Class of 2015

Gilbert Casellas

From a young age, Gilbert Casellas learned that when you are given an opportunity, you must take it. Casellas grew up in 1950s Florida, where laws forced people to officially separate themselves along racial lines.

Monika Mantilla

When corporate board members sit down for a presentation, Monika Mantilla is rarely the person they expect to see. Knowing that hasn’t stopped her.

José Estabil

José Estabil always knew he was going to be a scientist. Growing up in South Florida, he might not have predicted that he would one day hold numerous US patents and author several important papers on semiconductor metrology—but he was convinced he was going to be a scientist.

Aída Álvarez

Despite the challenges facing young minority women in 1970s Brooklyn, Aída Álvarez knew she wanted to go to college.

Glenn Flores

As a distinguished pediatrician, Dr. Glenn Flores has become a leading advocate for improving children’s health and recognizing the disparities of care within minority communities.

Hernan Saenz

In 1988, armed with two old Samsonite bags, Hernan Saenz boarded a flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, destined for Boston.

Juan Sabater

Though he has lived in the continental United States since he was a teenager, it’s his Puerto Rican roots that define Juan Sabater.

Javier Farfan

If you ask, Javier Farfan will tell you life is good. He has a soon-to-be wife named Nathalie, a new baby, and a new job as vice president of marketing for Verizon.

Maria Lopez-Bresnahan

In colleges, companies, and every online article written to help young professionals, a common refrain is echoed: network as much as possible, and find a mentor.

Jose Fernandez

Most children find discussions of Shakespeare challenging, but for Jose Fernandez, the discourse was especially difficult—he didn’t speak English.

Ana Pinczuk

When Ana Pinczuk fled her native Argentina in 1976 amid a coup d’état, there was an understandable amount of uncertainty about her future.

Pedro Lichtinger

It’s natural to assign a defined career path to the CEO of a company. But if he doesn’t subscribe to such a notion, should anyone else?

Kim Rivera

If a single word were to describe Kim Rivera, it would be “adaptable.” The C-Suite attorney of the Fortune 500 firm DaVita HealthCare Partners dealt with more tragedy and responsibility before the age of 16 than most adults, but she didn’t allow those obstacles to keep her from reaching her destination.

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez is a self-proclaimed “Bronx girl.” Raised in the New York City borough and now president and CEO of Urban Health Plan (UHP), one of New York’s most celebrated institutions, there are few things the executive is more proud of than her home turf—which is why she works so hard for its residents.

Miriam Rivera

“I’m an inner-city, Spanish-speaking, low-income, free-lunch, first-in-her-family-to-go-to-college girl,” said Miriam Rivera at an awards dinner in her honor.

Marie Quintero-Johnson

Marie Quintero-Johnson was persistent. At least once per month, she went to the vice president of business development to tell him she wanted to work with him.

Marcos Gonzalez

Although Marcos Gonzalez loved the close-knit home his Mexican parents built in Los Angeles in the 1960s, he remembers thinking, “What else is out there?”

Paula Arrojo

Working hard is part of Paula Arrojo’s DNA. The daughter of Spanish immigrants, Arrojo watched her parents give everything to build a life in America.

R. Martin Chavez

There’s a famous scene in the classic 1967 film The Graduate in which a family friend approaches Dustin Hoffman’s character with an unprompted bit of advice.

Clarissa Cerda

When she was a young girl growing up in Chicago, Clarissa Cerda’s father told her a story about a church sweeper.

Enrique Salem

He’s led a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 technology company, he advises President Barack Obama on cyber crime, and he hunts for early-stage tech investments at Bain Capital Ventures—but Enrique Salem didn’t set out to become a thought leader.

Luis Sierra

Leading a $6 billion business unit for one of the largest and most influential companies in the world is no small task.

Paul Diaz

One sunny day last May, Paul J. Diaz—then CEO of Kindred Healthcare—stood onstage at American University’s graduation ceremony and looked over the crowd.

Robert Sanchez

By his own admission, Ryder CEO Robert Sanchez’s journey through 15 positions in 20 years has demanded leadership in areas outside his expertise.