Board of Directors
THE CHALLENGE – To continue our growth and impact in an environment where financial hardship is affecting most individuals and institutions globally, in our country, in our industries, in our neighborhoods, in our families and where resources are scarce and being reallocated to fill the most urgent needs and the higher potential, best value propositions.
THE OPPORTUNITY – To stand as a strong leaders and effective advocates ensuring that what is imperative for our prosperity is at the top of the list: access to world class education for all; access to capital, opportunity and economic prosperity; access to civic, political and corporate leadership; all while we continue to advocate and engrain that success comes with the honorable responsibility to lift our families, our community and our nation.
Felix Nelson Ayala
Founder & Chairman | Ayala & Associates
Felix N. Ayala has over 29 years of public accounting experience and expertise. He received his bachelor degree from Strayer University in accounting and minor in Business Administration completed his masters in Business Administration (MBA) in accounting and international finance. In addition, Mr. Ayala is also a candidate for the CPA examination. Mr. Ayala emigrated from his home country of El Salvador in the ripe age of 14 in pursuit of the American dream, a dream that allows capable, intelligent and resourceful individuals such as Mr. Ayala, the opportunity to become a leader in the Washington metropolitan Hispanic community.
Since arriving in this country Mr. Ayala founded his public accounting firm, Ayala and Associates, in 1986 and has dedicated his time and practice in serving his fellow business owner become the entrepreneurs they are today. Mr. Ayala has helped make this possible by thinking outside the box. In 2000, Mr. Ayala became a general partner in an investment firm, Friendly Investments Funding LLC, in which a group of talented and successful business owners and entrepreneurs united together in order to help other aspiring hard working men and women receive the necessary funding to start their own American dream of becoming future business owners. It is in the spirit of giving back to the Hispanic Community and the general public that has driven Felix N. Ayala to reach great lengths and measures to be able to serve not only for-profit businesses but also for non-profit organization.
The Caucus Salvadoreño Empresarial is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization was founded by Mr. Ayala in 2007, with the guiding principal of strengthening the Salvadorian American community's ties to the Washington D.C, Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area by promoting the various achievements, endeavors, and the multiple Salvadorian American owned businesses the opportunity to have their voices heard. The Caucus Salvadoreño Empresarial is proud to boast in being able to award over $250,000 of scholarships to worthy high school and college student applicants since the inception of C.E.S Having lived and worked in the community for over 40 years, he is well connected with the necessary financial banking institutions, insurance companies and other state and local agencies including government officials solidifying fruitful relationships.
With that being said, Mr. Ayala became the financial advisor and treasurer for Councilman Jim Graham of ward 1 in Washington D.C re-election political campaigns in 2010-2012 and for his current term 2014. Mr. Ayala is also an active participant of local entities such a Unidos Por Intipuca and Asociacion Salvadoreña de Ayuda and is also a member of the Better Business Bureau in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. and co-founder of the Salvadorian American Chamber of Commerce in 2008
Mr. Felix N. Ayala currently resides in Maryland with his wife Maria E. Ayala and their two children Felix Jr. and Jessica Ayala.
Vice Chairman | Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial, Inc
Rosibel Arbaiza is the owner and proprietor of Golden Scissors salon, a successful beauty salon located in both Maryland and Washington DC. Mrs. Arbaiza's trajectory as a successful salon business owner expands over 10 years in which she has witnessed the transcendence of the entrepreneurial strength and influence Hispanic women have accumulated over the past years in the Washington DC metropolitan area. As such, Mrs. Arbaiza was the recipient of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 2013"Unsung Hero's" award, an award designated to recognize the achievements of influential Hispanic women.
Not only is Mrs. Arbaiza a pillar in the Hispanic community but is also heavily involved in the planning of reputable Washington D.C. metropolitan Hispanic festivals such as Fiesta DC, an annual celebration highlighting the Latino culture with a parade of nations, children's festival, science fair, and a diplomatic pavilion for embassies and consulates. Other accolades include, "Woman of the Year," a prestigious award and title bestowed upon Mrs. Arbaiza at the 9th annual Premios Salvadorenos in 2009. Mrs. Arbaiza is also one of the founding members "Unidos Por Intipuca," a community based foundation to help construct, renovate and remodel her beloved hometown of Intipuca, El Salvador. Mrs. Arbaiza is Vice President of the Fiesta DC organization as well as serving as Vice Chairwoman of the Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial, Inc, in addition to serving as the treasurer for the Embajadores USA. Nevertheless, Mrs. Arbaiza continues to provide supplemental education and mentoring to future hair stylists as a professor of Keny's Beauty Academy.
Mrs. Arbaiza hails from Intipuca, El Salvador and resides in Maryland with her husband, Manuel and there four beautiful children.
Tomas Guirola is a successful commercial real estate broker in the Washington Metropolitan Area. He is President of TG Associates at Coldwell Banker Commercial and helps businesses with their real estate investments and commercial leases. He is a member of the prestigious CCIM Institute and the recipient of multiple awards including: Emerging Broker, Top Producer, and Platinum Producer. He spends his time advising clients regarding their commercial real estate investments, negotiating office leases, advising financial institutions, and finding suitable development sites.
Mr. Guirola is an entrepreneur at heart. His true passion revolves around working with business owners, developers and investors. His involvement with the Caucus helps him meet other entrepreneurs, learn and share business strategies and pull together resources to help advance the mission of the Caucus. He believes the scholarship programs sponsored by the Caucus will help the next generation of Salvadorans achieve their dreams.
Tomas Guirola grew up in Santa Tecla and Antiguo Cuzcatlan in El Salvador. He moved to Washington, DC in 2001 to attend Georgetown University and graduated in 2005 with a degree in Business. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Commercial Real Estate. In his free time, Mr Guirola enjoys traveling, playing guitar, playing squash, working out, and eating pupusas.
Treasurer | N & C Contruction, Inc
Mr. Neftali Benitez has built his life in the United States based on the following principles his parents, Gerardo Benitez and Florencia Ramos instilled upon him as a child growing up in Joateca, Morazan, El Salvador: Integrity, respect, honesty and perseverance. Mr. Benitez is very familiar with the will to survive and to protect one's family from imminent danger.
As the oldest of four brothers and three sisters, his family was witness to the calamity and disruption when a civil war raged through the countryside in the 1980's in which many Salvadorians immigrated to the United States to escape the violence and danger. Due to the civil war, Mr. Benitez was not permitted to complete his collegiate career. However, that did not stop Mr. Benitez from becoming the man that he is today. A man characterized by his excellent work ethic, family, and his desire to have his family once again reunited here in the United States. As a child Mr. Benitez dreamt of becoming an agricultural engineer, instead Mr. Benitez's stamina and focus went into the development and inception of one of the leading Hispanic owned general construction companies, N&C Construction serving the Washington DC, MD, and VA metropolitan areas. His other business ventures include Beni LLC, a commercial real estate investment company in addition to his residential commercial real estate company, Husband and Wife LLC.
Mr. Benitez is also actively involved in many humanitarian organizations that seek to serve the El Salvadorian communities here in the United States, as well as in his hometown of Joateca, Morazán. Currently, Mr. Benitez serves as treasurer for the Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial as well as president of his organization, "Comitte Joateca USA". This foundation works closely with the people pushing for and contributing to community projects benefiting the town and vicinities. He is also an active member and participant of "Sister Cities Comitte Montgomery County MD & Morazán El Salvador" and COTSA Comunidades Transnacionales Salvadorenas Americanas."
During his free time Mr. Benitez enjoys traveling abroad internationally, learning about different cultures, cuisines that enable him to infuse those passions into his personal and work life. Mr. Benitez resides in Maryland with his lovely wife, Concepcion, and his son Franklin Benitez.
Mr. Sorto was born on July 7, 1972 in La Union, El Salvador. He graduated in 1989 in business administration and is one of 4 children. Growing up in a household of 2 brothers and one sister, Mr. Sorto is the second oldest.
Born and raised in a small village between the cities of Intipuca and La Union and only having one elementary school, Mr. Sorto started his higher education by traveling every morning for the following nine years for one hour each way by bus until he graduated in the pick of the civil war in El Salvador.
After graduating in a country with minimum opportunities and having most of his family already living in the metropolitan area of Washington, DC he decided to immigrate to the USA in January of 1991. Mr. Sorto grew up with two hard working parents Olimpia and Juan Sorto whom own one of the only two grocery stores in town and the only miscellaneous metal shop in all of the surrounding towns. Going to school and working alongside his parents was a routine and rewarding experience for him.
In 1998 Mr. Sorto married his beautiful and hardworking wife Dinora that happen to be his first date in America back in May 1991. Together they are raising two wonderful twin boys, the joy and strength of their marriage.
Following the footsteps of his parents in 2000 Mr. Sorto and his brother founded a company to do what he always did back in El Salvador building steel structures. A&H Welding, Inc. started with two employees but with hard work and dedication now provides income support to more than 15 families. Mr. Sorto has been actively working alongside other residents of Loma Larga, La Union in a committee to improve the living conditions and education opportunities to more than 5000 residents in his home town thru a series of events and fund raisings for the last ten years. A member of Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial for last 6 years it is with great honor that he starts his new journey to join as an active member of the directory of this great organization.
Mrs. Sandra Dubon is one of the thousands of Intipuca natives who immigrated to this country at a very tender age, seventeen to be exact in 1981. Born on November 28th 1962, her parents Simon Castellon and Rosa Zelaya Castellon raised Mrs. Dubon's three siblings in the small rural sun baked town of Intipuca, La Union El Salvador.
Mrs. Sandra Dubon hails from a long history of hard working, dedicated line of family who have immigrated to the United States in search of the American dream, a dream in which she has fulfilled thus far with her lucrative party favors, supplies, and floral arrangement business aptly named, Party Go Round located in Silver Spring, MD for over 20 years. One of the many fondest memories Mrs. Dubon has of growing up in Intipuca is that of singing with her father as young girl, further encouraging her dreams to one day become the lead singer of a band. At the age of 12 that dream came true as she rose to the occasion as the lead singer of the band, La Nueva Tribu of Intipuca.
Mrs. Dubon's tenacity and perseverance are only some of the qualities that make Mrs. Dubon a rising star not only in Intipuca but also here in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She is a pioneer in the Latin community, paving the way for other successful El Salvadorian women. As such, she continues to give back to her beloved Intipuca by every year organizing a trip back to her hometown and providing book bags filled with all the necessary academic tools the disadvantaged youth so desperately needs to be able to continue their scholastic goals and ambitions. Furthermore, Mrs. Dubon is an active member "Unidos Por Intipuca," this reputable organization of native Intipucanos living in the Washington DC metropolitan area have raised about $1 million over the past decade, donating their hometown a soccer stadium and computers for classrooms. The foundation works closely with the municipality and central government, pushing for and contributing to government projects that benefit the town. In 2013, Mrs. Sandra Dubon was inducted as an advisor to the board of directors for the Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial where she has been a contributing and pivotal member since the nonprofits inception in 2007.
Her motivation and strength stem from her desire to provide a better life, a better future for her four children and beloved husband. Mrs. Dubon resides in Maryland and continues her philanthropic endeavors for the El Salvadorian communities in the DC, MD, and VA metropolitan areas.
Mr. Merlin Rodriguez found his niche and craft in the real estate industry for the reputable company, Long & Foster in which he specializes in personal service and first time buyers. He is licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. His career trajectory expands for over 15 years as a loyal agent for Long & Fosters and has helped countless of first time Hispanic homebuyers achieve their pursuit of the American dream, the dream of building a life, home and future for themselves and their families.
Merlin Rodriguez was born on July 7th, 1971 in the rural town of Joateca, Morazon, El Salvador. During his youth, Mr. Rodriguez and his family, like countless other families, had to endure the turbulence and violence caused by the civil war raging in El Salvador in the 1980's. At the age of seventeen, Mr. Rodriguez immigrated to the United States where he successfully integrated and acclimated into American society where his charisma and benevolence quickly helped him to attain many friends, cohorts and are just some of the many qualities Mr. Rodriguez possesses that enables him to blaze a trail for future Hispanics who wish to pursue a career in the residential real estate industry. However, Mr. Rodriguez has always remained true to his roots and culture while still maintaining his identity in the United States. For example, Mr. Rodriguez is a newly inducted advisor for the board of directors for the "Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial," as well as a contributing member of the "Committee Joateca USA," and an active participant and member of "Sister Cities Comitte Montgomery County MD & Morazán El Salvador" who recently traveled abroad to China with Isiah Leggett, the County Executive of Montgomery County MD.
Mr. Rodriguez other passions include tennis, basketball and his love of travel. His affinity for travel has taken him to such exotic destinations as Russia, China, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, just to name a few.
Mr. Rodriguez currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his lovely wife Elena.
Jose Elias Polio
Mr. Jose Elias Polio was born in San Miguel, El Salvador on March 28th, 1957 and is one of seven children. He grew up in a household of four brothers and three sisters, Mr. Elias is the third oldest. As a child, Mr. Polio's parents, Salomon Polio and Ana Maria Bernal Polio, raised their family in Chilanguera, a small town outside of San Miguel. His family moved to San Miguel in which Mr. Polio attended Sagrado Corazon for 1st-6th grade and Liceo Oriental from 7th-12th grade. Mr. Polio's fondest memories of his childhood and youth are the sweet, delicious savory smells escaping his mother's kitchen as his entire family gathered around to enjoy their mother's delectable homemade cooking.
At the ripe age of seventeen, Mr. Polio ventured to the United States where he was able to pursue his passion for soccer into a lucrative soccer and events promotional company for the greater Washington Metropolitan areas. As president of Virginia International Soccer, Mr. Polio has been able to organize, promote and bring to the United States at both a local, amateur, and professional level, soccer matches both on an international and regional scale. In addition, Mr. Polio is a licensed FIFA match agent. Throughout Mr. Polio's trajectory, he has not only achieved international and regional acclaim but his next biggest achievement and goal will be to be able to organize soccer matches between first tier professional teams that can and will be broadcasted and publicized worldwide. To Mr. Elias Polio, soccer is not just a sport but it is a commitment to uphold the fervor of camaraderie, unity, courage, and above all sportsmanship that is an essential element to any business and entrepreneurship. In every sport, dedication, strength and the desire to overcome any and all obstacles are common themes Mr. Polio incorporates into his professional, personal, and family life on a day to day basis, which is further demonstrated as a newly inducted advisor to the Board of Directors for the Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial, Inc.
Mr. Elias Polio is has been a member of the Caucus Salvadoreno Empresarial , Inc since 2007. He resides in Herndon, VA with his lovely wife, Laura, of 57 years and has two beautiful daughters, Maria Roxana and Jocelyne Polio.