Board of Directors

Humberto Olivares, MBA
Investment Management Specialist, Wells Fargo Private Bank
President

Anne Knauff
Retired Design Manager
Vice-President

William Nelson
Retired Manager, Volunteers of America
Treasurer

Brian Grande
Reporting Analyst, OPTUM
Secretary

Bernice Arias
Manager, Central Licensing Unit, Securian Financial Group

Board Advisors

Rosalinda (“Rosi”) Armendariz
Cultural Liaison/Office Manager, Lincoln International High School

Pamela Barragán
Commander, St. Paul Police Department

Linda Freemon
Sr. Buyer, Minnetronix, Inc.

María Ramírez Johnson
Retired Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

 

Executive Director

Eloisa Echávez

Eloisa has been the Executive Director of La Oportunidad since 1998 and also produces and hosts its television program En Familia. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and education. Eloisa holds a Master’s degree in Education & Leadership as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, Business Administration and Communications, both degrees from Augsburg University, and a certification in Nonprofit Management from the University of St. Thomas’ Graduate School of Business. Prior to La Oportunidad, she founded and directed the Latino Student Services Program and also served as the Multicultural Coordinator for Augsburg University for six years. Originally from Colombia, Eloisa is bilingual (English/Spanish) and cultural competent.

Eloisa has been an active member of the community for over 25 years including her multiple-year service on the City of Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Executive Committee (2008 – 2016), the United Way Speakers Bureau (2000 – 2018), and the Augsburg University Scholastics Connections Mentorship Program.  She has also served on the City of St. Paul Youth Fund Board, the Minnesota Department of Education Multicultural Advisory Board, and the National Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference Planning Committee. She has been actively involved in the nonprofit sector including her role of Co-Chair of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits-Minnesota Council on Foundations 2012 Joint Conference. Eloisa has been recognized for her community involvement and leadership over the years, including by various Governors and by the Minnesota Medical Association for her contributions to violence prevention in the state. In addition, she has been a featured guest of the TV show Comcast Newsmakers as well as been profiled in the Minnesota Historical Society’s Latino Leaders Oral History Project published in 2011. In 2017, she was honored with the NFL-Vikings’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions to the Minnesota Latino community.

Staff

Adrian Diaz Jr – Youth Leadership Conference Coordinator

Adrian graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Community Development and Sociology with an emphasis on social justice. He is a recent graduate with experience working with students of color. He is Mexican-American, bilingual (English/Spanish) and cultural competent. He co-founded and co-directed a Multicultural Center that provides adequate resources to ensure the academic and social success of students of color at Northland College. Adrian joined La Oportunidad in the summer of 2016, he is currently the coordinator of our Youth Leadership Conference.

Carla Miller – Finance Coordinator

Carla studied at Cambridge Community College.  She has worked at La Oportunidad as the Finance Coordinator since 2000.

Teo Nuñez – LEAP Program Coordinator & Parents Program Coordinator

Teo Nunez possesses an Associate Degree in Public Administration from the University of Puerto Rio, Carolina Campus and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rio, Rio Piedras campus in Social Work. Teo worked for the Administration of Juvenile Institutions of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation of Puerto Rico from 1991 to 1997 as a social worker for juveniles in institutions. Teo has worked for more than 26 years in the field of social work. Teo is currently the coordinator of Latinos Ending Abuse Program (LEAP) and of the Parenting Program at La Oportunidad, Inc. Teo is bilingual (English/Spanish) and cultural competent, he has been working at La Oportunidad, Inc. since 1998.

Caroline Stevens – Young Professionals Program Coordinator

Caroline holds a bachelor’s degree in English & Spanish with a certificate in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She spent one of her college academic years in Madrid, Spain; and after graduating from college she spent one year in Montevideo, Uruguay where she taught English to adults. Caroline work’s experience includes working as a YMCA youth summer camp counselor for six years and as a tutor at East High School, both of them in Wisconsin. She joined our organization in March of 2019, she is from Minneapolis and is bilingual (English/Spanish) and cultural competent.

Elizabet Vargas – Office Manager & El Camino Program Coordinator

Born in Peru, Elizabet is bilingual (English/Spanish) and cultural competent.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Communications from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/Lima, Peru.  Elizabet joined La Oportunidad in early 2015 and as a recent immigrant with indigenous roots, she brings a unique perspective to our organization and students she works with.

Samantha Weiss – Latino Youth Program Coordinator

She coordinates the Latino Youth Development & Leadership Program. Samantha holds a B.A. degree in History and Spanish Studies from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and also attended the Centro de Estudios Internacionales de la Fundación José Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain.  Samantha was a Youth Worker at Community Partners with Youth for over 2 years, a Lead Spanish Teacher with Concordia Language Villages, a youth mentor at the Minnesota Historical Society and also volunteered at La Oportunidad among other organizations. Samantha joined la Oportunidad in 2018. Originally from Minnesota, she is bilingual (English/Spanish) & cultural competent.