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.  Most recently, she has been achieving that goal as the Chief Development Officer for the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley since 2018.  Clara has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising in the Bay Area with a strong track record that includes major gifts, corporate and foundation giving. She has worked for several nonprofits in the area including Life Moves, Vascular Cures and the Pacific Stroke Association. Clara received a Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy at New York University and a BA in Modern Languages from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Originally from Colombia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, and her two rescue pets. Elvis - a German Shepherd - and Corn Flake a calico cat.

(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



Carolyn Valencia
College Intern
Carolyn Valencia

Carolyn is a proud first-generation college student at Santa Clara University. She is a Latina majoring in Finance and minoring in Political Science. Carolyn was born and raised in Chicago, IL and has fallen in love with the Bay Area. She is an advocate for social justice and hopes to use her degree and experiences to give the Latinx community a seat and voice at the table. In her spare time, Carolyn loves to explore new cities, restaurants, and music with family and friends.



408-216-7612