The Latinas Lead California Board of Directors puts their Heels on the Ground to elect Latina leaders. We volunteer our time and talents to help raise money and provide campaign support for our endorsed candidates.
Our dedicated board members are:
Julissa Gomez-Board President
Julissa Gomez is a Vice President at Street Level Strategy, where she specializes in coalition building, internal communications programs, grassroots engagement, and campaign management. She has over 20 years of public affairs, communications, and grassroots organizing experience working with non-profits and government agencies such as the Los Angeles Unified School District, California Association of REALTORS(R), MomsRising, Center for Justice and Accountability, Amnesty International USA, American Lung Association, Energy Upgrade California, High-Speed Railway, San Francisco General Elections, and Clean Power San Francisco. She has directed several successful statewide ballot initiatives and outreach programs across the state and country.
Before joining the firm, she served as Director of Member Mobilization at the California Association of REALTORS®. In that role, she led the advocacy and member mobilization efforts across the state and administered a statewide affordable housing trust fund.
Julissa received a Bachelors’s in Chicano/a Studies with a minor in History from the California State University Northridge.
Cinthia Flores -Board Vice-President
Cinthia Flores a Board Member of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Governor Newsom appointed her to this position in 2020. Cinthia formerly served as a Staff Attorney with the Coalition for Humane Immigration (CHIRLA) where she practiced immigration law with a focus on removal defense. Cinthia also has a background in labor law has represented private and public sector unions. Additionally, Cinthia serves on the Latina Lawyers Bar Association board, an organization dedicated to supporting Latinas in the legal profession.
Cinthia earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. During law school, Cinthia served as a Regent on the University of California Board of Regents. Cinthia earned her B.A. in Political Science at UCLA, where she served as the first Latina undergraduate student body president. Cinthia is an alumna of the Front Line Leaders Academy and the New American Leaders Project - electoral campaign leadership development programs focused on training progressive and immigrant communities to run for office. Cinthia was born, raised, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Diana Rodriguez - Treasurer
Diana Rodriguez has over 19 years of experience as a consultant advocating for water, land use, and local Government issues. Diana is Vice President at ACTUM, a global consultancy firm designed to solve diverse public and private sector challenges with offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, NY, Washington D.C., and London. Diana has used her experience in providing analysis on legislation that impacts municipalities, as well as advancing issues and identifying and bringing in vital resources to local municipalities and school districts.
In addition to the work she does for clients, Diana serves on several boards. She serves as Treasure and is the President Emeritus of Latinas Lead Ca, the only statewide Political Action Committee Advancing qualified Latinas for elected office at all levels. Diana also serves on the LA Latino Chamber of Commerce board as the legislative chair. Diana’s service includes the Long Beach Chamber Government Affairs Committee, Long Beach Women’s Business Council, and Long Beach Boys & Girls Club. She has been recognized by key stakeholders for the following: Regional Hispanic Chamber as ”Lobbyist of the Year 2016” and by the Los Angeles County Women’s Commission As ”Woman of the Year 2018”.
Blodgie Rodriguez - Board Secretary
Blodgie Rodriguez has been in the realty business for the last 14 years, successfully running her own real estate business. Her quality experience and knowledge have helped countless clients celebrate the success of selling their homes and buying the home of their dreams.
Blodgie is active in the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where she served two terms as Chairwoman of the board of directors, and in January 2015, was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Kern County Fair Board. She was a graduate of the inaugural class of Latina Global Leadership Institute in 2014 and a 2003 HOPE Leadership Institute graduate. In 2015 The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored her with the Latina Trailblazer award. She also serves on the Kern Energy Festival Steering Committee. She has also been actively involved in key political campaigns in the Central Valley. Blodgie was born and raised in Kern County.
Susan Sifuentes-Trigueros - Advisory Board Liaison
Susan Sifuentes-Trigueros is the Los Angeles Regional Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Gas Company, where she is responsible for the public affairs and local community giving strategies in the greater Los Angeles County area and manages a professional staff of seven. She is a highly-skilled public relations professional with over twenty years of experience in corporate, governmental, community, and media relations. Susan also serves in a number of civic leadership roles including chairing Future Ports, serving on the Central City Executive Committee, and serving as a Board Member of the USC Board of Governors, the USC-Latino Alumni Association, BizFed, and the Dominguez Dream Foundation. Passionate about social justice and Latina leadership, Susan most enjoys mentoring youth and young professionals and helping them achieve their full potential.
Susan attended the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. She resides in Walnut, CA with her husband Mario. They have seven children and five grandchildren.
Araceli Sandoval-Gonzalez - Communications & Membership Director
Araceli Sandoval Gonzalez founded ASG Strategy Consulting Inc, a boutique firm specializing in government-public relations, communications, and strategy development for public and private sector clients. Her equity-driven portfolio includes projects in early childhood, education, broadband, business, community investment, family engagement, and philanthropy. For over two decades, Araceli solely champions equity driven projects at the local, state, and national levels. Her track record includes winning significant budgetary increases to improve high-quality early education, passing policies, including the legislation that created transitional kindergarten. Earlier in her career, she worked in public affairs and policy at Early Edge California, the California Association for Bilingual Education, and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
Araceli currently serves on the LAUSD Facilities Bond Oversight Committee, is the Board Chairwoman for East Los Angeles Community Corp (ELACC), and serves on the Stein Early Childhood Fund Advisory Council. She earned dual bachelor's degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master's in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with distinction.
LaShe Rodriguez - Political Director
Ms. Rodriguez earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Riverside in Theatre and Film Studies and a Masters' Degree in Communications Management from the University of Southern California. Professionally, Ms. Rodriguez has worked for the California Legislature, serving several Senate and Assembly members. Additionally, LaShe' has managed several successful campaigns throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.
Currently, Ms. Rodriguez is the Chief of Staff to Orange County Board of Supervisor Doug Chaffee of the 4th District. Ms. Rodriguez continues to serve as a Sister City Commissioner for the City of Anaheim, a member of the NAACP-O.C., National Council of Negro Women-O.C., the Democratic Party-O.C., and on the South Coast Air Quality Management District-Environmental Justice.
Marisa Calderon - Board Member
Marisa Calderon is the executive director of NCRC Community Development Fund and a housing and financial services industry veteran.
Ms. Calderon has been ranked on the Swanepoel Power 200 as one of the most powerful leaders in the residential real estate industry and named one of HousingWire’s 2018 Women of Influence for her work in increasing real estate and mortgage professionals’ understanding and appreciation of the Hispanic home-buying market. Frequently sought out as an expert, Calderon has been interviewed by numerous publications and media outlets including NPR’s Marketplace, and regularly speaks at events such as those for Mortgage Bankers Association, Consumer Federation of America, the FDIC, and the National Fair Housing Alliance.
She previously served on the advisory board for the Banc of California and the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and also previously authored the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.
She currently serves as board secretary for the Hispanic Wealth Project, which has a stated goal of tripling the median household wealth of Hispanics by 2024. She earned her BA from the University of California at Berkeley and is in the process of completing her MBA.
Marisa Yeager - Board Member
Marisa Yeager is the Government Relations Director for the Riverside Community College District (RCCD). She oversees the annual legislative program, serves as the lead liaison for federal, state, and regional officials, and creates partnerships for the District. The Riverside Community College through its three colleges--Moreno Valley College, Norco College, and Riverside City College supported by the District Office--serves and enriches its diverse communities by offering certificates, degrees, and transfer programs that help students achieve their educational and career goals. The district strives to impact the social and economic mobility of its students by ensuring access, success, and equity for everyone.
Yeager has over 28 years of civic and community service experience. She serves in various leadership roles such as; Governor's Appointee and President for the 46th District Agricultural Association-Southern California Fair, California Construction Authority member, President of Agua Mansa Chapter-Old Spanish Trails Association, and the Riverside Latino Network member.
Prior to serving RCCD, she was the Senior Government Relations Manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) for 22.5 years. In this capacity, she was part of the creation of the Mobility 21 Coalition, 6 full fund grant agreements with the US Department of Transportation to expand transportation in Los Angeles County. Her career began working for Congressman Xavier Becerra in Washington, DC.
Bea Stotzer - Board Member
Bea is an accomplished businesswoman and social entrepreneur in the fields of economic development and asset building. As CEO of New Capital LLC, she manages multi-million dollar portfolios of affordable housing, business, and economic development. She was instrumental in establishing New Economics for Women, a Latina economic development nonprofit, by leveraging a $97,000 seed grant into more than $280 million in investments. Bea has served as a trusted advisor to the Clinton Administration, the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, and a host of local government, private, and independent sector organizations. As former Treasurer of the UNIDOS US (formerly the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)) Board of Directors, she partnered with the CEO and CFO to deliver their strongest balance sheet in 15 years. Bea currently serves as a strategic advisor or executive board member for key national non-profits, foundations, and corporations that focus on economic mobility.
A lifelong advocate for economic opportunities, especially for vulnerable women and families, Bea is resolute about increasing the role of women as leaders within the finance sector and was recently appointed to the Governing Council of the Los Angeles County Initiative on Women and Girls.
Amanda Muñetón Anaya - Board Member
Amanda is the vice president of operations at Providence Strategic Consulting, Inc., a firm specializing in public affairs, public relations, marketing and advertising for businesses and organizations. Providence is a certified woman-owned business with offices in Bakersfield and Fresno and is very well-connected throughout California, ensuring success for its clients.
She possesses a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and management from Fresno Pacific University and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Amanda has a passion for serving her community. She currently serves on the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for Kern County, Council 3272 and Magdalene Hope, Inc., an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking.
Amanda and her husband, Daniel, own two small businesses and have five children. In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, and gardening.
Maria M. Ventura - Board Member
Maria M. Ventura is a senior public affairs manager at (SoCalGas) leading the utility’s public affairs efforts in Ventura County. In this role, she represents SoCalGas to local governments, community organizations, media, and the community at-large. Maria has over 20 years’ experience in both private and public sectors with proven leadership in communications, community organizing, and government affairs. She has staffed several elected officials and served as a bilingual corporate spokesperson for a Fortune 50 company.
Maria was named a “Latina of Influence” by Hispanic Lifestyle, a nationally syndicated PBS program that profiles influential and notable Latina community leaders, Girls Scouts of Central California’s Central Coast “2020 Woman of Distinction”, Ventura County Leadership Academy’s “2022 Business Leader of the Year” and the Pacific Coast Business Times’ “Top Woman in Business” and “Latino Leadership Award” for her outstanding professional accomplishments and commitment to enhancing the lives of others.
Currently, she serves on the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura, Girls Scouts of California’s Central Coast and El Concilio’s Board of Directors.
Gabriela Gonzales - Board Member
Gabriela Gonzales is the External Affairs Advisor for California Resources Corporation. In this role, Gabriela oversees CRC’s charitable portfolio. Her role affords her a firsthand view of the community's needs and aligns with her mission; to be a resource to her community.
Gabriela was born in Los Angeles, but her family moved to Bakersfield, CA, when she was four. She attended local schools including Bakersfield College and the California State University of Bakersfield. Gabriela is involved with various nonprofits through Kern County. She serves on the following professional boards: Bakersfield Adventist Health Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County, Taft College Foundation, Shafter Chamber of Commerce and has been the President of Latina Leaders of Kern County since 2017. Latina Leaders is a local non-profit that helps Latinas in Kern County become leaders among their schools, families & communities. Gabriela is a HOPE Alum, Class of 2016.
In her spare time, Gabriela likes to camp with her husband, mom, and dogs.
Paola Fernández - Young Professionals Network Chair
Paola Fernández is a public sector professional serving as a Government and Public Services consultant for Deloitte Consulting, LLC where she supports federal agencies in developing performance management solutions. She began her career as a public servant in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti under the Chief of Operations where she produced signature city events, such as the Mayor’s State of the City Address and 2017 Inauguration. Her passion for economic development led her to pursue policy positions to understand the policy development and implementation process in Los Angeles. While in graduate school, she served as a policy and planning intern for Los Angeles Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez and as a policy fellow for economic development non-profit Inclusive Action for the City.
Paola earned her BA in International Relations and Social Entrepreneurship and Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. She is also an alumna of American University’s Women & Politics Institutes WeLead Program.
Do you like this page?