Ramon Vallejo


Ramon is a foreign-born Cuban-American, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1962 when he was 8 years old following Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba.  Raised in Tampa, Florida, Ramon came to New Orleans in 1976 to pursue an engineering career with Shell Oil Company after earning a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from M.I.T. and an MEng Degree in Civil engineering from Cornell University. He retired from Shell Oil Company in 2014 after a successful 37.5 year career having served in multiple technical, managerial, human resources and research positions with Shell. He currently lives in New Orleans and serves as VP of the Cuban Club of New Orleans, serves on the Board of Directors of Sociedad Española, serves as member of the NOHHF Mentoring Committee and is Co-Chairman of the Entertainment Committee of the NOHHF Azucar Ball.

AnaMaria Bech

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AnaMaria is a media professional and the publisher of VIVA NOLA Magazine, a bilingual multi-platform publication that seeks to connect cultures and give a voice to the Hispanic community in the Greater New Orleans area. AnaMaria loves cultures and always felt a need to find avenues to showcase the positive contributions of Latinos in the United States. VIVA NOLA Magazine and VIVA NOLA TV were born as an outlet to these efforts and as a response to combine her passion for media and the need to highlight diversity in society. Before devoting her time fully to VIVA NOLA
Magazine, AnaMaria worked in broadcast television and served as project manager for local, national and international clients such as Burson- Marsteller, PR Newswire, 20 th Century Fox, Premiere TV, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, On244 for diverse broadcast and digital video productions. She is passionate about producing LIVE television, streaming, and corporate videos. She has expanded her portfolio of marketing services under the umbrella of her production company, M90 Media. AnaMaria Bech is a native of Colombia and a proud New Orleanian. She graduated from the University of New Orleans. When she is not looking for or working on the next story, she is spending time with her family, playing beach volleyball, or preparing a great cocktail when gathering with friends.

Maria Calzada

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Dr. Maria Calzada joined the Loyola University New Orleans faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in the fall of 1991. After moving through the
academic ranks, she became Dean of the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences in 2013, now known as the College of Arts and Sciences. She served as Interim Provost
from April of 2018 until July of 2020. Her research interests include mathematical computations with an emphasis on applications in statistical quality control.  Her teaching interests include all levels of undergraduate mathematics, but she has a special affinity for freshman level calculus. She hopes that college students will learn, understand, enjoy, love, and use calculus as a base for deeper mathematical and scientific explorations. In 2004 she received the Loyola Senate Teaching Award for her efforts to improve student learning in calculus. Calzada earned an A.B. in Economics and Mathematics from Boston College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Tulane University. Dean Calzada was born in Panama, Republic of Panama and lives in Metairie, Louisiana with her husband. Their two Latina daughters are Loyola educated and are part of the rich and diverse Latinx Louisiana community.

Michael Paz

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Michael is an accomplished music producer in the areas of professional sound, recording, artist & tour management, stage & event production, talent buying and booking, and film & television production. Responsible for numerous memorable events and award winning projects, he has also worked with renowned artists and musicians as well as music establishments and performing arts centers throughout the world. President of the Ruth Paz Foundation that supports child health care in Honduras.

Peggy Mendoza 


Peggy Mendoza is the co-founder of Hernandez Law Group and Business Advisors (HLGBA), she serves as Chief Business Advisor for various small business, entrepreneurs, and organizations with a focus on those owned and run by minorities and women.  Peggy’s career has been defined by her civic and professional leadership in service to our community, and guided by her beliefs in the power of diversity, inclusion, and community.  Prior to HLGBA, Peggy was the founder of New Pathways New Orleans, spearheading the mission to build cross-sector solutions for New Orleans youth with significant needs in Special Education, Mental & Behavioral Health and Juvenile Justice and she was the  Executive Director and Vice President of City Year New Orleans, a service organization devoted to keeping public education students in school and on track to graduate.  Before assuming those roles she held executive positions in the private sector for over 20 years with T-Mobile, The Body Shop, and Paul Harris Stores.  She currently serves on the Board of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI), Puentes, Raphael Village, and WWNO, the local National Public Radio station. Throughout her career, Peggy has been appointed to, and served on, numerous local advisory bodies. Peggy is a first generation American and the proud mother of two sons, Christopher and Alessandro. Peggy completed her education at Tulane University.

Marlene Donovan


Originally from Colombia Marla is a retired Audit Administrator of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Orleans Branch and a Puentes Board member for last three years. She was involved in many non-profit organizations for the last 40 years in various capacities including but not limited to Board Chairman of the March of Dimes - New Orleans, Trustee for the Botanical Garden Foundation, President of Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association Board, The YMCA, Colombian Volunteers of NOLA, Young Audiences, Casa Argentina, just to name a few. Recognized by Loyola University of New Orleans her Alma Matter, as the Most Distinguished Alumna by City College. She also received the Circles of Excellence Outstanding Alumni by Delgado College, the Order of St. Louis King of France by the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the March of Dimes Freda Lupin Butterfly Award for philanthropy and community service. Besides Puentes, Casa Argentina and Colombian Volunteers of NOLA, Marla is also a board member of El Centro. Marla's motto is: be kind, safe and compassionate.