2014 Legislative Summit Speakers

THE WELCOME RECEPTION

THE HONORABLE JOHN CORNYN (R-TX),

Minority Whip, U.S. Senate


In 2008, Texans overwhelmingly re-elected Senator John Cornyn to represent them for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cornyn was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and previously served in Texas as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and as Texas Attorney General.

READ MORE

CARLY SANCHEZ

Executive Vice President, Head of Talent Acquisition, EEO/Affirmative Action, & Diversity Recruitment, Wells Fargo & Company


In this new role, Sanchez is responsible for the strategy, design and implementation of recruiting programs, policies, selection and assessment, and technology solutions.

READ MORE

HISPANIC BUSINESS LUNCHEON

THE HONORABLE XAVIER BECERRA (D-CA),

Chairman, House Democratic Caucus


First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, Representative Xavier Becerra serves as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. His committee is responsible for formulating our nation’s tax, Social Security, Medicare, trade and income security laws.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE MICKEY IBARRA

Former Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs


For Mickey Ibarra, advocacy has always been a way of life. It was in that role he honed the leadership skills that led him to the White House senior staff of President Bill Clinton, the creation of his own business and the development of the Latino Leaders Network.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA),

Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives


Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress. From 2007 to 2011, she served as the first woman Speaker of the House. Leader Pelosi has led House Democrats for a decade and has represented San Francisco, California's 12th District, for 26 years.

READ MORE

BOBBY THOMSON

Head of U.S. Government Relations, Visa Inc.


Bobby Thomson is Head of US Government Relations at Visa Inc. His responsibilities include advancing Visa’s legislative and public policy priorities, engaging key stakeholder groups in government and the private sector, as well as providing leadership over all federal and state lobbying activities for Visa within the United States.

READ MORE

BREAKFAST ON THE HILL

THE HONORABLE MARIO DÍAZ-BALART (R-FL),

Chairman, Congressional Hispanic Conference


Mario Díaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Diaz-Balart was asked to serve on one of the most prestigious committees: House Committee on Appropriations.

READ MORE

DANIEL DIAZ LEYVA

Of Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP


Daniel Diaz Leyva is of counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the Business Law Department and International Practice. He has a broad range of general transactional experience with a primary focus in the areas of real estate and finance.

READ MORE

REINCE PRIEBUS

Chairman, Republican National Committee


Reince Priebus was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 14, 2011, and reelected on January 25, 2013, putting him on track to become only the seventh person to serve four years as Republican Party Chairman.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE PAUL RYAN (R-WI),

Chairman, House Budget Committee


Paul Ryan is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he works to bring fiscal discipline and accountability to the federal government. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, Social Security, health care and trade laws.

READ MORE

THE ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT GALA

THE HONORABLE JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ),

Member, U.S. Senate


John McCain entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954. He served in the United States Navy until 1981. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election.

READ MORE

STATE OF HISPANIC SMALL BUSINESS BREAKFAST

ALEJANDRA CASTILLO

Head of the MBDA, Department of Commerce


Ms. Alejandra Castillo currently serves as the Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). In this capacity, Ms. Castillo leads the Agency's strategic efforts to enhance the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs).

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA),

UChairwoman, Energy and Natural Resources Committee


Mary L. Landrieu has been fighting and winning for Louisiana since she was first elected to the Louisiana state legislature at the age of 23. After serving eight years as a state representative and two terms as State Treasurer, in 1996 she became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE MARTIN O'MALLEY

Governor of Maryland


Martin O’Malley is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as Governor. Since 2007, his Administration has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing to do the things that work to create jobs, expand opportunity, and make Maryland a safer, healthier place.

READ MORE

PAUL ROMNESS

Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP),
Boehringer Ingelheim


Paul Romness is Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) for Boehringer Ingelheim, the largest privately held bio-pharmaceutical company in the world.

READ MORE

JOURNALIST PLENARY: INFORMING THE PUBLIC IN THE INFORMATION AGE

MIKE ALLEN

Chief White House Correspondent, Politico


Mike Allen is the chief White House correspondent for Politico. He comes to us from Time magazine where he was their White House correspondent. Prior to that, Allen spent six years at The Washington Post, where he covered President Bush's first term, Capitol Hill, campaign finance, and the Bush, Gore and Bradley campaigns of 2000.

READ MORE

JIM AVILA

Senior National Correspondent, ABC News; White House Correspondent, Fusion


Award-winning journalist Jim Avila is the Senior National Correspondent at ABC News and White House correspondent for Fusion. He is based in Washington DC. In this role he covers Hispanic America, immigration reform, education, politics and other issues vitally important to the Latino community, the fastest-growing segment of our population.

READ MORE

PETER HAMBY

National Political Reporter, CNN Digital


Peter Hamby is a national political reporter for CNN Digital, based in the network’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Hamby focuses his attention beyond the Beltway to tackle the politics, policies and campaigns that affect the nation at state and local levels. His work, including in-depth articles, analysis for CNN.com and a political video franchise, is integrated across all CNN Digital platforms and CNN television.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE SUSAN MOLINARI

Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Americas Google Inc.


As Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Susan leads Google’s policy and government relations work in North and South America. Prior to joining Google, Susan was a member of Congress, lobbyist and public affairs executive. While in Congress, Susan was elected by her colleagues to Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in the Congress.

READ MORE

THE ECONOMICS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM

THE HONORABLE JEFF DENHAM (R-CA),

Member, U.S. House of Representatives


Congressman Jeff Denham represents the 10th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes all of Stanislaus County and part of San Joaquin County. He was first elected to Congress in 2010, and is currently serving a second term in the 113th Congress.

READ MORE

MATTHEW DENHART

Executive Director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and a Research Fellow with the George W. Bush Institute


Matthew Denhart is the executive director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and a research fellow with the George W. Bush Institute. He is an expert on immigration policy and is the author of the Bush Institute's "Growth and Immigration" a handbook of on the economics of immigration.

READ MORE

LEON FRESCO

Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security


Leon Fresco currently serves as the Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, a position he has held since March 2009. In that capacity, he has drafted three bills of note that have passed the Senate by unanimous vote.

READ MORE

ALIDA GARCIA

Director of Coalitions & Policy, FWD.us


Currently serves as the Director of Coalitions & Policy for FWD.us, a tech advocacy organization founded by Mark Zuckerberg focused on passing comprehensive immigration reform. She served as the National Latino Vote Deputy Director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign whereby she focused on developing the national Latino vote program in the 11 priority battleground states, which ultimately produced the highest Latino voter turnout in Presidential campaign history.

READ MORE

BILL KAMELA

Policy Counsel, Microsoft Corporation


Bill Kamela is the senior federal policy lead for the Microsoft Corporation on education, workforce readiness and immigration related issues.

READ MORE

THE CHANGING HEALTHCARE LANDSCAPE: BUSINESS INNOVATION AND ADAPTION

MAYRA ALVAREZ

Associate Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Ms. Mayra E. Alvarez is the Associate Director for the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

READ MORE

RHETT BUTTLE

Vice President, External Affairs, Small Business Majority


Rhett Buttle directs Small Business Majority’s Washington, D.C. operations, acting as the primary liaison with the White House, Congress and national partners. He also directs the organization's national small business outreach efforts.

READ MORE

BRENT RAWLINGS

Vice President, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association


Brent Rawlings is a Vice President at the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. His role at VHHA includes legal, governmental, and regulatory affairs.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE RAUL RUIZ (D-CA),

Member, U.S. House of Representatives


He represents California’s 36th District, which includes the entire Coachella Valley, as well as the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Hemet and San Jacinto. He resides in Palm Desert, CA.

READ MORE

JOHN STANFORD

Director, Government Relations, Madison Services Group, Inc.


John Stanford is the director of government relations at Madison Services Group, an advocacy firm supporting the small business community.

READ MORE

INCREASING ACCESS TO CAPITAL TO GROW SMALL BUSINESS

THE HONORABLE TONY CÁRDENAS (D-CA),

Member, U.S. House of Representatives


Raised by hard-working immigrant parents, Tony Cárdenas was brought up with simple ideals – that integrity and dedication were the keys to success. These are the qualities that he has brought to his 16 year career as a public servant for the people of the North East San Fernando Valley, and that he continues to offer today as a United States Congressman.

READ MORE

JOE GARCIA (D-FL)

U.S Representative for Florida's 26th Congressional District


Congressman Joe Garcia is a dedicated public servant who has called South Florida home for his entire life. With scholarships and money he had saved from cutting grass with his grandfather on weekends, Congressman Garcia put himself through Miami Dade College and later the University of Miami where he completed his undergraduate studies.

READ MORE

KENT HOOVER

Washington Bureau Chief, American City Business Journals


Kent Hoover has been Washington bureau chief for American City Business Journals since 1999. He covers Congress and the federal government for 40 business journals around the country and the bizjournals.com web site. His primary focus is on government actions that help or hurt small business.

READ MORE

DENNIS SHAUL

Chief Executive Officer, CFSA


Dennis Shaul is the chief executive officer for the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA). Established in 1999, CFSA is the national organization for small dollar, short-term lending, representing the majority of nonbank storefront lenders across the United States.

READ MORE

COREY STONE

Assistant Director for the CFPB's Office of Deposits, Cash, Collections, and Reporting Markets


Corey has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' Consumer Advisory Counsel. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Management.

READ MORE

CHRISTIAN WELLER

Senior Fellow, American Progress


Christian E. Weller is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and a professor of public policy at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His area of expertise includes retirement income security, macroeconomics, money and banking, and international finance.

READ MORE

UNLEASHING INNOVATION: REVOLUTIONS IN TECH AND A BALANCED SPECTRUM POLICY

MICHAEL CALABRESE

Director of the Wireless Future Project, New America Foundation


Michael Calabrese directs the Wireless Future Project at the New America Foundation, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. As part of the Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, he develops and advocates policies to promote ubiquitous broadband connectivity and more efficient spectrum use, including the reallocation of more prime spectrum for unlicensed access and dynamic spectrum sharing.

READ MORE

MARTIN CHAVEZ

Senior Advisor, Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP)


Martin Chavez is currently a consultant with Ibarra Strategy Group (ISG), founded by Mickey Ibarra, White House Director of Governmental Affairs during the 2nd term of President Bill Clinton. At ISG, Chavez represents a variety of national corporate clients.

READ MORE

DAVID DON

Executive Director, Regulatory & Public Affairs at Comcast Corporation


David has worked extensively on the FCC's public policy and spectrum allocation policies for over fifteen years. In his current position, he is responsible for developing Comcast's broadband and wireless strategies.

READ MORE

GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON

Senior Researcher, the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project and the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project


Gretchen Livingston is a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project and the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project. Her research focuses on fertility and family demographics. In addition she studies immigrant adaptation and technology use among Latinos.

READ MORE

ALLISON REMSEN

Executive Director, Mobile Future


Remsen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Horton's Kids as well as volunteers for the nonprofit group that provides tutoring, mentoring and other critical services to children in Washington DC.

READ MORE

BUILDING FINANCIAL CAPACITY AND PRESERVING WEALTH IN THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY

SEBASTIAN GOMEZ ABERO

Chief of the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission


Sebastian Gomez Abero is the Chief of the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

READ MORE

OMAR DUQUE

President and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC)


Omar Duque is the President and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the chamber’s activities and for executing on the organization's mission.

READ MORE

MONIKA MANTILLA

President and CEO, Altura Capital;
Small Business Community Capital, SBCC


Monika has over 21 years of domestic and international management and investment management experience. Altura Capital is an innovative investment boutique that specializes in emerging managers and the quickly expanding emerging domestic market.

READ MORE

JAVIER SAADE

Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation (OII)


Javier Saade is SBA’s recently appointed Associate Administrator and leads the Office of Investments and Innovation (“OII”). OII houses the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

READ MORE

HECTOR VILCHIS

Corporate Vice President & Market Manager, New York Life Insurance Co.


Hector D. Vilchis is a Corporate Vice President and Market Manager of New York Life’s Hispanic Market Initiative. In his role, Hector is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of the Company’s major expansion strategy in the Hispanic Community which is geared to drive incremental growth in agent recruiting, productivity, and premium in this market.

READ MORE

THE HONORABLE JOHN CORNYN (R-TX),

Minority Whip, U.S. Senate


In 2008, Texans overwhelmingly re-elected Senator John Cornyn to represent them for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cornyn was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and previously served in Texas as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and as Texas Attorney General.

During his first term in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Cornyn distinguished himself as a leader in the Senate on a variety of issues important to Texans and has earned a national reputation as an articulate and powerful voice for conservative values in Washington. Sen. Cornyn is committed to bolstering our national defense, repairing our broken immigration system and securing our borders, boosting access to more affordable health care, improving educational opportunities for all Texans, strengthening the economy and expanding job opportunities, keeping taxes low, and reducing spending. He has been a tireless advocate for Texas military personnel, veterans and their families, and believes we must ensure that we provide them the best possible support, care and benefits.

Throughout his career in public service, Sen. Cornyn has been a champion of open government. In 2007, years of hard work yielded the OPEN Government Act, our nation's most sweeping reform of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in a decade. The legislation expanded transparency by closing loopholes in the FOIA, helping requestors obtain timely responses and ensuring agencies have strong incentives to act on requests.

Sen. Cornyn served as a member of the Deputy Whip team after just one year in office, and has been a member of the Republican Senate leadership since 2006. He has served as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and was chosen in November 2008 by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He was recently re-elected to serve a second term. While in the Senate, Sen. Cornyn has received various awards and recognitions, including the 2005 Border Texan of the Year Award; the National Child Support Enforcement Association's Children’s Champion Award; the American Farm Bureau Federation's Friend of Farm Bureau Award;; the Texas Association of Business's (TAB) Fighter for Free Enterprise Award; the National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business Award; the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leader's (CONLAMIC) Latino Leadership Award; and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce's (TAMACC) International Leadership Legislative Award; among others. Sen. Cornyn currently sits on the Senate Finance, Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee.

In addition to his legislative committees, Sen. Cornyn is the chairman of the Senate India Caucus, chairman of the Senate RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Caucus, and Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs. He is also a member of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, the Congressional Oversight Group on Trade and the President's Export Council.

Sen. Cornyn was born in Houston on February 2, 1952, and was raised in San Antonio. He is the son of John and Gale Cornyn, both native Texans. His father, a B-17 pilot in World War II, served for 31 years in the U.S. Air Force and, later, taught at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. A graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law, both in San Antonio, Sen. Cornyn also earned a Masters of Law from the University of Virginia Law School in 1995. He was named the St. Mary's Distinguished Law School Graduate in 1994 and a Trinity University Distinguished Alumnus in 2001. Sen. Cornyn is married to Sandy, his wife of 32 years. They have two daughters.

×

CARLY SANCHEZ

Executive Vice President, Head of Talent Acquisition, EEO/Affirmative Action, & Diversity Recruitment, Wells Fargo & Company


Carly Sanchez, Executive Vice President of Talent Acquisition, AA/EEO, and Diversity Recruitment group, joined Wells Fargo in September 2013. In this new role, Sanchez is responsible for the strategy, design and implementation of recruiting programs, policies, selection and assessment, and technology solutions. In addition to providing leadership to our enterprise AA/EEO program, she will be Corporate HR’s primary liaison with the Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Office to ensure our recruiting programs are aligned with and support enterprise diversity priorities and expectations.

In previous roles, at SunTrust, Sanchez had responsibility for strategic planning, processes, policies and operations for Talent Acquisition and Diversity. Prior to this, she served as Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Chief Diversity Officer for AIG, with responsibility for all AIG businesses globally. She held prior roles at AIG, including Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer for American General Life Companies, an AIG business in Houston, Texas.

Sanchez served as director of strategic staffing at USAA in San Antonio where her responsibilities included building a world class college recruiting program and leading the recruiting teams for USAA's Property and Casualty Company, its Federal Savings Bank, and all customer service units for the headquarters in San Antonio. She also held a number of roles in higher education administration, including serving as director of college relations for the Riverside Community College District (CA), with responsibilities for press and media relations, legislative relations, and external program development; and director of admissions and recruiting for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard University and has a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Tufts University. She is a board member of the National Diversity Council. Carly was named as a Top Executive in Diversity by the editors of Black Enterprise, 2011; named by Hispanic Business magazine to the list of 100 Influential Hispanics, 2011; and was an invited participant at the White House Inaugural Hispanic Business Leaders Forum in 2013.

×

THE HONORABLE XAVIER BECERRA

Member, U.S. House of Representatives
Chairman, House Democratic Caucus


First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, Representative Xavier Becerra serves as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is a member of the powerful Committee on Ways And Means and is Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security.

His committee is responsible for formulating our nation's tax, Social Security, Medicare, trade and income security laws. As Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. Becerra wields a strong voice in House Democratic leadership, helping to set priorities and drive the legislative decision making process.

He has dedicated himself to promoting issues affecting industries critical to the economic vitality of the Southern California region such as health care, high technology, entertainment, and stimulating free, yet fair, trade.

The first Latino to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Becerra has used his position to increase opportunities for working families, to improve the Social Security program for women and minorities, to combat poverty among the working poor, and to strengthen Medicare and ensure its long-term viability. In 2010, Rep. Becerra served on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Rep. Becerra is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he served as Chair during the 105th Congress (1997-98). The Congressman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Rep. Becerra also serves on the Smithsonian Board of Regents, a distinguished panel of 17 men and women who oversee the Smithsonian Institution’s expansive collection. In 2011, he was appointed to serve on the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture Council. Rep. Becerra has led a decade long effort to establish the National Museum of the American Latino and ensure that we remember and celebrate the history of America’s diverse communities.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Becerra served one term in the California Legislature as the representative of the 59th Assembly District in Los Angeles County. He is a former Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice. The congressman began his legal career in 1984 working in a legal services office representing the mentally ill.

Rep. Becerra is the son of working-class parents and was the first in his family to graduate from college. His mother was born in Jalisco, Mexico and immigrated to the United States after marrying his father. In 1980, Rep. Becerra earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University. He was awarded his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School in 1984. Rep. Becerra is married to Dr. Carolina Reyes. They are the proud parents of three daughters: Clarisa, Olivia and Natalia.

×

THE HONORABLE MICKEY IBARRA

Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs


For Mickey Ibarra, advocacy has always been a way of life. It was in that role he honed the leadership skills that led him to the White House senior staff of President Bill Clinton, the creation of his own business and the development of the Latino Leaders Network.

Whether dealing with early childhood challenges, representing educators or serving as a link between the President of the United States and state and local elected officials, Ibarra came to understand that what he saw in other Latino leaders was something to be shared and honored.

The Ibarra family journey began in Mexico. Mickey's father, Francisco Nicol's Santiago Ibarra, emigrated from Oaxaca to Utah in 1945 as a farm worker in the "bracero" program, a federal initiative created to bring laborers from Mexico to work U.S. crops during World War II. Francisco married teenager Bonnie Bird, a farm girl from central Utah. They had two sons, Mickey and David. Francisco joined the military and served a tour of duty in Germany. The boys' mother, who was left to raise the two sons, placed them with foster parents. They became wards of the state when their parents divorced.

When Francisco came to visit, he would take one boy on each knee and, reminding Mickey to look after his younger brother, tell the boys that success was in their own hands. When they achieved it, he'd say, they should remember they have many people to thank. If, however, they were to fail, they would only have themselves to blame.

After his military service, Francisco returned to Salt Lake City to work for Kennecott Copper on a demolition crew. He left after 15 years to attend school on the G.I. Bill and then start his own small business as a hair stylist in Sacramento, Calif., where the boys rejoined their father. Mickey attended high school there and became president of his senior class. Though small in stature, he became a star football player. He served in the Army from 1970 to 1973. Like his father before him, he served in Germany and attended college on the G.I. Bill.

He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a Master's in Education and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Utah. He taught at-risk high school students for five years. Involved in the Utah Education Association, he became a member of its executive committee. Subsequently he moved to New Mexico, where he served as executive director of the National Education Association's Albuquerque affiliate.

A stint at NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., followed. As its political manager, he assisted with training NEA members in state government affairs and federal candidate support. In 1997, Mickey served as Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House, serving as one of the highest-ranking members of the President's inner circle. His role was to build support for the President's policy initiatives and to coordinate outreach to state leaders on a broad range of issues.

In 1998, he was appointed vice chair of the White House Task Force for the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. He was named an honorary mayor for the Games. Additionally, he co-chaired the White House Task Force on Drug Use in Sports.

Mickey left government at the end of President Clinton's term and launched his own government relations and public affairs consulting practice in the nation's capital. He has quickly built a client list that includes corporations, associations and non-profit organizations. In 2012, he received the inaugural Medallion of Excellence for Government Relations from the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.

×

THE HONORABLE NANCY PELOSI

Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives


Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress. From 2007 to 2011, she served as the first woman Speaker of the House. Leader Pelosi has led House Democrats for a decade and has represented San Francisco, California's 12th District, for 26 years. In October, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women's rights movement.

Under Pelosi's leadership, the 111th Congress was heralded as "one of the most productive Congresses in history" by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein.

Pelosi brings to her leadership position a distinguished record of legislative accomplishment. Pelosi spearheaded passage of historic health insurance reform legislation in the House which establishes a Patients' Bill of Rights and will provide insurance for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term. Other accomplishments include the passage of historic investments in college aid, clean energy and innovation, and initiatives to help small businesses and veterans. She has been a powerful voice for civil rights and human rights around the world for decades.

In July, Pelosi led House Democrats in launching an economic agenda for women and families, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds, to ensure that generations of women enjoy the equal opportunities that they deserve – and that American families prosper in today's economy.

Pelosi comes from strong family tradition of public service in Baltimore. Married to Paul Pelosi, she is a mother of five and grandmother of nine.

×

BOBBY THOMSON

Head of U.S. Government Relations, Visa Inc.


Bobby Thomson is Head of US Government Relations at Visa Inc., a position he assumed in May 2013. His responsibilities include advancing Visa’s legislative and public policy priorities, engaging key stakeholder groups in government and the private sector, as well as providing leadership over all federal and state lobbying activities for Visa within the United States.

Before joining Visa, Bobby was with American Express Company for twelve years where he served as Vice President, Federal Government Affairs. In that role, he was the Company’s lead financial services lobbyist responsible for financial services policy issues that came before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. He also had responsibility for the American Express political action committee as well as the company's political affairs program.

Prior to that, he was Senior Assistant to the Governor of Illinois where he handled federal policy issues for the State of Illinois in its Washington, DC office. Mr. Thomson also worked for Beneficial Corporation, and its successor, Household International, in a variety of public policy and corporate affairs positions.

Thomson holds a MBA from the George Washington University, where he graduated with honors. He holds a BA from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN, and is a graduate of DePauw’s Management Fellows Program.

Thomson serves on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he serves as Treasurer and is a member of the Executive Committee. He received an honorary BA from Illinois College in 2009.

Thomson is a member of the Exchequer Club of Washington, DC as well as the Government Relations Leadership Forum. He currently serves as Chairman of the Electronic Transactions Association Government Affairs Committee. He is a past member of the board of the Public Affairs Council in Washington, DC and is a past chairman of the Card Policy Council of the American Bankers Association.

A native of Jacksonville, IL, Bobby and his wife Erin have two children and reside in Arlington, VA.

×

THE HONORABLE MARIO DÍAZ-BALART (R-FL)

Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Chairman, Congressional Hispanic Conference


Mario Díaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Díaz-Balart was asked to serve on one of the most prestigious committees: House Committee on Appropriations. As part of the House Committee on Appropriations, he sits on three of its subcommittees: Vice-Chair of Financial Services, State and Foreign Operations, and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

Díaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district, which at the time, covered portions of Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Monroe County. Díaz-Balart continued to represent the three counties until 2010, when he ran unopposed for Florida’s 21st Congressional district. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, he ran for the newly redrawn 25th Congressional district, to which he was elected. The 25th district now includes parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, and Hendry Counties.

Prior to his time in Congress, Díaz-Balart served 14 years in the Florida State Legislature in both chambers, House and Senate. At age 31, Díaz-Balart became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Senate, as well as the first Hispanic to serve as Chair of the Combined Appropriations / Ways and Means / Finance and Tax Committee. During his tenure in the state legislature, he consistently ranked among the most effective legislators in Florida, developing a reputation as a budget hawk, and supporting minority rights.

In Washington, Díaz-Balart has consistently supported and worked to lower taxes, allowing families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money. In 2008, Díaz-Balart introduced, the Keep Our Homes Act (H.R. 5962), which offered responsible tax relief to those who have taken the right steps but are struggling to make monthly payments on their mortgages. He sponsored other legislation introducing, the Tax Relief for Families Act (H.R. 411), which would make the state and local sales tax deduction, the child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, the college deduction and the schoolteacher expense deduction permanent and would repeal the death tax. He also introduced the Commuter Aid and Relief for Suburbs Act or CARS Act (H.R. 5905), a bill that would enable commuters to write off commuting expenses from their taxes.

Díaz-Balart has also been a strong proponent of improving public safety and transportation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Diaz-Balart has helped deliver millions of federal dollars for the I-75 widening project and Miami-Dade Transit. As a true South Floridian, the Everglades restoration has been an ongoing project for Díaz-Balart. As founder and co-chairman of the Everglades Caucus, he has consistently fought to secure billions for the overall restoration and prevented massive funding cuts in recent years. Díaz-Balart has promoted hurricane preparedness and ensured federal relief for Florida in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita.

Diaz-Balart was born on September 25, 1961 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rafael and Hilda Díaz-Balart, and the youngest of four brothers (Rafael, Lincoln, and Jose). He studied Political Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Díaz-Balart currently resides in Miami, FL with his wife and son.

×

DANIEL DIAZ LEYVA

Of Councel, Foley & Lardner LLP


Daniel Diaz Leyva is of counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the Business Law Department and International Practice. He has a broad range of general transactional experience with a primary focus in the areas of real estate and finance.

Mr. Diaz Leyva's real estate experience includes assisting developers and investors, including, but not limited to foreign nationals, in the structuring, acquisition, financing and development of industrial, retail, office and residential properties as well as negotiating and drafting commercial leases for both landlords and tenants. He also counsels banks and other lending institutions in the preparation, negotiation and closing of loan transactions. As the market deteriorated, Mr. Diaz Leyva began representing investors in the acquisition of distressed assets, including, loan portfolios and properties.

Mr. Diaz Leyva's corporate practice includes structuring, negotiating and closing business transactions, corporate governance and compliance issues. As a trusted advisor to businesses interested in expanding their operations, he also supports clients' entrance into new markets in the U.S. and Latin America by identifying key local counsel and co-counseling with them to ensure the clients' interests are best served. Additionally, Mr. Diaz Leyva has ample public affairs experience having counseled clients with issues before governments. He previously served as managing partner of the Miami office for Southern Strategy Group, one of the largest government relations firms in the country where he successfully established that firmʼs presence in South Florida.

Mr. Diaz Leyva became politically active while serving as campaign chairman for the successful election to the Florida House of Representatives of State Representative Jose Felix Diaz. He has since served as an advisor to several local, federal and statewide candidates and elected officials. Mr. Diaz Leyva had the privilege of serving as a panelist on the Economic Development Series alongside various national thought leaders at the Republican National Convention in 2012. He is also a co-founder and serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for SunPAC, a political organization promoting conservative values to Hispanics and engaging them in the political process across the country.

Today, Mr. Diaz Leyva is a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives for District 112 which includes the City of Miami, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne.

×

REINCE PRIEBUS

Chairman, Republican National Committee


Reince Priebus was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 14, 2011, and reelected on January 25, 2013, putting him on track to become only the seventh person to serve four years as Republican Party Chairman. In his first term as Chairman, Reince oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances, rebuilding the operations and implementing the best ground game effort the RNC has ever organized. As former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie proclaimed, "Reince saved the RNC."

In his second term as Chairman, Reince is committed to taking the party's message of freedom and economic opportunity to all states and all communities. Reince believes growing the party requires making conservative principles relevant and relatable to all Americans. By welcoming new voices and voters and harnessing the power of new technology, Reince will lead the RNC in building the infrastructure needed to win more elections in 2013, 2014 and beyond.

A successful chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Reince created the framework that brought about one of the most historic election cycles Wisconsin has ever experienced. During Reince's tenure, Republicans in Wisconsin not only defeated Russ Feingold by electing Ron Johnson to the Senate, but they gained two additional U.S. House seats, won the Governor's office, took back both the state Assembly and the state Senate while defeating the leaders of both of those chambers.

Reince has a long history in Republican politics, having served on his first campaign at the age of 16. Since then, he worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party of Wisconsin as 1st Congressional District Chairman, State Party Treasurer, First Vice Chair, and eventually State Party Chairman. In 2009, Reince served as General Counsel to the RNC, a role in which he volunteered his time to help manage the RNC's most difficult challenges.

Reince and his wife, Sally, have two young children, Jack and Grace. Reince is a lifelong Packers fan and calls Kenosha, Wisconsin, home.

×

THE HONORABLE PAUL RYAN (R-WI),

Chairman, House Budget Committee


Born and raised in the community of Janesville, Paul Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. Currently serving his 8th term as a Member of Congress, Paul works to address the many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and serve as an effective advocate for the 1st Congressional District.

He is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he works to bring fiscal discipline and accountability to the federal government. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, Social Security, health care and trade laws.

Paul has put forward a specific plan to tackle our looming fiscal crisis, driven by the explosion of entitlement spending. "The Path to Prosperity" helps spur job creation today, stops spending money the government doesn’t have, and lifts the crushing burden of debt. This plan puts the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

Paul is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.

Paul and his wife Janna live in Janesville with their children, daughter Liza and sons Charlie and Sam. The youngest of four children, Paul is the son of Paul Sr. (deceased) and Betty Ryan. He is a member of St. John Vianney's Parish.

×

THE HONORABLE JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ),

U.S. Senate


John McCain entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954. He served in the United States Navy until 1981.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election.

×

ALEJANDRA CASTILLO

Head of the MBDA, Department of Commerce


Ms. Alejandra Castillo currently serves as the Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). In this capacity, Ms. Castillo leads the Agency's strategic efforts to enhance the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs). Under Ms. Castillo's leadership, the Agency has expanded its effort to help MBEs grow and succeed through access to capital, access to contract and access to business opportunities both domestically and abroad. Prior to assuming this role, she served as National Deputy Director managing the Agency’s day-to-day operations and its national network of 40 business centers.

Under the Obama Administration, MBDA has assisted minority-owned firms in obtaining nearly $15 billion in contracts and capital and creating and saving over 33,000 new jobs. She has forged important strategic stakeholder relations and key public-private partnerships.

Ms. Castillo first joined the Department of Commerce in 2008 as a Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for the U. S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA). In this capacity, she was responsible for business outreach and intergovernmental affairs, as well as assisting in the development of policy initiatives geared at trade promotion and enforcement of U.S. trade laws.

A practicing attorney for several years, Ms. Castillo has worked in the private, government and non-profit sector. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Castillo served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic National Bar Association headquartered (HNBA) in Washington D. C. During her tenure at HNBA, she was instrumental in working with the White House, and non-profit organization, such as the Latinos for a Fair Judiciary, in support of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ms. Castillo served as a member of the Clinton Administration as a Senior Policy Analyst to the Deputy Director at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and was responsible for developing and analyzing White House initiatives on anti-drug traffic and interdiction, anti-money laundering policies, as well as drug prevention and treatment programs.

A native of New York, Ms. Castillo holds a Bachelor Degree of Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in economics and political science. Ms. Castillo holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and also holds a Juris Doctorate Degree from American University - Washington College of Law. Ms. Castillo is active in a number of civic and professional organizations, including: The Hispanic National Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of DC, the American Bar Association, and the American Jewish Committee. She also serves as a Board of Trustee of the University of the District of Columbia and is a Board Member of the Executive Women in Government, the Dominican American Society of Queens, NY, among others. In 2010, Hispanic Business Magazine recognized Ms. Castillo among the Top 100 Influential Latino in the U.S. and she received the 2010 Rising Star Award by the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

×

MARY LANDRIEU

United States Senator


Mary L. Landrieu has been fighting and winning for Louisiana since she was first elected to the Louisiana state legislature at the age of 23. After serving eight years as a state representative and two terms as State Treasurer, in 1996 she became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Landrieu is currently the Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees. The nonpartisan Congress.org has ranked Senator Landrieu as the tenth most effective legislator in the Senate.

In 2014, Senator Landrieu was appointed chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She became the first woman to lead the committee and the first Louisiana Senator to hold the gavel since J. Bennett Johnston nearly 20 years ago. The Senate Energy Committee sets policy for the nation’s oil and gas industry, the top job creator and economic engine for Louisiana. In 2006, Senator Landrieu spearheaded the landmark Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). The bill expanded oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico by more than 8 million acres. It also shares the revenues produced offshore—an estimated $6 billion annually—with Louisiana to fund the state's 50-year, $50 billion coastal master plan to protect Louisiana’s coastal communities from storm surges and coastal erosion.

Senator Landrieu has been the leading voice in Washington for the Gulf Coast recovery effort. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failures of the federal levee system,she secured more than $120 billions in recovery dollars and has worked extensively to jumpstart recovery projects. She is committed to reforming the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the nation’s disaster response arm is speedy and effective the next time a disaster strikes the United States, be it natural or manmade.

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Senator Landrieu passed the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, a bipartisan, regional approach to address the immense economic and environmental damage to America's working coast. The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP directly to the Gulf Coast. This represents the largest single investment in environmental restoration in our nation's history. Senator Landrieu helped build a strong, bipartisan, hard-working coalition of Congress members to pass the RESTORE Act through Congress with overwhelming support.

As the former chair of the Small Business Committee, Senator Landrieu led the effort to ensure all small businesses have access to capital and contracts, superior health insurance at a low cost and the resources needed to help boost our economy and guarantee America's competiveness in the global marketplace.

As one of the chairs on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Landrieu is a strong and effective voice for Louisiana. In 2012, the Senate appointed Senator Landrieu chair of the Appropriations Committee's important Subcommittee on Homeland Security. This subcommittee is responsible for drafting legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security's 20 offices and seven sub-agencies. The Appropriations Committee is considered the most powerful panel on Capitol Hill. From this seat, she fights for Louisiana's jobs and economic interests and the funding the state needs to rebuild from the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Senator Landrieu is married to Frank Snellings of Monroe, La., and has two children and one grandson.

×

MARTIN O’MALLEY

Governor of Maryland


Martin O’Malley is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as Governor. Since 2007, his Administration has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing to do the things that work to create jobs, expand opportunity, and make Maryland a safer, healthier place.

With a balanced approach of spending cuts, regulatory reform, and modern investment in education, innovation, and infrastructure, Governor O’Malley and his Administration are making better choices that are delivering better results, including:

  • The fastest rate of job growth in the region since the lowest point of the recession.
  • The #1 ranking for best public schools in America for an unprecedented five years in a row. (Education Week)
  • The #1 ranking for holding down the cost of college tuition. (College Board)
  • The #1 ranking for innovation and entrepreneurship for two years running. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Governor O’Malley has taken a balanced approach to investing in priorities in a fiscally responsible way. Called “arguably the best manager in government” by Washington Monthly magazine, Governor O’Malley has cut more state spending than any governor in modern Maryland’s history. He balanced these record cuts with targeted, modern investments in priorities like public education and infrastructure while leaving the income tax bills lower for 86% of Marylanders. He reduced the size of Maryland’s executive branch to its smallest size since 1973 (on a per capita basis) and reformed the way state government is managed, to make it work more efficiently and accountably. His actions to save Maryland’s state pension system have made it sustainable over the long term. His fiscal stewardship has put Maryland on a path to eliminate the $1.7 billion structural deficit he inherited in 2007. His efforts to streamline, consolidate, and digitize things like business licensing are making Maryland a better place to do business. Maryland is one of only seven states to maintain an AAA Bond Rating even during the national recession as certified by all three major rating agencies. And under Governor O’Malley, Maryland is one of only a handful of states that has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession.

To protect the dignity of every child’s home—and ensure equal rights under the law for all Marylanders—Governor O’Malley signed Marriage Equality into law. He also signed the Maryland DREAM Act, which expands the opportunity of a college education to more Marylanders. And in 2013, he signed a commonsense law to reduce gun violence.

Governor O’Malley served two terms as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He was appointed to the nation’s first-ever Council of Governors by President Obama in 2010, and was named co-chair of the Council in 2013. As a member of the National Governors Association, he spearheaded the creation of a Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety and served on it in a leadership capacity from 2009 until 2013.

Prior to serving as Governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore. Between 1999 and 2007 his policies helped the people of Baltimore achieve the greatest crime reduction of America’s largest cities.

Governor O’Malley received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland.

Martin and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack. They are members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

×

PAUL ROMNESS

Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP), Boehringer Ingelheim


Paul Romness is Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) for Boehringer Ingelheim, the largest privately held bio-pharmaceutical company in the world. In this role, he leads the Government Affairs and Public Policy team in its continued prioritization of the company’s public policy interests. His responsibilities include executing plans at the federal and state levels through the development of regulation, legislation and policy. He also leads the management of the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Patient Assistance Program, the Boehringer Ingelheim Product Donation Program, and the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation Political Action Committee (BICPAC).

Prior to joining Boehringer Ingelheim, Mr. Romness was principal at PR Strategies, LLC, a government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C., where he represented clients from across the United States and Puerto Rico on both state and local government issues. His experience also includes fifteen years in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, including three years as senior manager of State Government Affairs for Amgen, where his responsibilities included tracking and analyzing state legislation, policy and strategy development, as well as implementing strategies to advance the access to, and appropriate use of, biotechnology products. Prior to Amgen, Mr. Romness spent several years at Johnson & Johnson, assuming roles of increasing responsibility, including district manager, immunology, and government accounts manager.

Paul Romness earned a Masters degree in Health Policy from George Washington University Medical Center and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The American University, both in Washington, D.C. where he resides.

×

ROBERT GIBBS

Founding Partner, The Incite Agency


Gibbs has helped companies across a multitude of industries to create and implement communications strategies grounded in research and data and built for long-term success. A core member of the team that built the Obama brand from the ground up, beginning in 2004, when then-Senator Obama was a first-term legislator from Illinois, Gibbs previously served in several senior roles for President Obama, including White House Press Secretary—a role in which he developed communications strategies for the White House and served as the Obama administration's primary voice on a wide range of complex issues. The New York Times called Gibbs the "president's political compass."

×

MIKE ALLEN

Chief White House Correspondent, Politico


Mike Allen is the chief White House correspondent for Politico. He comes to us from Time magazine where he was their White House correspondent. Prior to that, Allen spent six years at The Washington Post, where he covered President Bush's first term, Capitol Hill, campaign finance, and the Bush, Gore and Bradley campaigns of 2000. Before turning to national politics, he covered schools and local governments in rural counties outside Fredericksburg, Va., for The Free Lance-Star, then wrote about Doug Wilder, Oliver North, Chuck Robb and the Bobbitts for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he nurtured police sources on overnight ride-alongs through housing projects. Allen also covered Mayor Giuliani, the Connecticut statehouse and the wacky rich of Greenwich for The New York Times. Before moving to The Times, he did stints in the Richmond and Alexandria bureaus of The Washington Post. Allen grew up in Orange County, Calif., and has a B.A. from Washington and Lee University, where he majored in politics and journalism.

×

JIM AVILA

Senior National Correspondent, ABC News; White House Correspondent, Fusion


Award-winning journalist Jim Avila is the Senior National Correspondent at ABC News and White House correspondent for Fusion, the ABC/Univision joint venture launching in 2013. He is based in Washington DC.

In this role he covers Hispanic America, immigration reform, education, politics and other issues vitally important to the Latino community, the fastest-growing segment of our population. He also continues to contribute to "20/20" and other ABC broadcasts and platforms specializing in law and justice and consumer investigations.

Throughout 2011 and 2012 Jim's reporting on food, drug, consumer, transportation, environmental and other regulatory issues made a tangible difference in the lives of viewers.

A versatile reporter, Avila has broken big story after big story since joining ABC News in 2004. As Senior Law and Justice Correspondent he brought his incredible storytelling to the biggest stories around the country from Jerry Sandusky and Penn State to Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson.

He has led several newsmagazine investigations on wrongful conviction, including a girl who recanted a story that she was raped by her two cousins after her mother admitted to concocting the account. Other recent reports include an in-depth investigation into unequal justice in the court system in Texas, tracing two men from different sides of the tracks who received two very different sentences from the same Texas judge. Avila also led ABC News coverage of the battle over child custody between the State of Texas and the Fundamentalist Mormon Sect accused of abusing children. Additionally, he has contributed to network-wide special reports on bird flu, healthcare in America and Hurricane Katrina.
Avila joined ABC from NBC News, where he had served as National Correspondent for "Nightly News" since January 2000, covering a range of domestic issues that included the September 11 attacks and their aftermath and the DC sniper shootings. He also reported from Afghanistan and Iraq, during which time he filed from inside NBC's Baghdad hotel compound during and after its bombing by terrorists.

Since 1997 Avila averaged 130 reports a year on "Nightly News," which was the highest number for any minority in broadcast history, according to Joe Foote at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Before being named National Correspondent at NBC, Avila was a Chicago bureau correspondent, where he covered high-profile events including the shooting tragedies in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas and Paducah, Kentucky.

Prior to NBC, Avila was anchor and the investigative reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles, from 1994 to 1996. There he was the principal reporter on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, helping the station earn the 1995 Golden Mike Award and a 1996 Emmy Award.

Before joining at KNBC, Avila was political reporter and anchor at WBBM-TV, the CBS owned station in Chicago, covering a variety of news stories of local, national and international importance, including the Persian Gulf War from both Saudi Arabia and Tel Aviv. Among his notable stories for WBBM-TV were the Beirut War, the TWA hijacking, the Nicaraguan civil war and the Mexican earthquake. From 1980 to 1984 he was a general assignment reporter for WLS, the ABC owned station in Chicago. Prior to that, he was a weekend anchor and the San Jose bureau chief for KPIX in San Francisco from 1976 to 1980. He began his broadcast career at KCBS Radio in San Francisco in 1973 as managing editor, and was later promoted to bureau chief.

×

PETER HAMBY

National Political Reporter, CNN Digital


Peter Hamby is a national political reporter for CNN Digital, based in the network’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Hamby focuses his attention beyond the Beltway to tackle the politics, policies and campaigns that affect the nation at state and local levels. His work, including in-depth articles, analysis for CNN.com and a political video franchise, is integrated across all CNN Digital platforms and CNN television.

A seasoned cross-platform journalist, Hamby contributed to CNN’s Emmy Award-winning election coverage throughout America’s Choice 2012, traveling to many of the battleground states as CNN’s reporter-at-large with a focus on the Republican primary contest and Mitt Romney’s campaign. In that role, he broke a number of major political stories, including the news that Gov. Rick Perry would drop out of the race as well as Florida's decision to move their 2012 primary date and up-end the Republican nominating calendar. After the 2012 campaign, POLITICO named Hamby one of "10 Breakout Political Reporters of 2012."

Previously, he covered some of the most high profile political stories of the Obama era, including the 2008 presidential race, the arrival of tea party movement and the Republican resurgence of 2010. During CNN's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the 2008 presidential race, Hamby was a traveling producer and reporter on the campaigns of Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Palin. In 2007, Hamby launched CNN's South Carolina "mini-bureau" to provide on-the-ground coverage of the state's pivotal Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

Hamby joined CNN in 2005 as part of the team that launched The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. He spent two years as a producer and researcher for the show, contributing to the network's award-winning coverage of stories including Hurricane Katrina, the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, and the 2006 midterm elections.

Hamby earned a bachelor's degree in English from Georgetown University and a master's degree in journalism from New York University. He also studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Hamby was a Spring 2013 fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he authored a widely-circulated study on the impact of Twitter on media behavior and campaign press strategy.

×

SUSAN MOLINARI

Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Americas Google Inc.


As Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Susan leads Google’s policy and government relations work in North and South America. Prior to joining Google, Susan was a member of Congress, lobbyist and public affairs executive. While in Congress, Susan was elected by her colleagues to Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in the Congress. As a member of the House Budget Committee, she was at the forefront of producing Congress’ first balanced budget in 29 years.  She got her start in politics as the Minority Leader of the New York City Council. 

×

JEFF DENHAM

U.S. Representative for California's 10th Congressional District


Congressman Jeff Denham represents the 10th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes all of Stanislaus County and part of San Joaquin County. He was first elected to Congress in 2010, and is currently serving a second term in the 113th Congress.

Rep. Denham’s public service career began with the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 16 years between active duty and reserve status. He fought in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope in Iraq and Somalia, respectively.

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Rep. Denham worked in the agriculture industry as an almond rancher and entrepreneur. He understands the critical importance of agriculture business in cultivating California’s economy and maintaining employment.

In his work as a California State Senator from 2002-2010, Rep. Denham focused on balancing run-away spending in California and protecting taxpayer dollars from wasteful state projects. He was a proven and courageous leader in the California Senate, where he was the subject of an unsuccessful recall attempt for his refusal to vote on irresponsible budget proposals.

First and foremost, Rep. Denham is a family man. Jeff and Sonia Denham have been married for 20 years, and they have two children, Austin, 17, and Samantha, 15.

In his position as a U.S. Congressman, Rep. Denham remains focused on representing the long-term interests of California’s agricultural businesses, finding a solution to the long struggle over water storage and conveyance, transportation interests in California and fighting for the rights, protections and benefits America’s brave and heroic veterans deserve. He is also an advocate for a top-to-bottom approach to reform for our broken immigration system. 

×

MATTHEW DENHART

Executive Director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and a Research Fellow with the George W. Bush Institute


Matthew Denhart is the executive director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and a research fellow with the George W. Bush Institute. He is an expert on immigration policy and is the author of the Bush Institute's "Growth and Immigration" a handbook of on the economics of immigration. In addition, he has written and spoken widely on the topics of higher education, labor, and taxes. His research reports have been published by organizations including the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute, the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He has contributed articles to national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, CNN Opinion, and Bloomberg View and has appeared in broadcast outlets such as ABC News and C-SPAN. Denhart played a critical role in developing Forbes Magazine's annual index of "America's Best Colleges."

Denhart graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University with a degree in economics and political science. At Ohio University he was honored as the undergraduate commencement speaker, was named Outstanding Senior Leader, and was a finalist for the British Marshall Scholarship.

×

BILL KAMELA

Policy Counsel, Microsoft Corporation


Bill Kamela is the senior federal policy lead for the Microsoft Corporation on education, workforce readiness and immigration related issues.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 2008, Bill worked for over 30 years in Washington, DC in a variety of public policy related jobs, including over 10 years on the staff of the House and Senate Education and Labor Committee's and 7 years in the Clinton Administration at the Department of Labor where he lead the USDOL’s legislative efforts on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Welfare to Work, employment-based immigration programs, unemployment insurance reform, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Youth Opportunity Grants. He has also spent over 10 years in the Washington, DC non-profit community at Children's Hospital and the National Urban Coalition.

Bill is a native of Buffalo, NY and is a product of the SUNY system.

×

MAYRA ALVAREZ

Associate Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Ms. Mayra E. Alvarez is the Associate Director for the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As a member of OMH's senior staff, Ms. Alvarez is leading the coordination of OMH's work related to the Affordable Care Act, community health workers and promotores de salud, and language access, as well as serving as the Project Director of OMH's Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care.

Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS where she had primary oversight responsibility for coordinated and timely implementation of the public health, prevention, and health care workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Majority Whip of the U.S. Senate, where she advised the Senator and helped develop his legislative agenda on health issues. Prior to working in the office of Senator Durbin, she served as a Legislative Assistant for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, the chair of the Health Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Ms. Alvarez began her work in Washington D.C. as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. She completed her graduate education at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley. She is originally from outside San Diego, CA.

 

×

RHETT BUTTLE

Vice President, External Affairs


Rhett Buttle directs Small Business Majority’s Washington, D.C. operations, acting as the primary liaison with the White House, Congress and national partners. He also directs the organization's national small business outreach efforts, which include fostering strong relationships with business organizations across the country, growing our Strategic Partnership program and building an active network of small business owners. He plays a lead role in the organization’s institutional fundraising efforts.
Before joining Small Business Majority, Rhett served in the Office of the President at George Washington University. Prior to that, he worked on presidential, state and local campaigns and in the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was part of the governor’s legislative team working on healthcare reform, energy and education issues.

 

×

BRENT RAWLINGS

Vice President, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association


R. Brent Rawlings is a Vice President at the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.  His role at VHHA includes legal, governmental, and regulatory affairs. 

Brent holds a law (J.D.) degree from the University of Richmond, a Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor (B.S.) degree in Health Policy and Administration from Pennsylvania State University.  Brent is also a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and board certified in health care management.

Brent’s previous work experience also includes approximately four years working in the managed care industry in the role of provider relations and provider network development.
Immediately prior to joining VHHA, Brent worked in the private practice with the law firm McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia.  Brent’s practice focused on health care regulatory and transactional matters including representation of hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, physician groups, ancillary providers, long-term care facilities, senior care communities, and managed care plans.   Brent was named a Virginia Rising Star in Health Care Law for the years 2009-2013 and has been named to Legal Elite in Health Care by Virginia Business Magazine.

 

×

RAUL RUIZ

U.S. Representative, California's 36th Congressional District


U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D., grew up in the community of Coachella, California, where both of his parents were farmworkers.

Dr. Ruiz achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a physician through public education. After graduating from Coachella Valley High School, Dr. Ruiz graduated magna cum laude from UCLA. He went on to Harvard University, where he earned his Medical Degree, as well as a Masters of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a Masters of Public Health from the School of Public Health, becoming the first Latino to earn three graduate degrees from Harvard University. He completed his Residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a Fellowship in International Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During his training, Dr. Ruiz served as a consultant to the Ministries of Health of both Serbia and El Salvador.

Dr. Ruiz returned home after completing his medical training and began working as an Emergency Room doctor at Eisenhower Medical Center. Recognizing the physician shortage crisis in the Coachella Valley, Dr. Ruiz started a pre-medical mentorship program for young aspiring doctors, which has grown to include over 100 local students.

The program became part of the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, where Dr. Ruiz served as a Senior Associate Dean. Through the group Volunteers in Medicine, he helped to open a free clinic to help underserved communities in the Coachella Valley.

In 2010, Dr. Ruiz started the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, which brought together stakeholders from across the region to address the local healthcare crisis. He has also worked internationally in the medical community. In 2010, Dr. Ruiz flew to Haiti immediately following the 2010 earthquake and served as the Medical Director for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne awarded him the Commanders Award for Public Service for his work.

Dr. Ruiz continued his work as an Emergency Room Doctor until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. He represents California’s 36th District, which includes the entire Coachella Valley, as well as the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Hemet and San Jacinto. He resides in Palm Desert, CA.

Dr. Ruiz currently serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. 

×

JOHN STANFORD

Director, Government Relations, Madison Services Group, Inc.


John Stanford is the director of government relations at Madison Services Group, an advocacy firm supporting the small business community. In that capacity, he advocates on behalf of several small business associations, including the largest women-owned business organization in the country, Women Impacting Public Policy. Mr. Stanford specializes in healthcare, procurement, tax, intellectual property, and trade policy and possible impacts on the small business community. Since 2012, he has managed the Pfizer Small Business Council in efforts to raise awareness of available patient assistance programs.

Prior to joining Madison Services Group, John taught in the Teach For America program in Phoenix, Arizona. He currently sits on the DC board of his alma mater, the College of William and Mary.

×

LEON FRESCO

Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security


Leon Fresco currently serves as the Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, a position he has held since March 2009. In that capacity, he has drafted three bills of note that have passed the Senate by unanimous vote: (1) the Supplemental Border Security Act of 2010; (2) Title III of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (which was the funding mechanism for the bill); and (3) Act to allow Israeli nationals to receive E–2 nonimmigrant visas. In addition, he was the author of the Senate Comprehensive Immigration reform bill S.744, which passed by a vote of 68-32.

Prior to working with Senator Schumer, Fresco worked as a Chesterfield Smith fellow at Holland & Knight LLP in Miami, Florida, where he practiced in the areas of immigration, nationality, and consular law. His experience included successfully representing hundreds of clients before the United States Courts of Appeals, the federal district courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Administrative Appeals Office of the Department of Homeland Security.

He was named as South Florida’s Most Effective Pro Bono Lawyer by the South Florida Daily Business Review in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

×

ALIDA GARCIA

Director of Coalitions & Policy for FWD.us


Currently serves as the Director of Coalitions & Policy for FWD.us, a tech advocacy organization founded by Mark Zuckerberg focused on passing comprehensive immigration reform.  She served as the National Latino Vote Deputy Director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign whereby she focused on developing the national Latino vote program in the 11 priority battleground states, which ultimately produced the highest Latino voter turnout in Presidential campaign history. Alida was extensively involved in Los Angeles politics as the right hand for Austin Beutner, Deputy Mayor and founder of Evercore Partners, where she worked in economic development for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s Office of Economic and Business Policy.  Additionally, she chaired California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Young Professionals, Latino efforts and vote count efforts, and was the California Latino Vote Deputy Director for President Obama’s 2008 Campaign.  Prior to LA politics, Alida was an associate at K&L Gates LLP where she focused on commercial disputes and employment litigation.  She is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia Law School.

×

TONY CÁRDENAS

US Representative, California's 29th Congressional District


Raised by hard-working immigrant parents, Tony Cárdenas was brought up with simple ideals – that integrity and dedication were the keys to success. These are the qualities that he has brought to his 16 year career as a public servant for the people of the North East San Fernando Valley, and that he continues to offer today as a United States Congressman.

Cárdenas was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He went on to serve three terms in the assembly and was later elected to the Los Angeles City Council, in 2003. An engineering degree, and a business background, prepared him for the day-to-day duties of an elected official and his experience has allowed him to find practical and realistic solutions to difficult problems. Born in Pacoima, Cárdenas was raised with ten brothers and sisters and still resides in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Norma, and their children.

As a state legislator, Cárdenas focused on ensuring that his community received the programs and services they needed, while he made sure the state’s finances were managed responsibly. As Chair of the State Assembly’s powerful Budget Committee, Cárdenas oversaw the most robust reserve budget in the history of California. His state reforms brought 78,000 new classroom seats to Los Angeles, as well as 15 universal playgrounds throughout the city. He also secured more than $650 million for new school construction in Los Angeles to help relieve overcrowded classrooms.

It was in the Assembly, that Cárdenas began working on juvenile justice issues. His state legislation included the overhaul of California’s gang prevention and intervention programs, with the passage of the Schiff-Cárdenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act. He brought his passion for juvenile justice to the Los Angeles City Council. As Chair of the City’s Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development, Cardenas identified millions of dollars overlooked by the City to help keep kids off the streets, and reduced crime while reducing expenditures on crime abatement programs.

As Vice Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee, Cárdenas spearheaded the most comprehensive gang intervention model in the country. The Community-Based Gang Intervention Model standardized and defined the methods used by gang intervention workers to help stop violence in some of LA’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

In 2012, Cárdenas also passed landmark amendments to the City’s daytime curfew ordinance. The new policy eliminated costly fines, of up to $500 that students were facing. It also reduced lengthy court visits for parents and students, and gave students the opportunity to do community service to eliminate their citations.

As an animal rights advocate, Cárdenas also created Los Angeles’ first Animal Cruelty Task Force which, for the first time, targeted animal abuse city-wide. One of the task force’s first felony convictions put a known gang member away for three years for abusing a family pet. Cárdenas also co-authored the City’s mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, helping Los Angeles become the largest no-kill city in the country. Cárdenas also launched the city’s first Task Force on Human Trafficking and Child Prostitution, addressing an often overlooked crime. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 14,000 to 18,000 people are trafficked into the country annually in Los Angeles.

Attacking persistent blight in his community, Cárdenas launched district and city-wide efforts to improve the environment. Community clean-ups in his district collected more than 56,000 tons of trash and bulky items during his tenure and Cárdenas added more than 100 acres of new park. Cárdenas demanded that L.A.’s Department of Water and Power establish its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, laying out specific goals and timelines for their use of clean energy. And he consistently drafted and supported green energy legislation including his plan to convert the City’s taxi fleet to fuel efficient vehicles.

After 16 years in public office, Cárdenas has made history, becoming the first Latino elected to represent the San Fernando Valley in our United States Congress. He will continue his passionate commitment to the community in this new capacity. He currently sits on the House of Representatives Natural Resources and Budget, and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

×

JOE GARCIA (D-FL)

U.S Representative for Florida's 26th Congressional District


Congressman Joe Garcia was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. He is a dedicated public servant who has called South Florida home for his entire life. With scholarships and money he had saved from cutting grass with his grandfather on weekends, Congressman Garcia put himself through Miami Dade College and later the University of Miami where he completed his undergraduate studies.

After graduating UM Law School, Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed Congressman Garcia to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the state agency regulating utilities. Serving under both Democratic and Republican governors, he helped usher in the single largest energy rate cut in Florida’s history—meaning lower electricity bills for Florida’s families through the 1990’s. Congressman Garcia left the PSC in 2000 and was named Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation where he became one of the country’s leading advocates for human rights in Cuba and Latin America.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Garcia to serve as a director in the Department of Energy where he focused on lowering energy costs for America’s families and greater access to renewable sources of energy.

Congressman Garcia has served on the board of the Spanish American League Against Discrimination and Regis House, a drug addiction prevention center for inner-city youth in Miami. He is a board member and past president of the Cuban American National Foundation. He also previously served as director of the New Democratic Network Hispanic Strategy Center and chairman of the Democratic Party of Miami-Dade County.

Congressman Garcia and his family live in South Florida. He has one daughter, Gabriela (15).

×

KENT HOOVER

Washington Bureau Chief, American City Business Journals


Kent Hoover has been Washington bureau chief for American City Business Journals since 1999. He covers Congress and the federal government for 40 business journals around the country and the bizjournals.com web site. His primary focus is on government actions that help or hurt small business. You can also follow him on Twitter: @SmallBizOnHill

Hoover previously served as editor of Washington Business Journal and Orlando Business Journal, and worked as special report editor for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He started his journalism career working for daily newspapers. He’s a graduate of Duke University, where he majored in history, and grew up in Kingsport, Tenn. He now lives in Arlington, Va.×

DENNIS SHAUL

Chief Executive Officer


Dennis Shaul is the chief executive officer for the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA). Established in 1999, CFSA is the national organization for small dollar, short-term lending, representing the majority of nonbank storefront lenders across the United States.

Shaul became CFSA's CEO in October 2012, following a total of more than ten years in the U.S. Congress. Most recently, he served as senior advisor to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the House Financial Services Committee where he worked on the Dodd-Frank Bill and the development of practices regarding anti-money laundering. He became intimately involved in the drafting of the Bill as a whole, with particular emphasis on questions involving The Volcker Rule, "Too Big To Fail", and other issues relating to the size and influence of the banking industry.

Shaul also served as chief financial regulator in the state of Ohio under Governor John J. Gilligan. In this role, he established the states' first constituency preemption law, revised the state security statute, and successfully presented high-profile television personalities who used the medium for fraudulent purposes.

Over the course of his extensive legal career, Shaul was engaged in various international projects in Iran and Croatia during the Balkan Wars.

Shaul is a former president of the United States National Students Association. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, a Master's degree in Economics from Oxford University, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and is a Rhodes Scholar.

×

COREY STONE

Assistant Director for the CFPB's Office of Deposits, Cash, Collections, and Reporting Markets


Corey Stone is Assistant Director for the CFPB's Office of Deposits, Cash, Collections, and Reporting Markets. His team works across all of the Bureau's divisions to build market intelligence, develop policy options, and coordinate industry outreach in the industries that provide consumer reporting, debt collection, money services, liquidity lending, and retail deposits products.

Corey was part of the teams that authored reports on credit scores, international remittances that the CFPB delivered to Congress in 2011 and 2012. He also co-authored the Bureau's December report on key infrastructure and processes in the US Credit Reporting System.

Immediately prior to joining the CFPB this year Corey served as a Fellow at the Center for Financial Services Innovation where he wrote and spoke on youth "first encounters" with financial services. He also was Chair of Start Community Bank in New Haven CT and Visiting Clinical Lecturer at the Yale Law School's Community and Economic Development Clinic.

From 2006 to 2008 Corey served as CEO of Pay Rent, Build Credit, an alternative credit bureau helping underserved, "thin file" consumers demonstrate their creditworthiness using their rental and bill payment history.

From 2000 – 2006 Corey was EVP responsible for business development and strategy at American Payment Systems, where he helped the company become the largest walk-in bill payment network serving the under-banked and launched one of the country's first nationally distributed reloadable prepaid card programs.nIn 2004 APS became part of CheckFree (now part of Fiserv). Corey began his career with 14 years of management consulting in the financial services and utility industries.

Corey has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Consumer Advisory Counsel. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Management.

×

CHRISTIAN WELLER

Senior Fellow, American Progress


Christian E. Weller is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and a professor of public policy at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His area of expertise includes retirement income security, macroeconomics, money and banking, and international finance. He is also a research scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute and an institute fellow at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Gerontology Institute. Prior to joining the Center, he was on the research staff at the Economic Policy Institute, where he remains a research associate.

Christian has also worked at the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany; under the Department of Public Policy of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C.; and served in the banking sector in Germany, Belgium, and Poland. He is a respected academic with more than 100 academic and popular publications. His academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Development Studies, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the Journal of International Business Studies, theJournal of Aging and Social Policy, and the Journal of Economic Issues, among others. His popular writings have been published in The New York TimesUSA Today, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

He co-authored with E. Wolff the book, Retirement Income: The Crucial Role of Social Securityand was a co-editor of Employee Pensions: Policies, Problems and Possibilities with T. Ghilarducci. In 2006, he was awarded the Outstanding Scholar-Practitioner Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. In 2007, Christian was elected to the board of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, one of the country’s largest associations for professionals in the fields of labor and employment relations.

Expertise: Private pensions, social security, U.S. economy and the labor market, the Federal Reserve, international finance, consumer credit and finance

×

MICHAEL CALABRESE

Director, Wireless Future Project, New America Foundation


Michael Calabrese directs the Wireless Future Project at the New America Foundation, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. As part of the Foundation's Open Technology Institute, he develops and advocates policies to promote ubiquitous broadband connectivity and more efficient spectrum use, including the reallocation of more prime spectrum for unlicensed access and dynamic spectrum sharing.

Mr. Calabrese has served since 2009 as an appointed Member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC). He also served as an Invited Expert on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) spectrum reform working group during 2011-2012.

Mr. Calabrese has previously served as General Counsel of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, director of domestic policy at the Center for National Policy, as a counsel at the national AFL-CIO, and as a clerk to California Supreme Court Justice Allen E. Broussard. Calabrese is a graduate of Stanford Business and Law Schools, where he earned a JD/MBA degree; and a graduate of Harvard College, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and Government.

×

MARTIN CHAVEZ

Senior Advisor, Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP)


Martin Chavez is currently a consultant with Ibarra Strategy Group (ISG), founded by Mickey Ibarra, White House Director of Governmental Affairs during the 2nd term of President Bill Clinton. At ISG, Chavez represents a variety of national corporate clients. He most recently assisted the Clinton Foundation in the formulation of the CGI Infrastructure Financing track at the Chicago CGI and thereafter attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Nevada to promote Public Private Partnerships. His activity there not only helped block a Resolution against private participation in water utilities but also resulted in the passage of a Resolution broadly supporting Public Private Partnerships as a position of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Chavez has been a member of or led delegations to Jerusalem (twice), China (three times), Japan (three times), France (three times), Saudi Arabia, Spain (three times), Germany, the inauguration of Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, and, the first inauguration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. By invitation, Chavez spoke at the World Mayor's Climate Conference in Hamburg, Germany in November, 2009 and by France to address businesses seeking to make "green" investments in the United States. Chavez was the only U.S. Mayor invited to participate in the "Citoyens de la Terre" (Citizens of the Earth) - The Paris Conference for Global Ecological Governance in 2007, hosted by the national government of France.

×

DAVID DON

Executive Director, Regulatory & Public Affairs at Comcast Corporation


David Don is Executive Director for Regulatory & Public Affairs at Comcast Corporation. Prior to that, he was the Senior Director for Spectrum Policy. David has worked extensively on the FCC's public policy and spectrum allocation policies for over fifteen years. In his current position, he is responsible for developing Comcast's broadband and wireless strategies. He is also responsible for helping Comcast/NBCUniversal develop and implement the company’s strategy in the latest FCC wireless rule makings, including the 600 MHz Incentive Auction proceeding, the 5 GHz rulemaking, and the 3.5 GHz rulemaking. David played a key role in Comcast's initial acquisition and later disposition of AWS spectrum, as well as the company’s ongoing marketing agreements with Verizon Wireless.

David is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association where he has served as co-chair of the FCBA's Cable Practice and Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committees and as a Trustee of the FCBA's Foundation.

×

ALLISON REMSEN

Executive Director, Mobile Future


Allison Remsen is the Executive Director of Mobile Future. With nearly twenty years experience working on communications issues, she joined Mobile Future in 2008. Prior to the coalition, she served as Vice President – Media Relations for the United States Telecom Association. Earlier in her career, Remsen worked for House Democratic Whip David Bonior serving as his Press Secretary as well as assisting Members of Congress on policy issues on the House floor, helping to coordinate legislative and messaging efforts for House Democrats and advising Congressman Bonior on telecom issues. She began her career working in the government relations shop for the National Cable Television Association where she closely monitored the progress and passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Remsen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Horton’s Kids as well as volunteers for the nonprofit group that provides tutoring, mentoring and other critical services to children in Washington DC.

×

JONATHAN SPALTER

Chair, Mobile Future


Jonathan Spalter has a long track record building innovative technology, mobile, internet, and research companies in the U.S, Asia/Pacific, and Europe. He founded the independent investment research company, Public Insight, and was CEO of Snocap, the digital music technology company founded by the creators of Napster. He has held senior management roles at the Paris headquarters of Vivendi Universal, the global media and telecommunications group, where he was group senior vice president in charge of the company's public policy and external affairs teams, served as executive vice president of business development and strategy for Vivendi Universal Net, and CEO of company affiliate Atmedica Worldwide.

During the Clinton Administration, Spalter was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position of associate director at the US Information Agency, where he was also appointed chief information officer. He also served in the White House as director of public affairs for the National Security Council, and chief international affairs spokesperson and speech writer for Vice President Al Gore. He also co-founded and chaired the non-profit animation studio Climate Cartoons, which produced media content about global warming. One of its productions recently won the Emmy Award for National Public Service Announcements/Broadband. Early in his career, Spalter held various productions and editorial roles in broadcast and cable – among them, foreign affairs reporter for PBS’ MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. He graduated from Harvard College and Cambridge University.

×

GRETCHEN LIVINGSTON

Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project and the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project


Gretchen Livingston is a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project and the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project. Her research focuses on fertility and family demographics. In addition she studies immigrant adaptation and technology use among Latinos. Prior to joining the Pew Research Center, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Princeton University Office of Population Research. She earned her doctorate in Demography and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Since joining the Pew Research Center, she has written on the relationship of fertility and the recession, fertility differences between immigrant and native-born women, grandparent caregivers, fatherhood, childlessness, and the profile of Mexican-origin people in Mexico and the U.S. Livingston has discussed her work with numerous print and broadcast outlets.

×

JONATHAN SPALTER

Chair, Mobile Future


Jonathan Spalter has a long track record building innovative technology, mobile, internet, and research companies in the U.S, Asia/Pacific, and Europe. He founded the independent investment research company, Public Insight, and was CEO of Snocap, the digital music technology company founded by the creators of Napster. He has held senior management roles at the Paris headquarters of Vivendi Universal, the global media and telecommunications group, where he was group senior vice president in charge of the company's public policy and external affairs teams, served as executive vice president of business development and strategy for Vivendi Universal Net, and CEO of company affiliate Atmedica Worldwide.

During the Clinton Administration, Spalter was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position of associate director at the US Information Agency, where he was also appointed chief information officer. He also served in the White House as director of public affairs for the National Security Council, and chief international affairs spokesperson and speech writer for Vice President Al Gore. He also co-founded and chaired the non-profit animation studio Climate Cartoons, which produced media content about global warming. One of its productions recently won the Emmy Award for National Public Service Announcements/Broadband. Early in his career, Spalter held various productions and editorial roles in broadcast and cable – among them, foreign affairs reporter for PBS’ MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. He graduated from Harvard College and Cambridge University.

×

SEBASTIAN GOMEZ ABERO

Chief of the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission


Sebastian Gomez Abero is the Chief of the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The office assists companies seeking to raise capital through exempt or smaller registered offerings, and participates in and reviews SEC rule making and other actions that may affect small businesses. Previously, Mr. Gomez was a Special Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance. He received his law degree, cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Journal of International Law & Business, and his B.S. in computer science, magna cum laude, from Bridgewater College.

×

OMAR DUQUE

President and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC)


Omar Duque is the President and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the chamber’s activities and for executing on the organization’s mission. Duque has forged strong relationships both locally and nationally and he’s an effective advocate for Hispanic businesses.

Duque is highly active in a number of civic organizations. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Northeastern Illinois University where he serves as the Secretary of the Board as well as Chairman of the University’s finance committee. Duque is a member of the State of Illinois¹ Business Enterprise Council as well as a Mayoral appointee to the City of Chicago’s Community Development Commission. He also previously served on the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation board, the State of Illinois Economic Recovery Commission and the City of Chicago’s Affirmative Action Advisory Board.

Duque has served as a communications and public relations advisor, and as a consultant on major economic development projects in the Chicago area. In 2011, he was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency as the 2011 Minority Business Advocate of the Year.

Duque is a Chicago native whose parents immigrated to the United States from Guatemala. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has studied strategic leadership and management at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Duque is a 2011 Fellow with Leadership Greater Chicago, an organization which brings together leaders from a variety of fields to study and understand some of the city’s most urgent challenges in education, race relations, health care, crime and economic development. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Clarisol, and two children.

×

MONIKA MANTILLA

President and CEO, Altura Capital;
Small Business Community Capital, SBCC


Monika has over 21 years of domestic and international management and investment management experience. Altura Capital is an innovative investment boutique that specializes in emerging managers and the quickly expanding emerging domestic market. The clients of Altura include some of the largest institutional investors in the country and the world. Altura provides Emerging Manager research, analytics, portfolio construction, monitoring and manager of manager services to institutional investors in U.S. and across the globe. Altura is the creator of the Altura Emerging Manager Information Platform, a platform through which institutional investors can access analytics, statistical and qualitative data of more than 2,000 emerging managers across all asset classes.

To seize the opportunities in the growing emerging domestic markets, in partnership with the principals of Savile Opportunity Fund LP, Altura launched a $120 million small business community capital debt fund (SBCC). SBCC will provide $1 to $12 million in debt and equity capital to promising small and mid-sized companies, focusing on minority owned firms and entrepreneurs located in LMI communities. SBCC has received an SBIC impact program green light letter from the SBA and is currently raising $40 million in private capital and upon licensure by the SBA as an SBIC will access up to $80 million in debenture leverage.

Nationally recognized as a researcher, leader and an innovator in the area of capital and diversity, Monika has been deeply involved in a variety of national and regional initiatives to grow and expand the small, emerging and diverse institutional money manager category, as well as to channel investments, strategic resources to fast growing entrepreneurs in underserved markets, all of which can deliver market or above market investment performance and societal transformation potential. Ms. Mantilla holds an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and a J.D. from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia.

Monika co-chairs the New York Sate Hispanic Economic Development Council, a groundbreaking multi-stakeholder research initiative led by the New York State Senate and Assembly Hispanic Task Force to address capital and strategic resources gaps for 2,600 $1 million plus revenue Hispanic Businesses in New York State. In 2011 she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce as a member of the International Trade Advisory Center (ITAC), a unique public-private partnership jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of United States Trade Representative that engages business leaders in formulating U.S. trade policy. Monika sits on the board of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF). Established by the White House in 1987, HHF identifies, inspires, promotes and prepares Latino leaders through national leadership, cultural, educational and workforce programs.

Monika and Altura have won numerous awards and recognitions for their research, entrepreneurial success and leadership in building financial capacity in minority communities, including the "2010 Hispanic Heritage Award"—the highest honor for Latinos by Latinos—in the business category, the 2010 "Entrepreneur of the Year" (New York State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce), the 2010 "New York City Entrepreneur of the Year" (Latina Style Magazine and Business Series), the 2012 Women of Excellence Award (New York Women Chamber of Commerce), the 2006 "Business Woman of the Year" (New York-Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s), the 2003 "Excellence in Financial Services" award (the Hispanic Magazine’s). In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Latino Leaders Magazine recognized her as one of the 101 Most Influential Leaders in Hispanic U.S.A.

Monika can be reached at info@alturacap.com

×

JAVIER SAADE

Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation (OII)


Javier Saade is SBA’s recently appointed Associate Administrator and leads the Office of Investments and Innovation (“OII”). OII houses the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

SBIC is a growth capital program that has approximately $20 billion of assets under management spread across ~290 private-public partnerships comprised of private equity, venture capital and structured lending funds. With authorization to invest $4 billion annually, the program operates at a zero-subsidy cost to the American taxpayer. Since 1958, SBICs have capitalized American small businesses with about $67 billion. The SBIR and STTR programs entail the government's largest innovation effort focused on small businesses. Since 1982, about 145,000 competitive grants totaling ~$38 billion have been awarded to small business and researchers across the land. For this 11 agency effort, one of the key end goals is to enable the commercialization of the resulting inventions and/or intellectual property - from nanotechnology to robotics to advanced materials to mobile communications to genetic therapies to alternative energy.

OII’s Innovation Initiatives support entrepreneurs and their dynamic ecosystem stacks and include Demo Day, StartUp University, and the $2.5m Accelerator Contest. We are also leading the tactical charge surrounding new paths of capital formation for small businesses, including crowd funding.

Javier has over 20 years of global principal investing, general management, strategic consulting and entrepreneurial experience. He co-founded three companies in three different industries (media & entertainment, solar energy services and advertising) and has worked at The GEM Group, Bridgewater Associates, Paradigm Ventures LP, Pacific Community Ventures, McKinsey & Company, Booz | Allen | Hamilton and Abbott Laboratories.

He works with and/or advises the White House Innovation Cohort, White House Business Council, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Lab-to-Market Efforts and the National Economic Council’s Advanced Manufacturing Cohort. Additionally he holds an observer role at the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. Javier holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in Operations and Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Management & Manufacturing Engineering from Purdue University.

×

HECTOR VILCHIS

Corporate Vice President & Market Manager, New York Life Insurance Co.


Hector D. Vilchis is a Corporate Vice President and Market Manager of New York Life’s Hispanic Market Initiative. In his role, Hector is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of the Company’s major expansion strategy in the Hispanic Community which is geared to drive incremental growth in agent recruiting, productivity, and premium in this market.

Prior to his current role, Hector oversaw the Cultural Markets Top Agent and Affluent sales initiative which focused on providing marketing, business development, and sales support to agents working in Targeted Affluent and High Net Worth markets in the U.S

Hector started his career with New York Life as a Senior Market Management Consultant in 2000. Subsequently Hector was promoted to Director, Assistant Vice President and Corporate Vice President as part of his increased role in the strategic and management functions of the Business Unit.

Hector obtained a BA degree in International Business with Specialization in Spanish and Latin America as well as a Certification in Translation Studies from San Diego State University. Hector also completed a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree at New York University's Stern School of Business where he specialized in Finance and Global Business.

Hector has been named Executive of the Year by the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. (CAMACOL) and by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has also been featured in Latino Leaders Magazine 40 under 40 successful executives and entrepreneurs issue.

He resides in New York City and is a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, the New America Alliance, the Americas Society, and the NYU Alumni Association. He is also actively involved in New York Life’s Latino Employee Resource Group.

×