Gerardo Franco - President

Gerardo obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He works as a mechanical engineer at Raytheon where he designs and tests satellites for earth science research. He decided to become a member of the SHPE SBLA board because as a first-generation college graduate, he received support from mentors throughout his journey in engineering school. Now that he graduated, it’s his turn to fill the shoes of a mentor as many did before him. As a board member he does everything he can to spread the SHPE mission; provide STEM awareness, access, support, and development to empower the Hispanic community.

Vanessa Felix - Internal Vice President

I am a Mission Assurance Engineer at Raytheon. I enjoy travelling, cooking and staying active. Empowering others to realize their full potential is one of my passions.

Juan Bahena - External Vice President

Mechanical Engineer at Raytheon Technologies working on GPS Avionics and Hardware. Currently, working on Aerospace Master’s at UCLA. Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and moved to California in 2018 to start my career. Joined SBLA in 2018 and have been involved since.

Cindy Serafin - Treasurer

Cindy Serafin-Marquez graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management and an Associate’s Degree in Journalism. Cindy has 20 years’ experience in the banking industry specifically in leadership roles. She successfully improved sales and service throughout the organization. She holds the title of Director of Express Service Officers. Cindy oversee 7 offices that are embedded in various locations such as Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, VA San Diego, VA Loma Linda and Pacific Life Insurance. In her role she supports and educates her team to allow them to be successful in their roles. Her role also allows her to play an active role in the community. Financial Partners Credit Union is a Rockwell Heritage credit union. The Credit Union was created when 8 North American Aviation employees got together to help their employees get loans at better rates than the what the banks were offering.

Dulce McCary

Dulce is a Principal Systems Engineer that specializes in architecting digital engineering Ecosystems at SAIC. She Has both undergraduate degree and graduate degree in Electrical engineering from the University of Florida (UF) . Dulce has been a part of SHPE since 2010 held both positions in undergraduate and graduate roles. She’s excited to brainstorm new ideas as director of events serving the South Bay community

Bartholomew Perez - Director of Marketing

Bartholomew is a Systems Architect Engineer passionate about business development, systems engineering and mission readiness at Northrop Grumman. He earned his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Master’s in Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering from UC San Diego. On his off time, he serves established and developing STEM communities with the goal of encouraging students to channel their inner engineer/scientist/researcher and pursue STEM careers.

Arturo De La Huerta - Membership Chair

Arturo is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University and currently working as a mechanical engineer at Raytheon Technologies. I have been actively involved with SHPE for the Past 3 years and now serving as membership chair for SHPE SBLA professional chapter. On my free time I enjoy mountain biking, attending concerts (pre-covid lol) and playing golf.

Lauren Lopez - Student Chapter Liason

Lauren Lopez is a Materials & Process Engineer at Northrop Grumman at the Space Park site. She provides Program support for macroelectronics design, qualification, and manufacturing floor support. The most rewarding part of work is seeing various designs come to life on the manufacturing and integration and test floor. Her favorite memory is performing a specialty cleaning of the James Webb Space Telescope sunshield while being suspended on a lift. Lauren is originally from North County San Diego and moved to the South Bay area three years ago. This year, she serves as SHPE SBLA’s Student Chapter Liaison providing support across Socal and beyond, including high school through PhD students.

Karen Abarca - Secretary

Karen Abarca is dedicated to professional development and community outreach. She is an Associate Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman and secretary of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, South Bay LA. She empowers and encourages the next generation of STEM professionals by providing guidance based on her academic, professional, personal experiences. Her lifetime goals are to provide informational resources to students of low-income communities who want to purse a STEM degree. She interprets engineering as a blend of art and science and aims to bridge them in her everyday experiences.

Andres Sanchez Magana - Director of IT

Andres is a recent graduate from the University of California, Riverside majoring in Electrical Engineering. He started his work at Raytheon Technologies right out of college and started his involvement with professional organizations who advocate for better access and more resources to the unrepresented minorities. During his free time he likes to read, camp, go on roadtrips, and learn new skills.

Sandra Thomas - Professional Development

Sandra Thomas is a Recruitment Adviser for the Fully Employed (Part-time) MBA program at Pepperdine, Graziadio Business School. She has an active role in recruiting and building relationships with prospective MBA candidates, serving as a resource for application and program related questions. Originally from Minneapolis, Sandra moved to SoCal five years ago. She spends her time actively volunteers with the Latina Golfers Association, while serving on the Board of Director for Prospanica, NHBWA and SHPE-South Bay Chapter. Sandra currently resides in the South Bay with her husband and two boys.