Board of Directors

President & vice chair
Manuel Bernal
ELACC & Cesar Chavez Foundation

Manuel’s nearly 30-year career in community development began as a Management Analyst for the City of Los Angeles Housing Department underwriting loans with HOME and CDBG funds. He later served as an Underwriter of equity investments at the National Equity Fund and was a co-founder and served as ELACC’s first Executive Director.

Manuel joined the Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) in 1999 and held the position of Executive Vice President for Housing and Economic Development until 2011, later serving on their Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017. Manuel later re-joined CCF as its first Chief Operating Officer in March 2017. From 2011 to 2017, Manuel was the Director of Multi-family Housing for the City of Los Angeles. Manuel holds an Advanced Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Occidental College.

Board chair
Araceli Sandoval-Gonzalez
Independent Consultant

Araceli Sandoval-Gonzalez is Principal Consultant at ASG Strategy Consulting, which specializes in public relations, policy analysis, advocacy, capacity building, and political strategy for diverse public and private sector clients, including the California Community Foundation, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and others.

Araceli has over 15 years of experience championing social issues at the local, state, and national levels. Her track record includes winning major state budgetary increases to improve high quality early education and care in California, passing legislation to create and expand transitional kindergarten, launching Birth through Grade Three initiatives in Fresno and Los Angeles counties, and driving public and private investments to support the teaching workforce. She also specializes in philanthropic consulting, managing funds and providing advisement to maximize the impact and sustainability of grant-making. Earlier in her career, Araceli worked in public affairs at Early Edge California, the California Association for Bilingual Education, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and East LA Community Corporation.

board member
Francine Flores
US Bank

Francine Flores is Vice President and Metro District Manager for US Bank in Los Angeles. Francine’s career in banking started 28 years ago and she is a very proud to have held every position in a retail branch.

She started her career with an independent bank who merged 6 times during her tenure there with other intuitions before coming with Us Bank as a Branch Manager in 2003. During her tenure as a Branch Manager Francine was licensed with her 6, 63 and Series 7. Francine was identified as a Top leader and was invited to the Regions Branch Manager Academy and also to the Company leadership Academy. In 2007 she was promoted to District Manager. As a graduate of Decker Communication, she have extensive experience in public speaking, training, and team engagement. Francine is also the President of Southern California Nosotros Latino Business resource group and also on the National Latinos Advisory Council for Us Bank. Francine is in her senior year of Executive banking school at Fermon University in South Carolina.

Francine is a native of Los Angeles, and is excited to serve the market and communities in which she was born and raised. Francine is currently serving her 8th year as a Board member for East La Community Corporation and President of Tara’s Chance. Francine has served as a member of the Customer Experience Council for Metro West in 2014 – 2016 and has been an active leader in the Regions Customer Experience council since 2007.

Francine is a proud mother of 2 children and is passionate about learning. You can always find her reading new books or attending seminars or lectures. She has a tradition of vacationing in Hawaii with her 2 kids every year where they love her undivided attention. She loves the outdoors, snorkeling, hiking and watching both her kids play sports.

board member
Guillermina Gonzalez
Community Resident

Guillermina has been actively involved with ELACC’s organizing department since the A-G campaign which began in 2004. Guillermina is also trained extensively in communications and outreach strategies; she is also ELACC’s Community Resident Spokesperson. 

As a mother of three, she is also a parent leader at each of her children’s schools. She actively participated and graduated from ELACC’s Leadership Academy. She has also worked in the development and implantation of ELACC’s Boyle Heights Community Plan Campaign and Accountable Development Campaign which began in 2005.

treasurer
Daniel Rodriguez
Bank of America

Originally from East Los Angeles, Daniel Rodriguez is a Portfolio Management Officer in the Community Development Banking Group with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He currently manages a portfolio of affordable housing construction and permanent loans that includes on-going analysis and monitoring of project performance, sponsor financial capacity, and covenant compliance.

Prior to Bank of America, he served as the Director of the Community Wealth Department at the East LA Community Corporation, overseeing a range of asset and wealth building programs.

Daniel earned his A.B. in Economics from Brown University and MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.

board member
Leticia Andrade
Community Resident

Leticia is a graduate of ELACC’s Leadership Academy and has been a leader in the community for the past four years. She has been trained extensively in media and communication techniques and has represented ELACC as a community spokesperson.

Leticia was once shy and quiet, but after extensive training, she has grown to become one of ELACC’s most informed and leading advocates with fellow organizations, city officials, and public meetings. She has a particular interest in green jobs and sustainable development. She has also been an active member of ELACC’s Boyle Heights Community Plan Campaign and Accountable Development Campaign.

board member
Arnoldo Ulloa
Atwater Infrastrcture

Arnoldo is an Associate at Atwater Infrastructure Partners. He underwrites and conducts due diligence on all new P3 transactions and real estate acquisitions. Before Atwater, Arnoldo worked for Wells Fargo where he focused on increasing lending and investment in Community Reinvestment Act qualified markets; including investments in affordable housing developments and the creation of a microloan fund for immigrant borrowers.

board member
Mercedes O. Martin
Buchalter Law Firm

Mercedes O. Martin specializes in real estate transactions, with an emphasis on real estate secured transactions, tax credit finance and equity investments. She Co-Chairs the firm Community Development Finance group. 

Mercedes regularly represents developers, borrowers, lenders and investors in the structuring and financing of projects nationwide utilizing low income housing tax credits, new markets tax credits and renewable energy credits, as well joint venturers and franchisees in the acquisition, disposition, management and financing of office, hotel and multifamily projects. Her areas of expertise include complex low income housing tax credit transactions involving multiple public and private funding sources, affordable housing and subsidy layering analysis, new markets tax credit funded affordable housing developments, formation of tax credit partnerships, and federal, state and local compliance of utility scale solar projects.