Steven Michael Quezada
Most Americans know him as one of the stars of the hit AMC television series, “Breaking Bad,” but in New Mexico we also know Mr. Quezada as a tireless crusader for education and equality. Mr. Quezada is an elected member of the Albuquerque School Board, for which he serves as Secretary. An accomplished actor and scholar, Mr. Quezada has used his celebrity and expertise to raise money for organizations such as Youth Development Incorporated and countless others. Steven also worked with the Gang intervention, Actors Core, Mi Voz and Elev8 programs through YDI, taught acting classes to local kids, and even taken part in educating future filmmakers such as students enrolled in the DATA School in Albuquerque. Mr. Quezada was also the Vice-President of the Governing Council for the Public Academy for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Vilar is the founder of Americas for Conservation and the Arts 501©(3), the mother organization of The Americas Latino Eco Festival and the first nonprofit literary agency in the US, Vilar Creative Agency, dedicated to the dissemination of minority literatures of the Americas. VCA is co-agent in the US for Mertin Litag, an agency specializing in Spanish, Latin American, and Portuguese authors, representing such notable writers as Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago. Irene Vilar founded The Americas book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press, now at Texas Tech University Press. The series has published over fifty books in translation in the last ten years and is considered among the most important initiatives of this kind in the US. Vilar was Acquisitions Editor for Women and Jewish Studies at Syracuse University Press. Vilar was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir The Ladies’ Gallery (Other Press, 09′, 1st edition 96′) was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press Notable Book of the Year and was a finalist for the 99′ Mind Book of the Year Award. Her latest memoir, Impossible Motherhood (Other Press, 09′), has been published in Italy, France and Germany, and won the 10′ IPPY Gold Medal for Best Memoir/Autobiography and the 12th Latino Book 2nd Place Award for Best Women’s Issues. The works explore generational and national trauma. A 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, Vilar gave the keynote at the 2010 National Hispanic Caucus of State Senators & Legislators on Latino mental health, “Severe Depressive Disorder: Overcoming Adversity and Stigma”. Vilar is also a participant of the Oxford Union Debate Society, debating on reproductive health and abortion rights.
Ms. Ladish is the author of 17 books, a professional translator, and the Editor in Chief of the award-winning Latino parenting website, Mamiverse.com. I Feel Fat (1993), her first book, was also the first to address the issue of eating disorders in Spain. It was written from the point of view of personal experience. Ladish is the author of over ten works of nonfiction and three novels, to include the following titles:Fear of Eating, I’m pregnant. Now what, The Challenge of Writing and Publishing and Learning to Love, amongst others. Two of her novels are: Voice Mail and Damn Author. Some of her works have been translated from Spanish into Portuguese, Czech, and Catalan. Ladish has collaborated with the Palm Beach Post and D Latinos magazine and TV. She was the Guide for Consejos de Mamá, for Latina moms, at About.com en español, of the New York Times Company, and the Managing Editor of Mujer at VOXXI, the Hispanic Voice for the XXI Century.
Mario Solis-Marich, is a Latino opinion leader in the United States with a strong
background in Latino focused radio, television, and new media. Solis-Marich currently serves as the Vice President of Programming for BabyFirst Americas, an offshoot of BabyFirst TV. BabyFirst Americas is a cable TV channel that holds the mission of increasing learning preparedness in Latino children that are between ages 6 months and 4 years old. Solis-Marich is also the online editor of MarioWire.com a leading Latino news and opinion site that informs the Latino community. Solis-Marich produced and hosted a daily award winning bi-cultural English language talk radio program that aired in Colorado on the full power Clear Channel owned radio station KKZN and was streamed on http://www.MarioWire.com. The program was on the air for four years and was awarded the prestigious “Best News Talk Radio Show” honor by the Colorado Broadcasters Association in 2011. He serves as a media coach for aspiring political candidates and can be heard during the week on KTLK AM 1150 in Los Angeles.
California born Rick Najera started his artistic career as an actor. He is an award-winning actor-writer-director-producer with credits in film, television, theatre and Broadway. Early in his career he was inspired and mentored by Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, Keenen Ivory Wayans and comic legend Cheech Marin. Eealizing there were few roles for him to play, he took matters into his own hands and started writing his way into Hollywood. Rick Najera is one of three Latinos in the history of Broadway to write and star in his own show. Najera made his Broadway debut in 2005 with his award-winning sketch comedy show, Latinologues (TM), the longest running and only showcase of its kind for Latinos in America. Najera penned the holiday film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina and John Leguizamo, which won him an Alma Award. He was also honored with two WGA nominations for his writing on MADtv. Najera has been honored twice as ‘100 Most Influential Latinos in America’.