Board of Directors

María de los Ángeles Nevarez, President

Maria de Los Angeles Nevarez taught Spanish language and literature courses at Emory and Duke Universities. She also served as on site coordinator for the Duke Talent Identification Program, a summer residential college program for gifted middle school students with high SAT scores. Upon moving to the West Coast, she served as College Counselor and Secondary Director at Pilgrim School in Los Angeles, and then as teacher and Dean of Students at The Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, CA. Ms. Nevarez was also instrumental in the development of the Spanish version of the Lexile Framework for Reading at MetaMetrics, Inc, in collaboration with Scholastic, Inc. She currently resides in Venice, CA,  where she works as a consultant and writes a daily bilingual Internet-based radio prep program.

Vivian Rabassa, Vice-President & Secretary

Ms. Rabassa works as Senior Organizational Development Consultant for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, where she assesses organizational needs, recommends and implements diverse strategies for team and organization effectiveness and talent management. Previous work experience includes facilitating development process for organizations in Latin America, designing and implementing training programs and, administrative responsibilities. She has an MA in Psychology and several professional certifications from prestigious organizations.  Ms.  Rabassa actively participates in professional associations and has contributed as elected board member.

Victor Menéndez, Treasurer

Victor E. Menendez is Senior Manager Labor Relations of AT&T Mobility for Florida, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. A strategic Human Resources/Labor Relations Executive, proactive business partner to senior management that guides the development and performance-driven, customer and market driven organization. His proven effectiveness, providing vision, counsel in steering organizations through periods of accelerated growth and economic downturn.

Menendez diverse background includes multinational organizations in the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer, energy and telecommunications industry. Past President of the Association of Labor Relations Professionals, Past President of the Society of Human Resources Management Puerto Rico Chapter, and Past Chair of the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association Human Resources committee. He currently is member of the Board of Director of “Ciudad del Niño” (The Children City Orphaned), The Employment of Disable People Advisory Council-Puerto Rico Governor designee, University of Puerto Rico Business School Curriculum Advisory Committee.

He earned a MBA in Marketing and BA – Economics from the University of Puerto Rico and served as Captain of the Field Artillery for the US Army National Guard and Reserve component.

Brenda Vélez, Board Member

With more than 15 years of experience in the retail, sales and service industry, Brenda is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of performance in turnaround and high paced retail organization.  She has corporate senior-level management experience in general, financial and people management.  She has offered corporate and executive coaching strategies and team approach to drive organizational improvements and implementation of best practices.  She excels in business planning, empowering strategies & development, succession planning managing cross-functional teams and establishing policies, processes and performance monitoring systems in support to continuous improvement. MS Industrial & Organizational Psychology and Certified ROI Methodology – ASTD/Jack Phillips.

Soraya M. Sesto, Board Member

Soraya M. Sesto is president of Casa Grande. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Sesto also obtained a Master’s Degree in Communication with a major in Public Relations from the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

During her professional career, she has worked as a communication consultant and account executive for some of the most prestigious international public relation firms. Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America, she has frequently been an invited speaker in conferences and seminars related to this field. Additionally, as president of the Puerto Rico chapter of the American Society for Training and Development, Soraya has worked closely with her peers, sharing expertise acquired during her ongoing relationship with HR management executives and business leaders, providing the unique vision of her experience.

José María Antón, Board Member

Born in Morocco [Africa], Mr. Anton is a public servant of the Government of Spain, who actually holds the position of Virtual Educa Secretary General. The Virtual Educa initiative was established in 2001 by the Organization of American States (OAS), to promote innovation in Education.

Mr. Anton university background includes a BA degree in Linguistics and Compared Literature [Barcelona University, Spain] and a MA degree in Latin America Studies [Sorbonne University, France]. His PhD studies were conducted at the Complutense University [Spain]. In 2011 he was awarded a honoris causa PhD by the ULADECH University [Peru].

His most relevant professional experience includes:

  • 1980-1983    Secretary General, Lycée Espagnol, Paris [France]
  • 1984-1987    Cooperation programs, Consulate of Spain, New York [USA]
  • 1987-1991    Education Counselor, Consulate of Spain, Los Angeles [USA]
  • 1992-1998    Foreign Affairs Ministry – Cervantes Institute, Madrid [Spain]
  • 1999-2000    International Commerce Agency of Spain, Madrid [Spain]
  • 2001-2003    OAS Institute of Advanced Studies of the Americas, Miami [USA]
  • 2001-2012    Virtual Educa SG [Miami – Madrid – Washington, D.C.]