LACU Volunteer Officers
Our dynamic board members ensure that all activities are aligned and appropriate for our mission. We plan, implement and evaluate all programs and events, in addition to the recruitment of project volunteers and promotion of events. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenya C. Dworkin |Co - President
I moved to Pittsburgh, PA from Berkeley, CA in 1993, to start a position in Hispanic Studies at Carnegie Mellon. Back then, one of the first things that struck me about Pittsburgh was that there were hardly any Latinos here, and that I heard little or no Spanish being spoken. I needed those things, and still do! I soon found out about organizations like LACU and Coro Latinoamericano, and a couple of others, so because I was interested in connecting with the community, I got involved in both organizations and have been energetically engaged ever since in community building through culture, education, and the arts. In particular, I am grateful for LACU because it has given me the opportunity to grow and serve in its mission to preserve and promote our cultures, and share and learn with others, so we call build a better Pittsburgh for all.
Adriana Sanchez Solis | Co - President
I was born and raised in Costa Rica and have been a proud Pittsburgh resident for the past 9 years. This has allowed me to see and experience first hand the changes in demographics in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Being a part of LACU provides the capacity to find the opportunities to build and create connections that allow us to bridge the gaps between the “old” and “new” Pittsburghers and make this community more immigrant-friendly and welcoming through partnerships that promote education and cultural awareness.
With a background in Foreign Languages and Cultures and a current position within the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, I believe in the power of teaching and sharing knowledge and LACU is an excellent platform to do so.
Joe Weale | Treasurer
I am a CPA. I enjoy all cultures. I am happy to volunteer as acting treasurer for LACU.
Maritza Rivera-Herleman| Membership Coordinator
I am a Freelance Translator/Interpreter and work mostly with families from Pittsburgh Public. Through this work, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful families some of which have developed into very good friendships. My professional background is in the hospitality industry, however, I recently finished my Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration and Management at Point Park University and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to apply my experience and knowledge in the Healthcare Industry.
I love bike riding, kayaking, gardening, cooking and dancing to a good Latin beat. Visiting Puerto Rico during Christmas energizes me, it’s the best time of the year to visit my “Islita del Encanto”. I am grateful and excited to become a part of the Latin American Cultural Union (LACU) team and to continue promoting cultural and ethnic inclusiveness here in Pittsburgh. I look forward to seeing you at one of the many activities LACU promotes.
Sammie Walker | Student Outreach Coordinator
Originally born and raised in McAllen, Texas, I have lived in the Pittsburgh area for six years. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies and recently completed a Master's in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. I now serve as Coordinator of Diversity & Leadership Initiatives at Washington & Jefferson College. As a Mexican-American woman, I'm excited to be on the LACU board to continue connecting with the Latin American community via arts, music, dance, and friendships.
Monica Aveni-Ranii| Fundraising & Event Volunteer
Guillermo Velazquez | Member At Large
I am from Mexico City. When I moved to Pittsburgh I did not know I was going to stay here. I became involved with LACU in the mid 90's performing the "Mexican Hat Dance.” I was fortunate to showcase the Mexican culture at festivals and events that had the intention to promote the Latin American Culture. Due to my previous international jobs in Pittsburgh, I had the pleasure of traveling to Latin America and enjoyed meeting people, eating delicious food and in general interacting with the cultures in Latin America. I very much enjoy learning from all cultures; I speak four languages and I believe our horizons expand when we meet people from other cultures. I hope to lead LACU in a direction where the appreciation of the Latin American Culture grows even more. We live in a world of constant changes and new generations of Latinos in Pittsburgh will continue to make an impact in this beautiful city!
Lisa DiGioia-Nutini | Member at Large, Arts Liason
I’m the owner of Mexico Lindo Mercado y Galeria de Artesanias. After being introduced to Mexico by my late husband and his families from Mexico City and Veracruz, we founded the business because of a passion for fine Mexican Folk Art and a great desire to share it with as many people as possible, while educating them about the significant cultural traditions that inspire it. Mexico Lindo was established online at mexicolindo.biz in 2002. I had a physical storefront and gallery in Squirrel Hill from 2004 to 2016. I’m transitioning to operations online and also utilize space at La Palapa restaurant to see clients and create customized workshop and event experiences in a variety of ways. I’m also a Graduate Gemologist, jewelry designer and graphic designer. Recently I began performing as DJ Gringa Morena, specializing in fusions of Latin American and other world genres.