Board Of Directors

Julissa Gutierrez, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

Julissa Gutierrez is the Acting Director of National Programs and Community Relations and the Northeast Director of Civic Engagement at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. Since 2008, Julissa has worked with NALEO Educational Fund’s diverse partners and stakeholders to empower Latinos to participate fully in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.  Prior to joining NALEO Educational Fund, Julissa worked at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and the Anti-Defamation League's "A World of Difference" Institute Program. Julissa currently serves on Queens Community Board 4, the Neighborhood Advisory Board for Queens Community District 4, and is Board Chair of New Immigrants Community Empowerment (NICE). In December of 2013, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Queens Public Library. Julissa received her Masters from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.

Prerana ReddyDirector of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art, Deputy Chair

Prerana Reddy has been the Director of Public Events for Queens Museum of Art in New York City since 2005, where she also spearheads the Museum’s community engagement initiatives combining arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods predominately comprised of new immigrants. She was one of four inaugural Douglas Redd Fellows for emerging leaders in Arts and Community Development awarded by the Ford Foundation. Currently she is overseeing Corona Studio, a series of long-term socially-engaged artist residencies in the neighborhood where the Museum is located. She is also developing a new Critical Social Practice concentration for the MFA program at Queens College (CUNY) in Spring, 2012. She recently returned from a semester-long Asian Pacific Leadership fellowship at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa that links advanced and interdisciplinary analysis of emergent Asian Pacific regional issues with experiential leadership learning. Reddy holds a master’s degree in Cinema Studies, with a focus on documentary and visual anthropology, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Danny Rojas, Bellwether Education Partners, Treasurer

Danny Rojas is a Principal with Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit and strategy “action tank” dedicated to helping education organizations – in the public, private and non-profit sectors – become more effective in helping high-need students. Prior to joining Bellwether, Mr. Rojas served as a Senior Manager in the Enterprise Risk Services Advisory Practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP,. Mr. Rojas has also contributed to social justice movements and upward mobility efforts for underserved communities, serving as a strategic advisor to various organizations including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a national organization dedicated to empowering the Latino community through STEM education and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, a national professional association centered on expanding opportunities for Latino leadership; Mr. Rojas holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and resides in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. Mr. Rojas holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University.

François Restrepo, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Francois Restrepo graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a major in Justice Studies and honors concentration in English.  He obtained his Juris Doctorate with a concentration in International Law from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.  He is an Adjunct Professor in the Latina/o American Studies Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he teaches a course on the Latino/a experience in the United States as well as a course on law, crime, and drugs in Latin America; Human Rights in Latin America; and Latinas/os in New York City and Justice. He is John Jay’s Assistant Director to the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John’s University School of Law and a member of the Justice Committee. 

Ana María Bazán, Esq.

Ana María Bazán, Esq., has dedicated many years of her career to serving indigent communities and representing immigrants of many different nationalities. Attorney Bazán gained experience in Immigration Law at several reputable organizations in Boston and New York including Harvard Legal Aid, Greater Boston Legal Services, The Legal Aid Society and the New York Immigration Coalition. She has taught immigration law to other immigration practitioners as a Policy and Training Associate while at the New York Immigration Coalition. Currently, Ms. Bazán continues her Pro-Bono services by offering free immigration law training and volunteering at several non-profit organizations as a mentor and adviser. Ms. Bazán has a unique and direct understanding of the immigrant experience in the U.S., as well as ethnic and language adjustments. Ms. Bazán is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, the New York Immigration Coalition, the New York State Defenders Association Inc. and the Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce of Queens. Attorney Bazán is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School in Boston Massachusetts and received a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Alicia Portada, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, Co-Chair

Alicia Portada is the Marketing Director of Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union. Since 2008, when Alicia joined the cooperative financial industry, she has served to make communities aware of credit unions and their economic and social impact. An AmeriCorps alumni and former financial counselor, Alicia now leads a project to bring affordable financial services to more underserved communities in NYC. In the past, she has served as a member of the Young Professional Committee for the Credit Union Association of New York, the Financial Education Network Steering Committee for the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the NYC Immigrant Financial Network, a network dedicated to recommending solutions for financial issues faced by immigrants. Alicia holds a Bachelor's in Economics and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Affairs at Baruch College.

Charlene Obernauer, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), Co-Chair

Charlene Obernauer is the executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), a non-profit coalition-based organization composed of unions, workers’ centers, individual activists, and health and safety professionals. As director, Charlene oversees and develops NYCOSH’s campaigns, education, and advocacy work, and is the primary fundraiser within the organization. She is a member of a number of advisory boards; including the occupational health clinics at Bellevue, Mt. Sinai and North Shore LIJ; and the City University of New York Murphy Institute. She is also a delegate with the New York City Central Labor Council. Prior to joining NYCOSH, Charlenewas the executive director of the Jobs with Justice chapter on Long Island. During her seven-year tenure at the organization, she initiated a number of innovative projects including forming a community-labor bus riders’ union, implementing a training program for undocumented students applying to college, and organizing Wal-Mart workers. Charlene got her start in organizing through solidarity work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Southern Florida. She lives in Richmond Hill, Queens.