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Latinas Today: Maria Salinas, Kristi Villanueva, Yvonne Garcia

Maria Salinas Appointed as Los Angeles Area Chamber Incoming President & CEO.

The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has appointed Maria Salinas as the Chamber’s new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2018. Salinas will be the first women leader in the organization’s history.

Salinas brings to the LA Chamber an ability to understand the needs, challenges and aspirations of businesses of all types and sizes based on her extensive private sector experience ranging from corporations to start-ups in a cross-section of industries. Her decades of financial expertise and business management includes experience in leading both major Southern California corporations and small businesses in corporate governance, audit and compliance, and regulatory matters. She is currently the President and Founder of Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting project management firm.

Prior to launching her business in 2006, Salinas held financial leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company for nearly 11 years. She also developed public accounting experience working with Ernst & Young LLP. In addition to serving as Director and former Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, Salinas is the Chair of the Board of Regents at Loyola Marymount University, her alma mater. She also serves on the Board of Directors at UnidosUS and brings deep ties to the local education community with a board position at Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.
“Maria has the unique combination of financial acumen and sound leadership skills paired with an entrepreneurial spirit that makes her the perfect choice to lead the Chamber,” said Michelle Kerrick, Board Chair for the Chamber. “On top of this, she has deep community involvement and an insurmountable passion for seeing this city prosper well into the future. As a lifelong Angeleno, we are confident Maria will champion diversity and bring our communities closer together.”

Kristi Villanueva, West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President.

A former board member with a background in Public Relations, Government Affairs, and Small Business Advocacy, Kristi Villanueva brings over 17 years of experience in public relations, government affairs, and Small Business Advocacy. She is well known for her tenacity, community engagement, and love of the outdoors. She advances any team’s mission through her work ethic, expertise, and dedication.

Prior to her role at the chamber, she worked as Deputy Program Manager for a small, minority-owned construction company managing two overseas projects under a Department of State contract.
Villanueva utilizes her public speaking, sales and customer service skills to consistently exceed goals, while enhancing revenues in competitive environments. An expert at handling challenging situations with tenacity and effective problem-solving. She advances any team’s mission through her work ethic, expertise, and dedication.

She continues to develop key strategies in Communications, Branding and Business Development which drive to the core of what each client lives for – their business. She displays true commitment for developing the connection between the issues at hand and the customers’ desire to be successful. Her past clients have included small and large businesses in the services and tourism industry, event marketing, non-profits organizations, medical, construction and technology firms.

Yvonne Garcia Honored with Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Cambridge College.

ALPFA’s Chairwoman and Senior Vice President of Investment Manager Services and Global Head of Client Solutions at State Street Corporation, Yvonne Garcia, was honored with an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters by Cambridge College at the college’s 47th commencement exercises.

Garcia serves as the Chair of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for Boston and on the Board of Directors for The Partnership, Inc. She is the co-founding Chair of Milagros para Niños at Boston Children’s Hospital and serves on the Board of Directors for Tufts Medical Center and on Massachusetts Governor Baker’s Latino Advisory Commission Board. Garcia holds an MBA from Boston University in Finance and Marketing and a BA from SUNY Albany. She is also a graduate of the ARMY R.O.T.C. program at Siena College in Loudonville, NY and holds a Certificate in Economics and Culture from La Sorbonne in Paris, France and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.