OUR TEAM

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WOMEN AND MINORITY PARTNERS

From urban plannig, to the healthcare sector, to agriculture, to marketing to architecture and others. We work hand-in-hand to bring, forth change, and this is done through accessibility and equitable distribution of resources. At rla, team members play different roles as associated with them, but we come together as one to achieve a common goal.

“TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE” IS A POPULAR SAYING, SO THINK OF WHAT A COLLECTIVE OF PEOPLE CAN ACHIEVE TOGETHER AS ONE.

We serve as an intermediary group for community development, and cultural cohesion that develop neighborhood engagement among all boroughs of NYC.

We have a co-determination of helping low income (diaspora) communities of nyc to ensure sustainability through community development.

THE CREW

Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez CEO RLA
Millie_Verastegui
Millie Verastegui Creative Director / Mooneye
Matthew_Moss_v3
Matthew Moss Project Manager / Touch Touch Studio
Venesa Alicea
Venesa Alicea Architect / NYVARCH
JeffChen_v2
Jeffrey Chen Architect consultant
Holly Pearson
Holly Pearson Urban Planner
Steve_Arias
Steve Arias Digital Marketing / Amics
Miriam_Colon_v3
Miriam Colon Entrepreneurship dev
S_Kelly
Stefanie Kelly Strategic relationship / Brown Estate Vineyards
PowerMalu
Power Malu Musician/artist/actor
JessicaVicuna
Jessica Vicuna Workforce development partner
ZOILA_ALONZO
Zoila Alonzo Clean Air Associates Inc.
Yoelvis
Yoelvis Hernández Web/Engineer

Ricardo Lopez

CEO RLA

Ricardo Lopez is an enthusiastic and experienced professional in the Design and Construction Sector for the building industry and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RICARDO LOPEZ AND ASSOCIATES (RLA) from Brooklyn, New York, United States. He is passionate in the sphere of Green building and sustainable cooking to capacitate people by tracking down the quality, health, and proficiency in the human environment.

With his broad knowledge in the industry, he makes an exceptional contribution to the diaspora community by nurturing them and implementing resiliency measures to gain uprightness in low-income communities. RLA programs consist of resiliency Vocational Centers to educate people in sustainable fundamental concepts by providing software and hardware tools, Community-specific stimulated pathways for long-term investments, foster community values to bring out local talent, cultural awareness, and neighborhood spirit. Besides this, he teamed up with World Central Kitchen (CK), a non-profit and non-governmental Organization, to feed New York City during this pandemic era.

Before starting RLA, he was the co-founder of Sustainable United Neighborhoods (SUN); SUN is a Brooklyn based sustainable not-for-profit Organization seeking to boost the green economy by workforce empowerment, food justice, and access, COVID 19 response and relief, eco-literacy, green building, and LMI & environmental justice Communities. He is an expert at Moving World, an award-winning enterprise that lifts people accelerate in their careers and deliver world-changing outcomes by its high impact designed programs. He holds educational degrees from New York University (NYU) in Sustainable Design, Construction and Development, Construction Project Management and Building Information Modelling (BIM), Revit. Prior to this, he acquired Commercial Cooking training from Star Career Academy, and moving today; he is founder and Chef at sustaintable.
Following his passionate work for environmental growth, he got licensed as a Heating professional and Building Analyst from BPI, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE from National Capital Region, and G pro fundamentals of Building Green and Construction Management from Urban Green Council. As being an enthusiast social worker, he has volunteered as Energy Consultant at Envirolution for one and a half years. In his previous role with CPS Central, he served as Account Manager and gained experience as Sr. Personal Financial Representative at Washington Mutual Bank. He is an extra-ordinary capable person with a diverse portfolio, ever seeking urge to attain knowledge and serve the environment with his strategical  company plans. Personally, he is a professional yet friendly being that turns him into an impactful sympathetic.

I’m not here to son you, I’m here to school you

Millie Verastegui

Creative Director / Mooneye

Millie Verastegui Is the founder of Mooneye LLC and a two-time Daytime EMMY Nominated creative with a proven track record impacting industry trends for over a decade as the former Creative Director for NBC’s TODAY show. Mooneye is a Women and Minority owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) specializing in creating impactful visual communication campaigns through animation, graphic design, video and digital strategy. Mooneye looks to align with purpose-led clients and works with nonprofits and leading brands highlighting diversity and environmental challenges.

Recent collaborations include working with PepsiCo’s internal HR team to launch a national campaign for the Heritage Months throughout the year and serving as Director of The Motion Awards by Motionographer, overseeing the global platform dedicated to acknowledging the full spectrum of motion design.

As a native New Yorker with roots from Peru, she believes our cultural differences inspire us to create beautiful impact and ignite positive change.

Mooneye’s mission is simple: Use your creative talents as a force for good.

Matthew Moss

Project Manager / Touch Touch Studio

My accomplishments include winning press awards as an editorial cartoonist, being an art director and team leader making games that bring joy to people’s lives and helping children learn through interactive design. My fascination with culture, history and natural sciences inspire a sense of wonder that is ever critical in combating apathy. What ever you do- you gotta have passion.

Collaborating: Collaborating is the key to creating community.

Venesa Alicea

Architect / NYVARCH

Venesa Alicea-Chuqui AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, an Architect, Educator and Advocate, is Founding Principal of NYVARCH Architecture, a NYC based collaborative Architectural Practice focused on building community and equity through design. With over 15 years of experience designing multi-family sustainable affordable, and supportive housing developments and civic projects, she is committed to working with local communities to develop good design, both sustainable and socially conscious. She’s the New York representative to the AIA Small Firm Exchange, and President of the Architecture Alumni Group of the Alumni Association of the City College of New York, her alma mater (B.Arch ‘05), where she has also taught the Coop Internship and Professional Practice classes. Committed to design justice in the built environment, she’s an active contributor to Dark Matter University, Design as Protest, and a former co-chair to the AIANY Diversity & Inclusion and Emerging New York Architects committees. She is chair of the AIANY Puerto Rico resiliency task force, an active member of the AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee, and a 2019 Fellow of the Association for Community Design.

Be the Change

Jeffrey Chen

Architect consultant

Jeffrey Chen, Assoc. AIA is an architectural designer and educator based in Brooklyn NY. Over his architecture career he has worked on the design and development of a range of high profile projects spanning hospitality, commercial and institutional, to public and large scale mixed-use. As an educator he has led and co-taught numerous service learning studios at Pratt Institute in collaboration with multiple community partners, faculty members and students. He is passionate about leveraging design to help create more equitable and just neighborhoods and spaces. His work has been featured in the AIA’s 2015 Emerging Professional exhibition, Fast Company and WNYC radio among other media outlets and he was a grantee of the Pratt Center for Community Development Taconic Fellowship in 2017. Jeffrey is an Associate at the Rockwellgroup and has worked at the offices of FXFowle and Rafael Vinoy Architects previously. He holds professional certifications in LEED, SEED and EcoDistricts AP.

Co-create opportunity

Holly Pearson

Urban Planner

Holly Pearson, AICP is an urban planner specializing in local strategies to promote sustainability, with an interest in cities in the United States as well as in the global south. She has more than 14 years of experience working in urban and community planning with local governments and NGOs in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Ms. Pearson has worked for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia on both land use planning and the creation of a city-wide plan for social development. In 2005 she was awarded a grant to work for six months with Fundación Biósfera, an environmental organization in Argentina, on the development of a municipal climate action program in the city of La Plata. She spent several years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she worked as a planner for the Cities of Oakland and San Francisco and served as the Sustainability Director with the American Planning Association’s California Chapter – Northern Section. She also worked with the Oakland-based non-profit organization Ecocity Builders managing grassroots sustainable cities projects in Peru and Colombia. Ms. Pearson holds a master’s degree in Planning and a professional certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia.

Be VIVID!

Steve Arias

Digital Marketing / Amics

Have accomplished 75 million steams on youtube with one client which lead to RIAA certified Gold plaque. also with my team we have run programmatic ad for NY time got over 100 million + Impressions we take brand and and build audience through digital Advertising. My world view is to educate communities on sustainable practices and support new innovations and designs.

Sustainable education

Miriam Colon

Entrepreneurship dev

A. NYS Licensed Insurance Broker SUNY certified Business Advisor, HR strategist and Business Compliance specialist. B. I have 30.yrs of professional education and streets smarts in Life, Business and knowledge of the CITY STATE AND FEDERAL Compliance guidelines for MWBE certifications. I am a certified Financial Literacy instructor Nav certificated financial literay and loan specialist. 3. My world view is that Mother Earth is teaching mankind a lesson to take care of the planet or COVID will force humanity to acknowledge we are one in combat for survival. Money means nothing without health. We must cater to the planets demands for earths survival regardless of nations religion or political differences.

Inspiration is hope

Stefanie Kelly

Strategic relationship / Brown Estate Vineyards

Ms. Kelly, an apprenticeship trained food professional, started out in the kitchens of the west coast, first @ Angeli Mare, helmed by chef/author (‘Pasta Rustica’, ‘Cucina Rustica) Evan Klienman. Once returned to her hometown NY, she went on to work @ Union Square Cafe, Aqua Grill, Soul Cafe, Brooklyn Moon & others while running her catering business. In her 28 years of cooking in various kitchens, both private & public, she has fed heads of state such as the Sarkozys of France, Ariel Sharon of Israel & was the private chef for the daughter/heiress of Princess Sunny Von Bulow. Creativity, Fine food & it’s preparation has taken Chef Stefanie Kelly all over the world, as recently as 2015, when she toured w/Grammy Award Winner D’angelo through US & Europe.

1995 – present: Chef/Owner, Ritual Catering
Event planning, personal chef, pantry design, restaurant consulting, craft services & green room catering for film, TV & video. Menu design for special diets including but not exclusive to Spa/Atkins/South Beach & the like. International menu design including Afro Diasporic, Kosher, & Japanese. On site, private tour & spiritual retreat catering allowing for special needs including but not restricted to gluten free. Hires manages & teaches assistant chefs & prep assistant to prepare wholesome food within health guidelines in a clean, wholesome environment.

Serendipity. I claim my serendipity.

Power Malu

Musician/artist/actor

Power Malu has travelled around the world as a global running ambassador, musician/artist/actor, and humanitarian. He’s been a producer, writer and consultant for MTV, UMG, Cartoon Network, and various sports apparel brands. Power is known as an authenticator who is regularly sought after to give a stamp of approval for things concerning his community. If it doesn’t feel or sound authentic the people in the community trust that Power will call it out. As a human bridge Power is known to connect people from all walks of life. Whatever blessings he receives he is always looking for ways to pay it forward. Power envisions a world with less hate, where people are more empathetic and supportive of one another. A world that centers the most vulnerable and oppressed communities. A world that puts the people over profit. A world that focuses on prevention over punishment. Where resources are readily available and evenly distributed amongst the people in low income communities.

Inspiring! It’s inspiring to watch a community grow.

Jessica Vicuna

Workforce development partner

Jess Vicuna is a solutions-focused Senior Executive and Entrepreneur, with more than 10 years of success across the nonprofit, professional training, and development industries. Leveraging extensive experience recruiting potential adult learners into classes for nonprofits, she is a valuable advisor for an organization looking to launch new initiatives or provide training opportunities for its employees. Her broad areas of expertise include startups, workforce development, instructional design, outreach, recruitment, and marketing.
Throughout her executive career, Jess Vicuna has held leadership positions with Euclid Training, CUNY Building Performance Lab, Research Foundation of The City University of New York, and Rocket Maid, Inc.

Zoila Alonzo

Clean Air Associates Inc.

Zoila is an entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Clean Air Associates Inc., a NYC DEP and NYS DOL asbestos supervisor, a NYS Real Estate Salesperson with EXP Realty. She is the current President of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professional for the South Queens Chapter in New York.

Yoelvis Hernández

Web/Engineer

I am a mechanical engineer, ACP Revit MEP. With several years of experience in design and construction, and also immersed in IT and web design.
Always committed to giving my best, I share that vision. If each of us gives our best, the world will heal and become a better place.

Always contribute

With our combined  skills we help promote growth through diversity and equity. RLA team has designed programs that will promote individual development and community cohesion that develop community engagement among diaspora communities in NYC and throughout the world.
We are dedicated to helping diaspora communities attain development through all plausible means.

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