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Board of Directors

Alex Velazquez, President

 

Alex Velazquez has been an active member of ALPFA since 2010, with a profound commitment to share with his fellow ALPFA members, the resources and opportunities provided to him and deemed necessary to succeed in the modern American corporate landscape. Alex spent the majority of his career with KPMG Los Angeles in the audit practice, and recently completed a three-year international assignment in the KPMG São Paulo, Brazil office. As a Senior Manager in the audit practice he worked closely with multiple international KPMG member firms and has served many of the firm’s largest global clients. Alex has extensive experience leading and coordinating U.S. GAAP and IFRS audit engagements with responsibility for planning, budgeting, executing, reviewing, and reporting of multiple high-quality financial statement audits and Sarbanes-Oxley 404 testing of internal controls, including integrated audits of U.S. SEC registrant publicly traded companies and the related quarterly reviews.

He is currently the Managing Director of APV Consulting Associates, LLC, which provides high-quality technical accounting and financial consulting services. He is a Certified Public Accounting licensed with the California Board of Accountancy and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with Accounting Emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

As a Cuban-Mexican American, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Alex enjoys visiting the beautiful beaches of California and feels fortunate to have been influenced by the rich and diverse cultures ingrained in the great city of Los Angeles. With a passion for traveling, he has visited over 20 countries and is fluent in three languages, improving on a fourth, contributing to a sound global perspective on the current business environment in the United States.

 

Elena Einstein, Vice President/ Women of ALPFA Chair

Elena Einstein is President of the Einstein Group LLC, a women-owned, minority Consulting Company, and Senior Contracts Manager for International and Commercial Satellite programs at The Boeing Company within Space and Missile Systems in El Segundo, CA. Previously, she held the role of Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the Boeing Satellite Development Center (SDC) within Network and Space Systems (N&SS) in El Segundo, CA. In this role, she supported the SDC leadership on long-range strategies, organizational goals, objectives and initiatives including employee survey analysis and compliance performance tracking. In addition, she managed Early Career Employee teams and manager development initiatives for the SDC. In her former position at Boeing, her focus was International Commercial contracts. Her primary customer was SES, a world-leading satellite operator. Elena served as the Lead Contract Specialist for the Boeing Test & Evaluation Division for The Boeing Company. Her assignment focused on Government Contracting with the Air Force, as the primary customer. Additionally, she was the Functional Contract Specialist (Lead), where she led various finance initiatives, including process management, contract audit lead, training and development, and employee engagement. As a Lead Contracts Specialist, she managed Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) remediation contracts with the Department of Energy and NASA. Her work included managing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and funding and developing reporting requirements for the Department of Energy. Before supporting EHS, she was in Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s Launch Products & Services, in Huntington Beach, CA, where she worked as a Contracts Administrator serving Boeing Launch Services and Special Space Products. She supported both commercial and government customers for Delta II and Delta IV Rocket products. Prior to joining Boeing, Elena worked as a consultant for state and local agencies providing contract services, and business analyst support. Her projects included contract performance audits for the Los Angeles Department of Water and as a project business analyst for Cal Trans Disparity studies.

Elena’s educational background includes a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership (EDOL) from Pepperdine University. She received a Master of Science from the University of La Verne, in Leadership & Management and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Electronic Business, with a Minor in Contract Management and Law from Cal Poly Pomona University. In 2017, Elena joined University La Verne as an adjunct faculty member. In 2014, Elena received the Boeing Defense, Space & Security Finance Value Integrator Award for her contributions in designing and implementing an employee engagement team for the satellite finance commercial team. Additionally, in 2013, Elena received the 2013 National Contract Management Association’s (NCMA) Top Professionals under 40 in Contract Management Award, and she also received the Boeing Engineering Operations Technology Finance Value Integrator Award for her contributions in designing and implementing a training curriculum for over 10,000 Boeing Finance Employees.

She is also a member of the National Contract Management Association San Fernando Valley Chapter, Past President, and current Advisor; Seal Beach Boeing Hispanic Employee Network President 2012-2013; Diversity and Inclusion Council Chair 2013-2017; and the Boeing Aerospace Leadership Chapter (BALC)-Vice President of Programs 2012-2017. Elena is also the Women of ALPFA Chair (2013-2017) for the

ALPFA Los Angeles Chapter. Recently in 2017, she became the VP of the ALPFA Los Angeles Chapter.

Elena’s expertise is in various areas of Contract Management and Negotiations, for both Domestic and International customers, Diversity and Inclusion, Training and Employee Engagement, Development, Leadership, and Management Effectiveness.

 

Art Rubio, Director of Corporate Development

Art Rubio was born and raised in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Art attended Whittier College where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. During his time at Whittier College, Art was active in his community and was involved in several community programs in the greater Whittier area. Additionally, during his time at Whittier, Art also was an intern with the KPMG Los Angeles office through the INROADS program. Based on his performance, Art was named as the 2008 INROADS intern of the year in the greater Los Angeles area.

Art is currently a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Los Angeles Investment Management, Real Estate and Pension and Savings Plan audit practices. He has more than eight years of experience providing financial statement audit and audit of internal control services. Art has provided professional audit services to several large multinational groups in accordance with PCAOB requirements, U.S. GAAP, and IFRS. Art has operated as the engagement lead on the IFRS consolidation and the U.S. GAAP reconciliation on the group level for a leading multinational investment management company.

Currently serving as the ALPFA Los Angeles Chapter Director of Corporate Development, Art is focused on connecting the Los Angeles ALPFA chapter with various corporations and fostering an environment of communication and growth within the Hispanic/Latino community. Art’s focus is to connect the talented student pool with organizations who are looking to diversify their professional approach by hiring people with different backgrounds, while also developing a community where professionals can exchange ideas and experiences.

 

Armando Villanueva, Director of Student Affairs

Armando Villanueva graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Armando has over 6 years of experience as an accountant, and is currently employed with Ernst and Young, LLP. His experience ranges from providing accounting services to hospitals, health systems, not-for-profit organizations and manufacturing and distribution companies. Armando currently sits on the board for the ALPFA professional chapter in Los Angeles as Co-Director of Student Affairs. In addition, Armando has been involved for the last 2 years with the ALPFA Cal State Long Beach Chapter and provides mentoring to students to help them develop their networking, resume, and interviewing skills. Overall, Armando’s efforts have resulted in the recruitment of students into public accounting from Cal State Long Beach. In addition, he is also one of the leaders of the CPA Licensing Mentoring Program at the EY Los Angeles office and mentor’s new hires on completing their CPA license exams.

Edwin Aguilar, Co-Director of Student Affairs

Gabe Ariza, Co-Director of Events 

Jonathan Cheung, Co-Director of Events

Jonathan Cheung is an Assurance Associate at McGladrey, a leading provider of assurance, tax, and consulting services focused on the middle market. His primary focus is the financial services industry including broker-dealers, private equity funds, and hedge funds. Also, he is active in the Latino employee network group within McGladrey.

Jonathan received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Option in Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles in December 2012 where he was actively involved in student organizations. He served as the Meet the Firms Co-Chair during 2011 and began his involvement in ALPFA as the Treasurer. After serving as the Treasurer, he became the President during the 2011-2012 school year. With the help of his team, he increased awareness on campus among students and faculty, established and developed relationships with ALPFA LA and National, and the chapter was awarded the Student Chapter of the Year Award for the West Region for the first time in its history.

 

Martha Ariza, Associate Director of Corporate Development

Martha Ariza is the owner of Adelante Tax Services. She began her professional experience as a Financial Administrator for the Law Office of Glauber Berenson, located in Pasadena, CA. She has also served as an Operational Regional Team Member for Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, CA.
Martha became involved with ALPFA during her first semester at California State University Los Angeles.

Currently, Martha serves as the ALPFA Los Angeles Secretary. She has previously served as Director of Membership and Associate Director of Events. She is committed to adding value and creating opportunities for ALPFA members and the community.

 

Brian Zepeda, Treasurer

Brian Zepeda is an Experienced Associate in the Assurance practice for PwC Los Angeles. His role in PwC is to provide quality assurance services to private clients from the hotel & resort, manufacturing, and consumer products & services industry. Brian obtained his PwC offer through ALPFA's Annual Convention. Upon completing the Start Internship and Advanced Internship, he transitioned full-time as an Associate at the firm and has been enjoying the challenging and rewarding experience since. Ultimately, his goal as Treasurer is to bring financial leadership to the Organization. 

Brian, a first-generation college student, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Auditing from the University of California, Riverside. While at UC Riverside, Brian joined ALPFA UCR in 2011 and began serving on the Board as the Marketing Director for one year and the Public Relations Director for 2 years. As such, he's a big believer in the ALPFAmilia, which is why he continues his enthusiastic involvement with ALPFA.

 

Sal Martinez, Director of Fundraising

With 15+ years of experience in the private sector of accounting, Sal has elevated to a business strategies consultant in the action sports and manufacturing industries. Sal’s involvement with ALPFA started 2 years ago when he started attending professional networking events with colleagues that shared the same business passion.

Now, in his new endeavor as Director of Fundraising with the ALPFA LA professional chapter, his main focus will be to raise funds and facilitate students attending events and conventions with the help of financial assistance.

 

Yvonne Rodriguez, Secretary

Yvonne is an Assurance Associate at RSM US LLP and a recent graduate of California State University, Los Angeles where she earned her degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Having been involved with ALPFA since college, Yvonne also served as secretary for the CSULA chapter in 2016, winning the National Student Chapter of the Year and Western Region Student Chapter of the Year awards at the National ALPFA conference in 2017. Growing up in the humbling neighborhood of East Los Angeles and the first generation in her family to graduate from college, she is passionate about influencing change within the Latino community through educational empowerment and positive mentorship. 

 

Antonio Toscano, Director of Information Technology

Antonio graduated from Cal State University of Los Angeles, with a Bachelors in CIS Computer Information Systems. During his freshmen year, he interned with Wilshire Financial Network, a Real Estate company assisting the IT department.

Antonio is an IT Network Manager with Hexpose. Throughout his time with Hexpose, he served the Los Angeles territory by helping clients and administrators with technical issues. In addition, he provided innovative and current technology solutions, in order to accelerate and maximize client tasks. He helped clients save money by assisting with the installation of solar panels. He is currently undergoing projects such as the Internet of Things.

Antonio is also the Data Center technician with Cyberverse. His primary role is to move, change, and assist with the layout installation of data communication equipment. He assists clients with server installations, hard drive swap and configuration of cpanels.

 

Michael Ramirez, Director of Strategy

Michael Ramirez is a Consulting Analyst, part of Accenture’s Artificial Intelligence Consulting practice. Since joining Accenture, Michael has been working closely with clients in a variety of industries ranging from life sciences to semiconductor. His experience includes creating and designing innovative and entrepreneurial operating models to unlock new sources of value, and guiding the acceleration of outcomes from a digital transformation initiative for a global biotech organization.

He is a key contributor to the development of Accenture’s Artificial Intelligence strategy offerings. He focuses on the creation of value-based constructs that highlight the potential benefits from AI in the context of the business environment. Michael passion for technology lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence and humanities and is a supporter of artificial intelligence for positive initiatives.

Before joining Accenture, he worked as an intern for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, IBM Watson, CBS Radio, and United Way. A first-generation college student, Michael earned a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, and a Bachelor’s of Arts, specializing in International Studies, from the University of North Texas. While in college, his mission was to enrich the lives of Latino/a students, co-founding and serving as Vice President of UNT’s ALPFA student chapter where he helped organize events and workshops geared towards professional development. Additionally, he also served as Vice President of the UNICEF campus initiative and Vice President of the Amnesty International student club, through which Michael hosted international dinners, organized concerts, and put on a speaker series with expert panelists. Michael attributes much of his professional development to the mentoring and coaching he has received from ALPFA and wants to have a similar impact on others by serving on the ALPFA Los Angeles board.

 

Miguel Centeno, Director of Marketing

Miguel Alex Centeno is the founder of Tax Hack Inc., a tax and technology company focused on innovating streamlined solutions for internet companies, entrepreneurs, marketers, and eCommerce. 

Miguel is also a Partner at Shared Economy CPA, a firm that provides tax expertise on Sharing Economy platforms that span Airbnb, Uber, and Upwork where he leads sales efforts and policy decisions on tax treatment. 

Previously, he worked as a manager of tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, where he spent six years working in Big 4 accounting, advising some of the largest companies on the planet in the pharma, tech, and consumer goods space. 

Miguel has been featured in several publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and CNBC among other publications, and has testified before the U.S. Congress as an expert witness on tax policy. He has been called an "up-and-comer" in the next generation of tax leaders. 

Miguel is an avid outdoorsman and father of two, when not working on tax, Miguel loves camping the California Sierras and surfing in Baja California with his family, including his two young children Baylen and Olivia. Miguel holds two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Loyola Marymount University.

 

Joseph Darza, Associate Director of Marketing 

I am an entrepreneur-minded professional with a passion for using today’s ever-evolving tools to provide data-driven actionable recommendations to senior business leaders. As a finance professional, I thrive in using my diverse background to evaluate a business’ lifecycle stage, and use available data to seek out additional growth opportunities. 

Next to numbers, my other passion is people. I enjoy working in an environment in which I can interact with many different types of people and personalities. With my favorite quote being, "If we agreed on everything, only one of us would be necessary." I enjoy working with people who think differently and often disagree because it enables me to form a better understanding of my positions on various topics. 

My third passion is altruism. The ability to give back to communities that have supported and  continue to provide me growth opportunities something that inspires me. Contributing to organizations with time, talent, and treasure is one of the most rewarding endeavors. I believe that, similar to investing, there is no better time than the present to give; this is something I encourage other young professionals to do as well. I currently serve as Chair of the Summer Search Seattle alumni board, and it has contributed greatly to my growth.

 

Norma Castaneda, Director of Membership and Philanthropy

Norma Castaneda has worked in the non-profit sector for the last decade empowering, advocating and encouraging immigrant and Latino communities to get involved civically. She is currently the Operations Manager at COFEM (Council of Mexican Federations in North America) who works to empower individuals socially, politically, economically and culturally. Norma has also held positions as Director of Finance, Program Manager and Executive Assistant. Norma has extensive experience in voter registration and GOTV efforts while working in collaboration in various coalitions. She played an instrumental logistical role in several key campaign races at the local and state level of government. 

Before transitioning to the non-profit sector, Norma worked in the manufacturing industry in the sales department at CDI Torque Products (a Snap-on Company) and initiated her career at the logistics and transportation industry at DSL Transportation Services. Norma’s extensive work experience arrives as she successfully achieved to work and study full time while doing her undergraduate studies.

Norma, a first-generation college student from the city of El Monte in the San Gabriel Valley, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing Management from California State University Los Angeles,  and three Associates Degrees in Accounting, Real Estate and as Executive Assistant from East Los Angeles College.  Norma joined ALPFA in December 2010. She has returned to serve in the Los Angeles Professional Chapter as the Director of Membership and Philanthropy. Norma has been as board member since 2012-2015, first as Associate Director then Director of Membership. Norma has been an active public speaker volunteer for several years with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in the Cash for College workshops, where she motivates and inspires youth to pursue higher education. In 2006, Norma co-founded SURGE (Students United to Reach Goals in Education) a student organization at CSULA which is still active to this day. Norma is a licensed CA Real Estate Agent.