board member

Stuart Appelbaum

Board Member

Stuart Appelbaum is the President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. He is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store International Union and Industry Benefit Funds.

Applebaum also currently serves as an Executive Vice-President of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Legislative and Political Affairs Department.

Appelbaum is a Vice-President of the national AFL-CIO and a member of the federation’s Executive Council. He is the vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO.

He is an officer of two global union federations: IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) and UNI (Union Network International). Appelbaum is President of UNI Global Commerce (representing 160 unions and 4 million workers worldwide).

Appelbaum was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Regional Economic Development Committee for New York City, where he serves on the Executive Committee.

board member

Mary Kay Henry

Board Member

Mary Kay Henry serves as International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America, with 2 million workers in healthcare, public and property services. Henry has devoted her life to helping North America’s workers form unions and strengthen their voice at work about the quality of the goods and services they provide, and the quality of care they are able to deliver. Originally from suburban Detroit, Henry grew up at a time when working people had a strong union voice that they used to build the middle class. Her childhood experiences in Detroit and her faith as a Roman Catholic instilled in her a deep-seated commitment to achieving social and economic justice.

Ms. Henry joined SEIU’s staff in 1979. In 1996 she

was elected to SEIU’s International Executive Board. In 2004 she was elected an International Executive Vice President. In that role, Ms. Henry served as the union’s chief healthcare strategist and led efforts to build a stronger voice for healthcare workers and enact historic healthcare reforms. More than a million healthcare workers nationwide, including registered nurses, technicians, doctors, and hospital and clinic workers are now united in SEIU Healthcare.

In 2010, Ms. Henry was unanimously elected International President and became the first woman to lead SEIU. Under her leadership, SEIU members are linking arms to form historic partnerships that confront income inequality, embodied in the fight for a living wage for low wage workers or the “Fight for 15”, demand that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share in  taxes, hold politicians accountable to working people and strive to achieve justice for immigrants.

Leopoldo Martinez

Board Chair

Leopoldo Martinez serves as Director at IQ AMERICAS Political Consultants. He produced, directed and hosted Constructores de un Pais, one of Venezuela’s most praised talk shows and linked it to a foundation that worked with “grass-root” movements in social development and entrepreneurial education for low-income communities. Martinez is the Chairman and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Development in the Americas and an advisor to the Group of Fifty Foundation (www.g-50.org). Leopoldo Martinez, JD, LLM, is a Lawyer with Graduate Studies at Harvard, Princeton and the University of Miami.

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Ralph G. Patino

Board Member

Ralph G. Patino is the managing shareholder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Patino & Associates, P.A. Mr. Patino has successfully led the firm in achieving more than one hundred multimillion dollar jury awards and settlements. As such, he is a member of the Million Dollar Verdict Club. Mr. Patino also participates philanthropically within the South Florida Community as a director in organizations such as the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Mourning Family Foundation and the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Moreover, he has politically involved himself with social issues for the betterment of the public at large, consistent with his practice of law. He is currently a member of the Democratic National Finance Committee a Trustee for the Florida Democratic Party, and a founding member of Americano Como Tu.

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Roberto L. Prats-Palerm

Board Member

Roberto L. Prats-Palerm was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 28, 1966. In 1990, he received his B.S. degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell University. Prats-Palerm then attended the Inter-American School of Law in Puerto Rico where he obtained his Juris Doctor. In 1992, he also attended Georgetown School of Law in Washington, D.C. where he concentrated his studies in Environmental and International Law. At the age of 24, he became an Advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico on Federal Affairs. Prats-Palerm also worked in the United Stated Congress for the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico to the United States. At the age of 33, he was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico as the youngest Senator-At-Large elected and chaired the Government Affairs Committee until December 2004. In November 2004, he ran for the U.S. Congress as the Resident Commissioner candidate for the Popular Democratic Party. Roberto sits on the Governing Board of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico; is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Puerto Rico since 2003, and is currently serving a second term in the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Roberto currently presides the Board of Advisors of MMM Healthcare, Inc. and PMC, Corp., both subsidiaries of Innovacare, Inc. of New Jersey and presides the Management Conference of the San Juan Bay Estuary. Roberto is married to Liza Fernández Rosselli and is the father of three boys: Gabriel, Sebastián, and Diego Alejandro Prats.