People Committed To See Lives Changed
David Contreras – Executive Director and LaunchPad Founder
David serves as the Executive Director and Core LP instructor for the Living for Success Class. David manages all aspects of the non-profit and team to include providing broad oversight for the program on the campus. He develops and manages all key relationships with Partners and Community leaders. He is responsible for developing the program schedule and hiring all the LP team and instructors.
David is also the Core instructor twice a week for the LaunchPad foundational after school class at Dobie “Living for Success”. He teaches an average of 65 students every week on essential life and leadership skills for success. David works very closely with all his LP team on the campus to ensure overall program efficiency and effectiveness.
Chris Lopez – LP Program Director – After School Program
Chris serves as the Program Director for the Dobie LaunchPad Program. Chris is responsible for supporting the Executive Director in managing the day to day aspects of the program on campus and working closely with the faculty and administrators on the campus. Chris is responsible for recruiting and managing the LP volunteer team that helps us effectively operate in the classroom. He plays a liaison role with the LP vendor team every semester to ensure class goals are met. He also manages compliance aspects of the LP 21st Century Grant to ensure metrics and goals are met every Semester. Chris provides instructor assistance in the “Living for Success class” and teaches the class twice a month. Chris supports the Executive Director in other aspects of the day to day operations of LaunchPad
Lio DeJesus – LP Assistant Program Director
Lio is the latest addition to the LP team. Born in Cleveland, Lio was raised right here in Austin, and is a graduate of McNeil High School of Round Rock ISD. He went on to the University of North Texas and just completed his BA in Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations. The recent grad has most recently worked with summer collegiate baseball team, the East Texas Pump Jacks, and the Denton Chamber of Commerce as a Social Media Manager and also has experience in agency and freelance PR work. Lio is a strong leader, adept learner and up with all trends social media. He has participated in and led multiple service projects, and also coached youth sports teams. Lio currently resides in Round Rock, Texas.
Rebecca Contreras, Chair
Rebecca Contreras is currently the President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC, a Management and IT consulting firm with HQ in the Washington DC area and an Office in Austin Texas. AvantGarde is Consulting small business that offers a “one stop shop” approach to addressing complex organizational and client needs. The AvantGarde team brings together the significant experience of individuals and past performance across the three key areas of capabilities: Organizational Effectiveness, Information Technology and Human Capital (www.avantgarde4usa.com).
Mrs. Contreras has dedicated her entire career to the people business, serving in executive leadership roles driving large scale human capital management change and strategic organizational initiatives impacting the workforce. Prior to her consulting career, Mrs. Contreras spent 15 years in government. She served as a member of the Senior Executive Service as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) at the U.S. Department of Treasury, with a workforce of approximately 130,000 employees. Prior to the US Treasury, she served as a Special Assistant to the President in the Executive Office of the President – White House. Prior to her government work in DC she served in Texas State government from October 1989 – December 2000 in various Human Capital leadership roles. Mrs. Contreras Co Founded LaunchPad in 2008 with her husband David Contreras who now serves full-time as the Organizations Executive Director. She and her husband have two children, a daughter married and age 25 and a son age 19 who is attending college in Austin. She volunteers her time to serve on the Board of LaunchPad.
Antonio and Juanita Maldonado, Member
Antonio and Juanita are founders and lead MDE Latino. Mr. and Mrs. Maldonado have dedicated the last fifteen years to empowering and equipping the Hispanic Community. The focus on building leaders has become a passion that drives them in their everyday life and success. They started their business in Amway seventeen years ago in 1995. He was a carpet installer and she was a homemaker. Three years after they started the business, they qualified for Emerald level, allowing Antonio the freedom to retire from his labor job. Five years after they qualified for Emerald, they qualified as new Diamonds, an accomplishment that has provided them financial freedom. Today their business stretches across the United States leading a network of thousands of business owners.
Their purpose in building leaders is to “Create a New Culture” of men and women who believe in God, believe in family, and who can achieve the American dream of success in owning their own business. They firmly believe in giving back to the Community and investing in people’s lives.
Mr. and Mrs. Maldonado live in Austin, Texas with family, daugther age 21, son’s ages 18, 13 and 10.
Charlie & Angelique Goff – Member
Charlie and Angel Goff own Mr. Appliance servicing the greater-Austin area (http://www.mrappliance.com/austin). Mr. Appliance is North America’s leading appliance repair franchise system. Established in 1996, its franchises provide full-service residential and light commercial appliance repair.
Mr. Goff began his career working as an hourly employee for other appliance companies before starting his own appliance service business at age 28. A year later he joined Mr. Appliance, an international franchise family, and has been an owner in business for 13 years.
Mr. Goff has been named Sales Leader of the Year in the Mr. Appliance franchise network of 160 independent franchise companies for 10 years in a row. His company, Mr. Appliance of the Greater-Austin area, has been awarded Franchise of the Year four times. Angel Goff has worked and volunteered for various Churches and was predominately a stay-at-home mom. Today, Angel and Charlie work together to further the business and give back to their community. Charlie and Angel operate their company under the Code of Values where respect, integrity and customer satisfaction are the forefront of their business. They are passionate about teaching and modeling these values to their children, as well as sharing with other business owners the knowledge and wisdom that has contributed to their success. The Goff’s live out the belief that there’s no limit to where you can go with God and count it a blessing to have the freedom to spend time with their seven children: an 18-year-old daughter, two 17-year-old sons, two 13-year-old sons, an 11-year-old son, and an 8-year-old daughter.
When not working with his team of 12 employees in Bastrop, Charlie enjoys traveling with his wife and family, investing in commercial real estate and car racing with his sons.
Michelle Alcala – Member
A San Antonio native, Michelle Alcala earned her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and her law degree from Harvard. She is a shareholder at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, and is board certified in labor and employment law.
Michelle has served on the board for numerous organizations in Austin including the Crime Prevention Institute, Junior Achievement, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium and the Austin Bar Association. In addition to serving as a mentor through the Communities in School Project and Junior Achievement, she has volunteered her time for the Worker’s Defense Project, Volunteer Legal Services, and the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Michelle has lived in Austin since 2004 and enjoys scuba diving, exercising, boxing and traveling.
Karen Mariela Siles – Member
Karen Mariela Siles is a Software Engineer at IBM Corporation in Austin, Texas. She graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science – Electrical Engineering degree in 2007. Her current role involves supporting global clients with Middleware Software Product -WebSphere Application Server. Karen was born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia; her family migrated to the United States in 1998 and moved to Northern Virginia. Karen enjoys giving back to the community through various organizations that focus on education and self improvement primarily in STEM education.
Currently Karen serves as the Region V Professional Representative for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Inc. as well as the SHPE Jr. Outreach Director for the local Austin SHPE Professional Chapter. She recently started serving on two local Austin Board of Directors, LaunchPad and Latinitas. Her passion for education has driven her to participate in this year’s Up Close Program for the Austin Independent School District. Furthermore, Karen is an alumni the 2012 class for the Hispanic Austin Leadership Program. She was part of the Healthcare Team that developed a sustainable community program called “Ready 2 Talk/Listos Para Hablar. Currently this program has gained some new strategic partners in an effort to reach our community in need.