The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC) is the principal regional advocate for the Hispanic business community’s civic and economic interests and provides regional business opportunities for economic development.
The PMAHCC is a member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).
The PMAHCC Board of Directors represents a diverse tapestry of well respected, successful business and community leaders who execute a practical approach to the needs of the business community.
Ron Alvarado Novus Group, LLC, President.
Ron Alvarado is the President and founder of Novus Group, LLC, a Pittsburgh based staffing and recruitment outsourcing company. In June 2013 (for the 3rd consecutive year) Novus was ranked one of the Top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Magazine and in September 2014, the magazine named Novus the 24th Fastest Growing Company in the nation. In August 2013 (for the 2nd year in a row) Novus was named one of The 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Mr. Alvarado currently serves as the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He proudly served on the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the Governor’s principal private sector policy advisor on workforce development issues. He was initially appointed to the WIB in 2008 by then Governor Edward G. Rendell and was reappointed by then Governor Tom Corbett.
In 2013, Mr. Alvarado received the Community College of Allegheny County's "Vanguard Diversity Award" and was honored with the 2015 "El Sol Award" by the Allegheny County Bar Association's Hispanic Attorneys Committee. The Pittsburgh Steelers recently selected Mr. Alvarado as the recipient of the 2016 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Carmen Malloy Peoples Natural Gas, Consultant,
Customer Relations Specialist
Carmen is a resident of Wexford, Pennsylvania. She was born in Cúcuta, Colombia where she spent her childhood and attended Catholic School “El Carmen Teresiano”. Carmen attended the “University of La Salle” where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Social Work in 1983. After college Mrs. Malloy worked for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, where she was a counselor and worked with poor communities on the outskirts of Bogotá. She arrived to the United States in 1984 through a student exchange program, to learn English. She later was granted a scholarship through a University of Pittsburgh/University of La Salle reciprocal agreement. During her time at Pitt, Carmen was awarded a field research study grant thru the Tinker Foundation for a project involving the colonists of the Colombian Amazon jungle.
At Pittsburgh University, Carmen Malloy obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work, majoring in Social Work Administration. She obtained a certification in Industrial Social Work and performed her second year internship at Peoples Gas where she continues to work today. She has also worked as translator for the Berlitz School of Language and as a counselor for Family Resources.
Carmen has worked at Peoples for the last 23 years. Here, her primary responsibilities include: assuring the company’s compliance with mandated programs, responding to inquiries requested by the regulatory body and providing Customer Assistance Programs to low- income customers.
Carmen enjoys volunteering. She volunteered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for the last 9 years and she is currently in her second year of volunteering for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. She is also a member of Saint Richards, Guatemala Mission group which focus is to support an orphanage in Patzún, Guatemala. Carmen has visited the orphanage as a volunteer, translator and group coordinator with Saint Richard Parish as well as Oakland Catholic.
Mrs. Malloy has three children, all Colombian and American Citizens as well as one grandson. She enjoys participating in volunteer activities with her friends and family, teaching her grandson Spanish and traveling. Carmen has been a proud member of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce since 1999. In 2013 she was elected as President of the executive board of the chamber and is still active in this position.
Carrie Ann Quintana PNC BANK, Vice President and Multicultural Marketing Manager
Carrie Ann Quintana is vice president and multicultural marketing manager of PNC Bank. Quintana is responsible for reaching diverse customers through existing PNC products and programs as well as creating new culturally and language appropriate strategies for Spanish-speaking customers and other multicultural segments.
Quintana joined PNC in October 1997 as a financial services consultant and was promoted to lead financial services consultant II. In 2002, Quintana led the development of a Spanish-language toll free telephone line as part of PNC’s Customer Service Call Center, providing Spanish language customer service for Hispanic customers. Under Quintana’s leadership, 1-866-HOLA-PNC grew from two Spanish-speaking customer service representatives to 38 bilingual representatives. The program was expanded into a companywide initiative that now supports over 450 multicultural branches in PNC’s footprint providing transadapted branch materials and original culturally relevant advertising. In 2004, Quintana was named the first Hispanic segment manager, and in 2005 was promoted to vice president.
Quintana is active in the Hispanic community, serving on the board of The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC). She is president of the board of La Escuelita Arcoiris, a Spanish immersion preschool in Pittsburgh, and is a member of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA). In addition, she served as the commissioner for Allegheny County for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (2008-2010). In 2004, she received a PNC Performance Award, the highest and most prestigious employee honor attainable at PNC. She is a recipient of the 2006 Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 Award; the PMAHCC’s Siembra Leadership Award, and was selected into the 2013 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ (YHCA) Program. Quintana earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Hispanic languages and cultures. She also has a certificate in Latin American studies. In 2004, she earned her professional translation certificate in Spanish/English. Quintana also studied at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, México. 02/13
Jesús (JT) Torres, CPA Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Senior Accountant
Ivan Usero Nationwide Insurance
With over 6 years of sales/recruiting experience and over 10 years in the business world, Ivan Usero is motivated Bilingual Senior Sales Associate with Nationwide Insurance. A graduate of Duquesne University and Robert Morris University respectively Ivan is a professional with the skills required to lead projects that meet business needs. Ivan has the tools needed to deal with diverse individuals in any professional setting while directly adding value to the organization and its bottom line. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico Ivan takes every opportunity to help others and to show that Pittsburgh’s Latino community is on the rise and here to stay!
Armando A. Ocando Executive Vice President of Coordinated Financial Services
Armando A. Ocando is the Executive Vice President and Senior Partner of Coordinated Financial Services (CFS) which is a national financial firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. Armando works extensively with ultra high net worth families and organizations across the United States.
Armando and his team specialize in implementing fully financed wealth building programs for both individuals and organizations. These programs improve CFS’s client’s financial position and provide tremendous benefits for the key-people of the organizations. CFS also provides charitable giving strategies for philanthropists as well as non-profit institutions nationwide such as hospitals, colleges, and universities. CFS provides family offices highly specialized expertise in the designing of and funding of life insurance programs that can provide hundreds of millions of dollars of liquidity to pay estate taxes and maximize their client’s charitable and legacy objectives.
Armando earned his Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Business Management at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Armando is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was active at Miami University serving as public relations chair for his fraternity. He continues to volunteer as a fundraiser and adviser for the fraternity.
While in college, Armando started his professional career at The Bank of New York Mellon. In 2009 Armando began his career in financial planning. Currently, Armando and his team specialize in serving affluent clients through coaching them on how to create financial security, maximize inter-generational wealth, optimize their financial positions, increase their charitable giving, and to be good stewards of their money by leveraging private and proprietary strategies available through a select group of firms nationwide.
Volunteer teacher and mentor for Junior Achievement of Western PA.
Member of Rotary International of Downtown Pittsburgh
Past Member of Rotary – Upper St. Clair/Bethel Park
Chapter advisor for Beta-Theta-Pi Fraternity
Past Regional Council member of Scripture Union
Co-Founder of Pittsburgh’s Aruna Run Race
Mentor and speaker at Upper St. Clair Leadership Academy
Past Volunteer with Pittsburgh Metro Crusade
Board of Directors of PMAHCC – The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Board of Directors of ALPFA – Pittsburgh. Association of Latino Professionals for America.
Past Board Member of Scripture Union, USA.
Jody Doherty Comcast, Regional VP of Community Investment
Jody Doherty is Regional Vice president of Community Investment for Comcast. She manages Comcast Foundation giving for the Keystone Region by identifying partnership opportunities that demonstrate commitment in the areas of digital literacy, youth leadership and development, as well as volunteerism. Additionally, Doherty directs the regional efforts of Comcast Cares Day, one of the largest corporate volunteerism initiatives in the country, and the region’s United Way campaign.
With a career in communications spanning 30 years, prior to joining Comcast, Doherty was Vice President of Public Affairs for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra where she headed their government relations and global visibility efforts. She has held leadership positions in Allegheny County government and with WTAE-TV.
Honored, with many notable awards, she is the recipient of the Association of Cable Communicators Beacon for Comcast’s successful United Way communications campaign and a PRSA Renaissance Award for Public Service for the launch of Fugitive Files On Demand. She has also garnered four UPI and AP honors.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Jody serves on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Kenia Acioly Mooka Entertainment
The artist was born Kenia Acioly into a family of Italian origins in the city of Nova Iguaçu, a distant working class suburb of Rio de Janeiro. When she was six, Kenia’s family moved to Copacabana. Later, she lived in Niterói, Rio’s sister city across Guanabara Bay, and Leblon, one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods. Each stop along the way provided opportunities to explore the local cultural peculiarities that go into making Rio and its neighboring environs one of the world’s most exotic locales.
An interest in music came early; she studied piano and learned to play the guitar by ear. Singing however, became her path to success in music world. Influenced by such Brazilian greats as the late Elis Regina, she also began listening to such North American artists as Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRea and George Benson. And her choice of music to interpret came not from the bossa nova of the 1960s but from the talents of the generation of composers that followed and put the Brazilian sound on the world map once again.
Arriving in the U.S. in 1980, Kenia quickly established herself as the new Brazilian singer on the scene and recorded her debut in the States with trumpeter Claudio Roditi on his album Red on Red. Several years later, she launched her solo recording career, producing four popular and critically-acclaimed albums for the MCA and Denon labels between 1987 and 1991. She also established herself as one of the most popular and successful U.S. based Brazilian musicians since the heyday of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ‘66. In 1997, Kenia launched her own label, Mooka Records, with a particularly ambitious effort; Project Ivan Lins, a tribute to the one of Brazil’s most prolific and popular contemporary songwriters, featuring Lins himself as a special guest.
Wilfredo (Fred) Ramos Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Highmark Health, Pittsburgh PA
Fred Ramos is a senior business executive, administrator and strategic counselor to senior management with Global Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Stakeholder Engagement, Strategic Planning, and Operations Management expertise and Thought Leadership. Fred has held numerous senior leadership positions at several Fortune 100 and Most Admired companies – where he has had a successful 25+ year track record of applying his expertise and Thought Leadership to help drive and support strategic, operational and Brand Image and Reputation Management business goals and objectives.
As Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Fred serves as the Chief Communications Officer for the Highmark Health enterprise. In this enterprise senior leadership role, Fred has overall responsibility and accountability for leading a multidisciplinary Corporate Communications team focused on building a strong company reputation and integrated communications strategy across Highmark’s health, diversified and provider businesses, and for leading, designing and executing integrated Communications and Public Relations strategies to position the company as a leading health and wellness organization with key government, internal and external stakeholders.
Prior to this, at Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd, Fred served as Global Head of the Employee Communications CoE, a core unit of the global Employee & Executive Communications team above the BU level, a Group level, senior leadership and Executive Staff role within the merged Group Marketing & Communications function. Responsible for leading and managing a team of employee communications business partners located across the globe, Fred helped to ensure the direction and coordination of employee communications activities across the Group, and the development, delivery and measurement of the Group employee communication strategy to drive employee engagement and commitment and to enable and support the execution of Zurich’s business strategy and brand repositioning.
Before that, Fred was the Global Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy, Group Communications, where he served at a Group level, senior leadership and Executive Staff role as the Global Function’s COO and Chief Administrative Officer and directed its day-to-day administrative/operational processes, oversaw budget and agency management, and helped to set its strategic direction. This included driving the development and execution of the function’s multi-faceted, Strategic Framework and Operating Model focused on Group Communications delivering a simpler, more efficient and more effective value proposition to the business at the Group, Segment and Regional/Country level.
Fred joined Zurich in 2011, serving as Vice President/Head, Corporate Communications, and Chief Communications Officer, Zurich North America - General Insurance (GI). In this regional senior leadership role, he led the ZNA-GI communications function and team; multiple, integrated communications channels; and key message platform development – directing and governing Internal/Employee Communications, Public/Media Relations, Crisis Communications, and Executive Communications, and helping to drive enterprise Employee Engagement and Change Management efforts.
In addition, Fred has served as:
Fred holds a B.A. in Communications and an M.B.A., from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, IL.
Guillermo Velazquez Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Director Special Projects
Mr. Guillermo Velazquez has a wealth of experience assisting U.S. based companies expanding internationally and foreign companies seeking to develop their local and international markets. Mr. Velazquez’s international career began as a Marketing Specialist with Nissan Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., Nissan Motor’s Headquarters Office in Mexico City. During his three-year tenure with Nissan, Mr. Velázquez was responsible for developing and implementing marketing, sales and advertising support programs for distributors within Mexico’s territory of 32 states. Additionally, Mr. Velazquez was part of a team that designed and implemented technology solutions for business processes that enabled him to develop his IT skills and Internet based services used in developing and implementing marketing and sales plans.
In 1995, Mr. Velazquez relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was Director for Special Projects with the World Trade Center Pittsburgh. In this position, Mr. Velázquez was responsible for managing export and import trade development projects between small, mid-size, large local companies, and international companies. Mr. Velazquez was also responsible for the management and growth of the World Trade Center’s technology initiatives such as web and database management and the educational programs that included the Global Trade Institute, an international seminar series for business executives in the areas of international strategy, law, freight, and the cross-cultural and financial basics of exporting. Mr. Velazquez was also responsible for planning and managing the first international exposition -- the Western Pennsylvania International Trade Fair an annual event attended by approximately 400 U.S. and foreign companies seeking to expand their international business.
Subsequent to his tenure at the WTC, Mr. Velazquez worked at Conco Services Corp. where he was primarily responsible for managing the development of its Latin American sales markets. This position enabled him to utilize and improve his international marketing skills and required him to conduct market entry studies, devise market strategy, establish channels of distribution, and manage distributors and agents for Spanish, Portuguese and Italian speaking countries, resulting in an exponential growth in the company’s international sales. Mr. Velazquez left Conco Services Corp. to consult as an independent International Business Development professional, assisting companies to develop a global outreach, assess markets, develop international strategies and open new international channels of distributions that resulted in access to new markets and increased profits. In 2011 Mr. Velazquez rejoined Conco Systems as Manager for Latin America, with a strong focus on international distribution management. Currently, Mr. Velazquez serves as Director of Special Projects at the Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, where he manages the first Latino Business Incubator in Pittsburgh.
Guillermo Velázquez is currently a 2018 MBA Global Management candidate at Point Park University. In 1995, Mr. Velazquez obtained a degree in Business Relations and International Business from the National Polytechnic Institute, University of Business Administration and Marketing in Mexico City, Mexico. Furthermore, he also holds a diploma in computer systems, and a diploma in English as a second language. He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English.
Mr. Velazquez served from 2002 – 2004 as President of the Western Pennsylvania Hispanic Chamber of Commerce promoting commerce for Hispanic-owned businesses in the region. Currently, Mr. Velazquez continues serving as a board member executive committee member and chair of the Latino Business Initiative of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In October 2016, Mr. Velazquez became the president of LACU - Latin American Union Culture, the oldest Latino membership organization in Pittsburgh with 30 years of existence, and he serves on the board of COESA, the Brazilian Association of Pittsburgh.
Omar Khan is in his 21st season in the NFL and 17th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, having served in numerous positions within the organization.
In his current role, Khan works with the day-to-day overall management of the Football & Business Operations Departments, working closely with President Art Rooney II, General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin. He is in charge of overseeing many different areas and functions of the organization.
Prior to joining the Steelers, Khan worked with the New Orleans Saints for four years. In 2000, he served as Football Operations/Coaching Assistant where he supervised the overall operation of the football program and assisted the offensive coordinator in the day-to-day operations of the offense. From 1998-99, Khan served as New Orleans’ Player Personnel Assistant. His duties included assisting in pro scouting, negotiating player contracts, government affairs and football administration, as well as serving as interim Player Programs Director during the 1998 season. In 1997, Khan was a Player Personnel Intern, primarily working with scouting and research.
Khan joined the Saints after spending the 1996 season as an undergraduate assistant with the Tulane University football program.
Khan is involved in many activities and organizations throughout the Pittsburgh region, including serving on the executive board of Visit Pittsburgh, the executive board of the Pittsburgh Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and on the advisory board of FNB Community Bank. In 2005, Khan was selected to attend the NFL Manager Program at Stanford University Executive Education Graduate School of Business. In 2013, he was selected to attend the NFL Career Development Symposium for front office personnel at the University of Pennsylvania.Khan, a graduate of Tulane, was born in New Orleans, La. He and his wife Kristen reside in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. The couple has one daughter, Sophia
Andrea Vasquez Dollar Bank, Group Banking Representative
Andrea Vasquez is a Pittsburgh-born native who is excited to witness and partake in the astounding changes in this revitalized city. She is a 2002 graduate from Plum Senior High School, and went on to further her education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Minors in Business Administration and Journalism. She was a Board of Governor’s full Scholarship Recipient, which was awarded based on academic performances and a minority background. She is a fourth-generation Mexican and Polish mix. She is currently a resident in the city of Pittsburgh.
She obtained an eight year career in the fashion industry with such corporations as H&M, Macys and JCPennys. Her most recent position was Merchandise Execution Manager, in which she oversaw storewide operations. After this endeavor she began a career in financing. During her first three years in this industry she was the Branch Manager for the mutual and historic Dollar Bank. Over the last year and a half she has worked as a Senior Group Banking Representative, and oversees business development in the regions covering twenty branches.
Andrea currently serves as a leader for the Next Generation Council through Vibrant Pittsburgh, and is focusing her efforts on collaborating organizations dedicated to retaining diverse talent in the city. She is a co-chair on the board for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC.org). She is active in many chambers throughout the city, such as the North Chamber, Airport Chamber, Southpointe Chamber, and attends events on behalf of the bank to increase overall business development in various regions. She is also a member with the Pittsburgh Human Resource Association.
Ana María Caula P.h.D. Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Slippery Rock University, Chairperson and Associate Professor.
Ana María Caula has lived in the Pittsburgh area for the last 21 years. She is from Caracas, Venezuela, born to Argentine parents. She is currently Chairperson and Associate Professor in the Modern Languages and Cultures Department at Slippery Rock University where she created a Spanish Professional concentration which prepares students to use the language in their future careers. She obtained a doctorate in Latin American Literatures and Cultures (2002) from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a BA in Letras (1996) from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela. She currently serves as the Revision coordinator of Slippery Rock University’s Liberal Studies Program (General Education) committee. Her research interest is Women prose narratives from the 19th and 20th Century in Latin America and also Hispanic children’s literature. She has published in the area of language teaching pedagogy and technology as well as articles about Latino American literature and film. Her book Luchas por la independencia: género y nación en la obra de Teresa de la Parra is currently in print in Venezuela with the publishing house El perro y la rana
Yvonne Campos Founder and President, Next Act Fund LLC
Yvonne Campos is a nationally recognized businesswoman, speaker, focus group facilitator and consultant. Yvonne founded Next Act Fund in 2016 to help women grow their personal wealth by investing in early-stage, womenowned/led companies, thereby positively impacting women, the region and the nation.
Yvonne’s career includes founding and growing Pittsburgh’s premier research company, Campos Inc. Never one to sit still, Yvonne then noticed an opportunity to support other women entrepreneurs and investors with Next Act Fund. Under Yvonne’s leadership, Next Act Fund has rapidly grown its board and membership with leaders from Pittsburgh’s business and investing community, all of them visionary women and men. Yvonne also founded two Pittsburgh chapters of the Women President’s Organization, a peer-to- peer learning model for women owned business with revenues over one million dollars.
Yvonne is a very active member of the Pittsburgh business community and has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her entrepreneurship and community involvement. Her community involvement spans professional organizations like American Marketing Association (AMA), Executive Women’s Council (EWC), International Women’s Forum (IWF), Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), and many non-profit board positions and committees. She is a CEO Diamond Award recipient, presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times in recognition of her business leadership and civic engagement.
She currently serves on the board of Quantum Theatre, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Highmark Health, Chatham University - Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, and the Pittsburgh Dance Council. She continues on the honor boards of WQED Multimedia and Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Yvonne received her BS in Psychology at the University of Utah, and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s Class XI, Tepper School of Business’s Donald H. Jones Entrepreneurship Program, Tuck Executive Education Program and Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Program.
Christopher Solano Sysco Corporation
Jonathan Encarnacion Administrative Director, Medical Assistance UPMC
Jonathan Encarnación serves as the Administrative Director for UPMC for You, a division of UPMC Health Plan. In his capacity as Administrative Director, Encarnación is responsible for leading efforts of the UPMC Health Plan and its affiliates to develop product markets in Central PA through the identification and engagement of key stakeholders with goals of building a positive market presence and commitment to new communities, identify critical players in community leadership, professional groups, ethnic communities, consumer groups and others who are able to support the effort. In addition, Encarnación is the host of “A Su Salud—To Your Health.” This monthly bilingual TV program is aimed at educating disadvantaged consumers about health and wellness issues impacting quality of life. Prior to this position, Encarnación directed the Hispanic Center of Reading and Berks County, also known as El Centro Hispano Daniel Torres, which targets the acculturation and self-sufficiency of citizens and non-citizens of Hispanic heritage.
In 2011 Encarnación was appointed by Governor Corbett to serve on the Board of Trustees for Wernersville State Hospital and as a Commissioner for the Sunset Taskforce. Other gubernatorial appointments include Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA) during the Ridge administration, Gov. Rendell transition team for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Commissioner at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Encarnación is also involved in trusteeship positions at various community-based organizations.
Most recently, Encarnación was appointed to the Regional Health Equity Council (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), the Latino Taskforce of the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug & Alcohol Abuse (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol) and the Managed Care Delivery System Subcommittee (Pennsylvania Department of Human Services).
Encarnación earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish from Texas A & M University, and his Master of Business Administration degree from Alvernia University. In addition, Encarnación has participated as a Fellow at John Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.
Jesabel Rivera-Guerra, MPH, CHES. American Heart Association, Community Health Director - Health Strategies Department
Jesabel Rivera-Guerra was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was raised by her community-activist grandmother who taught her the importance of helping others and being the voice of those who do not have a voice.
She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor in Science, majoring in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. After graduation in 2010, she came to Pittsburgh to become part of the University of Pittsburgh Intramural Research Award (UPIRTA) post baccalaureate program. During her year as a post- baccalaureate student, she inquired the gratifying world of Public Health. Her keen interest in public service led her to pursue a Master's in Public Health (MPH) in Infectious Disease Management, Intervention and Community Practice with a Certificate in Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response. It was in her MPH that she understood that before intervening in an infectious disease issue, social disparities must be addressed. Her primary goal is to increase the visibility of the Latino community, and to empower them to reach their potential.
During her MPH, she was elected President of the Latin American Cultural Union, a non-profit community-based organization whose mission is to promote, preserve and enrich the Hispanic culture in the greater Pittsburgh area, where she currently serves. As of today, she has implemented strategies to increase the visibility of Latinos in Pittsburgh, including but not limited to picnics, film festivals, concerts and collaborative events with Pittsburgh-based organizations such as the Pittsburgh Pirates. She also created the "LACU Partners for Collaborative Solutions", an initiative that promoted the collaboration and shared resources among the existing Latino-serving organizations. In addition, she worked collaboratively with the Pittsburgh's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to implement the Latino Business Initiative, which creates a connection between the Latino-owned small businesses with the Latino consumers through a discount card.
Jesabel is also a board member at Casa San José, as part of their Resource Development Committee. Here, she organized the 1st Navigating Pittsburgh Summit, which was on November 8th. Navigating Pittsburgh is an annual conference targeting mid to low-income immigrants and newcomers, to learn how to better navigate the local systems and resources, with the goal of empowering them to be successful and self-sufficient contributors in the community.
Jesabel does all this as a volunteer work. When she is not volunteering, she works full-time as a Health Strategy Consultant at Highmark, creating strategies to improve employee health through wellness programs. Here as well, she makes sure that all programs are also reaching out the vulnerable and underserved populations.