Executive Board

Chairman of the Boardmarco-robles   Marco Robles

Cardenas Markets

First Vice Chairmanpeter-villegas Peter Villegas

Coca Cola Company

Peter R. Villegas is Vice President of Latin Affairs of the western region for The Coca-Cola Company. In his position, Mr. Villegas establishes and manages the execution of local, regional and national strategies that position The Coca-Cola Company as a leading corporate citizen in the U.S. Hispanic community. Responsibilities include establishing and managing relationships with key local, state and national Hispanic political, business, civic and community leaders.

Recognized as a regional and national corporate leader, Peter has wide-range knowledge of numerous corporate and community issues

Peter has 23 years of experience in corporate America and began his career as a bank teller, working his way up through various roles in the financial industry, and has spent the last 15 years in key management positions.

Villegas is a board member of the following organizations: U.S. Conference of Mayors Business Council Steering Committee, Central City Association, MALDEF, USC Latino Alumni Association, American Israel Public Affairs Committee National Council, (Chairman) United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Corporate Advisory Board, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Jobs Pac.

Peter received the 2012 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Corporate Advocate of the year award and is recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the most influential Hispanics in Orange County, CA, and in 2005, the Orange County Register identified Peter as one of the top ten people who will help shape the next 100 years of Orange County. Peter as been recognized as one of the top Latino Executives in corporate America by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.


Treasurer   eric-dowdEric Dowd

UPS, Southern California

Eric Dowd began his career with UPS in 1997 as a part time package handler in the Aliso Viejo, California sort facility. During his 5 years as a package handler, Eric worked in the sort operations, loading and unloading trucks while attending college, and later as a UPS driver.

After graduating college in 2002, Eric was promoted into the Finance function and held several positions with increasing responsibility in the areas of revenue management, appropriations, cost and budgeting, profitability, risk management and forecasting.

Eric currently serves as the Director of Finance for the South California District, the largest U.S. Domestic operating unit for UPS, employing over 28,000 employees and processing over 3 million packages a day. Eric is directly responsible for maximizing profitability through cross functional engagements targeted at reducing cost, increasing revenue, maximizing asset utilization and ROIC. He oversees and facilitates all district financial processes and supports the execution of a multi-billion dollar operation.

Eric holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from California State University, Fullerton. He has been married to his wife Arica for 14 years and they have two children, Ethan and Caitlin. Eric and his family regularly volunteer with Donate Life California, where his wife serves as an Ambassador.


Immediate Past Chair
bret-guge-csiBrett Guge

California Steel Industries

Brett Guge has served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, and Corporate Secretary of California Steel Industries (CSI) since January 2010. He has been with CSI since 1997, holding the position of Vice President, Administration and that of Corporate Secretary. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the Manager of Administration of Gallatin Steel. From 1983 to 1994, he was employed by Alcoa, where he held positions as the Superintendent of Industrial Relations and Employment, Supervisor of Employee Relations and Superintendent of Industrial Relations and Training. Mr. Guge graduated from Xavier University with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.

Secretarypaul-granilloPaul Granillo

IEEP President & CEO 

A native of the Inland Empire, Paul was born and raised in Redlands. In 2010, Paul became President & CEO of IEEP, and restructured the organization with a vision for bettering the quality of life and business climate of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. He currently serves as Chair of Mobility 21, a coalition that pursues regional solutions to transportation challenges. He also serves as Chair of the California Stewardship Network; and is a sitting member of the Regional Economic Alliance Leaders of California. Additionally, he serves on the Southern California Association of Governments Global Land Use and Economics Committee and sits on the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and Cal State San Bernardino’s Foundation Board.

Paul received his Bachelors of Arts from California State University San Bernardino, his Master of Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo and holds a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Paul is married to Dr. Christina Granillo, Ph.D.; they are the proud parents of baby Monica Marie.

Member at Large

Al Arguello

Bank of America

As market president, Mr. Arguello is the senior executive for business, civic and philanthropic activities for Bank of America in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  He provides business, civic and philanthropic leadership for Bank of America throughout the market, and works to strengthen communication and integration among the company’s local business lines. Mr. Arguello works to continuously improve the customer experience, grow revenue in the region, and enhance Bank of America’s presence in the community.

Mr. Arguello has served on various boards of nonprofit organizations and he is presently on the Board of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce; on the board of Rancho Cucamonga Community and Arts Foundation; on the board of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership; Member of the Monday Morning Group of Riverside;  on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the UCR School of Business Administration; member of the Steering Committee of the Micro Enterprise Collaborative of  Inland Southern California; on the board of the San Antonio Hospital Foundation.

Al is a 49-year veteran with Bank of America. He is a native of Nicaragua, and lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California with his family.


Member at Large

Lupe Valdez joined the Union Pacific as the Director of Public Affairs in July of 2005. She serves the Los Angeles Basin, which includes Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara and
Imperial Counties. Her responsibilities include working with local elected officials and community groups in Southern California. She grew up in Lincoln Heights, in Northeast Los Angeles and attended local schools. She continued her education at the University of Southern California where she earned both a B.A. degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Prior to joining the Union Pacific, she worked for Southern California Regional Rail Authority- (Metrolink) in Los Angeles and served as a Deputy Executive Officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in Diamond Bar. She began her professional career at the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) and continued her transportation work with Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) and MTA, now known as Metro. While at these agencies, she had the opportunity to work on many projects and environmental impact reports for rail lines now fully operational in Los Angeles County. Lupe currently serves as Co-Chair of the Transportation & Goods Movement Committee of the Los Angeles Chamber; serves as Co Chair of the Energy & Environment Committee of BIZFED, Board Member of the City of Commerce Industrial Council and is a member of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership and is now a Board Member of the CA Transportation Foundation. She is a member of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, the Inland Empire Logistics Council and Inland Action. She previously served as Vice Chair of the City of Montebello Traffic & Safety Commission. She resides in Whittier, CA with her husband and 16 year old son.