Sí Se Puede 2019: Wisconsin´s 34 Most Powerful Latinos, Part 2


    This is the second of a five-part series. Part 1 is here.

    Tammy Rivera, executive director of the Southside Organizing Center in Milwaukee, has provided strategic and operational leadership across several communities and organizations for the past 25 years. She’s worked with United Community Center, SER Jobs for Progress, Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, United Cerebral Palsy of SEW, Girls Scouts of Milwaukee Area, Voces de la Frontera, to name a few. In 2008, she opened a consulting firm called Xecutiva to provide executive-level consulting and services to organizations and professionals. She has also taught preschool, alternative education, adult basic education, and undergraduate and graduate courses. It is this diverse range of deliberately crafted experiences that, she says, “has her committed to a holistic approach and unity in and across community.”

    Gabby Gamboa is an on-air personality as well as the general manager for the station La Mas Grande, a Spanish-speaking news radio station in Green Bay. Gamboa, herself an immigrant, understood the struggles of not speaking English in Wisconsin and wanted to connect with the community in a way that offers a service to them. Her four-hour radio show airs every weekend day from 2 to 6 pm. The radio delivers local and national news, gives shout outs to listeners and reads job listings. It also features Latino music. 

    Joaquin Altoro was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to head the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) earlier this year, leading the state’s efforts to stimulate the economy by supporting home ownership and small business development. Prior to joining the administration, he was a vice president at Town Bank, heading the bank’s community business banking and commercial lending programs. Spending most of his career in Milwaukee, he serves the community as a member of the Plan Commission as well as the boards of SHARP Literacy, Forward Community Investments, Nativity Jesuit Middle School, and Public Policy Forum.

    Meralis Hood serves as the leader of City Year Milwaukee as the Vice President & Executive Director. In this role, she maintains and reinforces strong and strategic relationships with Milwaukee Public Schools, City Year Milwaukee’s Board of Trustees, corporate and philanthropic partners, and the wider community. Hood was born and raised in Milwaukee after her mother was recruited from Puerto Rico to serve as a bilingual educator in the city. She earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s of education in educational leadership and administration from National Louis University.

    Justin Cruz serves as vice president of inclusive excellence, a role he assumed earlier this year, at American Family Insurance in Madison. In this role, Justin and his team are charged with building a strategy and developing programs and partnerships that foster a thriving diverse workforce and strong inclusive culture. Before taking on that role, he was Vice President of Strategic Data & Analytics, a role in which we oversaw a team of data scientists and statisticians charged with utilizing data and predictive analytics research to create new, proprietary insights for the organization that optimize current capabilities or enable the development of new, innovative business models. Prior to his current role at American Family, Justin served as Actuarial Vice President from 2008 to 2013, where he was responsible for the development of rates for the property and casualty products at American Family. He joined American Family as an actuary in 2001 after a stint as a teacher in Milwaukee. Justin is also a board member for YWCA Madison.

    Baltazar de Anda-Santana helped form what is now Orgullo Latinx (Latinx Pride) of Dane County, which builds an equitable and safe community for Latinx LGBT people through programming, education, advocacy and support. He is also the co-founder and longtime director of Latino Academy of Workforce Development, which serves a community of over 800 learners participating in job skills training, GED and pre-GED classes, language courses, computer classes, business and employment development.. In 2017, Baltazar rode his bike for 24 straight-hours in support of refugees and immigrants.

    Danny Garcia, an attorney in Fond du Lac, earned both his Bachelor’s Degree and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 2011 and 2014 respectively. He currently serves as the President of the Fond du Lac Bar Association. Garcia is one of the youngest Attorneys to ever hold an executive position at the Fond du Lac Bar. His practice emphasizes Criminal Law, Family Law, Landlord/ Tenant law, Employment Discrimination, and Contract Litigation. Garcia also works with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.  He is both a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and admitted to practice in both the Eastern and Western Federal Districts. He also serves as Chair of the State LGBT+ Caucus.

    Part 3 coming tomorrow!