Arturo Noriega


FOUNDER & Chief Executive Officer

Arturo has more than 20 years of work experience as a management consultant, specializing in economic development, strategy, governance, risk management, finance, and organizational change management. He has earned an MBA in Strategic Management and Leadership from Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Economics as well as a concentration in Finance from Haas School of Business of U.C Berkeley.

Naldo Peliks



Naldo is responsible for developing Centro’s operational capacities, leading the organization’s advisory services, and overseeing product development. He brings 14 years of business strategy and product development experience in technology, banking, retail, and education. Naldo has a BA from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Emily Kaplowitz

Emily Kaplowitz


A former Small Business Advisor for Centro, Emily is responsible for the development of relationships with funders through presentations, personal meetings and regular communications. She also searches for potential supporters of Centro through corporations, family foundations and individuals. Emily comes from an education background, with a focus on supporting low-income, first generation students through college graduation. Emily has an MBA/MA in Educational Leadership from Mills College and an MS in Counseling from Barry University.

Estefania Cardona

Programs and Partnerships Manager

Estefania manages relationships with our international partners. She has a degree in International Business, a postgraduate in Creative Intervention and is an experienced social entrepreneur. Her work in multicultural environments and interdisciplinary projects in Colombia, United States, Canada, and England is paramount experience she brings forth to our programs for entrepreneurs and organizations.

DJ Healy



DJ is responsible for managing the Advanced Entrepreneurship Program and developing educational content from Centro’s mobile apps. He brings over eight years of experience as a professional trainer and advisor, having worked with organizations in the education, economic development and governments sectors. Daniel has a BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Susie Sullivan


Financial Manager

Susie leads Centro's financial and human resource operations. She has over 11 years of experience in accounting, business operations and project management with a wide-range of small businesses. Susie is focused on supporting money-mindfulness for women-owned companies, creative professionals, and socially responsible businesses. She is currently completing her BS in Business with an emphasis in Accounting from Portland State University. 

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Entrepreneurship Trainer

Acacia leads our Oakland Basic Entrepreneurship Program. She is a passionate social entrepreneur and educator with 10 years experience in the education and small business development industries. She double majored in Global Economics and Language Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is a proud graduate of the Centro Entrepreneurship Readiness Program. She supports international populations as a local educator working with recently arrived refugee students and also turned her passion for local business, language and travel into her own business, Ethnic Ties. 

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Entrepreneurship Trainer

Antoinette is our Advanced Entrepreneurship Program trainer. She obtained her MBA from Drucker School of Management in 2017, and currently lives in Oakland. She's excited to help local entrepreneurs sustain and scale their business.

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Entrepreneurship Trainer

Camila leads our Basic Entrepreneurship Program in Spanish and English. She is an innovative leader and social entrepreneur with 3 years of experience building a global enterprise, Nucleos. She has a degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California and is a trained program manager. Her goal is to inspire others by sharing opportunities for learning.

Carlo Arellano

Entrepreneurship Trainer

Carlo leads our Spanish Basic Entrepreneurship Program in Oakland. Before, he spent three years in Mexico City helping small and medium-size businesses increase their productivity and competitiveness in collaboration with the Secretaría del Trabajo y Fomento al Empleo. Carlo also grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and this very personal experience is what inspired him and led him into the field. He also has a degree in Economy and a Postgraduate in Globalization and International Economy from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). 

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Entrepreneurship Trainer

Courtney serves as an Entrepreneur Trainer for Centro in Stockton, California. Having worked in several small businesses within the Food & Beverage industry, she appreciates and respects the entrepreneurial struggle. Courtney holds both an MBA and a BA in Sociology from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. She also has experience in economic development and enjoys connecting entrepreneurs with resources that can aid them in achieving their goals.

Diego Zapata

Entrepreneurship Trainer

Diego leads our Spanish Basic Entrepreneurship Program in San Jose. He is currently launching his own business - a consulting company specialized in quality management and processes development. He gained his entrepreneurial skills working at his family business for more than 8 years in Colombia. And now his goal is to transfer this knowledge and experiences to the Latino entrepreneurial community in the Bay Area.

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Lupita Nicole

Entrepreneurship Trainer

Lupita leads the Spanish Basic Entrepreneurship Program in the City of Stockton. She has over eight years of retail banking experience that lead her to open her own business. She is the founder of Core Prime Interpreting & Translating and owns a life coaching business called Total Change in U. Lupita is very passionate about her community. She is on the board of nonprofits that focus on the advancement of the Latino community. She looks forward to sharing her business experience to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Monique Hector

Monique Hector

Entrepreneurship Trainer

Monique serves as an Entrepreneur Trainer for Centro in New York City. Guiding and supporting an array of small businesses in NYC, she enjoys seeing the growth as entrepreneurs put their love and passion into what they do. Monique holds a Master’s in Business Management & Leadership from the CUNY School of Professional Studies and a BA in Business. Monique continues to find opportunities to empower and equip all New Yorkers through building knowledge as well as creating innovative opportunities and providing resources for everyone to thrive.

Frank Stokes

SoutherN California Entrepreneurship Trainer

Frank supports Centro’s partners and entrepreneurship trainings in Southern California. He has over twenty-five years of experience in Business and Entrepreneurial Development, and is the founder of El Camino College Business & Entrepreneurial Success Training (BEST) - an award-winning boot-camp program for new business owners. Frank is a graduate of the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College Executive Education Program, author of “A Business Mind” in Boys To Men: 31 Days Of Wisdom, and has been published frequently in the Los Angeles Times Business Section, and the Bloomberg Business Week “Smart Answers” columns.



Fernando supports Centro's partners and activities in Brazil. He is an experienced business coach, certified by the Brazilian Society of Coaching (SBC), as well as by Empretec (a United Nations entrepreneurship program) to be an International Master Trainer. In addition to onboarding trainers in Brazil, he was also responsible for implementing Empretec in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. He is a Sebrae consultant and has served as a visiting professor for MBA courses. He earned a degree in Advertising from Universidade Federal Fluminense.

Join Our Team

Would you like to join the Centro team?

View our current opening positions.

Our Board & Advisors

Cecily Drucker, Strategic Advisor

Simone Harvey, Board Member

Liliana Gil, Strategic Advisor

Gabriel Jimenez, Google Ambassador

Carly Perera, Board Member

Steve Petersen, Board Member

Doug Wheeler, GSBI Strategic Advisor

Michael Wray, GSBI Strategic Advisor