Ilana Dubester, Founder & Executive Director
Ilana was born and raised in southern Brazil and has lived in Chatham County since 1991. She founded The Hispanic Liaison in 1995 to help address the unique needs of the growing Hispanic community. Ilana has over 20 years of experience in non-profit management, program development and implementation, capacity building, fundraising, public policy, community organizing and advocacy. She left The Liaison in 2008 and returned in 2016 to revive the organization, which had closed its doors in September 2015. Her former organizations include Hispanics in Philanthropy, miraclefeet, the NC Cooperative Extension Service, El Centro Latino, and The Center for What Works. Since 1995, she has been devoted to advancing the rights of Hispanic/Latinx families at the local and state levels. Ilana is a state certified Spanish/English court interpreter and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew. She attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has an Associate Degree in Social Studies.
Janet Ramirez, Program Coordinator
Janet is a native of Michoacán, Mexico, and moved to Siler City with her family in 2000. Janet graduated from Jordan Matthews High School in 2013. She is the first generation in her family to attend college receiving a certificate in Electronic Engineering Technology from CCCC. Janet decided to change her career after meeting Ilana Dubester in April 2016 while she was working as an intern at Chatham Habitat for Humanity under the WIA program. The Hispanic Liaison had helped her mother and family in the past, and Janet wanted to give back to her community. As a child, Janet was an avid listener of The Liaison’s weekly youth radio show “Teen Shout”. Janet joined our staff in May 2016. She is a fluent in English and Spanish. Janet is currently pursuing a degree in Office Administration at CCCC.
Vanessa Montilla, Special Projects Coordinator
Vanessa Montilla was born and raised in Venezuela, she moved to Siler City in 2015. She graduated from Law School in Venezuela at the Catholic University Andres Bello. She has over 11 years of experience as an attorney in the Supreme Court of Justice in Venezuela. She has been devoted to the defense of human rights, especially in her country. Vanessa also has experience in the education field as a Language Arts teacher. She is a passionate person for education and cultural exchanges. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Currently, she also serves as an ESL Instructor at Central Carolina Community College and a volunteer with Chatham Literacy. Vanessa joined our staff in December 2016.