Board of Directors
Darlene Castillo President
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 President of MANA de Albuquerque.
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.
Sophia Fletcher Madrinas Coordinator
Sophia Fletcher is a Systems Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories and a University of New Mexico alumna. While completing her undergraduate degree, Sophia volunteered as a mentor for the UNM STEM Mentoring Program and ambassador for Engineering Student Services (ESS). Sophia has served as a mentor with MANA de Albuquerque since 2020, volunteers with United Way of Central New Mexico: Women United donor group, and is involved in the UNM Young Alumni Chapter. In her free time, Sophia enjoys rock climbing, trying new restaurants, and playing video games.
Monica Nuñez Hermanitas Director
Hermanitas Director since 2019 - Her primary role is to facilitate MANA’s mission of empowering Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. Monica provides teacher evaluation support to New Mexico's educators as a Liaison for the State of New Mexico Public Education Department. Formerly Albuquerque Public Schools Accountability Support Coordinator, Ms. Nuñez champions a fundamental belief that it takes a family to educate a child. By opening doors and including all family members to join the workshops, conversations, and relationships that emerge, she creates an atmosphere of inclusiveness and connectedness. Ms. Nuñez inspires a culture of education in which academic persistence will characterize every Latina’s experience. Ms. Nuñez’s emphasis on building relationships and support systems for New Mexico’s youth led her to earn her certification in restorative practices in education, and through the MANA de Albuquerque chapter, her role as the Hermanitas Director focuses on mentoring and supporting young Latina students.
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.