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 & CEO(She/Her/Hers) Joelle 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 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 Manager(She/Her/Hers) Graciela 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 and supporting marketing and communications strategies and campaigns. In 2020, Graciela was instrumental in organically growing the LLI’s social media audience by 200%, highlighting data and stories of the Latino community and COVID-19. Since then, the LLI's LinkedIn page has become a national leader in monthly engagements among influencers calling attention to Latino leadership and issues affecting the Latino community. 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 is a proud former Denver Public Schools educator. She is passionate about elevating the voices and influence of the Latino community.
Administrative AssociateYesenia is responsible for providing services to a wide range of internal team members and external partners. A veteran and former U.S. Army Medical Specialist, Yesenia began her career administering emergency medical treatment to battlefield causalities and is a recipient of the Army Accommodation and the Army Achievement Medals. Yesenia is first-generation, first in her family to graduate with a degree, and has over 15 years of experience in administrative planning and execution. Prior to joining the LLI, Yesenia was a senior craft services administrator at Swinerton Builders and a behavior therapist at Ascend Behavior Partners. She is the proud wife of U.S. Army Staff Sargeant Ramirez and the mother of 3 kids and 2 dogs. Yesenia uses her experience and expertise to be an advocate for the Latino community, mental health services, and the Wounded Warriors Project.
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.