ABOUT

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Community Connections is a 100% woman-minority-owned small business, which is Los Angeles County LSBE certified, SBE, and DGS (State of California) certified. Our team reflects the history and culture of the community with over 50 years of combined experience within the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Our team consists of fully bilingual personnel in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Samoan, and Chinese. We are committed to providing the community with valuable information that will enhance their quality of life. We specialize in partnering with key stakeholders and have ongoing relationships with numerous elected officials. Our engagement, strategic planning and outreach strategies will far exceed your business needs and goals. 

MEET THE TEAM

Theresa Martinez
President & Project Manager

Ms. Martinez has more than 20 years of experience integrating her expertise in community outreach in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She has successfully organized and managed large public outreach and engagement programs, including facilitating high-profile events and activities for Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce. Skilled at building strong working relationships with local government, targeted organizations and community members, Ms. Martinez has a superior record of working with underutilized community demographics to formulate beneficial programs and issue resolutions.

 

In addition to serving on numerous advisory committees throughout the county, Ms. Martinez founded the non-profit National Latina Business Women’s Association. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for nine years and on the Orange County District Attorney’s Community Diversity Committee for four years.

 

Ms. Martinez is the proud recipient of many prestigious awards for her leadership throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area and Orange County. In 2016, as CEO of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC), she received the “CEO of the Year” award from the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. That same year, she received the “Trailblazer Award” from the National Latina Business Women’s Association-LA Chapter for her commitment and service to the Latino Community over the course of 20 years.

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Joseph Perez
Sr. Community Outreach Specialist

Mr. Perez has more than 17 years of experience working with public and private agencies to develop, implement, and manage environmental, labor compliance, outreach, and sustainability programs. He began his career using AutoCAD and Softdesk to create street improvements designs, storm drain and water improvement plans, grading plans, tract maps, street details, and exhibits for DreamWorks – Playa Vista Development, LA Metro Segment 3 Redline extension, MTA Headquarters Building / Space Plan Interior Design, Valencia Tract Development, St. John’s Hospital Expansion, and Loyola Marymount University Library. His familiarity with public sector projects allowed him to transition into managerial roles including Vulcan Materials Company/Solution Strategies Inc., and Outreach, Community Programming, and Strategic Planning Divisions for the Greater Los Angeles Area. He has successfully managed, developed, and implemented community outreach programs for various public and private sector programs and projects. He has coordinated with Stakeholders including elected officials, staff, business, and community based organizations to create solutions and resolution to common goals.

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Frank Banos
Community Outreach Specialist 

Mr. Banos is a project manager with strong leadership, market analysis and staff coordination capabilities. He has solid networking skills, having developed city, state, and federal government contacts instrumental to the success of community programs. He has revitalized programs and achieved significant public support.

 

Mr. Banos has implemented various plans with community stakeholders to ensure integration of common objectives. He has superior communication skills based on directing staff and community relationship management. Mr. Banos has developed and implemented numerous plans for building relationships with key members of federal, state and local governments, their staff, related agencies and businesses. His role will be to help facilitate meetings with elected officials as needed. 

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Attila Juhas
Digital Communications / Website Specialist

Mr. Juhas has 20 years of experience in media production. He provides exceptional media services including Architectural 3D Visualization, 3D Animation, video production, graphic design, and web design. His goal is to use his experience and love for design to help people and companies stand out from the crowd, draw an audience, and convey their messages clearly. Mr. Juhas wants the videos and stunning designs he creates for his clients to tell stories capable of keeping their audience’s attention – and to effect change even when words aren’t present. Mr. Juhas recently developed a new technology (IAV | Interactive Architectural Visualization) where agencies can present their upcoming project in an interactive 3D scene. Mr. Juhas founded AJ Design in 1997. He worked for MBI Media for seven years prior. Mr. Juhas uses Final Cut Studio for editing videos, creating special effects, and exporting the final video. He uses Cinema 4D for 3D modeling and animation, and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver) for graphic design and web design.

 

Mr. Juhas has worked on METRO projects and understands the branding needed for this contract.

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Sara Rubalcava
Senior Community Relations Specialist

Ms. Rubalcava has over 20 years of experience in the field in community and media relations, including projects in the transportation sector with SCAG and Caltrans. Her community outreach professional forte in developing public outreach strategies has resulted in the outreach development, execution, and management of several successful, awardwinning
campaigns. She has a proven track record for delivering consensus between community and stakeholder’s client and
stakeholders. Ms. Rubalcava is well known for developing
innovative and creative programs, annual signature events, outreach campaigns and events that encompass the values, mission, and vision of an organization while creating impact, growth, branding, and awareness.

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Carmen Rad
Marketing Specialist 

Carmen Rad, a garment industry veteran of Puerto Rican descent, started C R & A Custom Apparel in 1993 because she was having difficulty getting paid from her previous employer. She also knew she had the necessary capabilities and strong work ethics to start her own business venture. With Carmen’s degree in fashion marketing and design she could not fail.
C R & A started with only 2 employees out of her home. Over the past 16 years the company has grown to nearly 30 employees and into a new 24,000 square foot building. They began producing custom embroidery work and promotional items and have transitioned to primarily a large format digital printing company serving some of the same clients from 1993 as well as large corporations, such as Disney, Coors,
and Nike. C R & A is a full-service large digital print production and visual display company that produces and installs billboards, all indoor and outdoor banners, fleet graphics, vehicle wraps, window, wall and floor graphics, sports and stadium signage, and all types of trade show graphics and exhibit booths. 

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Trisha Murakawa
Deputy Project Manager

Ms. Murakawa has more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications, public affairs and project management working in the AEC industry. She specializes in complex controversial projects and works with her clients to identify public issues and concerns and mitigate or address them before they escalate. Early in her career, she worked in transportation in bus operations, rail planning and rail construction where she has extensive experience in public engagement for large scale projects.

 

Prior to her work in transportation, Ms. Murakawa worked for the RTD as it transitioned into Metro. Her projects included community relations and serving as the agency liaison with transportation staff in LA City Council districts in South Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, Pico-Union and Koreatown. She also worked on the final environmental clearance for the Metro Eastside Extension – Final EIR/EIS and worked with local elected officials and key staff that represented the alignment in downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, as well as the construction public affairs program for the Vermont Corridor for the Metro Red Line that connected the Wilshire stations to Hollywood. She was responsible for the B252 contract (the hole through) as well as the Vermont/Beverly, Vermont/Santa Monica and Vermont/Sunset stations where she worked with key stakeholders including Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Hospital Los Angles, Hollywood Presbyterian/Queen of Angles Hospital, Los Angeles City College, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, among many others. Prior to her work in transportation, Ms. Murakawa coordinated state government relations for UCLA Government Relations and served with two members of the California State legislature where she worked on higher education, labor, health and human services and environmental issues.

 

Ms. Murakawa is also active in the community, currently serving on the board of WTS-LA as the chair of the Small Business Committee and on the board for the Little Tokyo Service Center Economic Development Corporation.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Alexander C. Kim
Community Outreach Specialist (Korean & other Asian Communities)

Mr. Kim has acquired over 20 years of experience in community and government engagement in the Greater Los Angeles Basin with a balanced portfolio of working for public officials, public commissions, major energy utility, and nonprofit agencies focused on both business advocacy & social justice causes.   His reputation and experience is relied upon by his past and present employers into working closely with the one of the fastest growing ethnic demographic in Southern California, the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

 

Mr. Kim’s thorough knowledge and credibility in the diverse major Asian American communities (Bangladesh, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese) & Pacific Islanders (Fijian, Hawaiian, Tongan, and Samoan) and his continuing efforts to be a bridge to the mainstream public aligns with the mission of Metro in being a good public partner in the community.

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Ed Dielman (Kleinfelder)
Public Outreach Specialist / Graphic Designer

Mr. Dielman is an innovative and versatile Graphic Designer with 15 years of experience creating and producing high quality materials for outreach, marketing, and advertising projects.

 

Working closely with clients to understand each project’s requirements and ultimate goals, Mr. Dielman works collaboratively to develop compelling and effective print and digital marketing materials tailored to the targeted audiences.

 

He has an advanced mastery of the latest design software, and has experience designing a plethora of marketing collateral — from informational brochures and signage to advertisements, presentation materials, and promotional giveaways.

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Anna Finlay
Director of 
Public Relations

Ms. Finlay is a highly motivated, creative, and versatile community outreach and graphic design professional. She provides comprehensive community outreach/public relations consultation strategies to public agencies on multi-million dollar transportation infrastructure projects. Her experience includes facilitating and overseeing the implementation process, and providing quality control for various projects, branding activities, and special events. She is adept at developing public outreach campaigns that garner meaningful support from key stakeholders and building a rapport with impacted communities in order to highlight project benefits, ultimately creating project champions.

 

In addition to working closely with community partners and stakeholders to increase project awareness, she designs a wide variety of marketing materials for transportation, public works, and private sector projects such as annual reports, financial reports, posters, static and digital displays, fliers, websites, directional signage, brochures, advertisements, motion graphics, direct mailers, multimedia displays, interactive presentations, interactive maps, catalogs, newsletters, and display booths. Ms. Finlay is also responsible for drafting, launching, and maintaining social media campaigns for numerous projects.

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Judith Norman
Targeted Outreach Specialist

Ms. Norman’s 27+ years of outreach counsel is recognized, valued and respected for its rigor and use of innovative approaches to linking transportation to urban needs, utilizing effective consensus and capacity building approaches of her own conception. Her wide breadth of experience in working with a diversity of clients on both local and regionally significant projects has equipped her with the skills necessary to effectively collaborate on and/or substantially contribute to large-scale transportation projects.

 

Ms. Norman’s intimate knowledge of Los Angeles County public transportation issues, transit operators, agencies and non-profit organizations sets her apart as key for METRO’s contract.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Paulina Velasco
Senior Outreach Specialist

Paulina Velasco will serve as Project Manager for this Project. In this role, she will lead the continuous development of the public participation plan’s delivery. Her knowledge of project management principles, in combination with her vast expertise leading diverse teams and managing resources ensures the successful delivery of engagement projects.

 

Ms. Velasco draws upon more than 15 years of hands-on experience as a project manager, public engagement strategist and community organizer to deliver increased value to her projects.  She shares a wealth of experience within the project-area, but also has a diverse background in content development, EIS/EIR outreach, and innovative/experimental engagement campaigns.  Ms. Velasco has proven record of successfully managing many controversial projects; her experience and expertise has ensured the successful completion of notable and challenging multilingual electoral campaigns and public engagement programs including the City of Los Angeles Redistricting Commission’s public outreach program, electoral campaigns targeting the communities of Downtown Los Angeles, and public engagement on Exide.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Wendy Fierro
Outreach Support/Graphic Designer

Wendy Fierro brings nearly 10 years of experience as a graphic designer producing high-quality materials for a wide range of public outreach, marketing, and advertising projects. She excels at using dynamic visual elements in her designs to effectively communicate to and engage audiences. Wendy’s experience includes developing and designing compelling marketing and outreach materials for an array of transportation, public works, and private sector projects, including informational hand-outs and brochures, annual and financial reports, presentations, posters, static and digital displays, flyers, websites, directional signage, advertisements, motion graphics, direct mailers, multimedia displays, interactive maps, catalogs, newsletters, and display booths. Additionally, Wendy provides public outreach support for various projects, including coordinating and supporting public open houses, milestone events (groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings) and speaker bureau presentations.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Jessica Stock (Kleinfelder)
Outreach Support

Jessica Stock is a resourceful, motivated, results-driven public relations professional with experience gained through both classroom and hands-on environments.  She is proficient in MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and skilled in social media marketing, event planning, fundraising campaigns, copywriting, and partner relations/communications. Jessica is an excellent communicator with the ability to connect with diverse audiences and stakeholders.

 

She brings a fresh eye and a valuable perspective to each new project.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE