42nd Anniversary Celebration

42nd Anniversary Celebration

View photos from Ayuda’s 42nd Anniversary Celebration here.

Ayuda believes that immigrants are integral members of the community and aspire to their own American dream to live full, productive lives. Ayuda’s holistic, culturally appropriate, and client-centered legal, social, and language access services provide low-income immigrants with important first steps to restore their lives, thrive, and succeed.

The 42nd Anniversary Celebration is Ayuda’s major fundraising event, designed to secure sponsorship so Ayuda can serve low-income members of the immigrant community in the Washington metropolitan region. Year after year, the demand for Ayuda’s services far outpaces capacity. Access to unrestricted funding enables Ayuda to offer services it cannot otherwise provide. Since its founding in 1973, Ayuda has served close to 100,000 immigrants in the area.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Pre-reception “Conversation on the Immigrant Experience” (by invitation)
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Reception and Induction to Ayuda’s Hall of Fame

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center    


901 K Street, NW
11th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Forum Moderator

Steve Scully, Host, Washington Journal, C-SPAN (click here for bio)


The Honorable Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), (click here for bio)

Member of Congress, Impact Award Recipient

J. Walter Tejada, Arlington County Council Vice Chairman, Speaker (click here for bio)

2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

Barbara Laur, Community Leader (click here for bio

Michelle Exline Minovi, former staff and long-time donor (click here for bio)

The Meyer Foundation (click here for bio)

Honorable Host Committee

The Honorable Phil Mendelsohn, Chairman, DC City Council

The Honorable Anita Bonds, Councilmember, DC City Council

The Honorable David Grosso, Councilmember, DC City Council

​The Honorable Kenyan McDuffie, Councilmember, DC City Council

The Honorable Ike Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County MD

The Honorable Tom Hucker, Councilmember, Montgomery County MD

The Honorable J. Walter Tejada, Board Member, Arlington County VA

Host Committee

The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, Honorary Host Committee Chair (click here for bio)

Karen Dale, Executive Director, AmeriHealth DC

Paul Caron, Chief of Staff, Microsoft

W. George Grandison, Steptoe Foundation

Lawrence Schneider, Arnold & Porter LLP

Matthew Jemal, Douglas Development

Matt Kelly, JBG Companies

Diego Marquez, Alston & Bird LLP

John Chromy, Community Member

Marla Bilonic, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center

Contact: Sarah Block, Program Coordinator, (202) 552-3608 or at sarah@ayuda.com


With your donation, clients can access the following:

$5,000 Legal representation or therapeutic services for one client
$2,500 Free legal consultation for 50 individuals
$1,000 Five hours of paid interpretation services
$500 One session of support group therapy for survivors of domestic violence (Hermanas Unidas)
$150 Funds for emergency housing
$85 Funds to purchase food, clothing, baby diapers, Metro cards, “Hope” telephone

Click Donate Now if you’d like to become a sponsor or purchase tickets.


Sponsorship Goal: $125,000

Sponsorship Level Amount Summary of Benefits (refer to pdf for details)
Presenting $20,000 Named Sponsor, 10 premier seating at forum, program speaking part, premier logo placement, video greeting, news announcement, social media mention, full page ad, recognition in all print materials, 10 tickets and 5 Ayuda clients
Underwriter $15,000 Underwriter of education forum, 10 premier seating at forum, presentation of Hall of Fame awardees, prominent logo placement, video greeting, social media mention, full page ad, recognition in all print materials, 10 tickets and 3 Ayuda clients
Leader $10,000 6 select seating at forum, logo placement, ½ page ad, recognition in all print materials, 8 tickets and 2 Ayuda clients
Defender $5,000 4 guests at forum, logo placement, recognition in all print materials. tickets for 8 and 2 clients
Advocate $2,500 4 tickets, name listing as sponsor, recognition in all print materials
Champion $1,000 3 tickets, sponsor name in Microsoft’s electronic display panel, recognition in all printed materials
Supporter $500 3 tickets, recognition in all print materials
Individual Ticket $150/$85
students or former staff
1 ticket



Alston & Bird LLP

The Morrison Foerster Foundation
Ford Motor Company
Morrison & Foester

Crowell & Moring LLP
W. George Grandison
JBG Companies
​Matthew Kelly

Jennifer Guilfoyle
Keler & Kershow PLLC
Stacy Brustin & Jeffrey Gutman
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Calderon Seguin PLC
Covington & Burlington LLP
Douglas Development Corporation
The Washington Center
Barbara Kagan

American University Washington College of Law
​Gwen Davidow
Grossman Law, LLC
​Lucian “Mickey” Martinez
Proskauer Rose LLP
Michelle Langdon
Latino Economic Development Center
Blue Echo Studios


Steve Scully
Host, Washington Journal, C-SPAN
Moderator of “Conversation on the Immigrant Experience”

Steven L. Scully is a senior executive producer and political editor for the C-SPAN television network. He is also a host of its regular Sunday morning call-in show, Washington Journal, a live three-hour news and public affairs program.

Scully joined C-SPAN in 1990 as political editor and White House producer. Since 1991, he has been responsible for coordinating campaign programming for C-SPAN, C-SPAN.org, and C-SPAN Radio. As senior producer for the network’s White House coverage, Scully manages a team of field producers responsible for coverage of the White House, politics, and special projects. In addition to Washington Journal, he is a host and moderator for a number of other C-SPAN programs, including Newsmakers, Road to the White House, and In Depth on Book TV. In addition to his television work, he regularly appears on C-SPAN Radio’s Washington Today, a live two-hour afternoon drive time program broadcast nationwide on Sirius XM Radio. Scully served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association from 2006 to 2007.

On January 15, 2015, he held his most recently interview yet on immigration with Seung Min Kim, assistant editor for Politico, specifically regarding legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House in response to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Barbara Laur
Nonprofit executive, community leader
2015 Inductee to Ayuda’s Hall of Fame

Barbara Laur’s contribution to Ayuda has left lasting impressions on the organization. As an interim executive director professional, she joined Ayuda during the organization’s executive transitions in 2004, 2011, and 2014. Barbara considers her recent stint at Ayuda to be her most fun and productive experience yet as a nonprofit interim executive. Under her leadership, Ayuda grew from a staff of 26 to 36 with the hiring of new full-time direct services professionals. It went on from a $2.4M operation in FY14 to a $2.9M operation. It launched its 24/7 language access services for victims of domestic violence, and was chosen by the USCRI as its sole partner in the region to provide services to undocumented, unaccompanied minors in the Washington metropolitan area. All these took place over a period of eight months and transformed Ayuda internally from uncertainty to excitement about Ayuda’s future.

Barbara Laur has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years. Her leadership positions with a mix of local and national organizations has built her expertise in a variety of areas—board development, fundraising, strategic planning, personnel, financial management, volunteer cultivation—critical to nonprofit excellence. Barbara started her career as a program director and later assistant director at the Lincoln, Nebraska, YWCA. She later served on the senior staff of the National Toxics Campaign Fund, and as executive director of the Des Moines, Iowa, Young Women’s Resource Center, and Florence Crittenton Services of Greater Washington located in Silver Spring. In 2004, she embarked on a career as an interim executive, mostly with local nonprofits in the Washington, DC area. Since then, she has helped lead close to a dozen organizations through transitional times.

Barbara grew up on a family farm in northwest Missouri. She has lived and worked in a variety small to medium sized towns, as well as in urban areas. Prior to entering the nonprofit arena, she was a public school vocal music teacher for seven years. Her commitment to issues affecting girls and women has been expressed both through her work and grassroots volunteer activities.

Norman Y. Mineta
Former Secretary of Transporation
Honorary Host Committee Chair and Speaker “Conversation on the Immigrant Experience”

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is well known for his work in transportation—including aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure—and national security. He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights, as well as his perspective from having served in Congress for over 20 years and in the Cabinets of both Republican and Democratic presidents.

For almost 30 years, Secretary Mineta represented San Jose, California—the heart of Silicon Valley—first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975-1995 as a Member of Congress. Throughout that time, Secretary Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported infrastructure development to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.

Secretary Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992-1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation—the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. While in Congress, he co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and was Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.

In 2000, Secretary Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.

From 2001-2006, Secretary Mineta served as Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush. Following the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Secretary Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration—an agency with more than 65,000 employees—the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.

Luis Gutiérrez
Member of Congress (D-IL)
Ayuda Impact Award recipient 

Now in his twelfth term, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez is the senior member of the Illinois delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is an experienced legislator and energetic spokesman on behalf of his constituents in Illinois’ Fourth District in the heart of Chicago, who first elected him to his seat in 1992.

Rep. Gutiérrez is nationally recognized for his tireless leadership championing issues of particular importance to Latino and immigrant communities. He has been at the center of every major legislative debate on immigration reform and immigration issues for more than a dozen years.

He played an instrumental role in advocating for executive action by President Obama to provide deportation relief to certain long-term undocumented immigrants and their families. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects some immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, and a series of executive actions announced in 2014 are partly the result of Congressman Gutiérrez’s consistent and persistent advocacy in Washington. Beyond advocating for these initiatives, the Congressman has worked hard in Chicago and around the country to work with immigrants to apply for these deportation protections that keep families together.

J. Walter Tejada
Arlington County Board Vice Chairman
Speaker “Conversation on the Immigrant Experience”

The Honorable J. Walter Tejada was elected to the County Board on March 11, 2003, in a special election. Reelected in 2007 and 2011, he served as Chairman of the Board in 2008 and 2013 and Vice-Chairman in 2007, 2011 and 2015.

A community advocate, Mr. Tejada has distinguished himself as a leader committed to enhancing the diversity of Arlington and the region’s community voice. During his tenure, he has reached out to local communities and encouraged residents to be active participants throughout the County and the Washington Metropolitan region. He has been instrumental in convening community stakeholders to address a wide-range of issues such as affordable housing, civic engagement and volunteerism, community and economic development, education and employment, parks and recreation, tenant outreach and empowerment efforts, youth development programming, health and fitness, and nonprofit assistance.

Relentless in his commitment to promote and support civic participation and representation, Mr. Tejada has been instrumental in the establishment of various initiatives and programs. These include leading the way to the establishment of the Office of the Public Defender, the Arlington Non-Profit Assistance Center, and the Community Volunteer Network (formerly known as the Community Role Models), providing leadership development and service opportunities for young adults.

Mr. Tejada’s work has earned the respect of local, state, regional and national leadership, and he has joined many efforts shaping policies on multiple levels. Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner appointed Mr. Tejada to serve as the first Chairman of the Virginia Latino Advisory Commission. In 2006, Mr. Tejada was appointed by Governor Timothy Kaine to the Governor’s Urban Policy Task Force.

Celeste Carrasco
Director of Federal Public Affairs for AT&T
Speaker “Conversation on the Immigrant Experience”

Celeste Carrasco, a Director of Federal Public Affairs for AT&T, is responsible for executing national strategies that achieve corporate legislative and regulatory objectives, presenting company positions to external stakeholders in key issue areas and managing community partnerships with non-profit organizations in the Latino, corporate social responsibility and consumer advocacy communities.

Previously, Celeste was an Area Manager in New Jersey, where she led a team of 16 managers with diverse roles and responsibilities in support of over 200,000 AT&T Business customers. Focused on cost saving initiatives, Celeste was effective at reducing expenses and increasing productivity in her management of the AT&T Business Managed Internet (MIS) budget and human capital objectives. She was also involved with the MIS Pilot Program, which is tasked to create and implement the most efficient model to support AT&T customers by providing the “Highest Quality at the Lowest Cost.” Celeste’s most significant achievements were facilitating the off-shoring of MIS support to Sykes in 2005 and in 2011, the migration of this labor back into AT&T facilities in Bangalore, India, Cyberjaya, Malaysia, and Piscataway, New Jersey.

Celeste was recruited in 1996 while she was still a senior at Rutgers University, and became one of the first 10 team members to support the newly launched AT&T WorldNet Dial. From that role, she transitioned to working behind the scenes as a Process Owner for AT&T Virtual Private Network (VPN) Business Services, and later held multiple diverse roles within the MIS organization where she was a driving force behind many of the global virtual center designs in use today.

Due to all her accomplishments, Celeste was one of only fifty leaders across AT&T selected to participate in the 2011 Accelerated Development Program (ADP)—a year-long, intensive AT&T experience designed to advance business acumen and increase strategic perspective as preparation for future leadership opportunities.

Celeste holds a B.A. from Rutgers University, an MC in Project Management from George Washington University, and a Masters in Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. She is VP of Communications for the DC Chapter of HACEMOS, The Hispanic/Latino Employee Association of AT&T, and is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion. A native of Argentina, Celeste and her family live in Washington, DC

Michelle Exline Minovi
Former Ayuda staff and longtime donor
2015 Inductee to Ayuda’s Hall of Fame

Michelle Exline Minovi was Managing Attorney of Ayuda’s Domestic Violence and Family Law division from 1999 to 2006, only leaving Ayuda to relocate to New York City. Michelle has a B.A. from the University of Iowa, Phi Beta Kappa and a J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law. Since moving, Michelle has remained involved with Ayuda, first as a litigation consultant to the division’s attorneys, and then as a co-supporter of the organization with her husband, Maziar.

In addition, she is an active volunteer within her community. Michelle recently agreed to serve as a pro bono family law attorney for the nonprofit Unchained, helping women leave arranged and forced marriages. During the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Michelle volunteered at polling sites to protect urban minority citizens’ right to vote. She also co-chaired the Rivendell Preschool Auction for two years, which raises scholarship money for needy children. Always one to help, Michelle also volunteers at Berkeley Carroll, her children’s school. She speaks Spanish and is learning Farsi. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Maziar, their children, Sirus (11), Mitra (9) and Arman (7), and Floyd, their dog.

Danielle Reyes, on behalf of The Meyer Foundation
Longtime donor
2015 Inductee to Ayuda’s Hall of Fame

The Meyer Foundation identifies and invests in visionary leaders and effective community-based nonprofit organizations that are working to create lasting improvements in the lives of low-income people in the Washington, DC metropolitan region, and works to strengthen the region’s nonprofit sector as a vital and respected partner in meeting community needs. The Meyer Foundation has been a major supporter of Ayuda since the 1970s.

Danielle M. Reyes will accept the award on behalf of The Meyer Foundation. Danielle M. Reyes specializes in grantmaking related to Economic Security and Strong Nonprofit Sector, and is a member of Meyer’s communication’s team and has played a leadership role in developing the Foundation’s social media presence and strategy.  Before joining the Meyer Foundation, Danielle served as executive director of the Latino Student Fund, an organization focused on increasing access and information on educational opportunities to Greater Washington’s Latino community.

Danielle was a Council on Foundations Emerging Philanthropic Leaders Fellow 2005-2007. She was the founding chair of the Metropolitan DC Hispanics in Philanthropy Funders’ Collaborative and served on the board of directors of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She is currently on the board of directors of the Taproot Foundation, participates on the steering committee of the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and serves as a Commissioner of Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism.

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