Leadership Summit Bios

Dr. Brett Bourbon received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

He is the director and co-director of the Masters in Leadership program at the University of Dallas.  He was a professor at Stanford University for ten years, and is now an English professor at the University of Dallas.  In addition, he is a Visiting Associate Professor in The Program of Literary Theory at the University of Lisbon.

He is also a Strategic consultant, having worked on various high-level projects for MSFT, Nike, Google Home, Pinterest, and a host of start-ups.  He has also worked extensively in curriculum development and educational strategy at UD and Stanford.

He has received many awards, including a Fulbright to the University of Lisbon, a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the Harvard English Scholar award, and the Walter J. Gores Teaching award from Stanford, as well as the Haggerty Teaching Award from the University of Dallas.    

Brett Bourbon is the I am the author of Finding a Replacement for the Soul: meaning and mind in literature and philosophy (Harvard UP, 2004).  He has also written and published numerous essays on philosophy, literature, and culture.  He also writes art criticism and is a published poet."

Carlos Carpizo is a senior managing executive with over 20 years of experience in strategy, operations management, financial management and sales & marketing.

In addition to his multi-cultural background having lived and worked in Latin America, the United States and Europe he brings a wealth of experience with particular strengths in Strategic Planning, Transformation, Culture Change, Digital Disruption, Information Technology (IT), Telecommunications, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Outsourcing (ITO).

Currently, Carlos is the President and a board member of Link America, a $200M privately held telecom and IT services firm out of Dallas, TX. Prior to Link America he was Division Vice President at Affiliated Computer Services, a Xerox company, where he achieved major improvements in profitability, customer and employee satisfaction providing BPO and ITO services to healthcare payer organizations. He spent 11 years at Ericsson where he held multiple business development, sales and managerial positions in the United States, Mexico, France and Central America.

Carlos has been selected as one of the 2018 top 100 most influential and notable Hispanic Professionals in the Information Technology Industry by the Hispanic IT Executive Council HiTEC Global.

Carlos has a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering from Mexico's Monterrey Tech (ITESM) and an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Carlos is passionate about social innovation and serves on the board of the leading adult mentoring non-for-profit organization Trusted Mentors.

Dr. Charlene Conner is a Lecturer in Marketing and cross disciplined in Management in the College of Business at University of North Texas at Dallas.  She previously served as Dean, College of Business at Dallas Baptist University and Parker University.

Research interests include human resources, generational influences within the workplace, as well as, organizational development and change. She and her colleagues, most recent publications, focused on the moderating effects of the team leader’s behavior and perceived effectiveness on the members’ level of extra effort. She and her colleagues have also received two research awards (2016, 2017).

Prior to entering Academia, she served in both government and corporate entities.

Tanis Cornell is the CEO of EWF International, a company committed to increasing the representation of women in the executive ranks.  EWF leads and facilitates peer advisory forums for women business owners and executives, provides training programs for emerging leaders, and conducts workshops and corporate training programs.  Tanis is also the founder of TJC Consulting, a boutique consulting firm offering personalized assessments, leadership development, and workshops that focus on developing and strengthening leadership skills, fostering teamwork, and increasing communication skills. She is a certified Lumina Learning practitioner, a writer and frequent public speaker on business growth, leadership and women’s career issues.  

Tanis has held leadership positions in the information technology industry including serving as an equity partner and Board member of the private software company PhaseWare, an officer level position in the Fortune 1000 telecommunications company WilTel, VP of sales for Level 3 Communications and led one of the largest service provider partnerships for Fortune 500 data management company, NetApp.

Tanis sits on the Board of Directors for Tech Titans, the largest technology trade association in Texas, the Advisory Board for the Alliance of Women and Technology, and the Business Advisory Council for Oklahoma Christian University.  She is also a mentor for the nationally known startup incubator Tech Wildcatters."

Dr. Christopher DeClerk, is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Total Rewards for the University of North Texas System, where he leads teams supporting Compensation, Benefits, Human Resources Information Services (HRIS) and Records. He is also an adjunct faculty member who teaches for UNT Dallas, University of Phoenix, and American Public University System. Over his career he has served in operations and human resources roles in leading global retail, manufacturing, technology, and educational organizations.

He has earned a BS in International Business with a Spanish emphasis, MBA, MA in Psychology, and Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership. Certifications include SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCP, and GRP. Leveraging experience as both a practitioner and scholar, he is passionate about finding innovative HR solutions by collaborating with business partners.

Dr. Dale Fodness is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. He teaches graduate courses in marketing, strategy, analytics and corporate social responsibility. He is also the co-founder and president of his own consulting firm, through which he conducts projects in the area of strategy for numerous large and small businesses, as well as delivers corporate training in the areas of strategic thinking and innovation.

Veronica Klein is a strong leader with 18 years of global sales experience in both the profit and nonprofit business sectors. She has excellent communication and contract negotiation skills. She has a proven track record of successfully increasing sales revenue, building strong relationships and securing customer loyalty in all industry verticals she has worked including aerospace. Veronica truly believes in customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus the reason for her success.

One of Veronica’s areas of expertise is new business development. While at Zodiac Aerospace she successfully signed two new accounts from Latin America with total sales revenue of $40 Million. This coupled with her extensive experience supervising globally diverse sales teams means that you can trust her managing personal portfolios that most recently included 10 global aerospace accounts which generated up to $100 Million in annual sales. She managed clients worldwide for Zodiac and focused on clients in Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Veronica recently accepted a position as a Key Account Manager with Safran Electronics and Defense, Avionics USA, a specialist in avionics for civil and military aircraft for North America. She handles accounts in North America and Mexico.

Veronica is a highly motivating manager who feels comfortable negotiating with C-Level executives of Fortune 500 companies, OEM’s, like Boeing, Bell and Government Agencies. Her charismatic charm as well as ability to build trust with her clients makes it possible for her to continually succeed in global aerospace sales with companies in countries where women are not normally successful, such as China and Russia. In fact, some of her clients have complimented her skills saying that “Veronica is very passionate about her work and she drives results.”

She is a leader with Hispanic professionals and has dedicated time over the past 10 years with the National Society of Hispanic MBAs as well as support to other community and nonprofit organizations.
Veronica and her husband, Cedric, enjoy family time with their son, 12-month-old Nicolas. In her spare time she is a Zumba instructor and enjoys very much traveling the world.


Dr. Elizabeth Muñiz is an Assistant Professor of Business Management and Director of the Career Readiness Education Program (CRED) at the University of North Texas (UNT) Dallas. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2007 and joined the faculty at UNT Dallas in 2008. Prior to returning to school to complete her Ph.D., Dr. Muñiz was employed by the Department of Navy as a Research Psychologist where she developed a strong interest in research related to distance learning, aviation teams, and training.  While pursuing her Ph.D., Dr. Muñiz was a research associate for PRIMO (Partnership for Research on the Influence of Multiculturalism in Organizations). In this organization, she was involved with research activities to facilitate the inclusion of multicultural groups in the workplace. Organizations involved in this partnership included SunTrust Bank, Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Puerto Rican Federation, NavAir, Latino Leadership, and the University of Central Florida.

Currently, Dr. Muñiz teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on topics related to Business Management, directs the Career Readiness Education program, and serves as faculty advisor for the UNT Dallas Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Chapter. Dr. Muñiz regularly researches and publishes on topics related to diversity, staffing, rewards, career readiness and development, and turnover in the workplace."

Tina Rachele Opp has over thirty years of progressive managerial and leadership experience and expertise in the Human Resources field including specialization in training and development, compensation, benefits, payroll and HRIS.  Her consulting, outsourcing and corporate roles were in a wide range of industries in private, public, government and not-for-profit sectors.  She has served on multiple professional association boards throughout her career, beginning with a SHRM student chapter during her MBA studies at the University of Central Oklahoma to most recently with a Local Network of WorldatWork, North Texas Compensation Association and the Texas Total Rewards Alliance.

Tina began her Human Resources career in the US Army Reserves as a Personnel Administration Specialist and is currently a Global Compensation Manger with AT&T.  She has over 16 years of experience in the design and administration of compensation programs in a wide range of industries ranging from private and family owned companies, not-for-profit organizations, and publicly traded companies. She has more than 10 years of Employee Benefits experience in the design and administration of health and welfare and retirement benefit programs in a corporate function as well as in outsourcing, consulting, and brokering functions. Her training and development experience and expertise includes corporate professional roles as well as not-for-profit functions via volunteering and creation of mentoring communities. Tina Rachele Opp obtained her BBA and MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma.  Tina holds the PHR-Professional Human Resources, CEBS-Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, CCP-Certified Compensation Professional designations, the GRP-Global Remuneration Professional and CSCP-Certified Sales Compensation Professional certification.  She is currently pursuing the SPHR with SHRM and the CECP-Certified Executive Compensation Professional certification with WorldatWork. 

Keith Owens has taught university-level design practice, thinking and research for over 20 years. Between academic appointments he worked as a designer, creative director and studio principal in Houston, San Francisco and Dallas. Client focal areas included simulation technology, hardware-based telephony, gaming development and real estate marketing.

For the past 13 years Owens has been an Associate Professor of Communication Design and Applied Design Research at the University of North Texas (UNT) College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD). He is also the past Director of the UNT | CVAD Design Research Center (DRC). The DRC is an urban laboratory where interdisciplinary teams of faculty and graduate students fuse design thinking with research practice to tackle complex, real world problems. With Department colleagues, Owens continues to co-develop undergraduate and graduate courses, curricula and programs all anchored by the central tenets of Design Thinking theory and practice.

As UNT CVAD faculty and private consultant, Owens directs or is involved with academic and private initiatives focused on the ways design thinking and research can be harnessed to tackle pressing problems in healthcare, secondary education and human trafficking."

Dr. Vincent Ramos is a licensed psychologist and educator with over 25 years of experience working with youth and adults in a variety of settings including private practice, the public schools, and criminal justice system. He has over 16 years of experience teaching at the University of North Texas and at Argosy University where he chaired the Forensic Psychology and School Psychology programs. He was awarded the Professional of the Year award in 2011 by the National Alliance for Mental Illness –Dallas Affiliate for his work to improve access to mental health services. He has also served on a Rules Advisory Panel for the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychology. Through Psychological and Forensic Mental Health Services, PLLC, Dr. Ramos consults with law enforcement and corrections agencies. Throughout his career he has mentored students and young professionals and has been active in local Latino communities. “One of my greatest rewards comes from mentoring and coaching Latino students and young professionals. This is how I give back. How I do my part to create a better future for all Latinos.”

Julio Rocha is an entrepreneur. His journey as an entrepreneur started when he was 18 years old. Julio has started five different companies in 5 different fields: Janitorial Services, Women’s Apparel, P &C Insurance; Investment Services and his latest creation DimeloUSA.com  (APP)

Julio’s educational background includes a BA in Behavioral Science, an Advance Management and a Financial Planning Certificate from the University of Central Florida #NationalChampions and a Master’s in Business Administration from Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College with concentration in entrepreneurship.

Julio is also an avid supporter of education. He has served on the Prospanica National Board of Directors since 2012. He received a Special Congressional Recognition for Community Service from the U.S. Congress.

Thomas Savino is the Chief Executive Officer of Prospanica, the nationally recognized and premier nonprofit dedicated to developing Hispanic talent and growing the number of Hispanic professionals represented in industries of America to perpetuate economic growth and corporate competitiveness.

Thomas has an impressive history of advocating for business education and is a respected executive in the Hispanic community. As an expert consultant specializing in performance measurement analysis, knowledge management, and organizational structure, he has collaborated with corporations and national boards throughout the country.

During his time as research analyst and internal consultant for McKinsey & Company, he specialized in the development of global initiatives, later joining TMS Consulting as managing director and also serving on the former National Society of Hispanic MBA’s national board. Thomas has consulted with some of the largest companies in corporate America, including Fortune 100 companies, and his expertise is sought out for keynote speeches, magazine articles, and seminars.

Formerly a 30-year resident of the Bronx, Thomas now lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with his wife Maria and sons Oliver and Pierce, and continues to advocate for higher level education and professional development for Hispanics."

Evelyn Torres is the Founder and chief executive officer of Solaris Technologies, Inc.   Founded in Irving, Texas in 2010 with its Headquarters in Irving Texas.

Solaris Technologies is an award winning global telecommunications equipment company that provides innovative ToughTower™ product platforms (site-on-wheels, quick deploy, and fixed towers), Security Solutions, and certified quality repair services to customers throughout the Americas. Solaris combines more than a century of industry knowledge with strategic partnerships to deliver fast and flexible technology solutions that support emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, special events, temporary communication needs, surveillance and other customized solutions that enhance your business.

Solaris was founded with the vision to elevate the customer experience while simultaneously promoting customer growth and success. In doing so, it is our mission to provide unrivaled product and price solutions, delivered on time, by Solaris’ best in class professional team. Solaris’s personnel provide more than a century of telecommunications experience.

The most recent awards have been the Dallas Business Journal’s, Women in Business award, Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the year finalist 2013, Dallas Hispanic Chamber, Excellence in Quality award, and 2014 SMU’s COX Business top 100 companies in Dallas.Tech Titians Technology Award in 2015, 2016 Dallas 500 “The most powerful business leaders in DFW”, 2016 DCEO, Outstanding Latino Business Award and in 2017 the Dallas 500 Innovative Technology award.  These are only the main community recognitions received.

Evelyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas as well as an Associate degree in Marketing from Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas.   Additionally Evelyn holds a certification by the Product Management Institute in Boston.

Evelyn resides in Irving Texas with her partner Miguel and two children and three grandchildren.  She enjoys her work with STEM both with elementary girls and UT Dallas women in engineering programs.  Her other interests are international cooking, traveling, reading and tennis."

Cid Wilson was named the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s (HACR) President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2014, bringing more than 20 years of corporate finance and Wall Street equity research experience. Managing a staff of talented and dedicated professionals and working closely with corporate board members, Hispanic organizations, and corporate partners around the country, Wilson directs programs and initiatives aimed at encouraging Fortune 500 companies to include Hispanics in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.

As the public face of the organization, Wilson promotes HACR through speaking engagements, traditional media sources and outreach to organizations and employee resource groups who share HACR’s mission. His ease in communicating within the C-level suite of major U.S. corporations presents a unique advantage in creating new partnerships, as well as strengthening relationships with existing corporate members.

Wilson has been featured and quoted in numerous publications and by news media, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, and Bloomberg TV. In February 2004, he was on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine; in March 2017, he was featured in MONEY Magazine; and most recently, he was on the cover of LATINO Magazine.

In September 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission that proposed to the President and Congress construction of a new Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He was named board chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino in 2012 and continues to lead advocacy efforts aimed at sustaining Congressional support for the museum’s completion.

Graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in economics, Wilson launched his career in 1993 and was steadily promoted from the mail room to the executive suite, earning national recognition as the #1 Specialty Retail Analyst by Forbes in 2006. His leadership in the corporate sector also included previous service on the Ethnic Advisory Board for PepsiCo, Inc., and the Consumer Advisory Board for Verizon Communications.

A proud Dominican American, with Bergen County, NJ roots, his interest in serving the community has been exemplified through board membership with leading minority advocacy groups, including LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Dominicans on Wall Street. He is the former national president of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR), former vice chairman of the board of trustees for Bergen Community College, a former trustee ambassador to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, a former member of the Association of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) National Board of Directors, and a Gold Life Member of the NAACP."