Speaker / Presenter Bios

Senator Bill Nelson

Sen. Bill Nelson is Florida's current sitting Senator.  The Senator has a long distinguished political career since initially serving in the Florida House in 1972. Click HERE for more information.

Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez

Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez is the current and 20th Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico.  Among her many past roles is Chairwoman of the PR Republican Party and Speaker of the PR House of Representatives. Click HERE for more information.

Gov. Rick Scott

 Gov. Rick Scott is Florida's current Governor and is currently running for U.S. Senate for the State of Florida. Click HERE For more information.

Dr. Antonia Novello

 First Hispanic and Female Surgeon General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Click HERE for more information. 

Rep. Darren Soto

Elected in 2016, Congressman Darren Soto represents Central Florida in the US Congress ( 9th District). Click HERE For more information.

Rep. Robert Asencio

Robert is  a politician and former police captain from Florida. He serves in the Florida House of Representatives representing  Miami Dade District 118.

Geena I. Batista

Geena is currently the Exec. Director of the Puerto Rican Alliance of Florida (PRAF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded to unify Florida's Puerto Rican community and provide a central hub of information to educate, engage, and mobilize our community in a nonpartisan, data-driven way. She also is a proud board member of the League of Women Voters (Miami Dade). Prior to co-founding the PRAF, Geena was Vice President of Political Banking at Amalgamated Bank managing a portfolio of more than $500M. She has also previously worked on political campaigns and within the state government of Florida.

Maurice A. Ferre

Maurice A. Ferré was the first Puerto Rican-born United States mayor and the first Hispanic Mayor of Miami. His legendary public service record spans more than 50 years. Click HERE for more information.  

Rep. David Richardson

David is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives  representing the 113th District, which includes parts of downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and North Bay Village since 2012. Click HERE for more information.

Dr. Frances Colon

Dr. Frances Colón is CEO of Jasperi Consulting and the former Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State (2012-2017) where she promoted integration of science and technology into foreign policy priorities. Click HERE for more information.

Jimmy Torres

 Jimmy is the founder of Borica  Vota and  heads CASA in Orlando.  There are too many great things to write about Jimmy, so click HERE for more information.

Greg Batista, PE

Greg is President of G. Batista & Assoc. and current Board Member of Puerto Rican Construction Professionals and member of the PRLCSF. Greg is also Chair of the Puerto Rican Alliance of Florida and past Director of the Colegio de Ingenieros de Puerto Rico in Florida having received "Colegiado Distinguido 2017".

Dr. Victor Vazquez

 Dr. Victor Vazquez is an Associate Professor at Miami Dade College and is the current President of the Puerto Rican Leadership Council of South Florida.

Dr. Eduardo Gamarra

Dr. Eduardo A. Gamarra is a tenured full professor of political science in the department of politics and international relations at Florida International University. Click HERE for more information.

Dr. Jorge Duany

Dr. Jorge Duany is the Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University. Click HERE for more information.

Francisco Cerezo, Esq.

Francisco Cerezo is DLA Piper's US Head of Latin America Corporate and focuses his practice on corporate and international matters, advising US and foreign companies, family groups and sovereigns doing business in the Americas and the Caribbean.

David Velazquez

David Velazquez is the Executive Director of The Libre Initiative. He was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Orlando, Florida. He served in the United States Army as a Unit Supply Specialist for three years. Following his military service, he graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries.

Dr. Jose Morey

Dr. Morey wears many hats and is at the razor's edge of technology working with companies such as NASA, Hyperloop, and the IBM Watson Project among many others. Click HERE for more information.

Sen. Annette Tadeo

Senator Taddeo is a successfull business woman and a politician who has served as a member of the Florida Senate, elected in 2017. She represents the 40th district, encompassing Kendall and surrounding areas in southern Miami-Dade County. 

John Morales

John Morales

 John Morales is the Chief Meterologist at ​NBC 6 in Miami.  Morales is the longest tenured broadcast Meteorologist in South Florida and is the recipient of ​countless awards and distinctions.

David Alvarez, MURP

David is Vice President of CPM North America which is in contract with the Puerto Rican Government to help them in in their efforts to rebuild.  CLICK HERE for more information. 

Natascha Otero-Santiago

Natascha is an experienced public relations professional who has  founded several recognized organizations and is a tireless activist on Puerto Rican issues.  Click HERE for more information.

Evelyn Perez-Verdia

Evelyn Perez-Verdia is a consultant and media contributor known for her straight forward stile and in-depth understanding of the political cultural landscape.  Her clients have included elections offices, local, state, federal and presidential campaigns.  Click HERE for more information.

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Dr. Barry Levitt

Barry Levitt is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University.  Working with FIU's Extreme Events Institute, his current research examines citizens' views on disaster preparedness and building code enforcement  in Latin America and the Caribbean. Click HERE for more information.

Frank Mora

Dr. Frank O. Mora

Frank O. Mora is Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, FL. Click HERE for more information.

Moderator- Carolina Rosario

Carolina Rosario is a four-time Emmy nominated journalist, currently a reporter at Univision Network and Noticias 23 Miami where she covers local and national stories. She also works as a news correspondent for Univision's "Primer Impacto" news program. For more information click HERE.

Melissa Mark-Viverito

 Melissa is an American politician who served as the Speaker of the New York City Council from 2014 to 2017 as well as councilmember for the 8th district from 2006 to 2017.   She is also Senior Advisor for Latino Victory Fund  

Angela Manso

Angela Manso is the Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for NALEO Educational Fund.  She serves as the organization’s chief advocate for its federal policy priorities, including the Census, naturalization and immigration, voting rights, and the recruitment and hiring of Latinos for Congressional staff positions.

Natasha Del Toro

Born to Puerto Rican Parents, Natasha Del Toro is an Emmy award-winning journalist and television host. Click HERE for more information.

Federico De Jesus

  Federico A. de Jesús is Principal of FDJ Solutions, LLC. De Jesús, a Washington, DC-based consultant, has worked for more than 16 years at the highest levels of government, communications, and politics. De Jesús was the national Communications Director for Hispanic Media in the Obama for America 2008 Presidential Campaign where he helped to secure close to 70% of the Latino vote.

Mindy Figueroa

Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa is founder and President of Latin2Latin and a recognized leader in the traditional, multicultural, direct and digital marketing fields, and has built a successful career focused on generating awareness of the essential role of the multicultural market in corporate America. Click HERE for more information.

Maria Padilla

Named one of "25 Influential Hispanics" in Central Florida in 2014 by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, María T. Padilla writes a blog, Orlando Latino. She was editor for more than three years of La Prensa, and also worked eight years with the Orlando Sentinel, where she was tapped to launch the paper’s Spanish-language weekly El Sentinel. 

David Rodriguez

David is a news reporter for Noticiero Telemundo 51 who worked previously at WKAQ and Univsion in Puerto Rico.

Keyvan Antonio

Keyvan Antonio Heydari is a multilingual journalist and documentarian who covers sports, nature and culture, and has reported for media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Univision, Telemundo, L'Equipe, ESPN and others. He represents Reporters Without Borders in the Caribbean, and has a Pulitzer Prize medal as member of the Miami Herald.  Also, he is working of "Puerto Rico: La Patria Deportiva. 

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