Meet The Aguijón Board of Directors

BOARD Members

Maria J Vargas

Board President

María J. Vargas, Ph.D. is a distinguished Professor Emerita, St. Augustine College in Chicago. She is currently is the Education Coordinator for the Head Start Program at Mary Crane League. Dr. Vargas earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from DePaul University, Chicago. Dr. Vargas’ research interest lies in examining policies, services, and programs that impact the educational opportunities of bilingual students. She is a former member of the Chicago Board of Education (1990-1995). Dr. Vargas is an active member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Illinois Early Learning Council, Multilingual Chicago, Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP), and National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE). Dr. Vargas has participated in and made presentations on topics related to bilingual education at various conferences at the local, state, national, and international level.

Wilfredo Loza

Board Vice-President

Wilfredo Loza, MD, MA – Dr. Loza is currently working as a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Rehabilitation for the State of Illinois. Dr. Loza is also an Adjunct Professor at St. Augustine College in the Psychology Department. Dr. Loza earned a Medical degree from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. Loza worked in 1994 at Washington DC as an American Red Cross certified trainer in educational HIV-AIDS programs. In Chicago, Illinois worked in several community, non-governmental organizations dedicated to drug and alcohol prevention and treatment. As a supervisor for Association House of Chicago, he handled medically complex cases in the DCFS foster care system. Dr. Loza is a Certified Member of Rehabilitation Counselors Association.

Bernadette (Berni) Townsley

Board Treasurer

Mrs. Townsley currently works for Capital One Corporate Banking in Chicago as AVP/Senior Manager of Strategic Programs. She is part of the Strategic Investments Group. She works with private funds and their asset managers on middle-market healthcare deals based on investment guidelines. She provides guidance to internal Capital One deal teams based on each Program’s eligibility criteria. She manages co-investment portfolios from deal investment to repayment and is the main point of contact for portfolio needs. Prior to joining Capital One, she was the Agency Desk Manager for GE Capital. She led the creation of the Agency team for GE Capital and managed it for over 8 years. The team grew from 4 team members to 30 under her leadership. The four cross-functional teams across three different sites (Chicago, Norwalk, and Jaipur, India) were responsible for settling and processing all trading activity. They served 8 different Lines of Business under GE Capital. Originally from the Philippines, Berni joined the board in 2006.

Augusto Yanacopulos

Board Member

Mr. Yanacopulos is an artist and actor. Originally from Chile, Augusto is a founding member of Aguijón and joined its board in 2000.

Oliver Aldape

Board Member

Mr. Aldape is a Chicago-based actor and a casting agent at Lily’s Talent in Chicago. Oliver joined the board in 2013.