skip to Main Content

HHF Announces New Board Members

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

WASHINGTON, DC – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced Jonathan Padilla, Claudia Rivas and Monica Villarreal have joined the 31-year-old nonprofit’s Board of Directors.  Padilla and Villarreal were past recipients of the organization’s Youth Awards.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation just got stronger as an organization and a Board with the addition of Jonathan, Claudia and Monica,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO and Board Member of HHF. “Each of the new members will bring an important perspective, expertise and set of skills to make us more effective in making a broader impact on our community and America.  It’s also comforting to add two amazing leaders who grew up in our program.”

Jonathan M. Padilla is a native of the Great State of California and received HHF’s Youth Award for the San Jose region in 2007 as a high school senior.  He is currently a co-founder and managing partner at Karakul, a fintech financing and data platform that utilizes blockchain. Prior to that, Padilla advised a major Chinese tech firm on the regulatory landscape and macro level trends impacting blockchain. He has also consulted for a large international mining company on integration of blockchain technology to their operations.  Padilla graduated from Harvard College with a degree in government and from Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government with a Masters of Public Policy as a Startup Nation Scholar. He was a 2018 Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University where he studied economics and business. There he wrote his dissertation on blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation.

Claudia is a Senior Financial Advisor in the San Francisco, Merrill Lynch office. She has been in the financial services industry since 2005. Her niche is high net worth individuals and businesses who require sophisticated financial strategies, detailed attention and care. She lived in Mexico throughout her childhood and part of her adulthood, were she became aware of rampant poverty, unemployment, and minimal progress towards improvement. As a result, she became intimately aware of the importance of economic development and the role that financial institutions play in improving the standard of living of emerging communities.  She is extremely passionate about creating a more balanced representation of women and minorities through financial literacy, access and mindfulness. Claudia is a graduate of Mills College, where she attained her B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. She currently resides in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.

Monica Villarreal is a Talent Manager at Authentic Talent & Literary Management in New York and Los Angeles.  She grew up in Chicago and received HHF’s Youth Award for the Chicago region in

2003 and, as the proud daughter of Mexican-American/Mexican immigrant parents, had a deep desire at an early age to see people who looked like her and her family being fully represented in film and television.  She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts majoring in Theatre with double minors in Producing and Latino Studies.  Realizing she could make a bigger impact for inclusion by representing a wide range of talent, she moved into the agency world at WME in New York in the Talent Department.  Knowing that she could be a unique conduit to the acting, agenting, and producing worlds, she later transitioned into talent management at Authentic.  In just two and a half years, she is known for having one of the hottest up-and-coming talent lists in the business.  Creating a number of firsts for her clients, she has put eleven newcomers into series regular roles on television and specializes in producing original work with her clients to package and sell in film, TV, and digital spaces. 

Simultaneously, she serves as the LOFT leader on Entertainment for the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and is a member of Robert Rodriguez’s Diversity Council for El Rey Network and Hollywood at large.  She also serves as an activist for social causes, specifically with undocumented minors from Central America and works in partnership with organizations for strategic thinking toward empowering and registering young voters during election cycles.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s year-round, award-winning programs inspire, prepare and connect Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s needs in priority fields.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of the Latino community. For more information on the mission of HHF visit


Back To Top