On October 4, 2016 the three Texas Workforce Commissioners, Andres Alcantar, Chairman and Commissioner representing the public, Ruth R. Hughs, Commissioner representing employers and Juan Alvarez, Commissioner representing labor approved the appointment of three new board members. They are Satish Bhaskar, Lourdes Madera Tirado and Ruben Torres. Also approved were the reappointments of three board members; Robert Alcala, Leo A. Duran Sr., and Grace D. Munoz.
Satish Bhaskar has more than 30-years of experience in the finance field. Mr. Bhaskar graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Missouri, Block School of Business, and a Master of Accounting (MA) from the University of Kerala in India. Mr. Bhaskar's professional qualifications and experience include working for the Housing Authority of the City of New Haven, CT, as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer; Housing Authority of Kansas City, MO, where he started in 2003 as Director of Finance and ascended to Chief Financial Officer; Vice-President, Administration/CFO Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City in Kansas City, MO; Senior Vice President/Chief Finance & Compliance Officer for Full Employment Council Inc., a Kansas City-based employment and training agency funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor; Supervisor of Client Services for Sellers & Co., C.P.A., a regional certified public accountant firm. Mr. Bhaskar also worked as Chief Accountant for B D Steel Casting, LTD in Bombay, India. Satish Bhaskar replaced Mr. Gerald Cichon for the Public Assistance Representative as Mr. Cichon’s board membership expired September 30, 2016.
Ruben Torres has over 15 years of experience in finance. His diverse career includes experience in private equity, financial advisory, public finance, and commercial banking. Mr. Torres began his career at Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM) in New York City. After leaving CSAM, Mr. Torres returned to his hometown of El Paso and focused on a career as financial advisor with First Union Securities, A.G. Edwards and Sons, and Merrill Lynch. Mr. Torres had been employed at Wells Fargo Bank for 10 years prior to departing in October of 2014. Mr. Torres is credited with introducing Wells Fargo’s public finance abilities to the local municipalities. Due solely to his efforts, Wells Fargo Securities has participated in over $400MM in municipal underwritings. In March of 2016, Mr. Torres joined JP Morgan’s Business Banking Group as Vice-President. Mr. Torres completed his Bachelor’s education at the University of Texas at El Paso (B.B.A., Finance) and is an active board member of the El Paso Downtown Management District (Treasurer), Chairman to the City of El Paso Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #5 (TIRZ), and former Chairman of the Cathedral High School Board of Trustees. He is also a member of The Borderplex Alliance. Ruben Torres replaced Ms. Yvette Delgado for the Private Sector Representative as Ms. Yvette Delgado’s board membership expired September 30, 2016.
Lourdes Madera has worked as a Veterans Resource Coordinator and Counselor at Workforce Solutions through the Texas Workforce Commission since 2015. Ms. Madera provides assistance and information to military veterans for appropriate skills training, interview techniques, resume and application preparation and job placement assistance. Ms. Madera worked with the United States Army on Worldwide Assignments from 2003 to 2015. She worked through a series of progressive roles based on her demonstrated capacity to lead diverse administrative operations and initiatives such as: Defense Travel Administrator, Brigade Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, Mortuary Affairs Supervisor, Operations Non-Commissioned Officer and Recovery Team Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. Ms. Madera is currently completing coursework toward a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology at Park University in Fort Bliss, Texas. Ms. Madera replaced Mr. Joseph Newkirk as the Public Employment Representative from TWC and Veteran Representative.
Leo A. Duran Sr., is a third-generation Co-Owner of L & J Café. Prior to this, Mr. Duran worked for El Paso Electric for fifteen years. Mr. Duran is a member of the El Paso Restaurant Association, where he served three years as Director of the Board and one year as President. Mr. Duran was also a State Board Director, served on the Government and Communications Committees, and was a Three-Year Trustee for a Political Action Committee at the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA). Mr. Duran was also a member of the Texas Restaurant President’s Council, the El Paso Bar Owner Association (ELBOA) and is also a current member of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Mr. Duran was awarded Restaurant Manager of the Year Award in 2003.
Robert Alcala has worked in the field of Rehabilitation for over 35 years. Mr. Alcala worked with El Paso MHMR (now known as Emergence Health Network) and with the Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services Agency (VRS), formerly the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Mr. Alcala has a Bachelor of Science Degree from UTEP with a major in Psychology. Mr. Alcala has served on Professional Advisory Committees for MHMR, Goodwill, ARC, and Youth Leadership Forum. Mr. Alcala is currently on the Professional Advisory Committee for the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling Program at UTEP, the Ability Awareness Workgroup through the Center for Accommodations and Student Support at UTEP (as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month - NDEAM), and a member of the Upper Rio Grande Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Community Support Network through Volar Center for Independent Living. Mr. Alcala is the Area Manager for the VRS El Paso East Supervisory Unit and has received numerous recognitions over the years to include Regional and Statewide Area Manager of the Year distinctions. Mr. Alcala serves as Vice Chair on the Workforce Solutions Borderplex Disability Subcommittee and was an active participant in the development of this subcommittee.
Grace Muñoz is the Sr. Vice President of Talent Management at FirstLight Federal Credit Union in El Paso, Texas. Ms. Muñoz has over 29 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining FirstLight FCU, Ms. Muñoz worked in senior level positions in the private and public sector including Freeport McMoran Inc., (formerly - Phelps Dodge Mining & Refining Co.) and University Medical Center (formerly - Thomason Hospital El Paso County Hospital District). Ms. Muñoz has a Masters of Arts Degree in Organizational Development and Bachelors in Human Resources Development. Ms. Muñoz has served on the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Development Board since 2010. Ms. Muñoz also volunteers as a catechist instructor for adults in religious education. Ms. Muñoz is a current member of the Texas Credit Union League, El Paso Society of Human Resource Management (EPSHRM) and National Society of Human Resource Management.