Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO Executive Director

Jerry Gonzalez is the founding and current Executive Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund (GLCDF). GALEO was founded in 2003 and is a 501(c)(6) statewide nonprofit and non-partisan organization; its mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. The GALEO Latino Community Development Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with GALEO.

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Maria del Rosario Palacios, Policy Analyst & Leadership Program Coordinator

Maria del Rosario Palacios is the current Policy Analyst & Leadership Program Coordinator for GALEO. She was born in Mexico and has resided in Gainesville, GA for over twenty-two years. She is a current graduate student at the University of North Georgia as she pursues her Masters in Public Administration. Maria graduated Cum Laude from the same institution with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance.

Maria del Rosario has worked in various leadership roles as a community member and as a working professional. She co-founded Diplomats for Diversity while at the University of North Georgia and served in leadership roles in debate, entrepreneurship, student government, and diversity student organizations. Before completion of her degree she also served as the Coordinator for Multicultural Student Affairs and Latino Success at UNG.

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Jennifer Zenteno Pearce, Executive Associate

Jennifer Zenteno-Pearce is originally from Tlalnepantla, Mexico and proudly grew up in Zoquitlan, Puebla through the age of 7 before she was brought to Atlanta, Georgia in 2000.  After graduation Jennifer attended Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) and later transferred to Kennesaw State University to continue her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry.  During her tenure at GPC she served as a Senator for her school’s Student Government Association and was actively involved in the Latino Connections Club. She has also been involved with the Latin American Association for the past 9 years as a volunteer for summer camps and the Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference.

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Diana Paola Vela Martinez, 2018 Intern

Diana Paola Vela Martinez is a fourth year student at the University of North Georgia, majoring in Business Marketing and minoring in Leadership. She was brought to the United States at the young age of 4 from Chiapas, Mexico. She currently resides in the city of Gainesville and is actively involved in the community.

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Oscar Baza Pineda, 2018 Intern

Oscar Baza Pineda was born in Mexico but was brought to the United States when he was only 7 years old. His family settled in the rolling hills of Northwest Georgia. He initially spent several years in the Northwest Georgia area before making the move to the Metro Atlanta area to pursue a higher education at Kennesaw State University (KSU). Ultimately, he earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from KSU. He was the first in his family to graduate from both high school and college.

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