2021 OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS


OFFICERS:

President - Doralyn De Dios

Doralyn De Dios is an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

Ms. De Dios earned her B.S. from St. John’s University and her J.D. from New York Law School. She is admitted to the New York State Bar. During law school Ms. DeDios was the Robert F. Wagner moot court competition chair, the admissions committee chair for LALSA, the mentoring committee chair for BLSA and the co-president for the Unemployment Action Center.

Ms. De Dios is the president of the Dominican Bar Association and a board of director and current co-chair for the community service committee for the Association of Black Women Attorneys. Additionally, Doralyn is an active member for the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and the New York City Bar Association.

Doralyn joined the DBA as a law student in 2014. In 2017 Doralyn became the co-chair of the professional and business development committee and in 2018 she served as president-elect.

Ms. De Dios enjoys traveling, reading, dancing, and exercising on her spare time.

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Vice President - Jeffrey SAAVEDRA

Jeffrey J. Saavedra is a corporate and securities attorney at Dechert LLP. He focuses his practice on structured finance and securitization. Jeffrey represents issuers, underwriters and mortgage loan sellers in connection with public and private commercial mortgage-backed securities.  

Prior to joining Dechert, Jeffrey worked as an associate at another major global law firm.


Jeffrey earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Ramapo College of New Jersey and is a brother of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

He earned his J.D., cum laude, from New York Law School and served as the Executive Symposium Editor of the New York Law School Law Review.

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Treasurer - zOILA dEL cASTILLO

Zoila Del Castillo is an Assistant Attorney General at the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. In that capacity, Ms. Del Castillo prosecutes and investigates complex financial crimes that cross county lines, including sales tax and insurance fraud cases. In addition to these duties, Ms. Del Castillo was appointed by NYS Attorney General James to serve on the Office’s Diversity Committee. The Committee’s mission is to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace environment by making recommendations on hiring and recruitment, employment engagement, development and retention.

Before starting at the AG’s Office, Ms. Del Castillo served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings Country District Attorney’s Office, where she investigated and conducted felony jury trials on a variety of criminal offenses as well as argued before the NYS Appellate Division. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Ms. Del Castillo worked as an Associate Attorney at a trust and the estates law firm, which is counsel to the Public Administrator of New York County.

Ms. Del Castillo is passionate about promoting diversity in the legal profession and advocating for the rights of Latino/as. In addition to serving as Treasurer of the Dominican Bar Association, Ms. Del Castillo also serves on the Líderes Board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF and is a fellow in the 2021 Council of Urban Professional NY Fellows Program cohort. She previously served as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Hispanic National Bar Association, Region II. 

Ms. Del Castillo obtained her Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School and a Bachelors of Arts in Government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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Recording Secretary - Atenedoro Gonzalez

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Atenedoro Gonzalez fights for his community as a housing attorney with the Tenants Rights Coalition at Bronx Legal Services. Well versed in all aspects of landlord/tenant litigation in New York, Atenedoro has defended cases against low-income Bronx residents for nonpayment of rent and holdovers designed to evict low-income families, as well as administrative hearings with NYCHA.

He currently represents tenant associations in group actions against bad actor landlords in order to effectuate vital repairs in their apartments, prevent tenant harassment, and protect their rights as renters. As a board member of the Dominican Bar Association, Atenedoro encourages and promotes Dominican leadership and membership within the legal community, and works as a mentor to students of color who are pursuing an education in the law.

He was also an active member of MetroLALSA while in law school, working with other Latinx law students in promoting membership in the legal community, while also serving as the Editor-In-Chief of the Real Property Law Journal at St. John's University.


Corresponding Secretary – Nakary abreu

Nakary Abreu is an Attorney Advisor at the United States Federal Government. Formally, Ms. Abreu served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. While there, Ms. Abreu focused on investigating and prosecuting a wide array of crimes including serious violent felonies.

Ms. Abreu earned her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2017 and her B.A., magna cum laude, from State University of New York at Albany in 2011. Ms. Abreu is admitted to the New York State Bar and the New Jersey State Bar.

While attending law school, Ms. Abreu was selected as a member of the Seton Hall University School of Law Interscholastic Moot Court Board after successfully competing in the Riccio Intrascholastic Moot Court Competition, becoming one of the eight finalists.

Additionally, she actively participated within the Latin American Law Student Association and the Black Law Student Association.

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DIRECTORS:

Alexis Colón

Alexis is an attorney with more than a decade of experience in international trade, international business and economic law. He is admitted to practice law in the Dominican Republic, New York and Massachusetts. He is the Managing Partner in COLON & PARTNERS, focusing his practice in Corporate Law, Foreign Investment, International Trade, Commercial Litigation and ADR, Intellectual Property and Real Estate Development in the Dominican Republic. 

He holds a JD equivalent degree Magna Cum Laude from Universidad del Caribe and a Bachelor in Business Administration Summa Cum Laude from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in the Dominican Republic. In addition, he earned an LLM in International Business and Economic Law, with a concentration in International Arbitration, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Prior to starting his own firm, Alexis worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, where he became responsible for coordinating bilateral trade and investment negotiations. In the private sphere, he worked as an associate in Locus Economica LLC, a consulting firm specialized in free trade and economic development zones.

In addition to serving as a DBA Director, he is a member of the Inter-American Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Inter-American Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association.



pETER garcia

I am an attorney with over 7 years of regulatory compliance experience in domestic and international regulatory matters and implementing sound compliance programs for financial institutions, non-bank financial institutions (such as MSBs), and financial firms (such as broker-dealers, private funds, and registered investment companies, including RICs that elected to operate as a business development company).

The regulatory requirements can be complex and is continually evolving. I strongly believe firms can develop strategies and solutions to address and mitigate the regulatory risks and grow the business, and he has been praised for his ability to achieve such results.

My experience includes the development of compliance programs; review, revision and implementation of policies and procedures; forensic testing and monitoring; compliance-related training; mock audit examinations, including a mock examination of a $30+ billion adviser with multiple registered investment companies and private funds; regulatory filings, such as ADV Part 1A and 2A; and preparation and handling of regulatory examinations and inquiries.

I earned a Juris Doctor at Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Stillman School of Business, at Seton Hall University.


Raphael Gil

Jamell Isidor

Jamell Isidor is Deputy Director of the Administrative Enforcement Unit for the NYC Department of Buildings. She oversees and trains approximately 30 attorneys who prosecute violations of the  NYC Construction Codes and Zoning laws before the hearings division of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).


Jamell was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States with her mother in the late 1980’s.

She received her B.B.A. degree in Entrepreneurship Management from Bernard Baruch College in 2011 and her Juris Doctor from City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in 2015. In law school, she was a Senior Staff Editor of the CUNY Law Review, a CUNY Moot Court member, Academic Chair of the Black Law Students Association, and President of the Latin American Law Student Association.  

Jamell joined the DBA in law school and was elected to the DBA board in 2018.

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Jose Andres Jaime

Jose Andres is a Corporate Associate at Winston & Strawn LLP where he represents companies and financial institutions in connection with financings, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

Born to immigrant parents of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent, Jose Andres has always understood that his culture has always been, and will continue being, a beacon for his personal and professional growth. As such, he is an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Dominican Bar Association (DBA), and was elected as a Board of Director for the DBA in 2019.

Jose Andres obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Ethnicity and Race Studies from Columbia University and his Juris Doctor degree with a certification in Entrepreneurship Law from Brooklyn Law School.

While in law school, he served as the Co-President of Latin American Law Students Association and was an active member of the Moot Court Honor Society and Alternative Dispute Honor Society.

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Keila Espinosa

Keila is a Bronx-bred Harlemite who fearlessly advocates for Brooklyn’s tenant community as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society. Keila is a proud alum of New York Law School and the City College of New York, where she double majored in a history and political science.

When Keila is not at work, Keila loves brainstorming and coordinating volunteering initiatives and events for the Women Committee of the Dominican Bar Association and providing pro bono legal services to Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services. Needless to say, Keila thoroughly enjoys strategizing and analyzing--but then again her sun sign is Virgo!

Keila also creatively directs projects across industries, writes, constantly suggests books, creates art, and parents both her daughter and plants.

Judge Bianka Perez

Hon. Bianka Perez is a Justice of the Supreme Court elected November 2020, prior to her election to the Supreme Court she was a Civil Court Judge of Bronx County elected November 2016.  She’s also an Adjunct Professor at Monroe College teaching Criminal Justice. Prior to her judicial career, Judge Perez dedicated her legal career to help the people of the Bronx.  She served her community by providing legal services as the sole owner of the Law Office of Bianka Perez from 2004-2016 in Bronx County.  Prior to her law office she worked at the firm of Ginarte, O'Dwyer, Winograd & Laracuente specializing in personal injury plaintiff matters from 1995-2004.  She was also nominated as Commissioner of the New York City Board of Elections representing Bronx County from September 2014 through June 2016 and was elected the first Latina President of the New York City Board of Elections in January 2016.  She also served as Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings from 2012 to 2014. Justice Perez received her Doctorate in Law at New York Law School in 2000 and her B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice C.U.N.Y. in 1995, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She is admitted to both the New York Bar and New Jersey Bar.  She served as President of the Dominican Bar Association from 2012 to 2013 and also served as Parliamentarian of the Bronx Democratic County Committee from 2012 to 2014. She’s currently a board member of the Latino Judges Association.

Her hard work and dedication have been recognized by many including the Dominican Bar Association's Judiciary Night; Puerto Rican Bar Association's Judiciary Night; named Ambassador of Justice by the Dominican Day Parade, Inc.; Hostos Community College Dominican Heritage Award; Manhattan Borough President's Hispanic Heritage Award by then Borough President Scott Stringer; Councilman Robert Jackson's Dominican Independence Celebration Award; International Women's Day Award, Centro Altagracia De Fe y Justicia; Former NYC Comptroller John Liu’s Community Leader Award; Universidad APEC (UNAPEC) in the Dominican Republic for her professional accomplishments as an attorney in the United States and for her contribution to the positive recognition of the accomplishments of Dominicans in the United States. 

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Justice Perez was born in the United States, her parents are from the Dominican Republic and came to the United States in the 1970s. Justice Perez currently resides in the Bronx with her husband and children.

Argilio Rodriguez

Argilio Rodriguez, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Attorney at Rodriguez + Co. and is widely recognized for successfully representing businesses and employers in high-stakes, complex matters, in such areas as employment litigation (defense), commercial litigation, and liquor licensing, throughout the New York City metro area.


Mr. Rodriguez has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine each year from 2015 to the present in Labor & Employment (Defense). In December 2011, Argilio was awarded the Making the Difference Award by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens for his loyal dedication, unwavering commitment, and outstanding contribution to the community.

He has been invited as a speaker by the New York Police Department, NYC Business Solutions, and various Chambers of Commerce throughout New York City. Mr. Rodriguez served on the Board of Directors of the Dominican Bar Association from 2015 -2016 and is serving a second term from 2020 – 2021. He is also currently a Deputy for the Hispanic National Bar Association (Region 2).


Mr. Rodriguez has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens. In March 2016, Mr. Rodriguez served as a panel speaker regarding labor & employment law at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar hosted by the NYC Bar Association entitled Opening a Restaurant in New York City: Legal Issue Bootcamp.

As the son of Dominican immigrants born and raised in the Washington Heights section of Northern Manhattan, he is a fluent Spanish speaker and prides himself on playing an integral role in the advancement of the Latino business community throughout New York City and is a vocal advocate of immigrant rights.

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Wilfredo lopez

Wilfredo Lopez is an attorney, activist, and advocate with many interests in and around New York City. He received his B.A. in political science from the College of the Holy Cross and his JD from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. While at Haub, Wilfredo had the opportunity to work at FINRA, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office, and the Pace Law’s Immigration Justice Clinic. Wilfredo lives in East Harlem, in the heart of “El Barrio.” 

After graduation, Wilfredo went to work at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney. He spent 18 months at the DA’s office and successfully argued four trials. After his time at the Brooklyn DA’s office, Wilfredo accepted a position at the New York City Council as a legislative director and counsel for a council member in Manhattan. Since joining the Council, Wilfredo has helped pass several pieces of legislation ranging from campaign finance reform to food safety for kid’s meals.

Recently, Wilfredo helped to organize the legislative staff at the Council to form a union. The Association of Legislative Employees (ALE) is currently awaiting recognition and will be the largest unaffiliated union of municipal employees in the country. For his efforts, Wilfredo was recognized as one of New York City's Labor 40 under 40 by City and State Magazine in their April 2020 issue. Wilfredo continues to be an advocate for various issues such as budget equity, Defund NYPD, affordable housing, criminal justice, and immigration reform.


Bernarda Villalona

Ms. Villalona is a seasoned trial attorney with 16 years of experience in using the law to fight for others. Her courtroom instincts made her one of the top attorneys in the country, having completed well over 100 trials and 1,000s of hearings. She currently serves as Senior Trial Counsel with the Joey Jackson Law firm, owner of Villalona Law, PLLC, and as a Legal Analyst. Ms. Villalona practice areas include State & Federal Criminal Defense, Civil Service Employment & Job Defense, Labor Law, and Civil Rights.  With her expertise as an accomplished trial attorney and her firsthand understanding of the criminal justice system, Bernarda Villalona has become a familiar face on various media outlets including Court TV and Law & Crime Trial Network providing legal commentary on cases from around the country.

Ms. Villalona is the proud daughter of Dominican immigrants and is 1st generation American born and raised in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. She is the 1st in her family to graduate from college.  Ms. Villalona is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Boston College Law School.  She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New York.

Ms. Villalona began her legal career with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office where she conducted hundreds of felony preliminary hearings and bench trials. Never a stranger to the courtroom, she once tried 17 felony jury trials in a single year. As a result of her tireless fight for justice, Ms. Villalona is a past recipient of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Victim Advocates Prosecutor of the Year Award.

From September 2007 to September 2020, Ms. Villalona served at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, one of the five largest District Attorney's Offices in the country. Within her first three years, she made an unprecedented jump to the Homicide Bureau, trying the most serious and complex cases in the office. In her time, Ms. Villalona tried over 40 violent felony primarily murder jury trials and served as Deputy Bureau Chief of Trials in units spanning Brooklyn’s most challenging police precincts.

In 2011, Ms. Villalona taught in Panama with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative spearheading the country’s transition from a partially inquisitorial to an accusatorial criminal justice system. She was directly involved with training police officers and attorneys on the accusatorial criminal justice system. Through her efforts, she was able to support this transition and ensure that internationally, people everywhere have access to fair and equal justice.

Ms. Villalona serves on the Board of Directors of the Dominican Bar Association, the Judiciary Committee of the New York City Bar Association, the Civil Rights Committee of the Federal Bar Council, the Police Brutality & Reform Task Force Committee of the National Bar Association, and the Women's Law Division of the National Bar Association. Ms. Villalona is also an avid runner and has completed 3 New York City Marathons, kickboxer, and proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®.

Follow Bernarda Villalona on FaceBook & LinkedIN, on Instagram, Twitter, & TikTok @VillalonaLaw; 

www.VillalonaLaw.com   (833) VILLALONA


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