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CHLI Leadership at the RNC and DNC

Friday, August 5, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Roberto Cervantes
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For Immediate Release:

August 2, 2016
 Contact: Roberto Cervantes


Washington, D.C. - The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) participated for the first time in the Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) held in Philadelphia, PA.
Mary Ann Gomez, CHLI President & CEO and Nina Roque, CHLI Director of Programs & External Affairs were joined by CHLI founders, congressional and corporate board members and corporate advisory council members  (CAC) at both conventions.
On the first day of the RNC, Monday, July 18, CHLI leadership joined others at the Latino Leaders Network Luncheon as CHLI Founding Board Member and Senior Vice President of Latin Affairs for The Coca-Cola Company, Rudy Beserra, was honored with the Eagle Leadership Award. Before joining The Coca-Cola Company in 1989, Beserra served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan on Latino and Small Business Affairs. During his tenure with President Reagan's administration, Beserra was instrumental in creating the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Hispanic Heritage Awards. He also guided President Reagan in 1988 when he extended Hispanic heritage week to one month from September 15 to October 15. Not only has Beserra supported CHLI, but through his work and that of colleagues at The Coca-Cola Company, they have supported diverse organizations across the country.
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was honored to work together again with fellow Utahn, Mickey Ibarra and the Latino Leaders Network in honoring Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez.  Senator Hatch has been working to help the Hispanic community since 1987 when he established the Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs, in an effort to improve communication with the Hispanic community and improve timely interactions on legislative matters and policy debates. The task force is guided by Jeyben Castro, Outreach Director.


Mary Ann Gomez, CHLI President & CEO; Roger Rocha, LULAC President; Janet Murguia, NCLR President; Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez; Rudy Becerra, The Coca-Cola Company; Mickey Ibarra, Latino Leaders Network Founder; and Hector Barreto, President, The Latino Coalition.

The next day, CHLI leaders attended a dialogue between the President of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Javier Palomarez and Ohio Governor John Kasich. The two spoke about the future of the GOP, politics within the small business community, and the future of American businesses.


On Wednesday, July 20th, CHLI partnered with The Latino Coalition for their Republican Convention Luncheon, which started with a briefing moderated by FOX News contributor Mercedes Schlapp, and included The Latino Coalition Chairman, Hector Barreto, and the Executive Director of the LIBRE Institute, Daniel Garza, as speakers.


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the event's keynote speaker. He relayed the importance of building neighborhoods, the GOP and his Latino community. To view the Governor's speech, please check C-Span HERE.

CHLI President & CEO, Mary Ann Gomez, took to the podium to introduce CHLI Board Member, Congressman Bill Flores (TX-17). Congressman Flores spoke about CHLI, his district and the honorees for the afternoon, Rudy Beserra and Daniel Garza. 



Then to Philadelphia. CHLI made its way to Philadelphia for the start of the DNC. CHLI, along with The Latino Coalition and The Hill Latino, held a briefing called "The New Face of Energy: A Discussion with Latino Leaders on Energy Policy" on Monday, July 25th.

The discussion welcomed CHLI Vice-Chairman, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, along with Director of Hispanic Research for Pew Research Center, Mark Hugo Lopez, and Senior Director for Strategic Planning for the Environmental Defense Fund, Elgie Holstein. Moderated by Rafael Bernal, Staff Writer at The Hill, the discussion was centered energy and the environment. The panelists all agreed that it is critical to vote.



"Voting is fundamental to American democracy. By voting, you're exercising your power to shape our government and our society. At the ballot box, every person, no matter his or her background or wealth, has just as much power as the other to steer this country in the direction they wish. I encourage you to be heard and to make an impact for what you believe in," said Congressman Cuellar.

Shortly after, Barreto held a one-on-one with the President of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company, Geisha Williams, a Cuban-American leader who started with the company in 2007. Prior to joining PG&E in 2007 she worked at Florida Power and Light in Miami. She has been recognized by many organizations and featured in national publications including in the Bizjournal's Influential Women in April, 2015. Williams was recognized for her leadership and contributions to the energy industry and the Hispanic/Latino community.

The next day, Tuesday, July 26th, CHLI was one of many national organizations to host the Latinos Unidos: Leading America celebration. American actress Rosie Perez was the featured speaker and the Los Angeles based group, Los Lobos provided the entertainment.


The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, held a briefing on the second day of each convention.  "We Run, We Vote, We Decide: Latinos and Election 2016," was focused on how important it is for the Hispanic/Latino community to vote.



"With being 17% of the population, comes a certain responsibility," Executive Director of NALEO Educational Fund, Arturo Vargas stated. Distinguished professionals who participated in the NALEO briefing at the RNC were Former Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño; Executive Director of the LIBRE Institute, Daniel Garza; Director of Hispanic Media at Republican National Committee, Ruth Guerra; National Correspondent for Noticiero Telemundo, Lori Montenegro, and the ones who participated in the DNC were political scientist, Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto; Noticiero Telemundo anchor, Jose Diaz-Balart; Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti; CHLI Board Member and VP of Federal Corporate Affairs for Comcast, Juan Otero; Secretary of State of California, Alex Padilla; and Governor Richardson.


CHLI Board and CAC Members, staff and friends were able to attend many different events throughout the two weeks of the conventions.

Mary Ann Gomez with former US Secretary of Housing and Urban development, Henry Cisneros (top left); with CHLI Board Member and VP of Federal Corporate Affairs for Comcast, Juan Otero (top center); with Director of Communications at Republican Party of Florida, Wadi Gaitan (top right); and with the President of Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC), Andre Arbelaz and VP of Strategic Relationships at Microtech, former U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) President, Jose Nino, (bottom center).

Mary Ann Gomez, and CHLI Director of Programs & External Affairs, Nina Roque with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (top left); with CHLI Board Member Congressman Bill Flores, (TX-17) (top right); with George Washington University student, Brian DeVries (bottom left); with President & CEO of USHCC, Javier Palomarez and Outreach Director for the Hispanic Task Force at the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Jeyben Castro (bottom right).

CHLI founder and Senior VP of Federal & State Government Relations at Univision Communications, Inc, Bert Gómez, with CHLI Board Member and Assistant VP of Federal Relations for AT&T, Susan Santana; CHLI Board Member and Head of Government Affairs for the Americas at Dell, Christopher Turner; and CHLI CAC Member and Director of Government Relations for United Technologies Corporation, Cindy Jimenez (top left); Bert with Anchor from Univision Network, Maria Elena Salinas (top right); Bert with Susan Santana, Nina Roque, Mary Ann Gomez, and  VP of Public Affairs at UPS, Zuraya Tapia-Hadley  (bottom right); President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina and President & CEO of Continental Food & Beverages, Elizabeth Chalas Berman, a CHLI supporter(bottom left).

For additional photos of CHLI's participation at the RNC and DNC, please click HERE to be connected to the CHLI Facebook page.

CHLI continues its focus to prepare, honor and connect leaders. Its partnership with The Latino Coalition extends from the Republican and Democratic conventions and continues to CHLI Red White Y Tu, a three city cross country tour. Red White Y Tu will educate, engage and empower Hispanic/Latino millennials to make their votes count in the 2016 election cycle. The Red White Y Tu tour will commence in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 22 at the California State, University, then proceed to San Antonio on Tuesday, September 26 at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and conclude in Miami on Friday, September 29 at Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus. For more information, please click HERE.



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