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Elections Timeline

Nov. 10 – Nov. 22 Nomination Period
Nov. 28 – Dec. 6 Voting Period
Week of Dec. 12 Winners  Announced

VOTERS GUIDE

CANDIDATES

Position: President
Adriana Barajas

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: My name is Adriana Barajas and I am interested in running for President for the CHCI-AA National Board leadership position. One of my favorite quotes by Douglas MacArthur, “a true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. That’s exactly the mindset I plan to bring to the CHCI alumni association if I am elected to serve. I’ve been engaged with CHCI and the alumni association since 2015 when I was selected to be part of the spring Congressional Internship Program. After my internship, I moved back to Arizona to finish my last year in college and after graduation, I joined CHCI as a program specialist. During my time at CHCI, I worked closely with programs team to develop and manage leadership and policy related programming for over 250 interns and fellows combined. Two years later, I joined the Entertainment Software Association, where I serve as Director of Federal Government Affairs. Since, I joined ESA, I have made sure that ESA supports CHCI’s initiatives. Thanks for your consideration.

 

Position: President
Jose Plaza

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: It is with great excitement that I submit my candidacy for reelection as National President. I have had the privilege of being involved with the CHCI Alumni Association since I first completed the program as a Graduate Fellow in 2012. The last four years I served as national Vice President and President and alongside impressive chapter leaders and a national board we managed through the pandemic to grow the Association by expanding chapters, addressing critical issues of diversity, personal & professional development, and civic engagement. If reelected, I am looking forward to continuing to open chapters focused on alumni diversity, go back to in-person programming, and work with CHCI leadership to expand the services and reach of the association. I am excited at the opportunity to continue the work we set in motion these two years and be an advocate for our CHCI familia.

 

Position: Vice President
Yesenia Lopez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am running for the CHCI AA National Board Vice President (VP) position because I want to continue to help the CHCI AA National Board enhance its engagement with the multigenerational alumni. I believe a key component of this is by providing ongoing valuable and diverse opportunities for individuals to connect. My experience serving on boards at the state and local level have taught me how to successfully collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders. After completing the CHCI Fellowship, I became involved with the local CHCI chapter and later served as the Secretary. During my tenure, I helped with reengagement of alumni by organizing events and promoting CHCI programming. Since my appointment as the CHCI AA National Board VP earlier this year, I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from alumni residing across the country. I seek the alumni support to continue serving in this role.

 

Position: Vice President, Civic Engagement
Alfredo Barcenas

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: My name is Alfredo Barcenas (he/him/el) and I am interested in running to help promote civic engagement efforts among the various CHCI alumni chapters, develop collaborative programming at the national level, and work with CHCI to share information on activities relating to civic life in the LatinX community. I believe that I am qualified to serve in this role having been a point of contact for civic engagement within the California State University and University of California systems and as a member in higher education who works with students to explore these opportunities. In full transparency, my only involvement with CHCI-AA has been attending a couple of virtual sessions with the SoCal chapter and communication with my cohort. I haven’t been involved with CHCI-AA as much as I would have liked to, but I am looking to change that to give back to a program that gave me so much.

 

Position: Vice President, Civic Engagement
Angélica César

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I’m running for Vice-President of Civic Engagement because as a young voter and Latina in law, I understand the critical role innovative civic engagement strategies play in advancing collective progress. I grew up an ESL student and member of a mixed-immigration status family in Arizona. As a result of S.B. 1070, I experienced family separation at a young age. From that point on, I viewed civic engagement as a key tool to mobilize communities to action and drive change. With this in mind, my professional endeavors consist of leading civic campaigns to advance the prosperity of BIPOC communities. To date, I have co-designed policy and civic leadership programs serving Latinx students with UnidosUS. I also co-led advocacy and civic engagement campaigns mobilizing over 30,000 people during my tenure with Aliento Education Fund. I am a proud CHCI alumna and previously served as VP of our Phoenix Chapter.

 

Position: Vice President, Civic Engagement
Jasmin Lopez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am running for the VP of Engagement position because I am an engineer passionate about the intersection between community development, innovation, and Latinx prosperity. I am a recent graduate of Georgia Tech, where I was involved on campus as the President of Engineers for a Sustainable World and VP of Industry Relations for the Association of Environmental Engineers & Scientists. Within those roles, I planned professional development panels, led volunteer initiatives, and organized research projects. I accredit my success in those initiatives to my CHCI intern experience from Spring 2020. It empowered me to become a leader in my community because of the rich experience the CHCI programming provided in volunteering, seminars, and networking. I am eager to work with the national board to plan volunteer opportunities, engage multiple stakeholders in Latinx prosperity, and establish new community development activities for regional chapters.

 

Position: Vice President, Communications
Marisol Samayoa

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: As an alumna of the CHCI 2012 Summer Congressional Internship Program, I’m thrilled to see an opportunity to give back to the organization that shaped so much of who I am by joining the CHCI Alumni Association’s national board. While my career following the CHCI summer internship program led me to pursue political communications on political campaigns across the country, I am now glad to continue my communications career in Congress with U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ). In my current role as Deputy Communications Director, over the last two years, I have continued to engage with our CHCI community through volunteering and mentoring CHCI interns in our Senate office. For example, I have served as a volunteer application reviewer for the 2020-2021 CHCI Public Policy & Graduate Fellows and the CHCI Fall 2022 Congressional Internship Program. In addition, I have continued to mentor CHCI interns and connect them to job opportunities in Congress. I am hoping to leverage my connections with national, local, and Hispanic press, as well as former and current elected officials I have had the pleasure to work with, in order to further CHCI’s mission of developing the next generation of Latino leaders as the Vice President of Communications for the national CHCI board. Please see my resume for your consideration.

 

Position: Vice President, Leadership Development
José Ramón Garcia Madrid

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am a queer Mexicano who grew up in Arizona and who benefits from DACA. I am also an attorney and a member of CHCI’s 2014 Fellowship Class. I was able to attend law school, on a full-tuition scholarship, and become licensed to practice law because of the support of CHCI and similar communities. My gente got me here and continues to move me forward. My legal career focuses on public finance transactions, from residential development projects to energy contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Often I am the only non-White attorney involved, which can be daunting. I see a need and opportunity to support one another’s professional goals through programming that centers honesty and quality mentorship. We know how to be successful in public and private sectors, so it’s about bringing together our knowledge and skills. As Vice President of Leadership Development I will do just that. Gracias.

Position: Secretary
Maritza G. Gonzalez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: Being an elected member of a CHCI-AA will be an opportunity for me to help support and give back to the leadership organization that helped kickstart my lifetime of opportunities and advancement. Being a regional chapter alumni board member, would be an opportunity to better connect and develop Chicago area alumni, future alumni, and young leaders in becoming healthcare leaders and advocates. Thanks to the skills and training I developed and received as a CHCI Public Policy Fellow and Scholarship recipient – I was able to become a Maternal Fetal Medicine/ObGyn Physician Academic Specialist. Throughout my professional training the leadership – advocacy skills, and relationships I hewed during my participation in CHCI’s Public Policy Fellowship participation where pivotal in creating new community in the healthcare sector, improving diversity in healthcare/research academia, and inspire future generations of leaders. Being part of CHCI alum board I look forward to being to share our inherent talents and gifts to improve collaboration between groups working towards similar goals locally and nationally: enhance reproductive health rights, diversity in healthcare with access to equitable care for all, and develop a more successful means of conducting diverse research.

Position: President
Omar Padilla

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: Pay it forward! The great opportunity CHCI has given me, and I see a potential with the CHCI Dallas chapter which I can implement – with alignment of my career/experience in Finance, Business, Technology management and DEI engagements – to lead a 2.0 version which will form better collaboration and improve the overall efforts of CHCI’s goals and objective due to my knowledge in technology advancements and the local Hispanic/business communities DEI efforts.

Position: President
Baltazar Hernandez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I’m Baltazar Hernández (he/him) and I am a CHCI alumni from the Spring 2014 internship class. I interned in the late Congressman Ed Pastor’s office. CHCI holds a dear place in my heart because my experience launched my career in public service. It is with great enthusiasm that I seek a leadership position with the CHCI Alumni Association- Phoenix Chapter! My vision for the Phoenix chapter is to leverage our numbers and drive engagement around our shared experiences. I value the friendships and community that I built through CHCI and want to bring AZ-based alumni together for community-building and professional development opportunities. After my internship, I graduated from ASU and worked in the nonprofit sector and academia. I recently obtained a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and entered a career in the federal government. I look forward to connecting with you soon!

 

Position: Vice President
Baltazar Hernandez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I’m Baltazar Hernández (he/him) and I am a CHCI alumni from the Spring 2014 internship class. I interned in the late Congressman Ed Pastor’s office. CHCI holds a dear place in my heart because my experience launched my career in public service. It is with great enthusiasm that I seek a leadership position with the CHCI Alumni Association- Phoenix Chapter! My vision for the Phoenix chapter is to leverage our numbers and drive engagement around our shared experiences. I value the friendships and community that I built through CHCI and want to bring AZ-based alumni together for community-building and professional development opportunities. After my internship, I graduated from ASU and worked in the nonprofit sector and academia. I recently obtained a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and entered a career in the federal government. I look forward to connecting with you soon!

 

Position: Vice President
Freddy Soto

Resume/CV
Statement of interest:I want to run for the position of Vice President, for the Phoenix CHCI-AA Regional Chapter, because of my ability to produce high-level events that provide professional and cultural benefits. Currently, I serve as the Program Coordinator for the federal relations team at Arizona State University (ASU). In this role, I provide policy analysis to ASU leadership and manage events with attendance from Arizona’s congressional delegation. As the Program Coordinator for the Phoenix CHCI-AA Regional Chapter, I assisted in developing an event where we welcomed current President and CEO of CHCI, Marco A. Davis. If selected as the Vice President of the Phoenix CHCI Regional Chapter, I would strive to develop high level events that continue to connect CHCI alumni to CHCI’s mission–to continue to develop the next generation of Latino leaders.

Position: President
Lizbeth Marquez Torres

Resume/CV
Statement of interest:I would like to become more involved with CHCI as the leadership program(s) offered by the organization played a critical role in my career and personal development. The opportunities that the organization has to offer are crucial for our community so I hope to help spread the organization’s mission and ideas by joining the leadership team for my region.

Position: President
Carla Santamaria

Resume/CV
Statement of interest:Participating in the Spring 2014 cohort of CHCI’s Congressional Internship Program was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. Prior to that internship, I didn’t know just how powerful I had the potential to be, nor did I know how many different career opportunities were available to me. In fact, I often cite my CHCI internship as one of the most important moments in my career, and top five pivotal moments in my life, including in the first episode of my podcast, The First Gen Coach. Because of my deep gratitude for CHIC and my deep commitment to this organization, I have been an active member of the South Florida Alumni chapter for many years, and have served on the board for almost four years. It would be an honor to elevate my board membership to President of the South Florida Alumni Chapter.

 

Position: Secretary
Oscar Eduardo Serra

Resume/CV
Statement of interest:As a long-devoted advocate and scholar of civil rights in the Public and International Affairs school at Princeton University, I thoroughly understand the significance of empowering others through outreach. My outgoing approach to educating others in organized speeches and events, coupled with my applicable knowledge in Microsoft/Google graphic design software and computer programming, and hands-on experience within my community, have brought me where I am today as an impassioned community organizer. Jumping off of R2L NextGen, my ongoing work at the South Florida CHCI Chapter consists of organizing and advertising informational/recruitment events while interacting directly with the national chapter to asses conditions within disadvantaged communities and to measure out action plans. Bringing this work back home and to Princeton has given me the intrapersonal, technical, and intuitive skills necessary for improvement in all areas of personal and professional fulfillment. I look forward to further honing these skills with continued candidacy.

Position: President
Amaris Benavidez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest:I am SO excited to run for President of the CHCI-Alumni Association DC Chapter. I am the current President of the DC Chapter and a recent Graduate Fellowship alumna. As President, I have seen how impactful the Alumni Association is for DC alumni and program participants, and I hope to continue to expand this impact. As the 2023-2024 President, I will embody CHCI’s mission through transforming the lives of alumni and creating opportunities for professional growth and community. I aim to foster stronger relationships between the Board, alumni, interns, and fellows through social events, professional development, and community service. I have extensive experience leading organizations and developing strategic plans. I will design a robust two-year strategic plan outlining the Board’s goals for engagement, partnerships, and more. I am passionate, creative, and fun, and I will always uplift the work of my team. I am #HereToLead and support our DC alumni!

 

Position: Vice President
Kasandra Navarro

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am running for the DC Regional Chapter Vice President position because I would not be where I am today without the support of CHCI staff and Alumni. As a Latina, being away from family is often difficult, so I have spent the last year and a half building a community in Washington, DC — knowing I have folks in my corner, rooting for my success, makes the distance a little easier to bear. I actively attend CHCI events to stay connected to the organization and as a board member of the LULAC Young Professionals Council, I am constantly looking for opportunities to connect latinos in the area. The CHCI Alumni chapter has the resources necessary to help folks feel at home while finding success in their careers. I am eager to engage new members in a way that fits our busy lifestyles, and I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for this role.

 

Position: Vice President
Carlos Talamante Romo

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am an alumni of the Congressional Internship Program and am nominating myself as a candidate for the position of Vice President of our regional chapter. This position will allow me to leverage my skills and experience to give back to an organization that has had a transformative impact on my life and the lives of countless others.

I have served in a number of roles that have equipped me with skills needed to exceed the expectations of this position, specifically:

• Head of Community Partnership for PRIDE at J.P. Morgan
• President of my Undergraduate Student Government

Additionally, I have held roles at a number of prestigious financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. While CHCI is primarily focused on building Latino leadership in public service – I believe it is equally important to build the voice of our community in the private sector.

 

Position: Vice President
Jennifer Garcia

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: Being a part of the last CIP cohort to have gone through a virtual environment has been a catalyst for me to grow involved in every single possible way with the organization. Having recently graduated from GW and officially living in D.C., I have attended nearly every CHCI related event and even had the opportunity to engage with this fall semester’s cohort during a networking session that I was personally invited to. I want to transform this drive to be involved through the form of the VP because of past leadership opportunities in my undergraduate studies (Director of Membership for the Organization of Latin American Students, Director of Communications for First-Gen United, VP of Membership Development at Alpha Delta Pi, VP of Events for The Women’s Network) as well as the fact that the D.C. chapter has immense potential for growth. I’m eager at the chance to let this passion come to fruition.

 

Position: Secretary
Angelica Duque

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: CHCI Alumni- I am excited to submit my candidacy to be Secretary of the CHCI-AA DC
Chapter!

I first joined CHCI as a scholar-intern, and later completed my summer internship in 2018. CHCI truly changed my life. I was unsure of what I wanted to study, but thanks to CHCI’s resources and the alumni network that mentored me, I can proudly share that I have been working on Capitol Hill for four years. Additionally, I serve as the Secretary of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association (CHSA). I am skilled in drafting newsletters, taking meeting notes, planning events, and mentoring Hispanic interns and staffers. As a CHCI alumna, I’ve sat on numerous panels to talk to R2L participants, interns, and fellows about my experience as a first-generation, low income graduate navigating the Hill. I’m incredibly grateful for CHCI, and I’m ready to pay it forward to the next generation of Latino leaders.

 

Position: Treasurer
Raymond Rodriguez

Resume/CV
Statement of interest: I am interested in running for the Treasurer position because I would like to be more engaged with CHCI, develop connections with alumni and staff, and contribute to the premier organization that helps develop the next generation of Latino leadership. I participated in the CHCI internship in Summer 2008 and it was that internship that developed my passion for politics and giving back. Since then I have served as a mentor to several CHCI interns, advocated for CHCI interns to be placed in with my employers, and have participated in numerous CHCI alumni events. I want to be more deeply involved with the organization and serving as Treasurer for the DC Chapter would be a good way to do that.