As the President of Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), Mr. Roberto Barragan manages the largest small business development non-profit organization in Los Angeles managing a $4 million budget with 42 employees in 7 offices. VEDC serves over 6,000 businesses yearly with financing, training and direct business assistance.
Previously, as Vice President of Business Lending, Mr. Barragan managed a $6 million Revolving Loan Fund established by the United States Economic Development Administration and $2 million in Lending Programs consisting of commercial, small business and microloans from $1,000 to $700,000. The Lending Division consists of 5 individual loan programs: RLF, SBA Microloan, State Guarantee Loan Program, LACDB ($20 million) loan servicing, Pacoima Microloan. The current portfolio generates over $500,000 yearly in program income.
He has over 20 years experience managing non-profit organizations, including the last sixteen involved in community economic development, technical assistance to for-profit and non-profit entities and financial resource development. Mr. Barragan is a nationally recognized expert on loan funds and microlending. Previous experience includes work in minority and non-minority owned businesses, startup company market strategy development, feasibility studies, financial evaluation, fund raising as well as development of non-profit coalitions.
Mr. Barragan was previously Executive Director for the Community Financial Resource Center of South Central Los Angeles, a joint venture of 32 member banks and the Community Development Department of the City of Los Angeles.
Between 1989 and 1993, Mr. Barragan was Executive Director for the Mission Economic Development Association in San Francisco, California. As Director he was responsible for the completion of the 24th Street Revitalization Project, including the creation of art/public space improvement projects, the Mission Theater District Revitalization Project, the overall Economic Development Plan for the Mission District, the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 350 car parking garage. Between 1987 and 1989, he was the Executive Director of Adelante Inc., a community development organization located in Berkeley, California.
The grandson of Mexican immigrants, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes was elected in a special election May 15, 2007 to represent the 39th Assembly District. Located in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, the 39th Assembly District includes the communities of Arleta, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley and Sylmar.
Assemblyman Fuentes has deep roots in the 39th Assembly District. The Fuentes family has lived and worked in Arleta, Pacoima, Panorama City and Sylmar for over fifty years. Felipe attended local schools, graduating form San Fernando High School and later earning degrees from UCLA and the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
Felipe has a long history of service to residents of the San Fernando Valley having served as Deputy Mayor for the Valley and Chief of Staff to then Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla. His hard work helped launch such successful projects as the construction and revitalization of police and fire stations, libraries and infrastructure improvements in the Northeast Valley. In addition, Felipe led the effort to turn Hansen Dam into an educational and recreational center.
In addition, Fuentes helped establish the “Safe Routes to Schools” program, created effective anti-gang programs and played a key role in bringing the San Fernando Valley its first new police station in twenty-five years.
Having lived in Pacoima and Arleta, Assemblyman Fuentes now resides in Sylmar with his wife, Lena Wu-Fuentes, owner of a successful Los Angeles-based children’s apparel company. Felipe and Lena are proud parents to one-year old IIiana Flor Fuentes.
MARITZA S. MENDIZABAL Owner of MSM GROUP Honored for contributions to International Relations
Maritza S. Mendizabal Owner of MSM GROUP, and international public relations, multi-lingual communications firm has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and e3xcellencein community and international relations.
A recognized authority on international relations, Maritza Mendizabal lends over three decades of industry experience to MSM Group, an international consulting firm. As the President of MSM Group, she arranges introductions and meetings with officials and corporate leaders in the US, Mexico and Latin America, her clients include some of the largest companies in the United States. Having served as the chairwoman of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, a 65 million community-based organization, As a member of the World Affairs Council, Ms. Mendizabal was exposed to relations with foreign dignitaries and developed an interest in the field. She has since been a guest at the White House and has met with former Presidents Reagan, Carter and Bush, as well as with Mexican Presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Fox, and the actual president of Mexico Felipe Calderon.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to her field, Ms. Mendizabal was named Business Woman of the Year by the Latin Business Association for which she was chairman of the board of trustees for four years, and received the Aztec Award from the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation. Her other professional affiliations include advisory Board Member to the California State University of Northridge, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Advisor to the Board of the Hispanic Business Network of California, the Valley Industry Commerce, the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. She also served on the board of the United Way of Great Los Angeles, the Girl Scout Council of San Fernando Valley and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a former advisory board member Macy's, and the L.A County Transportation Commission.
Maritza S. Mendizabal has been featured in the "Life and Style section of the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News and La Opinion newspapers and Hispanic Business magazine. Also she has appeared on numerous television and radio programs both in this country and in Latin America. She received the Spirit of HOPE for Lifetime Achievement from Hispanas Organized for Political Equality and the PRSA "Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America. Other awards include the American Lung Association Outstanding Leader Awards, the March of Dimes award and the California Hispanic American Medical Association Outstanding member award. The Pioneer Woman Award by the L.A. County Human Relations commission and Los Pobladores Heritage Award presented by the City of Los Angeles.
Ms. Mendizabal holds a master's degree in international relations from the University of Mexico and a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Maritza S. Mendizabal and her husband Manuel, and Engineer have two children, Marytza Joy Mendizabal-Reyes, a lawyer with Reed Smith and Myra Lynn Mendizabal-Heikali, a Principal with Slate Legal Solutions. They have three grandchildren Ryan Reyes 10, Sophie Heikali 3 and Olivia Heikali 3 mo.
Director of Workforce & Education Investment ECONOMIC ALLIANCE of the SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
As the Director of Economic Alliance, he brings two decades of business, management, and life long educational experience. Utilizing Total Quality Management (TQM) principles, he specializes in assisting his clients in collaborative and adding operational efficiency. He has established a proven track record of creating consensus among diverse audiences within the organizations he serves. Since Chair, the San Fernando Valley Work Force Collaborative has gained employment for more than 10,000 unemployed low skill citizens through a unique Train-to-Hire model.
Phillips is a graduate of CSUN with a Bachelor in Science.
Ed Rose has lived in the East San Fernando Valley since 1941. He received his BA degree from CSUN in 1961. Ed had 32 years experience in administration and finance at Lockheed Martin Aircraft. The last 15 years was on the F117 Stealth Fighter Project. He was active for many years in the Management Clubs-Student Motivation Program at Lockheed.
During those years, he was also an active volunteer, devoting time to help organize for the UFW. He also collected clothing and furniture to donate to people in need, using his own garage to store and distribute the donated items. After four years, he, along with 14 other volunteers worked out of three garages and then a storefront in Pacoima and established the program as a non-profit organization, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity). MEND has become the largest non-profit poverty agency serving the San Fernando Valley, providing comprehensive services to thousands of individuals from its new facility in Pacoima. Ed is Co-Founder and Board Member of MEND, which is run primarily by volunteers; over the years, those volunteers have included Ed’s wife, Carolyn, all 5 of his children and most of his 10 grandchildren.
In addition to his work with MEND, Ed has worked internationally on behalf of human rights. In the 1980’s, he traveled to a number of Central American countries and lived in a refugee camp, helping to protect the Salvadorans housed there. In 1995 Ed traveled to Haiti as a human rights observer during that country’s elections.
Through the years, Ed has also been involved with many community organizations including the Santa Rosa Immigration Services, Cesar Chavez Commemorative Committee of San Fernando, Cesar Chavez Memorial Committee of San Fernando, Pacoima Partners, San Fernando Valley MAPA and Justice and Peace Committee of Our Lady of Peace Church in North Hills.