Our Team of Six

Committed to Advancing the Future of Silicon Valley Latinos





 Ron Gonzales
President and CEO
Ron Gonzales

Ron Gonzales is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.  The Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Silicon Valley Latinos.

Gonzales has over 40 years of technology and public policy experience.  Prior to leading the Hispanic Foundation, Gonzales was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Presencia, LLC which provides marketing and sales consulting services.

He also served as Mayor of San José, the Capital of Silicon Valley and the nation’s 10th largest city from 1999-2006.  His achievements included nationally recognized initiatives for strong neighborhoods, improved public education, and effective solutions to affordable housing and regional transportation projects. Mayor Gonzales may be best known for championing the extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to San Jose and Silicon Valley.  So much so that former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown nicknamed him “Mayor BART”.

Before his election as Mayor, Gonzales worked as an executive with the Hewlett-Packard Company, in the areas of marketing, human resources, and corporate philanthropy.

Gonzales served for eight years (1989-1996) on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. As a two-time mayor and member of the Sunnyvale City Council (1979-87), he currently serves as Board Chair for SV@Home, Chair of the Silicon Valley Capital Club Board of Governors, and Board Member of KIPP Bay Area Public Charter Schools.



(408) 216-7643



Clara Roa
Chief Development Officer
Clara Roa

Clara is passionate about building nonprofits' capacity to facilitate the change we want to see in the world. Over the course of her career, she has tackled big challenges in the non-profit sector as a Chief Development Officer, Board Member, Major Gifts Officer, Giving Partner, Programs Director and Educator.  In these roles she has helped address the most intractable issues in our society: education, professional and economic advancement, poverty, and homelessness. As the current Chief Development Officer of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV), she focuses on raising funds to speed up the pace of intergenerational educational and career advancement in the Hispanic community across Silicon Valley. Prior to joining HFSV, Clara served as Major Gift Officer at Life Moves and has also worked for other local nonprofits including Vascular Cures, the Pacific Stroke Association (PSA), and Project Baobab.  

Outside of work, Clara is a partner and Board member at SV2 - The Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund. SV2 Partners pool resources and select cutting-edge organizations and initiatives that receive grants after an intensive due diligence process. Clara also serves on the Development Advisory Committee for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and the Advisory Board for the Family Engagement Institute.

Clara received her Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy at New York University. Originally from Colombia, her early career includes stints as an educator and working for a global risk management consulting firm. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and het two rescue pets.



(408) 638-7302



Margarita DeAvila
Executive Assistant and Office Manager
Margarita DeAvila
Margarita works closely with the CEO in taking care of day to day operations relating to finances and program management. Furthermore, she helps prepare and coordinate the Latino Board Leadership Academy (LBLA) and the annual Hispanic Foundation Ball (HFB).

(408) 216-7612



Melissa Canela
Education Programs Manager
Melissa Canela
Melissa is a first-generation Latina who was born and raised in East San Jose. She graduated with her BA in Sociology with an emphasis in education from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing her Masters degree at San Jose State University. Melissa has worked with East San Jose families for the past five years and firmly believes in the power of the Latinx community. She is a passionate community advocate and supporter of education-driven programs and initiatives for the community. As Education Programs Manager, she oversees HFSV's College Success Center programs and works directly with scholars, families, and community partners. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys having family game nights and spending time with her pets.

408-380-4086.



Raul Ceja
Marketing and Communications Manager
Raul Ceja
Raul is a strategist, storyteller, and designer who thrives in community engagement. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of California- Riverside in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. During his undergrad, he studied Global Emerging Markets at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Previously, he’s worked at the Community Foundation for San Benito County as a Digital Media Specialist. Raul is a San Benito County native.

(831) 673-1156



Karla Mondragon
Education Programs Coordinator
Karla Mondragon

Karla brings experience with program coordination and research on topics such as education reform, immigrant communities, intersectional feminism, voter suppression, and how to support first gen, low-income students navigating higher education. Karla graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Sociology and a minor Legal Studies. Prior to her role at Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, Karla worked at the Division of Equity and Social Justice with the County of Santa Clara.

Karla is a first-generation Latina from the East Side of San Jose and is the oldest and first in her family to graduate from college. Karla’s commitment to her community is rooted in her experience of seeing the way her community is disproportionately affected by systematic inequalities and pushed away from receiving access to quality education, healthcare, food, housing, and social and economic resources. Karla is committed to serve, advocate, and amplify the voices of her community

408-216-7612



Mirella Maldonado
Education Programs Coordinator
Mirella Maldonado
Mirella is a driven community advocate who is passionate about education, social justice, D&I and mentoring. She is a first generation Latina who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Accounting from San Jose State University. During her undergrad, she studied Strategic Management in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and spearheaded organizations such as the Latino Business Student Association as club President. Previously, she worked at PwC as an Experienced State and Local Tax Associate. Her passion for enhancing diversity, inclusion and belonging strategies and opportunities to diverse candidates drove her to take on extra leadership roles as Recruiting Campus Diversity Champion and Communications lead for PwC's Bay Area North-West ERG group, the Latino Inclusion Network. 

As Education Programs Coordinator, Mirella hopes to leverage her knowledge and skills to expand the HFSV's education impact in the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Outside of work, Mirella is the Corporate Relations non-profit board member for Prospanica Silicon Valley, a professional organization with a mission to empower and uplift Latino professionals. Mirella is a dedicated change agent who strives to inspire those around her to innovate and grow.


(831)613-4596



Paisley Luna
Santa Clara University Intern
Paisley Luna
Paisley is a senior at Santa Clara University pursuing a major in Marketing and a minor in Spanish and international business. During her time at Santa Clara, she has served as the Event Coordinator for the Undergraduate Marketing Association, the Vice President of Marketing for her sorority, a Peer Advisor for the business school for three years, and is currently a Spanish tutor and the Marketing Program Assistant within the Leavey School of Business. This past summer, she worked as a Consumer PR intern for Roku in San Jose and looks forward to a future career in the communications world. 

651-675-8571