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Latino Leaders

Here we recognize the Latinos who are making significant contributions to the development of the United States. We celebrate the achievements and impact of individuals who are shaping our nation’s future. We invite you to reach out to us with your suggestions of more remarkable people to include. Your input helps us honor and highlight the diverse and invaluable contributions of the Latino community.

Rubén Álvarez

Rubén Álvarez

Co-founder and Managing Partner of Molera Alvarez
Molera Alvarez, LLC is government relations and public affairs firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. Molera Alvarez, named by the Arizona Business Journal as “one of the state’s best government lobbying firms”, represents a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, non-profit groups and governmental entities.Prior to forming Molera Alvarez, Ruben worked in the State of Arizona’s Executive branch for 12 years, last serving as Governor Jane Dee Hull’s Policy Advisor for Mexico and Hispanic Affairs. Ruben also served as the Governor’s Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.
Marsha Pitts

Marsha Pitts

Activist
Marsha Pitts Martinez was born In Los Angeles, California in February of 1980 to two immigrant parents from A small country in Central America (Belize). Marsha’s Parents took her and her siblings back to Belize and raised them there, giving them the experience of the Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean life. Marsha is a wife, a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 2. In September 2010 Marsha started, Caribbean Infusion Dance group and Participated in carnival showing off their cultural dance mentoring youths. In 2015 Marsha started A School supply and prom dress Give away for students in Belize giving 100s of backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts and hairstyles. Marsha and her children move to (Las Vegas) in 2018. She quickly found herself working as a community Organizer And now Marsha is the Outreach Organizing Manager at Make the Road Nevada where she leads her team of 8 Organizers doing the work for the Gente
Mercedes McKinley

Mercedes McKinley

Activist
Mercedes McKinley is a Nevada state coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. She was born in El Salvador and fled her country during the civil war in 1987, when she was a child. Her family immigrated to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she learned to speak English and assimilated to life in the United States. After high school, Mercedes moved to the Midwest, where she became passionate about climate change after a small neighborhood flood destroyed 90% of her apartment in Chicago. The following year, she began her academic career at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She holds a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree both in Geography and Environmental Resources with a specialization in water and climate. In 2017, she became a certified Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst so that she could combine mapping and data to better communicate complex issues that intersect people and environments. After completing her education, Mercedes focused on giving back to her hometown of Las Vegas. She has served as a teacher for the Clark County School District in K–12 and taught Environmental Science as an adjunct professor for the College of Southern Nevada. She is actively engaging with local politicians and police in order to better serve the community and understand its needs. Mercedes is the mother of a toddler and loves the outdoors, dogs, and yoga
Karla Henriquez

Karla Henriquez

Activist
My name is Karla Henriquez, I am originally from El Salvador, although I arrived in Las Vegas in 2006. I am the proud mother of three girls. I am 35 years old. My job is CNA/Office Manager with a non-profit healthcare for home health and hospice. This career opportunity has been my support system in my personal and work life. I believe that God has blessed me with opening that door because I now have the ability to support my family as a single mom. Additionally, my passion is to be able to provide support to other families in similar situations. Improving our knowledge and resources that are available to us, in this way we can help our community. I am grateful to God because without him I would not be connected with the right people. I believe that there are no limits. Regardless of your circumstances, everything can be achieved with the help of him. My greatest pride in life is being an example for my daughters and showing them it is possible to succee
Cristina Antelo

Cristina Antelo

Founding Principal at Ferox Strategies
Cristina is a founding principal at Ferox Strategies and has spent almost two decades representing multinational corporations with her trademark hustle at Washington’s best-known government relations firms. From Wall Street to K Street, Cristina has set herself apart as a trusted advisor, skilled advocate, and effective negotiator who isn’t afraid of long, hard work.Cristina is active in charitable work, contributing her business acumen, political savvy, and trademark hustle on the Board of Directors of the CHCI, serving under Chairs Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Nanette Barragan (D-CA) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), as well as the boards of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Common Threads and the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Action Fund supporting conservation of endangered species and habitats. She has also served as a former President of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and graduated from Stanford University’s Latino Business Action Network.
Olivia Diaz

Olivia Diaz

Las Vegas Councilwoman
Born and raised on the east side of Las Vegas, Councilwoman Olivia Díaz made history in June 2019 by becoming the first Latina to be elected to the Las Vegas City Council. Representing Ward 3, which encompasses downtown Las Vegas and the neighborhoods where she grew up, Díaz serves a diverse constituency that is more than 65% Hispanic and where more than 37% of residents work in the service industry. She loves her community and is passionate about serving its residents.As a councilwoman, Díaz is leading a number of exciting projects, including the redevelopment of the former Desert Pines Golf Course. This project will provide housing options for first-time homebuyers and seniors, training spaces for the workforce, opportunities for small businesses, and recreational and green spaces for residents. Additionally, she is working with community members and stakeholders to create a shared vision for the future of East Las Vegas. Díaz is also focused on increasing public art and supporting education and workforce development initiatives.
Isaac Barrón

Isaac Barrón

North Las Vegas Councilman
Councilman Isaac E. Barron was elected to represent District 1 in June 2013 and was re-elected in 2017 and 2022. He has the distinction of being the first Hispanic member of the North Las Vegas City Council and the first Hispanic Mayor Pro Tempore in Southern Nevada.Barron is a native of North Las Vegas and an award-winning schoolteacher in Clark County. He comes from a humble immigrant background; his father was a kitchen worker, and his mother was a housekeeper.He has long been a community activist and a youth advocate in North Las Vegas, mentoring students after school and leading volunteer efforts for community improvement projects.Barron holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a master's degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.He is married to Lucy and has four children and five grandchildren.
Catherine Cortez Masto

Catherine Cortez Masto

US Senator
Her dad’s family was from Mexico and her mom’s was from Italy, and the family has continued to grow since her grandparents brought their young families to Las Vegas. After his service, he returned to Las Vegas where he met Catherine’s mother and started work as a parking attendant at the Dunes Hotel. He worked his way up to serve as a Clark County Commissioner and became the head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Catherine’s mother was a strong figure in her life and was crucial to her father’s work building the city we know and love today.
Carmen Andrade

Carmen Andrade

Activist
Carmen Gladys Cauchi Andrade was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where she spent the first half of her professional life working in the accounting field. After migrating to the US, she worked multiple jobs in the hospitality industry on the Las Vegas Strip. In 2007, she transitioned to the Clark County School District, where she worked as a Teacher’s Aid until her retirement in 2019. Carmen began her community volunteer work in 2004 after listening to the community activist on the radio, Miguel Barrientos. He introduced her to Make the Road Nevada, and since then, she has been traveling to Carson City and Washington DC for volunteer advocacy work. She also enjoys volunteering at senior centers, hospitals, elementary schools, and the Las Vegas Metro and North Las Vegas Police Departments. In 2019, Carmen’s friend Anita introduced her to “Libre Initiative,” where she also enjoys her volunteer work in community activism. Carmen continues to be involved with many community events. After many years of working and raising two adult children, Jaime and Aaron, who are also involved in helping people, Carmen is now retired but keeps busy visiting and helping many organizations that are serving the community and is grateful to Ronnie Najarro, Eddie Diaz, and Paul Padda Law for this honor.
Susie Lee

Susie Lee

US Congresswoman
Councilman Isaac E. Barron was elected to represent District 1 in June 2013 and was re-elected in 2017 and 2022. He has the distinction of being the first Hispanic member of the North Las Vegas City Council and the first Hispanic Mayor Pro Tempore in Southern Nevada.Barron is a native of North Las Vegas and an award-winning schoolteacher in Clark County. He comes from a humble immigrant background; his father was a kitchen worker, and his mother was a housekeeper.He has long been a community activist and a youth advocate in North Las Vegas, mentoring students after school and leading volunteer efforts for community improvement projects.Barron holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a master's degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.He is married to Lucy and has four children and five grandchildren.
Ruth García Anderson

Ruth García Anderson

North Las Vegas Councilwoman
Councilwoman Ruth Garcia-Anderson joined the North Las Vegas City Council in December 2022 with a passion for serving her community. She is proud to be the first Latina councilwoman in the city of North Las Vegas.Garcia-Anderson has been a longtime resident of North Las Vegas and lives in Ward 2 with her four beautiful children and her husband, Jordan Massey Anderson. Garcia-Anderson prioritizes community, education, civic engagement, and ensuring that North Las Vegas is a wonderful place to grow and thrive. She is dedicated to serving, learning, and ensuring a high quality of life for the residents.Garcia-Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Business with a focus on Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with an Academic Diploma in Spanish from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Jacky Rosen

Jacky Rosen

US Senator
Jacky Rosen has lived in Nevada for nearly 40 years. She is the granddaughter of immigrants and grew up in a working class family. As the first in her family to graduate from college, Jacky worked two jobs and took out student loans to make ends meet. She waited tables, including at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and was a proud member of Culinary Workers Union Local 226.When Jacky started her career as a computer programmer and software developer, she worked as a banquet waitress on the weekends to pay her bills. She broke barriers in the male-dominated tech industry, working for major companies in Nevada. Later, Jacky stepped away from her career to take care of her parents and in-laws as they got older and had health problems.As the former President of Congregation Ner Tamid, the state’s largest synagogue, Jacky led a team to construct one of the largest solar arrays in Henderson through a public-private partnership. The solar investment cut the synagogue’s energy bills by up to 70 percent.In 2016, Jacky ran for Congress in Nevada’s highly competitive 3rd District because she saw an opportunity to make a difference for her community. In the House, she’s been rated one of the most bipartisan members. Jacky is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, working across party lines to find common ground and deliver results for Nevadans. She has been a champion for encouraging early childhood education in STEM, especially for young girls.

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