Rachel has worked from small and international business to the nonprofit and government sectors and specializes in program development, community outreach, and operations management. She has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs make connections to start and grow their businesses across several industries and specifically, focuses on serving traditionally underserved communities.
Rachel began working at the Boulder SBDC in 2011, and returned as the center's program manager after 5 years in the health and wellness field. She is the chairperson of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County, where she began as the board secretary in 2013.
Rachel earned her bachelor's degrees in women and gender studies and English - literature from the University of Colorado. Some of her favorite things are live music, plants, and her rescue dog.
Berenice Garcia Tellez | Vice-Chair
Berenice Garcia Tellez, a Mexican native and travel enthusiast, received her master’s degree in Environmental Engineering in Saudi Arabia. Other countries she has lived in include Turkey, Italy, and Norway, where she worked researching climate change. Berenice currently manages the Sustainable Business Program at the City of Longmont and works with the business community on implementing sustainable and equitable business practices that will lead to a more thriving economy. She has supported 95 businesses through the COVID19 crisis and included sustainability and equity aspects in economic recovery efforts, such as putting together COVID-19 relief grants specifically tailored for minority-owned organizations.
Some of Berenice’s favorite figures are Elon Musk and Batman. Though the two have very different origin stories, they both rose to make a great impact in their respective communities. While Batman may be fictional, both he and Elon Musk inspire Berenice to one-day do something that influences the world.
Cassie Woody | Secretary
Cassie Woody is an Assistant Manager for Hanes Brands Inc who works with customers and clients to help them find their best fits in clothing and other garments. Cassie believes that leadership by example is the best way to show your co-workers how to assist any customer/client in all their needs no matter what they may be looking to purchase. She strives each day to ensure that all customers are assisted with any needs they may have and ensuring that they leave her store feeling empowered to make better purchase decisions in the future. She loves to assist her co-workers by encouraging them to ask the important questions that will better help them in assisting their customers and coaching them as they may need.
Cassie has over 25 years of sales, customer service and varying stages of management and leadership experience that she utilizes to assist all her customers both internal and external. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration and emphasis in Finance that she utilizes daily to grow a stronger, more productive and confident sales team.
Susana Salamun | Board Member
Susana Salamun is the Latino Services Officer for Alpine Bank. She acts as the strategic and administrative leader of Alpine Bank's ongoing efforts to serve the Hispanic and Latino populations throughout Colorado. She also serves as board member of the Aspen Community Foundation, the Latino Chamber of Commerce of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys, the Latino Chamber of Commerce in Boulder, and the State of Colorado Minority Business Advisory Council.
Susana pursues challenging opportunities that help her grow personally and professionally. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing piano. Susana believes in leading by example and being a positive influence.
Her passion is people, caring for others and playing an active role her community.
Francis Schneeweiss | Board Member
Francis immigrated to the United States from Mexico City when she was 16 years old. It took a lot of hard work to learn academic English and eventually she graduated with two M.A. degrees from the University of Texas and from the University of Colorado. In Texas she became a school teacher of Spanish.
Francis has been in Colorado since 2005 where she continued her profession as an educator. Recently, she is an instructor at Front Range and an adjunct professor at UNC. Now that her sons have graduated from high school, Francis has started a catering and food truck business. She loves planning events, cooking and serving Mexican food and Jewish dishes that come from her heritage. Francis also loves spending time with her partner, her sons and going to visit her family in Mexico City.
She enjoys living in Colorado because she can be active surrounded by nature.
Esteban Martinez | Board Member
Esteban A. Martinez, a practicing lawyer with pre-Columbus North and South American roots, has practiced law for more than 20 years and became a board member in June, 2020.
By serving on the board, he hopes to learn and to help others achieve success in their businesses.
Claudio Jeffery | Board Member
Claudio is a multicultural leader with 29 years of experience in international companies, with many apprenticeships and stumbles. Entrepreneur; stock market apprentice and forex; sometimes teacher and often beginner.
He is passionate about sport, a cobbled cycling practitioner in this paradise called Boulder county. Committed to my community; creator of the concept “Responsible Digital Citizenship" and “Feeding Minds in NGOs.
Natalie Longhini | Board Member
Natalie began her professional career in Human Resources, primarily training and recruitment, and several years later receiving her degree from CU in Boulder, moved into the High Tech industry as a Business Development leader at start-up companies and large Tech Industry corporations. She’s been fortunate to also have lived and worked outside the USA in both Italy and Germany during her career. Her 'super-power' is networking and making connections that strengthen partnerships.
In 2017 Natalie began working with several Colorado based non-profit organizations which led her to Medicine Horse, where she is currently the Executive Director.
Outside of work Natalie is passionate about helping others (humans and animals) and international travel. She is a firm believer that visiting new places and learning from others with different backgrounds makes us better people and builds a stronger community.
Kari Palazzari | Board Member
Kari brings extensive experience in nonprofit management, organizational development, and leadership consulting to her position on the LCC Board. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2006, she earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has served on numerous boards, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and as Board Treasurer of Studio Arts Boulder prior to being hired as Executive Director. Earlier in her career, Kari launched both nonprofit and for-profit start-ups and also worked in marketing communications and project management.
Other Board Members
Ricardo Cabrera | Operations Manager
Ricardo Cabrera is a business professional and a real estate agent. He loves to help this community with all wealth building matters, from assisting people buy and/or sell their most prized possession (their home) or on business and personal financial matters. He does this by rendering the highest level of service possible.
Ricardo believes in working hard, living on less than what you make, and investing the difference with the ultimate goal reaching wealth.. and I love what I do!
Ricardo has a extensive work experience including international business development/management, food distribution, and a business owner. More recently he has become a business/wealth coach and a real estate agent. He is the Operations Manager of The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County, and is a high school golf coach.
Ricardo has been trained in different customer service and sales techniques and more recently as a Cultural Broker. Ricardo holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Global business, is a licenced real estate agent in the state of Colorado as well as a NAHREP 10 certified trainer. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado with his wife Gabriela.
He loves spending time outside (Hiking, camping, golfing, skiing, mountain biking), with friends and family.
Peter Salas | Ex Officio Chairman:
Peter lives in Lafayette and has been a Boulder County resident since 1985. Peter is the father of 3 including 2 teenagers who currently attend schools in Lafayette. Peter has as a B.S. degree in Business Finance.
Peter began his public career as a community organizer and has been actively involved in community affairs his entire career. Peter has served on over a dozen non-profit boards as well as, having served on a city council and school board. Peter was a founding member of the Boulder County Latino Chamber and has served on the Boulder Chamber of Commerce and the former Minority Business Leadership Council. Peter has also been actively involved in local politics and has helped organize 3 different Latino focused political organizations.
During Peter’s professional work career, he has been a community organizer, a project coordinator, diversity coordinator, diversity liaison, intercultural trainer, program manager and public affairs specialist. Peter currently offers consulting services in the area of Intercultural Development and Training.
Peter has a thoughtful and collaborative style, along with deep programmatic and policy expertise in several areas, which has made him an effective champion for advancing equity, and urban development strategies to expand economic opportunity.