About Us

The purpose of MAES is to increase the number of Latinos in technical and scientific fields. MAES works to increase opportunities, recognition, and participation of Latinos in engineering and science through its professional, technical, and student activities. MAES is a non-profit, tax exempt corporation.

The efforts of the Austin Professional Chapter of MAES will be focused on providing opportunities for its members in:

  • Community Outreach
  • Student Outreach and Assistance
  • Professional Development
  • National Symposia
  • Social Activities

The Austin Chapter of MAES was founded in the summer of 1998 by a group of former MAES student members committed to promoting the goals of MAES in our local Austin community. The Chapter has since grown to include a very diverse group of professional people working in city, state, and federal government; university research; as well as the private semiconductor, computer manufacturing and software development industries.

We believe in directing Austin's vast resources toward education and outreach goals. Increasing the number of Latino students excelling in math and science-based programs is our chapter's primary goal. This goal is central to the social and economic advancement of Latinos in Austin, the state, and the nation.

Our local chapter bylaws were drafted by Vanessa Gonzalez, Jeff Salinas, and Agapito Sustaita. They were subsequently discussed, modified, and approved by our general membership.

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The Aztec pyramid of the sun exemplifies the engineering skills of our ancestors. The logo's outer ring represents the magnitude of the sun. Within this ring appear a gear and an atom with orbiting electrons that represent our involvement with engineering and science. The eagle is a symbol of strength and biculturalism as serves as a national emblem of both Mexico and the United States. The stars and stripes denote the members' nationality and citizenship. The MAES logo is a registered trademark of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists.

Elsa Rivera

Elsa is from a small border town in South Texas, Zapata, TX. She attended college at Texas A&M University and received her BS degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2005 and returned for graduate school a few years later to get her ME degree in Industrial Engineering in 2010.

She has work experience in the medical device industry and is presently working at the genomics division of Agilent Technologies, Inc. She has served in various leadership positions and has been involved in the community since she was a teenager. She continued her leadership involvement in college and after graduation upon entering the workforce. She is a 2014 graduate of the Hispanic Austin Leadership program.

She is also a certified fitness instructor where she helps people meet their fitness goals.

Vice President of Operations
Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez is from New Braunfels, Texas. He graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelors of Science in Manufacturing Engineering. He is currently working for Applied Materials as an Engineering Change Manager.

Tony has been a member of MAES since 1999. He has previously served as VP of Outreach for the MAES Austin Professional Chapter. He is also a recipient of the MAES Bravo Award-Amigo de MAES

Secretary of Membership
Lisandro Rodriguez

Lisandro is from Houston, TX. He currently attends college at The University of Texas at Austin and is studying towards a BS in Physics and a Minor in Portuguese.

Lisandro is also the President and Founder of the University of Texas at Austin MAES student chapter.

Secretary of Administration
Lorraine Montes

Lorraine P. Montes is Vice President and Associate Wealth Strategist for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Lorraine provides interdisciplinary wealth management advice and services in the areas of financial planning, estate planning, insurance, tax, risk management, and philanthropy, tailored to the needs of high net worth clients. She partners with client’s external advisors to provide specialized wealth management and fiduciary services while driving increased revenue. Lorraine analyzes a client’s financial situation, developing comprehensive illustrations and recommendations in the areas of estate and wealth transfer planning, financial consulting and retirement planning for high net worth individuals and their families.

Lorraine joined Bank of America in 1997 with the Consumer Bank and then joined U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in 1999 as a Wealth Strategies Analyst. She was promoted to her current position in 2006.

Lorraine earned her B.S. in finance from the University of Arizona and holds a CFP® certification.

Lorraine is passionate about making a difference in the community through various roles: Bank of America Community Volunteers Leadership Committee Officer, Hispanic Austin Leadership Alumni, Hispanic Austin Leadership Program Planning Committee and Mentor, Active Volunteer with Caritas and Foundation Communities.

Secretary of Finance
Clara Neri-Mejia

Clara Neri-Mejia is originally from Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), in Detroit MI, with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. She was the founder and President for the UDM Student MAES Chapter, and then held the Regional VP Position. She is currently working for Applied Materials as a Project Manager supporting Austin Manufacturing Operations, but has held positions in other areas such as Quality Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Indirect Purchasing Commodity Manager.

Clara also holds her Masters degree in Executive Engineering Management from the University of Texas in Austin. And is also a 2014 Hispanic Austin Leadership program graduate.

She has previously served as President and Secretary for the Austin Professional Chapter. She has participated in various volunteer activities within MAES, and through the HiP affinity group at Applied Materials. Other hobbies and interests include: jogging and watching sports, any season, any where, any time.

MAES Austin Professional Chapter

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