Making Cultural Connections

(Making Connections, Inc.)

Our Board is guided by a culturally diverse; world traveler group of members (educators, cultural presenters, artists, veterans, and community advocates) who believe in the importance of education, family support, and understanding cultural diversity as strengths.


Board Members:

Dulce Isalguez Parker
Founder, Executive Director
Cultural and Diversity Educator
USAF Veteran

30 years Social Worker


Giraud Polite
Artist/Professor
Dean of Arts & Humanities
Dallas College , Dallas Texas

Compensation Committee


Rosanne Bell
Retired Elementary School Bilingual Educator
Dallas, TX

Compensetion Commitee


Louella Pointer
Retired City of Dallas Housing & Community Services Case Worker,
Dallas, TX

Community Volunteer


Lesley Lanig
Epidemiology Specialist at Tarrant County Public Health,
Ft. Worth, TX

Presenter
Barbados



Ashley Burn-Jacobs
Bilingual Teacher
US Army Veteran
Royce City, TX

Presenter
Belize


Maria Elena Gaona
Director - Communications at Catholic Climate Covenant WDC
Washington D.C.

Bilingual Journalist, Writer, News and Public Affairs, Media Relations, Editing, and Public Speaking

Presenter/Community Volunteer



LaVonda Smith-Lessane
US Marine Corps HQ, Section Head, Organizational and Workforce Development
Virginia

US Air Force Veteran

Presenter/Community Volunteer




Community Advisory Members & Cultural Artist Presenters


Leo Hassan
African Drummer, Artist,
Dallas, TX



Jacco Velarde
Artist,
Andinas Music Cultural Presenter –
Dallas, TX

Bolivia



Tamara Antonetti
Community Volunteer
Cultural Presenter, Dallas, TX
Dominican Republic



Divina Garcia

Bilingual Teacher Cultural Presenter
Arlington, TX

Dominican Republic



Luis S Rondon

JPMorgan Chase, Asst. VP Business Banking - Relationship Manager
Dallas, Texas

Community Volunteer -
Dominican Republic




Marcia Vanderpool

Retired CPA
Richardson, Texas

Community Volunteer &
Cultural Presenter
Dominican Republic



Secretary

William D (Bill) Parker
USAF Veteran
Retired Human Resources Dir.
Virginia




Rest In Peace Our Dear Board Member


Elliott C Smith
( May 20, 1944 - March 19, 2021 )

We greatly miss our long time Board Member and key supporter who passed away in March 2021. He was a US Army Vietnam Veteran and died due to Agent Orange exposure. His hosting of our programs at his High School Spanish classes, photography duties at our community center workshops, and many other acts of guidance and support were outstanding. We are blessed to have had his energy given so freely to our organization in support of our mission.

Mr. Smith (as we called him) loved education and what he could achieve with it. He held multiple Master degrees and certificates. Beginning in 1974 Elliott began what would become a long, distinguished 34-year career with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in San Francisco, CA. Elliott would go on to work in such locations as the Latin American Office, the Sacramento Office, the Far East Office, Washington D.C., the European Office, and finally the Dallas Office. Elliott worked on a multitude of defense, energy and international trade – most notably with work involving the Panama Canal Treaty and construction of the Pan American Highway. Elliott ultimately became the first Regional Director for GAO’s Central Region. Prior to his retirement from the GAO, Elliott established a recruitment program in the Central Region that is still known for hiring top-level professionals. Upon retiring from GAO in 2005, Elliott decided that he wanted to teach so he went back to school and got his teacher’s certificate and taught middle and high school grade Spanish at several schools in Texas. He was very passionate about the Spanish language and went above and beyond to immerse his students into the language and culture. This passion led him to our programs and our multi-year relationship. Thank you Mr. Smith!


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Thank you to Our Board Members for their support and devotion



Alicia Alvarez


Alicia was one of our initial Board Members and key to helping us with fundraising. She moved to the Chicago, IL area but continued for a time to support us 'long distance'. Thank you for your advice and guidance to get us started.

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Gilberto Barrera

Mr. Barrera was an Elementary School Principal in the Dallas ISD system. He too helped us get started and provided guidance on programs and parent involvement techniques. He retired and later moved to Ecuador. We owe a lot to his early guidance and energy. Thank You!

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Dr. Luisa Rondon

As a pediatrician at Parkland Hospital, Luisa provided us with much support and community insight. She has moved to the Dominican Republic and will be in our thoughts forever. Thank you Luisa!


Board Meeting Photos – (When we were together, in person – those were great days!)



Annual Board Meeting - Dallas, Texas -
­June 9, 2018
Elliott Smith, Bill Parker, Ashley Burn-Jacobs, Louella Pointer, Dr. Luisa Rondon, Dulce Parker, & Rosanne Bell

Thank You” to all our board and community members for their great support




Board Meeting July 2017


Board Members Presenting Cultural Programs in Dallas, TX


Divina Garcia – Caribbean Children's Carnival,
Polk Wisdom Library


Lesley Lanig – Barbados Culture,
Oak Cliff Cultural Center,


Hugo Peart – La Cultura Cura, Youth Leadership. LG Pinkston HS


Ashley Burn-Jacobs – Belezian Culture


Tamara Antonetti -Mask Making,
Latino Cultural Center


Leo Hassan- Afro-Caribbean Drumming,
Portfolio Residence Services

Updated 20Nov2020