Marquee Events

Manuel Gonzalez, CEO, National Society of Hispanic MBAs

Manuel Gonzalez is a global strategic leader with over 35 years of experience in the entertainment/hospitality industry, theme parks, live events, zoos, aquariums, and cruise lines. His professional career might be best described as eclectic. Starting his career in the hospitality hotel, food and beverage industry, he worked his way from behind-the-scenes to becoming a leader in the cultural events business where he was afforded the opportunity to grow from different career paths, spending time in marketing, finance and operations, domestically and internationally. He has a broad range of expertise in both the nonprofit and corporate sector in an international arena.

Mr. Gonzalez’s strengths lie in strategic management planning, external relations, development, marketing, finance and governance of facilities, venues, and cultural attractions. His experience in master planning and development includes the expansion of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium into a 580-acre regional entertainment complex with a water park, theme park, golf course, and the future site for an indoor water park hotel – a $180 million project that attracts over 2 million visitors per year.

He received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1995 and his Masters in Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University in 2002. He serves on the board of The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), The Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR), Donald Woods Winnicott School in Mexico and has served as a board member for the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the United Methodist Children’s Home, Park Street S.A. de C.V. and participated on the Zoo and Aquarium Committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). His latest career path has led him to oversee the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, a non-profit organization, where he serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

Yvonne Martin, Director, Strategic Accounts, Otis Elevator Company

As Director for Strategic Accounts at Otis Elevator Company Yvonne is responsible for supporting Otis' worldwide sales organizations and partnering in the coordination of Otis' activities to increase sales to global customers. Her 24-year career at Otis has included positions in product strategy, branch management, sales, field operations, and finance in the United States and Spain. She founded the UTC Hispanic Leadership Forum employee resource group in 2001 and in 2007 she was inducted to the Academy of Women Leaders, YWCA of the City of New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Bridgeport and an MBA from Northeastern University.

Wm. Gerard "Gerry” Sanders, Dean and Bodenstedt Chair, College of Business, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Wm. Gerard "Gerry” Sanders was named dean and Bodenstedt Chair of The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business on June 1, 2013. He is also a professor of management. Sanders comes to UTSA from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, bringing a wide range of administrative, academic and leadership experience. Joining Rice in 2008, he served as a professor of strategic management and the area leader of the Strategy and Environment group.

Previously, he led the Department of Organizational Leadership and Strategy at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. A native of California with strong Texas ties, Sanders’ research focuses on corporate governance and executive leadership and their effects on strategic decision making and company performance.

He has published studies on the effects of CEO stock option pay on firm risk taking; the role of top management work experiences on firm strategy; and the nature of what firms learn from their board members’ experiences. Sanders is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society.

His research has been published in leading management journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Management and Human Resource Management.

His work on stock option pay has also been featured in major news outlets such as The New York Times, The Economist and BusinessWeek.

Prior to entering academia Sanders spent more than a decade working in institutional commercial real estate investment with Equitec Financial Group, the Koll Company and Bechtel Investments.

Sanders received his Ph.D. in strategic management from The University of Texas at Austin and holds a bachelor’s in finance from Brigham Young University.

Gale King, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Nationwide

Gale King is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Nationwide. She was elected to this position in 2010. Her responsibilities include Human Resources, Corporate Real Estate, Security and Aviation.

Gale began her insurance career as a claims representative, and then served in various leadership roles including Administrative Officer -- Office of the President -- Property & Casualty, Vice President -- Human Resources -- Nationwide Insurance, Senior Vice President -- Property & Casualty Human Resources, and Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Nationwide. Understanding the importance of education, in 2007, Gale established a scholarship fund in the name of her late grandmother and mother. She is active in the community and currently serves on the boards of the National Urban League, the Columbus Museum of Art, the University of Florida Foundation, and the Executive Leadership Council.

Gale graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in public administration.

Mariela Dabbah, Author.Speaker.Consultant

For the last twenty years Mariela has devoted her enormous energy to helping young Latino atudents, women and professionals succeed in their quest of education and successful careers in the United States.

In this mission she has authored several award winning, best-selling books to help Latinos navigate the American system. Her book Poder deMujer: Descubre quién eres para crear el éxito a tu medida, published byPenguin in 2012, has been on the bestselling lists on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Nielsen since its release. It will be released in English, May 2013 with the title: Find Your Inner Red Shoes Other books: Latinos in College: Your guide to Success, Help your Children Succeed in School Help your Children Succeed in High School and Go to College, How to Get a Job in the U.S., and co-authored The Latino Advantage in the Workplace.

In 2009 Mariela created Latinos in College, the first online/offline all-encompassing platform to help Latino students succeed in college. The non-profit organization’s website offers resources, tools and connections for Latino students and their families to find, pay and graduate from college.

In 2012, when her book Poder de Mujer was released, Mariela founded the Red Shoe Movement: Women Supporting Women for Career Success ( to increase female representation at executive levels across organizations. The movement encourages women to wear red shoes to work on Tuesdays to signal their support for the career development of other women.

As an international, sought-after speaker, Mariela has presented at Procter and Gamble, General Electric, Citigroup, AIG, Exxon/Mobil, HBO, Goldman Sachs, Verizon, JPMorganChase, McDonald’s, the College Board, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, the College Board, National Association for Bilingual Education, The Conference Board, and National Society of Hispanic MBAs, among many other companies, organizations and professional conferences.

Mariela is a frequent media expert on Latino education and success She regularly appears on: CNN, Univision, Telemundo, ABC, NBC, NPR and many others. She’s a columnist for several online media outlets such as the Huffington Post and Fox News.

Gary Hoover, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, Founder/CEO, Bigwig Games, Inc.

Gary Hoover began his entrepreneurial journey at an early age. He began subscribing to Fortune Magazine at the age of 12, and has acquired most of the issues back to 1930. As part of his education, he studied economics at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and two other Nobel Prize winners.

At the age of 30, after he finally took the plunge and created pioneering book superstore BOOKSTOP, which helped change the nature of book shopping in America. This company was sold to Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million cash when it was 7 years old. After he and his partners sold BOOKSTOP, Gary returned to his first love of understanding businesses, and began the company that became Hoover’s, the world’s largest Internet-based provider of information about enterprises. In July of 1999, Hoover’s went public and in March of 2003, the company was purchased by Dun & Bradstreet for $117 million.

In the 2009-10 academic year, Gary served as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. He reviewed approximately 400 business plans and ideas in this role, as well as teaching a Foundations of Entrepreneurship course. In 2012, Gary was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.

Beginning in 2010, Gary started teaching students of all ages Entrepreneurial Thinking through his own Hoover Academy. Over 300 people have graduated from Hoover Academy programs ranging from 3 hours to 12 weeks.

Gary lives in Austin, Texas, with his 55,000-book library. He speaks to conferences and corporate groups and works to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking on every continent and in every industry, for profit and not for profit. He has also supported the University of Chicago, where Hoover House dormitory opened early this century.

Julie Staggs Managing Principal, Global Education Practice Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting

Julie Staggs is a Managing Principal, Global Education Practice, for Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, based in the Firm’s Atlanta office.  Ms. Staggs is an experienced higher education professional who has worked both for and with higher education for over twenty years. From admissions and marketing to curriculum development and delivery, she has assisted institutions in reaching their strategic goals. Her engagements have included working with various universities to plan, develop, and launch new programs. She has directed all project phases, including research, planning, hiring, training, implementation, and evaluation.
Previously, she consulted for Fortune 100 companies in the areas of corporate training, innovation, and strategic planning. Her consulting at Corporate Executive Board focused on innovation and strategic partnering in addition to teaching in the Corporate Leadership Council’s (CLC) Leadership Academies.
Ms. Staggs’ combination of higher education and corporate experience provides a broad perspective for each project. These combined areas of expertise enable her to develop and deliver differentiating solutions for institutions. 
Earlier in Ms. Staggs’ career she worked with Adecco as a placement specialist in Washington, DC, with a focus on placing  recent college graduates. As a member of Korn/Ferry’s Global Education practice, Ms. Staggs works with institutions around the globe to define and implement leadership development strategies and programs across the institution with students, staff, and administration.
Ms. Staggs received her bachelor’s degree from Converse College in music theory and religion and her executive master’s of business administration degree, with a concentration in leadership, from University of Georgia. Currently, she is working on her doctorate of education in higher education management at the University of Georgia’s Institute for Higher Education.

Bigland, Reid, Head of U.S. Sales, Chrysler Group LLC, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer - Chrysler Canada Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC

Reid Bigland currently holds three distinct Senior Management roles with Chrysler Group LLC. He is Chrysler’s Head of U.S. Sales Operations, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Canada Inc. and President and CEO of the of the Company’s Ram Truck Brand.

Mr. Bigland was appointed Chairman, President and CEO of Chrysler Canada in July 2006 where he is currently responsible for Chrysler’s entire Canadian Commercial operations and legal entity. In June 2011 Mr. Bigland was named Head of U.S. Sales for Chrysler Group LLC responsible for the Company’s U.S. Sales Strategy, Dealer Relations, Order Facilitation, Incentives and Field Operations. In addition, he was named President and CEO of Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck Brand in April 2013. Reid is also a member of the Fiat/Chrysler Global Group Executive Council (GEC) which isthe highest ranking decision making body within the Fiat/Chrysler organization.

Prior to Mr. Bigland’s current roles, he was President and CEO of the Dodge Brand from June 2011-April 2013. Prior to joining Chrysler, he was President of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, a South Carolina – based company.Specifically, Mr. Bigland’s professional experience is as follows:
2013 – current, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand
2011 – current, Head of U.S. Sales Chrysler Group LLC
2011 – current Member of Fiat/Chrysler Group Executive Council
2011 – President and CEO, Dodge Brand
2006 – current, Chairman, President and CEO Chrysler Canada Inc.
2005 – President, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
2002 – General Manager Dealer Operations, Freightliner LLC
2001 – Director Vocational Sales, Freightliner LLC
1999 – Director U.S. Sales, Western Star Trucks
1997 – Director Human Resources, Western Star Trucks
1988-1997 – Various Management Positions, Canadian Airlines International

Mr. Bigland received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia and holds both American and Canadian Citizenships.
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Consuelo Kickbusch, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) Founder & President of Educational Achievement Services, Inc., Army Veteran | Author | Motivational Speaker | Educator

Born and raised along the border in a small barrio in Laredo, Texas, Consuelo Kickbusch is all too familiar with the challenges of poverty, discrimination and illiteracy. Although she grew up without material wealth, she was taught by her immigrant parents that she was rich in culture, tradition, values and faith. The values she learned as a child were reinforced throughout her career in the U.S. military. After graduating from Hardin Simmons University, Consuelo entered the U.S. Army as an officer and served for two decades.

During that time, she broke barriers and set records in the military where she became the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army. When the opportunity to assume a command post arose, LTC Castillo Kickbusch shocked the military by deciding to retire. She chose to honor her mother's dying wish to get back to her roots and become a community leader. In 1996, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch retired from the military and dedicated her time to operating Educational Achievement Services, Inc. and fulfilling her mission of preparing tomorrow's leaders today.

Today, Consuelo tells her story to people of all ages and creeds. She is doing exactly what she preaches…living a legacy. Because of her strong dedication to saving the youth of America living under similar circumstances as she did as a child, Consuelo continues to share her message with young people across the country and their parents. In addition, she reaches audiences in the corporate, professional, and multi-cultural markets. She has also worked with many non-profit organizations, community-service oriented companies, and programs.

HENRY G. CISNEROS, Chairman, City View

Henry Cisneros is Chairman of the CityView companies, which work with urban homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. CityView is a partner in building more than 60 communities in 13 states, incorporating more than 7,000 homes with a home value of over $2 billion.

Mr. Cisneros’ community-building career began at the local level. After serving three terms as a City Councilmember, in 1981, Mr. Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio, Texas. During his four terms as Mayor, he helped rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements. In 1984, Mr. Cisneros was interviewed by the Democratic Presidential nominee as a possible candidate for Vice President of the United States and in 1986 was selected as the "Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine.

After completing four terms as Mayor, Mr. Cisneros formed Cisneros Asset Management Company, a fixed income management firm operating nationally and ranked at the time as the second fastest growing money manager in the nation.

In 1992, President Clinton appointed Mr. Cisneros to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies which contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate. In his role as the President’s chief representative to the nation’s cities, Mr. Cisneros personally worked in more than 200 U.S. cities in every one of the 50 states.

After leaving HUD in 1997, Mr. Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcaster which has become the fifth-most-watched television network in the nation. Mr. Cisneros currently serves on Univision’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Cisneros has served as President of the National League of Cities, as Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and is currently an officer of Habitat for Humanity International. Mr. Cisneros remains active in San Antonio’s leadership where he is Chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. He is currently a member of the advisory boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation.

Mr. Cisneros has been inducted into the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) "Builders Hall of Fame” and honored by the National Housing Conference as the "Housing Person of the Year.”

Mr. Cisneros has also been author or editor of several books including: Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation. His book project with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy, was presented the Common Purpose Award for demonstrating the potential of bipartisan cooperation and Casa y Comunidad: Latino Home and Neighborhood Design was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal in the category of best business book of 2006. Mr. Cisneros holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, studied urban economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from George Washington University, and has been awarded more than 20 honorary doctorates from leading universities. He served as an infantry officer in the United States Army. Mr. Cisneros is married to Mary Alice P. Cisneros, who from 2007–2011 served on San Antonio’s City Council and they have three children – Teresa, Mercedes, and John Paul – and four grandchildren.


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#Nadine Velazquez

For 4 years she played the role of "Catalina Arcura”, the stripper/maid with a heart of gold on the popular TV series MY NAME IS EARL” on NBC. This year has been incredibly busy and exciting for Nadine. She is presently on TNT's #1 Drama Series,  MAJOR CRIMES as "DDA Emma Rios", and also recurs on two other tv shows: FX’s fantasy football series, THE LEAGUE as well as BET's REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD with actor Kevin Hart. Her latest films include Robert Zemekis' film,  FLIGHT with Denzel Washington, SNITCH with Dwayne Johnson and next year starring in her first romantic comedy lead in PANTALION FILMS, AZTEC WARRIOR with Luis Guzman and Eugenio Derbez. Nadine resides in Los Angeles and is currently writing her one person show, "Girl: age 34" about growing up in Chicago and "growing up" too fast.
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