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2015 Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference Committee

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Latino:a Mental Health Providers Network

Planning Committee Meeting

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014 – Time: 9:00 – 10:30 am

Place: Sinai Community Institute

2653 W. Ogden Ave., 1st floor

Chicago, IL 60608

Some instructions for those attending our planning meeting in person.

SCI is located east of the Mount Sinai Hospital, at the corner of Ogden Ave. and Washtenaw Ave. (1st floor). The best entrance is by Wasthenaw Ave.

Teamup On Our Conference Call:

712-432-0490 – ACCESS CODE: 229692

Center for Latino:a Mental Health

Tonight, DAMA Annual Dinner And Award Ceremony 2014, Moderating Tsi-Tsi-Ki Feliz Univision, Honoring Pedro L. Vergés and Luis Saldaña

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Annual Dinner And Award Ceremony hosted by Dominican American Midwest Association


About DAMA
The Dominican-American Midwest Association (DAMA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization seeking to address the needs of all Dominicans and Dominican-Americans in the Midwest region of the U.S.

The DAMA Mission

The Dominican-American Midwest Association (DAMA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization seeking to address the need of all Dominicans and Dominican-Americans in the Midwest region of the U.S. Specifically, DAMA will create an avenue for analysis, planning, and action concerning political, educational, economic, and health-related issues that affect their lives. DAMA will strive to create an awareness in the Dominican-American community that rights and duties permeate all social, cultural, economic, and political activity.

Moderator Tsi-Tsi-Ki Feliz



Honoring, Pedro L. Vergés. Dominican writer born in Santo Domingo. 

Vergés studied philology at the University of Zaragoza and received a doctorate in Hispanic-American literature from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He has worked as editor of the journal Cam de l’Arpa in Barcelona. Later, also in Barcelona, he co-founded the journal Hora de Poesía. In addition, he has been a professor at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He has served as director at the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica in Santo Domingo and has been honored as Ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Spain from 1996 to 2000, in the Federal Republic of Germany from 2005 to 2009 and in Japan from 2009 to 2012. He has been honored several times by the King of Spain and the Emperor of Japan. Vergés currently serves as Permanent Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), of which he was chair, and as President pro tempore of the System of Central American Integration (SICA). In Chicago, he has supported and cultivated a special relationship with DAMA.

He is a recognized member of the Dominican Academy of Language. He achieved his greatest success as a writer in 1981 with the novel Sólo Cenizas Hallarás (Bolero), which Spain awarded the coveted Premio de la Crítica de Narrativa Castellana (Spanish Narrative Criticism Award) and the Premio Internacional Blasco Ibáñez (Blasco Ibáñez International Prize). This novel is considered an important landmark work of Dominican literature. In addition, his books of poetry include Juegos reunidos (1971) and Durante los inviernos (1977). Currently in progress are a novel, a book of short stories, and an extensive essay on Juan Bosch, which several prestigious publishing houses are vying to publish. DAMA feel doubly privileged to honor such a distinguished Dominican and to include such a prominent member in its ranks.

Acknowledging, Luis Saldaña is the owner of Tumbao Bar and Grill located in Logan Square.

He is the son of Idalia Morales, from Puerto Rico and Sergio Americo Saldaña, from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Repubulic. Since 2007, Tumbao has become an important in the community and a strong representation of his heritage. Tumbao was designed to be a place where one can go and enjoy latin culture through the food, music and dancing. Aside from the food, music and dancing, Luis has used his business as a place to pay it forward by supporting many local non for profit organizations. 

Prior to opening Tumbao, Luis began working in the real estate industry in 1996. He successfully opened his own office, “New Town Realty”, from 2002-2007. In 2008 he was awarded “Entrepreneur of the year”. During his spare time, Luis enjoys playing fast pitch men’s softball, which has been his passion since childhood. He has participated in numerous national and international championships. During that time, he proudly represented the USA Dominican National team.

This passion of his now leads him to his newest endeavor: “Champs Athletic Training and Fitness”. This is will be a new venue geared towards advance sports training for amateur and pro athletes. Throughout Luis’ entrepreneur career he has experienced many triumphs and tribulations. But through it all he has maintained his integrity and dedication and learned that simply giving up is not an option. Luis currently resides in Lincolnwood, IL with his family, which means more to him than anything else, his wife Annette, 14 year old son Anthony, and his daughters 12 year old Isabella and 10 year old Sofia. And let us not forget his dog Mambo… his BF!


4 Days Left, Meet Featured Non-Profit Professionals at Vertigo Sky Lounge, Wednesday October 22nd

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Lourdes DuarteMODERATOR
Lourdes Duarte, Co-Anchor,  WGN TV Morning News Chicago

Lourdes Duarte is co-anchor of WGN Morning News from 4-6am. Prior to the early shift, Lourdes was co-anchor of WGN Evening News and a reporter for WGN News at Nine. Lourdes came to WGN-TV in September 2007 as a general assignment reporter for WGN Midday News, WGN Evening News and WGN News at Nine.

Prior to joining WGN-TV, Lourdes worked for three years as a reporter and fill-in anchor for WJBK-TV, the Fox affiliate in Detroit, Michigan. She also worked for two years as a reporter for WXIN-TV in Indianapolis. While there, she launched and hosted the station’s public affairs program, “Hoy en Dia,” and anchored daily news cut-ins for radio station WEDJ-FM. Lourdes was a reporter in Peoria at WHOI-TV and at Metro Networks in Miami, Florida for radio stations WLRN-FM and WTMI-FM. She got her start here in Chicago, working as a freelance reporter for Telemundo.

Lourdes has won several awards including an Emmy award for her work on “Hoy en Dia” and Society of Professional Journalists awards for Minority Issues Reporting. Most recently, she won an Emmy award for her story titled “Unlicensed and Serving.” She also received an Emmy nomination for a story on deportation. Lourdes and a WGN photographer where aboard the plane that transported undocumented immigrants to their home country.

Currently, Lourdes hosts “Adelante Chicago” on WGN and sits on the board of Arden Shore Child and Family Services. In the winter of 2010, Lourdes began contributing video pieces to Hoy, Chicago’s largest Hispanic newspaper. Last year, she was picked as one of DePaul University’s 14 Under 40.

Lourdes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from DePaul University.


Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director, National Latino Education Institute (NLEI)

unnamed-3Elba Aranda-Suh leads the National Latino Education Institute (formerly Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.) as its Executive Director. The National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization founded in Chicago forty two years ago. NLEI has served generations of Latino families enabling economic empowerment through comprehensive industry-driven job training, career placement and supportive services that include capacity building in technology, financial literacy and worker health and wellness. NLEI’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for Latinos through educational, vocational and employment services and through advocacy, thus enabling the achievement of economic independence.

Ms. Aranda-Suh is a transformational leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and pragmatic approach to community development and works tirelessly in forging opportunities that develop, strengthen and afford meaningful systemic change for the Latino community. She is an accomplished Workforce Development professional with more than 17 years in leadership roles. Since 1999, she has led NLEI in creating and delivering award winning and nationally recognized career education programs for the Latino community.

She has served on boards of directors and executive committees for several community-based organizations including: The Latino Council on the Media (LCOM), Illinois League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National LULAC Educational Center, Maria High School, and People’s Music School and was a founding board member of the Pilsen/Little Village Information Center and served on the Michael Reese Hospital Advisory Council. She has been recognized by corporations such as Citibank, Pepsi-Cola, Lucent Technologies and the National Diversity Council for her community leadership.

Luis Gutierrez, Founder & Executive Director, Latinos Progresando

Luis founded Latinos Progresando in 1998 to serve Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village communities, where he was born and raised and continues to live today. Beginning in a small office on 18th Street, with just $200 in the bank, Luis has built unnamed-2a nearly 17-year-old organization that has served more than 25,000 families.

Luis was also responsible for founding the Marshall Square Resource Network (MSRN), a coalition of 20 organizations on Chicago’s southwest side that meets monthly for capacity building and developing collective impact strategies.

In addition to serving on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Advisory Committee to the Office of New Americans, Luis also participated in the Donors Forum’s “Communities of Practice,” a year-long program bringing together leaders from both the nonprofit and funding communities to discuss true costs of running nonprofit organizations.

Luis currently serves on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Illinois, and the Latino Policy Forum. Luis received the Excellence in Community Service Award from MALDEF, the Community Partner Award from the University of Chicago, a “35 Under 35” Leadership Award from the Community Renewal Society, and a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Chicago.

Tricia Martinez, Founder & CEO, Basic Transfer


Tricia Martinez is the Founder and CEO of Basic Transfer, Fintech social venture focusing on underbanked women in developing countries. Through their peer-to-peer platform, you select different communities to support and send money directly to the women who need it most. Once you invest in a community, you will receive updates on the groups progress and learn more about their lives through feature stories, videos, and impact reports.

Prior to Basic Transfer, Tricia founded two impact companies and worked with technology- driven startups based in Chicago. Tricia completed her Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School. With a background in development economics and poverty. Tricia is a strong believer that technology can scale social innovation and achieve immense impact.

Victor Herrera, President, NSHMBA Chicago

unnamedVictor Herrera joined the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Chicago Chapter in 2009, where he has served as Education Officer, Executive Vice President, and currently as President. With more than 17 plus years broad-based general management experience gained working with Chicago Public Schools, he understands how each part of an operation functions on a deep level. Victor also knows that it is imperative for organizations to continuously review their strategic plans to further their goals. Another lesson learned is that, above mentoring and leading, being capable of motivating staff must be every organization’s primary goal.

Throughout his leadership with NSHMBA Chicago, Victor has contributed not only to increasing membership by more than 100%, but also providing their constituents with the highest quality events, programs, and activities they expect from the premier organization for Hispanic professionals. Victor takes pride in professional development and dedicates substantial resources to developing new and better ways to enhance member, sponsor, and partner experience.

Victor is extremely generous in sharing his talents, time, and success with his community and numerous organizations. He genuinely cares about giving back to the community and his country through his activism. His passions away from work include serving on the Board of the Illinois Technology Foundation, Lead for Organizing for Action Chicago North Chapter, and Advisory Board Co-Chair for Organizing for Action.

Most recently, Victor was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. Degree from Robert Morris University and recognized as one of 25 young rising Latinos of Chicago by Latino Leaders Magazine. These are Latinos who are in the forefront of the next generation of Powerful Leaders. His recognition is featured in the “Club Leaders of the Future” section of the magazine.

Victor received a Masters degree from Morris Graduate School of Management in Chicago.

HispanicPro is The Hispanic Professional Network and was established in 2001. Now in its thirteenth year, HispanicPro is the largest network of Hispanic professionals in the state of Illinois and is dedicated to connecting Latino professionals via social media and face-to-face business networking.

Time is running out to secure your registration to the Professionals in Non-Profit Networking Forum. Don’t miss out. Register today!


Saturday morning meeting with Game Changers Corporation

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Saturday morning meeting with Game Changers Corp, Branding & Marketing StartUp. Working on a women’s conference with masterminds for high profile entrepreneurs. Weekly 60min surge on vision, strategy, project management, and team performance. Stay tuned, May 2015 at the Ritz Carlton- Chicago.

Game Changers Ritz Carlton- Chicago