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Un Estrella entre Estrellas

The 50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology & Business: Pushing to the Top in American Industry

As might be expected, many of the "50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology and Business" are engineers, many of whom repeat here from last year. Engineers, modern wizards whose scientific mastery drives American industrial progress, are the people who create America's wealth. But not all of the "50 Most" are engineers. Many are savvy executives, managers who understand how technology is to be used and sold, marketers whose sophistication in meeting customer needs undergirds the success of entire enterprises. Some started as engineers and learned business skills while mastering the difficult art of turning ideas into products.

We begin by looking closely at a few exemplars, to show the breadth of Hispanic success.

Cranking Up an Auto Career

Consider Ford Motor Company's Jim Padilla, chief operating officer and chairman of Worldwide Auto Operations.

Padilla's grandfather left Mexico early in the last century, and Padilla grew up in Detroit. He figured his interest in math and science would lead to success, and it did. Padilla majored in chemical engineering at the University of Detroit, but co-op work took him into auto plants.

Metallurgy was the main dream, but he found that "a car is the most diverse collection of alloys you can find."

On a five-year co-op plan, with frequent, intense immersion in manufacturing, Padilla earned enough credits to finish his B.Sc. in engineering and a master's degree in polymer engineering, as well as an M.Sc. in economics.

He began as a quality control engineer in 1966, climbing as he learned.

Padilla moved through product engineering and manufacturing assignments, rising to operations manager for the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer, Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, and Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable car lines. Car analysts at the time wrote that the Taurus assembly lines in Chicago and Atlanta set new standards for U.S.-built car quality, and the Mexican plant making Escorts consistently won consumer praise.

Offshore Posting

Then Ford took over the British Jaguar. Padilla, then director of engineering and manufacturing for Jaguar Cars, Ltd., had to revive a failing brand. The Jaguar marque had a distinguished history and exotic image, but poor reliability and "fit and finish" were killing it in a market flooded by well-made Pacific Rim products.

"At the time, it didn't seem like the best of opportunities," Padilla says, but the British team was excited to learn American lessons. His success in "teaching them to build a great product, as well as great new products like the XJ series, the Jaguar XK-8," the Aston-Martin DB-7, and the Jaguar S-type won plaudits, as did his later work on the Lincoln LS, whose road-handling surprised U.S auto writers. This accelerated his career.

In November 1996, Ford named Padilla president of South American operations, to handle a major restructuring after the breakup of Autolatina. In 1999, he became group VP of global manufacturing, and in a year and a half he was North American group VP. A stint as North America president prepped him for his current job.

Padilla, a Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering since 2001, was the 2000 Engineer of the Year at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference. A 1978-'79 White House Fellow, he was special assistant to the U.S. secretary of commerce.

Polishing the Imagers

Chief operating officers, executives at the top, are not so rare among Hispanics in technology any more. And automaking is not the only U.S. industry with strong Hispanic impact. Consider Antonio M. Perez, Eastman Kodak Company's president and chief operating officer.
The Spanish-born Perez worked a 25-year career at Silicon Valley's oldest success story, Hewlett-Packard Company, before leaving to be an entrepreneurial risk-taker. At HP, he had been corporate vice president and member of the Executive Council. He headed the consumer business and led digital imaging and electronic publishing initiatives, launching consumer products with world-wide revenue of more than $16 billion. In five years under Perez, HP's world-wide installed inkjet base grew from 17 million to 100 million.

In June 2000, Perez, then CEO of Gemplus International SA, took the company public on the NASDAQ and on Paris' Premiere Marche. Perez, a University of Madrid B.Sc. in electronic engineering, turned Gemplus into the leading smart-card solution provider in the wireless and financial markets. Revenues grew 70 percent, from $700 million to $1.2 billion.
Perez joined Kodak a year ago, and oversees Digital & Film Imaging Systems, Commercial Printing, Display and Components, Health Imaging, the Commercial Imaging Group, Global Manufacturing and Logistics, the Chief Marketing Office, Research & Development, the Corporate Kodak Operating System, and international regional operations.

Top Sales Leader

Xerox Corporation's Patricia Elizondo is an example of the climb of Hispanic women toward full participation in all functions of American industry. Elizondo, who studied finance at Indiana University and completed an M.B.A. at Notre Dame, joined Xerox in 1981 as an internal auditor. Moving beyond the strict columns and rows of accountancy, Elizondo went from operational and field financial management to credit management, positions leading customer service, and management of marketing support operations. Then she moved into sales.

Elizondo held key posts in Northeast Ohio and became vice president and general manager of the Maryland/Virginia Customer Business Unit and then senior VP for financial/professional and health care industry sales operations.

As senior vice president of major accounts, Elizondo now is responsible for providing products and services as well as achieving customer satisfaction for Xerox' largest commercial customers, and she delivers annual revenue exceeding $2 billion.

Bridges, Bridges, Bridges

Juan A. Murillo works in an entirely different area, and he is a living demonstration that Hispanic engineers are all over the landscape of 21st century America.

Murillo, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute civil engineer with B.Sc. and master's degrees and P.E. certification, got to work with the legendary Jean Muller, a Frenchman who pioneered and introduced segmental bridge construction in the U.S. Some Murillo projects were the all pre-cast segmental bridges in the Florida Keys, Tampa's famous Sunshine Skyway, Virginia's James River Bridge, and North Carolina's Linn Cove Viaduct. In 10 years, Murillo rose to assistant technical director and engineering VP.

In 1986, Murillo joined Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. an employee-owned consulting engineering firm with 220 locations around the world and more than $1.3 billion in sales. Starting as technical director for cable-stayed and segmental bridges, he created a Bridge Service Center and worked on the Talmadge Bridge in Savannah, Ga., and Connecticut's Baldwin Bridge. The Loma Prieta earthquake forced reexamination of construction techniques in California, and Murillo joined the Caltrans Seismic Retrofit Program. He's the principal designer for the temporary bypass structure for the replacement of the east spans of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. His bio goes on and on, but you get the idea: Murillo's bridges are everywhere.

That could be said about Hispanics in technology generally, as a look at the following achievers will show.

Ralph Alvarez
Chief Operations Officer
McDonald's USA

Alvarez, a cum laude business graduate of the University of Miami, first joined Burger King Corporation and perfected his skills across several brands. He rose to managing director of Burger King Spain, president of Burger King Canada, and regional VP for Florida. He moved to Wendy's International, Inc. in 1990, as corporate vice president and Florida division VP. He joined McDonald's Corporation as regional VP for Sacramento, then became regional director for Chipotle Mexican Grill, a McDonald's Partner Brand. He moved up to president, Central Division, at McDonald's USA, responsible for 4,300 restaurants. Now, as COO, he's responsible for all divisions.

Thaddeus Arroyo
Chief Information Officer
Cingular Wireless

Arroyo directs Cingular's information technology infrastructure. A former senior VP for product marketing and development at Sabre Corporation, he has been the main manager of technology initiatives while bringing order to Cingular's enterprise computing and communications applications and implementing a new billing system. His experience at Sabre, where he also was senior VP for IT, and in IT posts at Southwestern Bell, stood him in good stead. Arroyo majored in math at the University of Texas at Arlington, and has an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University. He won the 2002 "Georgia Global CIO of the Year Award" for his leadership and creativity in planning and deploying enterprise systems at Cingular.

Dan E. Arvizu, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Federal and Industrial Client Groups

Dr. Arvizu, a New Mexico State University mechanical engineer with a Stanford M.Sc., oversees technology development and acquisitions for this employee-owned engineering, construction, and projects delivery company, generating more than $2 billion in yearly revenues. An AT&T Bell Labs and Sandia National Laboratories alumnus, he formerly directed research centers for advanced energy technology, material and process sciences, and technology commercialization. An advisor to the National Academies of Science and Engineering, he participated in two National Research Council studies of energy R&D. He's also on the Energy Department's National Coal Council.

Paulino Barros
BellSouth Latin America

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Barros moved across industry lines to arrive in the telecommunications industry. Barros, who earned degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering before coming to the U.S., worked in the food, automotive, gas, and chemical industries before his telecommunications career. Barros joined BellSouth International in 2000 and earlier served as chief planning and operations officer and then regional vice president for Latin America. Barros also worked for Motorola, Inc. as corporate vice president and general manager for its Latin America Group. Earlier, he had held a number of posts for the Nutrasweet Company in Chicago and for Monsanto Co., in St. Louis and in Brazil.
Mario Bolaños
Director, Semiconductor Group Packaging Technology Development
Texas Instruments Incorporated

Leader of the only TI organization to win two prestigious "Ideas in Action" Awards, Bolaños has 10 technical patents for semiconductor packaging. His group supports the Semiconductor Group's high-growth, $8-billion-a-year digital signal processor and analog product businesses, and his superiors describe his group as one of the most creative, issuing nearly two patent disclosures per person per year, besting the average by TI's general engineering staff. Over a 27-year career, Bolaños produced consistently strong results as an executive and technical manager, and this won him his current vice-president-level post.

Jaime Borras
Corporate Vice President of the Technical Staff and Director of Technology, iDEN Subscriber Group Global Telecom Solutions Sector
Motorola, Inc.

Borras' group is part of Motorola's Global Telecommunications Solutions Sector, where he develops breakthrough products and technologies that ultimately become key success elements for high-volume businesses. Joining Motorola 30 years ago as an electrical engineer, Borras has worked up the communications division ladder and was there at the beginning of the wireless revolution. Borras was honored for Outstanding Technical Achievement at the 1996 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards. He is a Motorola Science Advisory Board Associate and was named a Motorola Distinguished and Master Innovator in 1992 and 1994 and, in 1996, conferred the title of Dan Noble Fellow, the highest award for technology excellence at Motorola. Borras holds 38 U.S. patents and a Motorola Engineering Award for Excellence.

Jovita Carranza
Vice President of Air Operations

Carranza began as a hub clerk in UPS' Metro Los Angeles District in 1976 and excelled in supervisory and managerial assignments before landing her first operations post in 1991. She moved up to Central Florida District manager, district manager for Wisconsin, then, in 1999, district manager for the Americas Region, responsible for operations in the Mercosur trading bloc as well as Chile and Bolivia. She stepped up to UPS president for Latin America and the Caribbean, and today, running day-to-day air operations in Louisville, Ky. — technology, engineering, brokerage, ground support, human resources, and security departments — she is the company's highest-ranking Hispanic female.

Juan N. Cento
FedEx Express Latin America & Caribbean Division

Cento manages more than 3,000 employees in 50 countries, covering some seven million square miles, with people speaking four languages. He began his 27 years in air cargo and transport at Flying Tiger Line Inc. and joined FedEx as part of a 1989 merger. Cento, who was born in Cuba, attended Miami Dade Community College and Florida International University Business School and has held the posts of managing director for South and Central America and VP of Mexico, Central America, and the FedEx Global Services Provider Network. He won the 1998 Vice President of the Year Award for leading Mexico to peak growth.

Michelle Cervantez
Vice President, Marketing
Mercedes-Benz USA

Cervantez directs U.S. product marketing for passenger cars and light trucks, marketing communications, and advertising. She joined Mercedes-Benz in 2003 after 15 years at Ford Motor Company, where she had risen to global process and strategy manager for autos, leading brand strategy throughout the world markets. She had been marketing vice president for Jaguar Cars, North America. Ad Age magazine named her one of the "Women to Watch," Automotive News cited her as one of the "100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry," and Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the "100 Influential Hispanics." A business graduate of the University of Southern California, she has an M.B.A. from Notre Dame.

Mario Concha
Georgia-Pacific Corporation

Concha, a native of Bogota, Colombia, joined Union Carbide Corporation after getting his B.Sc. in chemical engineering at Cornell University. He held executive positions in the U.S. and Europe, then joined Occidental Chemical, rising to international vice president before he left to head international business for steelmaker GS Industries, Inc. He had helped lead a team that formed GS Industries out of a leveraged buyout of an Armco Steel division. Concha joined Georgia-Pacific in 1998 as vice president for chemical and resins, and rose to president, running one of the leading producers of chemicals and resins in building products, papermaking, and other industrial and specialty operations.

Patricia Romero "Patt" Cronin
Vice President, Transformation Initiative IBM Global Services
IBM Corporation

Before taking her current post, Cronin led her division's practice for the e-business Services and Integration Group, directing more than 12,000 consultants. Cronin also led development of software to track Olympic entrants that was used for the Sydney 2000 Games. Cronin, whose parents came from El Salvador and Guatemala to go to college, has a B.Sc. in combined sciences from the University of Santa Clara and a Golden Gate University M.B.A. Cochair of La Familia Technology Week, she is an active member of the Pan American Roundtable, focused on boosting Latino women's college-going rate. In 2001, she won the award for Executive Excellence at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards.

Gregory S. Deveson
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Saab Automobile
General Motors Corporation

Deveson got his B.Sc. in industrial administration from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in 1984, and began his career as a Fisher Body Division production supervisor. He successfully climbed the ranks in manufacturing and engineering, on the way getting his M.B.A. at the University of Indiana in 1988. Deveson has managed metal casting, car assembly, and powertrain manufacturing in the Midwest, and now leads GM's Saab Group as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Heriberto Diaz
Vice President of Operations and General Manager
Guidant Corporation

Diaz, a B.Sc. electrical engineer from the University of Puerto Rico, worked nine years at Prime Computer, Inc., before joining Guidant in 1990. He has held management posts on the island of his birth and on the mainland, and now supervises all departments at Guidant Puerto Rico, including human resources, manufacturing, technology transfer, finance, information technology, quality and compliance, and supply chain. Guidant Puerto Rico has logged revenue growth of 106 percent and production volume growth of more than 402 percent, and its customer satisfaction index has reached 99.5 percent. The Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association named him Manufacturing Executive of the Year in 2003.

Philip A. Dur, Ph.D.
Corporate Vice President and President, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Dur was previously vice president for program operations at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems Sector, responsible for business operations, program execution, and acquisition/alliance activities. He also chaired the command, control, communications, and computers integrated product team. On active duty, Adm. Dur had been assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations, director of the Navy Strategy Division, and commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet Battle Force. A bachelor's and master's degree graduate of Notre Dame University, he also has a master in public administration degree and doctorate in political economy from Harvard University.

Michael L. Escobar
Assistant Vice President, Information Technology
Allstate Insurance Company

Escobar is leading a major transformation initiative to turn Allstate's Applications Services Organization into a new, consulting practice business model. The organization, which has more than 2,000 IT professionals and a major budget responsibility, had been operating along traditional lines for years, but Allstate decided the rapidly changing financial services industry required a new business model. Escobar, a 26-year employee with a B.Sc. in business from Central Connecticut College, had risen through positions in accounting, operations, and information technology before accepting his present post.

Angel Garcia
Corporate Vice President, Global Services and International Operations

Garcia came to StorageTek from IBM Corporation, where he had been managing director of IBM Chile. Earlier, he had played significant roles at Xerox Corporation as vice president for Global Tele-Web Operations, vice president for marketing and operations, and head of U.S. operations. He has held country manager positions in Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, Portugal, and Spain. Now responsible for growth markets, including Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, he holds the M.B.A. from the University A. Ibanez.

Edsel Garciaméndez-Budar
Director, IP and Data Network Engineering

Garciaméndez-Budar leads design, engineering, architecture, technical support, vendor technical management, and lab certification of equipment used in MCI's Global IP and Data Networks. He also supports MCI's own advanced network requirements, overseeing technical and architectural evolution of MCI's multiservice and data convergence platforms. Before joining MCI in 1994, he held management and engineering posts at British Telecom North America and Tymnet. Garciaméndez-Budar has master's degrees in operations research and industrial engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's in engineering from Mexico's Ibero American University.

Richard A. Gonzalez
President and Chief Operating Officer, Medical Products Group
Abbott Laboratories, Inc.

Gonzalez, a former research biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Houston and an M.Sc. from the University of Miami, joined Abbott in 1977. He held several positions in the diagnostics division before being named divisional vice president in 1992. He was elected president of Abbott HealthSystems Division in 1995 and senior vice president for hospital products three years later. He rose to his present post in December 2001 and also was elected to Abbott's board of directors.

Si Gutierrez
Vice President of Central Planning and Production Control
National Semiconductor Corporation

Gutierrez, a former director of Worldwide Planning at LSI Logic Corporation, earned his bachelor of management degree from San Jose State University. At National Semiconductor, he is responsible for strategic direction of supply chain planning, revenue planning, evaluating production and inventory levels, and implementing systems to ensure optimum customer service and productivity from the company's manufacturing facilities.

John Ladaga
Vice President and General Manager of Americas Delivery

Responsible for management of $7 billion in revenues, a third of EDS' annual total, Ladaga manages more than 30,000 employees in the provision of services. His portfolio includes clients in Canada, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the U.S. in several industries: transportation, telecommunications, energy, financial, consumer and retail services, and manufacturing. A pioneer in development of decision support systems, Ladaga and his team discovered innovative ways to marry legacy applications to Web-enabled technology, transforming legacy data into new decision-making tools. He has been recognized with the top-rank EDS Leadership Award because of his team's customer satisfaction and contributions to the firm.

Carlos Lobo
President and Chief Executive Officer
New Venture Gear, Inc.

Lobo is the highest-ranking Hispanic at DaimlerChrysler Corporation. As CEO of the company's $2-billion New Venture Gear subsidiary over the last four years, Lobo has primary responsibility for profitable operations. Joining Chrysler de Mexico more than 30 years ago, Lobo worked his way all the way up from master usage supervisor. He holds diplomas from the Institutio Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresas of the Harvard School of Business, and Cambridge University, as well as a degree in mechanical engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico.

Filemon Lopez
Senior Vice President, South Florida Region
Comcast Corporation

Lopez runs Comcast's business in Miami-Dade, the Florida Keys, Broward County, and the Treasure Coast, a region recently acquired by the company where it serves 700,000 customers and employs nearly 2,000 people. Lopez had been president of Comcast University, the company's center for performance improvement, learning and development, and employee communications. Lopez joined Comcast in 1990 as director of advertising sales for the Southeast Region and rose to corporate ad sales VP a year later, rising again in 1996 to senior VP. Before joining Comcast, Lopez worked for Cox Cable and Storer Cable Communications. He has worked in the industry since 1983 and has served on several industry boards.

Louis J. Martinez, P.E.
Vice President of Facilities Modification and Repair Operations for Government Operations-Americas
Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.

A 26-year Army veteran and former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mobile District, Martinez has wide experience as leader of multinational professional and craft work forces in the U.S., Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. He has been project manager for $2.5 billion worth of design and construction projects in Saudi Arabia, for foreign military sales in Latin America, and for $200 million worth of projects in Southeast Asia. At KBR, a division of Halliburton, he oversees $750 million worth of similar projects world-wide.

Placido J. Martinez
Vice President, Operations-Louisiana
Entergy Corporation

Martinez joined Entergy in 1981 and most recently was responsible for the performance of its utility operations' Six Sigma projects and the management of strategic initiatives functions, including benchmarking. Earlier, he was distribution operations director for Entergy Arkansas. He has a wide range of experience in fossil, substation, transmission, and distribution operations. The Cuba-born Martinez earned his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of New Orleans in 1981 and his M.B.A. from the university in 1988.

Jose A. Mejia
President, Supply Chain Networks
Lucent Technologies, Inc.

Since joining Lucent in 1999, Mejia has led implementation of a supply chain vision and strategy that covers the end-to-end provisioning of Lucent solutions to its global customer base. Mejia had been vice president of external manufacturing at Nortel Networks and earlier was vice president of component engineering for Bay Networks. He also worked seven years for Ford Motor Company and played a key role in reengineering the automaker's world-wide manufacturing, supply chain management, and order-to-delivery processes. The University of Michigan B.Sc. in industrial and operation engineering has an M.B.A. in finance from Duke University.

Alfonso Montiel
President, Procurement Outsourcing Service Line

Montiel, a Columbia University M.B.A. and a lawyer trained at the Universidad del Zulla in Venezuela, leads EDS' procurement line of business. He determines the strategy and key initiatives used by the global EDS procurement team in implementing procurement service offerings and representing EDS' Procurement Transformation and Outsourcing Service portfolio. Montiel has worked as a consultant and manager for companies such as I.C.G. Commerce, Inc., A.T. Kearney, Inc., American Express Company, and Interocean, leading development of new services, launch of new corporate initiatives, and direction of market strategies. His industry experience includes automotive, health care, pharmaceuticals, transportation, and consumer packaged goods.

Rey Moré
Senior Vice President and General Manager, iDEN Subscriber Group
Motorola, Inc.

Moré's group is responsible for advanced development, system and product development and maintenance, technical documentation, and training for commercial, government, and industrial customers. He manages the activities of the design centers in Schaumberg, Ill., Plantation, Fla., and Scottsdale, Ariz., and in England, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Canada, and Malaysia. Earlier, Moré had senior management positions in systems development, subscriber development, business management, and operations. He started his career at Motorola's Plantation, Fla., center in 1974.

Hector Motroni
Senior Vice President, Chief Staff Officer and Chief Ethics Officer
Xerox Corporation

Motroni is responsible for leading Xerox' initiatives to provide ethics training to every employee and to refresh and update internal and external business ethics sites. Motroni, who earned B.Sc. and master's degrees in engineering from Dartmouth College in 1966-'68, joined Xerox in 1971, moving to the Latin American Group two years later. In 1991, he became group vice president for quality, customer satisfaction, and organizational effectiveness and later was corporation vice president for human resources and quality.

Nellie Nieto
Vice President, Controller Finance
Panasonic Systems Sales Company

Panasonic's highest-ranking female, Nieto has been featured in publications in Japan and here. In addition to financial and accounting responsibilities, she has provided vision, recommendations, direction, and accomplishment to many corporate strategic projects, including implementing a state-of-the-art cash management process for Matsushita in North America; recommending, planning, and leading implementation of a customer call center to boost customer satisfaction, reduce returns, and increase revenue; and centralizing and standardizing processes of accounting, credit, operations, and other functions into a shared services environment, cutting operating costs and boosting efficiency.

Mario Nuevo, P.E.
Vice President
Parsons Corporation

Cuba-born Nuevo, who emigrated to Miami at age seven, completed 50 college credits by the time he finished high school, and took his B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Miami in 1984. A registered professional engineer in Florida, he began working as a survey staffer while in college and joined a Miami engineering firm upon graduation. He rose to vice president, working on projects such as environmental remediation of the Everglades, the Hurricane Andrew recovery plan, and the Miami Intermodal transportation center, the country's largest. At Parsons, he started as area manager and reached vice president in a year.

Rosendo G. Parra
Senior Vice President, Americas
Dell Inc.

Parra is responsible, with one other executive, for serving corporate, government, education, health care, and small- and medium-sized business customers in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. He also is responsible for Dell's service business and for manufacturing operations in Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn. Earlier, he had been senior VP of Dell's Worldwide Home and Small Business Group. He also has led groups serving federal, state, and local governments, K-12 education, and higher education markets in the U.S.

Jose E. Pincetic
Area Vice President, Caribbean and Latin America Financial Solutions Division
NCR Payment Solutions

Pincetic, who received his B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Chile and his M.B.A. from the University of Dayton, began with NCR in 1969 and made a steady climb up the ladder, moving from sales roles to manufacturing and engineering director for Latin America to direct marketing director, financial systems director for Latin America South Area, general manager for Brazil then for Latin America North Area, then area VP for the Caribbean.

Pedro Pizarro, Ph.D.
Vice President, Power Procurement
Southern California Edison

Dr. Pizarro's responsibilities include overseeing the procurement functions of the Energy Supply and Management and QF Resources departments. In addition, he is general manager of Edison Carrier Solutions, a division providing wholesale broadband services to telecommunications carriers. He joined Southern California Edison in 1999 and was elected vice president in 2000. He had worked for McKinsey & Company earlier, providing management consulting services to energy, technology, engineering services, and banking clients.

Hugo B. Poza, Ph.D.
Corporate Vice President
Raytheon Company

The highest-ranking Hispanic in Raytheon, Dr. Poza runs the company's Homeland Security business, providing systems and services to assess, combat, and respond to terrorist threats. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton in 1966, took his M.Sc. from Purdue University the next year, and completed his Ph.D. at Purdue in 1971. Before his current post, he was vice president and general manager of strategic systems in Raytheon's Command, Control, Communications and Information Systems business.

Stevan G. Ramirez
Chief Quality Officer and Vice President
Eastman Kodak Company

Ramirez came to Kodak four years ago as vice president for Worldwide Quality and Supply Chain, Consumer Imaging and moved up to his present post in 2001. Before joining Kodak, he made a 28-year climb up the ladder at Xerox Corporation, ending as customer service VP. Ramirez has a bachelor's in business management from the University of Redlands (Calif.) and an M.B.A. from the Simon School of the University of Rochester. He serves on the board of the Wilson Commencement Center, a foundation that provides assistance to low-income families. Ramirez is management sponsor of the Kodak Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA).

Hector Ruiz, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

Dr. Ruiz leads Intel's biggest competitor in computer CPU chips. The Piedras Negras, Mexico-born Ruiz holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in electronics from Rice University. Before joining AMD in January 2000, Dr. Ruiz worked 22 years for Motorola, Inc., rising to head its Semiconductor Products Sector. He also had held several R&D positions at Texas Instruments Incorporated. Dr. Ruiz, a director of Eastman Kodak Company as well, serves on the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, providing the U.S. trade representative with policy advice. He also sits on the Texas Governor's Task Force for Economic Growth.

Adalio T. Sanchez
General Manager, eServer pSeries
IBM Corporation

Sanchez, a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from Florida International University, sits on the Advisory Council of the Florida International's School of Engineering. He is responsible for all facets of IBM's UNIX server business, including product development, marketing, sales, operations, and overall financial performance. He has worked as general manager of the Storage Networking Division, headed manufacturing operations for the Personal Computer Division, and run the Mobil Computing unit.

Philip de St. Aubin
Vice President and Deputy, International Relations
The Boeing Company

Chief among de St. Aubin's responsibilities is the coordination and integration of company-wide processes, organizational management, business planning, program management, and human resources. He had been business director and deputy vice president for Europe for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Born in Santiago, Chile, de St. Aubin studied engineering at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and has a master's degree in finance from Puget Sound University. He also has worked as director of Boeing International Corporation in Spain.

Ralph G. Tourino
Vice President, Space Support Programs
Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems & Solutions

Tourino, a former Air Force major general, ran the multibillion-dollar B-2 program before joining Lockheed Martin Corporation. With an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and a master of public administration from Auburn University, Tourino also completed postgraduate studies in national security at Harvard. At Lockheed Martin, he blends his unique experiences to manage space systems and provide complex command and control systems modernization.

Dr. Raul Valdes-Perez
President and Chairman
Vivísimo, Inc.

Dr. Valdes-Perez, a B.Sc. and master's degree engineer from the University of Illinois at Chicago, worked in industry before joining the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he saw up close the rapid development of the Internet. He completed a Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, adding a minor in philosophy of science at Pitt. At Vivísimo, Dr. Valdes-Perez perfected his Meta-Search software engine, now lauded for its ability to instantly organize search results into a computer-generated "index" in multiple languages. Dr. Valdes-Perez has served as an adjunct research faculty member at Carnegie Mellon for more than a decade and has published nearly 50 research articles in natural-, social-, and computer-science journals.

Ralph de la Vega
Chief Operating Officer
Cingular Wireless
The Cuba-born de la Vega, a bachelor's degree mechanical engineer from Florida Atlantic University and an M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University, began work at BellSouth in 1974. He rose through network planning, consumer services, engineering, and operations, also doing a stint at Telcordia (Bellcore), and was responsible for all network operations in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, rising to president of Broadband and Internet Services. Before joining Cingular, de la Vega was president of BellSouth Latin America, with overall responsibility for operations in 10 countries. At Cingular, he leads technology planning, network operations, marketing, sales operational support, and customer care.

Oscar Velasco
Vice President, Southwest Zone
Siemens Medical Systems USA, Inc.

Joining Siemens as a technician in 1979, Velasco worked on the complete system assembly, including testing, troubleshooting, and repair of a wide variety of electronic equipment. Promoted to lead technician, responsible for workflow scheduling and for developing processes and procedures for maintaining good manufacturing practices compliance, he continued to move up, until he was cited as Nuclear Service Manager of the Year for 1995 and Regional Service Manager of the Year for 1998 and '99, based on national financial and customer satisfaction results. He now manages service operations through three regional offices covering several states. He directs a staff of six managers, three sales executives, an administrative assistant, and more than 130 customer service engineers.

David Wellisch
Vice President and General Manager, AOL Latino
America Online, Inc.

Wellisch is an Ecuadorian American who saw what the hot Hispanic marketplace needed: targeted, Spanish-language online services. At America Online, he spearheaded development of Hispanic-specific product, content, and services, and he runs the business, now known as AOL Latino. Wellisch studied economics and political science at Brown University and has an M.B.A. from Harvard. Starting out as AOL Web Properties Group's strategic development chief, Wellisch not only pushed for Hispanic content, he developed the business plan for AOL Latino.

Angiolina "Angie" Wiskocil
Senior Vice President - Network Services
SBC Communications Inc.

Originally from Ecuador, Wiskocil began with Pacific Bell as an accounting clerk in 1973 and worked her way up through assignments in operator services, engineering, network, and marketing, becoming Pac Bell's consumer marketing VP in 1999. At SBC, she now is responsible for network operations strategy and staff support, capital program management, and network regulatory support, and has headed the SBC/Yahoo strategic alliance, been vice president for Network Engineering West, and served on California's United Task Force to bridge the "Digital Divide." She also has represented SBC Communications in the national women's group Leadership America. Wiskocil earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Ph.D.
Vice President, Strategy and Technology
IBM Corporation

Dr. Wladawsky-Berger has responsibility for key IBM initiatives critical to the future of the IT industry. He leads IBM's company-wide e-business on demand initiative, designed to help customers fuse their business processes with advanced IT capabilities to achieve new dimensions in productivity and innovation. Dr. Wladawsky-Berger leads IBM's participation in the movement toward open standards and open source software such as Linux and guides the company's Next Generation Internet efforts. Holder of the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago, Dr. Wladawsky-Berger joined IBM in research at the Thomas J. Watson Center.

Gloria Ysasi-Diaz
Senior Vice President, Process Management
RR Donnelley

Ysasi-Diaz, holder of the B.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester and the M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary, began her career with General Electric Company in 1978. Joining RR Donnelley in 1984, she held a variety of business management positions and until recently led the Continuous Improvement efforts for the book publishing industry at company's corporate offices in Chicago. She has managed facilities in Indiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania and now is responsible for developing and implementing improvement strategies across the 25 manufacturing facilities that form RR Donnelley's Print Solutions business.


Top Hispanics in Government and Education

Surveying the field of "Most Important Hispanics in Technology and Business," HE&IT's editors found many players who, while not fitting under the "corporate" label, bring to the table a strength of commitment and performance that affects the lives and economic opportunities of people everywhere. Those profiled here are first-rank players in government, academia, or the national research laboratories, where many pioneering scientific discoveries and new technologies first appear. Look closely, for these are people who are not to be ignored.

Roland S. Arriola
Vice President for External Affairs
The University of Texas - Pan American

Baylor University grad Arriola has a Harvard master's in public administration. When U.S. Jaycees named him one of 1983's Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, City Council member Arriola had already been the first Hispanic mayor of Waco, Texas. Later, he led economic development for the Texas Commerce Department. With Texas Pan American since 1999, Arriola oversees development, university relations, career placement, and 25 outreach programs. With his leadership, HESTEC, a motivational program cofounded with U.S. Rep. Reuben Hinojosa (D-Texas) (See story, Page 63), annually brings thousands of K-12 students and parents to meet role models and learn about careers in science and technology.

Hector Barreto
U.S. Small Business Administration

Rockhurst University business graduate Barreto began his career as South Texas Area manager for Miller Brewing Company, then moved to California to found an employee benefits firm. He later launched a second business as a securities broker specializing in retirement plans. He chaired the board of the Latin Business Association of Los Angeles and also founded a small business institute to offer technical assistance, education, and development opportunities and has been recognized by Congress for his contributions to America's small-business community. Now he oversees delivery of financial and business development tools, including the SBA's technology training programs, to entrepreneurs everywhere (See the Hispanic Engineer Online interview at http://www.hispanicengineer.com/artman/publish/article_14.shtml).

Wilbert Berrios
Chief Information Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

With 26 years in government service, Berrios was selected to the Senior Executive Service in 1999 and appointed to his present post, where he serves as principal advisor to the Corps' commanding general on information technology issues. Berrios, a B.Sc. in education and an M.Sc. in management science, served as an Army officer in various aviation and operations research postings before joining the civil service in 1987. He has been chief of the Architecture Division, Information Management Office at Headquarters, Department of the Army, and held supervisory positions within the Defense Information Systems Agency, as well as director of information management for the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Alphonso V. Diaz
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Diaz is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing NASA's Earth science, space science, and technology programs assigned to the Greenbelt, Md., center. Diaz began his NASA career at Langley Research Center in 1964, working on the Viking Mars project, then moved to headquarters. He has served on the International Solar-Polar mission (now Ulysses), the Galileo Program, and in the Solar System Exploration Program Division. Diaz earned his B.Sc. in physics from Philadelphia's St. Joseph's University and a master's degree in physics from Old Dominion University. He also has received a master's degree in management from MIT's Sloan School of Management as a NASA Fellow.

Nils J. Diaz, Ph.D.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Dr. Diaz, now in his second five-year term at the NRC, was appointed commission chair by President Bush last year. He supervises licensing and construction of nuclear plants and other nuclear facilities and oversees their decommissioning. Earlier, he was professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Florida, director of the Innovative Nuclear Space Power Institute, and president and principal engineer of Florida Nuclear Associates, Inc. He spent 11 years running the Space Power Institute for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and earlier was associate research dean at California State University - Long Beach. Dr. Diaz got his B.Sc. in mechanical engineering at the University of Villanova, Havana, Cuba, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida.

Michael L. Dominguez
Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
U.S. Air Force
Dominguez leads a four-division department that sets policy for Air Force manpower and reserve affairs issues. Dominguez grew up on Air Force bases as his family moved around the world, and he went to West Point, graduating as a second lieutenant in 1975. He completed various Army assignments in Europe, then left the service in 1980 to go to Stanford Business School. With his M.B.A., he joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1983 and rose to the Senior Executive Service. He has worked for the chief of Naval Operations staff, and he worked briefly for a technology service organization before joining the Center for Naval Analyses, rejoining the CNO staff until his present presidential appointment.

Francisco A. Figueroa
Vice President, Business Management & Facilities Services and
Chief Financial Officer
Sandia National Laboratories

Figueroa, a certified public accountant licensed in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Tennessee; a certified financial planner; and a member of the American Institute for CPAs, manages facilities planning, construction, technical services, finance, procurement, property and logistics, business systems, business services, and pension and savings funds. He also has held the post of vice president and CFO for Lockheed Martin Energy Systems in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Figueroa, a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, earned his M.Sc. in systems management from the University of Southern California and an M.Sc. in astronautics at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Orlando Figueroa
Director of Solar System Exploration Division and Mars Exploration

Born in San Juan, P.R., Figueroa completed his mechanical engineering B.Sc. at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and completed advanced studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. A member of the federal Senior Executive Service, Figueroa has been deputy chief engineer for systems engineering and spent 22 years at Goddard Space Flight Center. He has headed the cryogenic technology section, played a key role on the Cosmic Background Explorer mission, and managed a Space Shuttle Helium on Orbit mission.

Sid Gutierrez
Director, Systems Assessment and Research
Sandia National Laboratories

Gutierrez, a 1973 aeronautical engineering graduate of the Air Force Academy, has a master's degree in personnel management from Webster University and completed graduate studies at Director's College, Stanford Law School, the UCLA Engineering and Management Program, and a special seminar at MIT. A native New Mexican, Gutierrez was a National Collegiate Champion parachutist before heading for pilot training at Texas' Laughlin AFB. An Air Force Test Pilot School graduate, he joined NASA in 1984. He was selected for astronaut training the next year and flew missions on the Shuttle until 1994. Col. Gutierrez retired in 1994 and joined Sandia, where he now manages a $165-million-a-year business, developing systems solutions for national security and nonproliferation.

Eduardo Macagno, Ph.D.
Dean, Division of Biological Sciences
University of California - San Diego

Founder of the division, Dr. Macagno spent 37 years at Columbia University, where he rose from graduate physics student to professor of biology and then associate vice president of arts and sciences for research and graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. At UCSD, his mission is to expand the scope and influence of its renowned bioscience programs. Recently, he helped create an Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, in which architects and neuroscientists explore how to use knowledge about the human brain to improve living environments to boost learning and make hospitals more conducive to mental health and offices that enhance productivity.

J. Leonard "Lenny" Martinez
Vice President of Manufacturing Systems, Science and Technology
Sandia National Laboratories

Martinez worked 19 years at Digital Equipment Corporation in several posts, and also served as manufacturing director in Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico, and as general manager for Digital Equipment de Mexico S.A. de C.V. Martinez joined Sandia Labs in 1995 as director of production integration, a center created to integrate the lab culture, manufacturing culture, and some private sector initiatives in support of the manufacturing operation to produce neutron generators. He rose to director of production operations, then to vice president of the Defense Product and Services Division, now Manufacturing Systems, Science and Technology. Martinez, a Stanford University Sloan Fellow, also completed the Digital International Management Education Program at INSEAD, Fontainbleu, France.

Mario J. Molina, Ph.D.
Institute Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Molina has been involved in developing our understanding of the stratospheric ozone layer and its susceptibility to human-made perturbations throughout his career. Born in Mexico City, he has a chemical engineering degree from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, a postgraduate degree from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined MIT in 1989. In addition to codiscovering the so-called Ozone Hole, he most recently has been pursuing work on tropospheric pollution issues. Dr. Molina will join the University of California, San Diego's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in July.

Michael Montelongo
Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller
U.S. Air Force

Montelongo, a 1977 B.Sc.-holder from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served in the Army as a Ranger and Air Defense Artillery officer before his selection as special assistant to the commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command; speechwriter and special assistant to the Army chief of staff, and a Congressional Fellow. In 1996, he entered private industry with BellSouth Telecommunications and later became a sales executive with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. As assistant Air Force secretary, he also is principal advisor to the secretary, chief of staff, and other senior officials on fiscal matters.

Richard A. Tapia, Ph.D.
Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics
Rice University
Dr. Tapia, the first in his family to attend college, earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. His efforts at Rice have won national recognition for educational outreach, and the Rice Computational and Applied Math Department has become a national leader in producing women and underrepresented minority Ph.D.s in mathematics. Dr. Tapia also is internationally known for his work in factory optimization, and he has coauthored two books and more than 80 mathematical research papers. He also is Rice's associate director of graduate studies and director of the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. Appointed by President Clinton to the National Science Foundation's governing board, Dr. Tapia also won the Hispanic Engineer of the Year Award at the 1996 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference.


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