Speaker Series 2019

President's Speaker Series

Meet community leaders who are breaking the glass ceiling, and are focused on creating equity in the world in which they live. Join us as these public figures share their personal journey to where they are today and how they overcame the challenges along the way.

Date of event: October 29th, 11:00-12:30 pm.

Location: John Paul Theatre

Price: FREE

Kara Kalkbrenner

Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner A native Phoenician, Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner joined the Phoenix Fire Department in 1985. During her 32 plus years of service, she has held the ranks of Fire Engineer, Fire Captain, Division Chief, Deputy Chief and Executive Assistant Chief of Administration. She holds an Associate Degree in Fire Science from Phoenix College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Management from Ottawa University. She has served as adjunct instructor for the Fire Services program at Maricopa County Community Colleges.


Gonzalo de la Melena

Gonzalo de la Melena serves the community as the CEO, Emerging Airport Ventures and Former President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) & Operator of the Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the States leading advocate representing more than 150,000 Minority Business Enterprises. Gonzalo has over 20 years of global management experience. Gonzalo received his MBA from Thunderbird, School of Global Management and earned his undergraduate degree in business from Arizona State University.


Oscar de las Salas

Oscar de las Salas is a native of Barranquilla, Colombia and an award-winning international architectural designer with more than two decades of experience with municipal projects and community development. He serves as a Design Manager and contributes to business development for Gensler’s Phoenix studio.  His passion for design, architecture, and fashion has expanded Oscar’s community and media involvement locally making him a familiar face as a regular style contributor in local magazines, newspapers, as well as a host on radio and television for both English and Spanish speaking markets.