On July 14, 2015, the Hispanic Bar Association of DC and the Hispanic Lobbyist Association hosted a panel discussion on non-traditional legal careers. Over 40 attendees heard about the various options a JD degree provides. The panel was moderated by Liz Lopez, Executive VP at Opportunity Finance Network with panelists Estuardo Rodriguez, Principal at The Raben Group; Liz Lopez, Executive VP at Opportunity Finance Network; Alvaro Bedoya, Executive Director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law Center; Alice Lugo, Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez; and Zuraya Tapia-Hadley, Director US-Mexico Foundation. Special thanks to the DC office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP for hosting the event.





The Avanza Awards were held on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at the Hall of States in Washington DC. Each year, the Hispanic Lobbyist Association hosts this event with hopes of recognizing Latinos making a continuous impact in the Latino community with continued leadership in the government, non-profit, and advocacy space. Along with leaders of the Hispanic community in both private and public sectors, Representatives Tony Cardenas, Ruben Gallego, Raul Ruiz and Loretta Sanchez attended the event. Below is a list of each award and awardee for the 2015 Avanza Awards.

HLA Honorees 2015 “Poder” Award for Congressional Leadership

The "Poder" Award is given to current members in both the U.S. House and Senate who demonstrate leadership in promoting diversity among their staff and across the government affairs sector.

  • The Honorable Harry Reid
  • The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart

“Raíces” Award for Community Leadership

The “Raíces” award is given to an advocate in the non profit space who has worked tirelessly to advance latino public policy priorities and led efforts toward Latino civic, social and economic empowerment.

  • Maria Teresa Kumar

Trailblazer Award

The “Trailblazer” award is given to a lobbying firm or individual lobbyist who has paved the way for diversity across the Government Affairs profession and promoted the important role of Latino professionals in the industry.

  • Robert Raben

The President’s Award

The President’s Award is bestowed on an individual who has demonstrated and embodied the values promoted by the the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and excelled in their area of expertise.

  • Jessica Herrera-Flanigan

HLA & CHSA Mentorship Kick-off Reception Recap




On the evening of May 20th, the Hispanic Lobbyist Association and CHSA hosted the 2015 Mentorship Program Kick-off Reception.  The event provided a space for mentors and mentees to meet each other for the first time. The event was well attended, and included honorable guests from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus  such as Representative Gallego and Representative Cardenas who shared the impact of mentorship on their respective paths to the Hill. Veronica Duran, the President of CHSA spoke on the importance of nurturing meaningful networks and the role of mentorship on individual careers and the Latino community as a whole. The room was filled with CHSA members, Hispanic Lobbyist Association members, and friends of both organizations that led to the highest number of pairings since the inception of the program. We are incredibly thankful to the mentors who signed up and are willing to help out younger members of our community and the mentees who came out; the program would not be as successful without you. This event was yet another testament to the strength of our community and its willingness to help each other achieve our full potential through partnerships, mentorship, and a strong Latino presence. A special thank you to our partner, Samsung, who provided insight into some of the most cutting edge technology in the innovation sector and everyone who participated.

HLA in Latino Magazine


We invite you to read the HLA Op-Ed featured in Latino Magazine!

Why a Hispanic Lobbyists Association?

That’s the question we asked ourselves nearly 10 years ago and it is a question we continue to ask today.  We need a lobbyists association dedicated to advancing Latinos in our profession because even in the year 2015, there are many who question why diversity in our profession, or any other, is important.  Just as our country is strengthened because of its diversity, and Congress becomes more reflective of society, so does our profession become more fortified  with diverse and talented government affairs leaders who comprise the Hispanic Lobbyists Association.

Founded in 2006, we are a growing group of Washington advocates representing all sectors of economy as well as differing political views, with a vision to bring together Hispanic lobbyists across the country into an organization to promote communication, education, and bipartisanship. With a membership of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, we are a bilingual, bi-cultural association of government affairs experts that work well together to advance our goals.

 The role of Latinos in American politics and business has grown to record levels allowing more to serve in public and leadership positions in the public and private sectors.  Our mission is to ensure that with increased participation comes increased awareness, on and off Capitol Hill, of the importance of having a political process and system of advocacy that is as diverse as our neighborhoods across the country. [...]

Read the full HLA Op-ed here:

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HLA Membership Partnership with CHSA!


HLA Membership Partnership with CHSA! 

In an effort to promote career advancement, the Hispanic Lobbyist Association has partnered with the  Congressional Hispanic Staff Association to participate in a mentoring program that matches HLA members with CHSA members in Washington D.C. professionals. We can only provide these services to our members so make sure to sign up!

Through the program, members will have the opportunity to build professional, one-on-one relationships that can help them advance their careers on Capitol Hill and beyond. The official program lasts four months, and mentors and mentees will be expected to meet at least once a month during the program (either through a phone call, email or in person meeting).

If you would like to participate, please fill out this form.
The DEADLINE to submit your contact information is May 6th!

If you are participating in the program this year, please join us for the official launching, details to be announced. If you are not participating, you are welcome to attend and enjoy a networking happy hour. If you have any questions, please contact Francisco Bencosme at

Save the Date: Mentorship Reception Kick-off event – May 12th @ 6:30 pm!

Happy Hour with Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor


The Hispanic Lobbyists Association hosted a Happy Hour and conversation with Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at MIO Restaurant & Lounge.  The former Congresswoman spoke about her new role helping lead and manage the most populous county in the country and working across party lines to approve a $26 Billion budget.  Kudos Madame Supervisor!

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Hilda Solis with the Hispanic Lobbyist Association Board President, Susie Santana, the HLA Board and MIO Owner, Manuel Iguina.

HLA Diversity Reception


IMG_0303HLA President, Susan Santana, along with leaders of the Asian American and African American Lobbyist Associations, and HLA Member Jorge Vera of GE at the Freshman Diversity Reception.

HLA Honors New Hispanic Members of Congress


HLA New MemberOn February 24, the Hispanic Lobbyist Association (HLA) honored Freshmen Representatives Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Norma Torres (CA-35) and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26). Incumbent Members of Congress in attendance included Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Grace Napolitano (CA-32) and Raul Ruíz (CA-36).

HLA President Susan Santana welcomed the group and personally pledged HLA support in working closely and effectively with their offices in addition to highlighting their mutual goal of promoting diversity on the Hill.

The evening event was well attended by HLA Members including Latino lobbyists and government affairs professionals from various states and industries in Washington D.C. The HLA thanks the American Trucking Association, The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Auto Alliance, AT&T and Target for co-hosting this widely attended Reception for New Members of Congress.

HLA Announces New Executive Board Members & Members At-Large


10845988_861322227252879_577949700555627442_nOn December 11, 2014 the Hispanic Lobbyist Association introduced its new Executive Board members and members At-Large. As government affairs professionals, each of the HLA board members arrived in Washington D.C. through different trajectories, bringing diverse perspectives united in one mission: supporting each other and fostering a pipeline for future generations. At the core of this new leadership, the HLA mission shines through—to provide mentoring opportunities for Hispanic professionals seeking to pursue a career in the field of advocacy and provide them with best practices in order to support our goal of promoting diversity on and off the Hill. Join us in congratulating the new HLA Board.

Executive Board:

Susan Santana, President

Susie Saavedra, Vice President

Omar Franco, Treasurer

Liz Lopez, Secretary

Board Members At-Large:

Roberto A. Fierro

Larry Gonzalez

Allen Gutierrez

Maritza Kelley

Rich Lopez

Isaac Reyes

Chuck Rocha

Estuardo Rodriguez, Jr.

Maximiliano J. Trujillo

HLA Members Named LATINO “Power Players”


The Hispanic Lobbyists Association (HLA) is proud to share that several HLA Members were featured prominently in LATINO Magazine's "Power Players" article.  Congratulations to HLA President Omar Franco, Vice President Susan Santana, Immediate Past-President and Board Member Cristina Antelo, and HLA Member Jessica Montoya for being listed as "top Latino lobbyists working in our nation’s capital."  Other key figures in the article include Board Member Maritza Kelley, HLA Member Mickey Ibarra, and HLA Co-Founder Robert Raben.

HLA is tremendously grateful to count these and other top leaders among its roster.  We hope you will consider membership and join this group of "poltical samarai"  today.  We look forward serving you.

Power Players by Patricia Guadalupe

While lobbying has become a multi-billion dollar industry, Latinos have historically not been part of it. Of the approximately 30,000 to 40,000 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. (registered and unregistered), just about 100 have Latino surnames, and only a handful of lobbying firms is Hispanic-owned.  Read More: