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Hispanic Heritage Foundation announces new board members Tatiana Blanco-Bertolo and Michael Echols

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

WASHINGTON, DC – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today announced Tatiana Blanco-Bertolo and Michael Echols will be joining the 33-year-old nonprofit’s Board of Directors.  Blanco-Bertolo is a past recipient of the national nonprofit’s Youth Awards and active LOFT (Latinx On Fast Track) leader.  Echols has advised the org on tech track with a focus on cyber as well as volunteered as a mentor, panelist and the program lead for cyber for many years.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation just got stronger as an organization and a Board with the addition of Mike and Tatiana,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO and Board Member of HHF. “Each of them 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.”

Blanco-Bertolo has over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing, sales and international trade and is currently at Google as a Sales Development Manager within Google’s Customer Solutions group and responsible for supporting the growth of digital marketing agencies and small to medium sized businesses around the country. She is also the Global Lead for Google’s Latinx employee resource group, HOLA, and she is responsible for spearheading the annual Leadership Summit and Professional Development Pillar.  Previously, Blanco-Bertolo worked for an early-stage predictive analytics startup, Arjuna Solutions (now ExactAsk), the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Blanco-Bertolo graduated magna cum laude from American University with a BS in International Business and Public Communication, and she is an MBA graduate from George Washington University. She is also a former NCAA Division 1 soccer player and four-year scholarship athlete after receiving HHF’s Youth Award for Sports and since that time has been a leader in the LOFT Network and will soon be leading a Hacking a Career in Sales & Marketing session for HHF.

Echols is the author of the 2020 book Secure Cyber Life: The Government is Not Coming to Save You after spending 10 years in critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity leadership at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He spent another six years as a consultant to DHS for the creation of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, National Response Framework and Critical Capabilities List. Echols led several national security and risk management initiatives prior to departing DHS in September of 2016 where he served as Director of the Government Industry Planning and Management Branch.  He was Chairman of the Communications Sector, Government Coordinating Council where he led a national risk assessment across wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast and satellite. He was also the Designated Federal Official for the President’s NSTAC (30 CEO level members from across IT, Comms and Defense) and chaired the Network Security Information Exchange consisting of cybersecurity experts from Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand. He also acted as the U.S. Representative to the NATO Civil Communications Policy Committee (CCPC) in Brussels and led classified and unclassified threat information sharing programs at DHS.

Echols was also the point-person for President Obama’s E.O 13691, Promoting Private Sector Information Sharing – developing the program for ISAOs. After leaving DHS with the change in administration, Echols launched Max Cybersecurity LLC, an SBA 8a company in Washington, DC, and helped launch the International Association of Certified ISAOs at Kennedy Space Center in 2017. His team performed all quality assessments for power restoration following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Echols was featured on a PBS Cybersecurity Special, Roadtrip Nation” and has published Forbes articles related to cyber education and “smart cities” technologies and is working on problem-solving from aviation to securing new autonomous vehicle infrastructure. He is now developing “Cyber Secure Zones (CSZs), in coordination with federal agencies and HBCUs as a national security strategy for “Whole of Community” cybersecurity management, skills training, broadband for all, and community advancement.

Echols graduated from the University of Maryland with BS degree in Criminal Justice and an MS from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Biotechnology. He also earned an MBA from UMGC, and a Tech Management Certification. Echols attended the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School of Public Health and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni for UMUC in 2018.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s national, and now international, award-winning programs focus on education, workforce, social justice and culture through leadership and innovation.  For more information on the mission of HHF visit www.hispanicheritage.org.

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