Founder: Alberto B. Mendoza

Alberto B Mendoza is a managing director for the John S. Knight Journalism (JSK) Fellowships at Stanford University. JSK recruits and empowers diverse journalists from around the world who are creating solutions to journalism’s most urgent problems. Alberto’s focus is on helping journalism leaders succeed as effective change agents, improving the access to information people need to create and sustain democratic communities. He provides non-profit leadership expertise and fundraising strategies.

Prior to joining JSK he was the Executive Director of NAHJ (NAtional Association of Hispanic Journalists). With nearly 28 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, 20 of those as the Executive Director. Alberto led NAHJ’s renaissance with successful fundraising, increasing membership by nearly 200%, developed new relationships and launched innovative news products. He also founded NAHJ’s palabra, a multimedia platform that hires freelance journalists to tell stories that reclaim the Latino community’s narrative. He has raised over 36 million dollars from foundations, sponsors, major donors, conferences and special events. He has also served on various boards, and has been the board president of a multi-million dollar nonprofit. 

In 2013 he founded and launched an online-nonprofit organization called Honor 41. Honor 41, is an oral history project that celebrates Latinx LGBTQ+ role models. To date, he has conducted, edited and published 275 video interviews that have generated over 780,000 views worldwide. Honor 41 is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.  

Alberto has also served as coach and advisor for a year-long program for BIPOC led newsrooms, focusing on short and long term fundraising. He’s an alumni of the Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) and an advisory member of the Pivot Fund and the Trans Latina Coalition. He also mentors new executive directors and non profit leaders looking to expand their fundraising strategies, DEI efforts, creating LGBTQ+ content and public relations strategies. He’s also an experienced moderator, interviewer and media relations manager.

Candice Cobarrubias

Candice is a Santa Monica Police Sergeant and is an active member of the LGBTQ community in the LA/Long Beach Area. She has been in law-enforcement for over 18 years and worked for the CA State Legislature for 5 years prior beginning her career with the LAPD. Candice earned a Master’s Degree from USC and a BA from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is an East LA native and was an honoree (#4) on the 2013 41 List.

Mariana and Maria Almaraz Perez

Mariana and Maria are long time LGBTQ advocates in San Diego, CA. They are active in SD’s PFLAG and participated in the documentary “Mi Familia”. They are 2013 41 honorees (#14) and work for a local union. After 14 years together they got married on Sept 2013.

Cesar Portillo

César is Vice President of Clinic Advancement for the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. For over two decades, César has served in senior staff positions for leading non-profits in their respective fields. As Chief of Public Affairs at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation he launched its Latin America bureau, with outpatient clinics in Mexico and Honduras. As Vice President for Strategic Development for BIENESTAR he spearheaded growth initiatives including revenue development and strategic partnerships. He is an alumnus of Princeton and Santa Clara Universities, is a life long resident of Los Angeles County and was honoree (#11) on the 2013 41 List.

Maria Roman

Maria is an activist, Trans Beauty Pageant title-holder, model, actress, and HIV prevention case manager. She appeared in the feature documentary Trantasia, Showtime’s reality hit-show Wild Things and has held multiple beauty titles such as Queen of The Universe and CA Panache Show Queen Goddess. She also serves on the Los Angeles HIV Commission and the West Hollywood, CA Transgender Advisory Board. A native of Puerto Rico, Maria was 2013 41 List honoree (#2).

Daniel Vasquez

Daniel is the Operations Manager/Human Resources at Beyond Emancipation in Oakland, CA. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from San Jose State University. After an eleven-year career in banking, Daniel transitioned into the social change sector by working with former foster and probation youth in Alameda County. Daniel regularly volunteers for non-profit organizations such as Puente, SF’S LGBT Center and Running for a Better Oakland. He currently resides in Oakland, CA and was honoree (#35) on the 2013 41 List.