COLOR Board of Directors

OUR FIERCE, AMAZING LEADERS

 

Gloria Leyba

Board Treasurer, gleybal@mindspring.com | Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers| From Denver, CO | B.A. in cultural anthropology (University of Colorado-Denver) | COLORistx since 10/2008

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: my familia, my babies
Favorite local restaurant: Thai or Indian cuisine
Dream job: I’m living my dream job working with indigenous women in Guatemala
Job Gloria wouldn’t do in a million years: work at Walmart
Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: the mission, it’s what we are about… working with fierce women carrying out a righteous mission.
Gloria's greatest extravagance: art work
Talent Gloria would like to have: a Tango dancer!

Former Colorado State Representative, Gloria is the founder of Cielo Maya, an economic development initiative for indigenous women in Guatemala where she has worked since 2001. Gloria is a recipient of the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Public Policy Lifetime Leadership Award. Gloria has served on the Board for COLOR since 2011.

 

Elena Mendoza

Board Co-Chair, mrselenamendoza@gmail.com | Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Wyoming | B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education (University of Northern Colorado) | M.S. in Administration and Supervision (University of Phoenix) | COLORistx since 07/2014

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: 300 days of sunshine and the mountains
Favorite local restaurant: My mom's house
Job Elena wouldn't do in a million years: Pest extermination
Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Being surrounded by so many talented individuals who are fighting for the same cause: Equality for all.

Elena Mendoza is currently the Assistant Principal at North Elementary in Brighton, Colorado. Elena has taught at various Denver Metro Elementary schools as an intermediate teacher and a literacy resource teacher. She is a proud Alumna of the 2012 Circle of Latina Leadership and 2014 Emerge class. Elena is strong believer in giving back to her community which is why as an Alumna from School District 27J, she has come back to work in her community. Elena is a Development Committee member and Board Secretary for Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, COLOR. She is also a member of 27J Superintendent’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Elena currently lives in Denver and enjoys spending time with her seven nieces and nephews.

 

Dani Perea

Board Member, dani.perea@gmail.comPreferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Albuquerque, NM | B.A. in English Literature (The College of William and Mary) | M.F.A. in Writing (Fine Arts at Simmons College) | COLORistx since 01/2017

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: The gorgeous silhouette of the mountains against the sky
Favorite local restaurant: Rioja
Dream job: White House Engagement and Content Strategist under the first Latinx President
Job Dani wouldn't do in a million years: Lab testing animals for a cosmetic company
Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Being able to give back and provide leadership to an organization and mission I love.
Greatest extravagance: Higher education
Talent Dani would like to have: To be able to dance and pop as well as the ReQuest Dance Crew. 

Dani began her involvement with COLOR in 2015 as a volunteer and fell head over heels for COLOR’s mission and hard-working, passionate staff. By day, Dani is a growth hacker in the tech industry, specializing in tinkering with the rocket fuel that grows web traffic and social media audiences.

Dani currently serves as a board member for the Aurora Public Library. She is also a member of Emerge Colorado’s Class of 2017, a training program for Democratic women that aims to increase the number of Democratic women in public office. Dani has been an activist since high school when she staged her first sit-in at age 16, and has enjoyed making a dent in the world for reproductive justice, LGBT equality, and racial justice ever since.

Dani earned a bachelor’s degree in literature at the College of William & Mary, and a master’s degree in writing at Simmons College. In her free time, she writes sci-fi and horror novels and is a regular at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshops. She enjoys locally-sourced bourbon, cozy mountain cabins, episodes of The West Wing, and political and history podcasts. Dani resides in Aurora, with the love of her life and two goofy dogs. 

 

Angelina Sandoval

Board Member

Angelina Sandoval is a 6th generation Coloradoan, born and raised in the Sunnyside neighborhood. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado Denver in Political Science and Public Policy in 2014, and has a long trajectory of professional roles in local government. Currently, Angelina serves as the Legislative Assistant to House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran. Before this position she served as a Fellow with Denver City Council and interned for two sessions with the Colorado General Assembly. In 2012 Angelina worked under Senator Angela Giron and in 2013 she worked under Senate President John Morse and Majority Leader Morgan Carrol as a CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization) Fellow. Her interest in public policy started in 2009 when she joined the first LIPS (Latinas Increasing Political Strength) class. As a LIPS alumna, Angelina became closely involved in public service, including her joining the COLOR Board of Directors in November 2011. Angelina became a COLORista through the LIPS program and returned to COLOR to serve at the board level in order to support the organization that introduced her to advocacy and the political process. Her expertise includes public policy, state-level legislative process and youth empowerment, which she also leverages as a LIPS mentor for the 2015 Cohort. Angelina has two fur babies, a cat named Puffin and her dog Harley. She enjoys spending time with family, her fur babies and drinking wine.

 

Brenda Vaden

Board Co-Chair, brendaavaden@gmail.com | Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico / Denver, Colorado | B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology (University of Colorado at Boulder) | COLORistx since Oct. 2012

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: The outdoors. Our state is beautiful and I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors.
Favorite local restaurant: Comal in RiNo
Dream job: Working internationally with families. I would love to spend time providing resources and developing communities whose basic needs are not being met.
Job Brenda wouldn't do in a million years: Anything that would involve a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean for an extended amount of time!
Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: Working alongside the COLOR team has been incredible. Knowing that we are creating change in our comunidad is very rewarding. COLOR is full of passionate and phenomenal people and they energize me and I absolutely love serving them.
Greatest extravagance: My husband and I recently went on our first international trip to Costa Rica!
Talent Brenda would like to have: Dance! I can't dance...do not put me in a Zumba class, it's a disaster!


Brenda is the Director of Major Gifts with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. For many years Brenda has been a leader in the reproductive rights and reproductive justice movement. She serves on the Board of Directors at the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, a reproductive justice organization where most recently she holds the position of Board Co-Chair. Brenda’s writing has been featured on the Huffington Post Latino Voices and she continues to utilize that platform to raise awareness around reproductive and social justice. Brenda has been a longtime activist and advocate for advancing the Latino community. Since college, she has worked alongside community leaders to further advance issues affecting the Latino community. Brenda holds a Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Brenda is a graduate of the Circle of Latina Leadership and a current Latino Leadership Institute fellow. Brenda resides in Denver with her husband and two sons.

 

Alvina Vasquez

Board Member, alvinav@strategies360.com | @alvinavasquez Preferred gender pronouns: She, Her, Hers | From Denver, Colorado | B.A. in Communications (Regis University) | COLORistx since Jan. 2017

Favorite thing about life in Colorado: My family
Favorite local restaurant: Pete’s Greek Town Café
Dream job: Communicator
Job Alvina wouldn't do in a million years: anything with manure
Best thing about serving on the COLOR Board: developing emerging leaders
Greatest extravagance: My house
Talent Alvina would like to have: Ballet Dancing

Alvina Vasquez is a vice president for Strategies 360 in the Colorado office. Bringing more than 20 years of experience, she develops messaging strategies to achieve policy outcomes, manages crisis communications and leverages her sophisticated understanding of earned and paid media to reach target audiences to advance client objectives.

Before joining S360, Alvina led political advocacy and messaging efforts for the rising American electorate at Campaign for a Strong Colorado. For more than 40 statewide non-profits,  she developed messaging strategies to advance legislation, managed crisis communications during the presidential race and trained spokespeople that represented the diversity of Colorado’s electorate. In particular, her role as a media trainer built lasting relationship with local news reporters who often seek Alvina out for unique stories and people. Alvina began her career in Spanish language radio for Denver’s highest rated radio stations – Radio Romantica and Radio Tri-Color. With listeners across the state and many national and local businesses, Alvina honed her skill to connect sales and audience marketing opportunities. Her understanding of earned and paid media was later developed at ABC Denver’s7 and Azteca America Colorado. Her campaign success brought her the opportunity to lead branding and marketing for Azteca America Colorado, a new affiliate introduced into the market. This opened new opportunities to building news branding strategy, network marketing buys and community development campaigns.

Alvina was recognized as a community and business leader by the Denver Business Journal in the 40th Anniversary 40 under 40 Class of 2016. She is an alumni of the Latino Leadership Institute.  Alvina was appointed by Mayor Hancock to the  Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. She serves on the board of the Civic Engagement Roundtable, an organization supporting Colorado’s leading progressive organizations and the Front Range Community College Education Foundation. As a greyhound owner she is an advocate for retired racers and all dogs who need to be rescued.

 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR NEW BOARD MEMBERS

We are currently growing our Board of Directors. Please connect with Executive Director Cristina Aguilar at cristina@colorlatina.org or by phone at (303) 393-0382, if you are interested or would like to nominate any fierce Latinas who would be perfect for the job!