BOARD OF DIRECTORS #MEETTHEBOARD
President - Karen Saldana
Meet Karen Saldana, ALPFA Houston's President. Karen has been involved with ALPFA Houston since 2010 when she was a student at the University of Houston competing in the annual KPMG ALPFA Case Study Competition in Orlando, Florida.
Karen mentions that ALPFA has continuously taught her the importance of networking and that without this organization, she would not be where she is today. "As a Dreamer I was not able to work after I finished graduate school. It wasn't until a year later that I was able to begin applying for jobs in my field thanks to a work permit granted through the DACA program. With no prior internships or experience in accounting, finding a job in the field was extremely challenging. Fortunately, a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP offered me an interview when I saw him at a recruiting event because he remembered when we originally met at the 2010 ALPFA convention. Thanks to ALPFA convention. Thanks to ALPFA, I am now on the path to a career that I thought I could only dream about."
Karen graduated with a Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Houston in 2011 and is now a Manager at KPMG LLP. Karen believes in the empowerment of Latino leaders in the accounting and finance field through mentorship and sponsorship as well as the improvement of the Hispanic economic well-being through education and career-building. She is particularly passionate about the limitations faced by Dreamers across the country as they seek to accomplish their education and career aspirations.
Vice-President - Mireya Veliz
Mireya has been involved with ALPFA since 2010 while attending Texas A&M University and serving as the student chapter President. Mireya credits the skills she was able to attain through ALPFA for allowing her to obtain an internship with Deloitte at the end of her sophomore year. She then completed two more internships at Deloitte.
After receiving her BBA and Master of Science in Accounting. Mireya moved to Houston to start her career in Advisory at Deloitte. She then joined the ALPFA Houston Professional Chapter since she is grateful for the different opportunities and network she gained through the organization as a student. She has served several roles since becoming involved in the professional chapter, but is currently the Vice President for the Houston Chapter. Mireya is a first generation University graduate and believes ALPHA has helped her be where she is in her career by preparing her for job interviews and thought her the power of networking. Mireya is passionate about helping other studnets launch their careers and creating more Latino leaders. Mireya believes in the ALPFAmilia and how creating connections and mentorships allows us to lift each other up.
Chief of Staff - Karla Fernandez-Guerra
Meet Karla Fernandez-Guerra, ALPFA Houston's Chief of Staff. She grew up in Amistad sister towns Cuidad Acuna, Mexico and Del Rio, Texas. Karla received her BBA in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University in 2016. She became involved with ALPFA as a sophomore in college and held board positions including Vice-President of Internal Affairs and Director at Large. Karla attended the National Convention in Orlando, Florida. She connected with several professional during the career fair which subsequently allowed her to participate in an Advisory internship at KPMG LLP the following summer.
"I am very grateful I was introduced to ALPFA because the organization has positively impacted me throughout the last four years, both personally and professionally. I continuously get the opportunity to network with incredible Latinos across the nation and to give back to the community. I'm hoping to expand my ALPFAmilia and help mentor more students and young professionals to achieve the organization's purpose. I am excited and looking forward to 2018 with you all"
Treasurer - Ruben Rodriguez
Ruben is a Tax Professional at RSM, Houston office. His primary expertise is in tax matters related to tax planning and compliance for foreign individuals, partnerships and corporations. He also works extensively with high-net-worth individuals and families, trusts, and closely held businesses.
Ruben is a member of the Houston CPA Society, Texas Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, and Ambassador of RSM's Culture Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. He has spoken at numerous professional training meetings on subjects relating to international and trust taxation, and has published articles for RSM and for the Houston CPA Society.
Ruben is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Accounting and a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Texas - Pan American.
Secretary - Sara Vargas-Flores
The Journey with ALPFA for Sara Vargas-Flores started at the University of Texas - San Antonio (UTSA). She joined ALPFA as a student in 2014 looking to polish her interviewing and networking skills, and for opportunities to give back to her institution and community. She found all these skills as well as an extended family that was always ready to motivate and support her professional career.
In 2015, Sara served as the professional liaison between UTSA and KPMG in the KPMG ALPFA Case Study Competition in Westlake, Texas. Her team at UTSA took second place. Sara states that she was thankful and honored for the opportunity ALPFA gave her to allow her to train and guide these young and talented students and to give back to her University (UTSA) by gaining them a well-deserved recognition for their accounting program.
Sara continues to work with the ALPFA Professional Chapter in Houston as a part of the Board performing and duties of Secretary. She currently works at Deloitte in the Investment Management and Insurance team. As a non-traditional student during her former years, she believed that having a support system was one of the keys to success and ALPFA was her key. As a non-traditional minority female accountant and mom, she loves mentoring students in the field of accounting accomplish their dreams.
Director of Corporate Relations - Adriana Rodriguez-Villarreal
Adriana's journey with ALPFA started in 2012 at the University of Texas Pan American (UTPA). She became involved with ALPFA as a sophomore and held board positions including Vice-President and President. During her term as the President, the student chapter received Student Organization of the Year Award and resulted in many ALPFA student members landing internships and finding job opportunities. Since graduating with her BS and MS in Accounting in 2014, she has been serving as the professional from her Alma matter.
Adriana was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and moved to United States to pursue a better future and career opportunities. She currently work at EY, as a Senior Auditor in the Financial Accounting Advisory Services Department.
"One of the best decisions I made during my college years was to join ALPFA. This organization has given me so many opportunities to grow as a professional, a leader and an individual. Being part of the ALPFAmilia has given me the opportunity to build meaningful business relationships and long-term friendships. I am honored to serve you as the Director of Corporate Relations and thankful to have the opportunity to continue to do one of my passions in life; empowering and developing young Latino professional to achieve their maximum potential"
Director of Membership - Axel Gomez
Axel Gomez is Director of Membership for the ALPFA Houston Chapter. He graduated from the University of Houston in May of 2016 with a bachelor's in Finance and Accounting. He currently works at Dynegy, an independent power producer, as an Accounting Analyst.
Axel's involvement with ALPFA dates back to his days as a sophomore at the University of Houston. He was actively involved with ALPFA's University of Houston affiliate, the Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA). His participation and contributions to the organization inspired him to become a leader; he served two terms as an officer, one as Fundraising Director and the other as the Chief Financial Officer. During his two terms as a student leader, Axel saw the personal growth in himself, and more importantly, in his peers. This helped him discover a passion for contributing to the personal growth of others and helping them realize their full potential. He hopes to continue doing this during his term as Director of Membership. "As a Latino organization, we must support each other's professional growth to continue to expand our footprint and contributions to Corporate America"
Director of Events - Catherine Manyoma
Catherine has been an active member of ALPFA since 2014. As the Vice President of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico Student Chapter, she was committed to providing learning and career building opportunities to students while building relationships that would jump start their careers. When Catherine graduated in October 2015, she wanted to continue giving back to the community and joined ALPFA's Puerto Rico Professional chapter as the Director of Events. She was awarded Woman of ALPFA in October 2016 for her contribution to the Chapter. Catherine moved to Houston, TX in November 2016 and joined the Houston BOD in November 2017.
Catherine is a first generation American citizen and the first in her family to graduate from the University. "I have been blessed with many opportunities and believe that it is our responsibility to empower and pave the way for the upcoming generation. To me ALPFA is a community of like-minded individuals who work extremely hard in achieving their full potential and are passionate and committed about giving back to the community. The ALPFAmilia is composed of fortune 50 most powerful Latinas, leaders in our communities who constantly remind me that we are not alone and that we can all make it. I look forward to meeting you all!"
Director of Community Affairs - Rafael Carballo
Rafael has been an active member of ALPFA since 2014. He is a U.S. veteran and was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqui Freedom for one year out of his 4 years of service to his country. After his honorably discharge from the military, he attended the University of Houston Downtown and graduated with honors with a Finance major in 2010. He wanted to make sure he educated the community on how to manage their finances and was given the opportunity to work at Mass Mutual Greater Houston where he now is in charge of hiring and developing a group of financial advisors. He specializes in working with business owners and young professionals because he believes that he can create a significant change with younger generations. ALPFA's commitment in helping young professionals has allowed Rafael to connect and develop new relationships with them.
Rafael is a first generation American citizen and the first in his family to graduate from a University. "I believe that planning for the future is important and I like to say that when life punches you in the mouth, you face those challenges and keep moving forward."
Director of Student Affairs - Aimee Muniz
Aimee Muniz is a Native Houstonians, who developed her work ethic at the age of 14 by working as a professional photographer part time and helping the family photography business. Taking accounting courses in high school solidified her understanding of her "calling" to participate in the PPA program, which allowed her complete the Professional Program of Accounting with a Master of Science in Accounting in four and half years, from the University of Houston in December 2015. Aimee's ALPHA story began when she was encouraged to participate in the 2012 ALPFA National Case Study Competition where she led the University of Houston case study team as a freshman. Thereafter, she participated in ten more case study competitions, four internships, and actively volunteered at multiple Houston professional chapter ALPFA events eventually being awarded ALPFA Houston Student of the year. After connecting with KPMG at the 2012 ALPFA convention, Aimee participated in three internships, subsequently starting full-time in October 2016 as an Audit Associate.
Aimee credits her mentors and strong supporting organizations such as ALPFA for her success. ALPFA recruits and grooms successful members, because we identify ourselves as an ALPFAmilia, we want our family to succeed and thus, we are always helping each other.
Director of Communications and Marketing - Jose Camacho
Meet Jose Camacho, ALPFA Houston's Director of Communications ands Marketing. Jose has been part of ALPFA and KMPG's Hispanic Latino Network since he moved to Houston in 2014. He is currently a Senior Associate at KPMG's Global Mobility Service Licensed Technology practice.
Jose proudly grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico - a UNESCO World Heritage site. He received his B.B.A. in Economics with Highest Honors. Business Honors, Leadership Honors, and International Distinction from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was also part of Congressman Bill Archer's fellowship in Washington, D.C. and a Public Policy and International Affairs fellow from the University of California, Berkeley. In his free time, Jose enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching rugby games, and listening to podcasts.
Director of Technology - Alex Sanchez
The journey with ALPFA for Alex Sanchez started at Grant Thornton. He joined ALPFA as a professional in 2017 looking to mentor, and give back to his institution and community anyway he can.
In June 2015, Alex was elected President of the Professional Accounting Society at the University of Houston - Downtown. During his time there he helped develop and maintain a respectable and professional association in the university's accounting setting that provides students with a promising transition into the business accounting world. This would include having events like excel workshops, accounting firm visits, and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) Program trainings to help develop the student’s professional skills.
Alex is beginning his journey with the professional chapter in Houston as part of the Board performing the duties of Director of Technology. He currently works at Grant Thornton as an Audit Associate. As a first generation graduate student, I know the importance having a support system to help guide you through your professional career and ALPFA is a great place to find that support.