2024 Speaker Line Up
Ron Bergamini Felician University, President's Advisory Council Member
Ron Practiced for 19 years beginning in 1988. During that time, he represented businesses, in particular
those in the solid waste field with an emphasis on environmental regulations, union negotiations and the merge and acquisitions of companies.
In April 2008 he became the Chief Executive Officer of Action Carting Environmental Services, Inc. (Action) a solid waste company that served New Jersey and New York City. During his tenure from 2008 until 2020, the company grew from 90 employees to 1100. The company had several institutional investors over the years and grew primarily through the acquisition of dozens of companies.
He has negotiated contracts with city and state governments, large & small businesses and dozen dos permits with regulatory agencies. He also negotiated many collective bargaining agreements with about a dozen different unions.
Today he is a certified Mentor for SCORE, a national organization dedicated to mentoring small business owners. He is also an adjunct professor at Felician University, a private university with campuses in Rutherford & Lodi, New Jersey.
He received his undergraduate degree from New York University and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School.
Ray Casas Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Senior Director, Community Impact
Ray Casas, a public and government relations professional has spent over 27 years working with and for major corporations and non-profit organizations across the world.
Ray’s professional career began at the University of Texas at Arlington where he served as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, recruiting and counseling high school students on the college admissions process. He later rose through the ranks and became Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions.
After 8 years in higher education, Ray moved to Washington, DC and worked for organizations such as The Hispanic Heritage Foundation and later The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, under the leadership of Chairwoman Grace Flores Napolitano (CA). After spending time on Capitol Hill, Ray then accepted a role with MTV Networks in New York City, overseeing the public affairs department for then start-up, MTV Tr3s, a channel aimed at reaching U.S. Latino Millennials.
Ray then returned to Washington, DC and served as Manager of Government Relations for Viacom (now Paramount). Ray served as one of the company’s leading advocates in Washington, advising its senior executives on a wide range of policy matters affecting the entertainment industry. Ray also served as one of the company’s liaisons between their movie studio (Paramount Pictures), cable channels (MTV Networks & BET Networks) and The White House.
In 2014, The Huffington Post included Ray as one of the “40 under 40 Latinos in American Politics.” After leaving Viacom in 2016, Ray started a boutique, public relations consulting firm in Los Angeles focusing on projects that included non-profit campaigns and the entertainment world. In the same year, Ray was selected by Google as a member of the NextGen Tech Policy Program.
After returning to Texas in 2018, Ray accepted a front office role with the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He currently serves as Director of Community Impact and chairs their diversity, equity, and inclusion council.
In his spare time, Ray takes part in several philanthropic projects and also serves as a Media Advisor to Power to Decide and Bring Change 2 Mind. In 2021, Ray joined the Board of Directors for SafeHaven of Tarrant County, the largest service provider for domestic violence survivors in Tarrant County.
Madelyn Flores Lean-In, Global Programs Manager
Madelyn Flores is the Global Programs Manager for LeanIn.Org, part of the Sandberg, Goldberg, Bernthal Foundation. In her role, she supports organizations to adopt Lean In’s toolkit of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs that help close the gender leadership gap and build more equal and inclusive workplaces. Madelyn Flores also received the honor of being named a Latina Rising Star, an award that recognizes 75 Latinas for their successful careers and significant community impact. Prior to joining Lean In, Madelyn spent her early career in consulting and global digital strategy after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin.
Richard Lopez UKG, Diversity Partner Program Manager | PCSJ Board Member
Richard is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategist and social justice advocate with experience in driving systemic change through leadership consulting, training programs and other initiatives that foster inclusive workplaces. He currently leads UKG’s partner diversity program that accelerates positive business outcomes through expanded engagement with diverse-owned business partners.
Prior to working at UKG, Richard worked at Dell Technologies in the areas of DEI and Social and Environmental Responsibility. He completed international assignments in London, England and Guadalajara, México. He received his BA degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and he chairs the DEI committee for the Round Rock, Texas Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Marilú Marcillo Felician University, Dean of School of Business and Information Sciences
Dr. Marilú Marcillo Full-Professor and Dean of the School of Business & Information Sciences at
Felician University, where she oversees the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, joining
Felician in August 2022. She was the former Chair of the Business Administration Department and a
tenured Full Professor of the Frank Guarini School of Business at Saint Peter’s University, joining the
faculty there in the Fall of 2014. Her areas of expertise include Business Ethics, empowering women
around the world through micro-lending & education and working with organizations in creating an
economically sustainable company through employee treatment & development.
She is the former founding director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Saint Peter’s.
Chair of the Ethics & Integrity Working Group for Middle States Commission on Higher Education Re-
accreditation. While at Saint Peter’s she was the faculty chair for the newly formed Prospanica chapter.
She serves on the board of directors for the LINDA foundation, and the NJPAC Latino Council to
promote the arts amongst Latinos and she is a lifetime board Member GLACO Foro Educativo 2017-
present. Under the auspices of the Consulate Generals of 20 governments of Latin America she works on issues related to the educational needs of these immigrant communities in the U.S. In March 2018 she became a special envoy for Education & Social Entrepreneurship for the United Nations office of El
Salvador. She is a HISPA role model, working to encourage middle school children to pursue higher
education in STEM. In November of 2022, she received a “Mujeres Brillantes” award from Prospanica
In October 2021, she was selected as a Rutgers’ University Minority Servicing Institution (MSI) Aspiring
Leaders program to join the third cohort in this program. She was one of fourteen selected from a
nationwide pool of 500. This program, supported by grants from ECMC Foundation and The Kresge
Foundation, brings together prominent leaders from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to engage with
mid-career aspiring leaders from education, non-profit, and business sectors to prepare the next
generation of MSI presidents. By providing professional development workshops focused on 21st-century skills as well as two years of post-forum mentorship, MSI Aspiring Leaders cultivates future MSI
presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities.
Dr. Marcillo graduated from Alfred University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration which she attended on a full academic scholarship. Upon graduation, she went to work in various capacities for 16+ years at 3M Company, Jostens Corporation, and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Corporation. While working, she earned her master’s in business administration from Centenary University in New Jersey and her Doctor of Management from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Colorado Technical University where she concentrated on Environmental and Social Sustainability. She is a mother of three young adult children, who are all in college.
Jennifer Oquendo Prospanica Connecticut, Chapter President
With a robust 30-year tenure in the insurance industry, Jennifer M. Oquendo has devoted the majority of her professional journey to leadership, coaching and development. As the current Vice President of Continuous Improvement and Service Delivery at Arch Insurance Group, Inc., Jennifer collaborates with leaders to foster a culture of continuous improvement and elevate team performance through strategic partnerships.
As a seasoned leader, Jennifer has engaged in diverse roles, including leading employee resource groups, serving as both a leader and coach for the Program for Development and Exceptional Results and demonstrating her commitment to professional development and DEI initiatives by moderating and participating as a panelist and guest speaker in various events. Jennifer also served as the leader of an Ally Program. Her dedication to innovation and excellence earned her recognition through the prestigious Chairman’s Award, honoring her significant contributions in establishing a new business vertical.
Beyond the corporate realm, Jennifer extends her leadership to the community. Currently serving as President of Prospanica CT, she is deeply involved in fostering professional development and network opportunities and has been recognized for her work, receiving the Board Officer Excellence Award. Additionally, she has dedicated numerous years to volunteering in an array of programs such as the Reading Buddy program and participating in the Day of Caring community clean up initiatives. Jennifer’s commitment has extended to providing life coaching at Youth Challenge of Ct, contributing to the growth and development of its clients. In a spiritual capacity, Jennifer volunteers as a bible school teacher, serves as the leader of the Women’s Ministry and is a member of the worship team in her local church in Hartford, CT.
Complementing her extensive professional journey, Jennifer holds a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling for Executive Leadership, a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Coaching and an Associates in Business Administration, equipping her with the skills and insight necessary for effective leadership.
On a personal note, Jennifer finds joy in the simple pleasures in life. She resides in Manchester, CT with her husband, enjoys the company of her two adult children, son-in-law and beloved toy poodle. In her leisure time, you will find Jennifer immersed in the world of music, expressing herself through writing and indulging in her love for baking.
Patrick Perez Motivational Speaker
Patrick “Pac Man” Perez is an energetic combination of rhythm, caffeine, and leadership with style! Patrick is an award-winning speaker, dance artist and emcee who has performed across the USA, Canada, Germany and Mexico for over a decade!
Patrick has emcee’d national and bi-national level Hip Hop events with Red Bull Energy Drink and emcees annual American Lung Association sponsored youth conferences across the country. As a dancer Patrick has toured with and mentored dancers from America’s Got Talent and So, You Think You Can Dance?!
As a first-gen graduate, Patrick earned his degree in Communication Studies from the University of Texas in El Paso. The Small Business Administration awarded Mr. Perez the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his impact in the community. Patrick is the author of several books, loves discovering foodies spots and lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Rachel, and little one, Sebastian.
Dr. Laura Quiros Montclair University, Associate Professor of Social Work | PCSJ Board Member
Dr. Quiros earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare from The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, where her dissertation focused on “The Social Construction of Racial and Ethnic Identity among Women of Color from Mixed Ancestry: Psychological Freedoms and Sociological.” She also earned a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Skidmore College. Dr. Quiros’ latest book focuses on incorporating diversity and inclusion into trauma-informed social work. Dr. Quiros joins Montclair State University, Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy as an Associate Professor on September 1, 2022. This move situated Dr. Quiros in her community of Montclair NJ, where she continues to lead and be involved in anti-oppression work within the school system and the wider community. Her research and scholarly interests focus trauma informed care through a social justice lens and the social construction of racial and ethnic identity and. Dr. Quiros was awarded the Adelphi University 2021 Award for Excellence in Teaching Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SJEDI). The annual Excellence in Teaching SJEDI Award honors an Adelphi professor who demonstrates a commitment to SJEDI inside the classroom above and beyond the standard curriculum for the faculty member’s discipline.
As a woman of color from a multicultural background, Dr. Quiros leverages her experiences, relationship building, and clinical skills to foster connections, inclusion, and empathic accountability. Having to negotiate her own identity required her to create safe spaces to survive and thrive and helped her develop tools that allow her to relate to various experiences that impact diverse groups.
Ramiro Roman Optum Behavioral Solutions, Vice President, Product Management
Healthcare is our biggest global challenge. It’s simply an unsustainable equation as demand and cost rise faster than economies. Addressing global healthcare is not just a matter of personal health, but a matter of global security, economic stability, and overall human dignity.
Fortunately, to contribute to this challenge, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best companies in world:
• Johnson & Johnson – developing and providing accessibility to breakthrough pharmaceuticals and biologics in the fields of oncology, cardiology, diabetes, central nervous system and rare autoimmune diseases. Where I managed sales and product management for businesses from launch to $500M.
• GE Healthcare – engineering medical technologies, services, and software to provide solutions that increase efficiency while reducing costs at higher quality. Where I led a complete P&L through a standalone $104M software (SaaS) business to teams in commercial enterprise of $7B.
• Abbott, we worked to launch a global digital business, with a full standalone P&L, focused on transforming diagnostic analytics to improve outcomes around the world. We worked to scaleup from a small software solution to growing over 200% in a 7% CAGR market.
• UHG | Optum, we work to empower every person to make healthcare work by predicting through technology and meeting their needs through one comprehensive clinical solution that delivers unparalleled cost, quality, and experience outcomes. It’s been a full $500M P&L portfolio turnaround as we’ve significantly improved our business to serve members better, while improving our clinical and business outcomes.
I believe my work ultimately enables patients to live a more meaningful life. I am passionate about leading people because through them we create a better society. I am a technology evangelist because at this time we can surpass previously unattainable healthcare frontiers.
Jeff Rosenblum Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Chief Human Capital Officer
Jeff Rosenblum is the Chief Human Capital Officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). He joined the FDIC in 2018 as the Legal Division’s Assistant General Counsel for Labor, Employment and Administration. Jeff previously served in various attorney roles in the private sector and the Federal government, including as a Deputy General Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission and General Counsel for the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Jeff is also an Adjunct Professor at George Mason Law School and American University’s Graduate School of Public Affairs. Jeff is a proud alumnus of the University of Maryland and Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and an avid tennis player and fan.
Kirk Santos Prospanica National Board Director
Kirk Santos is a trusted Human Resources, Talent Management senior executive and certified coach. He is known for partnering with C-suite leaders to drive transformational, organizational change. He has been described as a collaborative thought leader with a well-established reputation for driving exceptional performance across global, matrix teams. Kirk’s business acumen spans over 27+ years across various leadership positions within Fortune 1000 “best-in-class”, progressive companies such as Pitney Bowes, PepsiCo, IBM, Caesars Entertainment, L’Oréal USA, Altria, and National Grid.
In his current role at Constellation Brands, Kirk is the Senior Vice President, Global Talent. He oversees a globally dispersed team of dedicated and collaborative talent leaders, from Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Employee Experience, and Learning & Development. He applies his broad HR expertise to diagnose complex, talent development opportunities, and with his team develops innovative and pragmatic solutions that deliver significant business results. He is passionate about driving organizational culture that enhances the employee experience allowing individuals to bring their authentic selves to work and perform at their highest potential. His team is focused on developing solutions that enable profitable revenue growth and further accelerates Constellation Brands’ organizational capacity and capability.
Outside of work, Kirk enjoys coaching competitive travel softball, listening to his children play music, spending time with his family, traveling, and cooking. He is grateful for the support he has received from his family, friends, and various mentors throughout his personal and professional career. Kirk is a native New Yorker and currently resides in Westchester County with his wife Frances, and their two children, Xavier, and Evangeline.
Thomas Savino Prospanica CEO
Mr. Savino has held several leadership positions during his career. As an expert consultant specializing in performance measurement analysis, knowledge management, and organizational structure, he has collaborated with corporations throughout the country. During his time as research analyst and internal consultant for McKinsey & Company, he specialized in the development of global initiatives, later joining TMS Consulting as managing director and also serving on NSHMBA’s National Board.
Mr. Savino has consulted with some of the largest companies in corporate America, including Fortune 100 companies, and his expertise has been sought out for keynote speeches, magazine articles, and seminars.
Mr. Savino received his MBA in Finance from Fordham University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Boston University. Formerly a 30-year resident of the Bronx, he now lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with his wife Maria and sons Oliver and Pierce.
Janet Simms Prospanica National Board Chair
Janet Simms has over 25 years in Internal Audit experience in the financial services and insurance industries and is an accomplished Audit Leader with varied experience in Compliance, Finance, Legal, Human Resources and Risk Management. She is currently a Senior Director, Internal Audit for Green Dot Corporation, a financial technology and registered bank holding company with headquarters in Austin, TX. Green Dot is a provider of prepaid debit cards and a payments platform company and is the technology platform used by many companies including Apple Pay Cash, and Intuit. In her role at Green Dot, Janet supports the Chief Audit Executive in all aspects of the department including making presentations to the Board of Directors and Audit Committees. She is responsible for corporate and risk audits as well as building and executing audit coverage across various corporate functions including Compliance such as Bank Secrecy Act / Anti Money Laundering Compliance and Privacy; Enterprise Risk Management; Finance and Human Resources. As part of the Audit Leadership team, Janet also provides audit and advisory services to stakeholders in the areas of compliance, financial and operational audits and projects and process improvement initiatives. She is also responsible for overseeing Sarbanes-Oxley testing.
Prior to joining Green Dot, Janet worked at CIT Group where she was responsible for Finance and Legal audit coverage and provided strategic and leadership direction and supervision of audit coverage across the company. She was responsible for overall coordination and testing for areas including Regulatory Reporting, Accounting Operations, Corporate Tax as well as Regulatory Compliance. In addition, she served as the key department contact for external auditors. While at CIT, Janet helped the audit function implement new audit testing in accordance with various regulatory requirements including Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review and OCC Heightened Standards. Before joining CIT in 2011, Janet was the Director of Internal Audit for SBLI Life Insurance Company where she was responsible for overseeing the strategic direction for the Internal Audit function, identifying and evaluating high risk areas associated with the company’s businesses and operations. Reporting to the Chief Audit Executive, Janet also prepared reports to the Audit Committee and designed financial and operational audits. While at SBLI, she also worked with Marketing and Sales to developed and delivered training to Sales Agents on improving sales techniques, cross selling and customer service that improved sales prospects and leads by 25 percent. Janet has also worked in the audit departments of Prudential and Deutsche Bank.
She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). Janet earned her MBA from Rutgers Business School and her Bachelor’s in Accounting from Rider University. Additionally, Janet is passionate about supporting and creating opportunities for students and the Latino community. In that capacity, she is a founding member of the Prospanica (formerly National Society of Hispanic MBAs) NJ chapter and currently serves as the Chairwoman on Prospanica’s National Board of Directors. She has also won the Brillante award for member excellence in 2016 and is a lifetime Prospanica member. She enthusiastically supports the mission of the organization to empower and enable Hispanic professionals to achieve their full educational, economic, and social potential.
Janet lives in NJ with her husband, James, and two sons, James Jr. and Cristian.
Kathleen Snow Prospanica Connecticut, Secretary
Kathe joined The Hartford in 2018. In her current role as a Sr. DEI Consultant at The Hartford,
she is responsible for building, launching, leading and supporting enterprise-wide cultural
initiatives that promote diversity and drive an inclusive workplace. Kathe is the primary
executioner of external DEI partnerships; including relationship management, managing both
internal and external stakeholders along with managing and executing DEI events to ensure
Kathe has over 19 years of HR experience and has served in roles such as Employee Relations
Specialist, Human Resources Generalist, Wellness Advocate and Disability Benefit Specialist.
Prior to joining The Hartford, she worked at The University of Hartford, Baystate Health and
United Technologies Aerospace Systems.
Kathe earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Western New England University and her
M.S in Organizational Psychology from the University of Hartford. She also holds an HR and
Project Management Certification.
Kathe has a passion for Health & Wellness as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is active
in the community and has served as an adjunct professor in Personal Branding and Professional
Growth. In her personal time, Kathe enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and running.
Jarrod Uddin WPNT Communications, Communications Trainer | Motivational Speaker
Having spoken on the TEDx stage, led 250 of empowerment assemblies, and coached hundreds of fortune 500 leaders, Jarrod Uddin is affectionately known as “The Presentation Expert” and specializes in coaching leaders to be better communicators.
Jarrod is the author of the book “The Modern Presenter: 10-Public Speaking Hacks to Turn Your Listeners into Buyers & Raving Fans”, and The Modern Presenter’s Playbook: 5-Steps to The Perfect Presentation”.
His private clients include: MLB athletes, international speakers, CEO’s, astronauts and industry leaders in the Finance, Energy, CPG and Entertainment spaces.
Cid Wilson HACR, President & CEO
Cid Wilson was named President & Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) in July 2014, where he manages a growing staff of talented, dedicated professionals. He leverages more than 30 years of corporate finance and Wall Street equity research experience to work closely with corporations, their CEOs and board directors, and chief diversity officers to increase the representation of Hispanics at all levels in Corporate America. In addition, he directs programs and initiatives aimed at encouraging Fortune 500 companies to increase Hispanic inclusion in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.
In September 2022, President Biden appointed Wilson to serve on the President’s Advisory commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. His first presidential appointment was in 2009, when President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission that proposed to the President and Congress construction of a new Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He was named board chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino in 2012 and continues to lead advocacy efforts aimed at sustaining Congressional support for the museum’s completion.
His thought leadership comes from many years serving on corporate boards, corporate advisory boards, and decades of interactions with corporate board directors and CEOs. He serves on the governing steering committee of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest corporate CEO initiative in the world focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Joe Zubi Prospanica National Board Director
Joe Zubi has worked closely with brands such as Ford Motor Company, J.P. Morgan Chase, Dunkin Donuts, American Airlines, Walgreens, S.C. Johnson, Pizza Hut, The J.M. Smucker Co. and M&M/Mars just to name a few. Joe is widely known for his role as CEO of Zubi Advertising for 27 years, where under his leadership, he elevated the business from a local agency to one of the largest Hispanic advertising agencies in the country. A dedicated community leader, he served as the SVP of Communications for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and acts as an advisor to FIU’s Casa Cuba cultural center project. . He is also a member of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications Hall of Fame. Last year, Joe was asked to step in as the Interim President for United Way Miami while a nationwide search was conducted for a permanent CEO. Joe is married to Jeanette Cabrera and has two children, Charlotte and Michael, along with Jeanette’s three children, Justin, Jason and Carina.