Daniel "Dan" Arce
Daniel Arce is truly a Renaissance man. Wearing two hats, he currently serves as president of Sun Optics, a position he has held for 28 years, and as general manager of Tropical Optical Vision Centers, which he has held for 24 years. His extensive knowledge of the vision care industry has allowed him to administer the vision program for the city of Chicago Mayor's Office of Employment & Training and the vision program for the Chicago, Cicero and Berwyn schools. Well respected in his field, he also served as the general contractor of the State of Illinois Healthy Kids/Healthy Minds Program.
Proud of his Mexican-American heritage, Mr. Arce relishes the opportunity to give back to his community by serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Boys and Girls Club; past president of the General R.E. Wood Unit of the Chicago Boys and Girls Club; past president and current member of the Chicago Azteca Lions Club; past president of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce; current member of the Board of Directors, Back of the Yards Community Council; past vice president of the Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce; member of the Pilsen IETC community Work Force Employment Council. Current President of the Little Village Rotary Club and recent board member of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
También es miembro de la Optician Association of America; Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation y miembro fundador, actual miembro de la Junta de la Organización Democrática Mexicano-Americana y actualmente se desempeña como presidente de PAC.
Daniel Arce posee un certificado en Educación de Gestión Avanzada de la Kellogg School of Business de la Universidad Northwestern.
Es el padre de una hija.
Neli Vazquez Rowland
Neli Vazquez Rowland
Neli Vazquez Rowland is a visionary, pioneering serial entrepreneur and 60x local, national, and international award winner. Her 30-year proven track record for achieving major social and economic impact on society in various fields has been recognized by the White House, Microsoft, Rotary International and many others as a Champion of Change, humanitarian, entrepreneur, real estate developer, public speaker, media subject matter expert and Best-Selling Author of “HEALING “Real Stories Told by People Who Overcame the Opioid and Homeless Epidemics”.
Aside from marrying her college sweetheart and raising two wonderful sons, among her greatest achievements are that she has been on the forefront of influencing a positive change to broken systems in society, improving the lives of 140,000 homeless people, creating thousands of jobs, building a significant affordable housing portfolio and passing landmark state legislation.
Neli has been invited to speak on stages such as Colombia University in Bogota Colombia, Harvard and the White House. She has been featured and quoted in almost all major local and international media outlets including print, television and radio, i.e., ABC, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, AL Jazeera, NBC, I-Heart Radio, USA Today, Negocios Now, Latino Leaders Magazine and more.
As a 3x marathon and multiple-triathlon finisher, Neli has also combined her passions for running, music and helping to improve lives. In 2010 she founded and organized Chicago’s first RUN/WALK to End Homelessness and Music Revolution to End Homelessness – Over the last 13 years, both events have attracted major media and corporate sponsors, galvanized tens of thousands of participants and featured both emerging and legendary talent to support the cause.
Neli is focused on selectively and exclusively mentoring and consulting emerging entrepreneurs, talent, government leaders and public and private entities. She tailors her services to meet the client’s needs which may include helping them identify and harness their talents, create and implement strategy, navigate complex and multi-faceted issues, review and create public policy, secure public or private financing, and setting up meetings and/or coordinating events.
Arabel Alva Rosales
Arabel Alva Rosales is an entrepreneur who has been described in Chicago Magazine as a “Renaissance Woman” because of her ability to discuss concerns on Wall Street, global issues, and what is happening in our communities. She is a lifestyle and career expert, who offers personal insights in tech, finance, government, the arts, and fashion.
Arabel is President and CEO of AAR Tech, a successful Management and Technology Firm with over 17 years of experience. She is the proud founder of Pivoting in Heels, NFP a digital non-for-profit dedicated to empowering women. Founder and CEO of Runway Latinx, a globally recognized social enterprise that encompasses fashion, gastronomy, and entertainment, and has impacted thousands of lives as a successful social enterprise.
Arabel has a juris doctorate from Depaul College of Law and has been a part of multiple gubernatorial transition teams. She is a recipient of over thirty local and national recognitions and awards including the Anti-Defamation League, Women Achievement award, a Business Leaders of Color Recognition, and in 2020, was named one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos by Negocios Now and 2023, as one of the 50 fastest growing Latino businesses. She is also featured and co-author of Hispanic Stars Rising and the 2022 Enterprising Women Award.
Important highlights include:
- Former, Acting chair & Vice Chairman, of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) (Board of Directors)
- Board Member, Chicago Fashion Council
- Chair & Board Member, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (IHCC)
- Board Member, Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
- Board Member, Illinois Human Rights Commission
- Director, Illinois Liquor Control Commission
Jason Roberts' family migrated from the Caribbean to pursue better opportunities in America. His Father's first job in America was driving a taxi cab in New York, while his mother worked as a nanny. His father then went on to study at New York Community College and after graduating he began his career in banking. He later went on to follow his entrepreneurial spirit and started his first Automotive Dealership and Jason Roberts joined him soon thereafter as a porter washing floors in the service department in 1988.
Jason Roberts started his automotive career, working as a porter at his father’s first dealership, while still in high school. Jason Roberts graduated high school and left his father’s business to attend The Ohio State University. There he studied Business Economics and after completing his fourth year, he returned to sell cars at his father’s dealership. Jason has held every key position in his father's business from porter to salesman, and is now the managing partner of Advantage Chevrolet of Hodgkins. Since he became managing partner, they have expanded their business from one dealership to currently three dealerships.
Jason is very passionate about giving back to the community he serves. He has been a proud sponsor of the Little Village Scholarship drive since 2007. He has sponsored the Little Village Little Baseball League since 2012. Jason Roberts also established the Annual Advantage Chevrolet Pretty in Pink Walkathon for the fight against Breast Cancer in 2010. He strongly believes that a business is an extension of the neighborhood it serves and should support the community wholeheartedly. It is those values that he believes have allowed his business to grow and prosper through the ever-changing economic environment.
Dolores is a Senior Vice President at Loop Capital Markets. Over the course of her successful career, Dolores has made it her personal mission to promote diversity and inclusion within the financial services industry. Her dedication to this mission has led her to work tirelessly with various organizations to provide financial education and career opportunities to underrepresented communities of color. In addition, she has focused on pension plan outreach and legislation on a national level that pushes for greater transparency, accountability, and the increased utilization of diverse owned firms. Dolores holds multiple roles within the New America Alliance, Inc., serving as a member of the executive board of directors and Co-Vice Chair of Advocacy. This national organization is committed to advancing the economic development of the American Latino community. Dolores is also the Chair of the New America Alliance Institute and serves on several boards including the Chicago Board of Directors for Thrive Scholars, Iskali, the Foundation of Little Village, the Little Village Business Incubator, and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation. She is a fellow of the City of Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation and a member and supporter of the Illinois American Legion Auxiliary 1st Division Unit 96. Additionally, Dolores is affiliated with several professional organizations such as the National Association of Securities Professionals and the Association of Asian American Investment Managers.
Crystal has performed many roles during her tenure with Novak Construction including administrative, project management, and human resources. Crystal transitioned to Novak Development in January of 2022. She now assists in guiding and managing the development arm of Novak in alignment with the firm’s overall business strategy and core values.
Crystal earned an M.A. from Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of Oregon. Her children are her greatest passion! She also enjoys hiking, making music, and vacationing anywhere near a hot spring.