BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cynthia Rocha, MBA, Chair
Cynthia has been an advocate for change and has a passion for creating opportunities in the areas of education and the workplace for all communities. She is an inspiring speaker drawing upon her experiences as the daughter of migrant farmers and working as an executive in a retail corporation. She has worked with a wide range of organizations to mobilize their commitment and support for diversity into concrete, measurable actions.
Cynthia is a graduate of several leadership programs both locally and nationally including the following: San Antonio Masters Leadership Program for 2019-2020, Leadership San Antonio XXVII, Leadership SAISD 2016, Leadership Texas Class 2006 and completed Harvard University's Executive Public Leadership Program as a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government. Cynthia earned her BBA from Baylor University and an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University, Cynthia is also certified as a Professional of Human Resources.
She has served on numerous local and regional boards and recently has been named Chair of SOMOS cultural y más, with the mission is to commemorate and celebrate the traditions, history, and heritage of the Latino community. Cynthia is married and has two children, Antonio Daniel and Catalina Paloma.
Ana Margarita “Cha” Guzmán, Ed.D. – Vice Chair
The Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the San Antonio Housing Authority, Dr. "Cha" Guzman brings a wealth of experiences and leadership skills to her role. Dr Guzmán has helped multiple colleges reach their goals as its President, including Palo Alto College (PAC) in San Antonio. She has the distinction of being the first woman president and longest serving President (PAC). During her tenure, she increased enrollment, retention rates, and continuing education revenues. Under her leadership, PAC garnered millions of dollars in federal and state grants and was chosen to establish the first recovery high school in the State of Texas by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under her leadership Palo Alto College became the economic engine of the South Side of San Antonio.
In addition, 12 new occupational technical programs were added to the college's degree and certificate programs, giving PAC the edge as the primary workforce trainer for Toyota, its suppliers and the South Side.
A native of Cuba, Dr. Ana Guzman has been in educational administration for more than 30 years and is a leading voice for Hispanic Americans in education. She served as a Senior Advisor to Education Secretary Richard Riley during the last year of the Clinton administration. While at the Education Department, Dr. Ana Guzman identified advances in promoting access in education for the Hispanic community and worked with senior officers and program directors to ensure that all results impacting the Hispanic community were recognized. She was influential in creating a new vision for the role of technical education in maintaining the competitive viability of this country's workforce, and in identifying the opportunities to make adult education more responsive to the Hispanic community. Dr. Guzman also served as the chair of President Clinton's White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic American from 1993 to 2000.
Dr. Ana Guzman's breadth of experience in education spans from service as a public-school teacher to serving as Vice Chancellor of the Texas A&M System. She has been President of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and is currently a Board of Trustee on The College Board. Giving back to the community has always been the focus of Dr. Ana Guzman's career in education.
Rosie Uyarra-Salcido - Secretary
Rosie is from El Paso, TX and grew up most of her life on the border with Mexico. She lived in Spain as a child and then again later with her husband and two children. It was important for her that her children experience both grandparent's cultures; Spanish and Mexican. Rosie pursued a masters in bilingual special education because she saw the inequality of educational services offered to bilingual students. This heightened her interests for her own culture and discovered many of Mexico's treasures in art, literature, and music.
Rosie worked for 34 years in education as a teacher, speech therapist and program coordinator. She worked with bilingual, general education, and special education students from pre-K through high school. Rosie realized the importance of parent involvement in their child's education and development and created ESL programs for parents along with parenting classes to promote communication and parenting skills.
Rosie is retired and moved to San Antonio summer of 2018 to enjoy the city's cultural richness and the good Mexican food.
Rosa Ramirez – Treasurer
Born and raised in San Antonio’s west side, Rosa Ramirez attended Wheatley High School on the south side. She received various scholarships and grants that enabled her to attend University of Incarnate Word to study Administration and Management. Ramirez has held various management positions at AT&T and provided leadership for organizations within the company. Most recently, she has served as a Worker’s Compensation Consultant for various companies in San Antonio. Currently, Ramirez is an active member of Mission Concepcion Catholic Church, a volunteer of Christian Doctrine Education, a member of The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and Women of Faith.
As the Director Operations for Avenida Guadalupe Association, Ramirez facilitates Human Resources for 22 employees which includes Avenida Guadalupe Development, Inc. and Avenida Guadalupe Zarzamora Senior Homes, Inc. Her work and church volunteer experiences give Rosa a unique opportunity to understand the underserved populations in the city. She has been married for 21 years and enjoys being "Tia Nina" to all her nieces, nephews and all children.
Carmen Perez, M.D.M.P.H.
Dr. Carmen Perez is a retired internal medicine physician. A graduate of Edgewood High school she attended the University of the incarnate Word, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. This led her to begin her professional career as a science teacher in the San Antonio and South San Antonio Independent school districts. Dr. Perez was always involved in science fairs and connecting her students with research facilities around the city. Inspired by her students, at the age of 38 she entered medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She practiced medicine for 22 years and returned to practice in San Antonio in 2006.
Though her work at a clinic in south San Antonio, she served many Hispanic patients with diabetes and hypertension. This led to newfound interest in her own Mexican American roots. She sought to improve her Spanish language fluency and began collecting folk art from Latin America. After her retirement she connected with other San Antonians involved with expanding understanding of the Latino culture. Every year she travels with Los Quijotes, a physician group that provides a medical mission to remote villages in Oaxaca, México. Dr. Perez says, “I am excited to be a board member of SOMOS cultura y más and want to help promote and educate our community, especially our children, about our cultural heritage.”
Louis R. Escareño, Attorney
Louis R. Escareño is an attorney in private practice focused on public policy advocacy, public affairs, government relations and law.
Escareño brings more that 30 years of experience in public policy and law with experience and a strong focus on the US-Mexico border region.
Prior to establishing his private practice, Escareño pursued his passion for public service in roles such as
Special Assistant to the US Senator from Texas, a staff assistant in the Office of Hispanic Affairs at the White House, Public Affairs Specialist at Philip Morris in New York, Director of Federal Relations in the Office of the Mayor of Houston, Texas and as a Special Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Texas Attorney General.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Escareño attended public schools and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School before pursing a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University and a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.
Escareño has garnered a number of awards and honors including the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year, the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Government Business Advocate of the Year, recipient of the Mexican American Solidarity Foundation Senior Fellowship in Mexico and the German John K. McCloy Urban Fellowship in Germany, Ash Torah Fellowship in Israel and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Advocate of the Year. He serves on numerous boards including the US Mexico Chamber of Commerce Binational Board, the Border Trade Alliance, the Border Philanthropy Partnership, the San Diego Regional Chamber International Business Affairs Committee, the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, the Board of the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he serves on the Executive Committee and is Co-Chair of the International Business Affairs Committee. Escareño is based in San Antonio, Texas and in San Diego, California.
Celso Guzman received his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Mary’s University and Masters Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He took graduate studies at Trinity University, where he also taught an undergraduate course.
Mr. Guzman has served in the field of Human Resources for over 30 years. He served as Employment Representative and Community Relations Coordinator for Valero Energy Corporation. He also served with Federated Department as Human Resources Representative then as Human Resources Manager. He went on to serve as Sea World of Texas’ first Director of Human Resources.
Mr. Guzman has served as Director of Human Resources with the San Antonio Water System and as Director of Human Resources with the Methodist Healthcare Ministries. He has also served with the Alamo Community College District as District Director of Diversity and Minority Recruitment, District Director of Human Resources and Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.
He currently serves as a Commissioner on the Municipal Civil Service Commission of the City of San Antonio.