The HNBA Congratulates Alejandra Y. Castillo on her appointment as Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 Contact: Alba Cruz-Hacker
April 14, 2014                                                                                                                             


The HNBA Congratulates Alejandra Y. Castillo on her appointment as Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The Hispanic National Bar Association is proud that once again another member of our Association has been tapped to serve our nation. This time, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has appointed Alejandra Y. Castillo as the Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA has a 45-year history of providing support to small business owners, and today, minority-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. business community.

“The HNBA is elated with the appointment of a leader as exceptional as Alejandra Castillo to the position of MBDA Director.  Our own organization has benefitted greatly through the years from Alejandra’s talent and commitment, first as a volunteer and as one of our past Executive Directors,” said Miguel Alexander Pozo, HNBA National President.  “Secretary Pritzker could not have selected a person more passionate about serving minority communities, more knowledgeable about best business practices, and more innovative in getting through to those rapidly growing communities that stand to benefit the most from these very necessary programs, “said Mr. Pozo.  “We also applaud Alejandra—the first Latina and only the second woman appointed MBDA Director in the agency’s history—for making a few new cracks in the proverbial glass ceiling.”



About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories. Since 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession by creating opportunities for Hispanic lawyers and by helping generations of lawyers to succeed.  The HNBA has also effectively advocated on issues of importance to the national Hispanic community.  While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was four decades ago, especially as the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow.

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Getting to Know Your HNBA Section & Committee Leaders


The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is pleased to recognize the efforts of its various Sections & Committees.  


Juan F. Vasquez, Jr., a Shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka chairs the HNBA’s Tax Section.  Mr. Vasquez concentrates his practice on federal, state and local tax controversy matters, including in connection with examinations, administrative appeals and trial. Mr. Vasquez also represents clients in administrative and policy matters before the IRS. He additionally represents clients in tax planning matters. Mr. Vasquez represents a broad range of clients including individuals, privately held businesses, and large Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Vasquez serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he teaches Tax Controversy & Litigation and Taxation of Sales and Exchanges. Mr. Vasquez also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where he teaches Tax Controversies.  He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Court Procedure and Practice and was recently awarded the Janet R. Spragens Pro Bono Award, was named a Noland Fellow.  He has been named a leading individual in the Tax Litigation Nationwide category in the Chambers USA’s “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” 2006-2013.  He has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly.

Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, Senior Attorney and Director of Voter Protection for Advancement Project, chairs the Voting Rights Section.  Ms. Culliton-González leads a highly-qualified team in litigation, policy, coalition-building, voter education and community empowerment strategies to protect fundamental voting rights. A former Fulbright Scholar, she taught human rights law in Chile (1993-1994), and among other awards, she graduated as Valedictorian of the Washington College of Law of American University in 1993. She is the author of a series of law review articles and other publications, written in English and Spanish, which have been used to protect civil and human rights in the Americas. Her .latest law review article, published in Harvard Human Rights Law Journal in June 2012, analyzes birthright citizenship as well as the intersection between disparate access to citizenship and Latino voting rights. She is also a former MALDEF lawyer, and frequently appeared in Spanish-language media as a nationally-recognized immigrants’ rights expert. Before joining the Advancement Project, Kathy most recently served as Senior Attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, where she brought a series of cases to enforce the anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of Latinos, African Americans, and other voters of color across the nation. Her cases and enforcement actions have helped tens of thousands of Puerto Rican voters in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida. She is an expert in language access rights, and the mother of a beautiful bilingual son.

Professor Dan Sokol, Associate Professor of Law at University of Florida Levin College of Law is the chair of the Law Professor Committee. Mr. Sokol is the co-editor of the Global Competition Law and Economics book series (Stanford University Press), the Oxford Handbook of International Antitrust Economics (Oxford University Press, 2014) and the Global Antitrust Compliance Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2014).  He also is editor of the Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog. His work has been published in law reviews and peer-reviewed publications and spans topics including: mergers, cartels, monopolization, institutional design, capacity building, government restraints and comparative and international antitrust issues. Professor Sokol has provided technical assistance and capacity building to antitrust agencies and utilities regulators from around the world.  Additionally, Professor Sokol serves as Senior Of Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

The HNBA’s Labor & Employment Section is co-chaired by Gina Casias and Jack Patten. 
Gina Casias, serves as Senior Corporate Counsel in the Law Department’s Labor and Employment Law Group for CenturyLink, a Fortune 200 international telecommunications, managed solutions and cloud company with over 50,000 employees. Ms. Casias guides the company on wage and hour compliance and risk mitigation and is a regular speaker at wage and hour seminars.  She also provides general employment law advice and counsel to the following CenturyLink organizations: National Network, CTL Technical Solutions (an international managed solutions and cloud business), Payroll, and Compensation. Her responsibilities include: due diligence on employment matters related to acquisitions and mergers, compliance with various employment laws, negotiating and drafting various employment agreements (severance, retention, executive, relocation, settlement), managing reduction in force activities, advising on international Human Resource issues, and serving as a compliance subject matter expert on wage and hour issues.   Additionally, Ms. Casias assists and counsels the Human Resource and Compliance organizations on corporate reorganizations, performance management processes, compliance investigations, and corporate policies.  Ms. Casias has over 17 years of in-house employment law experience.  She received her law degree from the University of Colorado, School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in International Business and Marketing. She also serves on the Association of Corporate Counsel, Colorado chapter, Board of Directors and is an active member of the American, Colorado and Denver Bar Associations as well as the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.  In her spare time, she serves on the Thornton High School Parent Teacher Student Organization Board of Directors and volunteers with various youth programs in the Denver Metro area.

Jack Patten, an associate at Littler, represents companies in a variety of employment matters with an emphasis on employment discrimination. He has experience with all phases of employment litigation, from arbitration and mediation to discovery and trial. Currently, Jack serves in the United States Army Reserve as a judge advocate, holding the rank of captain, and is assigned to the 87th Legal Operational Detachment.  A veteran of Operation Iraqi FreedomOperation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and a year mobilization to Camp Casey in South Korea, Jack’s military experience gives him a first-hand understanding of the balance between employees’ rights and an employer’s business needs. This uniquely qualifies him to represent employers in defending claims brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and to advise employers on its applications and procedures.  Following law school and prior to joining the firm, Jack clerked for the Hon. Robert G. James, U. S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana.


The HNBA’s Corporate Counsel Section is co-chaired by Suzette Recinos and Karen Davila. 
Suzette Recinos is Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of Pitney Bowes Inc.  Ms. Recinos is responsible for the company’s SEC disclosures and for providing guidance on all legal matters at Pitney Bowes Software Inc., the Latin America & Caribbean Division and Document Messaging Technologies Division of Pitney Bowes Inc. She joined Pitney Bowes in 2005 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in the legal function at several business units and the corporate office. Before joining Pitney Bowes, she was a practicing attorney at Edwards & Angell, LLP and Kutak Rock LLP. She serves as a Director of Fairfield County Community Foundation.  Ms. Recinos received Bachelor of Music and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Iowa.

Karen Davila is Senior Associate General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., providing regulatory compliance counsel to the company on its health and wellness related products and services, including its pharmacies and vision centers.  Previously, Ms. Davila worked as General Counsel for several large health systems, overseeing regulatory compliance, transactions, litigation/risk management, and various labor and employment issues.  Ms. Davila obtained her undergraduate degree in Economics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  She later obtained her juris doctorate at IIT Chicago Kent College of Law and her Masters in Business Administration from Case Western University in Cleveland. Ms. Davila entered private law practice as a litigator.  She left the litigation arena to join Murer Consultants in Joliet, Illinois, as a Vice President for the health care law consulting firm, where she provided regulatory analysis and advice on various issues including health care compliance, reimbursement, and operations for a myriad of health care systems throughout the U.S. Ms. Davila joined the management team at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, and later the executive teams at Wuesthoff Health System in Rockledge, Florida, and Mercy Health Partners in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her efforts focused on the development and implementation of compliance programs and the operational controls necessary to demonstrate effectiveness.

“The HNBA is fortunate to have such experienced and enthusiastic leaders chairing our Sections & Committees.  We are excited about the work they have all done and are eager to continue to roll-out new programming for our members,” said Meshach Rhoades, HNBA Sections & Committees Vice-President.

“The HNBA is a collaborative organization and its success is dependent, in part, on the strategic leadership from its staff, executive team, Board of Directors and actively engaged members, including its Sections & Committee Chairs.  We are thrilled with the work these Chairs have done for the HNBA and look forward to the work they do in 2014,” said Miguel Alexander Pozo, HNBA National President.  


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