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2021 SPEAKERS

We've gathered some of the top movers and shakers in our community to share their knowledge and experiences with the next generation of doers. Preview our growing 2021 line-up.

DRIVEN BY INITIATIVE PANEL

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About Marina Monsisvais

Marina Monsisvais founded Barracuda Public Relations to be the megaphone for all the great things happening in El Paso. She has grown the company from a boutique PR agency founded around her kitchen table into one of the most recognized and respected small businesses in El Paso. A graduate of New Mexico State University, Marina has leveraged her commercial media experience and her deep engagement in the El Paso-Juárez community to create an indispensable resource for local businesses, non-profit organizations and government institutions. Marina recently earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and is the long-time host of "State of the Arts" on KTEP 88.5 FM.

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About Chelsie Evaldi

Chelsie Evaldi is a true Fronteriza; born in El Paso, TX, grew up in Cd. Juarez, Chih, MX, and graduated high school in El Paso, TX. Chelsie attended McMurry University, where she played soccer and earned her degree in Business Marketing.  With passion and love for her home, in 2014, Chelsie leaped and purchased a small novelty store –which later became Chuco Relic. Chuco Relic started as a small storefront in El Paso’s downtown shopping area, now having three locations – in West, Central, and East El Paso – and was named “Best of the Best” souvenir shop three years in a row. Chuco Relic has become a hub for local artist to showcase their work and for El Pasoans, fronterizos, and visitors to purchase unique local novelties. Chelsie serves her community by partnering and supporting local non-profits and graduated from the Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Being with her family, playing sports, and meeting with El Paso’s creatives are how Chelsie enjoys spending her time.

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About Andrea Gates-Ingle

Andrea Gates-Ingle earned her degree in Special Education with a minor in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1998.  Shortly after graduating from UTEP, she along with her husband Stephen Ingle had a vision of impacting the El Paso community through the arts.  As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Creative Kids, a nationally recognized 501(c)(3), non-profit educational community-based art agency that is currently celebrating it’s 23-years of service to the community, Ms. Ingle has made an indelible impact on the arts.  “In the beginning and even now, we are the only non-profit visual arts education institution that serves a broad base of youth in our region ranging from pediatric oncology patients, to migrant youth to youth living in public housing.” Ms. Gates-Ingle said. Her leadership has not only contributed to improved access to arts programs for our youth, but has also resulted in increased visibility of El Paso outside of our community.  

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About Tania Peregrino

The word ‘creative’ becomes an understatement when it comes to describing Tania Peregrino Yee, the 28-year-old creative director, entrepreneur, painter and Co-Founder of Don Carbon Corporation. From her Mexican roots, she has the bold colors in her soul, the intense love for food and also the passion of the arts and design. USA has given her powerful drive and purpose to expand her potential, including her education in art, design, branding, marketing and business. She graduated with degrees in Visual Communications and Digital Media from the Fashion Institute of Art and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. 

DRIVEN BY INTEGRITY PANEL

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About Mica Short

Mica Short joined the Paso del Norte Community Foundation as Vice President of Development in October of 2018. In her role as VP, Ms. Short is responsible for the development and implementation of a robust fund development program to include donor development, communications, donor relations, and supervising her team of committed and community-minded leaders. Ms. Short is part of a forward-thinking team dedicated to the philanthropic goals of individuals, corporations, foundation, and nonprofit organizations to improve health, education, economic development and quality of life in the Paso del Norte region. 

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About Elsa Borrego

Elsa Borrego is a proud El Paso “boomerang.” Born and raised in El Paso, moved away, and came back home after living in San Antonio, & Phoenix for a combination of 13 years. During her time in San Antonio and Phoenix, Elsa led Global Training Teams for Bank of America and USAA and focused on leadership development, culture & engagement. The road that led her back to El Paso was an opportunity with Helen of Troy; she has served as the Global Leader for Training & Culture since 2016, and most recently was given the opportunity to lead the company’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging efforts. Elsa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Master’s degree in Adult Education & Training from the University of Phoenix. She launched Helen of Troy’s first Women in Leadership Networking Group- Lean In, which is focused on mentorship, personal development and serving the community.

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About Dr. Sylvia Acosta

Sylvia Y. Acosta, Ph.D. currently serves as the CEO of one of the largest YWCAs in the nation.  At the YWCA El Paso Del Norte she oversees a budget of over 37 million dollars with over 400 employees. Through her leadership she has increased revenues from both the public and private sectors. She has strengthened the social entrepreneurship programing focused on services that empower women, children and families.. Dr. Acosta has over three decades of professional experience serving in executive university leadership positions at universities in California, Texas and New Mexico. She has led numerous fundraising campaigns including a 1-billion-dollar campaign at the University of California, Irvine.  Her experience in nonprofits includes serving as one of the first and youngest President/CEO of a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the United States, serving as COO of a national early childhood education program and leading various nonprofits focused on improving the lives of women, families and children.

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About Joe Moody

Joe Moody represents Texas’s District 78, a mixed urban and rural district covering much of northern El Paso County. Joe served as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House—the number two job in the chamber—in the 86th and 87th Legislatures under two different Speakers. He’s currently vice chair of the powerful Calendars Committee and a member of the committees on Business and Industry, Criminal Jurisprudence, and Redistricting. He’s also co-chair and founder of the bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Caucus.

Joe is a lifelong El Pasoan who followed the example of public service set by his father, longtime District Judge William Moody, and his mother, El Paso school teacher Magdalena Morales-Moody. Joe married Adrianne Riley in 2011, and they have two young sons: William and Preston.

DRIVEN BY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PANEL

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About Elizabeth O'Hara

Elizabeth O’Hara is the Area Manager of Community Relations for Texas Gas Service. She oversees West Texas, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. Liz is a recovering journalist who made her way from intern to news director with stints as an investigative reporter and anchor along the way. Liz also worked at the Diocese of El Paso, handling the hundreds of media who descended on the region during Pope Francis’ border visit in 2016.

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About Dr. Fernanda Wagstaff

Fernanda Wagstaff is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Professor Wagstaff received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her current research interests include diversity issues at work, with a focus on gender equality, business ethics, and international human resource management. Her work has appeared in journals such as Journal of International Business Policy, Journal of Management Education, Corporate Reputation Review, Personnel Psychology, Human Resource Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Applied Psychology: An International Review, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, and International Journal of Human Resource Management. 

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About Jessica Christianson

Jessica is a utility professional with interdisciplinary foundations in natural resource sciences and environmental engineering and a diverse work portfolio spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has been with El Paso Electric since 2013, acting as a Principal Scientist, Environmental Manager and currently as the Senior Director of Innovation and Sustainability, overseeing the company’s renewable, emerging technology, transportation electrification, business development and environmental initiatives. Prior to her tenure in El Paso, Jessica worked for engineering consulting firms across the country, managing multi-disciplinary projects to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts from Florida to Alaska. Jessica is the President-elect of the Board of Directors for the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region and serves on the El Paso Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at El Paso. 

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About Max Villaronga

Max Villaronga is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TFCU since 2014.  TFCU was originated in May of 1936 and has over $830 Million assets, 10 local branches, and over 68,000 members.  Mr. Villaronga has built his experience working in a variety of industries and has worked for such notable organizations as The Home Depot and the United States Marine Corps. At TFCU, Max has focused on creating a culture focused on a foundation of human dignity where becoming the Employer of Choice is a priority for attracting the best talent.  He focuses his team on the fact that Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are both morally important and a strategic advantage.  Mr. Villaronga’s actions demonstrate that he surrounds himself with the most valued, energetic, and intelligent leaders and he resources their success.  Max believes you can do well by doing good which is the primary focus in TFCU’s vision of individual and community development.