BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our Board of Directors is led by Rev. Ernesto who firmly believes in the mission of the Latino Center of the Midlands. His firm beliefs have enabled him to fulfill several roles on the Board throughout his nine years. Rev. Ernesto finds it exciting to be on the cutting edge of the changing Latino community, and appreciates the Latino Center of the Midlands’ positive influence in the midst of a pluralistic reality. With a Bachelor’s of Art in Communication from the University of California at San Diego and a Master’s in Divinity from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, he serves as a Rector at Saint Martha’s Episcopal Church in Papillion, NE. Rev. Ernesto’s passion for building honest relationships with those around him has allowed him to continue to serve on the Board while fulfilling his role as a Rector. During his free time, Rev. Ernesto enjoys reflecting and thinking outside of the box, traveling near and far, and playing a nice round of disc golf.
Dulce’s passion for social justice has led her to serve as the Vice President of the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands. She embraces the opportunity to creatively problem solve and lead with others so that together they can create a positive change in the Latino community. Dulce enjoys helping others, like her father did as a minister, and wants to empower individuals to reach their goals. Dulce graduated from the Bellevue University with a Master’s of Art in Management, and she completed the the Organization Developments Graduate Certificate program at the Fielding Graduate Institute. Outside of her position on the board, Dulce is the Chief Operations Officer at Whispering Roots. During her free time, she enjoys meeting new people, helping organize community events, gardening, and baking. Dulce also enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.
A 2008 graduate from Nebraska’s only woman’s college, College of Saint Mary, with a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership; Julissa Lara was born and raised in Omaha. Julissa currently works at Mutual of Omaha as a Supervisor in the Life Underwriting Department. Her parents originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, she grew up bilingual and uses those skills while volunteering in the South Omaha Latino community. She currently serves as a board member of the Latino Center of the Midlands and is recognized as one of the founders of the Mutual of Omaha resource group, Latino Employee Connections (LEC). She previously served as a board member and a consultant for the board of directors of the Heartland Latino Leadership Conference. She was recognized in 2013 as a Midlands Business Journal, 40 under 40 for her work with the Heartland Latino Leadership organization. Julissa is married to Marco Antonio Lara and they have two young boys, Diego and Samuel and in free time to love travel especially cruising.
Jack’s respect for and belief in the team and mission led him to join the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands in November of 2018. He is passionate about seeing people and organizations reach their potential. Jack graduated from Creighton University with a Master’s in Business Administration and from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. Outside of his position on the board, Jack is the CFO of the Aksarben Foundation. Prior to being the CFO of the Aksarben Foundation, Jack was the CFO of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. His experience has allowed him to take a leadership role on the Board as the treasurer. During his free time, he enjoys enriching his time with music, reading, and art.
Carlos’s passion for helping others led him to join the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands three years ago, so that he could help Latino’s accomplish the American dream. During his time on the Board, Carlos has enjoyed the opportunity to advocate for Latinos in our community. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a Bachelors of Architectural Studies. Outside of his position on the board, Carlos is an architect at Holland Basham Architects. During his free time, he enjoys painting and soccer.
Heather’s passion for helping others led her to join the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands nearly two years ago. After a long career in Human Resources and Psychology, she wanted to give back to the community and chose our organization because of our mission. During her time on the Board, Heather has enjoyed the opportunity to use her HR skills to help others. She graduated from Krannert Graduate School with a Master’s of Science in Industrial Relations and the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Master’s of Science in Psychology, after receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Anthropology at Iowa State University. After a long career, Heather retired from her position as the Director of Human Resources at Child Saving Institute and now volunteers throughout her community. During her free time, she enjoys gardening, volunteering, and supporting her family.
Oscar joined the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands two years ago, after realizing he could help provide tools for the Latino community that would help them succeed. During his time on the Board, Oscar has enjoyed seeing how Omaha’s fantastic generosity in charitable giving translates into better lives for local families. He graduated from Washington University with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain with a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance. Outside of his position on the board, Oscar is the Vice President of Healthcare Banking at First National Bank of Omaha. During his free time, he enjoys spending quality time with family, traveling the world, and watching international soccer.
Sara joined the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands two years ago, after attending our annual fundraiser, Destino Dinner. At that point, she realized our organization was continuously striving to enhance the lives of Latinos in our community, and was drawn by the passion our staff and Board members displayed towards our work. During her time on the Board, Sara has enjoyed having the opportunity to collaborate with her fellow Board members, all of whom demonstrate a desire to support and celebrate our Latino community. She graduated in 2014 with her Juris Doctor with Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law, after graduating from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with Highest Distinction and University Honors. Outside of her position on the board, Sara is an attorney at Baird Holm LL who practices in the areas of fair housing law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and employment law. During her free time, she enjoys attending concerts, singing karaoke, collecting vinyl, and spoiling her dog, Macey.
Lina’s passion for education led her to serve on the Board at the Latino Center of the Midlands. She embraces the opportunity to be involved in education and considers herself a lifelong learner. Lina graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a Ph. D. in Sociology, after receiving her Master’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Outside of her position on the board, Lina is the Director of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During her free time, she enjoys going on runs and cooking delicious meals.
Erin’s drive to serve, educate, and create community engagement led her to seek out an organization that embraces all of these aspects. She found this in the Latino Center of the Midlands, and began serving on the Board. Erin embraces the opportunity to become more involved in her community and is excited to be able to help the organization grow. She earned her Master of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Outside of her position on the Board, Erin is a Brand Communications Manager at DLR Group, a global integrated design firm. During her free time, she enjoys staying active, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband, family, and two rescue pups Ziggy and Zelda.