ABOUT

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Community Connections is a woman-minority-owned small business prime. Our team reflects the history and culture of the community with over 100 years of combined experience within the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Our team consists of fully bilingual personnel in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Armenian, and Romanian. 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

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Theresa Martinez
Principal in Charge
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Trisha Murakawa
Program Manager
Vermont Transit Corridor Project

Ms. Martinez has more than 25 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 Womens Association and serves as their National President. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the LA County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  and on the Orange County District Attorney’s Community Diversity Committee. She is a commissioner on the Hospital Supplier Diversity Commission and serving on both boards of the Wall Las Memorias and the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts. 

 

Ms. Martinez is the proud recipient of many prestigious awards for her leadership throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area and Orange County. In 2016, she received the “CEO of the Year” award from the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CHSS). That same year, she received the “Trailblazer Award” from the National Latina Business Womens Association-LA Chapter for her commitment and service to the Latino Community. in 2019, she received the John Aguilar Procurement Award from the CHSS.  

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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

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. 

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Attila Juhas
Digital Communications / Website Specialist
Vermont Transit Corridor Project
Subcontractor

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.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Everett Bell
Deputy Project Manager
Vermont Transit Corridor Project
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Anna Finlay
Digital Communications
Vermont Transit Corridor Project
Subcontractor of Kleinfelder Construction Co.

Reverend Everett Bell, Jr​. has been championing the causes of underserved populations for over 20 years. As the Founder and Director of Impact Southern California CDC in Los Angeles, he has addressed these problems in some of the most marginalized communities in Southern California. He believes that by creating solution oriented partnerships with elected officials, corporate partners and non-profit organizations, the obdurate community challenges such as anemic economic development, reentry, trauma relating to violence, and the absence of job placement can be addressed.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Ray Galan
Director of Digital Marketing

Ray Galan is the Founder and President of RG Pacific LLC, a Web Development and Digital Marketing agency located in Los Angeles with DGS, MBE and SBE certifications. Since 2010, Ray has led RG Pacific into a leading services provider with projects specializing in online marketing, e-commerce, web development, and online branding. Under Rays leadership, RG Pacific has been the lead as well as a sub-contractor in contracts with City and privately funded community projects throughout the United States and abroad, with recent contracts with LAUSD, City of Montebello, City of Arroyo Grande, CA and Los Angeles Regional Centers.

 

Ray has proven results in helping organizations with their online business model: How to revamp their site to improve ROI, strategize and apply new web development tools to improve performance, implement CRM solutions to strengthen business and customer relationships, and implement e-commerce solutions to create sales. Ray also is an expert in E-Marketing; specializing in planning, executing, and maintaining a strong online marketing mix to maximize online efficiency, branding, and reach targeted audiences.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Norma Gomez
Senior Outreach Specialist

Ms. Gomez’ 20 year plus career in Business includes working in Public Accounting, Corporate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Community Outreach, Supplier Diversity, Non-Profit and most recently in the Financial Services and Insurance Sector.

Ms. Gomez started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in the Audit and Business Advisory Services.  She eventually led the West Region in Diversity Recruitment, where she worked with numerous organizations to create and attain the tools necessary for the hiring and promotion of women, people of color, and underrepresented groups.

In 2007, Ms. Gomez joined the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) as their first Chief Operating Officer. In 2019, she joined the LA Latino Chamber of Commerce as their CEO.  In her most current role at New York Life, she has facilitated financial literacy workshops at businesses and University campuses educating underrepresented communities on the importance of financial planning.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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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.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Ed Dielman (Kleinfelder)
Public Outreach Specialist / Graphic Designer
Vermont Transit Corridor Project

Subcontractor of Kleinfelder Construction Co.

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.

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Desiree Portillo-Rabinov
Strategic Planning Manager for OCTA's Climate Adaptability & Sustainability Plan

Ms. Portillo-Rabinov is an experienced senior project manager and community development professional with a proven track record of delivering projects on time and within budget. Strong communication skills to resolve complex issues, analyze and prepare reports and summaries, and effectively lead cross-functional teams to facilitate and innovate for project execution. 

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Paulina Velasco
Senior Outreach Specialist
Subcontractor

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

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Tamara Gould
Graphic Design and Visual Communication Specialist

Ms. Gould has nearly 25 years of professional experience as a branding specialist, graphic designer and artist. Before founding her business, Waking State Design, Ms. Gould worked closely with some of the most esteemed design visionaries of our time, Deborah Sussman, Paul Prejza, and Jon Jerde. These experiences coupled with her fine art education informed her professional vision, work ethic, creativity and open-minded approach to solving design problems. 

FULL BIO INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

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Jessica Stock (Kleinfelder)
Outreach Support
Vermont Transit Corridor Project
Subcontractor of Kleinfelder Construction Co.

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