Board Of Directors
Manuel Ramirez is President and Chief Executive Officer of RJI Ramirez Jimenez International CPAs. Manuel is a founding member of the firm and has served as President and CEO since 1993. Manuel was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a member of the California Board of Accountancy in 2007. In January, 2010, Manuel Ramirez was elected President of the California Board of Accountancy.
Manuel began his career in public accounting in 1981 in Orange County, California. He has experience in auditing and consulting with financial agencies, governmental institutions, healthcare providers, publicly traded companies, real estate developers, nonprofit organizations, and privately held enterprises. In addition to his extensive financial, accounting and auditing experience, he has specialized experience in taxation and business consulting.
Manuel holds a Masters of Science in Tax Law from Golden Gate University. He has also achieved Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Accountants status. Manuel received his Bachelor?s degree in accounting from California State University, Fullerton. Manuel is a co-founder of Hispanic 100, an organization working to help further the development of local, national and international Hispanic business and political leaders and to be a conduit to facilitate and implement the strategic resolution of issues critical to the Hispanic Community.
He also served as the last elected President and first Chairman of the Board for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Orange County. His business activism also includes participating in the area action council of Orange County for the NFIB, co-founder of NegNext PAC, co-founder of the Orange County Catholic Foundation, board member of Legatus, audit committee chairman of the Santa Ana Business Bank, finance and investment committee chairman of Make-A-Wish Foundation, finance chair for the Boy Scouts of America, along with serving on the board of two dozen other philanthropic and business organizations.
Bob’s career in politics spans a period of over 16 years. During that time he has participated in numerous campaigns both as a candidate and as an advisor to other campaigns. In 1995 Bob ran successfully for city council. Two years later, he successfully ran for the California State Assembly where he served three terms until 2004. While in the state assembly he chaired the Hispanic Republican Caucus. In 2001 he created the California Empowerment Project to elect Latinos to public office. He was successful in raising and funding over 1 million dollars in campaigns to elect Latinos to public office including to city council, school board, water board and members of the legislature.
Bob served as California Statewide Chairman for President Bush?s re-election, Chairman of the Latino Caucus campaign for Governor Schwarzenegger, Statewide Latino Chairman for Senator John McCain for President, Statewide Latino Coalition Co-Chair for Meg Whitman for Governor and Latino Coalition Chairman for Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate. For over 16 years, Bob has participated in running and advising numerous campaigns or advising candidates for public office. Bob was frequently called upon to be the Latino spokesman for the Republican Caucus and for the Presidential and State Candidates.
Bob’s professional career spans 58 years. He is the Senior Member of Pacheco & Pacheco Law Offices for over 37 years. He was also appointed to the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors by President Bush, as California Senior Advisor for Jobs and Workforce Development, a member of the Cal-OSHA Board of Appeals and an AVP of a California Bank. Bob and his wife Gayle currently own and successfully operate a multimillion dollar manufacturing company in Walnut, California.
In the California State Assembly Bob served as Vice Chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, Higher Education, Health Committee and the Local Government Committee. He was a key member of the Budget, Ethics and Appropriation Committees as well. Bob has received numerous awards for his legislative and community contributions:
The Latino Journal Excellence in Public Service award
Legislator of the Year by The Los Angeles Sheriffs Association
Legislator of the Year by The California Community College Administrators
Legislator of the Year by The Community College Student Association
Legislator of the Year by the Orange County Republican Party
Community & Professional Service award from Western State University Law School
Induction into Western State University Law School’s Hall of Fame
Lincoln Clubs Outstanding Contributions Award
Citizen of the Year Walnut Valley Chamber of Commerce
Outstanding Partner-President’s Award Mt. San Antonio Community College
Legislator of the Year Faculty Association of California Community Colleges
Nettie Humanitarian Award for prevention of HIV/Aids
Council of American Islamic Relations Legislator Award
The Honorable Grace Flores-Hughes serves as Vice Chair, F&H 2, Inc., a management consulting business. She is a public speaker, television and media commentator and was a weekly contributor to VOXXI.com and currently guest contributor to Latino Magazine. Mrs. Flores-Hughes’ memoir, A Tale of Survival was published in 2011 and was awarded Honorable Mention by the New England and Southwest Book Festivals and the International Book Awards in 2013.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes has had a successful public service career both as a civil servant and as a political appointee. Her expertise lies in strategic managerial structure, including management crisis, conflict resolution and mediation and immigration/refugee policy. She has arbitration skills as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel. Additionally, Mrs. Flores-Hughes has been a college instructor in the areas of American Government and Public Policy.
Her last presidential appointment was in 2009 when President George W. Bush reappointed Mrs. Flores-Hughes as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FISP)–the Federal Labor Relations Authority to a five-year term. As a member of the FISP she was responsible for resolving impasses between federal agencies and unions representing employees arising from negotiations over conditions of employment through arbitration.
Prior to serving in the Bush Administration, Mrs. Flores-Hughes served in the Reagan and Bush Administrations in various capacities among them was being appointed to the Community Relations Service (CRS) at the Department of Justice where she served as the first woman Director/Assistant Attorney General from 1988-92. As Director, Mrs. Flores-Hughes led an agency with close to 100 employees and a budget of approximately $30M. She was responsible for developing policies and establishing priorities with respect to the resolution of racial and ethnic conflict in communities throughout the country, and the resettlement of Cuban/Haitian refugees in the United States. CRS partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited as part of the agency’s hotline initiative. CRS also assisted during national disasters to provide disaster relief and recovery activities as part of its conflict resolution mandate. And was part of a federal effort to reduce youth gangs and drugs.
During the late 1980’s and early 90’s, Mrs. Flores-Hughes led the federal resettlement plan of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. from Central America. She set in motion a resettlement plan that is in place today at the Dept. of Health & Human Services. The plan included but not limited to the following; working with non-profits that would help to provide shelters for unaccompanied minors, working with local and state officials regarding placing minors in their communities until reunited with their families or deported and coordinating federal efforts with the Border Patrol to ensure the minors were processed quickly so they could be sent to temporary shelters and/or foster homes in anticipation of their being reunited them with their families or deported. She has extensive experience working in immigration and refugee policy issues.
Before joining the Department of Justice, Mrs. Flores-Hughes was the first woman to serve as Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development at the Small Business Administration. As Associate Administrator, Mrs. Flores-Hughes managed over 20 employees with a budget of approximately $40M. During her tenure, Mrs. Hughes initiated a number of innovative policy changes associated with reforming the 8(a) program.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes has extensive knowledge of the federal government. She began her federal career as a GS-2 at Kelly AFB and subsequently transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department of Health, Education & Welfare where she assumed higher levels of management responsibility. She later worked in the Department of Health & Human Services as Acting Director of the Office of Hispanic Americans and was responsible for the development and implementation of social policy and programs regarding Hispanic Americans and where she helped coin the term “Hispanic” for the federal government.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes is fluent in both English and Spanish and has written and presented a number of professional papers including, “The Origin of the Term Hispanic,” Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 2006.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes was a Visiting Professor in the Political Science Departments of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes was appointed by Virginia Governors George Allen and Jim Gilmore to serve on the VA Board of Professional and Occupational Regulation & the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She served on the 1st Board of Visitors, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and served on the Diversity Advisory Committee for the Virginia National Guard.
She has received numerous awards and recognitions including, CNN Hero, 1990 Outstanding Public Service Award presented by the American Society for Public Administration. She is included in Who’s Who in America, in the Hispanic American Profiles, Ballantine Book and in Notable Hispanic American Women, Gale Research. Mrs. Flores-Hughes was named in Hispanic Business Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S., and awarded Hispanic of the Year, 11th Cong. District of Virginia.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes is a member of numerous organizations and serves on the following non-profit boards; the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, the Media Policy Center and the Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
She has been an active participant in Republican state and federal political campaigns, including; most recently served as member of the Trump Hispanic Advisory Council, she also worked on the Tom Davis Va. Congressional race, the Reagan/Bush Reelection 84’ campaign, the presidential campaigns of Dole/Kemp, Bush/Quayle, and Bush/Cheney. She also served on the 84’ Inaugural Committee. She was president of the Alexandria Commonwealth Women’s Club and has served in various high level positions in three Republican administrations.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes holds a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration, Harvard University and a B.A. in Child Psychology, University of the District of Columbia.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes is a native of Taft, Texas. She is married to Lt. General Harley A. Hughes, USAF (Ret), and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Rudy M. Beserra is Senior Vice President for Latin Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. He began his career 27 years ago, in 1989, after serving as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on Latino and Small Business Affairs.
A native of Albuquerque, Rudy is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. From modest roots, he has built a long, successful career as an advocate and voice for the Latino community. With Coca-Cola, he has strengthened the company’s bridge to hundreds of Latino organizations and small businesses in the U.S.
Rudy is an active member of a number of prominent Latino-focused organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), of which he is a founding member; and he serves on the board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). In the past, Rudy has served as chairman of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).
In 2016, Rudy was included in Latino Leaders magazine’s “101 Most Influential Latinos of 2016”, recognized as one of the “exemplary individuals” who “have dedicated their lives to education, culture and the success of generations to come.”
In 2011, Rudy received the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. That same year, he was awarded the Hector Barreto “Con Ganas” Award at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) annual convention in Miami for his advocacy promoting Latino businesses in the private sector.
In 2007, he received the Executive of the Year Award from the Association of Latin Professionals in Finance. His other citations include the 1995 Hispanic Community Commitment Award by the Latin American Management Association; a special recognition award in 2006 by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the 2007 Hispanic Leadership Award from the Dominican Times.
In 1987, during his tenure with President Reagan’s administration, Rudy was a special assistant to President Reagan in the Office of Public Liaison. He was instrumental in creating The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Hispanic Heritage Awards. They were established by the White House to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage month in the United States.
For the past 29 years, the Hispanic Heritage Awards have honored Latino leaders in various fields who have made a positive impact in the United States and around the globe. The awards are unique in that physicians, scientists, educators, innovators, public officials, community and business leaders, and even young leaders are presented the coveted award.
Rudy lives in Atlanta with his wife, Lois, and two daughters.
Rudy M. Beserra
R. Julio Gudino III, is an exclusive agent and personal financial representative for Allstate Corporation, based in California since 1999. As such, he serves as an insurance agent and personal financial representative for over 4,500 business and individual clients in the Southern California Region.
Mr. Gudino is a top Allstate agent nationwide in auto, property, business and life insurance. He has a full service agency that sells all types of insurance, from personal auto and business insurance, to kidnap and ransom coverage. He was recently awarded the prestigious Allstate Chairman's Inner Circle award for customer satisfaction, retention and profitability. He is in the top one percent of Allstate agents throughout the country, and one of only twelve agents in the state of California, to attain this level of achievement. Along with the Chairman's Inner Circle Award, he was awarded the Allstate Insurance Co. Ray Lynch Community Service Award in 2002. This award is given to only ONE Agent out of approximately 15,000 agents nationwide per year for their dedication to their communities.
During this time, Mr. Gudino Founded and served as CEO and Publisher of bello Magazine, the largest national English language magazine targeting the acculturated and affluent Latino. bello Magazine was recognized by industry experts as one of the most influential Hispanic magazines of its time.
He also manages the WBC Boxings #1 mandatory challenger middleweight boxer.
Mr. Gudino is also called upon as a commentator for Univision and Telemundo as an Insurance Expert.
Prior to joining Allstate, Mr. Gudino, at the age of 23 was the youngest salesman for BASF Corporation, where he was the number one salesman nationwide for three years in a row managing a territory of over 25 million dollars.
Before Mr. Gudino began his corporate careers, he began working at a young age at his family's businesses. These businesses included, auto dealerships, auto body shop, retail stores, and an ostrich and cattle ranch in Mexico.
Mr. Gudino also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Rancho Santiago Community College District Foundation in Santa Ana, CA. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Goals for Life Foundation and is a former member of the Allstate Foundation Board, The Latino Coalition Foundation Board, Hispanic Business Roundtable Board and Children's Protective Identification Video Foundation. Mr. Gudino is also the Chairman and founder of the United Hispanic Foundation.
Mr. Gudino and his wife Denise have been married for 15 years and have two beautiful children, Ariana Chanel (10) and Julio Christian (8).
R. Julio Gudio
John G. Cruz, Esq., served as Appointments Secretary to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from August 2007 to December 2010. From 2005-2007, Mr. Cruz served as a Commissioner on the California Gambling Control Commission. Prior to entering government service, and having earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1979, Mr. Cruz was a practicing lawyer who handled sophisticated real estate and business transactional law matters. From 2002 to 2007, he served on the Federal Service Impasses Panel (having twice been appointed by President George W. Bush), where he resolved disputes between federal agencies and unions representing federal employees.
Mr. Cruz has lived in Orange County since 1966. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration (with an emphasis in Accounting) in 1975 from California State University, Fullerton. Among other activities, he previously served as an Officer and Trustee for the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Education Foundation. He was also a co-founder of the Hispanic 100.
John G. Cruz, Esq.
Fortino was born and raised in Santa Ana, California and comes from a family of nine (5 brothers, 2 sisters and 2 parents). Fortino has been married 42 years to his high school sweetheart Bertha Rivera , together they have three children and six grandchildren.
Fortino has over 30 years of Sales and Marketing management experience; as a National Sales Manager with a California based manufacturer, Latin America Sales Manager for a multi-national corporation and for the past eighteen years he has lead Staffing Solutions as the C.E.O.. Recently, Fortino accepted the position of Chairman of the Board for the California Staffing Professionals Political Action Committee which represents over 6,000 staffing agencies in California. Fortino has a passion and commitment for improving the business climate in California which will encase getting the owners of these agencies to support candidates who agree on common sense solutions to California business matters.
As a successful Hispanic small business owner of 18 years, Fortino has been on television with Univision, Fox 11 News, featured on national commercials in English and Spanish and has been interviewed on national radio and cable programs as well as featured on podcast and interviewed by Authority Magazine.
For almost 40 years Fortino has served on non-profit boards and commissions and he currently serves on six boards. Some past and present boards are; YMCA of Orange County, City of Santa AnaCommissioner, Goodwill Industries of Orange County/Landmark Services Chairman, California Staffing Professionals State Board, New Majority of Orange County, Santa Ana College Foundation, Orange County Youth Sports Foundation, Hispanic 100 organization, The Toll Roads of Orange County Hispanic
Advisory Board and the South Coast Global Medical Center Board.
Fortino believes his faith in God plays a key role in why he has remained active all these years, in addition to wanting his children and grandchildren to have the opportunities he has had. This desire pushes and drives Fortino to be involved in organizations like the Hispanic 100 mentorship program.
Favorite quotes: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Shawshank Redemption movie