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Our Team

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

RICARDO HERRERO

Ricardo Herrero is the Executive Director of #CubaNow. Previously he served as Deputy Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, a non-partisan, non-profit organization comprised of Cuban-American business and professional leaders dedicated to promoting civil society development in Cuba. Prior to that he co-founded and served as Director of Operations for Concordia Behavioral Health, a managed behavioral healthcare organization based in Miami, Florida, and was an associate corporate counsel in the Manhattan office of The Beanstalk Group, LLC, the world's leading brand licensing agency and consultancy, where he specialized in intellectual property licensing and dispute resolution.

Mr. Herrero’s leadership in his community includes having served as the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party in 2010 and serving as Producer of the annual Miami Mini Maker Faire. He has advised several state and federal electoral campaigns and political organizations in South Florida and Latin America, most recently including the 2012 Henrique Capriles Radonski presidential campaign in Venezuela. His views and articles have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, USA Today, TIME, Bloomberg Businessweek, Reuters, AP, El Pais, The Miami Herald, The Huffington Post, The Hill, Mashable, and The Washington Times. He has also appeared as a guest on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN en Español, Noticias Univision, Telemundo, Al-Jazeera America and Voice of America. Mr. Herrero has a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Florida International University. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is the son of Cuban exiles.

POLITICAL DIRECTOR

DAVID GOMEZ

David Gomez is the Political Director of #CubaNow. Previously, Mr. Gomez has worked on campaigns in New York and Chicago as well as in the Obama administration. Mr. Gomez holds a B.A. from Northern Illinois University. He was born in College Station, Texas. He can be reached at davegomez@cubanow.us.

MEMBERS

GUILLERMO ARTILES

Guillermo is currently Corporate Counsel at Greenskies Renewable Energy.  Prior to Greenskies, Guillermo served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Esther Salas, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey.  Before clerking, he was an an associate at the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP in Morristown, N.J.  He practiced primarily in the firm’s labor & employment and white collar criminal practice groups.  Before private practice, Guillermo worked in the intergovernmental affairs group in the administration of Governor Chris Christie.  He did so while serving as the Governor’s Executive Fellow from the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Guillermo received a B.A. in Government and a Minor in Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, N.J.  In law school, he was articles editor of the Rutgers Law Review, president of the Student Bar Association, vice president of the Association of Latin American Law Students, criminal law teaching facilitator for the Minority Student Program, student lawyer in the Community Law Clinic, and a research assistant to Professors Paul Tractenberg and Adil Haque.  At graduation, he was awarded the American Bar Association & American Law Institute prize, an honor recognizing the graduate who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership.

Guillermo is very active in his community.  He sits on the young professionals board of the New Jersey Legal Education & Empowerment Program (NJLEEP), a pipeline diversity program dedicated to increasing minority representation in the legal profession; serves as General Counsel to Hijos Del Exilio, an organization founded to coalesce the Cuban-American community in the NY/NJ metro area and bring about positive change at home in Hudson County and abroad in Cuba; and serves as an alumni recruiter for Hamilton College.

ALEJANDRO BARRERAS

Alejandro Barreras is an advertising executive based in Miami, with more than 20 years of experience reflected in his highly-creative work for major brands. He has also been active in several community initiatives and political campaigns, and appears frequently in the media discussing political and Cuba-related issues. He grew up in Cuba, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Havana's Institute of Design.

FRANCESCA-MARIA L. DE QUESADA COVEY

Francesca-Maria ("Cesi") is a strategic partner manager at Facebook, focusing on Internet.org for Latin America. Prior to joining Facebook, she worked in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House. While at the White House, she served as a liaison to the business community and as Deputy Counselor for Strategic Engagement to Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett. Cesi has a master's degree in Finance and Strategy from l'Institut d"Etudes Politiques de Paris and a BA from Columbia University. She lives in London, England.

ANDRES DIAZ

Andres A. Diaz is a Director with CEB. Prior to CEB, Andy served as a Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration where he worked with foreign governments to open up new markets for American exporters and eliminate trade barriers. Andy also worked as an International Energy Policy Advisor at the United States Department of Energy focusing on renewable energy and regional electricity integration in Latin America. He began his career working as an editor for the Miami Herald. Andy holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University. He was born in Havana, Cuba, lives in Washington, DC, and is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida.

PATRICK HIDALGO

Patrick served as a Presidential Appointee in the Administration of Barack Obama, including his last role directing the White House Business Council. Previously, he served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, where he formulated strategy on issues ranging from global entrepreneurship promotion to the US economic response to the Arab Spring. Patrick’s business experience includes co-founding MindSight, a company that partners with top American universities and experts to provide leadership training to the private and public sector in the Middle East. He also worked for the strategy team of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, Dubai Holding, which launched and managed companies in a variety of sectors. Patrick’s organizing experience includes serving as the Obama campaign’s Florida Hispanic Vote Director in 2008. In 2002, he also co-founded “En Comunión,” an initiative to create a safe space for dialogue on Miami-Cuba relations that triggered a first-of-its-kind coalition of business, political and humanitarian groups in Miami seeking change in U.S.-Cuba policy. Patrick earned his MBA from MIT Sloan, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and his BA from Georgetown University.

AUGUSTO R. LOPEZ

Augusto R. López is an attorney practicing with the law firm of VM Díaz & Partners, LLC. He concentrates his practice primarily in the area of complex commercial litigation. Mr. López has been active in civic activities ranging from serving with the Cuban American Bar Association to working with Fair Districts Florida, as well as founding the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Democratic Professionals Council. Augusto was born in Miami and is the son of Cuban exiles.

RALPH G. PATINO

Ralph G. Patino is a Miami area personal injury attorney who founded Patino & Associates in 1992. He is now a nationally recognized trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in products liability, automotive negligence, premises liability, police misconduct and banking fraud.

Mr. Patino was one of the national personal injury attorneys credited with prompting the recall of over 6.5 million Firestone ATX Wilderness tires after it was proven that they were defective and causing catastrophic injuries and deaths. As a result of this work, Mr. Patino was chosen by his legal peers to be co-chair of the Ford Firestone Multi-District Litigation Financial Committee with oversight for approximately 300 consolidated personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against Ford and Firestone. Mr. Patino settled all of his cases with Ford and Firestone. Since his first national case involving tire tread and SUV product defects in 2000, Mr. Patino’s efforts resulted in greater consumer awareness of the dangers of tire tread separation and less incidents of sport utility vehicle (SUV) roll over.

More recently, Mr. Patino became nationally recognized once again for his work dealing with the responsibility of banks to their customers for online banking fraud. Mr. Patino has been credited with the landing of the first landmark case in the nation dealing with On-line Banking Losses. Mr. Patino was born in New York City and is the son of Cuban exiles.