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National Task Force

Kay Barnes
Mayor Kay Barnes was elected in March 1999 as Kansas Cityís first woman mayor, and was reelected to a second term in March 2003. She brings to the office extensive experience as an elected official, community volunteer, businesswoman and pioneer in womenís organizations.

During her first term, Mayor Barnes oversaw initiatives that doubled the amount of tax dollars dedicated to infrastructure needs and increased the amount of funding for deferred maintenance. Under her leadership, the number of residents living in downtown Kansas City has increased by the addition of 5,000 new housing units in the last two years, and $2 billion of public and private money has been invested downtown, with millions more to be invested in the next four years. The Mayor and City Council have led campaigns for voter approval of millions of dollars in improvements to Kansas Cityís police and fire stations and ambulance service, and the addition of 180 new police officers to Kansas Cityís streets.

The Mayor has made basic service delivery a priority, introducing ServiceFIRST, a program to examine the delivery of key basic services and, along with city staff members, focus on and discuss in-depth ways to improve service delivery.

Through ServiceFIRST, problems in the towing services division have been addressed, reducing the action time on reported abandoned vehicles; the snow removal program has been redesigned to be more efficient and effective; storm water problems, street conditions and environmental management issues are monitored constantly; and challenges businesses and developers face in doing business with City Hall have been addressed.

In her second term, Mayor Barnes intends to focus on four specific goals: continuing the emphasis on downtown revitalization; maintaining the momentum that has been created in housing development city-wide; encouraging job creation; and significantly improving Kansas Cityís basic service delivery.

Mayor Barnes first became interested in public service in the late 1960s, working as a volunteer and then as a paid staff member for the Cross-Lines Cooperative Council in the urban core. She helped found the Womenís Resource Service at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and developed multicultural womenís speaking panels throughout the western United States.

In 1974, she became one of two women on the Jackson County Legislature. In 1979, she was elected to a four-year term on the City Council, serving the Fourth District At-Large. She also served as chairwoman of the Tax Increment Financing Commission from 1996 to 1998.

For 23 years, Mayor Barnes was president of Kay Waldo, Inc., a human resources development firm specializing in communications, leadership development, management and supervision, team-building and time and stress management. Among other clients, she conducted more than 400 public seminars for more than 50,000 attendees through National Seminars, Inc., and served as consultant and keynote speaker for the American Business Womenís Assn. for 14 regional conferences across the United States.

She co-hosted and produced a cable television talk show, ìLetís Talk,î focusing on multicultural issues, and co-authored the book ìAbout Time! A Womanís Guide to Time Management.î She has taught college-level classes at UMKC, the University of Kansas and Central Michigan University. She is a co-founder of the Central Exchange.

She has served as president of the Womenís Employment Network board of directors and as a member or director of numerous other organizations, including the Womenís Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City, Mo., Committee of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission and the Chancellorís Advisory Board to the Womenís Center at UMKC. She was named one of seven Outstanding Women in Kansas City in 1977.

Mayor Barnes holds a B.S. degree in secondary education from the University of Kansas and masterís degrees in secondary education and in public administration and organizational behavior from UMKC.

She currently serves as co-chair of the US Conference of Mayors Small Business/Partner Americaô Task Force and is a member of the Conferenceís Community Development and Housing Standing Committee. She also serves on the National Advisory Council of Fannie Mae.

Rudy Bermúdez
For more than 20 years, Assembly Member Rudy Bermúdez has served the people of California by promoting public safety, improving the education of students, and championing the rights of working men and women.

A law enforcement officer by profession, Bermúdez was first elected to represent the 56th district in the California State Assembly in November of 2002. Located in the heart of southern California, the 56th district includes portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as the cities and communities of Artesia, Buena Park, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier, Whittier and West Whittier. The district includes the popular destination points of Knott's Berry Farm in the city of Buena Park and Little India in the city of Artesia.

Assembly Member Bermúdez is a member of the Budget Committee and, in his second term in office as a legislator, has the unique honor of serving as chair of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. Bermúdez also chairs the Assembly Select Committee on the I-5/710 Freeway Expansion and the Assembly Select Committee on Prison Construction and Operations. He is a member of the Business & Professions, Governmental Organization, and Water, Parks & Wildlife Committees, as well as Budge sub-committee #4 on State Administration and Assembly Select Committees on California Ports and on Equal Access to Pre-School.

Assembly Member Bermúdez has made an immediate impact in the legislature by tackling tough issues and standing up for all Californians. In his first term in office, Bermúdez authored and secured passage of legislation (AB 236) that ensured the most egregious sexual predators would never be able to practice medicine in California, keeping residents of the Golden State safe from harm and enabling them to put faith and trust in their doctors.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Bermúdez authored and secured passage of legislation (AB 1153) that outlawed the use of fake firefighter badges and employee indentification. This ensures that these items will not fall into the wrong hands and can never be used to gain unauthorized access to sensitive sites and facilities. Bermúdez authored legislation (AB 2407) that allows school districts to begin implementation of full-day kindergarten, so that every child in California can receive the education he/she deserves.

Assembly Member Bermúdez has also been very active in issues critical to his district. He fought for increased funding for home-to-school transportation for his schools, led efforts to increase business and commerce in the city of Artesia, and fought for the City of Whittier's right to the property formerly occupied by the Nelles School for Boys.

Recognizing his strong commitment to public education and his successes in the legislature, the California State University System and the Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges have both named Assembly Member Bermúdez as their Legislator of the Year. He also received the Legislator of the Year award from the Professional Engineers in California Government and the California Police Activities League. Finally, he was honored with the prestigious "Street Sweeper" award from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) for his commitment to public safety and keeping communities free from crime.

Before being elected to the State Assembly, Assembly Member Bermúdez was an active Council Member in the City of Norwalk, the fifteenth largest city in Los Angeles County with a population of more than 100,000 residents. In his election to the city council, he received the most votes of any candidate, including incumbents.

As a City Council Member, he worked to attract new businesses and retain existing ones, promote strong fiscal policies, eliminate the utility user tax and encourage development to strengthen the city's economy. He strengthened law enforcement by enacting community-based policing and helped to enhance senior and youth community services. In 2001, the Norwalk City Employees Association, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, IAM District 777 honored Assembly Member Bermúdez with their inaugural "Excellence in Organizing" Award. Later that year, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party named him as their "Franklin D. Roosevelt Democratic Man of the Year."

Before joining the Norwalk City Council, Assembly Member Bermúdez served eight years as a member of the Norwalk-La Mirada Board of Education. He received the most votes of any candidate when he was first elected in 1991, and again when re-elected in 1995.

As a board member, Assembly Member Bermúdez fought for additional funding and programmatic changes to improve student achievement. He worked to cut wasteful spending and promote fiscal accountability. Because of his efforts, the school district maintained one of the healthiest budgets in Los Angeles County, with a fiscal reserve of over 10%, more than three times the state's required reserve. He and his colleagues achieved this goal while opening three new schools, reducing class sizes, introducing new educational programs, strengthening classroom student achievement, improving security on school campuses, and providing salary increases and benefit enhancements of over 28% to district employees.

The issue of ethics has been the Assembly Member's hallmark as an elected official. He championed a strict anti-nepotism policy, a code of ethics for school board members, and procedures to discipline members who breached the code of ethics.

Assembly Member Bermúdez graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1983, with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He received a master's degree in public administration from California State University at Long Beach, where he also received a graduate certificate in employee/employer relations, human services and personnel.

Assembly Member Bermúdez and his wife, Nancy, are homeowners in Norwalk and have two sons, Rudy and Nicolas. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, he was a parole agent with more than 20 years of experience with the Department of Corrections and California Youth Authority. He is a member of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) and is also a member of the Norwalk Knights of Columbus, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Parent Teacher Association.

Jeff Bingaman
A lifelong public servant and champion for education, Jeff Bingaman was first elected to the U.S. Senate by the state of New Mexico in 1982, after serving four years as the stateís attorney general, one year as assistant attorney general, and eight years in private law practice.

During his 22 years in Congress, Sen. Bingaman has held several positions of leadership, including Deputy Democratic Whip; Democratic Steering and Coordination Committee member; and Democratic Technology and Communications Committee member. He is currently chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves as a member of the Finance Committee, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senate Armed Services Committee and Joint Economic Committee.

But, what Sen. Bingaman is perhaps most well-known for is his commitment to promoting high quality education for all. He has been called the ìEducation Senatorî by one of New Mexicoís leading newspapers, and his fingerprints can be found on nearly every major piece of education legislation to emerge from Congress this decade. As one of two Senators serving on the National Education Goals Panel, Sen. Bingaman is committed to building a world-class education system that challenges students with high academic standards and sets clear, attainable goals for student achievement.

In fact, Bingaman was the first Senator to introduce legislation calling for national education goals. He is an outspoken advocate for proposed voluntary national education tests in reading and math, and has thwarted repeated attempts in Congress to prevent these tests from being developed. Bingaman was also one of the first national leaders to recognize the potential of Advanced Placement courses and exams to raise standards and provide a comparable measure of achievement for students across the country. In 1997 he secured the first-ever federal support for expanding the AP program to low-income high school students.

Recognizing that a student who is not in the classroom cannot prepare themselves for the workforce of the future, Bingaman authored the National Dropout Prevention Act to give local communities the flexibility to revamp schools to better address the needs of students at risk of dropping out. Several aspects of the Bingaman proposal have become law, and he continues to press for a comprehensive national strategy to address the dropout problem.

Susan Castillo
Susan Castillo was elected Oregonís State Superintendent of Public Instruction in May 2002 and sworn into office on January 6, 2003 to a four-year term. As Superintendent she oversees more than a half million students in over 1200 k-12 public schools. During her first year in office, Susan outlined four new priorities for education in Oregon: Closing the Achievement Gap; Literacy for all Grades, Improving Middle and High Schools, and Making the Department of Education more Efficient.

In her second year in office, she unveiled a new organizational structure for the Oregon Department of Education around three core functions: Accountability; Leadership; and School Improvement. Other initiatives she has launched to help close the achievement gap and improve performance for all students include: expanding full-day kindergarten opportunities; launch a comprehensive literacy plan so kids not only learn to read but also read to learn; piloting a Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Framework in ten high schools to make learning more student-focused and meaningful to their next steps in life; and building leadership in Oregonís classrooms and districts through the State Education Leadership Project grant. More than anything else, she has shined the light on the relationship between closing the achievement gap and getting Oregon back on track to a time of economic growth and prosperity.

During the last several years, Oregon has experienced the worst budget shortfalls since World War II. Susan recognized that the responsibility for educating Oregonís children does not decline as budgets do. So she looked at ways to bring more people to the table to find innovative solutions to helping all students reach high levels achievement. She established a Youth Advisory Team, an Underrepresented Minority Student Achievement Advisory Team, State Advisory Council for Special Education, and the Professional Educators Advisory Team. She also brought in a team of key business leaders to help identify changes the Department of Education needed to make to ensure an efficient and effective operation.

Susan continues to focus on making the Department of Education more efficient and creating an education system based on strong accountability and support for making adequate investments in learning.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Oregon State University. As the first Hispanic woman in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, she served in the Oregon State Senate from 1997 to 2002, where she was Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee. She was also elected an Assistant Democratic Leader for the 1999 and 2001 legislative sessions. As a champion for Oregon's public schools, she worked to foster innovation in public schools, and remove barriers to achievement.

During Susan's legislative career, the Oregon Library Association, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Centro LatinoAmericano, the Oregon Youth Authority, and Soroptomist International of the Americas recognized Susan for her service.

In addition to her duties as an elected official, Susan is a fellow in the American Leadership Forum, which is dedicated to bringing leaders together to strengthen their skills and better serve the public good. She is a board member of Birth to Three, a nationally recognized non-profit parenting education and support program dedicated to strengthening families.

Prior to entering public office, she enjoyed a long career as an award-winning television journalist for KVAL-TV in Eugene, Oregon.

She is married to Paul Machu and lives in Eugene.

Ivelisse Estrada
Ivelisse R. Estrada is Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations for Univision Communications Inc. She is responsible for the overall development and coordination of community relations strategies for the Company including Univision and Telefutura Networks, Univision and Telefutura Television Groups, Univision Online and Univision Radio. She coordinates philanthropic contributions and serves as a liaison between the Univision Companies and community organizations. Estrada also plans, directs and supervises the execution of the companyís national initiatives such as citizenship and voter registration efforts, and health and education projects.

Most recently, Estrada developed and coordinated the launch of a Company-wide multi-year, cross-platform health initiative entitled Salud es VidaÖ¡Enterate! (Lead a Healthy Life: Get the Facts.) The mission of this initiative is to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage the early detection and aggressive management of chronic health conditions affecting U.S. Hispanics.

Previously, Estrada was Director of Corporate and Community Relations for Univision Television Group where she supervised the public affairs and community efforts of the companyís owned-and-operated stations. Prior to that she served as Director of Communications at KMEX-TV, Channel 34, the flagship station of the Univision Television Group, Inc. in Los Angeles. She was responsible for overseeing the stationís communications department and for developing and coordinating all public relations, community outreach and media relations activities. During her tenure at KMEX, Estrada launched numerous community projects that dealt with health, education issues and the arts.

Prior to joining KMEX-TV, Estrada served as an account supervisor with a Los Angeles public relations agency. Previously, she served as a Washington-based associate producer and on-air reporter for SIN national news, the predecessor of Univision.

In recognition of her efforts at Univision, Estrada has received several awards including the ìSpirit of Hope Awardî of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, ì2002 Hall of Fame Honoreeî of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and theî2002 Premio Award in Public Relations/Communicationsî of the Hispanic Public Relations Association.

A native of Puerto Rico, Estrada earned her undergraduate degree in liberal arts from Barnard College in New York City and Masterís degrees from Princeton University and Harvard University. She represents Univision on several non-profit organization boards including the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, The Henry Mancini Institute, the National Latino Childrenís Institute and the Mexican American Solidarity Foundation. She also serves on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Board of Advisors, PacifiCareís Womenís Health Advisory Board, the American Heart Association ìGo Red for Womenî Leadership Advisory Group, the New America Alliance Corporate Alliance Partnership, the United States Hispanic Leadership Instituteís General Advisory Board, the League of United Latin American Citizensí Corporate Alliance, the National Puerto Rican Coalition Business Advisory Board, and the Corporate Board of Advisors of the Cuban American National Council.

Elizabeth "Betty" Flores
Serving as mayor to the largest inland port in the southwestern part of the country, Mayor Flores has a unique understanding of the need for quality education for children on both sides of the border, by spearheading many initiatives that have impacted the educational and social opportunities for Laredo’s youth. She established and managed Hooked-on Books, a literacy volunteer support group; served as a mentor for at-risk children with Laredo’s Literacy Volunteers; co-chaired America Youth 2000; and was a consultant for Junior Achievement and a team member of the Ford Foundation’s Rural Community College Initiative. Mayor Flores served as a member of the Texas Governor’s Office Ad Hoc Committee to Assess Higher Education and she helped bring a branch of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to Laredo. Mayor Flores credits her parents’ influence and example for pushing education. In fact, her family donated the seed money for the Continuing Education and Technology Center at Laredo Community College. They also donated acreage to build an elementary school, named for her mother, in South Laredo.

While her current boards and appointments has Mayor Flores focused on the delicate balance of trade and security, she has also been hard at work helping low-income families receive housing or assistance so that they can experience the joy of owning their own home. She has also been very involved in helping to bring water and wastewater services to the outlying colonias of Laredo. Finally, Mayor Flores hopes to serve as a role model to young women of Laredo, especially since she is the first woman elected mayor in Laredo’s 250-year history.

Eugene E. GarcÍa
Dr. Eugene García is the Dean and Professor of Education at Arizona State University’s College of Education since 2002. Before coming to ASU in 2002, he was a Professor of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. In May 2003, he was given the additional role as Vice President for University-School Partnerships by the President of ASU, Dr. Michael Crow. In this new role his task will be to strengthen K-12 education in the state of Arizona by linking together the University and private sector for distribution of fiscal and human resources.

Dr. García has published extensively in the area of language teaching and bilingual development. He served as a Senior Officer and Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs in the U.S. Department of Education from 1993-1995. He is presently conducting research in the areas of effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations. His most recent books include, Hispanic Education in the United States: Raíces y Alas, and, Student Cultural Diversity: Understanding and Meeting the Challenge — both published in 2001.

His research web site is:

Sonia Maria Green
Sonia Maria Green joined General Motors in May of 2001 as Marketing Director to Hispanics and Asian Americans with the task of developing effective consumer communications strategies for these two important segments. Since joining GM, Sonia has created and implemented successful marketing and sales initiatives, and has forged valuable constituency relationships for both markets. Her marketing communications efforts have resulted in healthy sales growth. Given GMís aggressive sales targets in the Hispanic market, Soniaís efforts are now focused exclusively on the Hispanic segment.

Prior to joining GM Sonia worked at Avon Products Inc. as director for the U.S. Hispanic Marketing Division, where she led the companyís strategic and marketing focus on this fast-growing segment. With her assignments in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, Sonia has garnered in depth knowledge of the nuances that exist within the Hispanic community. Before her tenure at Avon, Sonia worked at Beauty Group International as President and COO until 1999.

An acknowledged Latino corporate leader, Sonia is also very actively involved in the community, and is a trusted spokesperson on diversity and marketing issues for both Spanish and English language media outlets. She currently serves on the boards of the Hispanic Institute for Research and Development, the National Hispanic Leadership Institute and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. In addition, Sonia is on the board of the National Hispanic Corporate Council, where she developed a pioneering forum for chief executive officers on diversity in the marketplace.

Sonia received her B.A.A. degree from Baruch College in New York City and completed the Marketing and Management Program at Columbia Universityís Graduate School of Business.

Liza Gross
Liza Gross, managing editor/presentation and operations for The Miami Herald, is responsible for the newspaper's visual appearance, daily production, and weekend news sections. Gross, who has 22 years of experience in journalism and communications, is a former executive managing editor of El Nuevo Dia, the largest circulation daily in Puerto Rico, and a former publisher of Exito, the Spanish-language daily of the Chicago Tribune. A native of Argentina, Gross was an instructor and editor for the Latin American Journalism Program, an educational initiative of Florida International University in Miami. She has also served as a reporter and editor on the Latin America Desk of The Associated Press in New York City, managing editor of Hispanic Magazine, and executive editor of Times of the Americas. She is a recipient of a Kiplinger Midcareer Journalism Fellowship and a Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation Fellowship.

Fernando A. Guerra, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P.
Fernando A. Guerra, M.D., is currently Director of Health for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, and a practicing pediatrician. Dr. Guerra received his bachelorís degree from the University of Texas-Austin, his medical degree from the University of Texas at Galveston, and a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and Adjunct Professor in Public Health at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Dr. Guerra is a founding scholar of the Public Health Leadership Institute. A frequent contributor to the medical literature in the area of immunizations and other public health issues, Dr. Guerra has received numerous awards for his service and contributions to public health. Dr. Guerra is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics. Currently, and for the second time in his career, he is serving as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesí National Vaccine Advisory Committee.

Kim Henry
First Lady Kim Henry has devoted much of her life to education, from her 10 years teaching in the classroom to her and her husband raising three girls. Along the way, she has been active in parenting and educational issues, and has had her own extensive education in politics, having taken a leadership role in her husbandís successful gubernatorial campaign.

Kim Henry spent most of her teaching career at her alma mater, Shawnee High School, where she taught Oklahoma History, economics, government and ñ her favorite subject ñ Advanced Placement American History. Her instructional skills and commitment to students led to her receiving the 1999/2000 Close-Up Foundationís Linda Myers Chozen Award for Teaching Excellence in Civic Education. Only five other educators across the nation received the honor that year.

Kim attended the University of Oklahoma, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education in 1986. She has been married for 18 years to Oklahomaís governor, Brad Henry. They have three beautiful daughters: Leah, age fifteen; Laynie, age thirteen; and Baylee, age seven.

Civic involvement is very important to Kim. She has been very active in the Muscular Dystrophy Association, having lost a 7-month-old daughter to spinal muscular atrophy. In addition, Kim Henry has served on the board of directors of the Shawnee Adult Daycare Center, the First Baptist Church Pre-school Committee and as vice president of a Shawnee support group for mothers of young children.

Currently, Kim serves as an honorary board member of the Close Upo Foundation, the Childrenís Medical Research Institute, is on the board of directors of the Jasmine Moran Childrens Museum, Oklahomanís for School Readiness, K20 Center for Educational and Community Renewal, The Great Expectations Foundation, and The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Kim also serves on the board of trustees of the Sarkeys Foundation and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Kim was the recipient of the 2004 Award of Distinction, given by the Board of Advocates of the University of Oklahoma College of Education.

Antonia Hernández
Nationally recognized for her commitment toward the betterment of underserved communities in Los Angeles and beyond, Antonia Hernández joined the California Community Foundation as President & CEO in February 2004.

Established in 1915, the California Community Foundation is one of the largest and most active philanthropic organizations in Southern California, with assets of more than $600 million. In partnership with its more than 1,000 individual, family and corporate donors, the foundation supports nonprofit organizations and public institutions with funds for health and human services, affordable housing, early childhood education, community arts and culture and other areas of need.

Previously, Hernández was president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national nonprofit litigation and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of the nationís 35 million Latinos through the legal system, community education, research and policy initiatives.

An expert in civil rights and immigration issues, Hernández began her legal career as a staff attorney with the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice and worked as counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary before joining MALDEF in 1981 as regional counsel in Washington, D.C.

Hernández is a trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors for the Automobile Club of Southern California and Golden West Financial Corporation. She serves on various commissions, advisory boards, committees and panels, including the Pacific Council for International Policy.

Hernández is a member of the State Bar of California, the District of Columbia Bar, the United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. She also is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Hernández earned her B.A. in History at UCLA in 1970 and J.D. at the UCLA School of Law in 1974.

Rubén Hinojosa
As President and Chief Financial Officer of his family-owned business for twenty years, Rubén Hinojosa experienced first-hand the value of education and a trained workforce. Not one to sit on the sidelines, he was elected to the local school board and worked to address these issues in his community. From the school board, he moved to the Texas State Board of Education, where he served for ten years through 1984. Soon after that he was elected Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees for South Texas Community College, a position he held from 1993 through 1996. Hinojosa was instrumental in leading the efforts to successfully create the South Texas I.S.D. magnet high schools system and the new South Texas Community College.

In 1996, Rubén Hinojosa was elected to the United States Congress representing the 15th Congressional District of Texas. He currently serves on three House committees: Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Select Education; the Committee, the Financial Services Committee; and the Committee on Resources. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Education Task Force for the Democratic Caucus, as well as Chairman of the Education Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

In Congress, Representative Hinojosa is widely recognized as a powerful voice for the aspirations of communities traditionally left behind in America's education system ñ low-income families, minorities, students with disabilities, English language learners and the children of migrant and seasonal farm workers. He ensures that federal education policy never loses sight of the young and fastest growing population in the country ñ Hispanic Americans. By focusing on a group of proven federal education programs that are critical to the Hispanic community, often referred to as the Hispanic Education Action Plan (HEAP), the Congressman has helped to secure dramatic increases in resources ñ starting with $8.5 billion in 1998 and growing to nearly $15 billion for 2004.

In higher education, Congressman Hinojosa has vaulted Hispanic-Serving Institutions to a position of prominence. In the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act, he succeeded in establishing a separate Title V of the Act dedicated to the development of HSIs. Since that time, funding for HSIs has grown from $12 million to nearly $95 million annually.

For his constituents, Congressman Hinojosa's advocacy has resulted in a surge of federal education funding in the 15th Congressional district of Texas. Since Congressman Hinojosa took office in 1997, the district has seen a 50 percent increase in federal education grants, with a total of nearly $380 million from 1997 ñ 2002.

Among the many awards of recognition Congressman Hinojosa has received, his favorites include two elementary schools, a U. S. Highway, and a Regents Endowment Professorship in perpetuity at The University of Texas in Austin ... all bearing his name.

Born in South Texas, Congressman Hinojosa graduated from Mercedes High School and earned a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas in Austin and in Edinburg, respectively. He is married to Martha Lopez Hinojosa and has five children.

Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano became Arizonaís 21st Governor on January 6, 2003. Her story is symbolic of the success that so many Arizonans have found in this state.

Like millions of fellow Arizonans, Janet Napolitano is a transplant, having been born in New York City and raised first in Pittsburgh and then in Albuquerque. Growing up, she enjoyed the company of her energetic parents, brother and sister, and she pursued a wide variety of interests. In 1974, Janet was sworn in as New Mexicoís lieutenant governor ñ sort of ñ at New Mexico Girlís State. As a teenager she became an accomplished guitar player, and won recognition as Sandia High Schoolís most talented musician.

After graduating from Sandia High in 1975, she went to California to attend Santa Clara University. There, she won the prestigious Truman Scholarship, and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in political science. Janet then attended law school at the University of Virginia.

After graduating from law school in 1983, Janet chose Arizona to build her career, and she has never looked back. She clerked for U.S. Appeals Court Judge Mary Schroeder, then took a position with the Phoenix lawfirm Lewis and Roca, where she became partner in 1989. During that time, she argued many pivotal cases, including successfully arguing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that churches should be protected from governmental searches in the now-famous Sanctuary case.

In 1993, President Clinton nominated Janet Napolitano to serve as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. As U.S. Attorney, she helped land $65 million in federal funds to put more police on Arizona's streets, helped the state respond to the Amtrak derailment near Phoenix, and helped manage the portion of the Oklahoma City bombing investigation that focused on Tim McVeigh's activities in Kingman.

In 1998 Arizona voters elected her Attorney General of Arizona. Ever the precedent-setter, Janet was the first woman to hold this position. As Attorney General, her constitutional and statutory responsibilities included representing state agencies, prosecuting death penalty appeals and other high profile criminal cases, and providing consumer protection services.

Beyond those duties, she distinguished herself as a fierce protector of children and a tireless advocate for women, senior citizens and the environment. Janet reorganized her staff to reduce the backlog of nearly 6,000 unresolved child abuse and neglect cases. She also established a cutting edge cyber-crimes investigative unit to prosecute those who would use the Internet to prey on children and others in society.

Senior citizens found an advocate in Janet, as she advised them on how to find affordable prescription drugs and vigorously prosecuting scam artists who target senior citizens. She also created the first Office for Women inside the Attorney Generalís Office, making issues affecting women a top priority.

In 2002, Janet took her passion for consumer advocacy back to the voters as a candidate for Governor. She campaigned on the commitment to be Governor for all Arizonans, with a realistic plan to balance the stateís unprecedented $1 billion budget deficit, get the economy moving again, and save Arizonaís deteriorating public schools.

Her candidacy attracted a broad coalition of supporters, from all ethnic and age groups, in rural and urban communities and from both political parties. In November, she won a spirited, four-way race to be Arizonaís chief executive.

On January 6, she became Americaís first woman to succeed another woman as a stateís governor.

While she is respected as an energetic worker, Janet Napolitano is known also for her recreational pursuits. Foremost, she is a diehard fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and enjoys rooting for the Arizona Cardinals, the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Coyotes, and the many teams who call themselves Wildcats, Sun Devils and Lumberjacks.

To get away from it all, Janet Napolitano is an avid hiker and river rafter. She has hiked trails throughout Arizona and around the world, once having scaled Tanzaniaís Mt. Kilimanjaro, and backpacked in the Himilayan mountains of Nepal.

Her family continues to be an important part of her life. Her father, Dr. Leonard Napolitano, is the retired dean of the University of New Mexico college of medicine, who lives in Albuquerque and visits his daughter in Phoenix frequently. Her nephews and nieces enjoy keeping up with ìAunt Janetísî career, particularly 12-year-old Carrie, who follows the Governorís accomplishments on the Internet and enjoys giving political advice when itís warranted.

Nancy Daly Riordan
Founder of United Friends of the Children, a nationally recognized organization formed in 1980 to support basic services for foster children, educational programs for children and youth in the foster care system and the development of low cost transitional housing, career training and counseling, tutoring and scholarship programs for emancipated foster youth.

In 1984, Nancy lobbied for and was instrumental in the creation of The Children and Family Services Department and Commission in Los Angeles County. She served as a member of the commission from its inception until June, 1999. She chaired the commission for two separate terms and chaired the Legislative Committee and established the county’s Family Preservation Program and Committee.

In 1993, she was appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles to establish and chair the city’s Mayor’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families. This committee’s report, “LA4KIDS”, acted as blueprint on how the city could better serve its children, including creating a commission on Children, Youth and Families.

Nancy is a Co-Founder of The Children’s Action Network, which sponsors an ongoing series of educational briefings for the entertainment industry with nationally recognized children’s experts and serves as a clearinghouse for the industry on children’s issues. They have developed national campaigns for immunization, childhood hunger and are developing a campaign to increase the adoption of children from the foster care system, including producing four CBS adoptions specials, which have lead to the adoption of hundreds of children out of foster care.

Nationally, in 1989, she was appointed to the President’s Commission on Children, chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller. Their report, “Beyond Rhetoric”, served as a basis of over fourteen bills in Congress. In 2002, President Bush invited Nancy back to the White House for his signing of the re-authorization of the Safe & Stable Families Act, which she had been instrumental in creating during the Clinton Administration.

She has a long history of lobbying in Sacramento and DC on behalf of foster children. She helped pass legislation to increase funding for health and mental health services for emancipated youth in California.  In 2001, she was successful in lobbying for a bill signed by the Governor to create an Internet Passport for health and education for foster youth.

Nancy created and chaired the Getty House Foundation, Official Residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles, from 1993 to 2001. In 1993, the Foundation completely refurbished the Getty House and continues to provide civics and after school programs to Los Angeles school children. Yearly, the Foundation grants cash awards to schools that have demonstrated improvement and excellence in education.

She recently co-chaired along with Speaker Emeritus Bob Hertzberg, the Advisory Committee for Universal PreSchool for the Los Angeles First Five Commission Their efforts resulted in the creation of a Master Plan and the First Five Commission committing $600 million over the next five years to create universal preschool for all four-year-olds in Los Angeles. Nancy is a member of the new non-profit board, LA UP, which will implement this initiative.

Nancy has been recognized by organizations and institutions for her work on behalf of children. Some of her awards include; YWCA’s 1990, “Volunteer Community Service Award”; Alliance For Children’s Rights’ 1995, “Exceptional Service To Children Award”; YMCA’s 1997, “Human Dignity Award”; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Helping Hand of Los Angeles’ 1999, “Mother of the Year Award”; KCET’s 2000, “Visionary Award”; Delta Sigma Theta’s 2001, “Humanitarian Spirit Award”; The American Jewish Committee’s 2002, “Human Relations Award”, and The Getty House Foundation’s 2004 inaugural “Nancy Daly RiordanAward”. She has received numerous commendations from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles City Council recognizing her work on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Nancy’s board affiliations include: United Friends of the Children; Children’s Action Network; W.M. Keck Foundation; Getty House Foundation; The Riordan Foundation; UCLA Center for Communications Policy; The Los Angeles Opera; Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the newly established Los Angeles Universal Preschool; She is a member of the national board of the Children’s Scholarship Fund; she serves on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and the EveryChild Foundation

Together, with her husband Richard Riordan, they have six children and six grandchildren.

Richard Robinson
Richard Robinson has been President of Scholastic since 1974 and Chief Executive Officer since 1975. Robinson was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in 1982, succeeding his father, M.R. Robinson, who founded Scholastic in 1920 when he launched a single classroom magazine, The Western Pennsylvania Scholastic. Scholastic has had only two Chairmen in its 83-year history: M.R. Robinson and Richard Robinson.

Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership, Scholastic has become the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world, with such renowned brands as Harry Potter™, Clifford the Big Red Dog™, Goosebumps™, and I SPY™ among many others. The company has grown significantly in annual revenues to $2 billion, and has developed in-school distribution systems unmatched in the country. Today the company has over 10,000 employees with operations in more than 15 countries around the globe. Since the mid 1970s when Mr. Robinson became President and CEO, Scholastic’s position in school-based distribution through book clubs and book fairs has grown to make it a world leader in these businesses. Over the years, the company has continued to expand its educational publishing business, as well as its media division including television, film, video, and software under the banner of Scholastic Entertainment, successfully leveraging the company’s popular publishing brands across multiple media. In addition, the company launched the premiere Internet service for K-8 schools with

Internationally, Scholastic has companies in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Scholastic has continued its expansion into educational publishing and children’s books around the world with more than $300 million in revenues outside the United States.

Mr. Robinson formed the Scholastic Education Group to integrate traditional print materials with the power of technology and to consolidate the sales, marketing, and promotion efforts into a single unified sales organization that serves the school institutional market. He has guided the Company’s pioneering efforts in the educational technology and software markets since 1982.

Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership back in 1993 the company launched, Scholastic Network, an Internet fee-based service for K-8 schools, in partnership with AOL. Several years later the company launched, the free curriculum-rich educational web site, which has become the leading site for pre-K-8 teachers, students and families, and is revolutionizing the way teachers integrate technology into the classroom. More recently, Scholastic has launched e-commerce efforts aimed at teachers and families on

In June 2000, Scholastic acquired Grolier Inc., a leader in print and online library reference publishing and a significant direct-to-home distributor of children’s books for parents of children from birth to age five. The purchase of Grolier, Scholastic’s largest acquisition to date at $400 million, further strengthened the company’s position as the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. In 2001, Scholastic purchased Tom Snyder Productions, a leading developer and publisher of interactive educational software. Included in the purchase was Soup2Nuts, the animated television production arm of the company.

In 2002, Scholastic made additional key acquisitions to build up its distribution and publishing product offerings including Baby’s First Book Club®, a leading direct marketer of high quality age-appropriate books and toys for young children; Teacher’s Friend, a premier producer and marketer of teacher classroom decoratives; Klutz®, the innovative publisher of “books plus” products for children; and a joint venture with The Book People, the leading British book direct seller, to expand Scholastic’s presence in the important United Kingdom market.

Mr. Robinson has fostered a strong tradition of developing and implementing innovative solutions to help solve the educational problems facing educators, parents, and students. In 1985, he created Scholastic’s Early Childhood Division to focus on the growing interest in child and pre-school development. Under his leadership, Scholastic has been at the forefront of developing and supporting literacy-based community outreach initiatives, partnering with the leading national, state, and local organizations such as Reading is Fundamental, First Book, America Reads, The Urban League and Prescription for Reading, to improve children’s access to high-quality children’s books.

Mr. Robinson has received numerous honors for his work, and most recently he was honored with the prestigious British American Business Award as well as the “Partners for Children” award from Save the Children. In 2001, he received several prestigious recognition awards, including the Association of Educational Publishers EdPress Hall of Fame Award, the educational publishing industry’s highest honor; the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education by Teachers College Columbia University; and the Best Friend Award, from LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program. In May 2000, he was honored by the UJA-Federation with their prestigious For the Love of Reading Award, and in November 2000, The Creative Coalition honored him with their Spotlight Award. Mr. Robinson was also honored for his efforts in improving literacy with the Robin Hood Foundation’s 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr. Corporate Hero Award. In 1998, R.R. Bowker named Mr. Robinson Literacy Market Place Person of the Year in recognition of his leadership in creating and marketing today’s top trade and professional books. Mr. Robinson was chairman of the Association of American Publishers from 1996 to 1998, and President of the Publishers Lunch Club in 1982. He was recently appointed a Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership and as a result of his desire to encourage and recognize outstanding achievements in the field of literacy, Scholastic proudly sponsors The National Teacher of the Year Award, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, The Early Childhood Professional Awards and the Bilingual Teacher of the Year Award.

Mr. Robinson joined Scholastic in 1962 as the Assistant Editor of Literary Cavalcade, an award-winning literary arts magazine for high school students. From 1971 to 1974, Mr. Robinson was Vice President and Publisher of Scholastic’s School Division, which at the time comprised 80% of the Company’s business. Before that, he was the Editorial Director of Scholastic’s English and Language Arts Department. In 1964, Mr. Robinson founded Scholastic Scope Magazine, a high-interest, language arts magazine. Earlier, he served as Editor of Scholastic’s Literature Unit. Mr. Robinson began his career as a high school English teacher in Evanston, Illinois.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robinson is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College. He also studied at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University in England, and at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has two children, Ben and Reece.

Frank P. Ros
Frank P. Ros serves as Assistant Vice President, Latin Affairs for The Coca-Cola Company where he is responsible for management of the Latin Affairs department. This includes developing and implementing the strategy for having the Company recognized as a leading corporate citizen within the Latino community. He transformed a one-market urban community relations program, Coca-Cola Presents Art of Harmony, into a nine-market, nationally recognized and award-winning property. As a result, he received the Coca-Cola Companyís Chairmanís ìExemplary Awardî.

Mr. Ros has participated in a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening Georgiaís economy. Governor Roy Barnes appointed him Chairman of the Georgia Commission on Hispanic Affairs. The commission served as an advisory body to the Governor on matters relating to Georgiaís Hispanics, working with all stakeholder groups in addressing issues affecting the Latino community, and promoting the coordination of programs and services of state, federal, and local governments and private agencies which affect the Hispanic population of Georgia.

In 1998, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia selected Mr. Ros to serve on the Hispanic Task Force charged with identifying and assessing the impact of the Stateís growing Hispanic population on the University System. In addition, Mr. Ros was appointed to serve on the Stateís Governorís Education Reform Study Commission. Appointees were charged with establishing a better system of public education for the State of Georgia.

Mr. Ros is active in a number of prominent national Latino-focused organizations, including the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Council of La Raza, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Hispanic Corporate Council, Cuban American National Council. Serves on the Boards of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (Chairman, Advisory Board) and the Latin American Association (Chairman).

He is a member of the Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership Georgia, the Society of International Business Fellows, the Regional Leadership Foundation, serves on the Boards of the Family Connections Partnership, Inc., the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Foundation, Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Walker School (Capital Campaign Chair) and the Georgia Force (Arena Football).

Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Ros worked at Decon Laboratories, an international supplier of laboratory decontamination products. He started as a National Sales Manager and a year later was promoted to Vice President, Sales & Marketing. With his leadership, Decon sales doubled, margins and profitability increased, and the company expanded into new markets. In 1991, 1992, and 1993, the Company was awarded ìSupplier of the Yearî, outperforming 1100 other companies.

Before joining Decon Laboratories, Mr. Ros worked for Curtin Matheson Scientific, an international distributor of laboratory products, where he excelled as a sales representative and was subsequently promoted to Southeast Sales Manager. He was awarded ìSales Representative of the Yearî and later, ìTop Sales Managerî for leading his team to the number one spot.

A graduate of the University of Georgia, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 and in 1984 received his Mastersí degree with honors. While at the University of Georgia, Mr. Ros was selected Academic All-SEC and was Team Captain of the University of Georgiaís 1980 National Football Champions. He is a past recipient of the University of Georgia Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Post-Graduate Award.

Interests include mountain biking, weightlifting, running and reading.

Born in Barcelona Spain, Mr. Ros lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with his wife, Jan Floyd-Ros, and sons, Frank VI and Bryce.

Pat Ryan, Jr.
Pat Ryan Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of First Look, a Chicago based business intelligence software firm. Prior to founding First Look, Pat was CEO of Ryan Enterprises Group, a family owned principal investment firm.

Pat began his career as a teacher on the West Side of Chicago and is the Founder and President of the Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC), an urban teaching program similar to the Peace Corps. ICTC teachers have taught over 20,000 children on Chicagoís South and West sides and provided over $900,000 in scholarship assistance to inner-city families. Pat also co-founded an independent public school on Chicagoís West Side. Named after the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, the Alain Locke Charter Academy has achieved the greatest test score gains out of the approximately 515 public schools in Chicago over the past two years.

Pat is a member of the Board of Directors of Penske Corporation. He is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Trustee of Northwestern University, and a Director of World Business Chicago and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Pat received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Pat is a graduate of the Chicago Police Academy where his classmates elected him ìOutstanding Recruit.î Patís time as a police officer included work as a narcotics investigator focused on major gang narcotics activity in the inner-city of Chicago; in this role he received a commendation for leading a $1.1 million cocaine seizure.

In 1999 Pat became one of 20 Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. In 2000 he was named one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Pat and Lydia Ryan live in Chicago with their one year old daughter, Isabelle.

Solomon Trujillo
Solomon Trujillo has been a successful and respected senior executive in the telecommunications industry for nearly 30 years. He has served as the chief executive officer of Orange, one of Europe’s leading wireless companies, chairman and CEO of a high-tech start-up, Graviton Inc. and chairman and CEO of US West up until its merger with Qwest Communications in 2000.

Under his leadership, US West, a former Bell operating company in 14 western and mid-western U.S. states, ranked first among the nation’s telecommunications companies in many areas including financial performance, technological innovation and customer service.

Mr. Trujillo’s broader business experience, expertise and management skills are reflected in the advisory and non-executive roles that he holds. He has served as an advisor to the US government on trade policy. He serves on the corporate boards of PepsiCo, Target Corporation and Gannett and is on the advisory board of Alcatel. In addition, he is a Board Trustee at UCLA for Public Policy and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.

A leader in numerous community activities and honoured with many national and local service awards, Mr Trujillo received the Ronald H. Brown Corporate Bridge Builder Award in 1999 and the Corporate Recognition Award from A Better Chance in 2000.

Mr. Trujillo holds a Batchelor of Science degree in business and an MBA from the University of Wyoming, and has had honorary doctoral degrees conferred on him by the universities of Colorado and Wyoming.

Dr. Edward Zigler
Dr. Edward Zigler is a Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Zigler was the first Director of the Office of Child Development (now the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families) and Chief of the U.S. Children's Bureau. He was a member of the planning committee of Head Start. Dr. Zigler founded and is Director of Yaleís Center in Child Development and Social Policy. He founded the School of the 21st Century, which has been adopted by more than 1300 schools in 20 states.

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