Executive Team

Nicole Sandoval - President

Nicole Sandoval moved to Madison from La Paz, Bolivia at age 7. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, Political Science and Ethnic Studies from Edgewood College in 2014. Nicole joined the LPA team as an intern in 2014. Nicole has extensive knowledge on immigration policy more specifically DACA, I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility through her work at Kempster, Corcoran Quiceno and Lenz- Calvo in Chicago as an immigration legal assistant. Additionally, Nicole has experience in community outreach, database management, case management, fund development, and event planning from a number of professional roles including her past role as the Program and Event Coordinator for the Latino Chamber of Commerce. Nicole is currently a Bilingual Recruiter for Madison College in the Recruitment and Community Outreach Department.

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that is as unique as a fingerprint, and the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offered to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

Tania Ibarra, CPA - Board Chair

Senior Manager Internal Controls and Financial Reporting at Spectrum Brands, Inc.

Tania is a bilingual, critical thinker, strategic leader with expertise in external integrated financial audits, internal audits, financial analysis, financial modeling, consulting, business processes reviews, compliance reviews and Lean Six Sigma Project Management. Tania was volunteer as the Treasurer at Centro Hispano and The Latino Chamber of Commerce. She is also a founding member of the Latino Professionals Association, and Step Up Equity Matters Initiative. Further, she has been recognized as a 40 under 40 outstanding professional, named as one of 35 on Madison Magazine’s M-List for social innovation, and Hispanic Achievement of the Year 2016 by La Movida. Tania believes that it is in the best interest of the community and organizations as a whole, to ensure all people have fair and equal opportunities to contribute, succeed and be gainfully employed.

Nestor Rodriguez, MD - VP Programs

Medical Director and Co-Founder of Carbon World Health.

Nestor emigrated from El Salvador to Los Angeles at the age of seven. Despite coming from a single parent Spanish-only home, he successfully became the first person in his family to obtain a high school degree. Since then, his path has taken him from Yale University to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Throughout his academic career, he has been committed to both graduate medical education and minority advocacy. Drawing from all his experiences, he will be an asset at serving the needs of LPA members.

“Sacrifice who you are, for who you want to become” Eric Thomas

Mernela Añez - VP Board Development

Mernela is a bilingual Industrial Engineer with a Master Degree in Business Management with more than 19 years of demonstrated leadership ability across wide Organizational Change Management, Transition Management, Project Management and Project Planning & Control spectrum. Outstanding Organizational Change and Project Management experience for different corporations including Fortune 100 Companies. Ability to develop strategies for businesses and take Organizations to another level. Mernela is an International Leadership Keynote Speaker with a natural passion to support the Latino’s community and developing Leaders, while living in South Florida for almost 6 years she joined some organizations that contributed to impact the economic growth of the communities. She founded her own non-profit with the vision of empowering Latina’s Women. Was recognized “Women of Impact 2011 in South Florida for leadership and impact in the community. Awarded national recognitions in Venezuela “Gran Aguila de Venezuela“ and “Mara Internacional” as an International Keynote Speaker. She will be an asset at serving the needs of our members and the Community.

“Is not what you know but what you do with that knowledge, that determines what you become”

Julio Araujo - VP Events

Technical Support Specialist at 4 Lakes Label.

Julio emigrated from Colombia at the age of seven to Madison, WI. His family is well known in the Latino community. He has 22 years of experience in the printing industry, and extensive experience in customer service and customer relationship management. Additionally, he has extensive connections across the Latino Community that will strengthen our member recruitment and engagement efforts as well as ensure we remain responsive to our members’ needs and interests.

“Ability, is what your are capable of doing. Motivation, determines what you do. Attitude, determines how well you do it.”

Yuly Osorio - VP Marketing

Marketing Account Manager at Division of Continuing Studies, UW Madison.

Yuly emigrated from Colombia to Wisconsin sixteen years ago. She is an accomplished bilingual, English and Spanish, Marketing and Creative Director offering 20 years record in establishing brand awareness. Passionate for creative working and executing new marketing ideas with the ability to make calculated/sound decisions. Her interest in community work, is inherit from her parents that inspired her to help others and to speak up for those who don not have a voice.  She provides to the LPA great ideas to market our programs and brand our events.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

Maria Luttig, MBA - Treasurer

Maria is originally from Colombia, came to the US in 2010 and relocating to Madison in 2013. She has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin and obtained her MBA with concentration in Accounting from Colorado Technical University. She is currently an Accountant at Spectrum Brands Inc in the Corporate Shared Services. Maria has experience in project management, budgeting control, cost estimation, and accounting analysis and procedures that will help the LPA with their financial records and controls. She believes that competition is a way to divides us, she prefers to improve instead to compare herself, she wants to be a better version of herself. She has role models, that reminds her she can do what everybody can do.

Nancy Gomez - Secretary

Graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with my Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a certificate in Leadership. She is an active participate and advocate within the minority communities, and use her leadership and management skills to serve as a resource for youth and families. Currently she is working on her Masters in Human Services and a certificate in Business Foundation from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass