Mission

Glendale Latino Association’s mission is to provide scholarships to local students who have demonstrated educational excellence and extraordinary citizenship, to promote activities that improve education, and bring together businesses and professionals.

Our History

Glendale Latino Association (GLA), formerly the Glendale Hispanic Business and Professional Organization, was formed in 1990 by a dedicated Latina professional, Isabel M. Ibarra.

We promote awareness of Latino cultures by hosting special events and monthly mixers in order for our members to network with each other, and we produce an annual Business Luncheon, where we honor outstanding leaders for their contributions to our community and for their leadership in promoting the goals of the organization.

All our members are involved in the community. They participate in or are members of local boards and commissions, such as the Glendale College Foundation, Glendale Educational Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Glendale, Glendale Veterans Coalition, Adelante Latino, the Glendale Library Foundation, Character and Ethics Project, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), The Cabrini Literary Guild, Beads for Battle inc. and many more.  Others represent elected officials, and most participate in local events such as Unity Fest, César Chávez celebrations, Cruise Night, Dia de Los Muertos, to name a few.

We encourage you to join our membership and pass information about us on to your colleagues and friends. Come and be part of this exciting group of people that is making a difference in our community.

Board of Directors


Jennie Quiñonez-Skinner
Board President,  2021-2022
California State University, Northridge

Biography

Jennie Quiñónez-Skinner is passionate about civic engagement and developing diverse leadership. She has over 13 years of experience as a Librarian at California State University, Northridge. Connecting people and resources is how she brings her academic librarian skills from the stacks and into the community. Jennie is the current president of Glendale Latino Association, a board member for the newly formed Glendale Library, Arts, and Culture Trust, a board member for the Glendale Character and Ethics Project, and a member of the Measure GC Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. She is a member and co-founder of the community organizing committee for the annual Glendale Dia de los Muertos Celebration. Jennie is a Southern California native who was born in Long Beach and grew up in San Clemente. She studied at the University of California, San Diego for her undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies), and at the University of California, Los Angeles for her graduate degree (Master of Library and Information Studies). She left the beach life for the foothills of Glendale, which she has called home for over 15 years.

She comes from a multi-cultural family. Her mom was born and raised in Pasadena. Her father’s family is from the East Coast. Her parents met at Pasadena City College. She is a 4th generation Mexican-American and grateful that her mom, Linda, is now a Glendale neighbor. Her father, Nelson, who is an Army Veteran, now lives in Japan with his wife, Yoko. Jennie is a proud tía of Tobias and Sarah, who reside in Northern California with her brother Miguel and his wife. Her family has taught her to appreciate different cultures and make space at the table for everyone.


Miryam E. O. Finkelberg
Treasurer
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Past President, 2015-2017
Law Offices of Finkelberg & Finkelberg

Biography

Miryam E. O. Finkelberg has been the Administrator of the Law Offices of Finkelberg & Finkelberg in Los Angeles since 1992. Finkelberg & Finkelberg assists qualified disabled individuals to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.

Her volunteer work began 26 years ago in her sons’ schools starting as a Room Parent, to Field Trips Chaperone, and every other volunteer job opportunity including St. Francis High School POSH Fundraiser co-chair.

She is a community advocate involved with various philanthropic and service organizations.  She is a current member of the Cabrini Literary Guild, serving as past President & other board positions; Soroptimist International of Glendale, serving as past Officer and other positions; Kiwanis Club of Glendale, serving as past Board Director & Membership Committee Chair; Glendale College Foundation, currently serving as a Board Member.  Other organizations she’s been involved with are the Arturo Sandoval Institute, Childhelp, Family Promise of the Verdugos, and the Glendale YWCA.

It’s been an honor for her to have served on the GLA board and as President from 2015 to 2017. She continues to be a part of GLA and its mission of awarding scholarships to deserving Latino students in Glendale. 

She is married to Louis I. Finkelberg; together they have 3 sons: Kyle, Sean, and Matt.  She was born in Ecuador and has been a resident of Glendale since 1972. She is dedicated to giving back, passionate about making a difference and helping those in need, ‘the best way to feel connected to her community. 


Mercy Velazquez
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Past President
Advisory Board Chair
The Accountancy

Biography

Past President of GLA. She is the Marketing Director for Sadd Velazquez Higashi Shammaa, CPAs & Advisors, and their new company US Wealth of California. She is very active and involved in the community: Past Vice President of Glendale Kiwanis, Glendale Police Citizens Advisory Board (CPPAC), Glendale Association for the Retarded (GAR), Past President of Montrose Verdugo Chamber of Commerce. She has received numerous commendations for her services: “2010 Top Businesswomen Achievers”; “2009 Woman of the Year” from State Senator Carol Liu; “2009 Heart & Excellence Award” from Glendale YWCA; “2007 President’s Award” from Montrose Verdugo Chamber, among others. She is married to Michael Velazquez for 44 years and has 3 children: Michael, Gabriel & Tatiana.


Marisol Chianello
Vice-President, Events & Mixers
Board of Directors,  2021-2022
Learning Rights Law Center

Biography

Marisol Chianello graduated from UCLA, summa cum laude, with a BA in history, class of 2000.  She worked as a substitute teacher for the Montebello Unified School District for two years before attending law school at USC.

Since admission to the California Bar in 2005, Marisol has had the good fortune of working for multiple nonprofits.  She has advocated for refugees, unaccompanied minors, battered women, children in foster care, and children with special needs.  Marisol’s volunteer work has included pro bono representation for victims of human trafficking, volunteer work for local animal shelters, and mentorship of high school children in foster care.  Currently, Marisol is the Pro Bono Manager for a nonprofit legal services provider, Learning Rights Law Center.  She lives in Glendale with her husband, David, and their two rescue pups.


Jasmine Venegas Goulet
Vice President – Scholarship Committee
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Youth Services Coordinator
City of Glendale, Glendale Youth Alliance (GYA).  

Biography

She was born and raised in Los Angeles Ca., a proud Latina in which her heritage consists of her Mexican mother and Colombian father. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Social Work degree.

Jasmine is passionate about working with GYA work programs for low income, probation, and disabled youth.  Her mission is to mentor, provide jobs, employment preparedness, and training to youth ages 14-24 in the Verdugo region.  

She has taken part in volunteering for Lincoln Elementary in La Crescenta, Glendale Relay for Life cancer fundraising, Dreaming of Roses Glendale for Pasadena Rose Parade float fundraising, and CSULA Tau Eta honor society feeding the homeless.  

Married to Randy Goulet and parent of Natalie and Andrew.

It is an honor to be part of the Glendale Latino Association board and I look forward to contributing to our diverse world of many heritages to spread equality and make a positive difference in youth and people’s lives.


Leyla Anderson
Secretary
Board of Directors,  2021-2022
Crescenta Valley Insurance

 

Biography

Leyla Anderson was born in Lima, Peru, and came to the US when she was 2 yrs old. She grew up in Glendale and attended Holy Family High School. She graduated from Cal-Poly Pomona with a Bachelors’s Degree in Business Management.

She currently works for Crescenta Valley Insurance and has her Property and Casualty License as well as her Life and Health License. She loves to help others with their insurance needs and to make sure they have the best coverage at the best rate.

She lives in La Crescenta with her husband Nick Anderson and her two boys. She has joined the board as a way of giving back to the community she grew up in and helping the next generation.

Christine Benitez
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Associate Principal
Crescenta Valley High School

Biography

Christine Benitez is the Associate Principal of CVHS where she works with over 2500 families in the La Crescenta-Montrose community. She is also the Chairperson of ¡Adelante, Latinos!, an all-volunteer committee committed to supporting students k-12 in the Glendale Unified School District. 
 
Christine has worked for over 23 years in education, 16 of those years in high school administration. Her passion lies in supporting students to succeed in school. This led to her volunteer work with ¡Adelante, Latinos! in 2015 where she worked as a member learning about the committee and developed relationships with other members. In 2017 she became the chairperson and since then has expanded the mission of the committee as well as the membership. She is excited to now join the Board of Glendale Latinos Association as a way to further connect the schools with the community. 
 
Christine has been happily married to Luis Benitez since 2000. They have 3 daughters Emma, Sarah, and Lily, a son, Andres, a daughter in law, Katie, and a granddaughter, Xiomara. They enjoy taking long walks at night together with their crazy dogs Embry and Red. 

Blanca Bradley
Board of Directors,  2021-2022
Pacific Clinics

Biography

Blanca Bradley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Blanca received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, where she attained outstanding scholastic recognition as part of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Blanca works at Pacific Clinics in Glendale, a community-based mental health clinic, as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist. She provides individual and family therapy in both English and Spanish. Blanca provides mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults on a broad range of issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, relational conflict, grief and loss, and life transitions. Blanca currently works predominately with school-based children (K – 12th grade) in the Glendale Unified School District. She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals Association (GAMHPA), and The American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW).

Prior to pursuing her career as a licensed therapist, Blanca spent the better part of her professional career working with various nonprofit agencies within the disability community. She supported diverse families and underserved communities through advocacy, training, and empowerment. Blanca is passionate about working with the Latino population, as well as other people of color, facing unique cultural challenges and adversity.

Blanca has volunteered with various animal shelters and community-based groups including, AYSO, American Diabetes Association, Los Angeles Food Bank, and the Pasadena Pacers.

Blanca was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been a resident of Glendale for over 15 years. She loves running (with over 40 half marathons and 10 marathons), hiking, Dodgers baseball, traveling, good food/wine, and reading.  Above all, Blanca loves spending time with her husband, family, and two rescue dogs, Milo and Sophie.


J. Guillermo Garcia
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
City of Glendale Library, Arts and Culture

Biography

Guillermo was born and raised in Mexico City. He is a recently graduated student with a Masters’ Degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas. He got his bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), in Mexico City, Mexico. He moved to the United States in 2005. Guillermo currently oversees the literacy, ESL and Immigrant Services office at the Glendale Downtown Central Library. He is also the Spanish Outreach contact at the library.

As an immigrant of Hispanic origin and a regular user of the library, Guillermo recognizes the importance of diversity and social inclusion by providing library services for the Hispanic community.

Hispanics share a collective cultural identity, but at the same time, we have different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, cultural diversity is one of the things that is crucial to recognize when working with Spanish speakers. Providing library services for Hispanics is not an easy task. It requires true participation of the Hispanic community through outreach programs, as well as being creative in finding ways to engage the community to use the services of the library.


Victor E. Garcia, Jr.
Board of Directors,  2021-2022
Americana Travel

Biography

Victor E. Garcia, Jr. was born in Glendale graduating from Herbert Hoover High School in 2013. He is proud of his Latino heritage. Growing up, he loved learning about his culture from his Colombian mother and a Peruvian father. Thanks in part to the generous support of the Glendale Latino Association, Victor graduated in 2017 from the University of California Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Political Science. 

He has spent the last 4 years working in advocacy and electoral politics. With experience managing a state-wide territory, Victor worked on issues ranging from housing to higher education. 

As a previous recipient of the GLA Scholarship, Victor intimately understands the impact this scholarship can have on the lives of young Latinos. Victor joined the GLA board in 2017 in order to help ensure that Latino students in Glendale have the same opportunities and support he did growing up.

His family has owned and operated Americana Travel in South Glendale for over 22 years.

Ladonna Romans Larrea
Board of Directors,  2021-2022
Senior Business Analyst
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas)

Biography

Ladonna Romans is a New York City transplant that has been living in Glendale for the past 8 years. She lives with her husband Gabriel Larrea, who is a local Glendale dentist. They both enjoy cooking, traveling, and hiking.

 

Ladonna received her BS in Economics from Binghamton University in New York. She works for our local gas utility SoCalGas as a Senior Business Analyst. In this role, she manages the reporting and compliance of SoCalGas’ Energy Efficiency programs. 

 
She is honored to join the Glendale Latino Association and believes in the great work being done in our community. 


Judith Verduzco
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Pacific Clinics

Biography

Judith Verduzco was born and raised in South Glendale, CA. Judith is an alumnus of the Glendale Unified District, having attended Horace Mann Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School, and Glendale High School.  

Judith holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC), Master of Public Administration, and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, both from California State University Northridge (CSUN).

Judith currently works at Pacific Clinics in Glendale- a community-based mental health agency- as a Pre-Licensed Mental Health Therapist. In this role, Judith provides outpatient mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults in the Glendale area. Judith is in the process of completing her clinical licensing requirements to obtain her LCSW.

Prior to pursuing a career in social work, Judith worked at the American Red Cross in the biomedical (blood banking) training and development division for over 11 years. While at the American Red Cross, Judith utilized her leadership skills to successfully implement various company-wide regulated-training and compliance initiatives.

Judith is a current member of the Oakmont League, a philanthropic organization supporting various community projects, schools, and organizations in Glendale. Judith is also an active member of various professional organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Public Administration, and the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators.

Judith has extensive volunteer experience with groups, such as Glendale Sunrise Rotary, Ascencia Homeless Shelter, Los Angeles Food Bank, Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART), and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

Judith’s passion to help others, love of learning, leadership abilities, and vested interest in the community she works, lives and grew up in led her to pursue a position in the Glendale Latino Association Board.

In her spare time, Judith enjoys nature, hiking, traveling, good food/wine, reading, listening to podcasts, and binge-watching her favorite shows. Above all, Judith loves spending time with her husband, family, friends, and two dogs Pinot and Geo.

Supporters

Advisory Board Members

Paula Devine, Council Member, City of Glendale, 2018 GLA Woman of the Year
Elissa Glickman,  CEO, Glendale Arts, 2010 Woman of the Year
Honorable Judge Gus Gomez, Los Angeles Superior Court
Susan Hunt, GUSD Retired, 2011 GLA Woman of the Year
Ardy Kassakhian, Council Member, City of Glendale
Gary Montecuollo, Chief of Police, Glendale Comm. College, 2012 GLA Man of the Year
Frank Quintero, Former Glendale Mayor, *Past GLA Pres., 2020 GLA Man of the Year
Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian, Partner of CG Benefits Group, 2009 GLA Woman of the Year
Martha Rivera, Adventist Health Glendale *Past GLA President
Dr. David Viar, President, Glendale Community College, 2019 GLA Man of the Year

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