General Inquiries & Facility Rental or 773-342-8865 x 104

Sponsorship Inquiries or 773-342-8865 x 105

Membership Inquiries or 773-342-8865 x 104

El Archivo Project or 773-342-8865 x 116



Carlos Hernandez, Founder & Executive Director –, x 103
Rebecca Raab, Director of Development & Programs –, x 105
Zabdiel Santiago, Music Program Manager –, x 111
Jorge Felix, Studio Arts & Exhibition Program Manager –, x 106
Zumiya Gomez, Music Program & Development Assistant –, x 104

PRAA Consultants and Instructors:

Veronica Colburn, Accounting Support
Ernesto De La Torre, Accounting Consultant
James Cornolo, Music Instructor
Jaime Rivera, Music Instructor
Dakota Dukes, Music Instructor
Marcus Dunleavy, Music Instructor
Eddie Ortiz, Music Instructor
Roberto Martinez, Music Instructor
Mercedes Martinez, Music Instructor
Cody Tracey, Music Instructor
Kevin Toler, Music Instructor
Mara Ayala, Studio Arts Instructor
Maureen O’Connor, Development Consultant
Jorge Ortega, Production Consultant
Abraham Gonzalez, IT Consultant
John Kopczyk, CPA

Board of Directors

Juan Mendez, Board Chairman – President/Owner, Tara/Jordan Management, Ltd.
Eduardo Camacho, Vice Chairman – Senior Compliance Facilitator, OLSCR, CPS
Antonio R. Guillen, Treasurer – SVP, Wintrust Financial Corporation
Jose R. Sanchez, Secretary – President & CEO, Norwegian American Hospital
Carmen Maldonado – President/Owner, La Criolla Foods
Sylvia Mojica-Castillo – PsyD Consultant, Illinois Department of Children & Family Services
Stacy O’Brien – Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Exelon
Robert Pantoja – Customer Segment Strategy Manager & Vice President, BMO Harris Bank
Cheryl Cooke – Manager, Corporate Giving, Allstate Insurance Company

Leadership Bios


Carlos Hernandez, Founder & Executive Director

Carlos Hernandez, Founder and Executive Director, has led PRAA since it was established in 1998. Under his guidance, PRAA has emerged as a leading non-profit arts organization in the Latino community. Carlos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Southern Illinois University, and a Masters degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois. Additional training includes executive training at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and participation in “Leaders in the Arts” at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Nonprofit Management. In 2010, Carlos was named an Experience Leader Fellow of the Chicago Community Trust.


Juan Mendez, Board Chairman 

Juan is the President of Tara/Jordan Management, Ltd. which operates seven McDonald’s restaurants. Prior to becoming a McDonald’s franchisee, he was the principal for the law offices of Juan M. Mendez & Associates. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from De Paul University, College of Law in 1975. Juan is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army
during the years of 1969-1970.

Throughout his career he has been actively involved in service to our community. Amongst his many contributions, he has been the National Chairman for the McDonald’s Hispanic Owners Association, Member of the Board of Trustees for Northeastern Illinois University, President of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, President of the Latin American Bar Association, Member of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Chairperson of Los Amigos del Cuatro, Panel Chairman of the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois, President of the HACER Scholarship Program for the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana region, as well as Board Member of Aspira.

His love for our culture and its people are well documented. He has mentored many. The only request he makes is that when the opportunity arises, they assist others. According to him, “There is no greater gift than helping others.”

PRAA Advisory Committee

Adolfo Hernandez, City of Chicago
Angel Gutierrez, Catholic Charities
Angelo Sanchez, Community Resident
Antonio Lugo, Financial Services
Carmen Lonstein, Clayco
Carmen Rivera, Wintrust Bank
Edwin Mendez, Community Resident
Edwin Rivera, Metaphrasis
Evan Gutierrez, UNO Charter Schools
Heriberto (Ed) Ruiz, R4 Commercial Real Estate Solutions
Ignacio Lopez, National Louis University
Jose Barrera, Columbia Explorers Academy
Isabel Tellez, Chicago Public Schools
Julio Cruz, Community Resident
Julio Urrutia, Conlon and Dunn
Manuel Medina, City Colleges of Chicago
Marty Gutierrez, University of Illinois at Chicago
Pablo Matias, U.S. Bank
Willy Montes de Oca, Chicago Public Schools
Zoraida Sambolin, NBC 5 Chicago

Aly Echevarria, Community Resident
Angel Perez, Hijos de Borinquen
Damaris Montano, Puerto Rican Society of Waukegan
Ennedy Rivera, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Eduardo Diaz, Smithsonian Latino Center
Miguel Rodriguez, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe
Luz Dary Denton, Kroma Associates, LLC