Wisconsin’s 40 Most Influential Latino Leaders, Part 1


    Every year since our founding in 2015, we have recognized Wisconsin’s most influential Black and Latino leaders, and we are very proud now to also begin to recognize Indigenous and Asian American leaders. These lists have become the most anticipated thing we do. Every year, I’ve intended these lists to highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state. I want kids here in Wisconsin to see role models of people who are succeeding, to know that it’s possible for people of color to achieve great things here.

    This week we shine a statewide spotlight on the dedicated leaders of Wisconsin’s Latino communities. These are richly diverse communities with roots that represent a massive geographic area. The people we highlight this week are elected leaders, business leaders and community leaders, doing difficult, important work.

    We are also aware that this list, like every other, is not comprehensive. There are, without a doubt, more than 40 influential Latino leaders doing good work in Wisconsin. We hope you will let us know about people in your community whom we can include on future lists. For now, though, we just want to introduce you to a few of the people doing the work, often behind the scenes and without the accolades, across Wisconsin.

    You might know a few of these names, but there’s a good chance that most of them will be new to you. I urge you to get to know them. Reach out to those living and working in your communities. Learn from them, network, create partnerships. And spread the word — let others in your network know that we have people of all ethnicities living and working across Wisconsin to make this state a good and prosperous place for all.

    And one more note: Many of the people on this list — and on previous lists — will gather November 6 and 7 at the sixth annual 365 Leadership Summit. You’re welcome to come, too, to meet, network with and learn from this dynamic group!

    Henry Sanders
    CEO and Publisher

    This is the first of a five-part series.

    Jack Dávila is a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge. He received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 2002. After college, he served in the U.S. Army as a Spanish linguist. He then attended Marquette University Law School, graduating in 2011. Following law school Dávila was an attorney at Tabak Law Firm and the Previant Law Firm, where he represented plaintiffs in personal injury and workers compensation cases. In 2020, Governor Tony Evers appointed Dávila to the circuit court after appointing his predecessor, Maxine White, to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Dávila was elected in 2021 after running unopposed.

    Vanessa Vasquez is the director of the Caroline Scholars Program at Mount Mary University. She previously worked at Carmen Schools of Science & Technology, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Alverno College. She volunteers with multiple Milwaukee-area organizations. She was recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal (MBJ) as one of the 2019, 40 Under 40 Award recipients, the 2018 UMOS Hispanic Woman of the Year, and the 2016 Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) Future Leader Award. She served as the 2013-2014 Ambassador representing the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation/Mexican Fiesta Inc. She is a News414/Noticias414 ambassador for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, forging connections on Milwaukee’s South Side, where she grew up. Vasquez earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alverno College as a first-generation student. 

    Savion Castro is the youngest ever to serve on the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education. He is the operations workgroup chair, overseeing an over $500 million budget process, district policies, operations, and building services. During his time on the board, MMSD passed a historic $317 million referendum, expanded early childhood education, arts programming, and worked to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. In addition to serving on the Board of Education, Savion is a teacher and student mentor for First Wave hip-hop and urban arts scholarship program in UW-Madison’s office of multicultural arts and initiatives. Savion is a doctoral candidate at UW-Madison’s education leadership and policy analysis, as well as an education fellow with the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences program at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. 

    Jasmin Hernandez Treske is the program and events manager at the MKE Tech Hub Coalition, an organization looking to inclusively double the tech talent in Milwaukee by bringing awareness, education, and opportunity to underserved communities. A Milwaukee native, she began her banking career as a part-time teller, grew into management roles, and later joined BMO Harris’s Commercial Banking team. She joined the Tech Hub team in 2021. She earned a degree in communications from UW-Milwaukee in 2018.


    Rosamaría Del Aguila Laursen is the director of multilingual programs for the Verona Area School District, a role she took on in 2022. She began her career in banking but shifted to multilingual education after five years. She has worked in multilingual education for 17 years. She has taught second and eighth grade in bilingual classrooms in Milwaukee Public Schools and English as a second language in Janesville. Most recently she spent 11 years as the Biliteracy Instructional Coordinator in Beloit. She earned a degree from the UW-Madison in German Linguistics, a master’s in education from UW-Whitewater.

    Lissette Cruz-Jiménez is the director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center at Lawrence University in Appleton, where she aspires to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and creative space for all students, staff, and the community. It’s her second stint at Lawrence; she was Grants and Special Gifts Coordinator from 2015-2017. She went on to Thrivent Financial and then shifted into DEI, joining the Appleton Area School District as DEI office manager and later DEI coordinator. She volunteers as a member of the Appleton Police Department Community Advisory Board, the board of Casa Hispana and a member of the IDEA Committee for Girls on the Run International. As a first-generation student, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Crown College in Minnesota.


    Faustina Bohling is vice president of people operations at Education Analytics in Madison. She previously worked in DEI and human resources at United Way, the University of Wisconsin and American Family Insurance. She was elected to the Sun Prairie Common Council in 2021, representing the city’s northwest side. She served on the mayor’s ad-hoc committee on diversity and inclusion. She is an alum of the UW-Madison, where she earned a degree in sociology.


    Patricia Tomanguilla is director of lending systems at UW Credit Union, a role she took on earlier this year after more than 11 years in progressively senior roles at the credit union. She also managed Madison Futsal for four years. She earned a degree in economics from Universidad Ricardo Palma in Lima, Peru, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

    Part 2 coming tomorrow!