Board of Directors
Teresa Lozano-Long, Board Chair & Co-Founder
Dr. Teresa Lozano-Long is one of Austin’s most prominent arts supporters. The Long Foundation, which she established with her husband, Joe, has donated generously to organizations that promote the arts, with an emphasis on Latino arts and culture. The Longs were the name donors to the Long Center for the Performing Arts and the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Teresa Lozano-Long has served on dozens of boards and committees around the state and across the country, including Presidential appointments to the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Council on the Arts. She has been recognized extensively for her generosity and leadership, including as a Distinguished Texas Exes Hispanic Alumni University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus, an inductee into the UT Department of Kinesiology and Health Education Hall of Honor, and, with her husband, a recipient of the Texas Medal of Arts Award, among many others.
Mónica Peraza, President & Co-Founder
Mónica Peraza was born and raised in Mexico City where she founded and managed two successful companies. In 1997, Monica moved to the New York Metropolitan Area where she founded a business dedicated to the commercialization of Mexican products in wholesale markets in the United States and Canada. She now serves as CEO of Alegreea.com which was created as an online platform that opens opportunities to Mexican manufacturers who are not able to embark in a huge export effort but that have high-quality, unique products that compete with the best standards in the world.
In 2009, she became founding President of MexNet Alliance, an organization of entrepreneurs and business executives, mostly of Mexican origin, that focused its efforts in sponsoring and managing an Entrepreneurial School in Spanish, “Emprendedor U”, for low-income Spanish-speaking individuals looking to establish or grow their business. Mónica also serves as the Co-Chair of the Authentic Mexico Gala, an annual fundraising event which celebrates the Independence of Mexico and strong relationship between Texas and Mexico.
In October of 2010 she co-founded with Teresa Lozano-Long the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts. Mónica also joined the Board of Trustees of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts in September of 2011 and now serves as a member of the Executive Committee.
Manuel Alverdi, Board Member
Manuel Alverdi is the founder and Managing Principal of Taxes Impuestos y Más LLC, a company dedicated to serve the Hispanic Community in matters of taxes, accounting and business consulting.
Mr. Alverdi’s professional career has been primarily in the Financial Services industry working in different areas such as data analysis, insurance, taxes and marketing. Born and raised in Mexico City, he studied Actuary at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Business Administration at the City University of New York and International Economics at the University of Texas at Austin.
Boone Almanza, Treasurer and Vice President
Boone Almanza is an Austin attorney and a Founding Partner of Almanza, Blackburn Dickie & Mitchell, LLP. Boone has been a board member and supporter of several Austin nonprofits and is a past president of the West Austin Youth Association, former officer and Trustee of Trinity Episcopal School and board member of the S.F. Austin High School Continuing Education Foundation. Boone is currently a board member of the SAFE Alliance. Boone received his undergraduate degree from Houston Baptist University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Law. Boone is a life-long Austinite who enjoys time with his family and traveling.
Brendon Anthony, Board Member
Brendon Anthony is currently the director of the Texas Music Office. A classically-trained violinist, Mr. Anthony toured both the United States and Europe for over a decade, played on a gold record and was a member of the band when Pat Green received three Grammy Award nominations. In addition to being a successful touring musician, Anthony has also performed on dozens of studio recordings and produced multiple records, including Drew Womack’s “Sunshine to Rain.”
In 2010, Anthony helped start OneLive Media, which began as a primary ticketing company for Texas music venues and festivals before expanding into the e-commerce industry and becoming one of the premier online entertainment sales and marketing companies in the country. Born in Dallas, raised in College Station and has now called Austin home for 16 years, Mr. Anthony began playing live music with a variety of Texas acts while attending Texas A&M University, which he graduated from in 1999.
Kyle Ballarta, Chair of Sustainability & Impact
Kyle Ballarta is the CEO and Founder of Falkon Ventures, an early and growth stage venture capital firm based in Austin, Texas. He previously was part of the original team of consumer-electronics industry leader, LifeProof. Prior to his business career, Kyle had a very colorful and eventful music career as a trumpet player and graduated from some of the most prestigious and recognized performing arts institutes such as The Interlochen Arts Academy, The California Institute of the Arts, and Chosen Vale Center for Advanced Music Studies.
Kyle holds an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, two executive certificates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Kyle currently lives in Austin, TX where he enjoys swimming at Barton Springs.
Douglas Dempster, Board Member
Douglas Dempster is dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, a public arts college made up of liberal arts and professional programs in Visual Arts, Design, Music, Dance, Theatre, and Digital Arts, ranging from the BA to the PhD. The college also includes a large arts presenting program and a campus public art program.
Dean Dempster is a philosopher by training and inclination who has dedicated his scholarly life to understanding and advocating for the cognitive and epistemic value of artistic inquiry and creation, his teaching life to enlarging the vision and ambitions of young artists and performers, and his professional life to reinventing best practice in higher education for preparing artists for a healthy, productive, and prosperous lives in the arts. Prior to his appointments at the University of Texas, Dempster was 18 years on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music as a teacher of Philosophy, Humanities, Music Theory, Musicology, and Cultural Policy Studies as well as associate director and dean. He established the Eastman School’s Arts Leadership Program, orchestral studies program, and the department of Chamber Music. He was a co-director of the Creative Campus initiative in the early 2000s and has served from its inception on the advisory board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. He currently holds the Marie and Joseph D. Jamail Senior Regents Professorship and the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in the Department of Theater and Dance.
Elias Hermida, Chair of Emprendedor U
Elías Hermida is currently the Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Alegreea.com, an online platform that opens up opportunities to Mexican manufacturers, designers and artisans who offer high-quality, unique products.
Throughout his career, Elias has worked for HSBC Financial Group, in addition to serving as legal and financial advisor for the Mexican Government at the Ministries of Interior and Finance and for the Mexican Embassy in Spain. Born and raised in Mexico City, Mr. Hermida graduated with a degree in Law from Anahuac University and later completed a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Communications from the Complutense de Madrid University in Spain.
Lonnie Limón, Chair of Communications
Lonnie Limon is an advertising executive with over 18 years of experience leading such acclaimed brands as AT&T, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, ESPN, Sprint and many others. Having worked with many of the top ad agencies in the country, Lonnie has gained invaluable experience with the likes of Leo Burnett (Chicago), Starcom Media (Dallas), Dieste & Partners (Dallas/NYC), The Bravo Group (NYC), LatinWorks (Austin), and most recently was the President of iNSPIRE! Advertising in Dallas.
A native Austinite, Lonnie was born and raised in East Austin and attended various A.I.S.D. schools (Govalle, Cunningham, Burnet, Lamar, and Johnston) before graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelors in Business Administration in 1996.
Daniel Marcos, Chair of The Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship
Daniel is the co-founder of Gazelles Growth Institute (http://growthinstitute.com), the leading online executive education company for C level executives at fast growing firms. He also co-founded Inflection (Gazelles Mexico), a management coaching company that helps managers and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster and with less "drama."
He is an international speaker and has shared the stage with thought leaders like Peter Diamandis, Guy Kawasaki and Liz Wiseman, just to name a few. Daniel holds a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from I.T.E.S.M (Monterrey Tech) and M.B.A from Babson College at Wellesley, MA. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and 2 kids.
Lucy Nazro, Secretary and Chair of Development
Lucy Nazro served as head of St. Andrews Episcopal School in Austin for 32 years. She is the 1998 recipient of the Association's Ruth Jenkins Award for outstanding service to NAES and Episcopal schools and was the first woman to receive a master's degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest; honorary doctor of humane letters, the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. Ms. Nazro received her Bachelor’s of Arts and Teaching certificate from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently retired and volunteers her time in the Austin community.
Heath Riddles, Board Member
Heath Riddles has more than 15 years of public relations and communications strategy experience in business sectors such as government, the arts, entertainment and non-profits. Prior to joining ECPR, Riddles was the director of marketing and communications at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, where he spearheaded institutional public relations efforts for tapings of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” during SXSW, as well as for visiting dignitaries such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and others. Through his policy and government relations work, Riddles gained a sure footing in the realm of political advocacy and policy communications as well. Riddles began his career as a television news producer in Austin and Oklahoma City, where he covered a wide range of stories including the Oklahoma City bombing. His strengths are in media relations, writing, grassroots marketing campaigns, crisis communications and event planning. Riddles holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma.
Erica Saenz, Chair of The Authentic Mexico Gala
Erica Saenz joined The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and currently serves as Associate Vice President for Community and External Relations (CER) in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Prior to coming to UT-Austin, Ms. Saenz held various positions at UCLA including serving in the Chancellor’s Office where she liaised with campus and community constituencies on behalf of the Assistant Chancellor and Assistant Provost.
Her current board and service commitments include Austin Involved, Community Advancement Network, FuturoFund Austin, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, I Live Here I Give Here, The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Teatro Vivo, and the Texas Exes Hispanic Alumni Network. Ms. Saenz holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree from UCLA.
Carlos Zaffirini, Board Member
Carlos Zaffirini Jr. is President and CEO of Adelanto HealthCare Ventures (AHCV), LLC, a health care finance consulting company in Austin that focuses on reimbursement consulting for healthcare providers. In addition to serving as President of AHCV, Carlos is a successful venture capitalist who has invested in 13 other healthcare related companies across the United States. Most notably, Mr. Zaffirini created and implemented the concept of the Local Provider Participation Funds in Webb, Cameron, Hidalgo, Bowie, Bell, McLennan, Brazos, Gregg and Jefferson Counties and is a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.
Mr. Zaffirini is a member of The University of Texas System’s Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, the Commercialization Advisory Board of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), and serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Symphony. He is also a member of the board at the New Milestones Foundation, the People’s Community Clinic, and Mental Health America of Texas. A Life Member of the Texas Exes, Mr. Zaffirini earned his BBA at The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and his JD from the UT School of Law.