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Meet the Mi Camino Advisory Committee Members

March 11, 2021

Opera Cultura is proud to introduce the Mi Camino Advisory Committee members: Tamara Alvarado, Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco, and Darlene Tenes.

Tamara Alvarado
Tamara Alvarado: 

Tamara Alvarado serves as a Program Officer in the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Local Grantmaking Program in a new role leading the cultural and civic investments in the Vibrant Communities portfolio spanning the five Bay Area counties that the program serves: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito. The portfolio invests $4 million annually to advance creative, environmental, and civic organizations that connect people with art, nature, and their communities, creating a unique sense of place for all. Prior, Ms. Alvarado served as the executive director of the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation, a San José, California–based foundation that focuses on youth and arts. She has held executive, board, and director positions at various local, regional and national arts and community organizations, including the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza; the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute at 1stAct Silicon Valley (now SVCREATES); MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana; and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation).

Ms. Alvarado holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature with an emphasis in Chicano Studies from Stanford University. She has been a traditional Aztec dancer for over 20 years and is a member of Calpulli Tonalehqueh Aztec Drum and Dance.

Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco 
Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco: 

Daughter of immigrant parents, Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco graduated from Independence High School in San José and  UC Santa Barbara to pursue her degree in Chicano Studies. She worked her way through college as a caregiver at home for youths transitioning between juvenile hall to the adult world. She taught them life skills, conflict resolution, anger management and how to respect themselves and their communities. Her passion for improving the quality of life for children and families led her to a ten-year career with the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children Services, serving as a powerful advocate and spokesperson for the Foster Care and Adoptions Program. She also served as a Family and Child Advocate with First 5 Santa Clara where she helped rehabilitate perpetrators of violence and helped their families get the help they needed to get back on their feet. As the District 5 Councilmember, she is proud of the accomplishments that directly improve the lives of the residents of East San José residents and the entire city.  Magdalena has focused policies on women and families including the passage of the Women's Bill of Rights, and increased funding for services that assist survivors of domestic violence.

Magdalena Carrasco was appointed by Mayor Sam Liccardo to be Vice Mayor from 2017-2019, the first Councilmember from East San José in over 30 years. In the past two years, she has successfully worked to increase women and people of color in our local political representation at all levels continuing her belief that the true goal of a leader is not where you stand but who you bring with you. 

Darlene Tenes
Darlene Tenes:

Darlene Sanchez Tenes founded and served as Chief Executive Maniac of Marketing Maniacs, Inc., a Silicon Valley event marketing and management firm. Founded in 1998, the firm specialized in working with direct to consumer-based businesses and nonprofits with a special emphasis in Hispanic marketing. In 2005, she founded CasaQ, a Hispanic Lifestyle Company that provides services and products to people who embrace the Latino culture. She also leads the Farmworker Caravans, a grassroots effort by individuals to provide emergency supplies to these oft-forgotten essential workers during the pandemic. Since 2003, Ms. Tenes has been a regular contributor on NBC Bay Area and CBS-5 in the San Francisco Bay Area as a Latino Lifestyle expert and has co-hosted the annual CasaQ / NBC Bay Area Best Darn Tamale contest since 2004 and is featured on PBS Heirloom Meals Christmas.

Ms. Tenes has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities, Silicon Valley Boys & Girls Club, San Jose Police Foundation, and PACT – People Acting in Community Together and advisory committees for San Jose Rep, One Economy/Ebay Foundation, Mercury News Latino Advisory Committee and San Jose Job Corps. She has mentored youth for years at Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall and The Role Model Program. She was also the founder of BRAVO Toastmasters, one of only six bilingual groups in the nation, and was named Toastmaster of the Year in 1999. Currently, Ms. Tenes teaches event and meeting planning courses to industry professionals through San Francisco State University College Extended Learning certificate program, Silicon Valley Concierge Association, and other professional associations.