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:
Diana Rodriguez - President
Diana Rodriguez has over fourteen years of experience as a lobbyist advocating in the areas of education, water, and local government issues at both the state and local level.
Ms. Rodriguez joined Ek, Sunkin & Bai, one of Los Angeles top lobbying firms, in 2016. Her responsibilities encompassed the Long Beach area where she expanded the company’s access to new clients and better serve existing clients by working with community leaders and elected officials.
Ms. Rodriguez is a graduate of California State University at Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate from University of West Los Angeles School of Law. She is also a graduate of the HOPE Leadership Institute class of 2003.
Julissa Gomez - Vice President
Julissa Gomez administers a statewide affordable housing trust fund for the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Prior to joining the California Association of Realtors, she was the Statewide Advocacy Manager for the American Lung Association in California, working on tobacco control and air quality issues throughout the state for California.
She also directed outreach efforts for Interethnica, working on several state projects, including Energy Upgrade California, High Speed Railway, San Francisco General Elections, and Clean Power San Francisco. In addition, she served as campaign director for MomsRising, advocating for family-friendly policies, including the Affordable Care Act, and Equal Pay Legislation. Julissa has over 10 years of experience in policy, public affairs, government relations and communications having worked with several non-profit and private sector organizations such as the Center for Justice and Accountability, Amnesty International USA, and Jungle Communications.
Julissa received her Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts from California State University, Northridge.
Mary Rosas - Secretary
As Director of Local Public Affairs for California Resources Corporation(CRC), Mary is responsible for managing local government relations, secure alignment with key stakeholders and internal communications in the Los Angeles Basin. In addition, her role will prioritize developing partnerships with community organizations and policy groups to position CRC as an industry leader and deliver their message of Energy for California by Californians”.
Mary’s career in alliance development spans across the Western Region of the United States mobilizing community groups on issues in the health, pharmaceutical, and the utilities industry. In addition, she was a gubernatorial appointee by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs Division (CCED). Here she led a team of 120 with five offices across the state to promote fraud prevention programs by engaging local municipalities and community leaders.
Mary was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and is a resident of Granada Hills, CA.
Marisa Yeager - Political Director
Marisa V. Yeager is Senior Government Relations Manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO). Marisa has over 26 years of civic and community service. She serves as a Governor’s Appointee, 46th DAA - Southern California Fair; President, Agua Mansa Chapter-Old Spanish Trails Association; Political Director, Latinas Lead CA PAC; Member, University of California, Santa Barbara Alumni Association; and, Member, Riverside Latino Network. She has a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from the CSU, Long Beach and received her B.A. in Political Science, emphasis in International Relations from the U.C. Santa Barbara. She resides in Riverside, CA.
Cinthia Flores - Acting Treasurer
Cinthia Flores is a Staff Attorney with the Coalition for Humane Immigration (CHIRLA) and practices immigration law. Cinthia formerly practiced labor law representing private and public sector unions.
Cinthia is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine School of Law. During law school, Cinthia served as a Regent on the University of California Board of Regent. Cinthia graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science. During her time at UCLA, she served as the first Latina Student Body President.
In 2015, Governor Brown appointed Cinthia to the Health Professions Education Foundation. Currently, Cinthia also serves on the board for Latina Lawyers Bar Association, an organization dedicated to supporting Latinas in the legal profession.
Gabriela Medina - Communications Director
Gabriela Medina is the District Director to Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, representing the communities of the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She previously served as District Director to US Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán, and six years with Councilman Joe Buscaino, representing the harbor area communities.
Under the leadership of Councilman Joe Buscaino, Gabriela championed recreational and commercial development projects that revitalized the conditions of public spaces and promoted accessibility and usage. Gabriela partnered with hundreds of organizations and businesses to ensure resident voices were acknowledged and part of the decision making process in City Hall.
Under her new capacity, Gaby looks forward to growing these partnerships and ensuring the communities she represents have access to city resources, directly advancing the opportunities of residents. She is passionate about economic development, the environment, and mentoring young women.
Susan Sifuentes-Trigueros - Advisory Board Liaison
Susan is the Los Angeles as 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 attended the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Susan also serves in a number of leadership capacities including incoming- chair of Future Ports, Central City Executive Committee, and is a Board Member of the USC Board of Governors, USC-Latino Alumni Association, Latina Lead California, BizFed, and the Dominguez Dream Foundation.
Susan resides in Walnut with her husband Mario. They have seven children and five grandchildren. She is passionate about social justice issues including Latina leadership. Susan most enjoys mentoring youth and young professionals helping them achieve their full potential.
Carla Castilla - Boardmember
Carla Castilla, a described bridge builder, connector, and diplomat, has over 16 years of experience in campaign, political, government, communications strategy and public relations work.
Carla began her career in the Clinton White House as a political appointee in the Office of Presidential Personnel where she was responsible for the management, vetting, and selection of nominations and appointments for positions in the administration’s federal agencies, boards, and commissions.
Carla most recently served as the District Director for State Senator, Hannah-Beth Jackson where she was responsible for managing the Senator’s district staff and implementing the outreach plan for almost 1 million constituents in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Carla has worked on a wide range of issues such as addressing the environment with the California Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act and addressing the gender gap with the California Fair Pay Act.
Dr. Erica Jacquez - Boardmember
Dr. Erica Jacquez is an accomplished government relations expert with more than 18 years of experience. She is the Executive in Charge of Government Affairs at the Directors Guild of America, responsible for the Guild’s federal legislative and governmental work. As such, she serves as an advocate for its members on key issues, such as intellectual property, copyright, and anti-piracy protection.
Prior to working with the Guild, she worked in various federal, state and local government relations roles. At the federal level, she was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010 to serve as the Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement Liaison between the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Congress and the public nationwide.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed her to the City of Los Angeles’ Civil Service Commission and she previously served on the Housing Authority Commission. Erica earned a doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development and a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Political Management, both from the University of Southern California. She also is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Leadership Program and the Center for Creative Leadership.
Geneve Rios - Boardmember
Geneve Villacres is the Deputy Director of Communications at the Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach under the Speaker of the California Assembly. In this role, she leads a team of media, data, and statewide outreach experts that help build communication strategies for Assembly Democrats. Previously, she served as Community Relations Manager at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, where she created a workforce development strategy focused on local and diverse hiring, and managed the company’s education charitable investment portfolio.
Throughout her career, Geneve has worked to advance good education, energy, and workforce policies through her work in the public and private sector. She brings a wealth of experience coordinating work-based learning and internship opportunities in the public and private sector, along with experience in communications, public relations, and K-12 pipeline development.
Blodgie Rodriguez - Boardmember
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 home and buying the home of their dreams.
Blodgie is active on 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 steering committee. She has also been actively involved in key political campaigns in the Central Valley. Blodgie was born and raised in Kern County.
Juana Hernandez - Young Professionals Network Interim Chair
Juana Hernandez serves as Senior Manager of Postsecondary Initiatives at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and its strategic affiliate, UNITE-LA. In this role, Hernandez staffs the L.A. Compact, a collective impact initiative that brings together twenty-four key Los Angeles institutions from education, government, labor, business, and the nonprofit sector to transform student outcomes in the region. In addition, Hernandez supports the Chamber’s higher education policy advocacy efforts and implements aspects of the L.A. Cash for College regional financial aid completion campaign. Previously, Hernandez performed policy research at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in Boston, MA and managed a national internship program at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in Washington, DC. She began her career in direct service, working as an academic advisor and retention coordinator at the University of the District of Columbia.
The daughter of immigrant parents and a first-generation college graduate, Hernandez earned her B.A. at UCLA and her master’s in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Hernandez grew up in Buena Park, CA and presently resides in northeast Los Angeles with her partner Victor G. Sanchez.