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The Hispanic Vote > Blog > 2019

Carmen has a Masters Degree in Management and 17 years of local government experience that includes community affairs, budgeting and working for two Lee County Commissioners.

Carmen moved to Cape Coral 13 years ago and has volunteered on citizen boards and committees to include:  News-Press Editorial Board, Cape Coral Charter Review, Community Development Block Grant, Minority Affairs and many others.

A “servant leader” Carmen started a successful General Education Diploma (GED) ministry at her church and under her seven year leadership more than 24 adults received their GED some going on to college.  In 2016 Carmen ran for Lee County Supervisor of Elections and was the only candidate in that race to qualify for the ballot by collecting the required 4500 signatures countywide.

She is a founding member (2018) of the Hispanic Vote of SWFL and served as 2019-2020 Chairwoman.

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Rafael Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States as a young child, in 1962.  Rafael grew up in Dade County and moved to Broward County in 1990.  He has been married for 34 years.

He is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps.  

Rafael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s, 22nd Command Officer’s Development Program and Nova Southeastern University’s, Institute for Criminal Justice Studies, 14thExecutive Leadership Program.

He started his law enforcement career in 1979 with the North Miami Beach Police Department and worked there until 1990.  He was recruited by MasterCard International, as an International Security Officer.  His region included the Southeast United States, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.  He was hired by the Cooper City Police Department in 1994 and the department merged with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, in 2004.  He retired, as a Lieutenant, in 2015, after 33 years of Law Enforcement service.

Rafael has been involved with many professional and community organizations throughout his career:  ASPIRA of Florida, Broward County Diversity Advisory Council, Broward Schools ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Leadership Council, Collier-Lee Honor Flight, Cuban-Americans for a Better Florida, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, and is a Founding Member of The Hispanic Vote.

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Silvia Hasak moved to Lee County in 1989.  She was employed with Lee County Government from1990 until her retirement in 2022.

Silvia has been very involved with the community, having previously served on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board, Dunbar Festival Committee and the Golisano Children’s Hospital advisory board.

Silvia is the founder of the Lee County Hispanic Achievement Awards banquet and the Lee County Hispanic Hall of Fame.  She had the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 23, 2002.

A founding member (2018) of the Hispanic Vote of SWFL, Silvia served as Treasurer until 2021.

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Michael Garcia was born in Salinas, Puerto Rico, and came to the mainland as a young child. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Broward County in 2003.

Michael has a successful Construction, Commercial litigation and Government Affairs Practice located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Prior to establishing his own firm, Michael honed his litigation and advocacy skills at two prominent law firms here in South Florida, Arnstein & Lehr, LLP., and Vernis & Bowling, PA. While at Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, Michael served as the Assistant City Attorney for the Town of Southwest Ranches and City of Lauderdale Lakes. Michael has also work as Staff Counsel for Geico and has also been a Professor at Broward College Teaching Construction Law.

In addition to the work as the Chairperson of The Hispanic Vote, Michael volunteers his time with the American Lung Association (Turquoise Takeover) as an Ambassador regarding the Lung Force awareness campaign, and with the Cooper City Optimist, as a Coach. Michael has served on several Boards and Committees such as Broward County School Board Supplier Diversity Committee and the City of Plantation Education Board. 

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Jorge Rodríguez began his H.V.A.C. water treatment career in 1991, as service technician helper of one of New York’s largest H.V.A.C. water treatment company. After acquiring valuable experience from his first job opportunity, he became a well-known service tech/field mechanic, who worked for top H.V.A.C. water treatment companies in New York City at the time.

By 1996, Jorge had acquired valuable experience servicing all types of H.V.A.C. equipment, cooling tower refurbishment and duct cleaning services. In 1998, he also earned his A.A. Degree in Business Administration from City College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His work experience and academic preparation provided him an opportunity to open the market for a top New York water treatment company in the State of Florida; where he was a successful member of the service tech/field mechanic and management team for the next 6 years.

In 2002, after many years of hard work and preparation, Jorge and a close friend/colleague, decided to open their own H.V.A.C. water treatment company. Today he is the proud, sole proprietor of Pro Water Treatment, Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Now a days, Jorge continues to travel throughout the State of Florida, offering his prestigious H.V.A.C. water treatment, cooling tower refurbishing and duct cleaning services to mechanicals contractors, water treatment consultants, engineers firms, condominium/commercial buildings and/or others properties as requested.

Jorge resides with his family, wife Lesly and son Kevin, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is also a board member of The PR Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & The Hispanic Vote of Broward County.

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Lorena Mastrarrigo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Florida as a child. She attended and graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1996 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. Lorena continued her education at the University of Miami, School of Law. In 1999, Lorena received her Juris Doctorate.  Lorena has worked in the public sector for most of her career.

For many years, Lorena has defended the criminally charged clients whose primary language was Spanish.  For the last year and a half, Lorena has been training new hires and felony attorneys at the Office of the Public Defender.  On September 1st, Lorena was promoted to Chief Assistant Public Defender in charge of training and recruiting.

Lorena is a past President of the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association. A past panel member to the 17th Judicial Circuit Professional Panel appointed by the Chief Judge.  Lorena currently serves on the Executive Board for The Hispanic Vote as its Secretary.

Lorena is the recipient of the 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction Award.

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Oniel E. Toledo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and moved to South Florida in 2002.  Prior to moving to South Florida, Oniel received his Mechanical Engineering Degree and Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.

Since 1994, Oniel has worked in the Construction Industry, working both in the Public and Private sector.  Oniel holds a General Contractor License and Roofing Contractor license here in the State of Florida.

Oniel has also served 8 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve while living in Puerto Rico. After moving to South Florida, Oniel then served 3 years with the United States Navy Seabees, completing a tour in Iraq in 2004.

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