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Rise Women's Summit

March 30th, 2023

9:00 am- 2:00 pm

El Paso Community College 
9050 Viscount – Bldg. A – Auditorium
El Paso, TX  79925

Why should I attend?

This year we’re celebrating Women’s Month with Keynote Speaker Valeria Aloe - Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Founder of the Rising Together Movement, an unstoppable global movement supporting women of color.


Valeria is touring the Nation, and we are honored to have her join us IN PERSON in El Paso, TX, as our Keynote Speaker. Valeria shares in her book Uncolonized Latinas: Transforming Our Minds and Rising Together, how Latinas have learned to work hard but not to ask, serve but not lead, to remain quiet, invisible, and safe. This cultural mindset has held Latinas and women of color from reaching their highest potential. Valeria will share lessons from her workshop with a two-hour training on supporting trailblazers committed to unlearning outdated cultural mindsets and guiding them to create a personal roadmap to success.

A day filled with opportunities:

  • The Summit features two-panel discussions with community leaders who will share their insights on how to access spaces of influence, visibility, and wealth creation. 

  • A short graduation celebration will take place as we celebrate the completion of the 1st graduating cohort of the yearlong Mentor-Ship Program. Participants will be recognized and given their Certificate of Completion.

  • This year, as an introduction to our Shadow a Chief Program, we are introducing Chat with a Chief. Attendees will have an opportunity to win an exclusive one-to-one, virtual or in-person, hour with local or national female leaders. This is an exclusive time to have a conversation, learn, and draw from the insightful experiences and perspectives of women in Chief leadership roles.


Register Now!



8:30 - 9:00

Registration and Networking

9:00 - 9:45

RISE - Wealth and Economic Empowerment Session

9:45 - 10:00

Break and Chat with a Chief Drawing

10:00 -12:00

Valeria Aloe - Rising Together Movement - Workshop

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch and Book Signing with Valeria - Chat with a Chief Drawing

1:00 - 1:45

RISE - Visibility and Influence Session

1:45 - 2:00

Final Chat w/ a Chief Drawing - Close

Sylvia Andrade

Sylvia is an El Paso native with over 35 years of experience in Banking and 26 years with JP Morgan Chase. She has held several roles such as Business Development and Relationship Management within diverse banking segments.

Sylvia's banking experience has also included Commercial Banking Business, Development , VP Treasury, Mortgage Banker, Area Manager for Chase at Work and Business Banking roles at JP Morgan. 

Outside of work, Sylvia is involved in the Women in Business, Hispanic Chamber, Breakfast with Friends and the Dallas Association for Financial Professionals.


Sylvia has been recognized as Top Performer, Top Banker, #1 In Business Development and Top 3 in Treasury. She lives in Allen Texas with her husband Guillermo and has 4 children.  Dr. Amanda Arreola, Sarah Arreola Graduate of Baylor in Finance, Jonathon Arreola currently attending Baylor School of Business and Guillermo Andrade currently attending UT in Psychology.  Her passions include working out, reading, cooking, and traveling with family.


Leilia Melendez

Leila Melendez is CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex, a Texas Workforce Commission network partner.  Workforce Solutions helps people find good jobs by linking them with businesses seeking out talent to help them grow. She works closely with local businesses, educators, community partners, and economic developers to improve our region’s skills & competitiveness.

Leila has been with WSB for eight years and began her role as CEO at the start of the pandemic. Over the last two years as CEO, she has led Workforce Solutions through a leadership change and a significant economic disruption with agility, innovation, and inspiration.


Leila has over 20 years of experience in El Paso’s economic development landscape, ranging from small business development, business retention and expansion, workforce development, and now economic recovery. Before Workforce Solutions, Leila was the Chief of Staff at the City of El Paso during a dynamic and transformative time, including the relocation of City Hall and the building of the ballpark.

Leila is a native El Pasoan having obtained all her education within the region, including a bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Phoenix and her MBA from UTEP. She serves on the Boards of Executive Forum, El Paso Fireman and Policemen's Pension Fund Board, El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence and Texas Association of Workforce Boards. She is also an Advisory Member of the USO and Children At Risk. Leila was recently named a Woman of Impact by El Paso Inc.

Dr. Abigail Tarango 

Dr. Abigail Tarango  has demonstrated a history of success. As a practitioner, she educated at the preschool and high school levels and later joined the faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso and Texas A&M AgriLife. Served as a cabinet level director for Ysleta Independent School District where they passed two historic bonds worth over 855 million dollars.


As a scholar, Dr. Tarango has contributed to educational aspirational, persistence, and attainment research that focuses specifically on Latina women in the borderlands. Now, Dr. Tarango is the Executive Director of the University Medical Center Foundation of El Paso, El Paso Children's Hospital Foundation, y Presidente de la Fundación en México. Her role as a non-profit leader has created new opportunities to leverage her skills and expertise. But, as a volunteer and mentor Tarango has prioritized giving back for over twenty years. She believes in giving back to the community that’s given so much to her. 


Valeria Aloe 

Valeria Aloe is a speaker, the award-winning author of Uncolonized Latinas: Transforming Our Mindsets And Rising Together, and the founder of the Rising Together Movement.


The first in her family to attend college and access professional spaces, Valeria worked +20 years in brand management, business development, and finance in leading companies across 7 countries, including Procter & Gamble, Citibank, Reckitt Benckiser and PriceWaterhouse Coopers.


She founded the Rising Together Movement with the mission of driving economic inclusion and closing the Latino leadership and wealth gaps. Through professional and personal development programs, Rising Together equips Latinos with the necessary mindset and skills to confidently thrive in business and life, and their allies with the tools to become more assertive leaders and mentors of diverse talent. 


Her work has earned her several awards, including “Top 50 Women in Business in New Jersey in 2020” and “5th most influential Hispanic in New Jersey in 2021”. Her award-winning book Uncolonized Latinas has recently been acknowledged with a Gold medal by Golden Door Awards, in partnership with iCONGO and the United Nations, with a Gold medal in the non-fiction category by New York Book Festival, and with the Grand Prize at the Firebird Book Awards, among 8 other national and international recognitions.


She holds degrees in Business Administration and Finance from Universidad Catolica Argentina, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a Master in Spiritual Sciences. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Spiritual Sciences.

Sereka Barlow

Sereka Barlow is the Chief Executive Officer for the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region and previously served as the Chief Operations Officer for the Hospitals of Providence, Sierra Campus, El Paso, Texas for the past 4 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health, Dental Hygiene, from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University, U.S. Army Health Care Program.

Sereka has over 25 years of healthcare leadership experience. In June of 2017, she retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel while serving as COO or Deputy Commander for Administration, at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, Texas. She was recognized in 2019 and 2020 by the Becker’s Hospital Review as the top African American Leaders in Healthcare to Know. She continues to serve the community of El Paso as the Chair for the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation Board, the Foundation Chair for the El Paso – Southern New Mexico Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, INC., and a member of the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation and Allocation Committee. She is the mother of three beautiful teenagers: her daughter London and twin boys, Phoenix and Legend. Sereka has been married for over 21 years to her military “Battle Buddy”, Rodd. Her personal motto is “I’m blessed to be a blessing.”

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Andrea Hutchins

Andrea Hutchins is the first-ever female CEO of the El Paso Chamber. With more than 1,400 members, the chamber is one of the region’s largest and most influential business groups.


Most recently, Andrea served as the Chief Operating Officer at Thomas P. Miller & Associates – a consulting firm that has conducted numerous national, statewide, regional and local economic, workforce, education and community development strategies and plans under her direction.

Andrea brings an extensive background in roles that range from inside the walls of the Pentagon to the halls of the U.S. Chamber. Her professional experience affords her a unique local and global perspective.


This year, as an introduction to our Shadow a Chief Program we are introducing Chat with a Chief. Attendees will have an opportunity to win an exclusive one-to-one, virtual or in person, hour with local or national female leader. This is an exclusive time have a conversation, learn, and draw from the insightful experiences and perspectives of women in Chief leadership roles.


How can RISE attendees win the opportunity to Chat with a Chief?

Participate in a Treasure Hunt! Prior to the Summit, visit Treasure Hunt participating businesses within the El Paso community to receive a Golden Ticket. Each Golden Ticket is an opportunity to win an exclusive one-to-one time to chat with a local or national female leader. Increase the chance to win by visiting all the participating businesses and receive a Golden Ticket from each participating location.


At the Summit, enter your Golden Ticket(s) into the raffle box(s) of the Chief you would like to win one-to-one time with. Drawing of the Golden Tickets will take place at the Summit. Must be present to win.


There will be additional opportunities to win Golden Tickets throughout the Summit by engaging in interactive activities.


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