Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés appointed to U.S. SBA


We are excited to share that SVL Cultura Ambassador Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Isabel has been a long time supporter of not only our small business but many others and this comes as a result of all her hard work and dedication to the Latino Community throughout the country.



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Contact: Marlow Schindler (415) 744-6771
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California Small Business Owner Isabel Valdés Appointed to Federal Advisory Board


SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco small business owner Maria Isabel Valdés has been appointed to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards in all 10 of SBA’s regions represent the voice of small business on regulatory fairness issues. Each Board is comprised of five small business owners who serve as a resource and point of contact for small business owners who feel they have experienced excessive federal regulatory enforcement and compliance actions.

Regional Regulatory Fairness Board members advise the Acting National Ombudsman, Yolanda Swift. Together, The National Ombudsman and Board members host regulatory fairness hearings and outreach events nationwide where small business owners report concerns about burdensome federal regulations.

“With extensive multi-cultural communications and marketing experience working with Fortune 50 as well as 1000 companies, across business categories such as retail, healthcare, financial services and insurance, as well as entertainment and media, Ms. Valdés is uniquely positioned to understand and advocate for small businesses,” Swift said. “As a member of the Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board, she will play a vital role in insuring that the voice of small business is heard by federal regulators, while facilitating regulatory solutions that save small business owners time and money.”

As a Region IX Regulatory Fairness Board member, Valdés will serve as a local resource for small businesses and will work with small business trade groups and other entities to address regional concerns about federal regulatory enforcement and compliance issues. SBA Region IX includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and Guam.

Valdés is the president of IVC, a boutique marketing consulting firm. Valdés is also a VP of the Chile California Council (CCC) and is the Chair of the Center for Multi-Cultural Sciences, with previous positions with PepsiCO/Frito-Lay’s Advisory Board; The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI); and The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) San Francisco. Valdés can be reached by email at or by phone at (650) 444-3924.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), created five-member Regulatory Fairness Boards in each of SBA’s 10 regions. As representatives of their local and regional small business communities, Board members provide insights and recommendations on regulatory challenges facing the small business owners they represent – perspectives that are critical to eliminating ineffective, duplicative, or outmoded regulatory business barriers to small business success. For more information about the Office of the National Ombudsman and the Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards, visit

Leandro Margulis – Cultura Ambassador


Leandro Margulis is the Director of Global Strategic Partnerships at Quixey. Prior to that, Leandro opened and grew the Impulsa Business Accelerator’s California office, helping small and medium sized companies with market entry and revenue growth.

Leandro Profile 3 072015Leandro also worked as a Senior Consultant with Deloitte Consulting, where he coordinated international project management efforts and executive relationships between the United States and Eastern Europe. He then worked in the Strategy & Operations practice in Corporate Development / M&A, due diligence and post-merger integration in the United States and emerging markets.

These experiences position Leandro to pursue a career aimed at building companies and capacity through strategic business development and partnerships while leveraging financial capabilities and innovating around emerging market opportunities.

Leandro holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Florida International University (FIU), where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Specialties: Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Corporate Development, Partnerships, Contingent Contract Negotiations, Sales, Management, Business Case Development, Business Process Improvement and Project Management.

Leandro is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, loves to travel and learn about other cultures through stories, food and exploring. He also loves hiking and  biking in his spare time.


Juan Carlos Lopez – Cultura Ambassador


Juan Carlos “JC” Lopez is a marketing manager on the Seller Acceleration team within Cisco System’s Product Solutions Marketing organization. As a project manager, he coordinates marketing campaigns and activities across physical and digital channels to support product launches as well as to amplify and create awareness for top priority solutions. He is also responsible for coordinating market research and developing sales analysis for identifying strategic seller opportunities to enhance sales and productivity while driving migration to encourage product refresh within Cisco’s install base. Most recently, his team drove the Meraki Challenge, an online marketing campaign designed to showcase the simplicity of cloud managed networking and to raise awareness of Cisco Meraki as a full Enterprise class IT solution for security, routing, switching, and wireless.

Juan Carlos LopezPrior to joining Cisco, he worked as a field marketing manager at SAP. In this role, he was responsible for the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns to drive demand generation and brand awareness for SAP’s analytics, cloud, platform and mobility solutions for the West region.

JC’s motto is “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” as he fully embraces new technologies and develops best practices in the marketing process to develop and execute breakthrough ideas and innovative campaigns for buyers and stakeholders while turning solution goals and objectives into scalable, actionable integrated marketing plans that deliver results.

Since his arrival to the high tech industry, JC has given back to the community through his support of various non-profits including the Foundation for a College Education and East side Prep in Palo Alto. He also holds an executive leadership position on the San Francisco board of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).

Born in East Oakland, JC is an ardent fan of the Oakland Raiders. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and earned his MBA degree with honors from the University of San Francisco, concentrating in marketing and finance.


Gabriel Lomeli – Cultura Ambassador


“A native of Stockton, California, Gabriel is a creative visionary with a strong background in media production, education, and professional development. While at San Jose State University, Gabriel earned his BA degree in Social Science with a minor in Psychology. Working as a media director after graduating from SJSU in 2008, he helped establish the structure and model for the first Adobe Youth Voices Peapod Academy sponsored by Adobe Systems and the musical group, the Black Eyed Peas. At the Peapod Academy, Gabriel led a team of media professionals and technology experts in serving and teaching high school students in the Peninsula.

Gabriel Lomeli - Cultura AmbassadorShortly after, he became an Adobe Youth Voices LEAD Educator and facilitated Adobe software courses and workshops for professionals from all around the world. On his free time, his creative vision and drive allowed him to produce direct and edit numerous music videos for MTV and BET. His passion for both media and technology led him to complete the “Learning, Design and Technology” Masters program at Stanford University in 2012.

Currently, Gabriel is working full-time as a Lecturer at the School of Design at Stanford University. He has also founded his own full-service creative media agency by the name of Conclave Concepts. Some of his clients include Google, Intel, ASUS Computers, Kaiser, and the Stanford School of Medicine.

Moving forward, Gabriel plans to grow his business into a top world brand. He is a believer that every person, company, and organization has a story worth telling; stories that can educate, inform, and inspire. Through the support of his team at Conclave Concepts, he plans to help identify those stories and bring them to life through creative media.”


Viviana Leija-Sysak – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Viviana Leija-Sysak is a visual artist born in Mexico City and currently living in the Bay Area. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Viviana_Leija_Head_ShotShe is currently working as TV producer at CreaTV San Jose and has produced and edited Health Trust TV, Latino Focus and most recently Valley Politics which ranked #1 TV show in CreaTV this year. Her artistic work has been exposed in many venues, mostly in Mexico and USA. She has worked in the TV industry directing, producing, editing and animating shows and spots for several TV stations and production companies. In 2006 she directed and hosted “Mejora Tu Vida” a KPMR show in Spanish to bring fresh information to the Latino population in the Central Coast. Later in 2008, she produced, edited and hosted “Non-Profit Spotlight” a series dedicated to broadcast the best non-profit organizations in the area of Santa Barbara, CA.

She has also worked as a freelance graphic designer and video editor and joined the Marketing Department at The Metropolitan Transit District in Santa Barbara for a year as main graphic designer and producer.  In 2007, she edited the award winning documentary “The Shaken Tree” at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and in 2008, she published her first bilingual children’s book “My House is Full of Light“. Viviana has also worked as an art instructor for different organizations and volunteers as a music entertainer for kids.

Her latest artistic inspiration is combining her drawing skills with digital tools and recently initiated an art blog through where she’s planning to post some of her personal artwork and comments about contemporary art and TV production.


Jessica Ruvalcaba – Cultura Ambassador


We are excited to announce that Cultura Ambassador, Jessica Ruvalcaba, will be joining Samsung SDS America as their new senior marketing manager.

Jessica has been with Cisco since 2010 where she started as an MBA intern. Shortly, there after Jessica was promoted as a marketing manager for the Americas in 2011 and has serve on Cisco’s Employee Resource Organization (Conexion) as the Director of Talent Pipeline.

JessicaJessica is an enthusiastic marketer who strives to inspire her team and has been passionate about delivering great results for Cisco’s partners, the field, and community. She contributed to Cisco’s mid-market growth by implementing marketing strategies that align to Cisco’s mid-market goals.

Under Jessica’s leadership as the Director of Talent Pipeline for Conexion she has produced excellent results by delivering strategic events and strengthening relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. Her efforts are focused on closing the STEM skills gap and engaging top prospects to contribute to Cisco’s growth, innovation, and competitiveness. Jessica has been instrumental in engaging Silicon Valley Latino as a partner to Conexion with several activities such as the Conexion High School Career Fairs.

Please join us in congratulating Jessica on her achievements, as well as in wishing her all the best and continued success with her new endeavor. Adelante Jessica!

Rich Garcia applies Entrepreneur Skills for a Worthy Cause


Silicon Valley Latino Advisory Board Member Rich Garcia just completed riding his bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a total of 545 miles. This was part of the AIDS Lifecyle charity bike ride.  An extraordinary accomplishment, we wanted to know what enabled him to be successful.

“It’s very much like entrepreneurship: taking risks, failing, iterating, and relying on your network to achieve something EPIC. I have never cycled seriously until I started training for this; it was a risk to take this on.  If you don’t take risks, you remain where you are.”

The concepts of “failure” and “iteration” were also key in successfully riding all 545 miles. “I religiously trained for 8 months. I experienced numerous falls, cramps, sprains, bruises, scrapes, discomfort, and energy lapses. Those “failures” and the iterations to correct them resulted in success.”

Garcia admits that he learned these concepts while founding his startup company, a “Live Q&A Platform”. He adds, “what Blyve started as versus what we are now are two different things. We iterated efficiently on what we learned.” The result is revenue streams from some of today’s top brands including the Coca-Cola Company, Shell, and other large content producers.

Rich raised over $3,000 in donations for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation so that he could ride. “Everybody wins. Awareness is raised, people in need are funded, and I get to do something very special. You can’t do EPIC alone.”

Breaking News! Guillermo Diaz Jr. named CIO at Cisco


Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to report that earlier today Guillermo Diaz Jr. was announced as Cisco’s CIO!

Guillermo Diaz Cover PhotoThis is big news for the Latino community and especially for all of our Latino youth who aspire to be Latinos in Tech!  Over the past few years Silicon Valley Latino has developed a close relationship with Guillermo and we have learned that he is the real deal as it relates to being an inspiring leader. We have had the opportunity to meet with many of those on his teams at Cisco as well as with members of Conexion (Cisco’s Latino employee resource organization – Guillermo serves as their executive sponsor). The respect, enthusiasm and collaboration that he inspires are clearly evident. The same can be said for those he touches and works with in the community, just ask the folks at HITEC, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools, Cristo Rey High School and so many others.  As for us at Silicon Valley Latino, the connection was instant and we were inspired by his actions immediately. He was actually the person that inspired the name for our “Inspire Higher Tour” initiative. Guillermo’s phrase for 2014 was “Inspire Higher” and our CEO, Alex Ontiveros, was so moved by how Guillermo evangelized this phrase that we asked him if we could use it for a special initiative that we had in mind, of course the answer was yes. His phrase for 2015 has been “Inspire Exponentially” and it has clearly taken affect with many including us at Silicon Valley Latino.


Guillermo is deeply committed to his work as a technology expert, to being an inspiring and effective leader to his teams. However the element that we appreciate the most about him is his commitment to the Latino community especially our youth. Guillermo we congratulate you on today’s promotion to CIO at Cisco! It’s a very well earned accomplishment. We thank you for being an inspiring leader to many of us and for your commitment to inspiring the next generation of Latino heroes!



We believe this is truly a well-earned promotion based on his numerous professional accomplishments and trajectory as well as the various awards and honors that he has earned over his career. We are also excited to see how he will help take Cisco to the next level by inspiring others exponentially. Adelante!


Jeff Camarillo – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Camarillo is currently the founding Director/Principal of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, a new college-prep charter high school in East San Jose, managed by the Foundation for Hispanic Education. Through education, Camarillo’s father and hero, Professor Al Camarillo, was able to break the cycle of poverty in his family and open countless doors for students and faculty at Stanford University and beyond to explore the history and identity of Mexican-Americans and other ethnic Americans. His example inspired Camarillo to work tirelessly for the past 14 years to enhance the educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged urban communities throughout California.

LVLA_DSC0023BAfter graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Camarillo entered the classroom as an 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Vanguard Learning Center in Compton Unified School District. He also coached boy’s basketball, football and baseball. After three of the most amazing years of his life, Camarillo realized that it was time to advance his teacher repertoire and pedagogical understanding and returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) for his Master’s degree and teaching credential.  While at Stanford, Camarillo was introduced to a progressive non-profit organization called the Mural, Music and Arts Project (MMAP), an economic and education empowerment program that seeks to inspire teens in East Palo Alto, CA through the arts.  After serving as an education specialist for MMAP, he began in 2005 as the director of MMAP’s Teen Mural Program, a position he held every summer through 2009.  During and immediately after his time at STEP, Camarillo taught 9th and 10th grade Humanities and served as the founding Athletic Director at the June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco. In 2006, Camarillo returned to Compton and continued teaching 7th/8th grade history at the school where he began his career, where he taught and coached from 2006-2010. In 2006, Camarillo, along with his younger brother Greg, a former NFL wide receiver, founded a non-profit program called Charging Forward, a mentoring program that sought to reward student-athletes in Compton for their accomplishments in the classroom and respective athletic endeavors.


In 2010, Camarillo began his career as a school leader at the East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA). As the school’s Asst. Principal, Camarillo helped reduce school suspensions by over 40% and created a positive, college going climate for the students and families of the EPAA community. During his first year at EPAA, Camarillo served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the United States Department of Education, where he sought to help bridge the disconnect between the formulation of federal educational policy and on the ground practice in urban schools. In 2012, Camarillo began the Educational Leadership Program at San Jose State University, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential in 2014.

In 2014, Camarillo was provided the once in a lifetime opportunity to become the Founding Director/Principal of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA), a position he currently holds. Under Camarillo’s leadership, LVLA has enjoyed a suspension free school year, and the creation a college-going, culturally vibrant climate. The school’s mission promotes culturally sustaining pedagogy, a focus on bi-literacy and preparation for four-year colleges and universities for 1st generation college students. In addition to giving birth to a new school, Camarillo and his life partner, Josephine, gave birth to their first-born child, a baby boy named Jaxson Albert. Camarillo is also a proud son of Al and Susan Camarillo, a Stanford professor and retired school counselor. He is a big brother to Greg, a retired NFL wide receiver and Lauren, a Spanish teacher at Willow Glen High School.

Jesus Ruvalcaba – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Jesus was raised in Castroville, California, the artichoke center of the world, where he developed his twin obsessions with traditional fine arts and design.

From there, he went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Print Design from California State University, Monterey Bay. After a stint as an outreach specialist, Jesus landed his first job as a graphic designer with national cataloger Discount School Supply.

Jesus Ruvalcaba - SVL Cultura AmbassadorIn 2011, his design portfolio caught the attention of the global marketing agency Epsilon, where he was offered a position as a graphic design consultant for eBay Inc. For the following 2 years, Jesus helped to roll out the revitalized eBay logo and brand guidelines across all relationship marketing channels.

Today, Jesus works for Hewlett Packard as a visual designer, where he creates high-visibility homepage designs for Canada, the United States, and Latin America.

In addition, Jesus is currently a Masters of Fine Art candidate in the school of advertising at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Jesus’s master’s thesis is focused on rethinking the approach to community outreach through the use of digital platforms and integrated campaigns. You can view a small sample of his work at