Smithsonian Latino Center Announces New Members to National Board
The Smithsonian Latino Center announces three new members to its national board of directors. They are Aida Levitan, Ph.D., of The Levitan Group, Christine Ortega of Southwest Airlines and Philip Fuentes of PMAMCD Inc. The Smithsonian National Latino Board is the Latino Center’s volunteer advisory arm. Its members are philanthropists, corporate leaders and accomplished individuals who bring experience, geographical balance, diverse backgrounds and culture expertise to the Latino Center. They advise the director on programming and external relations, assist with outreach and advocacy, and identify and secure financial support.
Levitan is president of The Levitan Group, a Miami-based firm that provides consulting services to national and international companies. She is also president of ArtesMiami Inc., which supports and promotes Hispanic artists and cultural organizations. Formerly, she was president of Bromley Communications, then the number one Hispanic marketing communications company in the U.S. and president of the national Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. She was also a member of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, and in 2011 was named Latina Pioneer of the Year by the Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity of South Florida. She received a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from Emory University.
Ortega, a native of San Antonio, is based in Southwest Airlines’ headquarters in Dallas, Texas. She provides leadership for and contributes to community outreach initiatives at Southwest Airlines. She has more than 30 years of experience in marketing, public relations and strategic outreach. She began her career in 1980 directing a cable television show and producing cultural programming for PBS in San Antonio. She moved to direct marketing for the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities, working on national campaigns to address the Latino dropout rate. In 1989 Ortega joined Southwest Airlines marketing team. Within the Communications and Strategic Outreach Department, Ortega now leads a team in Community Affairs and Grassroots, and is charged with establishing national, regional and local partnerships. She travels the country presenting innovative strategies for media, communications, fundraising and strategic development to companies and community organizations.
Fuentes is president of PMAMCD Inc., a holding company and owner of McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago and Cicero, Ill. His ownership in McDonald’s began when he was 16 years old with an investment of $500 in McDonald’s stock. Currently he is vice chairman of McDonald’s Hispanic Owner-Operators Association and serves on the board of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Fuentes has received awards, including the Ronald McDonald Award for extraordinary community service, two presidential citations from the town of Cicero for his community leadership and the 2011 Maestro Award from Latino Leaders magazine.