Board of Directors

Anne Knauff
Retired Design Manager

Brian Grande
Reporting Analyst, OPTUM

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

Aldo Rubio Lopez
Sr. Buyer, Minneapolis Public Schools

William Nelson
Retired Manager, Volunteers of America

Sofia Rodriguez Schmeling
Auditor, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Board Advisors

Bernice Arias
Manager, Contact Center Operations at Allina Health Health

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 culturally 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.


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 culturally 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.

Jill Spurgeon – Finance Coordinator
Jill holds an Associate in Business degree from Cardinal Stritch University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has over 10 years of experience in Financial Management including with non-profits. Jill works closely with the Executive Director in managing the finances of the organization. She joined our organization in June of 2019.
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 culturally 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 culturally competent.

Elizabet Vargas – Office Manager & El Camino Program Coordinator
Born in Peru, Elizabet is bilingual (English/Spanish) and culturally 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.

Anna Bjorge – Latino Youth Program Coordinator
Anna coordinates the Latino Youth Development & Leadership Program. She holds a B.A. degree in Spanish and Organizational Communication from Winona State University and also spent a semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain.  After college, Anna spent five months as a volunteer teaching English to children in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  She has three years of experience as a Summer Camp Counselor and has also volunteered as a bilingual teaching assistant. Anna joined La Oportunidad in 2019.  Originally from Wisconsin, she is bilingual (English/Spanish) and culturally competent.