Board of Directors
Lorena Blanco-Silva President
Lorena Blanco-Silva is Program Manager for the Division for Equity and Inclusion at the University of New Mexico. Ms. Blanco-Silva has spent over 14 years working in higher education, particularly with issues regarding the recruitment, retention and attainment levels for Latino students. She’s also Communications Manager for the Unidos Project.
A first-generation college student, Blanco-Silva received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Communications from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Public Management Concentration from the University of New Mexico.
A former journalist, Blanco-Silva has served as the Director of Public Relations at Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum and most recently served as the Executive Director of Development and Marketing for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in San Antonio, Texas. During her time with HACU, she co-founded the nationally acclaimed Lánzate – Dandole Alas a Tu Exito/Giving Flight to Your Success travel award program in order to bridge the distances for students traveling away from home to pursue a higher education. She also led Development staff in raising over $2 million dollars annually. She continues to serve on the scholarship review and selection committee for the Lánzate Program and the HACU scholarship program. Both the Lánzate Program and the Unidos Project have been recognized as Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence.
Lorena serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Hispanic and Latino Charities of the US and the Americas, and has previously served as a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Hispanic Advisory Council. Additionally, she participates in the Association of Fund Raising Professional (AFP), NCLR, Las Comadres de la Americas, the Hispanic Heritage Committee and was recently elected VP of Operations for MANA de Albuquerque, a national Latina Organization. She has also been profiled in the Women’s Issue of Latino Leaders Magazine as a Latina Leader dedicated to community service.
Leticia Trujillo Vice President of Operations
Leticia G. Trujillo works in Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) Technology Department – Enterprise Learning Systems (ELS) providing technology integration at both the school and district level. She specializes in providing technology integration to Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) schools. Leticia has served her community by participating as a volunteer and/or serving on boards with organizations such as the Hispano Round Table, ENLACE, Young Women United, Hispanic Heritage Committee, Running 505, Cuidando Los Niños, Barrett House, Candlelighters, Habitat for Humanity, and has been an active member of MANA de Albuquerque since 2010.
Annaliza Gourneau Vice President of Fund Development
Annaliza Gourneau, Vice President of Strategy & Community Engagement: is recognized for agency strategic perspectives and innovations in program delivery of services and continuous quality improvement. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS ED and holds an M.Ed. from the University of North Dakota. Her expertise is in providing multi-faceted approaches to success for improvement of economic opportunities. She has over 26 years of non-profit and public relations experience in management, grant writing and grant seeking for education, economic development and infrastructure, development and implementation of strategies and methodologies that reap successful outcomes.
Idalia Lechuga-Tena Vice President of Community Relations
Honorable Idalia Lechuga-Tena serves as the VP of Community Relations and Govt Affairs for MANA de Albuquerque and is an International Ambassador for the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace representing the USA, a former State Representative from the International District in Albuquerque where she was the youngest female legislator and the first naturalized female from México to serve in state congress. Idalia is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and English. She is an international business owner, community activist, artist, violinist, 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, and philanthropist. She received her degrees in Economics, Political Science, and International Politics with studies in Mexico, Spain, France and published academic research on immigration.
Myranda Romero Secretary
Myranda Romero knows that successful youth become successful adults. Romero has just finished her second year of teaching at Mission Avenue Elementary school. She has taught third grade so far and loves it. Romero lives and teaches in the community that she grew up in, the North Valley in Albuquerque. As Viking alumni, Romero became an Hermanita during her sophomore year in high school. She discovered how being active in her community can make a difference. Myranda was a member of MANA de Albuquerque for two years, and came back this past fall as a madrina and mentor to a fellow hermanita. She currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is beginning her Master’s this fall in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Bilingual Education. Romero continues to teach in her community where she can connect and make a difference in teaching children.
Diana Rael Treasurer
Diana Rael is a strategic leader with over 30 years in Insurance Claims, Multicultural Business Development and Organizational Change. She led numerous high-level change initiatives and developed and implemented growth strategies in Multicultural markets in the Northeast markets in the United States for State Farm Insurance. After retiring from State Farm, she worked as Vice-President Membership/Sales with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce. where she was responsible for the chamber’s membership, sales and their annual gala, the largest fund raiser in New Mexico. Diana is a fitness consultant focusing on senior fitness. She teaches EnhanceFitness, an evidence based, fitness program for seniors and senior swim fitness in Albuquerque, NM in senior centers and senior living facilities throughout the city.
Diana is involved in Latina leadership and youth mentorship. She is currently the Treasurer for MANA de Albuquerque, former President of MANA de Albuquerque, former board chairwoman of MANA-A National Latina Organization in Washington, D.C., founder and first president of MANA de Sonoma, President and former Treasurer of MANA de Albuquerque. She was influential in the formation of MANA chapters in Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois.
A former Vice-President of 100 Hispanic Women in New York City, Diana is also a former board member of the New York Chapter of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) responsible for leading their Women of ALPFA program. Diana is also a lifetime member of MANA – A National Latina Organization and Prospanica (formerly NSHMBA) and served as a board advisor to the New Jersey chapter. She also serves on the board of the Los Ranchos Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Diana was recognized at the 2008 Mujeres Destacadas awards by Impre Media Publications in New York City for her leadership in the Latino community.
Diana holds her bachelor’s degree, MBA, the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation, the National Exercise Trainers Association Certification and Red Cross Certification.
Darlene Castillo Madrinas Coordinator
Darlene Castillo is currently a Research Scientist at the University of New Mexico Cradle to Career Policy Institute (CCPI). She is currently part of a research team focusing on early childhood care access for families in the state. Outside of work Darlene is involved with Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. as the Regional Recruitment and Retention Supervisor for the Southwest region. She is also a mentor through MANA de Albuquerque Hermanita mentorship program and the current Secretary of MANA de Albuquerque.
Monica Nuñez Hermanitas Director
Monica Nuñez serves as the Director for MANA de Albuquerque’s Hermanitas program. Her primary role is to facilitate MANA’s mission of empowering Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy.
Marleen Linares-González Communications Director
Marleen is a writer and communication professional born in Puerto Rico, raised in Texas, and currently residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has experience in a slew of industries and is particularly invested in educational equity, public policy, and the arts. She currently works at the University of New Mexico's Latin American & Iberian Institute as Communication and Outreach Coordinator, facilitating community outreach programming and comprehensive marketing initiatives. She's also a Master of Public Policy Candidate at UNM.
Laura Flores Member at Large
Laura Flores has been an educator for over 10 years, working with infants to 18 year old children. She has taught in charter and public schools in Denver, Taos and in Albuquerque. She is also the Program Coordinator for Latino Outdoors a national organization whose mission is to inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.
A first-generation college student, Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in Educational Leadership from at the University of New Mexico and Master’s in Special Education from New Mexico Highlands University.
Living in Albuquerque the majority of her life she knows the importance of strong mentorship and experiences and how it can shape the trajectory of an individual’s life. Laura enjoys giving back to her community in various forms and is honored to be sitting on the board of MANA de Albuquerque.