Alma V. Marquez
Alma V. Marquez, is nationally recognized as a leader in education reform, public affairs, and political strategy. Her passion for leading change can be traced back to her youth when at 14 years old, along with her high school teacher and 5 classmates, she led a successful campaign to stop a toxic waste incinerator from being built across from her high school. This action planted the seed for her work as Founder of Del Sol Group, a communications and public affairs firm. For over 20 years she has been creating magic with others to find solutions to complex problems through a vast network of allies across the local and national landscape. Alma is the Founder of La Comadre, a Network of Powerful Latina Women, who under her guidance, access and use their collective influence to demand for change in education.
Alma is a Board Member of Great Schools, the leading national nonprofit which provides school information to more than 40 million families in the US each year. Alma has received the White House Presidential Community Service Award, California State Assembly Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Hispanic Lifestyle’s Latinas of Influence Award and La Opinion’s Outstanding Woman Award. Alma is a graduate of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute. As a German Marshall Memorial Fellow, Alma continues to represent the United States as a part of a transatlantic network of leaders in Europe and the United States.
These honors were bestowed upon her due to her work as a political strategist, as an educational leader, and organizer. Alma was the CA Latino Vote Director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, where she developed innovative Latino Voter strategies, including the “Obama Nos Llama” campaign, that were implemented in the subsequent Presidential campaign. For the first time Latinos throughout California were organized to support Latino vote efforts in battleground states such as Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas and Florida.
As Vice President of External and Government Affairs for Green Dot Public Schools, Alma led groundbreaking work through political and community organizing efforts that grew Green Dot from 4 schools to 18 and the first two turn-around school projects in LAUSD’s history in Watts and South LA. She led efforts for the Political Action Committee for the Small Schools Alliance, which ensured that education was the mainstay of the Los Angeles Mayoral Race of 2005. This was pivotal for creating the pro-education reform landscape that still exists in Los Angeles.
Alma co-founded the Los Angeles Parents Union which grew into 12 chapters. She led the strategy, developed the parent organizing curriculum, trained thousands of parents and led community actions including the March of the Parents to demand excellent schools. As a Program Officer for the First 5 LA Commission, she managed a portfolio of over $150 million in funds for early childhood education and was part of the team who branded the “First 5 years are the most important.”
Alma earned her Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA where she was a HUD Community Builders Fellow. She graduated from East Los Angeles Community College and earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies and Politics from Occidental College.
Cindy Borbon is Vice President of Operations at Del Sol Group, where she oversees the day-to-day activities to support the growth of the organization. She is also the Co-founder of La Comadre, Editorial Manager and a licensed Financial Advisor. Cindy has over 12 years experience in the Auto Finance industry and brings a wealth of experience developing over a dozen high performing teams whom she has mentored directly. She believes that interpersonal skills centered around communication, listening, questioning and building genuine relationships are key to building strong and effective teams. Cindy is currently working toward her Bachelor’s in Business Management.
Miquitzli Herrera our Digital & Media Associate. She is currently a student at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) with an intended major in Sociology and is scheduled to transfer to a four year University by 2019. She is a graduate from the Alliance College-Ready Charter High School ESAT in Los Angeles, CA. Miquitzli’s educational experience is unique in that she attended both private and charter schools during her K-12 years. Throughout her high school career, Miquitzli’s participation in programs like the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Program, UCLA Saturday Business Academy, and NCLR Lideres Summit allowed her to gain experience and skills to be able to apply in her academic career. In her short time at ELAC, she has been actively involved in clubs and organizations like the Sociology Club and Delloro Social Justice Program with an intention of building community and social awareness. In addition to being involved on campus, Miquitzli has been involved in her community for years by volunteering on political campaigns. She worked on campaigns that helped elect President Barack Obama in 2008 and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo in 2017. With the help and guidance from former counselors and current advisors, Miquitzli is working to transfer to UCLA or UC Berkeley.
Lisette Medina-Duarte is Director of Community Engagement at Del Sol Group. She is a mother of two beautiful children, both of whom are are on the autism spectrum. Having one child in a charter school, and the other is in a traditional public school, Lizette is deeply committed to working with underserved and underprivileged communities. She is a grassroots organizer and finds passion in serving as an educational advocate for disability rights, and equality and inclusions for African American and Latino communities of Greater Los Angeles. In addition to managing multiple outreach, volunteer, and advocacy campaigns, Duarte’s 20 years of administrative experience includes fundraising, engagement, events, and sponsorship procurement. She is currently a member of the advisory board for UCLA’s Tarjan Center and a member of the Empowerment Congress. Duarte was appointed by former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina to the state Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is also a member of the Community Police Advisory Board for the Northeast Los Angeles Police Department, and serves as a board member for several California nonprofits. Duarte is a bilingual Los Angeles native from Highland Park, and graduate of Franklin High School. She continues to live in Highland park with her husband and her two children.