Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative
Daniel Garza has more than two decades of both public and private sector experience managing media and public relations, directing corporate projects, and working at all levels of government. He has earned a reputation for advocating on behalf of the Hispanic Community for sound public policy recognizing that the current economic condition requires this vital community to play an essential role in bringing about solutions. Mr. Garza was recently featured on Fox News Latino’s “Ten Young Latinos in Politics to Watch in 2013” and Polymic’s list of “10 Political Rising Stars You Should Know About in 2013”.
Mr. Garza is a former White House staffer who served in the Bush Administration and also worked as co-producer and host of Agenda Washington, a Spanish language news/interview weekly television program that covered state, economic, political and social issues impacting the U.S. Hispanic community airing on the Univision television network. In addition, Daniel served as a former Congressional Staff Assistant for U.S. Congressman Richard "Doc" Hastings before he was elected as Councilman for the City of Toppenish, Washington in 1996. Daniel was appointed, in 2001, by the Bush Administration to serve as Deputy Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of the Interior. In 2004, he was appointed as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison in the White House before moving on to work for Televisa in 2006, as President of HISPANIC and PODER Group where he oversaw the editorial, commercial, and promotional aspects of HISPANIC, Hispanic Trends, PODER and Tu Dinero magazines.
Born in the Central Valley of California, Daniel's family would migrate annually from his ancestral hometown of Garza Gonzales, Nuevo Leon in Mexico throughout California, Nebraska and the State of Washington as they followed the crop season as farm workers. He currently resides in McAllen, TX with his wife and three children.
Chief of Staff
Prior to joining LIBRE, Andeliz served as Deputy Communications Director and
Professional Staff Member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for Chairman,
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. In addition to drafting and disseminating
press statements and editorials on Latin America and the Caribbean for the Chairman,
Andeliz handled press coverage for the hearings and briefings of the Full Committee
and its seven Subcommittees. She also managed the U.S. public diplomacy portfolio,
which included international broadcasting and cultural and educational exchange
Throughout the 111th Congress, Andeliz led outreach efforts for the House of
Representatives’ GOP leadership at the House Republican Conference, chaired by
Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana. She served as a national and local Spanish-
language spokesperson and provided Hispanic coalition-building support to members
of Congress. In 2010, Andeliz spearheaded the GOP’s first Spanish-language response
to the State of the Union. In the 112th Congress, she worked closely with the Office of
the Speaker to coordinate subsequent Spanish-language responses to the President’s
State of the Union in 2011 and 2012.
During the 2008 election cycle, Andeliz served as Director of Outreach Communications
for the Republican National Committee. In this role, she advanced conservative
principles such as free enterprise, a strong national defense and limited government in
the U.S. Hispanic and African-American communities. While serving as a spokesperson
via national and local minority-serving media outlets, Andeliz helped coordinate more
than a thousand interviews between conservative surrogates and ethnic media outlets
across the country, including at the 2008 Republican National Convention.
Born and raised in New York City to Cuban and Colombian parents, Andeliz moved
to Washington, D.C. to join the staff of Florida Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. One
of her responsibilities was to serve as the liaison to both the Congressional Hispanic
Conference (CHC) and Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), chaired
by the Congressman. During her involvement with CHLI, Andeliz founded and directed
CHLI's Intern Mentorship program.
Andeliz graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island with a Bachelor
of Arts in Political Science and Hispanic Studies. She currently resides in Arlington, VA.
Jose Mallea has more than 15 years of political and public policy experience at the local, state, and federal levels of government. He began his involvement in Politics and Government in 1996 as a Youth Coordinator for the Bob Dole for President Campaign in Miami-Dade County. In 1998 he served as Regional Field Director for the Republican Party of Florida, in support of the Jeb Bush for Governor Campaign. In 2000 he worked on the George W. Bush Presidential campaign, serving as Deputy Political Director for Florida Victory 2000.
From 2001 to 2005 Mallea served as a Presidential Appointee in the Administration of President George W. Bush. Most notably, he served as Special Assistant and Personal Aide to White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card, Jr. from March 2002 to November 2003. Mallea worked closely with White House staff in support of Mr. Card in his duties as the President’s Chief of Staff. Following his tenure at the White House, Mallea joined the U.S. Department of State as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs, responsible for the Near Eastern Affairs Region. Mallea worked with U.S. companies doing business in the region, coordinating U.S. Government advocacy and assisting with export promotion efforts in conjunction with other USG agencies. In 2004 he received a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State for his work as part of the Economic Bureau’s Iraq Reconstruction Task Force. He continued his service in the Department of State as Associate Director in the Office of White House Liaison until February of 2005.
Prior to his work at the White House and the U.S. Department of State, Mallea worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), from April 2001 to March 2002 serving as Special Assistant to SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto.
Following his tenure in Washington, D.C., he returned to Miami, Florida where he served as Chief of Staff to then Mayor of the City of Miami Manny Diaz, from February 2005 to January 2007. In this capacity he oversaw the policy, communications, and management functions of the Office of the Mayor.
In 2007, Mallea founded JM Global Consulting to provide strategic business development and government affairs consulting services to clients at the local, state and federal levels of government. He has worked closely with local municipalities, universities, as well as fortune 50 and fortune 500 firms.
In 2010, Mallea joined the Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate Campaign where he served as Campaign Manager. In this role Mallea coordinated all the day-to-day functions of the campaign, including field operations, finance, policy and media. The campaign resulted in a 19 point come from behind victory in a highly contested 3-way race. Politico Magazine rated it the No. 1 best executed campaign of the 2010 election cycle.
Currently, Mallea serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Sports Foundation and the Miami-Dade County Small Business Advisory Board.
Northwest Regional Director (Los Angeles, California)
John Méndez ranks among the top Hispanic national leaders within the Evangelical Church in North America, and currently serves as The LIBRE Initiative’s Western Regional Director. He is a graduate from Latin American Bible College (formerly in El Paso, Texas). He holds Degrees from the Institute of Banking, Finance and Loan both in Marketing and Management, the Institute of Substance Abuse Counseling and earned a Master’s Degree from Azusa Pacific University. He has served as a Pastor, Church Planter and Denominational Leader.
Most recently, he served as Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals. In this role, he led a national network of Ministerial Alliances throughout the U.S. As the highest ranking, and only Hispanic to serve in this role, Méndez led the cause for issues facing evangelicals in the U.S.
During his tenure he forged working relationships with government, private business, local churches and non-profit agencies. These networks assisted the unemployed to find jobs, provided recovery and reform programs, and jobs for gang members and drug users alike. John’s working relationship in the networks strengthened small businesses, local churches and nonprofit agencies, demonstrating his skills in bridging the gap between Church, Government, Culture and Society to find innovative ways to better serve our communities.
Michael L. Barrera, Esq.
Western Regional Director (Denver, Colorado)
Mr. Barrera is an attorney with over 30 years of business, legal, non-profit and government experience. As a recognized national leader in the business community and Regional Director for The Libre Initiative (LIBRE), Mr. Barrera oversees coalition building efforts, provides counsel on brokering new alliances with the Hispanic and Latino business community, and helps build LIBRE’s membership and member resources.
He also serves as a regional spokesperson for the organization. Mr. Barrera previously served as President of the Business Information Clearinghouse (BIC), a national non-profit that provided multi-lingual business resources for entrepreneurs. Mr. Barrera also served as President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) an organization that represented over 2 million Hispanic businesses and local chambers nationwide. Prior to the USHCC, Mr. Barrera served as the National Ombudsman for the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) where he assisted small businesses in regulatory disputes with federal regulators. He also led the SBA’s Office of Capital Access, which oversaw a $76 billion dollar loan portfolio, the Office of Government Contracting/Business Development, the Office of Entrepreneurial Development and helped launch a highly successful Business Matchmaking federal and corporate procurement initiative. In 2008, Latin Business Magazine named Mr. Barrera as one of the top 100 influential Hispanics in Business. In 2007, he was named by Diversity Business.Com as one of “America’s Top Diversity Advocates” a list that included former President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
Mr. Barrera received his law degree from the University of Texas School Of Law in 1989 and a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1982. He was also educated at Harvard Business School and the Marshall School of Business at USC.
Judy Pino is an award-winning journalist who began her Communications career
in Miami, FL as a news anchor for Noticias 41 AmericaTeve where she won a
Communicator Award for a 5-part series about GITMO, the U.S. Military Base in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has worked as reporter and producer for Univision WLTV
23; Telemundo Washington; ABC WPLG 10; and The Miami Herald newspaper. Judy
moved to Washington D.C. after receiving a political appointment by the George W.
Bush Administration to work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as Spanish
spokesperson and Hispanic media liaison for the Office of the Administrator. During her
tenure at the EPA, Judy won an Aurora Award and a Telly Award for two environmental
documentaries produced and directed by her.
In 2004, she worked as Director of Specialty Media and Spanish spokesperson for the
Republican National Convention in New York City. After the Convention, she returned
to DC to serve as Hispanic liaison for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense at
the Pentagon. Judy has managed Hispanic media outreach efforts for clients including:
Impacto Group, HeritageLibertad.com, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
and The Vietnam Veterans Fund, among others. She is a graduate of the University of
Miami and currently resides in Washington DC.
Mario J. Beovides
South Florida Coordinator
Mario J. Beovides was born and raised in Miami, FL and joined LIBRE on February
2012 and is responsible for coordinating our efforts in South Florida. Mario graduated
from the University of Miami and double majored in History and Motion Pictures. In
1996, he was selected as one of three Miami-Dade County students to participate in the
National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense and Diplomacy in Washington, DC.
After working several years at the renowned litigation and commercial firm Steel, Hector
& Davis International, Mario joined the Mel Martinez for U.S. Senate campaign in 2004
as Volunteer Coordinator, and later served in U.S. Senator Mel Martinez's staff as
Outreach Coordinator and Constituent Services Representative. In 2005, he became
South Florida Field Director for the Republican Party of Florida where he oversaw all
grassroots efforts in Miami Dade County. Mario then joined City of Miami Commission
Chairman Joe Sanchez's staff as the Chairman's Special Assistant and Media
Coordinator. During his time at the City of Miami, he served as the Commissioner's
liaison to the City of Miami Green Commission, the Bicycle Action Committee Master
Plan, and the Little Havana Homeownership Advisory Board. Mario also oversaw the
implementation of all Children's Trust Grants, helped launch a project to make all
City of Miami Parks A.D.A (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant, and assisted
in legislative initiatives as a Legislative Aide in the City of Miami Parks & Recreation
In 2008, Mario was selected to assist in Hispanic Media efforts during the Republican
National Convention in Minnesota.
In 2010, Mario served as Campaign Manager for the Carlos L. Curbelo for Miami Dade
County School Board campaign, and later joined School Board Member Curbelo's staff
where he coordinated legislative initiatives, as well as media and community events.
Mario has served in the Generation Engage Advisory Board as a member of the
ASPCA, and currently serves in the Minority Business Enterprise Committee in the
Miami Dade County School Board. Mario was also recognized as 1999 Teacher of
the Year by the Bilingual Association of Private Schools in South Florida. His family
migrated from Cuba in the early 1960's and resided in Boston, MA before settling in
Miami, FL and launching a chain of successful private schools in 1970.
North Florida Coordinator (Orlando, FL)
Pablo Pantoja was born and raised in Puerto Rico and move to Florida to continue his education at Florida State University.
On September 7, 2001, he joined the Army National Guard and served as a light Infantryman in Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring/Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Kuwait where he was awarded more notably the Combat Infantryman Badge, Presidential Unit Citation (Navy-Marine Corps), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Upon his return he continued his education, but also served in two back-to-back highly active hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005. For his service, he was awarded the Florida Meritorious Service Ribbon, Florida State Active Duty Ribbon, and the Mississippi Emergency Service Medal (Hurricane Katrina). His experiences in emergencies and natural disasters led him to serve the State of Florida as part of the executive leadership team at the Division of Emergency Management for three administrators.
Pantoja served as a volunteer during the 2008 Presidential Elections in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Florida. He also devoted his time as an active grassroots volunteer in diverse ways where he mobilized and motivated voters to take action, and also worked as a Regional Field Director in Central Florida. He also worked in Hispanic Outreach as the Coalitions Director for the Republican Party of Florida. Most recently, he served as the State Director of Hispanic Outreach in Florida for the Republican National Committee where he helped shape the voter outreach efforts.
Pantoja holds a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and a Master's Degree in Political Science, Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University.
Project Coordinator (Arlington, Virginia)
Brittney Morrett was raised in central Pennsylvania and received her A.A. from Bard College at Simon's Rock in Massachusetts at the age of eighteen. She then graduated with a B.A. in Middle East Studies from The George Washington University in May of 2010. While in college, Brittney worked as a consultant for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an institute that defends democratic values, and on the staff of the Center for a Free Cuba, an institution dedicated to promoting free-market reforms and a transition to democracy on the island. She also co-founded the Students for a Free Cuba student group at GWU which hosted speakers like Senator Marco Rubio, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, and former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. She was an active member of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.
After graduation Brittney went on to be the Communications Manager for CampusReform.org, the Leadership Institute's grassroots mobilization site for conservative college students. In this position she worked to identify student activists and train them to become more effective. In addition, she traveled to teach on the subjects of youth and minority outreach, communications, and new media techniques.
Brittney occasionally speaks on panels and at events like RightOnline 2011 and the 2011 Tea Party Patriots Summit regarding topics from youth and minority outreach to effective activism.
Communications Specialist (Arlington, Virginia)
Joana Serpa was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States when she was sixteen. She attended George Mason University (GMU) and obtained a B.S. in Economics.
As an immigrant who grew up in a developing country, she was curious to understand why some countries prosper while others stay poor. During her time at GMU, she realized the free market is the main driver of prosperity. After college, she focused her work on Human Resources. Two years later, she joined The LIBRE Initiative as a communications specialist and encourages her community to promote the principles of economic freedom.
Associate Director (Brownsville, Texas)
Eric Garza joined The LIBRE Initiative in August of 2011 and brings private and public sector experience to the post. Prior to joining LIBRE he served as Assistant Director of the Valley International Community Development Corporation of South Texas overseeing organizational policy, community development projects, and educational programs for Hispanic youth. Eric has worked with political and issue based campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Notably, from 2006-2009 he served on the Legislative Relations Commission at Texas A&M University working with students and administration in lobbying the Texas Legislature on higher education funding initiatives.
He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Valley International Community Development Corporation and Leadership Brownsville, Inc. and is a member of the Bond Oversight Commission of the Brownsville Independent School District.
Having worked with his father’s construction company in South Texas and experienced both the setbacks and successes of a business, Eric understands the unique impact small businesses have on the economy and strongly believes that business growth and an educated workforce is the engine of economic prosperity. Eric is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. Eric brings a passion to this role and is dedicated to advancing the principles of economic freedom within the Hispanic Community which remain vital to our country’s success and future stability and prosperity.
Program Coordinator (Denver, CO)
Andrew Sanchez was born and raised in Denver, CO. Andrew has served with
numerous state wide campaigns and community organizations. Most notably Andrew
served as a Student Outreach Director, dedicating his time reaching out to Colorado’s
Hispanic Community. As Director, Andrew sought to inform and empower Hispanics
hoping to achieve a more prosperous and prominent place in Colorado’s public arena.
Currently studying Finance and Economics at Metro State in Denver, Andrew continues
to advocate a limited government and free market philosophy within the community.
Administrative Assistant (Arlington, Virgina)
Steven Cruz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when he was twelve. He attended Florida International University and received a B.A. in International Relations with a focus in Latin America and a certificate in Leadership. He joins The LIBRE Initiative as our Administrative Assistant for the Arlington office and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration degree from The George Washington University. He is bringing his experience in operations management, internal processes as well as constituent support to our offices.