The Quepasa brand is one of the best known names in the history of Hispanic and Latino Internet. First promoted by entrepreneur Jeffrey Peterson in 1998, together with business partners and investors Gloria Estefan and Sony Corp.,Quepasa was the first famous Hispanic internet brand name for the bilingual English/Spanish U.S. Hispanic demographic, shares of the first Quepasa Corporation reached a peak market value of about $500 million dollars on the Nasdaq Stock Market and later traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Over a period of more than ten years, the first Quepasa remained a top brand in Hispanic internet, reaching over 40 million active registered users with its Hispanic/Latino social network, while the business was sold, resold, and merged into a new project that became known as MeetMe in 2012.
In 2015, a new Quepasa Corporation was organized and the Quepasa brand was relaunched to focus on Hispanic and Latino business in both the United States and Latin America. The new Quepasa Corporation is focused on providing networking, Hispanic/Latino crowdfunding and business development opportunities to Latino entrepreneurs and anyone else who is interested
in learning about and participating in the rapidly expanding Hispanic and Latino markets online.
In 2013, Mr. Lopez founded Manos Accelerator to help foster a new generation of Latino technology entrepreneurs by providing access to early-stage capital, mentorship support and resources that would enable them to build and grow their startup companies. He is also a twenty-five-year veteran of the insurance industry, working as a computer specialist from the high-tech district of New York. Following his retirement, he relocated to California to advise his daughter, actress and musician Jennifer Lopez. Together, they opened up a restaurant called Madre’s, where he was a partner and general manager. Mr. Lopez’s advocacy for Hispanic entrepreneurs has been featured by Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Univision, and NBC Latino.
Jeffrey S. Peterson was the original founder of Quepasa Corporation, a Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange traded public company (Nasdaq: QPSA, NYSE Euronext: QPSA) that was the first nationally branded online community for Hispanics in the USA. Under his leadership, during a period of approximately ten years, Quepasa achieved a peak market capitalization in excess of $450 million. Key investors in Quepasa included Sony Corp., Telemundo, football star John Elway, and pop superstar Gloria Estefan. Quepasa was continu ally ranked as the #1 most popular Hispanic online community, beating competitors Starmedia and Yahoo! en Español. At Quepasa, Peterson held the positions of CEO, Chairman, President, and Chief Technology Officer.
In July 2003, Mr. Peterson was appointed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to the Board of Directors of the Arizona – Mexico Commission (“AMC”). Peterson served the AMC under Governor Napolitano on the Board and Executive Committee until her departure from Arizona to Washington, D.C. in 2009 when she became United States Secretary of Homeland Security. In Arizona, Peterson also served from 2006 to 2010 on the Business Advisory Committee of Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. In New York, Peterson served on the Hispanic Committee of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (“IAB”). Mr. Peterson has received national and international media attention for his accomplishments in the technology sector, currently serves on the board of directors of several privately-held technology related companies in both the United States and Latin America and serves as a technology consultant to the government of Mexico. Quepasa was sold in 2007 to investor and venture capitalist Richard Scott, who is now the Governor of Florida. In 2012, Quepasa changed its corporate name to MeetMe Corp
Mr. Silberman has over 30 years of experience as a seasoned financial, strategic and operational executive. He has held positions in the technology sector with a focus on internet portals and application design and development as the original co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Quepasa Corporation, a Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange traded public company (Nasdaq: QPSA, NYSE Euronext: QPSA), that was the first nationally branded online community for Hispanics in the United States. He was also the Chief Financial Officer of Internet Century, Inc. and Chief Financial Officer of Net Century, Inc. the predecessor companies. Previous experience included positions in the fields of multimedia and content development, production and publishing such as Controller of Fred Weintraub Productions, Chief Financial Officer of Jolson Media Corporation, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Rock Magazine, Controller of two U.S. subsidiaries of Televisa S.A. and Controller of Braverman Productions.
Mr. Silberman earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an active California licensed Certified Public Accountant, an active Certified Fraud Examiner, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Institute of Certified Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Mario E Diaz is considered to be one of the top government relations strategists in the Southwest United States. Mario began his career working for U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, Congressman Ed Pastor and as the Law Enforcement Liaison for United States Attorney Janet Napolitano (Ms. Napolitano went on to become the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration and is currently the President of the University of California). Mario later managed the Janet Napolitano for Attorney General Campaign, and he went on to become Director of Intergovernmental Affairs / Law Enforcement Liaison in the Attorney General’s Office. Mario formed Mario E Diaz & Associates in 2001 and during that time was appointed to Arizona Governor-Elect Napolitano’s Transition Team. He later served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Napolitano. In 2003, Mario was appointed State Director of the John Kerry for President Campaign.
Mario is frequently asked to speak at political conferences such as the American Association of Political Consultants. In 2009, Mario was one of a handful of national Latino leaders invited by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to visit Israel. He has also traveled with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to China to seek business opportunities between China and Arizona. Mario’s community awards include: Valle del Sol Lorraine Lee Latino Advocacy Champion Award, ADL Marty Shultz Award for Community Partnership, Phoenix Business Journal Forty Under 40 Award, Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Award and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year Award.
Mario received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree from Arizona State University in 1991, and went on to receive his Masters of Public Administration degree from ASU where he was named Latino Graduate of the Year.
Mr. Heftel along with the Heftel family were pioneers in the Hispanic media markets nationwide. Richard Heftel first started his career with Heftel Broadcasting in 1983 working in sales and management in Hawaii rising to the position of President of the Los Angeles Heftel operation from 1994 to 2000. Mr. Heftel was the only General Manager to have the #1 and #2 radio stations in Los Angeles at the same time. He then became the Vice President of Music Relations from 2000 to 2004 and created a number of significant concert events that featured artists such as Gloria Estefan (the first official endorser of Quepasa during it’s initial founding and subsequent public offering in 1999), Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony.
The last Heftel Broadcasting accumulation of stations were located in NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Miami. These were taken over by Clear Channel Communications in a 1996 tender offer. This in turn was merged with Mac Tichenor’s Tichenor Media System which was the new Heftel Broadcasting. It then changed its name again to Hispanic Broadcating Corporation, which was acquired by Univision in a $3 billion merger and is now known as Univision Radio. Mr. Heftel graduated with a degree from Brigham Young University.
John Paul Cisneros is a Vice President at Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, a full-service financial company that has executed more than $2.0 trillion of bond and equity transactions for its municipal and corporate clients. Mr. Cisneros serves as a day-to-day financier for major metropolitan issuers across the country with a focus on water and sewer credits. Mr. Cisneros previously worked at Palladium Equity Partners from 2013 to 2015, a private equity firm with more than $2.0 billion in AUM focused on investments in family-owned businesses by providing growth capital, strategic guidance, and operational oversight. Mr. Cisneros’s work included executing investments totaling nearly $50 million in equity, helping source an oversubscribed fund-raise of $1.1 billion in investor commitments, and overseeing fund management tools and analytics across three funds. Before Palladium, he worked for two years in J.P. Morgan’s investment banking division in the Public Finance group in New York where he focused on assisting East Coast municipalities issue and structure tax-exempt debt. Mr. Cisneros’s other professional experience includes assembling an analysis of public-private partnerships in the U.S. and working for a former Los Angeles City Councilperson researching transportation initiatives. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Planning, and Development with a concentration in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Hector de Jesus Ruiz is a founder of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions, Inc. (ANS) and serves as the company’s Chairman. A luminary in the field of technology for nearly three decades, he is an accomplished engineer, corporate strategist and chief executive.
Dr. Ruiz previously served as President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of AMD, a leading manufacturer of semiconductors and computer processors. At AMD, Dr. Ruiz set the strategic direction of the company, helping guide its growth from a small, broad supplier of components to an innovative technology solutions leader in the processor space. During his tenure at AMD, Dr. Ruiz received numerous accolades, including: the Semico Bellwether Award (2009); Executive of the Year – 2005 (EE Times); CEO of the Year – 2005 (Electronic Business); and Top 25 Business Leader – 2006 (FORTUNE Magazine), among others
Dr. Ruiz is an impassioned advocate for the better use and application of technology to improve the lives of individuals in economically disadvantaged areas. Throughout his career, he has promoted the use of technology to advance people’s access to education and he has pursued his vision of empowering people’s lives by serving on various educational advisory boards and by carrying forward initiatives to accelerate affordable access to the Internet, including AMD’s 50X15 Initiative.
He previously served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology. Additionally, he previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Spansion Inc., the Eastman Kodak Co., and the Semiconductor Industry Association. Dr. Ruiz attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1968 and 1970 respectively. He completed his doctoral degree at Rice University in 1973.