Victor Arias, Jr.
Senior Client Partner Global Leader, Diversity & Inclusion
Victor Arias, Jr. is a Senior Client Partner in the Dallas office of Korn Ferry and was recently named Global Leader of Diversity & Inclusion for the firm. His practice specialties include Boards, Real Estate and Higher Education.
Mr. Arias boasts more than 18 years of executive recruitment experience with several of the world’s most preeminent search firms, the last 7 with Korn Ferry. His specialties include board of directors, higher education, consumer and real estate.
Prior to executive search, Mr. Arias spent 15 years in the corporate and commercial real estate business, as Vice President at LaSalle Partners (now Jones Lang LaSalle) in Chicago and later as Executive Vice President for the Las Colinas development.
Since 2001, Mr. Arias has served on the board of directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (NASDAQ:PLKI). He is a trustee emeritus for the Stanford University board of trustees, prior member of the Stanford GSB Advisory Council and current member of Stanford Associates. He serves on the UTEP Leadership Council and is a past White House Fellows Commissioner, past national president and co-founder of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and prior member of the Notre Dame Institute of Latino Studies board.
Mr. Arias earned his MBA from Stanford University and BBA from University of Texas at El Paso where he was named Distinguished Alum in 2009.
Dr. Robert Rodriguez
President of DRR Advisors LLC
Dr. Robert Rodriguez is the president of DRR Advisors LLC, a boutique diversity consulting firm. Many consider Dr. Rodriguez to be the nation’s leading expert on Latino talent management programs in corporate America. He has consulted over 100 corporations on their Latino talent initiatives. His book, “Latino Talent: Effective Strategies to Recruit, Retain and Develop Hispanic Professionals” has provided a useful framework for corporations looking to leverage the Latino community as a catalyst for economic growth and as their next great source of intellectual capital. Dr Rodriguez also has deep expertise with employee resource groups and enterprise-wide diversity strategic plans.
Previously, he held leadership roles at 3M, Target Corporation, Amoco and The Washington Post. He holds a doctorate in Organization Development and is a graduate of the Latino Leadership Institute at UCLA. He teaches in both the Latino Leadership Initiative programs at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Latina Leadership Academy at the University of Southern California (USC). He serves on several non-profit boards and has published over 60 articles on diversity and inclusion. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at Robert@drradvisors.com.
Nina G. Vaca
Chairman & CEO Pinnacle Group
Nina Vaca is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Group, which includes several companies founded by Vaca, including its flagship, Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc., an award-winning information technology services provider to the Fortune 500 founded in 1996, and Provade, Inc., a global provider of vendor management software that Pinnacle acquired in 2011. Under Vaca’s leadership, Pinnacle has become one of the largest firms in its industry, with several thousand consultants across the United States and Canada and more than $650 million in annual revenues. Provade provides services in over 60 countries and manages more than $2 billion of trans- actions annually. Pinnacle is also an investor in My Plates (www.myplates.com), the sole provider of specialty license plates in the state of Texas, which leverages its proprietary software to contribute millions of dollars to the state general fund each year. In April of 2014, Vaca was selected by The White House as an inaugural member of PAGE (Presiden- tial Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship), where she works with other thought leaders like Tory Burch and Steve Case to increase entrepreneurship around the world.
Vaca has appeared on CNBC Squawk Box, FOX News, CBS Evening News and in Fast Company Magazine as one of the Top 25 Women Business Builders in America. She has also been featured in numerous magazines both domestically and internationally, including Forbes, Kiplinger, Entrepreneur, Latino Leaders, Vanidades, Ali and HISPANIC.
She is the winner of the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was elected to its Hall of Fame. Goldman Sachs has called her one of the country’s most intriguing entrepreneurs, NBC has called her an innovator and Latino Leaders Magazine has named her to its list of the 101 most influential Latinos for the last seven years.
Vaca is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the USHCC, an organization that represents more than 3.2 million Hispanic businesses in the country.
Guillermo Diaz, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Cisco Information Technology
Guillermo Diaz, Jr., is responsible for Cisco’s global Information Technology organization and services. Focusing on transforming the overall IT experience by strengthening foundational business capabilities, enabling new business models, such as service, software and SaaS and accelerating innovative business outcomes for Cisco customers, partners and employees.
Guillermo is a key leader of the Cisco Diversity Council and the executive sponsor of Conexión, Cisco’s Hispanic/Latino employee resource network.
Since joining the company in 2000, Guillermo has been a major driver of the development of Cisco’s world-class IT organization by leading initiatives to build and manage significant business foundations. These include the Cisco IT Infrastructure, Network and Management Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Large Scale Platforms, and Cisco’s Internet and intranet network foundations – Cisco.com and Cisco Employee Connection. Additionally, he has led key business IT application areas, such as Cisco’s $45B+ Electronic Commerce, Technical Services, Professional Services, Service Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, Cisco Capital, and Cloud/SaaS platforms.
Prior to Cisco, Guillermo held senior IT leadership positions with some of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies including Director of Global Network Services for Silicon Graphics, Senior Director of IT for Intelligent Electronics (Ingram Micro), and Manager of Telecommunications for Alza Corporation. He began his career in telecommunications with the United States Navy, where a military scholarship led to his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Regis University in Colorado.
Guillermo is the recipient of the 2015 Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) “Estrella of the Year” award for outstanding individual leadership in the Information Technology field. He was also honored as one of 100 CIO/CTO Leaders in STEM. In addition, he has been recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as 2014 Best CIO Community Champion and as one of the Top Hispanics in IT from 2009-2014 by HITEC. Other awards include the National Eagle Leadership Award in 2010 and CIO Magazine’s “Ones to Watch” Award in 2007.
Guillermo lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and four children.
President of the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC)
Andre Arbelaez is the President of the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) and is the SVP & Chief Strategy Officer for Softtek USA. Andre, who is of Colombian heritage, was born in Detroit, Michigan, lived 5 years in Colombia when he was very young, and then moved back to Detroit in 1975, where he has resided since.
Andre joined HITEC in its inception in 2007 and became HITEC’s President in 2011 and he brings a premier group of relationships of CEO’s, CIO’s and both VP’s of IT and Workforce Diversity and Inclusion from Fortune 1000 global companies and is a Leader in the Hispanic Technology community internationally and was recently identified by Latino Leaders magazine as the “Technology Diversity Guru”
Andre is a dynamic bilingual executive with demonstrated global sales and business development success selling technology driven solutions to international corporate customers. Andre is a strategic minded leader and team builder, who creates trust and lasting relationships with customers.
Andre Arbelaez also serves as Oakland University’s (Rochester, Michigan) Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Information and Decision Sciences Department.
President of Solid Ground US
Michael Lopez is President of Solid Ground US, a consulting firm focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and persuasive technologies. His client list includes Wikipedia, Coca Cola, AARP, Stanford University as well as numerous start-ups and other notable companies. In addition to founding and growing several starts up of his own, Mr. Lopez has also held executive positions with CBS, Sony Pictures, Bank of America and SanDisk. A native of Silicon Valley, he received his BA and MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Lopez is also President of Hispanic Net, a professional and business organization for Hispanic executives and entrepreneurs. Michael Lopez currently serves on the Stanford Graduate School of Business Alumni Association Board and works with the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford.
Jose Antonio Tijerino
President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Jose Antonio Tijerino is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), which inspires, prepares, connects and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes Latino cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns and initiatives reaching millions. Tijerino has led the 28-year-old nonprofit for 14 years and has developed an innovative, sustainable model for Latino leadership and talent for the workforce in 10 “priority” fields leveraging a network of 100,000 vetted students and young professionals. The LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program he created 10 years ago has been recognized by The White House, Congress, Silicon Valley, Fortune 500 companies and the Mexican government for it’s impact. Tijerino is also co-executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards, which are considered among the highest honors for Latinos, and TV broadcast.
Before HHF, Tijerino was director of public relations for Fannie Mae Foundation and prior to that manager of corporate communications for Nike Inc.’s, marketing department where he aslo served as a media spokesman. For six years, Tijerino was an executive for powerhouse PR and Public Affairs agencies Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolf in Washington, DC, under parent company Young & Rubicam.
Tijerino is active in the community by serving on various boards and committees inlcuding Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School, National PTA, America’s Promise Alliance, Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, National Building Museum, Imagination Stage, Crittenton Services, Jefferson Awards, Kid Museum, and Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership, among others. He is also on the Leadership Council for the University of Maryland’s Center For the History of the New America and he co-founded The American Project with Notre Dame University, which is a faith-based, youth-led movement to treat immigrants with dignity. He also created the READ (Refugee Enrichment And Development) Project to support the unaccompanied minors at the border.
Tijerino was invited to the Renaissance Weekend by the Aspen Institute and recognized by organizations including: the US Army with a civilian award, Outstanding American, Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Visionary Award, Hispanic Hero Award by US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneurship, Brillante Award by National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Cesar Chavez Award from US Hispanic Leadership Institute, Telemundo Community Service Award, Lifetime Achievement Award by the National PTA, the prestigious Ohtli Award which is the highest recognition by the Government of Mexico outside of Mexico, and the Maryland Governor’s Community Service Award. Tijerino was also featuring on the cover of Latino Magazine as one of the 10 Who Made a Difference.
In the media, Tijerino has been featured in HBO’s Habla series alongside celebrities and national leaders, was profiled on an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth, among others. His articles and blogs have appeared in major publications and social media and he has been featured on radio and TV broadcasts. He also co-authored a white paper on emotional learning for underserved children and another on building healthy communities through school-based health centers for underserved populations. As a speaker he has made remarks from the White House to top colleges to corporate headquarters to communities across America. He was also featured in the TED Talk series.
Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism and later was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School. He lives in the Greater Washington, DC, area with his family.