Latina Leaders of Kern County announces 2016 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees

June 14, 2016 – Latina Leaders of Kern County (LLKC) is proud to announce the names of the 2016 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees. They are Isabel Bravo, Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at the Wonderful Citrus Company; Gabriela Mello, Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Wells Fargo; and Lourdes Nilon Vargas, Director of Corporate and Foundation relations at CSU, Bakersfield. The women were selected for their exceptional professionalism, achievements, and commitment to our community. They will be honored during a semi-formal awards banquet on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Isabel Bravo is the third of four children born to Mexican immigrants from the state of Michoacan.  She grew up in Delano, California and is a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield. Bravo enjoys giving back to her community by being involved with Latina Leaders of Kern County serving as a leader and mentor for the Youth Leadership Program.  She also donates her time to professional groups that help support the advancement of Latinos and Women in her industry.

Gabriela Mello represents Wells Fargo in all aspects of community outreach, identifying and referring business opportunities and maintaining the company’s initiatives to support small business and underserved populations. During the course of Mello’s 22-year banking career, she has held various positions with Citibank and Wells Fargo, where she started as a bank teller and now leads Wells Fargo’s government and community development efforts for the region. Mello is very involved in the community, serving on several boards for nonprofits in California. Mello attended Hartnell College in Salinas and California State University Fresno earning her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies.

Lourdes Vargas Nilon has over 14 years of experience in organizational management, community relations and engagement, fundraising, philanthropy, and management of local, state and federal programs.   She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Public Administration from CSU Bakersfield.  Nilon has recently accepted a position as Director of Corporate and Foundation relations with CSU, Bakersfield. Prior to that, she held the position of Manager of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation for almost 6 years. Nilon has also served on multiple community boards and committees including, Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund board member with CSU Bakersfield, Latina Leaders of Kern County speaker and volunteer, and Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society President, to name a few.

“We are excited to honor these three outstanding women who give their all to help develop Latinas in our community,” said Norma Rojas-Mora, LLKC President.  “It is the mission of LLKC to foster leadership, identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community. We believe these three individuals exemplify this, and we are looking forward to highlighting their achievements at this year’s awards banquet.”

The LLKC Latinas Leading the Way awards banquet is sponsored in part by California Resource Corporation.  For sponsorship opportunities and event tickets, visit