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Board, Staff & Volunteers 2024

Our nonprofit is served by an active and hardworking Board, Staff and Volunteers who contribute time and talents to advance our cultural mission.

Education Staff

Dr. Ana Maria Tekina-eirú Maynard
Founding Executive & Artistic Director, Choreographer, Playwright
Teacher - Traditional Dance & Music (all ages), Coqui Class, Taino Traditions

Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard is a proud blood descendant of the Tainos of Boriken. She is the Visionary and Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (501C3). Founded in 1997, it is the only center in Texas and the Southwest affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for authentic, high-quality cultural programming. As Executive Director, her duties span every responsibility required by a nonprofit Senior Executive. As Artistic Director, Dr. Maynard is trained by Island masters and is an expert resource on the Mainland for Puerto Rico's cultural heritage. She is a historical and cultural researcher, playwright, choreographer, songwriter, teacher and multi-disciplinary performer of Puerto Rico's traditional music and dance. Since 2001, the cultural center's achievement and quality have been validated by repeat support from grants at the city, state and national levels. Tekina-eirú is a Dreamwork & Master Certified Spiritual Life Coach, trained through the International Coach Federation. Dr. Maynard is an innovator (11 patents) holding a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon. Her combined expertise is unique in Texas and the Southwest. Read Full Bio.

David P. Maynard
Percussion Teacher & PRFDance Company Musico
Advisory Board - Marketing & IT Services

David Maynard is a technical and business leader with 30 years of experience in the design, engineering, security, management and delivery of innovative information technologies. In the early 1990's, David helped bring low-cost, IP-based dialup Internet service to Texas by customizing the UNIX operating system kernel to extend low-cost network connectivity to users via traditional telephone lines. David's efforts resulted in dramatically lower costs to provide business-class service at the dawn of the modern public Internet. David, who is also married to Tekina-eiru, lends his expertise in Marketing and IT Services to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Advisory Board. He is a member of the PRFDance musician ensemble and has enjoyed annual percussion and music workshops with Puerto Rican masters such as Pablo Luis Rivera, Tito Matos, Tico Fuentes, Raul Ayala, Jorge Emmanuelli, Orlando Laureano, and others. David teaches beginner percussion to youth and adults, and enjoys his small acting roles in PRCC's annual musicals. David is also an active member of the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center where he currently serves as Center Director.

Rich Vazquez
Cocobale Teacher - Ancestral Fighting Arts (Sticks & Machetes)
PRFDance Company - Senior Dancer
Beginner Percussion Teacher

Rich Vazquez has 15 years martial arts experience, 5 years in Afro-Diaspora martial arts experience, 2 years of instruction in afro-diaspora martial arts, and is currently studying under Maestro Mike Quijano in the martial arts of Cocobale, calinda and juego de mani. Rich has many years of nonprofit experience as Executive Director and training other nonprofits. He served as Executive Director of the Scottish Rite Theatre, one of the oldest perating theatre buildings in the US. He also has produced, directed and written plays for many years. Rich teaches Cocobale -- Ancestral Fighting Arts with sticks and machetes -- for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's educational program, He also teaches beginner percussion. He has been performing with Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, the cultural center's company as a dancer, actor, and singer since 2017 and was promoted to Senior Dancer in 2019.

Yolanda Maisonet
Company Costumes & Props

A native of Puerto Rico, Yolanda move to the US in 1980 to pursue a career in the beauty industry. She is a Cosmetology instructor, hair designer and fashion consultant. Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to become a national educator for renowned companies, working with performing artists, for National Theater, Washington DC, Kennedy Center, Washington DC, Fashion Weekly, New York, Director of Color at the Graham Webb Academy, Arlington VA, and, as an Education lead for Paul Mitchell the School, Austin TX. She moved to Texas in 2008, where she joined the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's performing company as a Dancer, Actor, and Wardrobe Advisor; she continues to design wardrobe for major productions including their large annual musical based in oral history. Yolanda is a Hair Designer at Ulta, Bee Caves, TX.

Alejandro Cotto
Percussion Teacher & PRFDance Company Musico

Alejandro is a native of Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Villanova University, and has been living and teaching in Austin for 6 years. He was born to a Guatemalan mother and Puerto Rican Father. He has been teaching middle school math in Austin since 2013 and offers his passion for teaching to the percussion students at PRFD. His interest in music came from his father and brothers. While he was a teen, they were on stage playing in the local churches worship team playing congas, piano, bongos and singing. Parrandas were a yearly tradition that exposed Alejandro to musical tradition of Puerto Rico such as plena, bomba, aguinaldos, musica jibara and more. After they taught him to play Latin percussion as a teen, in college he explored his interest in dancing. While at Villanova University, he joined an undergraduate performance team where he develope his skill in dancing and teaching different style of dance, such as bachata, salsa, chachacha, mambo. It wasn't until moving to Austin that he returned to playing percussion at the PRFD Center. Since 2013, Alejandro has learned traditions of bomba and plena from master musicians from Puerto Rico such as Jorge Emanuelli Nater, Tico Fuentes, and Tito Matos. he has been an active member of PRFD since 2013 as a percussionist and singer in the PRFD music ensemble. In 2017, Alejandro began teaching these traditions alongside David Maynard in advanced and beginner percussion classes.

Maria Mercedes Tureyguanani' Maynard
Field Research Assistant - History & Culture

Tureyguanani' is a Computer Science Major at the University of Texas at Austin, and Chief Social Officer for the Chi Beta Delta sorority. She graduated from McNeil High School at the top 3% of her class. She participated in the Majestics Dance Team, Majestic EliteCo and was a medal winning participant of the McNeil High Westling Team. Exposed to Puerto Rico's folklore since birth, Maria has been participating in PRFD's cultural arts programs since the age of four. In 2015 Maria was promoted to Dancer in the adult performing company where she enjoyed taking workshops and sharing the stage with Masters direct from Puerto Rico (see Mom/PRFDance Director's bio). Maria began teaching Youth Dance in 2011, and taught folkloric and contemporary dance for PRFDance's Teen program, and retired to focus on college. Maria assists her director mom with summer field research for for PRFDance's original bilingual musicals that bring to light untold stories in Puerto Rican history. Tureyguanani is a consecrated Tekina (leader of ceremonial dance) for her Taino pueblo, El Concilio Taino Guatu Ma-Cu A Boriken and enjoys dancing Areytos on the beaches, in the mountains, and on the bateys (ceremonial grounds).

Adminstration, Board & Advisories

Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard,
Founding Executive & Artistic Director
Executive Board - Founder

Dr. Maynard is the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, founded in 1997 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3). It is the only cultural center in Texas and the Southwest affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for the offering of authentic, high-quality cultural programming. As the visionary since the cultural center's inception, her Executive duties span every responsibility required by a nonprofit Senior Executive.
Read Full Bio.

Jenny Irizarry-Deleza
President, Executive Board of Directors
Special Events Fundraiser Lead & Chair of Damas Committee

Jenny Irizarry-Deleza is the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Board President. She enjoys her fulfilling work at the Travis County Health and Human Services and Veteran Services Department who offer basic needs and services to the community through partnerships with state and local organizations. Jenny has been an active member of the cultural center since 2002, organizing fundraisers for major events. In January 2018, she rose to Rose Irizarry's Board President & Secretary position after her mom retired after 15 years of service. She passed on her Secretary position to a new Board member in 2021. In addition to her Board posts, Jenny continues as Fundraiser Lead for special events. She is also the Chair of the Damas Committee, a volunteer service committee who provides front-of-house and audience support for cultural center major events, and fundraisers through community-targeted social events.

Dr. Amanda Masino
Secretary, Board of Directors
Fundraising & Development Team

Amanda Masino, Ph.D., is a geneticist and environmental educator whose approach to research applies scientific investigation to community-engaged goals. She applies this "Science + Social Justice" model as Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of Natural Science at Huston-Tillotson University (HT), a historically Black college or university (HBCU) in Austin, Texas. Amanda created and directs HT's STEM Research Scholars Program, which has provided over 180 undergraduate research experiences from 2014-2022. Amanda led an NSF-funded re-design of HT's Natural Science curriculum to emphasize inquiry-led learning and embed research skills into coursework. Her own research projects include a resident-focused investigation of affordable housing impacts and the environmental health of our homes, a collaborative project investigating urban wildlife as environmental sentinels, and student-led analysis of cardiovascular health disparities.

Amanda co-created HT's new Environmental Justice major, co-founded and organizes HT's annual environmental justice conference, the Building Green Justice Forum, and mentors environmental student group Green is the New Black. She also directs the St. David's Foundation Scholars, a pre-health career enrichment and scholarship program which seeks to diversify health fields, and mentors HT's chapter of the Minority Association of Premedical/Pre-health Students.

Amanda is Executive Director of the Austin Community Data Coalition, a non-profit that organizes collaborations for community research, and Co-Director of the Dumpster Project, a K-12 environmental learning program. Amanda also serves on the City of Austin Zero Waste Commission and on the boards of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Community Resilience Trust.

Amanda earned her B.S. in Zoology from Texas A&M University and her Ph.D. in Genetics and Developmental Biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. In 2019, she was chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Lyda Hill Philanthropies as an IF/THEN Science Ambassador. Amanda began serving on PRCC's Advisory Board in 2020, and has been serving as Board Secretary since 2021.

Julio I. Cotto
Board of Directors, Business Advisor

Julio I. Cotto is Senior Vice President of the National Hispanic Institute and Director, Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session. He is Adjunct Faculty at Austin Community College, Department of Humanities. Julio joined the Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance performing company as a dancer in 2004, and today participates in the music ensemble. Since 2019, Julio is a member of the Board of Directors, and has served as PRFDance's Business Advisor since 2016.

Dr. Lourdes Rodriguez,
Board of Directors

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, Lourdes served as Associate Professor and Director of Community- Driven Initiatives at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Lourdes also worked as Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, and from 2004-2012, she co-directed the Urbanism and the Built Environment track in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. As a public health practitioner, and in both academic and philanthropic roles, she collaborates, develops and evaluates initiatives to improve health with people most impacted by health inequities.

Lourdes has a Doctor in Public Health from Columbia University, an Master of Public Health from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. Dr. Rodriguez is a member of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and currently holds an appointment as an Adjunct Faculty with the UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus. A longtime member of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Lourdes began serving on PRCC's Advisory Board in 2020 and served as Board Vice Presidency in 2021/2022.

Advisory Board Members

Dr. Cesar Salgado
Board Advisory

Cesar A. Salgado is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Graduate Adviser in the Program in Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate seminars on colonial and postcolonial New World baroque literatures, the "Origenes" group and journal in Cuban literary history, James Joyce and Luso-Hispanic modernism, the politics of archival fashioning in Caribbean studies, and contemporary literary theory. His articles on Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Latin American and comparative literary topics have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Cuadernos americanos, Inti, Apuntes posmodernos, Revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Actual, Critica, Journal of American Folkore, La Torre, and The New Centennial Review. Dr. Salgado is author of From Modernism to Neobaroque: Joyce and Lezama Lima (Bucknell University Press 2001) and coeditor with Alan West-Duran and Maria Herrera-Sobek of Latino and Latino Writers, a reference encyclopedia (Gale/Scribners 2004). He is currently at work on a manuscript currently titled "Caribbean Counterfeits: Essays in Critical Archivology." Cesar has served as PRCC Advisor Board since 2020.

Iris Albizu
PRFDance Corporate Attorney / Legal Advisor

Iris A. Albizu-Rivera was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Ms. Albizu earned her Juris Doctor at the Inter-American University School of Law in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After obtaining her J.D. , she barred in Puerto Rico as an Attorney and Public Notary. Ms. Albizu started practicing in Puerto Rico and developed a clientele based in civil litigation with emphasis in Family and Estate Law. After moving to the Washington, D.C. area, she worked as a federal contractor with the Department of Justice in a complex high-profile litigation. Now, having relocated with her family to Austin, Texas she opened Albizu Law Firm focusing her practice in federal controversies, especially in the area of Immigration. She also maintained her office location in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico where she practices with her father, Mr. Angel R. Albizu, Sr., to help individuals non-residents in the Island with their legal matters in Puerto Rico. For more information on legal services, please access www.albizulaw.com. Ms. Albizu enjoys giving her time and expertise to different Non-Profit organizations and offering pro-bono legal services, and also has handled humanitarian immigration issues. She is an active pro-bono attorney for American Gateways and Bernardo Kohler Center in Austin, TX. She serves as Legal Advisor for Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, Inc. As born in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico, Ms. Albizu is a Native Spanish Speaker. She is a mother of two beautiful children and her husband works as an Architect for an International company.

Administrative Staff & Volunteers

Betty A. Tovar
Events Assistant, Lead Souvenir Inventory Team
Front of House & Backstage Assist

Mother of Mia and Miranda Cazares, students of PRFD since 2010. She is very proud to be a part of this great Puerto Rican Cultural Center family, who taught her daughters the value of Cultures and the value of the human being. Betty is our Events Assistant and has been supporting coordination of our cultural center events, large and small, since 2010. She is Leader of our Souvenir Inventory Team and assists in front of house and backstage for major productions, where ever she is needed!

Sara Green-Otero
Souvenir Inventory Team
Backstage Assist - Youth Performances

Sara is married to Jose and is a mother of two preteens Isabella and Philip. Sara has a Masters of Science in Social Worker which she received from the University of Texas in Austin. She currently works as licensed school social worker in the Austin Area. Sara and her family have been coming and attending classes at PRFD since Isabella was 6 months old and are committed to the mission and the community. Sara and her family have been back and forth between Iowa and Austin for schooling and are happy to once again be back "home".

Jaime Torres
Company Photographer

Jaime Torres is a native born Texan and has found himself being led to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. He is helping the Center continue to blossom in its cultural mission as a photographer. He¿s keen on cultural-arts, cars, indigenous traditions, poetry, capoeira angola, and finding a better way. Enjoy his photography:

Zera Thompson
Company Photographer & Special Events Team

Zera Thompson was raised in Texas. She attended St. Phillips College in San Antonio, TX. (1992-1993) and afterwards moved to Austin to work for Dell Computer Co. (1993-1999). In 2000 she moved to Round Rock, TX. She changed career into the health field as a Certified Nurse Aide (2002- 2012) and continues to serve our community . She also started her own business Imajinu Artography by Zera in 2009. She is currently continuing her education in the Photography and Marketing program at Austin Community College in Austin, TX. Zera's children have danced in PRFDance's youth programs. Zera also has many other talents, including event planning, culinary, marketing, and photography, all of which she shares with PRFDance as time permits. Zera has been with PRFDance since Spring 2004, and served on the Board & Staff since 2005. A freelance photographer since 2004, Zera contributes her talent and expertise in Artography as PRFDance's long-time Company Photographer. She believes wonderful memories last forever with the perfect picture. Thanks to Zera's wide array of talents, we have many wonderful memories to enjoy over and over again!

Maria Mercedes Capestany
Social Media Educator - Boricua Recipies

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico (Savarona) of a Taino mother and a Puerto Rican/Spaniard father. At the age of 15 moved to NY where I finished high school. Married and have four beautiful daughters, three beautiful grand daughters, and two handsome grandsons. When my youngest daughter went to school I decided to go to college and received a BA in Accounting. Went to work for an oil company in NY. 15 years ago my husband and I moved to Florida and I love it. Now I am retired and helping my beautiful daughter, Ana Maria (Director) with PRFDance. I also watch two of my grand daughters after school. They keep me very busy but I still have time to help Ana Maria and work in my garden.

Special Events Team

  • Roxanna Honstein - Front of House Team

    Edwin "Ed" Baez
    Special Events Hospitality Team

    Edwin "Ed" Baez was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. With Mother from Rio Piedras, and Father from Camito, Edwin graduated from Rio Piedras Republic of Colombia High School. Afterwards, he joined the military (1978-1985) and graduated in military admistration and science communication. A 1993 graduate students from University of Texas at Austin, Ed is Technical Staff and teaches at the Dept. of Physics. Ed attended the Austin Graduate School of Theology Associate Ministries of Jesus Cristo (2002-2004) and is member of the Royal Ranger SR Commander at a Pentcostal Church. A Southwest Key Charter School board member since 1993, he has also worked an AISD P.E. Teacher (1993-2000), and an afterschool Instructor in basketball and flagfootball. Ed has a beautiful wife and one son at U.T. (mechanical engineering), the other at San Marcos Baptist Academia. Edwin is a "die hard" Roberto Clemente fan and travels to Puerto Rico and New York to collect baseball and basketball cards. Ed loves to teach children how to start up sports cards collections and plans to have a card shop when he retires. Edwin is thankful to God for the blessings in his life.

    Advisory Board - Professional Consultants

    In addition to the Advisory Board members listed above, PRFDance is served by additional professionals who make themselves available for inkind professional consultations.

    Joe Alvarado
    Advisory Board - Accounting

    Joe is an professional accountant working for Travis County. He served as long-time Accountant and Board member of Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico de Texas, a 30-year old performing arts organization dedicated to Mexican folkloric dance. He has been PRFDance's Accounting Advisor since our 1997 inception.

    Contact us if you feel a calling to join our volunteer-run nonprofit mission.

    For more information:
    Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
    Puerto Rican Cultural Center
    Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13, Austin TX 78702-3738 (Map & Directions)
    Mailing Address: 15228 Quiet Pond Court, Austin TX 78728-4555
    Phone: +1.512.251.8122      Email: dance@prfdance.org          Web: www.prfdance.org     
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