LLI’s staff members have backgrounds in the highest levels of public, private, and non-profit work. The LLI is led by a unique and accomplished team of individuals who share a passion for socially responsible leadership.
Joelle L. Martinez
President / CEOJoelle is a nationally recognized executive, strategist, speaker, and facilitator. A visionary leader, Joelle dedicates her life to helping cross-sector leaders realize their individual potential as well as the economic and social opportunities presented by an increasingly diverse U.S. populace. Prior to the LLI, Joelle spent more than 15 years building winning communications, business development, and public affairs strategies in both private and public sectors. Joelle is a subject matter expert in Neuroleadership, Latino identity, civic engagement, workplace diversity and inclusion, and demographic shifts. In 2017, Joelle was named one of the most powerful women by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce. In 2019, she was honored by the NFL Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide for her outstanding contributions to the Latino community. She currently serves on the Hispanic Advisory Council for Coca-Cola and has served on boards, advisory councils, and executive committees for Mile High United Way, Building Better Colorado, Museum of Nature and Science, Denver 7 Colorado, Prosper Colorado. Joelle is a member of the NeuroLeadership Institute and is a certified practitioner of both Insights Discovery® and i4®.
Chief Operating OfficerAliena directs, oversees, and executes key organizational strategies for the LLI, including go-to-market strategy, program development, and marketing and communications. Aliena brings extensive experience in Fortune 500 corporate leadership, product development and management, marketing, and strategic organizational development. In a 2015 profile of her career by Hispanic Executive magazine, Aliena was named the “Merger Master” for being the “problem solver, strategist, analyst, and issues-juggler [who once solved] the puzzle of merging five companies into one” during her tenure at Miller Heiman Group, a global leader in sales training. Prior to joining the LLI, Aliena was a senior executive at Corporate Express, Miller Heiman Group, and Envysion, leading the development and management of a wide array of products and brands and using her position and strategic vision to shape the growth and future of each company. In 2021, Aliena was named a C-Suite Award Winner by the Denver Business Journal, an award given to senior executives who help CEOs achieve their vision in a rapidly changing climate. Aliena is an Alumna of the LLI Fellowship Program.
Chief Strategic OfficerHarry is responsible for LLI’s corporate development, business development, and national partnerships. He also oversees the organization’s legal, administrative, and financial functions. Harry brings extensive experience in corporate and business development, entrepreneurship, and business law to his role, including senior executive experience at Verio, where he was part of the team that led its $5.5 billion acquisition by NTT Communications, iBAHN, MHI Global, where he led the acquisition of 6 companies to create one the world’s largest training companies, Envysion and Notion. Harry’s most recent venture was founding and running his own corporate and business development consulting firm, The Hollines Group, which focused on architecting growth strategies, deals and transactions for start-up, early-stage, and emerging technology and tech-enabled services companies. Harry has mentored start-up and early-stage companies through accelerators and incubators like Galvanize, Techstars, Rockies Venture Club, and Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute.
Director of Strategic Partnerships & AlliancesNicole cultivates and sustains relationships among the LLI’s fast-growing network of partners and Alumni. An expert in stakeholder management, Nicole led strategic partnerships for DSST and Denver Public Schools prior to joining the LLI, successfully securing work-based learning and higher education opportunities for students district-wide. She also previously served as a director of the Colorado Council for Economic Education where she trained Colorado teachers and directed a statewide K-12 financial literacy program. Nicole’s career has spanned over 20 years in various leadership roles including finance, non-profit management, and business development. In addition to Nicole’s leadership in education, she exercises her business acumen as the owner of a successful residential real estate business. In 2009, Nicole was inducted into the Denver Chicano Music Hall of Fame for her contributions as a host of Cancion Mexicana - Jazz 89.3FM KUVO for more than six years. Nicole serves her community on the boards of Su Teatro and Florence Crittenton Services. Nicole is an Alumna of the LLI Fellowship Program.
Director of ProgramsMichelle is responsible for the development, strategy, and delivery of LLI's professional development programs and Insight to Inclusive Leadership program. With 25 years in corporate program development and instructional design, Michelle has helped build training programs that are internationally recognized by both industry leaders and regulatory bodies. Most recently, Michelle served as Senior Training Specialist at Western Union, where she created, maintained, and updated company training materials and coordinated global and targeted training projects across the organization. Among her many areas of focus, she has specialized in human resources, where she developed leadership, diversity, and manager training. She has brought her expertise to other industries including telecommunications and aviation and is highly regarded for her comprehensive knowledge of training requirements. In 2021, Michelle received the Western Union WU Way Stars Award for Process Improvement Implementation after working on a year-long project to improve a global training program that covered 90+ countries. Michelle is an Alumna of the LLI Fellowship Program.
Communications & Marketing ManagerGraciela Gonzales brings her passion and expertise in communication to the LLI. Her work focuses on internal and external communications, ensuring the consistent and engaging expression of the Institute’s messaging across all media. Her role includes developing marketing and communications strategies and campaigns. In 2020, Graciela was instrumental in growing the LLI’s social media audience over 100% compared to the previous year, highlighting data and stories of the Latino community and COVID-19. Graciela received her MA in Teaching from Brown University and her BA in Sociology from Wellesley College. She is a Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers scholar and served as a White House Intern in the Domestic Policy Council during the Obama administration. Graciela has spent the majority of her career as an educator in Denver Public Schools and abroad in Cali, Colombia. She is passionate about elevating the voices and influence of the Latino community.
The Latino Leadership Institute is led by a board of accomplished leaders who represent multiple sectors and industries. Board members are invested and engaged, bringing a vast range of knowledge and experience to the Institute.