LEADERSHIP

Advisory Board

The Latino Leadership Institute is led by an advisory board comprised of accomplished leaders who represent multiple sectors and industries in Colorado. Board members are invested and engaged, bringing a vast range of knowledge and experience to the Institute. Board members are dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders for the highest levels of influence in the business, education, government, and non-profit sectors. The University of Denver’s dynamic leadership provides unmatched expertise in support of the Institute’s mission and initiatives.

Katherine Archuleta

Chair

Katherine Archuleta

Chair

On November 4, 2013, Katherine Archuleta was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the first Latina to the lead the US Office of Personnel Management. Overseeing the Human Resources management of the entire federal government, Ms. Archuleta was responsible for the recruitment, hiring, development and support of federal workers throughout the country. As her priorities, she focused on recognizing the tremendous talent and dedication of over 2 million federal workers serving in every state of our country, on recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the people it serves, and on preparing federal employees for the workplace of the future. She traveled extensively as the President’s workforce ambassador to encourage young workers, mid-career professionals and executives to consider the purpose-driven mission of Federal service. She began her career as a school teacher in Denver, and worked in local government for Denver Mayors Federico Pena and John Hickenlooper. She worked for the Departments of Transportation and Energy in the Clinton Administration and was Chief of Staff to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis during the first two years of the Obama Administration. Accumulating nearly 20 years in public service along with leadership roles in the nonprofit sectors in both Colorado and New Mexico, Ms. Archuleta has been recognized nationally and locally for her dedication to supporting the role of Latinos and women in public and private sector leadership roles. She and her husband, Edmundo Gonzales, are the proud parents of Graciela Katarina Gonzales who is a third grade teacher at Greenlee Elementary School in the Denver Public Schools. Katherine taught at that same school when she began her professional career over 40 years ago and Graciela’s classroom is the same classroom where once Katherine and her dear friend, Dr. Martha Urioste, worked together as Bilingual Supervisors.

Dr. Rebecca Chopp

Chancellor

Dr. Rebecca Chopp

Chancellor

Dr. Jeremy Haefner

Dr. Jeremy Haefner

Dr. Jeremy Haefner is the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Denver where he oversees the academic enterprise and serves the campus in a broad leadership role. Prior to joining the University of Denver, Dr. Haefner served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for 10 years. As provost, Dr. Haefner was in charge of the education and research missions of the university, overseeing nine colleges, two institutes, one school and three global campuses, and several university-level programs. Before RIT, Dr. Haefner was at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where he served, over the course of 18 years, in several leadership roles including Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and Dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Haefner’s career is characterized by several themes – transformational change, cultivation and fundraising, student success, research and innovation, academic excellence, international education, faculty/staff success, and inclusive excellence. He has held fellowships with the American Council on Education, the National Learning Infrastructure Institute, and the University of Murcia in Spain. His enthusiasm for using technology as a learning tool led him to receive the inaugural President’s Faculty Excellence Award for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado System and the inaugural Innovations in Teaching with Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. As a mathematician, Dr. Haefner studies integral representation and module theory and his research has been supported by the National Security Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the government of Spain. Dr. Haefner graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in mathematics, and has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

Sylvan “Sibito” H Morley III

Sylvan “Sibito” H Morley III

Accomplished C-level executive who leverages deep technology expertise to drive operational efficiency and achieve significant business outcomes. Recognized for thought leadership and game-changing technology innovation. Aligns strategic business priorities with organizational capabilities to improve productivity. Leverages skills, processes, and technology to develop and implement solutions that reduce costs and inefficiencies, streamline operations, and drive top and bottom-line growth. Draws upon global leadership experience successfully managing multimillion-dollar technical programs through vast global teams. Expert in organizational risk management.

Diane Garcia

Diane Garcia

Diane has been a human resource professional and executive for more than 20 years, spending most of her career in the global high tech sector. She thrives in evolving and dynamic work environments with expertise in leading organizational turn-arounds along with mergers and acquisitions. Diane began her career out of high school as an intern for Inroads, where she spent four years developing leadership skills and working for the Public Service Company of Colorado. After spending an additional eight years with the company in multiple HR roles, Diane was recruited to the high tech startup company, Level 3 Communications, where she spent 16 years in various senior leadership positions, most recently as the Vice President of North America and Corporate Recruiting.

Marco Antonio Abarca

Marco Antonio Abarca

Marco Antonio Abarca grew up in North Denver, where he attended Brown, Lake and North before eventually graduating from Regis Jesuit High School. Marco is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School. After finishing law school, Marco worked with the Migrant Farmworker Unit of California Rural Legal Assistance. In 1992, Marco returned to Denver and started working at Ready Foods, Inc., his family’s food processing company, and now serves as the company’s president.

Mark Goodman

Mark Goodman

Mark Goodman is a results-driven executive with experience in global brand development, building and rebuilding brand operations within consumer-driven retail, food and financial service industries. He has held significant leadership positions, including key roles at Fortune 1 and 50 companies: Walmart/Sam’s Club (EVP, Chief Marketing Officer) and McDonald’s (Corp. VP, U.S. Brand & Strategy). Mr. Goodman currently serves as the Global Chief Marketing Officer for Vistage Worldwide, Inc. the world’s largest CEO membership organization. In addition, Mr. Goodman serves as Chairman of the Colorado Nut Holding Company and on the board of directors for Pinnacol Assurance Insurance Company and Bellco Credit Union. He also serves on the board of trustees at Xavier University of Louisiana where he chairs the Development Committee. Mr. Goodman is passionate about the role of higher education in helping people from all walks of life become successful in their chosen field of interest. Mr. Goodman has been active in supporting educational institutions on a national basis over the last several years. He has served on the board of directors for St. Louis University School of Business, St. Louis, Missouri, Livingstone College Salisbury, North Carolina, History Makers, Chicago, Illinois, Eton Academy, Birmingham, Michigan, Cal State Dominquez Hills School of Business. Mr. Goodman has served as a member of the Tufts University School of Arts & Sciences Board of Advisors since 2012 and its Campaign Committee. He holds a master’s degrees in philosophy and logic from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster. Mr. Goodman and his family reside in Denver Colorado.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez serves as director of Global Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Relations for Ball Corporation, and executive director of The Ball Foundation. Chavez leads Ball’s global social sustainability strategy and corporate citizenship initiatives. He is responsible for Ball’s signature volunteer and philanthropic programs and the corporate community engagement and giving drives. Additionally, he serves as the executive director of The Ball Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits in areas of recycling, disaster relief, food security and STEM education. During his career, Chavez has counseled nonprofits and Fortune 500 corporations, including AT&T, Qwest (CenturyLink), Martin Marietta (Lockheed Martin) and the Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. Chavez previously served as director of government affairs and community relations for rocket company United Launch Alliance. In that role, he developed and managed a robust community investment program, including employee volunteerism, for ULA’s corporate hub and manufacturing sites across the United States. Chavez is an active member of the corporate citizenship community and serves on the board of trustees of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He is a past board member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, Colorado Nonprofit Association, Museo de Las Americas, The Park People, Metro Volunteers, Mayor’s Commission on Strategic Partnerships and the Latin American Research & Service Agency (LARASA) Chavez earned the Boston College Carroll School of Management, Corporate Community Involvement certificate, and holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming.

Sandi Mays

Sandi Mays

Sandi Mays is the Chief Customer Experience Officer & CIO at Zayo Group, a leader in global telecommunications providing bandwidth and connectivity over an exceptional network infrastructure. Sandi’s passion is providing an effortless customer experience for both internal and external customers. Sandi is a champion for diversity in the tech community and serves on the Board of the Latino Leadership Institute, the Salesforce CIO Advisory Board and the Denver Metro Chamber Economic Development Executive Committee. She is also a patron/supporter of the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Ballet, Denver Performing Arts Center and Greenhouse scholars and an active member of many minority and diverse charities. In 2016 Sandi was named Women in Comms Leading Lights: Most Inspiring Woman in Comms. Previously, Sandi served in various management positions at ICG Communications, Level 3 Communications, MFS Telecom, WorldCom, Focus Enterprises and Northern Trust. Sandi earned a B.S. (magna cum laude) in Finance from DePaul University.

Maria Garcia Berry

Maria Garcia Berry

Maria Garcia Berry is the guiding force behind what is today one of the most influential public affairs firms in Colorado. Serving a broad spectrum of clients from transportation to professional sports teams to real estate developers – the services of Ms. Garcia Berry and her associates are sought by clients across the United States. As chief executive officer of CRL Associates, Inc., she successfully manages CRL’s broad client base that includes a variety of high-profile projects such as the Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Denver’s Union Station; the transformation of the former Villa Italia mall site into Belmar; and Forest City’s redevelopment of Stapleton. CRL has represented all of the Denver sports franchises. In 2004, Ms. Garcia Berry was the campaign chair for the nation’s largest proposed mass transit expansion effort, the successful FasTracks Yes campaign. She is a much sought-after consultant for other locales striving to bring an integrated and comprehensive transportation program to their area. In addition to FasTracks, she has been a strategic consultant to a number of transportation-related initiatives around the country, including a transportation master plan for the seven‐county Tampa Bay region adopted in 2009 by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) and a 2012 regional transportation referendum in the 10-county Atlanta region that would fund $8.5 billion in transportation improvements. Highly respected for her skills in negotiation, mediation and advocacy, Ms Garcia Berry is experienced at forging links between diverse interests and groups. She is widely recognized in her field for her expertise in government and public decision making, strategic planning, coalition building, crisis communications, community outreach, public positioning and legislative advocacy. Maria Garcia Berry is a member of the Board of Directors of TBD Colorado, a nonpartisan, collaborative effort designed to create informed and constructive conversations among Coloradans about some of the biggest issues facing the state. She has recently been appointed to the Auraria Higher Education Board and is a former trustee of Metropolitan State College Board of Directors; serves on the Citywide Banks Board; and is a member of the Urban Land Institute. Ms. Garcia Berry is also an alumnus of Leadership Denver. Along with having been named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, Ms. Garcia Berry received recent recognition by both the Hispanic Chamber and the Women’s Chamber. She is married to Chuck Berry, currently the CEO and president of Colorado’s Association of Commerce and Industry and formerly Colorado’s Speaker of the House. They have three children.

Staff

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

Executive Director

Joelle L. Martinez

Executive Director

Joelle L. Martinez is a nationally recognized non-profit executive, inspirational speaker, and organizational strategist. Since 2015, Joelle has served as the Executive Director of the Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver. Prior to the Institute, Joelle spent more than 15 years building winning business development, public affairs, and media strategies for Fortune 500 companies. In 2017, Joelle was named one of the 25 most powerful women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In the community, Joelle serves as a Trustee for the Mile High United Way and is an executive committee member of Building a Better Colorado. Joelle is a member of the NeuroLeadership Institute and is a certified Insights Discovery® Practitioner. As a proud Colorado native, Joelle earned her degree from the University of Colorado Boulder

Curtis L. Esquibel

Associate Director

Curtis L. Esquibel

Associate Director

Curtis L. Esquibel is a non-profit executive, educator, trainer, and writer dedicated to the practice and impact of leadership through self-awareness. As a subject matter expert, Curtis has studied Emotional Intelligence extensively and is a certified Insights Discovery Practitioner. An LLI Alumnus, Curtis oversees the Fellowship and Alumni Programs in addition to leading the organization’s communications efforts. The role highlights Curtis’ expertise in program management and evaluation, leadership development, community outreach, and media. Prior to the LLI, Curtis led Denver’s first collective impact initiative focused on college success at the Denver College Attainment Network. Curtis has also held multiple leadership roles at the Denver Scholarship Foundation, where he worked from 2007-2015. Curtis’ career in education started as a college advisor and teacher on the Jemez Pueblo (NM) reservation and in Denver Public Schools. Prior to education, Curtis was a journalist in Colorado and Northern California with his work published in numerous newspapers and media outlets. In the community, Curtis has served on multiple non-profit organization boards that emphasize public service and education. He is a current board member for College Track Colorado and a board member of the Youth Initiative of Adams County. A native Coloradan, Curtis earned a bachelor of science degree with honors from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MPA from the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs. He and his wife, Rosemary, a registered nurse, have two children.

Aliena Martinez

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Aliena Martinez

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Aliena is responsible for identifying opportunities with and for new partners and developing strategies for increasing revenue to support the Institute’s strategic growth objectives, such as the newly developed Impact Initiative. Aliena brings over ten years’ experience in product development, management, marketing and strategic organizational development. She most recently worked as an independent consultant. As such, she provided professional consultation to organizations to apply a structured methodology to create change management activities across products, development, marketing, and operations. Prior to that, Aliena served as Senior Vice President of Strategy & Products at Miller Heiman Group leading the product organization and the integration efforts of several companies acquired. She has also worked for Kinko’s and Corporate Express as the head of Product Marketing. Aliena graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in business before earning her MBA in 2001. Her professional growth is mirrored by her personal commitment to serving the community as both mentor and leader. A Colorado native, she volunteers with several organizations and is a board member of the YWCA Boulder County and the 13ers Young Professionals Board – The Nature Conservancy of Colorado.

Brenda Vaden

Director of Development

Brenda Vaden

Director of Development

Brenda Vaden is the Development Director for the Latino Leadership Institute where she leads all fundraising efforts and the Institute’s Latino Hall of Fame. Prior to the LLI, Brenda held multiple leadership positions as Director of Major Gifts and Regional Director for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. She served as Board-Co chair at the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, a reproductive justice organization. Brenda, along with her husband Jeff, is co-owner of Dynamic Fitness Co., a health facility in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood that exists to improve the lives of individuals through fitness and whole-foods nutrition. Brenda has been a longtime activist and advocate for advancing the Latino community. Brenda’s writing has been featured on the Huffington Post Latino Voices and she continues to utilize her platform to raise awareness around reproductive and social justice. Brenda earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Brenda is an alumna of the Latino Leadership Institute Fellowship and the U.S.-Mexico Leaders Initiative through the Center for American Progress. She was born and raised in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. She and Jeff reside in Denver along with their two sons, Jayden and Jackson.

Dehrian Ramirez

Program Specialist

Dehrian Ramirez

Program Specialist

As the Program Specialist for the LLI, Dehrian coordinates operations and logistics for the Fellowship Program in addition to leading branding and marketing projects for various platforms. An alumnus of Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver, Dehrian will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Development from the Daniels College of Business in 2018 with a minor in Digital Media Studies. A first generation college student, Dehrian is a Denver Scholarship Foundation Scholar, Latin American Educational Fund Scholar, and Volunteers In Partnership Scholar. Dehrian also works for DU’s Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) Program, a college access organization that serves high schools in Denver and Aurora. Outside of work, Dehrian loves to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and also spends much of his free time working and collaborating on creative media projects.

Isabelle Melendez

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

Isabelle Melendez

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

An alumna of Mapleton Early College High School, Isabelle will graduate with a bachelors in Political Science with minors in  Sociology and Socio-legal studies.
A first-generation college student Isabelle is a 2017 Daniels Fund Scholar. She has gained  grassroots organizing experience with her role as a Lead Student Organizer with Students For Education Reform. In her free time Isabelle is the secretary for Latinx Student Alliance, a proud sister of Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority, Incorporated, and an active volunteer in her DU community.

Alexander Aleman

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

Alexander Aleman

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

As the Program Specialist for the LLI, Alexander coordinates operations and logistics for the Fellowship Program and other events. As an alumnus of Westminster High School in Westminster, Colorado, Alexander will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business management from the Daniels College of Business in 2021. Alexander is a first-generation college student and is an Access Opportunity scholar, Puksta scholar, and a Hispanic Annual Salute scholar. Seeing first-hand the lack of awareness in his community around childhood health and nutrition, Alexander pitched and created a kids fitness program at his local recreation center. His program, Healthy Kids in Action, is a thriving 8-week summer program that has been featured in The Denver Post and Colorado Public Radio! Outside of work, Alexander participates in DU’s intramural soccer program.

Rosa Gutierrez

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

Rosa Gutierrez

Program Specialist (Class of 2021)

As the Program Specialist for the LLI, Rosa coordinates operations for the Fellowship Program and event planning.
As an alumna of the Denver Center for International Studies, Rosa will graduate with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Anthropology with a minor in Leadership studies from the University of Denver. Rosa is a Colorado Women's College Scholar, Volunteers in Partnership Scholar, and a member of Excelling Leadership Institute.
Rosa also works for DU’s Volunteers in Partnership Program and Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, both of which work in Denver High Schools. Outside of work, Rosa loves to play sports and stay active, well as spend time with family and friends.