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Our
Staff

The Latino Center of the Midlands prides itself on having a strong, dedicated staff full of individuals committed to the development and growth of the Latino community.

Albert Varas | Chief Executive Officer

Albert Varas served as Executive Director of the Latino Center from 2017 – 2020 and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2021. During his time at the Center, he has cultivated new strategic relationships with community organizations, funders, and other partners. During his free time, Albert can be found tending to his garden, exploring local hiking trails, and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Silvia Velez | Chief Operating Officer

Silvia Velez has been part of the Latino Center of the Midlands team since January 2010 and currently serves as Operations Director. In her position, Silvia oversees the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the organization. Silvia loves spending her free time reading a good book, traveling to new places, listening to music, and working out.

Tyler Wilcox | Chief Financial Officer

Tyler Wilcox has been the Chief Financial Officer for the Latino Center of the Midlands since December of 2018. Building on his experience at Velu, Tyler works diligently to identify growth opportunities while simultaneously gaining funding for all the programs we offer. Tyler considers himself an outdoors person and spends most of his free time camping, fishing, and golfing.

Viridiana Almanza | Director of Programming

Viridiana Almanza joined the Latino Center in 2019 as our Family and Community Well-Being Program Director. Viridiana oversees designs and implements Health and Well-Being, and Social Integration programs for our families. Viridiana enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and mentoring young women in her community during her free time.

Carmen Chagolla | Pathways to Success Senior Program Manager

Carmen Chagolla joined the Latino Center in 2014 as a Student Advocate and now serves as the Senior Program Manager for the Pathways to Success program. In her role, Carmen oversees the Attendance, Parental Engagement, and Círculos programming. Carmen’s free time is spent dancing, listening to music, watching movies, participating in community involvement activities, and spending time with her friends and family.

Bob Van Haute | Siembra Program Manager

Bob Van Haute joined the the Latino Center as the Siembra Salud Program Manager in September 2023. Bob leads a team of coordinators, specialists, and student interns to plan and deliver health and gardening education to low-income households enrolled in the Siembra Salud program. Bob enjoys gardening, cooking, woodworking, and spending time at the family cabin.

Dien Tran | Human Resources Manager

Dien Tran joined the Latino Center as the Human Resources Manager in April 2022. In his role, Dien is an Ambassador to the Latino Center staff and community, working to provide an inclusive and engaged culture. Outside of work, Dien enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family.     

Jim Cunningham | Facilities Manager

Jim has been supporting our community through several different programs with the Latino Center of the Midlands since July 2017. His passion for teaching has allowed him to teach ESL classes, lead our Siembra Construccion internship, and now serve as Office Manager. Jim loves to golf, cheer on Creighton basketball, and go shopping with his wife.

Nicole Williams | Adult Education Program Manager

Nicole Williams joined the Latino Center in 2023 as the Adult Education Program Manager.  In her role, Nicole oversees the Adult Education programming and supports our talented instructors. In her free time, Nicole loves to spend time with her daughter, extended family, and friends. Nicole enjoys listening to music, traveling, and sings in her church choir.

Lorena Zamarripa | Siembra Nebraska Manager

Lorena Zamarripa joined the Latino Center in January 2024 as the Siembra Nebraska Program Manager. In her role, Lorena focuses on engaging, recruiting, and guiding interns through enriching educational and career-focused initiatives through the Latino Center’s signature internship program, Siembra Nebraska. In her free time, Lorena enjoys baking, dancing, traveling, volunteering, and hanging out with family and friends.

Abigail Ceremuga | ESL Instructor

Abigail Ceremuga joined the Latino Center as an ESL 2 instructor in January of 2020. Abigail is an ELL teacher at Omaha South High School and has had the pleasure to teach some of her daytime student’s parents in the evenings. In her free time, Abigail enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time outdoors.

Andy Travis | ELL Instructor

Andy Travis is a native Nebraskan who lived in Chicago, New York City, and Barcelona before joining the Latino Center of the Midlands in 2022. He has taught ESL for ten years and is happy to share his experiences with his students at the Center. Outside of teaching art and languages, Andy enjoys painting, dancing, going to the gym, riding his bike, and being with his friends.

Carlos Muñoz | Computer Literacy Instructor

Carlos Muñoz started at the Latino Center of the Midlands in October of 2020 to assist with the distribution of CARES Act funds to the community. Afterward, he joined the team permanently as a Computer and Literacy Instructor, helping adult learners familiarize themselves with both computer hardware and software. Outside of his work at the Latino Center, Carlos works with different companies in sales, marketing, and radio broadcasting.

Colton Schlines | Social Integration Coordinator

Colton Schlines joined the Latino Center in May 2022 as the Social Integration Coordinator. Colton leads the Family and Community Well-Being department’s community support by helping clients apply for resources and also by referring them to outside assistance programs. In his spare time he likes hanging out with friends and going out dancing.

Cindy Prado | Family Services Coordinator

Cindy Prado joined the Latino Center in January 2024 as the Family Services Coordinator. In her role, Cindy focuses on connecting families with various community services and coordinating the Healthy Kids Club. In her free time, Cindy enjoys going to the movies and being out in nature.

Cinthia Sánchez Orozco | Family Strengthening Coach

Cinthia Sánchez Orozco joined the Latino Center in July 2022 as the Family Strengthening Coach. In her role, she works with parents to improve parental engagement and help their children succeed. In her free time, Cinthia enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is fond of trying out new recipes as well as traveling and learning about different cultures.

Dafne Alvarado- De La Cruz | Communications Specialist

Dafne Alvarado- De La Cruz joined the Latino Center as a Siembra Medios intern in July 2022, and later became a Communications intern in October 2022. In July 2023 Dafne became the Communications Specialist. As Communications Specialist, Dafne assists the Communications team with design, marketing, social media and video and photo work. In her free time, Dafne enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog and watching horror movies.

Dania Arciniega | Student Advocate at Norris Middle School

Dania Arciniega joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in January 2023 as a student advocate at Norris Middle School. In her role Dania enjoys helping students see their strengths at school and in their personal life. During here free time, Dania enjoys going to the movies, going to the park, and eating frozen yogurt with her kids.

Daniel Montes | Siembra Salud Specialist

Daniel Montes joined the Latino Center as a Siembra Salud Intern in April 2023 and later became a Siembra Salud Specialist in April 2024. In his role, Daniel delivers health education including gardening, nutrition, and available social services through bi-monthly home visits. During these visits, families acquire essential gardening skills and knowledge in nutrition and health practices. In his free time Daniel enjoys, cooking, spending time outside, and listening to music.

Elmer Gonzalez | Student Advocate at Omaha Bryan High School

Elmer Gonzalez joined the Latino Center in September 2022 as a High School Student Advocate at Bryan High. As a Student Advocate, Elmer helps his students reach their full potential personally and academically. In his free time, he enjoys taking his motorcycle out for a ride, working out, and spending time with his friends and family.

Elizabeth Neri | Data and Development Coordinator

Elizabeth Neri joined the Latino Center as Data and Development Coordinator in April 2024. In her role, Elizabeth enhances donor engagement by assisting with the solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of current and prospective donors. She also contributes to data reporting and the development of best practices for data management. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys going on hikes and spending quality time with her dogs.

Felipe Rincón Hernández | Círculos Facilitator for Nemilistli

Felipe joined the Latino Center in April 2022 as a Family Strengthening Coach. In his role, he facilitates our Nemilistli Talking Circle, which supports healthy relationships between parents and their children through cultural dialogue. In his free time, Felipe likes to read, work on his PC, and learn more about computer hardware and software.

Gustavo Servin-Maciel | Siembra Salud Coordinator

Gustavo Servin-Maciel joined the Latino Center as the Siembra Salud Coordinator in July 2022. In his role, Gustavo helps inform families on basic gardening skills, nutrition, and resource referrals while also guiding interns through an exploratory program centered on gaining experience in the health field. In his free time, Gustavo enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, listening to music, and trying new foods.

James DeMott | ESL Instructor

James DeMott joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in April 2021 as an ESL teacher. James has had experience teaching students in many different multicultural environments. James likes to run, read, write, and ice skate in his free time, especially with his family and friends.

Jennifer Travieso | Student Advocate at Ralston High School

Jennifer Travieso joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in August 2023 as a Student Advocate at Ralston High School. As a Student Advocate, Jennifer helps students identify their educational obstacles and guides them towards their academic success. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with family, traveling, and watching the L.A Dodgers play.

Joanna Preciado Alvarez | Health and Well-Being Coordinator

Joanna Preciado Alvarez joined the Latino Center in January of 2022 as a Health and Well-Being practicum student. Joanna works with the Healthy Kids Club by implementing the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! Curriculum and helps coordinate health and well-being events for the community. In her free time, Joanna enjoys spending quality time with her family, taking her dog on walks, and reading books.

Jose Avalos | Ollin Facilitator

Jose Avalos joined the Latino Center in June 2022 as Ollin Facilitator in the Pathways To Success program. In his role, he facilitates and guides young men through their “rites of passages” by leading sessions surrounding topics such as the power of your words, identity, and culture. He facilitates groups at four different high schools in the Omaha Metro area. In his free time he loves to listen to music, take a drive, and spend time with family and loved ones.

Kathy-Alejandra Lopez | Student Advocate at Bellevue East High School

Kathy Alejandra Lopez joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in July 2023 as a student advocate for Bellevue East High School. As a student advocate, Kathy is dedicated to supporting her students academically, emotionally and socially.  In her free time, she enjoys thrifting, drinking iced coffees and spending time with her family and cat.

Lizbeth Palmerin Anguiano | Siembra Nebraska Coordinator

Lizbeth Palmerin Anguiano joined the Latino Center in February 2024 as the Siembra Nebraska Program Coordinator. In her role, Lizbeth focuses on guiding interns through enriching educational and career-focused initiatives through the Latino Center’s signature internship program, Siembra Nebraska. In her free time, Lizbeth enjoys going to soul cycling classes and watching movies.

Mahatma Largaespada | Círculos Program Supervisor

Mahatma joined the Latino Center in October 2014 as a Student Advocate, and now serves as Supervisor of our three Círculos programs. As a supervisor for our Círculos program, Mahatma develops cultural leadership programming and events for Pathways to Success students. Mahatma enjoys spending time playing with his dog, Loki, and expressing himself creatively through painting and drawing.

Maria Ojeda Rosas | Executive Assistant

Maria Ojeda Rosas joined the Latino Center in February 2022 as a Family and Community Well-Being practicum student. Maria helps with social integration by providing support to community members through making referrals, filling out applications, and translating/interpreting documents. In her spare time, Maria enjoys trying out new recipes and spending time with her family.

Maria Ramsey | Literacy Instructor

Maria has been volunteering at Latino Center for many years but became the literacy instructor in September 2017. She is passionate about helping others and loves seeing her students read for the first time. During her free time, Maria enjoys dancing, cooking, oil painting, and playing tennis.

Mayra Jacinto | Xochikalli Facilitator

Mayra joined the Latino Center in June 2022 as the facilitator for our Talking Círculo for young women, Xochikalli. Mayra supports young women in the program and guides them through their rites of passage process, focusing on building a positive value system. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, dancing, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends.

Melissa Lara | Student Advocate at Marrs Middle School

Melissa Lara joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in July 2023 as a Student Advocate at Marrs Middle School. As a Student Advocate, Melissa provides support and a safe space for her students, helping them work towards their academic and personal goals. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, watching shows or movies, and reading.

Miriam Bolanos-Rubio | Pathways to Success Program Assistant

Miriam Bolanos-Rubio joined the Latino Center in November of 2022. As the Program Assistant for P2S, Miriam offers administrative assistance that include maintaining records, conducting data entry, and supporting the P2S team in various capacities. In her spare time, Miriam enjoys engaging in strength training, outdoor pursuits, and exploring foreign cuisines.

Noemi Bravo | Agriculture Project Coordinator

Noemi Bravo joined the Latino Center as Special Projects Coordinator in July 2022. In her role, Noemi coordinates and innovates the Center’s rural and urban agricultural programming as well as any collaborative agriculture-related projects. She enjoys being outdoors with her family when the weather is right or creative painting in her free time.

Nydia Lugo Diaz | Adult Education Coordinator/ Instructor

Nydia Lugo Diaz joined the Latino Center in January 2024 as the Adult Education Coordinator and part-time Instructor. In her role, Nydia assists both the Adult Education Program Manager and the instructors with keeping track of students and their progress in the classes offered by the Latino Center.

Ricardo Solis | Siembra Salud Specialist

Ricardo Solis joined the Latino Center as a Siembra Salud Intern in April 2022 and later became a Siembra Salud Specialist in April 2024. In his role, Ricardo delivers health education including gardening, nutrition, and available social services through bi-monthly home visits. During these visits, families acquire essential gardening skills and knowledge in nutrition and health practices. In his free time Ricardo enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends and reading.

Rosana Perri | Front Desk/ Administrative Assistant

Rosana has been a constant figure at the Latino Center of the Midlands since August of 2007 and currently serves as Front Desk/ Administrative Assistant. Her constant dedication to her community and joyful spirit has enabled her to help a multitude of individuals throughout the Omaha Metro. During her free time, Rosana enjoys picking up a good book to read and taking time to meditate.

Ruth Morales | ESL Instructor

Ruth has been helping the LCM community since 2017 as an instructor in our Adult Education program. She believes people who come to our organization want to become a better version of themselves, and with her passion, she hopes to bring self-empowerment to individuals. When she has free time, she enjoys reading books and going on bike rides around the town.

San Juana Paramo | Communications Coordinator

San Juana Paramo joined the Latino Center as the Communications Coordinator in June 2022. In her role, San Juana is responsible for developing marketing materials, coordinating social media activity, and ensures brand synergy. In her free time, San Juana enjoys reading, binge watching shows, and spending time with friends and family.

Sebastian Chacon | Siembra Nebraska Coordinator

Sebastian Chacon joined the Latino Center in April 2024 as the Siembra Nebraska Program Coordinator. In his role, Sebastian focuses on guiding interns through enriching educational and career-focused initiatives through the Latino Center’s signature internship program, Siembra Nebraska. Outside of work, Sebastian enjoys playing gigs around Omaha.

Shane Pekny | Grants Manager & Development Consultant

Shane Pekny started with VGA in 2020 and has managed grants with the Latino Center since that time. In January 2024 he became Co-CEO & Director of Business Development at VGA. In addition to working with the Latino Center, Shane also serves the YMCA of Greater Omaha and the Nebraska Journalism Trust. Prior to this work, he has 20 years of experience in grants management and fundraising, including service with Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries, the University of Nebraska, and Boys Town. He’s also taught English and led volunteers.

Xochitl Rincón Hernández | Student Advocate at Buena Vista High School

Xochitl Rincón Hernández joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in March 2022 as Student Advocate at Omaha South High School. In her role, she helps students recognize their potential and motivates them to continue pursuing their dreams. In her free time, Xochitl enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Yulisa Escobedo | Student Advocate at Bellevue West High School

Yulisa Escobedo first joined the Latino Center as a practicum student in May of 2022 and later became a Student Advocate at Bellevue West High School in January of 2023. What she enjoys most of her role is being able to motivate students and help them recognize their strengths. In her free time, Yulisa enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family.

Kiel Pratt | Executive Assistant to CEO & President

Kiel Pratt joined the Latino Center in January 2024 as the Executive Assistant to Albert Varas. In this role, Kiel provides comprehensive administrative support to ensure the smooth operation of the office and assists in various projects and initiatives. In his free time, Kiel enjoys hanging out with his great dane Atlas Fredrick, exploring the outdoors, and spending quality time with his furry companion.

Kiel Pratt se unió al Centro Latino en enero de 2024 como Asistente Ejecutivo de Albert Varas. En su rol, Kiel proporciona apoyo administrativo integral para garantizar el buen funcionamiento de la oficina y ayuda en diversos proyectos e iniciativas. En su tiempo libre, Kiel disfruta salir con su gran danés Atlas Fredrick, explorar el aire libre y pasar tiempo de calidad con su compañero peludo.

Header image courtesy of IRIS22 Productions

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