Young Professionals Board
Antonio Mendez, YPB President
State of Colorado Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Antonio, Deputy Chief of Staff for Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, is a native New Yorker and graduated from Colby College in 2006 and the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law in 2014. Antonio was a Teach for America Corps. member, a former White House Intern, and a Fulbright Scholar. Antonio has been the recipient of the Posse Scholarship, the Daniel S. Hoffman Outstanding Student Award, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Scholarship and the Sam Cary Bar Association Scholarship.
John Romero, YPB Vice President
U.S. Bank, Vice President
John, Private Banker for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, provides personalized service for the day-to-day management of financial activities. John began his career in the banking and financial services industry in 2001. Prior to joining The Reserve in 2008, John held the position of Licensed Personal Banker for Retail Banking with U.S. Bank. In addition to serving on LAEF’s Young Professionals Board, John also volunteers as Treasurer on the Denver U.S. Bank Development Network Board. In 2015 John was awarded the Aspiring Leader Award from Denver’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. John earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2016 John received his certification as a Certified Financial Planner™ from the CFP® Board.
Marina Orozco, YPB Secretary
Brighton School District
Marina, Second grade teacher with Brighton School District 27J, is proud to be a first-generation college student and an LAEF scholarship alumna. Marina earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). Marina is an educator at heart, believing in the influence that education, mentorship, and leadership have on the lives of students. With this strong commitment to learning and personal development, Marina whole-heartedly enjoys working with students of all ages.
Holiday Inn Express/Brown Palace Hotel
Dan, Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn Express/Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver, is a Colorado native. Dan graduated from Denver North High School and attended Metropolitan State University of Denver where he studied Hospitality, Travel and Tourism and received the Outstanding Hispanic Student Scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Dan’s passion for the hospitality industry has seen him grow from entry-level operations to his current role.
Armstrong Teasdale LLP
Martin, Associate at the Denver office of Armstrong Teasdale LLP, represents clients in all phases of pre-trial commercial litigation, and also assists companies with food and beverage regulatory compliance matters. He advises and represents corporations before regulatory agencies nationwide, and counsels clients on safety and risk management, licensing, advertising, labeling, sales promotions, government relations, and general supply chain issues. Martin earned a B.A. from Stanford University in 2008 and a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School in 2013.
Griswold Strategies, LLC
Jena is Director of Griswold Strategies, LLC, government relations firm that specializes in Colorado, governors’ offices across the nation, Congress, the federal administration, and Latin America. Jena graduated from Whitman College in 2006 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2011. After law school, Jena practiced international anti-corruption law in Washington, DC and then served as Director of Governor Hickenlooper’s Washington, DC Office. Jena has been the recipient of the Watson Fellowship, the Penn Law International Human Rights Fellowship, the Gillman Scholarship, and the Mellon Diversity Grant. Jena is the first person in her immediate family to attend a four-year college, and is from Estes Park, Colorado.
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Chad, Judicial Law Clerk, is an attorney and Denver native. Chad attended George Washington High School, Claremont McKenna College, and the University of Chicago Law School.
Denver Public Schools
Brenda, Operations Manager for Denver Public Schools (DPS), is a proud Denver native and LAEF scholarship alumna. She graduated from the University of Denver in 2010 with a B.S. in Business Administration, majoring in Finance. Brenda brings significant experience in budget and operations to DPS from her work in the non-profit and private sectors. In her current role, Brenda is responsible for implementing and overseeing a comprehensive budget, staffing and operating model for the English language Acquisition Department to ensure optimal alignment of resources for English language learners, their families and DPS schools.
University of Denver
Adrienne, Assistant Director for Student Access and Success Programs at the University of Denver’s (DU) Center for Multicultural Excellence, provides opportunities for elementary and middle school students to connect with the DU campus and to learn about postsecondary avenues for success. Her work with the DU Latino Alumni Association (DULAA) culminated with the creation of the DULAA Scholarship Endowment, which provides financial assistance to Latino undergraduate students at DU. As a Denver native, she is committed to providing pathways to college for students in and beyond the Denver metro area. Adrienne holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master’s degree in Social Work from DU, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education through DU’s Morgridge College of Education.
Adriana, Multicultural Marketing Manager at Breakthru Beverage United Division. An Arizona native, grew up in the border town of Nogales and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2010 with a B.S. in Psychology. Adriana started her career in the food and beverage industry working for a local family restaurant chain in Arizona. She continued to grow in the trade as a Brand Ambassador for Captain Morgan in the Phoenix metro area and now in her present role on the distributor side of the industry. She is a brand activator for the Diageo and Moet Hennessy spirit portfolios with a focus on the Hispanic, AFAM and LGBT communities in Colorado.
Denver Public Schools
Julieta, Multicultural Outreach Manager & Educa Radio Co-Host for Denver Public Schools (DPS),is first-generation college student and LAEF scholarship alumna. Julieta received her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Denver. Since high school, Julieta was a community organizer for Padres y Jovenes Unidos where she had the opportunity to lead youth and parents in various campaigns to achieve educational justice, racial justice for youth and immigrant rights. In her current position, Julieta leads outreach efforts for the Spanish, Vietnamese and Refugee DPS communities in strengthening links and relationships with parents and the community. Julieta also serves as Co-Host for Educa Radio, an hour-long program, airing five days a week, connecting with Spanish-speaking parents about school policies, events and issues in public education.
Cherry Creek School District
Craig, High School Counselor at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO, is from Antonito, CO in the San Luis Valley and is an LAEF scholarship alumnus. After earning a B.A. in Speech Communication from Colorado State University, Craig studied at the University of Arizona, earning a M.Ed. in School Counseling and Guidance. Following the completion of graduate school, Craig was a Fulbright Fellow in Indonesia.
Edcucation Commission of the States
Lauren Sisneros, Policy Analyst for the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute, joined Education Commission of the States in August 2015 as a Policy Analyst in the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute. Prior to ECS, Lauren worked for the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Colorado Challenge Program and was placed at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In this role, she supervised a staff of college counselors and provided wrap-around services to scholarship students. Lauren also worked for the Colorado General Assembly as a Policy Analyst and Adams State College as an Academic Counselor. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from CSU-Pueblo and completed a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Resource Studies through CSU in May 2015.
Brush School District
Alejandra Stephens, Human Resource Director, has a proven track record of successfully implementing multiple events in a fast-paced environment. She has previous career experience with the Office of the Attorney General at the State of Colorado. Alejandra has build relationships with U.S. and Mexican Attorneys General to create law enforcement training programs. She was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, at the age of 15 she moved to Colorado with her family. She is a first-generation college student. In 2007 she earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Denver. Alejandra is committed to serve the youth of Colorado.
Community College of Aurora
Victor, Dean, School of Professional Studies and Sciences at the Community College of Aurora (CCA), is an LAEF scholarship alumnus. Under his organizational leadership, his Division at CCA has increased graduation and retention rates. After earning an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, Victor’s career path eventually led him to the field of higher education after he earned an M.A. in Business from the University of Colorado in 2005.
Young Professionals Board Values Purpose The core values of Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF) Young Professionals Board are the values we hold which form the organization’s...