feasibility study for the establishment of a Museum of the Americas for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. In 1999, he was a consultant to The Rockefeller Foundation, assigned by the Foundation to provide technical assistance to Latin American arts groups.
Mr. Cancel has been a guest lecturer at several prestigious national and international museums and universities including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, The Aspen Institute, and Central University of Caracas. He has maintained an active interest in both the arts and sciences and he has been at the forefront of urging cultural organizations to utilize the Internet and New Media to reach new audiences. He hosted a weekly 2-hour Internet radio Podcast, Loisaida Cultural Wire, on www.eastvillageradio.com, and in San Francisco, he establish and co-hosted CultureWire, a weekly cable TV and Internet-based television program. (www.sfartscommission.org/category/video/)
Mr. Cancel entered Pratt Institute in 1970, where he studied painting and printmaking with a minor in Anthropology. After earning his B.F.A. from Pratt in 1975, Mr. Cancel received a study fellowship from the American Friends Service Committee to research 20th Century Puerto Rican Art. When this research ended, he became the Gallery Director of the Cayman Gallery, the first Latin American art gallery in SoHo, New York. During his 1975-1977 tenure, Mr. Cancel began his continuing affiliation with most of the major Hispanic cultural institutions, including Taller Boricua, El Museo del Barrio, and The Mexican Museum (San Francisco and Chicago).
In 1987 he received a Master of Arts degree in Museum Management/Arts Administration from New York University. During the 1989-1990 academic year, he went on an academic sabbatical from the Bronx Museum, and in 1990, received his second Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mr. Cancel also studied educational software design and interactive CD-ROM production at the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Visit Luis's website www.LuisCancel.com
Director of External Affairs – Statewide Relations
Adriana Martinez is passionate about increasing educational and socio-economic opportunities for underrepresented populations. As Director of External Affairs – Statewide Relations at AT&T, Adriana leads and develops strategic partnerships and initiatives throughout California that support this mission. Prior to joining AT&T in 2011, Adriana ran her own consulting practice providing government, community and public affairs services with a focus on economic development in under-resourced communities.
Adriana’s professional career over the past 23 years spans the corporate, non-profit, micro-enterprise and government sectors, with a focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, strategic management and adding value. Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2007, Adriana served as Associate Director of Economic Development for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, as well as Economic Policy Director for Mayor James K. Hahn. Adriana began her career in Washington, D.C. as Policy Advisor to Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard before transitioning to the small business and non-profit sectors. During her time in our nation’s capitol, Adriana founded the region’s first traditional Mexican folklorico academy and performance group, De Colores Mexican Folk Dance Company.
Adriana earned an MBA from the Anderson School/UCLA (2002) and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University (1993). She is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs/San Francisco (1994). Adriana is from Boyle Heights and graduated Valedictorian from Roosevelt High School, 1989. Adriana and her husband, Luis Ayala, live in Alhambra with their two young children, Citlali, 11, and Diego, 9. She has received numerous awards for her civic work, including Community Champion Award from the YMCA, 2015; Mujeres Destacadas (La Opinion), 2009; Alumna of the Year, UCLA Latino Business Association, 2009. Adriana serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the American Latino Museum; the Stanford Latino Alumni Association; and Dream Academy of Salinas Valley, as well as Advisory Board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Nicolás A. Medina
Public and Government Affairs Manager
ExxonMobil Production Company
Nicolás A. Medina is the Public and Government Affairs Manager for the Middle East and Russia at ExxonMobil Production Company. Nicolás has been with ExxonMobil for 20 years in a variety of positions in sales, marketing, operations, planning and technology. A native of Nicaragua, Nicolás brings a global perspective having worked for ExxonMobil in Latin America, Europe, and the US.
Nicolás grew up in Miami and earned a B.A. in Economics and International Studies from the American University in Washington, DC. In 1988, he was captain of his college team that won the National Championship Debate Tournament. Nicolás was a Sloan Foundation Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and in 1991 obtained a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Nicolás is former President of GOAL, an ExxonMobil group designed to facilitate the business, professional growth and advancement of Hispanics. He currently serves in the board of directors for NSHMBA, AVANCE, Inc. and the Russian Chamber of Commerce. He is also an advisory board member of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Hispanic 360 Retail Conference, and Harvard University’s Latino Leadership Initiative.
Vice President, Multicultural Leadership
Born in New York City of Dominican parents, Yvette Peña has always navigated bilingual and bicultural spaces at a very young age. After graduating in Business Administration from Baruch College in New York, she has dedicated her career to public sector by initiating diverse community initiatives. Ms. Peña has more than 20 years of experience in executive roles and has been the first Director of Multicultural Affairs of Sports Authority (2014) and Walgreens (2011). In 2016, AARP named her Vice President of Multicultural Leadership in the United States and Puerto Rico
Mario Rodriguez is the President and founding member of Compendium Strategies. He has been an entrepreneur and community leader throughout his career. In 1986, he founded Jonathan Grey & Associates, and built it into a leading Latino-owned consulting and ad specialty company. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, sports agencies, political firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. In 2006, he created his consulting business where he specializes in advising his clients on a wide range of political, business, and social issues.
Mr. Rodriguez serves in many social organizations. He served as board Director for the Tiger Woods Learning Center and is the Chairman of the Hispanic 100. He served on the President’s Advisory Council of Concordia University, as well as the New Majority of Orange County. He formerly served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, Chairman of the California Athletic Commission, President of the Hispanic Business Roundtable, Chairman of the Latino Coalition Foundation, Board of Directors of the Efren Herrera Foundation, and as member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club in the South County area.
Mr. Rodriguez has received multiple awards including the Hispanic Business Roundtable’s Circle of Excellence and League of United Latin American Citizens Businessman of the Year. He has been featured in television, newspapers, magazines, and radio including Making It: Minority Success Stories, and a KTLA Channel special, The Top Forty Companies with Owners under the age of Forty by Entrepreneur Magazine. Mr. Rodriguez received the 2005 O.C. Hispanic Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2005 O.C. United Way’s Hispanic Influential Lifetime Achievement award.
Partner and President
Cici has 20 years of corporate client cultivation, engagement, and retention experience. Her tenures range from CEO and Sr. Leader roles for local, regional and national Hispanic and Women’s Business and Advocacy associations, to Healthcare, Political, and Civic Leadership roles. She serves on several local, and national boards to positively contribute to the Kansas City region. She loves “trying” to play golf, spending time in the community for various causes and issues, and hanging out in KC’s eclectic live music and restaurant scene.
CEO and President
Precision Task Group
Massey Villarreal is CEO and President of Precision Task Group, Inc., (PTG), a Hispanic-owned and managed computer-consulting firm providing data processing solutions to public and private sector firms.
Mr. Villarreal has a long and outstanding history as an advocate of Hispanic businesses. While serving on the Board of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he was elected as Chairman of the Board of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC). After his service in TAMACC, Mr. Villarreal served as the Chairman of the Board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). He later returned to our Chamber and served as Chairman of the Board of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce from 2000 - 2001. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was recently reelected to serve an additional 3-year term, and is the President of the board of directors of the Mexican American Legislative Foundation (Texas). In October 2002, Hispanic Business Magazine named Massey Villarreal as one of the one hundred most influential Hispanics in the United States. In gratitude for his service to the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and his advocacy of Hispanic businesses at the local, state and national levels, Mr. Villarreal was elected as Chairman Emeritus of the Chamber, an honor he received during the Triunfando! Gala in 2004.
At the national level, Mr. Villarreal has also served as Chairman of the Board for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA); was named National Hispanic Vice-Chairman of the Bush/Cheney for President Campaign and Deputy Vice Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia PA in 2000; serves as a member of the National Steering Committee for the Viva Bush Campaign.
At the State of Texas level, Mr. Villarreal was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve as presiding officer (Chairman) of the governing board of the Texas Department of Economic Development (TxEd) with a term expiring at the pleasure of the Governor. Mr. Villarreal led a successful transition of the agency to the Governor’s office, effective September 1, 2003. On September 23, 2003, Governor Rick Perry announced a new $5 million marketing campaign – Texas One – to continue the state’s recent string of successful job creation efforts led by Mr. Villarreal. This effort will assist public and private efforts to promote the state’s excellent business climate, skilled workforce, strong education system and convenient access to emerging markets. Mr. Villarreal also serves on the e-Texas Commission, which undertakes issues related to transportation (appointed by the State of Texas Comptroller, Carole Keeton Rylander). Mr. Villarreal has also served on the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, which is composed of nine university components throughout Texas (a six-year appointment by former Governor George W. Bush).
Mr. Villarreal also serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership, JP Morgan Chase Bank Advisory Board, Bio Houston, Houston Technology Center, Latin American Management Association (LAMA), San Jacinto Museum of History and Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Mr. Villarreal is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M -Corpus Christi (formerly Corpus Christi State University).
Brent A. Wilkes
President & Founder
Brent A. Wilkes is the National Executive Director for the League of United Latin American Citizens this country's largest and oldest Hispanic organization. Wilkes manages the operations of the LULAC National organization with primary focus on national policy and legislative advocacy, membership development, program development, and resource development.
A graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Wilkes majored in Government and Philosophy and studied Spanish in Morelia, Mexico. He has worked in various capacities for LULAC since 1988 including Special Projects Coordinator, Resource Developer, and Director of Policy & Development. He went to work for the LULAC National Office in 1996 and assumed the newly created position of National Executive Director in April of 1997.
As the LULAC National Executive Director, Wilkes is working hard to improve the quality of life for Hispanic Americans by guiding LULAC on its way to becoming a million-member organization with extensive legislative, public policy, and service activities in Hispanic communities throughout the United States.
Wilkes is widely credited with strengthening LULAC's programs, advocacy efforts, staffing, events and revenue since opening LULAC's National Office in Washington, DC in 1996. Since that time LULAC's revenue has tripled, staffing has grown from one to over twenty and the organization has taken a leadership role on key issues affecting Latinos in Washington and throughout the country.
In 2004, Wilkes helped launch the LULAC Leadership Initiative to strengthen LULAC's programs and serves at the grass-roots level. The initiative has already resulted in the establishment of 23 community technology centers, 26 housing counseling programs and 10 middle school science programs.
Wilkes currently serves as chair of the civil rights committee of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda a nonpartisan coalition of the major Hispanic national organizations which develops a consensus policy agenda and promotes public awareness of the principal issues facing Latinos. He is also an active board member of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility which advocates for the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America at a level commensurate with Hispanic economic contributions.
As a LULAC spokesperson, Wilkes frequently is quoted in national newspapers and publications and has appeared on radio and television shows including CNN, CSPAN and Fox News. A recipient of numerous acknowledgements and awards, he is most proud of his LULAC Youth Advocate of the Year award presented in 2003.
Brent and his wife are proud parents of two boys.
President & CEO
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
Cid Wilson was named the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s (HACR) President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2014, bringing more than 20 years of corporate finance and Wall Street equity research experience. Managing a staff of talented and dedicated professionals and working closely with corporate board members, Hispanic organizations, and corporate partners around the country, Wilson directs programs and initiatives aimed at encouraging Fortune 500 companies to include Hispanics in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.
As the public face of the organization, Wilson promotes HACR through speaking engagements, traditional media sources and outreach to organizations and employee resource groups who share HACR’s mission. His ease in communicating within the C-level suite of major U.S. corporations presents a unique advantage in creating new partnerships, as well as strengthening relationships with existing corporate members.
Wilson has been featured and quoted in numerous publications and by news media, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Bloomberg TV and in February 2004, he was featured on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine.
In September 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission that proposed to the President and Congress construction of a new Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He was named board chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino in 2012 and continues to lead advocacy efforts aimed at sustaining Congressional support for the museum’s completion.
Graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in economics, Wilson launched his career in 1994 and was steadily promoted from the mail room to the executive suite, earning national recognition as the #1 Specialty Retail Analyst by Forbes in 2006. His leadership in the corporate sector also included previous service on the Ethnic Advisory Board for PepsiCo, Inc., and the Consumer Advisory Board for Verizon Communications.
A proud Dominican American, with Bergen County, NJ roots, his interest in serving the community has been exemplified through board membership with leading minority advocacy groups, including LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Dominicans on Wall Street. He is the former national president of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR), former vice chairman of the board of trustees for Bergen Community College, a former trustee ambassador to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, a former member of the Association of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) National Board of Directors, and a Gold Life Member of the NAACP.