Board of Commissioners

The Board of Commissioners is the body in which rests the statutory responsibility and authority of the agency. It is comprised of eleven members appointed by the Governor. Each commissioner serves for a three year term, and may be reappointed to serve additional terms. The terms of office of the commissioners are staggered so that approximately one-third of seats on the board is open for appointment/reappointment each October.

By law, Commissioners are required to be residents of the State of Ohio, citizens or lawful residents of the United States of America, of Latino heritage, and with some degree of ability to speak Spanish.

Although they are gubernatorial appointees, the Governor is not the only state leader with a say in the appointment of commissioners. The Governor has carte blanche authority to appoint five commissioners, the Speaker of the Ohio House and the President of the Ohio Senate each recommend two commissioners for appointment, and the Minority Leaders of the Ohio House and Senate each recommend one commissioner for appointment.

The Commissioners as a whole have a final say in determining the policies, the annual budget plan, the direction and the initiatives of the Commission. Any action of the Board of Commissioners requires at least six votes in the affirmative. The Director of the Commission is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners.

Members of the Board

Past Commissioners

Board Committees

  • Education 
  • Health
  • Workforce/ Economic Development
  • Diversity and Inclusion

Board Meeting Schedule

Virtual!

In accordance with Governor DeWine's Executive Order 2020-01D (E.O.), which declares a state of emergency to protect the well-being of the citizens of Ohio from the effects of COVID-19, the Commission will host its board meetings virtually. 

The Public is welcome to attend via conference call.  To obtain details, please email: Michelle.goodman@ochla.state.oh.us

 

Board Meeting Minutes

Monthly Reports

Annual Reports

Resolutions

 

44TH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

 


Chair, Manuel Lopez
Hometown: Springfield
Commissioner Lopez is a Project and Change Management Professional with LexisNexis and is well-versed in cross-cultural business practices. He earned an MBA, in Management Information Systems and Network Administration. Manuel Lopez, MBA, PMP® | LinkedIn


Vice Chair, Dr. Elena Foulis
Hometown: Columbus
Dr. Foulis earned her PhD. from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and she teaches Spanish and conducts research at The Ohio State University. She has led a variety of oral history initiatives including the Ohio Habla podcast and Oral Narratives of Latin@s in Ohio and currently supervises the "Spanish in Ohio" program at Ohio State. Elena Foulis, Ph.D. | LinkedIn


Secretary, Beth Guzmn-Bowman
Hometown: Columbus
Commissioner Guzmán-Bowman is the Senior Outreach Coordinator at OSU Wexner Medical Center. She earned degrees at Case Western Reserve University and Bowling Green State University and has advised a variety of organizations, with a large focus on meeting the needs of Hispanic/Latinx patients. Beth Guzman-Bowman | LinkedIn


Jose C. Feliciano Jr.
Hometown: Aurora
Commissioner Feliciano the External Affairs Manager at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).  He is a proponent for Hispanic and Latino leadership and holds influential roles within such groups as The Hispanic Roundtable and The Young Latino Network. José C. Feliciano Jr. | LinkedIn


Gregory Guzman, PhD
Hometown: Maumee
Dr. Guzman resides in Maumee, OH. and is the Executive Director at Hondros College of Nursing. Dr. Guzman has over 26 years of experience in higher education including leadership roles within the Winebrenner Theological Seminary and the Diocese of Toledo (OH), and was the first Latino to serve as a University President in Northwest, OH. Gregory Guzman, Ph.D. | LinkedIn 


Michael Florez
Hometown: Cincinnati
Commissioner Florez is a Prosecuting Attorney in Hamilton County, OH and has practiced Law for 39 years. He received his J.D. in Law from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Guzman has been a commissioner with OCHLA since 2001. Michael Florez | LinkedIn


Mary Santiago
Hometown: Lorain
Commissioner Santiago is an advocate for the Hispanic and Latino community and volunteers with a variety of groups for such causes. Aside from OCHLA, she is a member of the Lorain Charter Commission and volunteers her time to the Sacred Heart Chapel as the President of the Parish Finance Council. Mary Santiago | Bio


Rev. Juan Rivera
Hometown: Campbell
Commissioner Juan Rivera is an ordained minister with 17 years of experience specializing in the gospel, leadership, pastoring, and mentoring. He currently pastors at New Life Church in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to his full-time work as a pastor, Juan serves in various capacities as a teacher, mentor, preacher, and seminar speaker. Juan Rivera | Bio


Anthony Simms-Howell
Hometown: Cincinnati
Commissioner Simms-Howell is a member of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame and is well-known for his work with Civil Rights causes. He is a founding member of the African American and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as LULAC Cincinnati.  He continues his leadership with OCHLA and a variety of local boards within the community. V. Anthony Simms-Howell | Bio


Dan Molina
Hometown: Loveland
Commissioner Molina is an Information Technology Executive who leads with community development and diversity & inclusion initiatives. He earned an MBA and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. Aside from OCHLA, he is also a leader with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, and previously held leadership roles with Prospanica. Daniel Molina | LinkedIn  


Maria Sylvia Martinez
Hometown: Hamler
Commissioner Martinez is as a librarian in the Continental school district and works as a monitor for the online learning of at-risk students to ensure they can graduate. Throughout her professional career she has worked with children of migrant farmworkers, and within Ohio's migrant education program. Maria Sylvia Martinez | Bio

BOARD APPLICATION FORM

The Commission was created by Legislative Act signed into Law by Governor James Rhodes on July 8, 1977. The Statute provided for eleven members on the Board of Commissioners appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Statute requires that all Board members shall speak Spanish, shall be of Hispanic/Latino origin, and shall be American citizens or lawful, permanent resident aliens.

The membership shall be representative of the geographical and numerical distribution of Ohio's Hispanic/ Latino population.
 
OCHLA's Board of Commissioners consists of a diverse group of Latino community leaders from different parts of the state. Each of them brings a unique professional and personal background in representing their communities and working to serve all Hispanic Ohioans.
 
Questions? Please email us