Board of Directors
Antonio de la O, Chair
Antonio de la O, is president of the Creston Group, a privately owned holding company with interests in manufacturing and a principal at S.T. Johnson Company, a manufacturer of industrial gas and oil burner systems for steam boilers in industrial plants and commercial facilities. Formerly, he was president and CEO at Coen Company, the largest US manufacturer of engineered combustion systems for industrial and power generation plants. He currently serves as a director on the board of directors of a couple other private companies. He is an electronics engineer from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, and holds a law degree from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Mexico City. He is a licensed attorney in Mexican law.
Melinda Guzman, Vice Chair
An attorney recognized for being the first Latina to be named partner in a Sacramento area firm, Ms. Guzman's practice focuses on representing private and non-profit corporations, foundations, media interests, venture and equity capital firms, insurance carriers, and other business interests. She is a proven litigator, an effective business negotiator and work-out counsel, and is highly regarded as a mediator. She is a dedicated public servant with expertise in finance, governance, employment, higher education and business. She is highly regarded for her work on governance issues and she is a noted speaker and trainer on the fiduciary duties of officers and directors of boards of directors. Melinda is a Founding Member and Immediate Past Chair of Cien Amigos. She serves as a Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and is Trustee Emeritus of the California State University. She has held numerous positions in public, private and non-profit entities including as director of the California Restaurant Association, a former director of Pac-West Telecom, past general counsel of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and past Chairman of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
Melinda is a recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican Government’s highest honor bestowed on an individual for service to Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latino families living in the US.
Melinda holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science/Public Service and a Juris Doctor Degree (Law) from the University of California, Davis.
Marco Rodriguez, Vice Chair
Marco Rodriguez is a Senior Financial Advisor with Principal Financial Group. His primary practice includes creating financial investment strategies for individual clients and small to midsize businesses to assist them with asset accumulation and wealth preservation. He has received numerous achievement awards including the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and a graduate of the LUTC fellowship.
He served 6 years to the Honor of becoming a United States Senate Confirmed Presidential Appointee for President George W. Bush to The National Council on Disability. The Council is an Independent Federal Agency that advices the President and Congress on issues related to disability policies; he has also served appointments by Governor Schwarzenegger as a Council member to the State Independent Living Centers.
Marco has dedicated himself to contributing to his community through various non-profit organizations. He currently serves as President of the Board for the Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California and Board member to American Leadership Forum; he has also served as President of the Board for the California State University Alumni Board (CSUS), Chairman of the Board for the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of MAPP, Inc.
Marco is a recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican Government’s highest honor bestowed on an individual for service to Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latino families living in the US.
Marco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Finance from California State University, Sacramento.
Lizelda Lopez, Secretary
Chair, Communications Committee
Lizelda Lopez is Deputy Director for Communications and Public Relations at Covered California. Previous to that, she was a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations, an international firm. She is an experienced public affairs and communications professional with experience in media relations training and outreach, as well as strategic planning for a range of government agencies, non-profit, and corporate clients. She also has years of experience in health and human services programs and issues gained from the years she served as a Schwarzenegger appointee to the Health and Human Services Agency as well as the California Department of Social Services.
Lizelda holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in Political Science and Latin American Studies.
Maricela Monterrubio Gallegos, Treasurer
Maricela worked for Hewlett-Packard Company for 25 years in Human Resources consultation, management training and the start up of a new HP Operations in Guadalajara, Mexico. While there, she developed strategies to retain and increase the employment of women, people of color and persons with disabilities in the United States, Japan, Mexico and Latin America in general. Maricela was instrumental in the development and implementation of diversity-related programs to further a more inclusive work environment.
For more than 30 years, Maricela has served on various Boards such as the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities; United Way of Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties; Private Industry Council; Governor's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities; Advisory Board Member for the Federal Communications Committee; National Center for Appropriate Technology; Advisory Member for the Institute for Mexicans Abroad in which she was the Chair the for Education Committee.
Maricela received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Member
Chair, Health Committee
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the UC Davis Health System and the Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UCD Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC). He is a past member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He is currently a board member of the California Health Care Foundation, a member of the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity’s Advisory Committee, and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Carlos Slim Health Foundation. He has held several World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) advisory board and consulting appointments and since 1999 has been a member of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Consortium (WMH) and its Coordinator for the Latin America and the Caribbean participating countries.
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the recipient of multiple recognitions and awards including one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. in the October, 2006 issue of Hispanic Business magazine, a distinguished member of the 101 top leaders in the U.S. Latino Community in the Dec.-Jan, 2007 issue of Latino Leaders, Top 20 Latinos in Health and Medicine in the U.S. in the Sept. 2009 issue of Latino Leaders, and a distinguished member of the Top 10 U.S. Latino Physicians in the May, 2016 issue of Latino Leaders.
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola received his M.D. degree at the School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Guadalajara in Mexico, his M.S. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology at Vanderbilt University, and a postdoctoral fellowship on health services research at the University of California, San Francisco.
Fabian Ceballos, Member
Fabian lives in Manteca, CA with his wife, Marisela Ceballos and his two children, and is the owner of Fabian's Collision Center, Inc. in Stockton. As owner of Fabian's Collision Center, Fabian is responsible for overseeing all production schedules as well as customer service in the business. Fabian was also named Business Man of the Year in 2005 from the San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Fabian received his Bachelor and Master's degrees in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.
Mayra Cuevas, Member
Mayra S. Cuevas is the owner and operator of Tax Express/Cuevas Insurance Agency at 504 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Stockton, California. Tax Express/Cuevas Insurance Agency provides services including bookkeeping, payroll, notary services and income tax preparation as well as commercial insurance for businesses and travel insurance for tourists to Mexico. Tax Express/Cuevas Insurance Agency has 4 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees. Two of these employees in the past were Mayra’s daughters, Ariana and Bianca Cuevas.
In July of 2005, Mayra was recognized by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as their Business Woman of the Year.
Mayra attributes her success and will to succeed to her children, Ariana, Christopher and Bianca and to her mentor and hero, her mother, Florentina Padilla.
Jim González, Immediate Past Chair
Co-Chair, Issues and Advocacy Committee
Jim Gonzalez is a public policy consultant and campaign strategist. His company, Jim Gonzalez & Associates LLC has managed California statewide ballot initiatives on drug reform, expanding mental health services, and renewable energy.
Previously, he was a senior staff member to Mayor Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, and later was elected citywide to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Gonzalez (ret.) was the first elected official in the nation to author a City of Sanctuary ordinance. Following his footsteps, 60 cities in the United States have passed similar legislation to protect the human rights of undocumented immigrants.
Jim also serves as Chairman of the Latino Policy Coalition (LPC), a national research organization that conducts public opinion surveys on policy issues affecting the Latino community. LPC also mobilizes, with teams of community organizers, Latino voters in the states of California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
Jim Gonzalez is a board member of the UC Davis Health System, National Board of Advisors. He is a recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican Government’s highest honor bestowed on an individual for service to Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latino families living in the US.
Jim holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco, and was a Kellogg Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Manuel "Manny" Hernández, Member
Manny has served as a Senior Consultant in the California State Legislature for more than 30 years. He began his career as a legislative aide to Senator Art Torres. Manny served as President of the Sacramento Unified School District School Board. Manny holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Government from the University of California, Berkeley.
Tere Veloz, Member
Chair, Young Leaders Committee
Tere Veloz an Account Director at Imprenta Communications Group oversees multiple portfolios – topics range from sustainable and reliable energy to education, and from empowering communities to transportation. Formerly, Tere was a Senior Associate for Dewey Square Group’s – Social Innovation and Philanthropy Practice. She managed bilingual educational awareness campaigns for the firm’s clients. Prior to DSG, as a quality control manager, she successfully oversaw $1.5 million in federal funds.
Tere is a passionate advocate invested in raising awareness for Latino, underserved communities, and future generations. Tere, humbled to work with communities, alongside her colleagues has been fortunate to make an impact across the most remote areas of California, and nationally. Tere believes in challenging the status quo and continues to advocate for the better of others, our communities, and our nation – to one day advocate and brand global impact.
Tere enjoys being civically engaged within and around her community supporting personal passion issues. Active since 2011 when she relocated to the small, bustling city of Sacramento. A pop culture fashionista and foodie sits on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Public Relations Association (SPRA). Yet for this country-girl at heart, nothing beats traveling the world and going home to her one and only fur child – Penny, a beautiful road trip aficionado feline.
Tere a proud graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and an education and teaching minor.