Directors

ALPFA is governed by an elected Board of Directors consisting of Officers and Diectors At Large. The CEO has a non-voting seat on the Board. The national Board of Directors has exhibited passion, determination and dedication in managing ALPFA's current issues and planning for its promising future. 

2014 ALPFA National Directors

  • Avec O'Brien
  • Adriana Rojas Garzon
  • Erika Rodriguez
  • Javier Reyes
  • Julio C. Ramirez
  • Kaplan Mobray
  • Patricia Ballesteros
  • Paul Francisco
  • Reynaldo Gonzalez
  • Rick Cerda

 

Avec O'Brien, CPA

U.S. Controller,
Mastronardi Produce

Avec G. O’Brien, is the U.S. Controller for Mastronardi Produce. In this role she is responsible for the financial affairs of the organization and focuses on a broad range of financial, operational, strategic and executive leadership issues impacting the organization. Avec is a Board Director of the Detroit chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) and a National Board Director at ALPFA. She is a graduate of Leadership Detroit (LD XXXIII).

Previously, Avec was Chief Financial Officer of the Detroit Science Center. Before that, she was a manager in the assurance and enterprise risk services practice of Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Avec also worked as office manager at Heidrick and Struggles and as Senior Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mexico City.  Simultaneously, Avec was an associate professor at the MBA program of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Avec has served as board member and as a volunteer of several Detroit-area nonprofits.  She is the founding president of the Michigan chapter of ALPFA. 

Avec earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with emphasis in Accounting from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.  Additionally, she earned her Master in Business Administration with Distinction from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Avec is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She received the 2011 Woman of ALPFA award (Woman of the Year) from ALPFA, the largest organization building Latino business leaders. The award is given to an individual who enthusiastically promotes the advancement of Latinas and personifies the qualities prized in successful professionals.

Avec resides in Novi, Michigan, with her husband Joe and sons James and Michael.

 

Adriana Rojas Garzon, Attorney at Law

Counsel,
Bain Capital

Adriana Rojas Garzón is Counsel for Absolute Return Capital, LLC, Brookside Capital, LLC, and Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the trading affiliates of Bain Capital, LLC. Prior to this role, Adriana worked with the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s Foreclosure Prevention department, where she worked with the housing counselors to negotiate loan modifications for numerous low- to moderate-income clients. She was also an Associate in the Corporate Department of the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where her practice focused on credit transactions, corporate, securities and mid-sized private equity transactions.

Adriana holds an LL.M. from Boston University School of Law with concentrations in Securities and Financial Services Transactions, a JD from Boston College Law School and a B.S. degree in Economics and Marketing from Boston College. She has been admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and New York and is a member of the Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations. Adriana also serves as a Director on the Boards of the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing and the Jose Mateo Ballet Theater.

Adriana was admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York in 2006. Most recently, Adriana was chosen as an honoree for the 2013 In-House Leaders in the Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Aside from her non-profit work, Adriana is an avid runner. She is first-generation American, her parents are both Colombian. Adriana is fluent in Spanish and lives in Massachusetts.

Erika Rodriguez, CPA

Senior Finance Manager
GRIFOLS

Erika Rodriguez is a Senior Finance Manager at Grifols Inc., a global healthcare company whose mission is to improve the health and well being of people around the world. In her role, Erika is responsible for managing several areas related to the integration of a recently acquired company, including systems, business processes, organizational realignments, and harmonization of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and Accounting Policies & Procedures.

Previously, Erika worked in the Corporate Controllership Group of The Walt Disney Company primarily focusing on interpreting and assessing the financial impact of new accounting guidance, particularly for significant non-recurring transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, and corporate restructurings. Prior to joining Disney, Erika was primarily responsible for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance at Toyota Motor Sales. While at Toyota, Erika also served as a Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the Finance group. As an Internal Audit Manager at Avery Dennison, Erika managed the planning and execution of global Sarbanes-Oxley compliance implementation. As the only Spanish speaker on Avery's Internal Audit team, she provided support and traveled extensively to Latin America. Erika also worked at DirecTV as an accounting analyst and began her career in PricewaterhouseCooper's Assurance practice, providing assurance services to clients in the consumer and industrial products and services industry.

Erika received her B.S. in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in California. She was an ALPFA Los Angeles Chapter Scholarship recipient in 1997 and served on the Los Angeles Chapter Board for several years as Director of Scholarships, Vice President and President. Erika serves on the ALPFA National Board and is active in other charitable and civic organizations in Los Angeles. Recently, Erika has been collaborating with colleagues to establish the non-profit organization Angels Advocate, which will focus on encouraging volunteerism by honoring volunteers who inspire the gift of giving and are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of others. In her spare time, Erika enjoys the outdoors, attending social events, and spending time with friends, family and her two beautiful dogs.

Javier A. Reyes

Vice Provost for Distance Education
Associate Professor, Economics
University of Arkansas

Javier Reyes currently serves as the Vice Provost for Distance Education at the University of Arkansas.  He oversees all aspects related to online and distance education programs at the university including strategic planning, budget management, marketing and recruiting activities, as well as day to day support services for faculty and students. He manages the Global Campus online infrastructure that provides support to all academic colleges at the university regarding their online/distance education efforts as they expand access to students who need flexible options to overcome barriers, such as location, time, and financial constraints. He ensures that the university’s resources are used fully and optimally, balancing all modes of instruction delivery, pushing for innovation in teaching technologies, safeguarding the academic standards and the brand of the university and providing support to continue the positive trajectory that complements the university’s goal of becoming a Top 50 University.

Dr. Reyes was born in Mexico City, and he is an Associate Professor of Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Texas A&M University and a B.A. in Economics with a Finance minor from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico). He joined the faculty of the Sam. M. Walton College of Business in 2003, as an Assistant Professor. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in international economics (trade and finance), macroeconomics, monetary theory and policy, econometrics, and current economic issues. His research interests include monetary theory and policy issues in emerging economies, open economy macroeconomics, exchange rate regimes, capital flows and remittances, complex network theories and their applications to international economic integration, international finance, and crises economics. He has published his work in internationally recognized publications, including the Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, the Review of International Economics, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Macroeconomics, World Economy, Journal of Financial Stability, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations among others. In 2011 he published a textbook that covers the economic history of the economic development of Latin America.

In 2011, Dr. Reyes was selected by the editors of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal as one of the “40 under 40” intriguing business and political leaders in Arkansas. In the spring of 2013, he was invited to participate as a speaker at the inaugural TEDx Fayetteville event, where he presented a talk about having impact by identifying big challenges, transforming them into opportunities and showing that education plays a center stage in this process. Because of his participation in the TEDx Fayetteville event he has been catalogued as one of the most innovative and influential minds in Northwest Arkansas. Most recently, he has been asked to serve in the National Board of ALPFA, starting his two year term in September of 2013.

Julio Ramirez

Global Information Security Manager
Owens Illinois

Julio is the Global Information Security Manager at Owens Illinois (O-I), the world’s largest glass container manufacturer. In his role, Julio is responsible for establishing a global Information Security and Risk Management capability across the organization, as well as, leading global programs and processes to monitor the emergence and response to new threats to O-I’s information assets.

Prior to O-I, Julio was a Compliance and Standards Project Manager for General Electric´s
Global Infrastructure Services (GIS) group, where he supported the Transition to Operations (TTO) process by ensuring that projects, solutions or initiatives appropriately met corporate policies, operational standards and support needs. Julio also served as a Manager for the IT Risk Advisory practice of Ernst & Young, LLP (E&Y), where he specialized on IT Audit and Compliance, Data Analytics and Information Security.

Julio is a founding member, and former Executive Vice President, of the ALPFA Michigan chapter. He has
also served as Board Member of the North West Ohio ISACA chapter. Julio has a Bachelor degree in Information Engineering, from the Universidad Tecnológica del Centro, in Venezuela. He is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM), and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Kaplan Mobray

Kaplan Mobray, Inc.

Kaplan Mobray is the U.S. Diversity Programs Leader at Deloitte LLP and author of the best-selling book “The 10Ks of Personal Branding”.  At Deloitte, he works in the Office of Diversity to lead the execution of programs designed to attract, retain and develop high caliber diverse talent and serves as a strategic advisor on issues of Diversity & Inclusion, Recruiting, and Branding.  As one of the organizations’ designated spokespeople on Diversity & Inclusion, Kaplan has been widely quoted in the media and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.   

In his personal pursuits, Kaplan is an acclaimed author, career coach, motivational speaker and professional saxophone player.   He has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, BET and is a frequent content contributor to the national media.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and College of Arts & Sciences, Kaplan was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Network Journal Magazine and received the 2008 Rising Star Award by the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR).  He serves on the national board of ALPFA and is active in charitable and civic organizations. Kaplan resides in West Nyack, NY with his family.

 

Patricia Ballesteros, CISA

Certified Internal Systems Auditor (CISA) Manager,
Aon Corporation

Patricia is a Manager in Aon Corporation's Internal Audit Department and currently oversees the audit activities to assess the information technology control environment for the Americas and United Kingdom regions and is a valued leader within the department.

Patricia has extensive experience with understanding a company's internal controls and recommending ways for management to mitigate their business risks. She began her career with First Chicago NBD/Bank One, which before then she had served three internships within the financial services industry. Patricia served many roles in the Bank's Corporate Audit & Security department, from leading application and data center audits to managing the implementation of a fraud recovery application as part of a rotation program. Patricia later moved into the Information Technology Risk Management function within the Corporate Systems Line of Business, supporting the Finance & Human Resources functions. She made significant contributions to the Finance system development process and was asked to lead the SAP Change Management Program to ensure controls were appropriately implemented. Patricia continued her career at Deloitte & Touche LLP as a Senior Consultant in the Enterprise Risk Services practice and was quickly promoted to Manager. She now is a key member of the Aon Internal Audit Department and works with Senior IT Management as a trusted business partner in mitigating their information technology risks.

Patricia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from DeVry University. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor licensed in Illinois.

 

Paul Francisco

VP, Global Inclusion & Head of University Relations North America
Global Human Resources, State Street Corporation

Prior to starting Foster & Francisco, Paul was Vice President for Veritude’s Workforce Consulting Group. Veritude, a Fidelity Investments Company, provides Strategic Human Resources Consulting and Recruitment Process Outsourcing Services to client companies. Prior to joining Veritude, Paul was a Senior Vice President for Bank of America’s Consumer Staffing Division. In that capacity he was responsible for talent acquisition for the Consumer Bank’s operations in New England, New York, Mid Atlantic, Southeast, Florida and Central Divisions. He has also held a number of HR positions at companies like Amica and Gillette.

Paul is a former NFL player, having been part of the New England Patriots team of ’94-95. Paul emigrated from Honduras as a teenager, attended Cathedral High School in the South End, and obtained a football scholarship to Boston University where he majored in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. While a member of the Patriots, Paul returned to Boston U. to pursue a Master of Science in Administration. His football career ended in 1996 due to an injury while a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

 

Reynaldo (Ray) C. Gonzalez

Director, Enterprise Risk Services Governance, Risk and Regulatory Strategies, Deloitte

Ray has over 35 years of experience in the financial services and oil & gas industries as a regulator, banker, and consultant. He has served banks in various capacities as an executive with overall responsibilities for corporate governance and risk management programs. As a regulator, Ray performed safety & soundness and regulatory compliance examinations of national banks. As a consultant, he has provided risk management consulting and litigations support services to some of the largest banking organizations in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.

As a Director with the Enterprise Risk Services Group with Deloitte & Touche, Ray provides risk management services to the Financial Services Industry - banks, mortgage, and insurance, High Tech Manufacturing Industry and the Oil & Gas Industry. He has consulted with some of the largest financial services, high tech manufacturers and oil & gas in the U.S. and internationally, in the areas of operational, credit and regulatory compliance risk management.

Internationally, Ray has provided services related to risk management, operations improvement and conversion of financial reporting systems to U.S. GAAP standards. He was part of the partner group that was contracted by the Mexican Congress to conduct a study of Mexico’s bank bail out program, known as Fondo Bancario de Proteccion al Ahorra (“FOBAPROA’). The objectives of the study were to evaluate the performance and the supervision of the program, analyze overall use of the funds, quantify the fiscal cost, and analyze the liabilities, which may be converted to public debt. He is the Advisory Director for the Deloitte & Touche, Mexico - Enterprise Risk Services practice, which provides internal audit and risk management consulting services to Mexico and Latin America.

Industry and Regulatory Experience

As a regulator, Ray performed regulatory examinations of national banks for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”). Ray conducted numerous examinations of banks, including mortgage banking divisions and subsidiaries. He was also a regulatory compliance examiner and directed the OCC’s compliance program in the 11th Federal District in Dallas, supervising 830 national banks.

As a banker, Ray was the Corporate Compliance Officer and assistant manager of credit review for an $ 18 billion bank holding company located in Houston, Texas. As an officer with a savings & loans association in Houston, he held various positions throughout a 5-year span – loan review manager, loan operations manager, manager of credit administration, corporate compliance officer and lending officer.

 

Richard Cerda, CPA

Senior Manager Assurance
Ernst & Young LLP

Rick Cerda is a Senior Manager in Ernst & Young’s Assurance practice. He has thirteen years of experience serving a broad spectrum of multinational organizations in the manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, automotive, consumer, construction, newsprint, mining, and industrial products industries. Rick serves as an advisor to senior management and audit committees on accounting, reporting, regulatory and internal control related matters. He consistently leverages his technical background and network to proactively address accounting and reporting matters in close collaboration with his clients.

Prior to Ernst & Young, Rick was a senior manager in the assurance and consulting practices of Crowe Horwath. Rick has led audits, reviews, compilations, tax services and various consulting projects that include performing internal audits, evaluating internal controls, business valuations, profitability enhancement, risk management, and implementing large scale accounting office consolidations. In addition, to his technical expertise Rick has positively impacted the firm’s culture as founder of Crowe’s Latino People Resource Network (“LPRN”). Rick is adept in translating vision into action and as the founder and national leader of Crowe’s LPRN, he contributed extensively to the recruitment, retention, and leadership development of diverse personnel for the firm’s offices throughout the country. Rick is one of only four professionals in the firm’s history to successfully complete segments I, II, and III of its nationally recognized Leadership Academy, which is designed for identified future partners.

Rick is very active in the community and accounting profession through his involvement in several professional organizations. He currently serves as Chairman of the Corporate Advisory Board and Immediate Past President for ALPFA Chicago. Rick served as President from 2009 – 2011 and Executive Vice President from 2007 – 2009.

Under Rick’s presidency, ALPFA Chicago has grown from approximately 450 members to over 1,000 members and the chapter has won ALPFA National’s Chapter of the Year award for the last three years. During his involvement with ALPFA, he has provided thought leadership and solutions to over 20 companies within the Chicagoland area relating to diversity initiatives, as well as, the acquisition, retention and leadership development of diverse professionals.

Many consider Rick to be one of Chicago’s highest ranking and most visible Latino CPAs with a unique blend of technical expertise and firsthand knowledge on best practices that have improved corporate diversity initiatives.

Rick is a frequent presenter at conferences on the topic of leadership and diversity and has spoken at numerous events throughout the country for organizations such as National Public Radio, Crain’s, NSHMBA, NHSN, and many Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he has conducted a number of training programs regarding various accounting and diversity topics and has had several articles published.

Rick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and resides in Bolingbrook, Illinois with his wife, daughter, and son.