Latina Lifestyle Bloggers® #LALLBLOG National Conference & Blogger Junket™
SPEAKERS & PRESENTERS PROFESIONAL BIOGRAPHIES
Am inah Hanan
Aminah Hanan was born, raised and continues to make her home on the South Side of
Chicago. She is a steadfast advocate for people powered media and believes that
everyone has a right to tell their own story. Aminah is the Executive Director of Blogging
While Brown and the editor of the Michelle Obama Watch blog.
An “analog girl in a digital world” – Aminah serves as a healthcare professional for one of
the largest palliative care companies in the U.S. An avid crafter and sewing enthusiast,
she blogs daily on her personal blog AminahHanan.com.
Andy Rosillo is a co-founder of Indieprinting, a digital printing company based in
Downtown Los Angeles, Indiedesk, a co-working space in Downtown Los Angeles and
Interart, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of printmaking.
He was born in Colombia and grew up in Los Angeles. Andy established Indieprinting 11
years ago in Downtown LA. Andy has gained valuable experience working with clients
in the entertainment, hispanic marketing, promotions and advertising industries.
Bricia has become a staunch proponent of Oaxacan culture and an integral figure in the
gastronomic culture of Los Angeles. Referred to as a “Oaxacan Princess” by Jonathan
Gold, Bricia has been quoted on her expertise by Conde Nast Traveler and The New
Yorker. Bricia’s and her family’s story has been featured on local television, numerous
blogs and several publications including a cover story for Los Angeles Times, LA
Weekly, OC Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Brand X, Sunset Magazine, a featured
story on KPCC, GQ and Travel and Leisure.
Last year “Bricia” cocktails began popping up in LA’s bar scene with a couple more in
Chicago. The “Sweet Bricia” made Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jonathan Gold’s 2011 55
Essential Cocktails list. She has participated as a judge and a panelist in several food
and spirits events discussing authenticity in Mexican cuisine and mezcal’s influence in
mixology and in today’s spirits market. Bricia was chosen one of LA Weekly’s “Best of
LA “ in their annual People Issue. Bricia is currently working with GOT MILK on a
summer Licuado campaign targeting the Hispanic market where she serves as a
spokesperson mixing Oaxacan influenced ingredients with Milk for the perfect summer
Licuado. She is a founding member of the National American Alliance‘s Emerging
Leader program for the Los Angeles chapter and sits of the board for The Taste of
Mexico Association in Los Angeles.
Candace spent over thirty years as an attorney, representing disabled people who were
trying to get Social Security Disability. After retiring, she become a Certified Identity
Theft Risk Management Specialist and wrote The Little Book of Identity Theft. However,
when no publisher would publish her book in the size and style she wanted, she
decided to just do it herself.
With a friend in another state, she started Our Little Books publishing company. Loving
the size and style of the little books, other authors wanted their own little books, and
now, Our Little Books is the go-to company for authors wanting to become published
with their own little books. Currently, as Publishing Consultant with Our Little Books,
Candace helps authors from initial idea to finished product, guiding them through the
journey of writing their book.
Deborah Deras is an Engagement expert who teaches audiences how to achieve more
with less: less time, less energy, and less stress. Her dynamic presentations engage
professionals, college students, employees and managers by delivering a clear, focused
message. Via keynote speeches, interactive workshops and radical seminars, Deborah
utilizes her unique skill set, abundant energy and engaging personality to help
individuals and organizations solicit the best performance possible from themselves and
their team members.
Deborah is an expert contributor for Latina and Catalina and is a freelance writer for
Immigrant Magazine and Conscious Inspired Living Magazine. She also received the
National Latina Business Women’s coveted Entrepreneur Award and was nominated
three consecutive years by the Latin Business Association for Entrepreneur of the Year
Erika is the CEO and Founder of Comediva, a female comedy brand and content studio
that creates original video and editorial content for women, published daily on
Comediva.com. Erika earned her MFA in Screenwriting from the USC School of
Cinematic Arts. While at USC, Erika was hired to write one of the first comedic web
series of its kind, a branded entertainment project co-produced by MTV and T-Mobile
called "Connected,” and later, Erika edited a parody that was named FunnyorDie's Best
User Video of 2010. Prior to founding Comediva, Erika worked as an independent
writer/producer, creating ambitious short films that screened at over 35 film festivals
worldwide and won multiple "Best Short" awards, including a Student Emmy for co-
Erika fused her passion for comedy, the Internet, and working with talented women to
create Comediva, which has been featured in press outlets as varied as Huffington Post,
Gizmodo, and Glamour. In its first year, Comediva created 117 videos and 1,435
editorial items, built a premium network on YouTube with more than 23 channels, and
recently played its first live show, COMEDIVA LIVE! for a sold-out, standing-room only
Jasm ine Powers
Dynamite digital marketing strategist and publicist, event planner for beauty and biz,
blogging, and tech events, blogger and artsy girl with a flair for things colorful and bright.
A business consultant to the stars, and to clients whom she treats like royalty; you'll find
her not only writing copy, press releases and articles, but blogging for
CulturedGirlsOnly.com her blog of all things creative including crafts, cuisine, and visual,
literary, and performing arts. She writes about accessories at ThaHotness.com, she
served as the 2012 Program Director for Blogging While Brown and is the Executive
Director for Love & Beauty Unconference meet the bloggers event for beauty,
relationship, and fashion bloggers and their readers
Jose Vargas has more than 25 yrs of hands on experience in the field of technology with
little or no formal training. Gifted with the ability to understand quite rapidly how Tech
things work and how to use them in a practical manner.
LaLa Castro is an entrepreneur and Internet visionary with a wide array of expertise in
Social Media, eCommerce, Branding, Community Outreach, Event Management and
many other facets of business development and online marketing. Lala is also extremely
active in her community, working with and supporting a number of local organizations.
Currently employed at Orange County digital marketing firm, GigaSavvy, Lala leads an
innovative and fast growing Social Media department, working with clients such as
Knotts Berry Farm, a well-known theme park and subsidiary of Cedar Fair Entertainment
Group. Lala is also the founder of SparklesForever.com & eLaLa.com.
Founder of new media company Organic Authority, LLC and publisher of
OrganicAuthority.com, Laura Klien produces premium content and videos distributed
across the Internet; with the goal to be the number one sustainable food destination on
Laura also manages a team of writers that creates unique content daily for
OrganicAuthority.com. She also specializes in online marketing and activating user
engagement using social media and creating strong online communities. Laura is also
responsible for managing our ad sales and spear-heading traffic growth and forging
partnerships with other online media sites. Organic Authority also creates custom videos
for our sponsors to increase brand awareness and user engagement.
Lisa A. Cervantes, Esq.
Lisa A. Cervantes has been practicing law for over 12 years and obtained her law
degree at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. She holds an undergraduate
degree in political science from University of Hawaii and a fashion design degree from
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.
Ms. Cervantes’ most recent negotiations have been TV show deals with Fremantle
Media (producers of American Idol) and Lionsgate. She has made TV appearances on
MSNBC, Inside Edition and Fox 6 News. She has successfully litigated and settled
trademark and copyright infringement actions with major industry players, and
negotiated and orchestrated hundreds of agreements and collaborations between
distributors, record companies, producers, artists, singers, composers, artists,
musicians, actors, models, music, tv & film producers, directors, studios, recording &
distribution companies, managers, agents, concert promoters, editors, photographers,
disc jockeys, radio stations, venues, magazines, fashion studios, publishers (music and
print), sponsors, endorsers, designers, graphic artists, small business owners, athletes,
marketing professionals, web designers, social media developers and more.
M argo Porras
Margo Porras (aka Nacho Mama) is many things: mom, wife, designer, latina, blogger
(or bloguera), and more. Blogging since 2005, she created Nacho Mama's Blog
<http://www.nachomamasblog.com/> in 2010 and started broadcasting Nacho Mama's
Podcast <http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nachomamaspodcast> in 2011. Sometimes
called "Nate Berkus meets Charo at the Metropolitan Museum", Margo actually left a
great career at the Met to study interior design; she was still in grad school when one of
her designs was featured in The New York Times.
M aryl Celiz
Holistic lifestyle expert, personal transformation guide, and digital entrepreneur Maryl
Celiz is the co-founder of the Silvie+Maryl holistic lifestyle brand, which empowers
people to transform their lives from the inside out. Through articles, videos, products and
consulting services on the online portal SilvieandMaryl.com, Maryl and her
sister/business partner Silvie provide cutting-edge information based on the integration
of plant-based nutrition, practical spirituality, love and design, to help people take charge
of their health and lives.
As a pioneer in the field of holistic living, Maryl has been featured in Angeleno Magazine,
Women of the Green Generation, Maria Shriver’s The Women’s Conference, and
Univision’s lifestyle show, Tu Estilo. As evident through her work and her blog M Theory,
she is passionate about the natural connection between spirituality and science, and the
human micro and macro universes. Maryl lives in Los Angeles, from where she is soon
publishing her book Nourished: A Simple Guide to Think, Shop and Cook Like a Plant-
M eghan Cleary
Meghan Cleary is the internationally recognized footwear authority whose insight on
everything from the latest shoe trends to the hottest footwear designs to red carpet
stilettos at the Oscars and Emmys has appeared in more than 4,500 media outlets
throughout the world. Known for her signature trademark phrase, "what your shoes say
about you", Meghan has analyzed presidents, world leaders and fashion icons alike with
her uncanny insight.
For nine years she has served as contributing editor at JCREPORT where her coverage
on shoes and shoe trends has been cited everywhere from the Fashion Institute of
Technology to WGSN.
Rebekka Lien is a trailblazer, fashion designer (FIDM graduate), business owner, writer
and musician who quit her job to pursue her dreams. She was born in Germany, has
lived in Taiwan and has backpacked solo and volunteered in Europe, Australia and Asia.
She currently resides in Silverlake, California. She will be visiting her sponsored child
and volunteering in Ecuador in May.
Beauty Maven, Connector and Innovator Shawanna Davis has always been on the
creative pulse of LA's beat. Ms. Davis has worked as a stylist and Creative Director as
well as an on air stylist for MTV. Alway's on the Tipping Point for forecasting trends in
Art, Beauty and Fashion in 2010 she created Beauty Los Angeles a boutique
consultation business that helps to connect brands with their target audience. In March
of 2012 Shawanna curated the BE BEAUTIFUL PROJECT which was a passion and a
dream of hers since the age of 7. None of the artists in her show were similar to each
other, she wanted them to represent their perception of beauty and she wanted these
perceptions to be diverse. The show was about women living, creating and being
inspired by the beauty of LA and the life they live here. Shawanna is working on a
summer arts program for kids as well as curating her next project for FALL 2012.
Over the last 20 years, Serena Ehlich has worked closely with public and private
companies providing guidance on investor and public relation
trends. Currently, Serena participates in and oversees the creation and implementation
of strategies designed to meet a wide-range of customer goals, from brand awareness to
customer appreciation and service, to driving potential new fans into the marketing
funnel. Serena creates relationships within core and affinity audiences to create 360
degree awareness for brands.
As the director of Marketing for Mogreet, Serena has a unique perspective on the future
of mobile marketing (and it ain't plain text). In addition, Serena serves as the Corporate
Secretary of the international Social Media Club board of directors, as well as an At
Large director of the National Investor Relations Institutes' Los Angeles chapter. She can
be found on Twitter (@serena) as well as a wide range of emerging platforms.
Yarel Ram os
Yarel was born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, California to Mexican-
immigrant parents in the section of the city commonly referred to as the “the Valley”.
After living a very happy childhood and being a self-proclaimed nerd in school, Yarel was
accepted into the University of Miami. In an act of extreme courage and determination,
she packed her family in her heart and moved across the country to pursue her dreams.
It was in Miami that her love of journalism flourished and she worked with fervor to
ensure that her dreams of being a journalist would one day be realized.
Upon graduation, Yarel moved back to her hometown and brought along the two most
important things she acquired while in Miami – her education and her passion. In the two
years since she has been back in town, she has been a reporter on various local
television stations and is now the current host of Reventon, Reventon Countdown, and
What Up PPL on Mun2, an NBC owned cable station. As if hosting three shows and
spending time with her friends and family wasn’t enough, Yarel is also currently pursuing
her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California. A true shining star in
every sense, the world has not yet seen everything this girl has to offer.