Gabriela Benitez- GBS Health Exchange Services Director. With over 12 years of experience in health insurance industry, Gabriela obtain her Paralegal Associates degree from Mountain West College. Prior to GBS, Benefits Gabriela worked for Regence BlueCross and BlueShield of Utah, UnitedHealthCare and Aetna USHealthCare. She dedicated many years of diverse efforts within Regence BlueCross and BlueShield including; Sales and Marketing, Public Relations, Customer Support, Benefit Contracts and Legal Compliance, Translator, Television Spokes-Person, and Emerging Markets increasing Latino enrollment considerably. Among her significant previous positions Gabriela was a key element in Regence BlueCross BlueShield successful emerging market development and implementation. Her team efforts were recognized by the national BlueCross and BlueShield association. In 2008, the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized Gabriela’s outstanding community and event coordinator efforts, she was awarded the business person of the year excellence plaque.
Gabriela is a leading expert in Health Care Reform, particularly Avenue H-Utah Health Exchange. Throughout her business career, she has established significant business and community relationships. Devoted to facilitate consumers with education and navigation support for an efficient health care experience, Gabriela’s effectively connects to her audience during her seminars.
Sergeant First Class, 128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Utah Army National Guard.
Rich Stowell is a Utah native with close ties the the Salt Lake community. He is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Utah studying Communication, a graduate teaching fellow in the department of Communication, and a fellow at the Center for Communication and Community.
In 2014, Rick took leave from the doctoral program to serve overseas as a US Army Solider in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Five year earlier, he deployed with the 40th Infantry Division in support of NATO in Kosovo.
He earned a B.A. in History, as well as a Secondary Teaching Credential, from California State University, East Bay. He then earned an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Western Governors University.
Rich began teaching high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. After his first deployment, he returned to the classroom at a charter high school in Richmond and taught teacher education at the University of San Francisco.
Among his research interests are issues of communication in combat among modern American military forces, team conflict, and the presentation of counterinsurgency doctrine. He is currently a Sergeant First Class serving in the 128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Utah Army National Guard.
Aside from his various teaching and research activities, Rich writes as a hobby. He authors "My Public Affairs," a military blog, and has published three books including, Nine Weeks: A Teacher's Education in Army Basic Training, and Tunnel Club.
Rich lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and three children.
IT, Vivint Smart Home
Mac Newbold is a leader in the IT Department for Vivint Smart Home. He works with development teams to build and improve applications and tools for internal use by Vivint employees. His latest project is Tech Genie, an 8 month effort by 3 dozen people in two countries, which supports all the field personnel that install and service Vivint's Smart Home systems, and helps connect the systems that manage operations. He has been with Vivint 5 years, and previously worked with SkullCandy, and was co-founder of Code Greene, a web development and consulting shop in Salt Lake City, and holds two Computer Science degrees from the University of Utah. Previously he served as board president for the Utah Open Source Foundation (UTOS), and has served on the board for Dual Immersion Academy for over 5 years.
Retired - Former Director, Office of Ethnic Affairs Utah Department of Community and Culture
Jesse Soriano served as the Director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs. He most recently was the director of the Health Sciences Ethnic Minority Affairs Office at the University of Utah, where he was a former member of the School of Medicine Admissions Committee. He also held the position of program administrator for Weber State University’s Minority Community Programs Development and as senior specialist for the Educational Equity Center. Soriano spent nearly ten years as a schoolteacher in Michigan, teaching at the Jr. High and high school levels in inner city Detroit and several small Michigan communities. He also taught at the university level at Michigan State University.
Soriano has served in many capacities in the ethnic community and community at large. His has served as Senior Education Specialist at Mountain West Educational Equity Center at Weber State University, Director for the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs at the United States Department of Education. He currently serves on the following boards: Christus St. Joseph Villa, Comunidades Unidas, Somos Foundation, Utah Coalition of La Raza and Zion’s Bank Hispanic Advisory Committee. Soriano is married to Barbara Soriano and has two sons, four daughters, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Ray Betancourt, C. S. W.
Retired – Social Worker and Former Program Manager for Community School Initiative at Rose Park Elementary in the Salt Lake City School District
Ray was raised in the South side of Chicago, IL. and after graduating High School, moved with his family to Los Angeles, CA. After a year at Pasadena City College, Ray enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he worked as Communications Specialist for 4 years; 2 ½ years overseas and 1 ½ years with the NSA in Maryland.
Ray helped to bring about the very first Community School Initiative in Utah at Rose Park Elementary, a Title I school on the west side of Salt Lake City. His 13 year effort helped to spur citywide interest in the community school concept as a viable means for supporting student academic and social success. This interest has led to the development of several community school models in various schools, school districts, and non-profit organizations in Salt Lake City serving thousands of children and families.
Ray has worked as a Special Education Assistant in Santa Monica and Pasadena School Districts, as a Production Manager in L.A., and as a Human Resources Manager in a manufacturing plant in West Valley. He later received his B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Utah before starting his community work with United Way of Salt Lake, Boys and Girls Club of Salt Lake, and the Salt Lake City School District. During this time, Ray also worked nights providing counseling services for individuals, couples, and families in the Foster Care system. He also currently sits on the U of U College of Social Work Community Advisory Board, and on the Practicum Advisory Committee that provides Field Faculty Workshops for Field Social Work Supervisors.
Ray lives in Sandy, is married, and has 3 grown children and 4 beautiful grandchildren.