Jorge was born in Havana, Cuba and lives in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with a BA in History (’93). Jorge is co-founder of ResidentCheck, a leading national tenant background screening service.
He has traveled to over 60 countries and has been an advocate of education and social causes locally, nationally and internationally. Jorge was recognized by the Innocence Project in their Donor Highlight and named an “Amigo de Centroamerica” by Presidente Cerezo’s Fundacion Esquipulas in Guatemala.
In 2016 he was named by D CEO as Outstanding Latino Advocate. The Latino Center for Leadership Development, which he founded in 2015, along with Miguel Solis and Rebecca Acuna, has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a feature as Dallas’ New Latino Leaders by D Magazine in August 2016. He is a proud member of Social Venture Partners (SVP) and served as Honorary Chair of the 2016 Philanthroparty.
Jorge serves as a Commissioner for the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. He is also active on the SMU Executive Board, and other Boards including the Cisneros Center for New Americans, World Affairs Council and Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce.
Miguel Solis serves as the President of the Latino Center for Leadership Development (LatinoCLD) where he oversees the creation of programs and services. Miguel is a native Texan, raised by his mother, a school bookkeeper, and late father, a public school teacher and small business owner. He received his B.A. in history with a minor in political science from Lamar University and received his M. Ed. in education policy and management from Harvard University.
Solis’ professional experiences include serving as a staff member on President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, an eighth grade U.S. history teacher, and a central staff member in Dallas ISD.
Miguel became the youngest school board member ever elected to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees on November 5, 2013 through special election. Soon after, he was re-elected to serve a three year term. On June 26, 2014, Miguel was selected by his fellow Trustees as the Board President, making him the youngest ever to serve in the position. Miguel has been appointed to the Citywide Poverty Task Force and Joint Committee on Education by Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings. He is also an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow having been selected as one of the nation’s most promising young political leaders.
Dr. Patty Garcia serves as the Vice President of Programs and Operations for the Latino Center for Leadership Development (LCLD), where she leads the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan.
Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of Constituency Services for Education with NALEO Educational Fund, where she managed and carried-out national, state, and local relations and efforts with elected and appointed officials, philanthropic partners, and stakeholders. She has a vast experience creating professional development opportunities for Latino/a elected and appointed officials across jurisdictional and partisan lines. Her expertise ranges around core governance skills, education policies from birth to postsecondary education and the workforce, civic engagement, as well as other key issues impacting the success and development of the Latino community. Prior to that, she was NALEO Educational Fund’s Data and Campaigns Manager, charged with implementing the organization’s data-driven civic engagement projects—primarily its GOTV voter education and participation efforts.
Dr. Garcia’s experience spans from direct student mobilization, community outreach, programmatic and policy assessment and evaluation. Dr. Garcia earned her doctoral degree in Educational Policy Studies with a concentration in Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011.
Cesar Blanco serves as the Vice President of Development and Strategic Partnerships for the Latino Center for Leadership Development. Representative César J. Blanco is a U.S. Navy veteran and proudly represents House District 76 in El Paso County (part). Rep. Blanco was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs and also serves on the Land and Resource Management Committee. Representative Blanco is serving his second term as Chairman of the Texas House Border Caucus and was most recently appointed as the House Democratic Whip. In his first session, Rep. Blanco was elected Freshman of the Year by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) and a Top 10 Legislator by Texas Monthly.
Melissa Alfaro serves as the Director of Programs. In that role, she is responsible for the execution of all programs and services.
Melissa has experience working for a political organization, government entity, and non-profit organizations. The focus of her work has been on communications, project management, and strategic outreach.
Originally from San Antonio, TX Melissa studied at American University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in International Economic Relations with a focus on Latin America. During her time in D.C., she interned on Capitol Hill through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in the Office of Congressman Pete Gallego, in the Communications Department of the Democratic National Committee, and with the Latino Student Fund developing the LISTO College Prep Program. Melissa stays connected to her community in San Antonio by providing leadership training and mentorship to high school students.
José Carreon serves as the Marketing and Operations Manager for LCLD. José was raised in the Dallas neighborhood of Pleasant Grove and graduated from the Aviation Program at Skyline High School. In 2017, he attained his Bachelors from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied Radio, Television, and Film.
Before joining LCLD, Jose served as the executive assistant to Representative Victoria Neave during the 85th Texas Legislative Session. During his years in college, he interned and worked for The Latino Center for Leadership Development as Communications Assistant, intern for Think at KERA Public Radio Station, Producing Assistant for Texas Crew Productions, and served as Peer Mentor for entry-level courses at El Centro College.
He is the inaugural recipient of the Bert Lozano DFW Hispanic Communicators Scholarship, Telemundo Scholarship, and the University of Texas at Austin Bush Presidential Scholarship. He is also an alumni of Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity founded by and for a decidedly non-traditional group: gay, bisexual, and progressive men.
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