Board

Board of Directors
2017-2018
(As of the Annual Meeting of the
membership on May 10, 2017)

 Name  Affiliation
Christina Jennings Shared Capital
Maria Boyle (Vice chair) J & B Group
Uri Camarena (Secretary) MEDA
Eduardo Mozqueda Dorsey and Whitney
Susana De Leon De Leon and Nestor Llp
John Pacheco Latino Chamber of Commerce
Andre Goodlet Hormel Foods
Sonia Ortega Plaza del Sol
Rose Lindsay ( Co-chair) City of Minneapolis Department of Planning and Economic Development
Thomas Pantalion US Bankcorp
Christopher Romano (Treasurer) Thrivent Financial Services
Iris Ramos The Law Office of Iris Ramos LLC

Christina Jennings
Currently serves on the Finances committee of LEDC, which makes sure the organization is well managed financially, as well as within the law. She is the Executive Director of Shared Capital Cooperative, an $11 million national CDFI loan fund that finances cooperative businesses and housing. Christina has 25 years of experience in community development and nonprofit management, including nearly 20 years managing community loan funds. Prior to joining Shared Capital, Christina was Executive Director of an international investment fund that provided capital to microfinance organizations throughout Central America. Previously she also worked as loan fund manager for the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, and as program manager for the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, where her role included providing financial management assistance to immigrant and refugee-led nonprofit organizations.

Christina is fluent in Spanish and has direct experience starting and managing small businesses. She founded an international travel company, which she managed for eight years. For the past six years she has provided bookkeeping, tax and accounting services to her husband’s commercial and residential handyman and maintenance business in Minneapolis.

“I have a strong personal and professional commitment to Latino Economic Development Center’s mission and work. Over the past 25 years, my professional career has been focused on working to create economic justice and opportunity, with a particular interest in working in the Latino community. I hope that my experience with managing CDFI loan funds, nonprofit organizations and knowledge of community development and small business development will allow me to contribute to LEDC’s continued organizational growth and development”.

María Mejía de Boyle – Vice Chair
Maria Isabel Mejia de Boyle is originally from Toluca, Mexico. As a Human Resources Consultant for J&B Group, Maria provides Human Resources services and trainings to all associates. Before joining J&B Group, Maria functioned as a human resources generalist/training consultant, at Employers Association Inc., where she developed, and delivered trainings in leadership, diversity, safety and harassment.

Uri Camarena – Secretary
Uri Camarena, a native from Mexico, came to the Twin Cities after graduating from high school in Guadalajara, Mexico. Uri received a BS from the University of Minnesota followed by an MBA from the University of Saint Mary’s MN. Uri has 30 years of UPS diversified corporate experience with a strong background in operations, communications and public relations. Currently, Mr. Camarena is working as a Business Consultant for the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) a non-profit organization where Mr. Camarena has served seven years and has been able to help other entrepreneurs.

Eduardo Mozqueda
Is an Attorney at Whitney and Dorsey LLP and graduated from University of Iowa college of Law. He has represented a variety of clients, ranging from national banks to emerging companies, advised commercial lenders and borrowers in commercial lending transactions, including leveraged financing, syndicated and mezzanine financing and other secured and unsecured loan transactions, has advised secured and unsecured creditors, equipment lessors and creditors’ committees in bankruptcy proceedings.

“I am interested in joining the LEDC board because it would allow me to help a community that I am a part of while also being able to use the skills that I’ve learned through my employment as an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP practicing in the field of lending.  Very few other organizations would allow me such an opportunity”

Susana De Leon
Susana De Leon is co-owner of De Leon and Nestor LLP, a law firm based in south Minneapolis. Susana is an attorney who has been deeply involved with her community by supporting and directing social justice initiatives. Her passion is to mobilize communities in the Twin Cities and greater MN in support of immigration reform. She served on the board of directors for the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, and the Legal Rights Center. She founded and currently directs the Aztec dancing group Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue, where she has been teaching new generations on such artistic expression.

John Pacheco
Is a native of Minneapolis, and he is the President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota, was the Director of the US Bank Foundation from 2008 to 2014, was the Director of the Xcel energy foundation, was Executive director of Centro Cultural Chicano, and has served on many boards such as Hennepin County Library, Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission, and the Metropolitan Council.
“I want to serve on the Latino Economic Development Center Board of Directors because I believe in the work LEDC is doing to expand the economic Vitality of the Latino community. As the President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of MN I know firsthand the importance of the work that they do. I have an extensive background in non-profit management and workforce Development and would be a good addition for the board”.

Andre Goodlett
Andre Goodlett is a graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, NC with a degree in Sociology. He joined Hormel with over 25 years of HR experience. For the past 14 years, Andre’s primary focus has been within corporate diversity and inclusion while working for Cummins, Inc., The Hershey Company and Kellogg Company. Andre’s primary mission is to prepare Hormel culture for increasingly more diverse marketplace and position itself for success in the 21st century. His desire is to make the Austin, MN area a more vibrant community through the creation of a viable minority middle class.

Sonia Ortega 
Is a successful Latina business owner. She owns “Plaza del Sol”, Sonia’s Steak house” and “Las tres B auto sales” in St. Paul. She is the founder of “Dios nunca muere”, a nonprofit organization assisting youth with disabilities.  Sonia is also very active on social justice issues affecting her community not only in St. Paul but also statewide.
“I want to serve on the board of LEDC because my business have benefited from receiving Technical Assistance from LEDC and its dedicated employees. “I know the importance and the impact of having an organization like LEDC in our community. I want to offer my advice and support to the important work that LEDC has done since its inception”.

Rose Lindsay – Co Chair
Rose is a Business Partner of Latino Communications Network (LCN Media). She graduated with a BA from the University of Minnesota, and earned her MBA from the University of St. Thomas in 2010. Rose helped launched Latino Communications Network Media in 2000 and was the original publisher of Vida y Sabor magazine, and its corresponding website.  While working at LCN, Rose helped grow the company from $60,000 to $1 million in annual sales. She is currently Marketing Specialist at City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.

Christopher Romano- Treasurer
Christopher Romano is currently the Director of Strategic Operations at Thrivent Financial, a not-for-profit, membership-owned financial services organization in Minneapolis. Prior to his tenure at Thrivent, Chris served as the Executive Director of the Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA). He spent time at La Oportunidad, Inc., a Minneapolis-based non-profit that works to support Latino families and youth, he also served for two years in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua assisting local small business owners. Chris earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota where he was named a NSHMBA (National Society of Hispanic MBAs) scholar.

Iris Ramos- Board Member
Has served on LEDC’s board for 3 years. She is an attorney in the areas of immigration and family law.  Her clients are predominantly of Latino descent.  Iris herself is a small business owner and has been a board member of LEDC for almost three years.  She is currently a board member and vice chair of Centro Tyrone Guzman, which also focuses on the needs of our Latino community.  Iris volunteers her time providing free legal clinics on a weekly basis to the Consulate of Ecuador, gives presentations on immigrant rights, volunteers at the Chrysalis Center for low income individuals and does monthly Spanish phone legal clinics for the Volunteer Lawyers Network.  She also enjoys volunteering at Happy Tails Adoption events for fostered dogs.  Iris greatly enjoys helping those in her Latino community prosper.  As a fellow business owner she can relate to the great responsibility, stress and excitement that all come with starting a business.  

“Iris has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this process through her board membership and hopes to continue to help LEDC continue its mission of creating economic opportunities for Latinos”.