2017 Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon

The 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon is one of the signature fundraising events for GALEO & the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund.

Date:  Friday, October 6th, 2017

Time:  11:30 AM – 1:30 PM


Marriott Atlanta Century Center/Emory Area

2000 Century Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA, 30345

(404) 325-0000

For map and directions to the hotel, please follow this link.

Keynote Speaker:  Javier Díaz de León, Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta, GA

Book reading by:  Former State Senator Sam Zamarripa (also former Chair of GALEO).  He will be reading from his literary debut book,  “The Spectacle of Let: The Oliet and The Obit”.  Read more about the book here.

Special remarks provided by:  Karin Lopez Sandiford, Current member of the GALEO Institute for Leadership Class of 2017

Mistress of Ceremonies:  Annie Tejeda, Telemundo Atlanta

Thank you for all who attended! Please become a member of GALEO here: http://tinyurl.com/GALEOMembership OR you can…

Posted by GALEO.org on Monday, October 9, 2017




Thank you to our sponsors!


Telemundo Atlanta

Univision 34 Atlanta

Western Union


Georgia Power


The Coca-Cola Company

Leadership Circle:

Briarcliff Pediatrics

Castan & Lecca, P.C.

Kuck Immigration Partners LLC

Rohan Law, P.C.

Terry D. Jackson, P.C.

AMIGOS:  BB&T; Better Pallets, Inc.; Jeffrey Ellman; Jason Esteves; Georgia Chamber; State Senator Steve Henson (D); Senator Nan Grogan Orrock (D); Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE); Road to Recovery.

Community Partners: Alston & Bird; Consultorio Medico Hispano; Juliana Henao; Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson, City of Columbus Council Member.

Tables:  FWD.us; Georgia Gwinnett College OLAS; Jerry Gonzalez; McGuirreWoods LLP; Laura Murvartian; Morris, Manning & Martin LLP; Adolfo Santos

Elected officials, candidates for office or their representatives that were scheduled to be in attendance:

  •  Georgia State Senator P.K. Martin (R)
  • Georgia State Senator Nan Grogan Orrock (D)
  • Former Georgia State Representative Stacey Evans & currently Candidate for Governor (D)
  • Mimi Woodson, Council Member for the City of Columbus
  • Jason Esteves, School Board Member, Atlanta Public Schools
  • John Eaves, Former Fulton County Chair & Candidate for Mayor for the City of Atlanta
  • Robert Patrick, Mayor Pro-Tem & Doraville City Council Member District #1
  • Mayor Ted Terry of the City of Clarkston
  • Carolyn Boudreaux, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District #7
  • David Kim, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District #7
  • Ethan Pham, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District #7
  • Zahra Karinshak, Candidate for Georgia State Senate District 48
  • Peter Aman, Candidate for Mayor for the City of Atlanta
  • Rashida Winfrey, Candidate for Atlanta Public Schools, District #3

Previous speakers have included:

  • Anna Maria Chávez, 1st woman of color appointed to be the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (Spring 2017)
  • Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (Fall 2016)
  • Sylvia Manzano, Ph.D., Principal, Latino Decisions, “The Latino Vote in 2016” (May 2016)
  • Marie Marquardt, Marie Marquardt, Author, DREAM Things True (Fall 2015)
  • Richard Blanco, President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Poet (2014)
  • Jason Esteves, Atlanta Board of Education, At-Large Seat 9, 1st Latino Elected to any School Board of Education in Georgia (2014)
  • Elianne Ramos, Principal and CEO, Speak Hispanic (aka Geek Goddess and widely regarded as one of the most influential Latinas in social media) & Estela Martinez, Georgia DREAM’er (2013)
  • Cid Wilson, Board Chairman of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (2013)
  • Matt Baretto, Ph.D., Latino Decisions (2012)
  • Lydia Camarillo, Vice President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)in 2012
  • MARTIN R. CASTRO, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2011)
  • Hon. Dax Lopez, DeKalb County State Court Judge (2011)
  • Hon. Luis Aguilar, Commissioner, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (2010)
  • U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 2006)
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 2007)
  • U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL); U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
  • U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
  • U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA)
  • U.S. Rep. Luis Fortuno (R-Puerto Rico)
  • State Senator Sam Zamarripa (D-Atlanta)
  • Rev. Joseph Lowery
  • Sylvia Mendez (Mendez v. Westminster 1947)
  • Arturo Vargas (Executive Director of NALEO)
  • Dr. Juan Andrade (President of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute)
  • Doraville Police Chief John King
  • AnMarie Martin, Hall County Deputy Sheriff (2015).


LATE REGISTRATION (AFTER Friday, September 29, 2017)


Reservations are still being taken and will be made on a first come, first served basis. Reservations will be held only when payment is processed or received.  Space tends to be limited one week out from the event, so please process as soon as possible to guarantee attendance.  Please see credit card link below.  Registration is still open by credit card only.

  • Current GALEO Members & Nonprofits: $75.00 per person
  • Non-GALEO Members: $150.00 per person (Membership rate begins at $15.00)
  • GIL Participants and Student Rate: $30.00 per person
  • Group Tables – $1,500.00: Corporations or groups may purchase a table for EIGHT people.

Link for credit card payment:  https://galeo.ejoinme.org/2017Late



Biography of Keynote Speaker:

Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández

Ambassador of Mexico to the United States


Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández


President Enrique Peña Nieto named Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández Ambassador of Mexico to the United States on January 13th, 2017, and after his ratification by the Mexican Senate on February 23rd, he took possession of the embassy on March 2nd of the same year.


Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez served as Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB) headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, where his professional activity was focused on infrastructure development and financing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Under his leadership—centered on strategic planning, business development and project management—NADB grew its loan portfolio at an average annual rate of 32%, reaching US$1.4 billion in 2016, and placed several successful bond issues in the U.S. and European markets, while maintaining a strong financial position and AA credit ratings.


With a diverse 15-year career in the Mexican federal government, Gutierrez previously served in prominent positions in the areas of trade, finance, diplomacy and national security under four presidents. In 2009 and 2010, he served as Deputy Secretary for Governance and Homeland Security, where his main responsibilities were identifying threats to the country’s democratic governance and national security, and coordinating prevention and response measures. He was also part of the National Security Council’s Executive Committee.


From 2006 to 2009, he served as Under Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (State Department). In that capacity, Gutierrez was responsible for normalizing the Mexico-Cuba relationship following a period of strained relations, including the signing of agreements on migration and economic cooperation, as well as the re-establishment of ambassadors with Venezuela. He led Mexico’s negotiations with Mesoamerican countries (Mexico to Colombia) for the creation of the Mesoamerican Project (Proyecto Mesoamerica), a multilateral cooperation mechanism for the development of regional infrastructure. Also, he actively worked, along with other government agencies, on strengthening security and anti-narcotics cooperation with several Latin American and Caribbean countries.


As Under Secretary for North America, from 2003 to 2006, he coordinated day-to-day trilateral and bilateral affairs with Mexico’s North American partners (United States and Canada) and supervised the operations of over 50 Mexican consular offices in the region. He led negotiations for the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP)—a prelude to the present day North American Leaders Summit—and also worked closely with other agencies on border and regional security cooperation with the U.S. and Canada.


Gutierrez has also held other federal government positions as Under Secretary of Governance in the Secretaría de Gobernación (Interior Ministry), Secretaría de Economía (Commerce Department), Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (Treasury Department), the Office of the President, and Banobras (Mexico’s national public works bank).


On the political front, he worked as part of President-elect Vicente Fox’s transition team; as Director of the Miguel Estrada Iturbide Foundation, the think-tank wing of Mexico’s center-right party, PAN (Partido Acción Nacional); and as Chief of Staff of the party’s Parliamentary Group.


Gutierrez holds both a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, for which he received a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship.


He has contributed editorials to several Mexican and U.S. newspapers and magazines, and also participates regularly as a keynote speaker in conferences related to U.S.-Mexico relations, border affairs and international business.



Introduction of Keynote Speaker by:

Javier Díaz de León

Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta, GA



Javier Díaz de León holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He also earned a Master of Arts in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England. Since 1991, he is a member of the Mexican Foreign Service, and holds the rank of Ambassador since April 28th, 2017. During his professional career he has served as: Deputy Consul General in San Diego; Deputy Consul General in New York, Head of the Office for Migration and Hispanic Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in the United States, and Executive Director of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From June 2013 to May 2016 he served as Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh, NC. On May 2016, he was appointed by President Enrique Peña Nieto as Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is serving in this position since June 18, 2016.



Special Remarks Guest Speaker Biography

Karín López Sandiford, Current member of the GALEO Institute for Leadership Class of 2017


Karín López Sandiford was born in São Paulo, Brazil and comes from a global background. Her father is Peruvian-Inca and mother Brazilian-Italian-Austrian and she is a native Portuguese & Spanish speaker. In her 20+yr. career she’s held several corporate leadership positions becoming an expert in bridging strategy to results through technology solutions in diverse industries, including automotive, Industrial Manufacturing Solutions, media and Banking Industries. Her areas of expertise include: Delivery Management in the technology space, digital banking, system/software implementations, technical project management, global supply chain, and business process improvement.


Today, Karín is a business owner harvesting digital product innovation within Latin Markets as managing partner of LATAM INNOVATION, LLC. As an entrepreneur, her message ignites others into action. She combines the corporate perspective with that of a minority, woman and mother of four to fuel her entrepreneurial spirit. She is driven by a passion to empower others to become solution-minded and fearlessly tackle business problems that seem impossible. Her personal mantra, “Failure is not an option; Let’s figure it out together!” is contagious.


She holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Economics & Humanities Philosophy from the University of TN in Chattanooga, completed 2 years of Mechanical Engineering and recently graduated from Emory Goizueta Business School with an Executive MBA which she obtained through a scholarship given to leaders of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Karín is a Certified Scrum Master, ITIL Certification, PMP, and has advanced training in Global Negotiation, Lean Manufacturing, Leadership & Management.

Contact Information




Special Remarks Guest Speaker Biography & Book Reading by:

Sam Zamarripa

Former State Senator and Former GALEO Chair and Founding Member

Reading from his literary debut.


The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit


Open Samuel Zamarripa’s debut novel, The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit, and embark on a literary journey through the imaginative work of his protagonist, Otto Cristóbal Almeida, and his mysterious manuscript, The Voice of the Looking Mountains, a book within a book.
Almeida has fantastic story to tell about Creation and the first spoken word of God. It is a tale spun from the boundless stories of his numinous paramour, Niva Miramontes, who speaks with uncommon conviction. “In the beginning,” she insists, “God said ‘Let,’ and the rest is just a spectacle.”

From a mysterious monastery in Veracruz, Mexico, to an overnight cruise on the majestic Hudson River, Miramontes reveals her heavenly gift of parable. Weaving together the generational saga of the Portuondo family—their salacious past and their journey to redemption—Niva’s tales captivate Otto.
Overwhelmed by Niva’s spellbinding words, Otto falls into the clutches of an Oliet—a dream’s dream, a place where fiction invades life, yielding truth of a different kind. His book languishes and finally lands on the desk of his brooding editor, L. Rand Bonarias, who plunges into the unfinished manuscript and discovers that while Otto’s love story may be a literary gimmick, his unbelievable account of the story of Creation and Niva Miramontes is more than artful prose.

A gospel of fantastic spirituality and abiding love, The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit, reimagines the marvel of Creation and the unbound possibilities of a single word.

About the Author

Samuel Zamarripa completed two novels between 2013 and 2016, publishing his first book of a trilogy, The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit with Floricanto Press in 2017. A second book in the series, The Spectacle of Let – the Soul of a Miracle, along with a companion lexicon, is scheduled for publication in late 2017

He has a distinguished record of community leadership and service including two terms as a State Senator. Active in both philanthropy and higher education he serves as Trustee at the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, MD and Syracuse University of Syracuse, NY.

Zamarripa holds a BA from New College of Sarasota, Florida and a Masters of Public Policy from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. He is lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Robin D. Zamarripa and has two grown children. He is currently the CEO of a Technology company. For more information visit: www.zamarripa.com

NOTE:  He is also founding Chair and former member of the GALEO Board of Directors.



Mistress of Ceremonies:  Annie Tejeda, Telemundo Atlanta




Annie Tejada is a Community Affairs Reporter for Telemundo Atlanta, a premier award winning Spanish language Television station who recently garnered all three coveted News Excellence, Best Newscast and Station Excellence Emmy® awards in 2017. Tejada produces news packages and reports live from the field for Noticiero Telemundo Atlanta which airs Monday through Friday at 5:30p, 6p and 11pm.

Tejada has over 15 years of vast broadcast journalism experience as a reporter, host, anchor, and director from various news agencies in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States. Highlights in Tejada’s career includes being an anchor and special investigative reporter for Telemicro, one of the largest communication institutions in Dominican Republic. She has received the Overseas Press Club Award for best investigative reporting on Albinism in Puerto Rico. She also conducted exclusive interviews with Dominicans confined in La Cucharas prison. Prior to Telemundo Atlanta, Tejada produced and directed Nuestra Comunidad, the only Spanish-language television program in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Tejada is married with two children and resides in Alpharetta. Her favorite past time is baseball.




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