Cafecito con Prospanica: Bios

Illianna Acosta - has over 18 years of professional experience in Ad Tech, Partnerships, and Media Sales. She specializes in relationship building, solutions-based selling, and business development, which help identify and create solutions to address client/marketer challenges. With an MBA from Cornell University’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management, Illianna joined LinkedIn in 2018 as a Senior Partner Manager, managing strategic Ad Tech partnerships that help to accelerate innovation, revenue, and growth for LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions business. She co-leads LinkedIn’s HOLA (Hispanics of LinkedIn Alliance) ERG in North America and sits on the board of the 100 Hispanic Women to continue investing in her passion and commitment to helping under-represented groups to best position and market themselves to elevate their personal and professional careers.

Valeria Aloe - A seasoned Business Development and Marketing professional with more than 20 years of work experience in leading global companies, including Procter & Gamble, Citibank, Reckitt Benckiser, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and TIAA, Valeria is the founder and principal of AlphaQuest Consulting.  AlphaQuest Consulting is a minority and women-owned company serving Fortune 500s, established businesses and non-profits, providing innovative business and personal development solutions for their women and minority employees and clients.

Creator of the revolutionary “Abundancia Consciente” workshops, Valeria has helped Hispanics in 5 countries to overcome limiting beliefs, towards manifesting greater successes in their careers and businesses, while keeping a balanced life. Recently awarded “2019 Entrepreneur of the Year” by Odyssey International and Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka, and recognized as one of the 2020 best 50 women in business in New Jersey by NJBiz, Valeria is making an unprecedented and significant impact in the Hispanic community.

Originally from Argentina, her professional experience spans 7 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, where she conducted business in English, Spanish and Portuguese. She holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the prestigious Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, degrees in Business Administration and Finance from Universidad Catolica Argentina, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Spiritual Science.

Leonel DeLeon - has over 20 years of global executive recruiting experience for high-profile organizations including Deloitte, Korn Ferry, JPMorgan, Gartner and McKesson.  Specializing in C-suite and mid-level suite searches, he has led both global and regional recruiting teams in placing 1,000+ executives in 6-7 figure salary positions on 6 of the 7continents.

Leon specializes in Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Legal, Operations, Sales & Marketing and Technology. His client base ranges from global banking, the Big 4, family office, financial services, top-tier consultants, and private equity firms
to start-ups. He is known throughout the industry for successfully conducting confidential and mission critical senior searches.

Leon holds a MA in Counseling and a BSc in Psychology from Dallas Baptist University. Multilingual, multicultural, and passionate about helping others succeed, Leon is the current Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter President for Prospanica (formerly NSHMBA) and continues to serve in other professional organizations and in the community.

Michael Landers is the founder and president of Culture Crossing, Inc., a global consulting company dedicated to finding innovative solutions for groups and individuals working in the multicultural marketplace. Over the past 20 years, Michael has worked with global executives, leaders and teams from leading organizations to build essential skills in arenas such as: global leadership, coaching, cross-cultural communication, sales and customer service excellence, sustained employee engagement and cultural diversity and inclusion. His workshops, seminars and speaking events have drawn more than 50,000+ people on five continents.

Michael’s collective experiences have left him with a unique understanding of the challenges that professionals often face while working within multicultural communities and building relationships across personal, regional and international borders. Whether facilitating large groups or conducting private coaching sessions, Michael utilizes the same insightful, lively, and thorough approach that underscores his passion for improving personal awareness and understanding. He is also the author of the best-selling book, Culture Crossing, the essential primer to working, living and thriving in today’s increasingly multicultural marketplace and communities.

Recent clients include: Apple, Google, SAP, Fiat, Salesforce, Airbnb, Uber, Lennar Corporation, MI Homes, TRI Pointe Group, as well as host of new leading start-ups.

Karla Medina - is a passionate Latina entrepreneur, movement expert and Christian influenced trainer who is highly respected for her innovative approach to fitness and life. Karla holds many certifications and specializations within the fitness, police and business fields which make her approach to wellness completely unique. She is the Owner of Sudor Taino ® Group Fitness in West Hartford, Connecticut, where she humbly serves her tribe and beyond. Her spirit, mind, body approach contributes to her authentic style, making her a master at customizing classes, workshops, webinars, speeches and creating an experience that inspires people individually, motivates them collectively and moves them culturally. She is a well sought-after presenter, the producer of the Divinely Fit Summit and author of Divinely Fit: A Spirit, Mind & Body Journey of Struggles & Promises. Karla has her BBA, MPP and is a Spiritual Leader, Mother, Wife, Retired Hartford Police Sergeant, CT State Training Officer and public figure.

Joelle Murchison - a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Joelle Murchison combines her passion and interests in education, equity & inclusion, policy and communications in her work as the Founder and Principal of ExecMommyGroup LLC, an inclusion, communication, leadership and coaching consulting practice. Leveraging decades of experience in the workplace, as well as in the home and the minivan (!), Joelle combines inspiration, ‘real talk’ and lived experiences to facilitate dialogue and strategic solutions to individual and organizational challenges.

A native of Queens, and raised in Long Island, NY, Joelle began her career in higher education at Wesleyan University followed by a stint in the non-profit sector with INROADS, before transitioning to corporate America with United Technologies and then as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at Travelers Insurance. Joelle returned to higher education in 2016 as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Connecticut. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Business.

In service to the community, Joelle, a member of Faith Congregational Church, is the Chair of the board of RE-Center - Race and Equity in Education (formerly The Discovery Center), and is a director/trustee on the boards of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture (Hartford,
CT), the Pembroke Center Associates, and College Possible, a national nonprofit focused on college access. She is also a member of Brown University’s Women’s Leadership Council, a Corporator for the Village for Families and Children and a member of the Board of Ambassadors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Joelle previously served 2 terms on the board of directors of both the Morgan State University Foundation and Leadership Greater Hartford and spent 10 years as a diversity trainer with the Anti-Defamation League’s A World of Difference Institute.

At her core, Joelle is passionate about encouraging and inspiring all people to reach their highest potential and about creating space for open dialogue to enhance inclusion and understanding.

Angelica Ogando is a Leadership Coach and Corporate Trainer focused on helping women create strategic roadmaps to step into senior and executive level positions as well as those transitioning into entrepreneurship.  

She is the Founder and CEO of the Enriched Mind LLC a company whose mission is to build bridges between where people are in life and their dreams. Ms. Ogando has delivered leadership trainings for companies in finance, technology, and the fashion industry.  Angelica is a fearless champion of educating companies on Diversity and Inclusion geared towards people with disabilities as well as Latina and women of color and leadership roles.

Ms. Ogando is a role model for HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student’s Performance & Achievement), whose mission is “to mobilize Hispanic professionals to serve as active role models in schools and educational programs in their communities.”  She also serves as the Director of Community Outreach for Bravely RISE, a women’s faith based non-profit organization that empowers women and young girls to step into their purpose.

Tatiana Quaife - is a Latina Executive with more than 10 years of leadership experience at two top companies – The Walt Disney Company and Procter & Gamble.  She is currently the
Director of Marketing Strategy at the Disneyland Resort, leading a team focused on long-term planning and commercial innovation.

Over the past few years she learned through many ups and downs that our minds can be our biggest allies or our worst enemies – simply put, we cannot outperform our mindset - our thinking patterns determine how we feel, experience life and if we achieve success.  

Learning how to unleash the power of her mind has been the secret sauce behind her career success in Corporate America, but most importantly it has helped her find peace and happiness within. That is why she recently took a big step and started sharing her personal journey, the lessons learned and the methods she used to develop a Super Mindset

Jane Ryan, Ph.D., ABD - is an International Coach and the Founder and President of Jane Ryan & Associates, LLC, a Dallas, Texas based Woman-owned Emotional Intelligence, Futurist Executive Coaching & Leadership Transformation & Career Coaching Firm. She is an expert in transformational learning, leadership development, and coaching executives to think bigger and deeper into the future of technology in addition to its impact on business, people, vendors, customers and the competition to build innovative and sustainable growth.

Coach Jane is recognized as a leader in helping those in career transitions with a specialization in helping her clients strengthen their emotional intelligence skills.  Prior to founding Jane Ryan &Associates LLC, Jane worked at Hewitt Associates as a senior managing consultant and senior business developer. She led globally diverse subject matter expert teams serving Fortune 500 clients in all areas of human capital and organizational performance.

Jane is also a published Author/Blogger, Speaker and Presenter and has her PhD, ABD and Masters of Science in Psychology from Walden University. Most important, Jane is a servant leader who is passionate about helping others become successful.

Deanna Singh is recognized as a leading authority in building innovative opportunities within underserved communities.

As Chief Change Agent and Founder of Flying Elephant, Deanna is a highly respected thought leader, who has spent almost 20 years researching, designing and building asset-based solutions to complex
social challenges. Today she travels the world inspiring and educating audiences.

A gifted communicator, entrepreneurial businesswoman, and trailblazer Deanna’s interactive style combines personal stories with authenticity, vulnerability, and humor that takes the audience on a journey of self-discovery.

Her social entrepreneurship and advocacy experience also included leadership positions with multiple foundations and organizations. Singh also has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Graduate and Law School. She authored three children’s books I Am a Boy of Color, I Am a Girl of Color, and Cloth Crown and leadership book, Purposeful Hustle. She also is a featured TEDx speaker.

A native of Milwaukee, Singh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University, a
Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University
of Wisconsin, Madison and certified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is
also a trained Labor and Birth Doula and serves as the co-founder of Birth Coach Milwaukee.

Singh lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Justin, and two sons, Zion and Zephaniah.

Dr. Fred Soto - is the principal of his Veteran owned training and consulting service that provides wisdom, professional development and personal empowerment to leaders, managers, supervisors and employees. He is a widely acclaimed strategist, innovator and the leader of diverse teams that improve people, process, and performance. He provides inter-disciplinary expertise, innovation and practical solutions for diversity, employee engagement, leader development, career development, human performance, and organizational effectiveness. Dr. Soto was invited to the United States of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to instruct and guide his innovation: The Five Conversations: How leaders Release the Potential of People. One senior leader described the Five Conversations as “the Rosetta stone for employee engagement”! During his detail at OPM he also served on the team that developed the “People and Culture” recommendations for the Presidents Management Council.

Dr. Soto holds a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management. He completed the Cornell University, Advanced Diversity Practitioner Certification and holds certifications in Equal Opportunity Management, Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership studies. He is a licensed martial arts instructor who was inducted into the Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Other accomplishments include being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for International Diversity Leadership and Training Excellence.

Over three decades of national, regional and local leadership, Dr. Soto has helped thousands of executives, organizations and over a half million people to enhance their potential! He is an Army Veteran whose awards and commendations for leadership and program excellence include e.g., The Secretary of Energy Achievement Award, The Assistant Secretary’s IMPACT Award, Commander's Award for Excellence, Commanders Award for Civilian Service, The Superior Civilian Service Medal, Commissioner's Task Force Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous certificates and commendations from community and advocacy organizations.

Jeffrey Vargas - is a workforce visionary who believes in living a life of purpose, on purpose. He is first and foremost a dad to Xochitl Rose (11), Diego Lee (9), and Elijah Derrick (6) and a husband - then the work stuff comes into play.  He is the Founder and President of Generationology LLC, a human capital consulting practice that helps organizations learn how to build intergenerational trust, mitigate generational conflict, and jump-start intergenerational collaboration. Jeff is a nationally known figure in the learning and development community and is widely identified as the nation’s expert on generational differences in the federal government. He is the founder of the 3500-member Chief Learning Officers Network on LinkedIn, an instructor at the Brookings Institution, an advisor to George Mason’s Chief Learning Officers Certificate program and a Learning Collaborator where he enjoys working with world renowned leadership experts like Ken Blanchard.  Jeff is also the founder of the Hispanic Youth Symposium – a three-day, four-night leadership development program for high school students.

Before starting his own consulting practice, Jeff enjoyed a 22-year career in the federal service, serving in numerous senior-level human capital roles in the Department of Energy where he designed, developed and deployed agency-wide human capital initiatives that increased employee engagement and organizational efficiency and effectiveness. His undergraduate degree is in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and he is a graduate of Georgetown Universities Training Specialist Program and the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today he resides with his wife and kids in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado.

Manny Velásquez-Paredes (MVP) is an award-winning Travel Journalist, and an experienced marketing and personal branding manager. He is a dynamic, bicultural and trilingual (English, Spanish & French), professional. MVP is the current Publisher of Connextions Magazine, where he is the Editor In Chief and LGBTQ Family Travel Journalist.

Since taking over Connextions Magazine, in 2015, MVP has tripled the amount of readers expanding the magazine into 135 countries, with almost 500,000 impressions across the board. During his time at Connextions Magazine, he successfully rebranded the magazine positioning it as an award-winning LGBTQ travel magazine encompassing the entire rainbow community, which is sorely lacking within LGBTQ media. The magazine has been awarded several times since 2015, including the prestigious NLGJA (The National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association) “Best Digital Edition.” MVP was the first recipient of the NLGJA Best Travel Writer in 2016.

MVP recently became the Director of Student Affairs at the University of North Florida’s LGBT Resource Center, where he oversees the day to day operations and is also a member of the university’s Commission on Diversity & Inclusion. Manny lives in Jacksonville, FL, with his husband, Jose, their two children Maximus and Jaslene, and their dog Shiru.

Minué Yoshida was born and raised in Mexico City to a Mexican mother and Japanese father. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and some French and Japanese, she holds degrees in Business Education Pedagogy, and Mastery in Leadership Competencies. Additionally, she earned several certifications ranging from Training and Public Speaking to Financial and Leadership Skills from The American College.

Minué has over 27 years of experience in training, sales, marketing, and communications. Has worked with Fortune 100 companies in United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico growing their profitability, increasing their social impact and enchanting their customers, through Leadership Programs, Talent Development, Multicultural and Multi-generational Inclusion Workshops.

Minué has been a featured speaker on the Media, several online and Conferences across the Nation, LATINATalks and international magazines. She has been active in supporting Latino Advancement, Asian Network, Black and LGTB groups as well as Women’s Empowerment projects, Cultural Initiatives, and Non-Profit organizations.

She has launched diverse Leadership Programs for many Employee Resource Groups at renowned corporations’ Diversity and Inclusion Departments, prestigious Universities in the USA and Mexico, and participated as Speaker for Today’s Inspired Latina book launch in Paris and Amsterdam.