Meet Our Team


Why Cecilia?

Cecilia Rodriguez was born and raised in Hayward, CA. At 8 years old, Cecilia (“Cecy”) decided she would become a lawyer. She grew up checking all the boxes to get there: law school, pass the bar exam and work for one of the top personal injury law firms in San Francisco. As Vero and Irene put it during her formative years, she was certainly a “box checker.”  Cecy built her legal career representing underprivileged injured workers, most of them Spanish speakers who work in the construction trades. Five years into the profession, Cecy and her husband found out they were expecting twins. Things took a whole different turn. Cecy went back to work 6 months after giving birth to her twin daughters but things were not the same. As soon as the clock hit 4:30 p.m., she would rush home to spend time with her girls. She was often behind with work and found herself exhausted, with no time to workout or have any leisure. After about a year of the same routine, Cecy decided she wanted balance in her life and have the opportunity to spend more time at home with her family. It was then that she began chatting to two of her best-friends about how to achieve this balance. 

Favorite pastimes: date night with her Chulo (term of endearment she uses for her husband), running, staying active with my twins, travel, reading and trying yummy recipes. 


Why Irene?

Irene Quevedo was born and raised in Inglewood, CA. She’s the youngest of six who by a stroke of luck, and a whole lot of love, attended UC Santa Barbara as a first-generation college student. She met Cecy and Vero at UCSB and their lives were forever changed thanks to a true hermandad (sisterhood). 

Today, Irene is the longtime Executive Director of a successful nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform underprivileged scholars lives through education. She’s the mother of three amazing kiddos (7, 8 and 12) and married her college sweetheart almost 15 years ago. Irene recently completed a mini-retirement by traveling to 14 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean with her whole family, for an entire year. She loves volunteering as an art docent in local elementary schools and is a true social butterfly. Big crowds excite her, speaking from stage invigorates her, and she literally coined the term ‘Level Up Latina’ because it’s what she wants for herself and so many women - balancing motherhood, professional and personal ambitions such as travel.

Favorite pastimes: Date night with the hubby and individual ones with her children, travel (obviously), volunteering, hosting dinner parties, and reading. 

Why Vero?

Veronica  (“Vero”) Burgos-Gudiel was born in East LA and raised in Watts. She is the youngest of three siblings, hence she learned to fight for what she wanted and to not take no for an answer. Growing up in Watts in the early 80’s surrounded by gang violence was no easy feat and it molded Vero into a unique individual, always aware of her surroundings and never hesitated to question authority. Vero attended UC Santa Barbara in 1999 as a first generation Mexican-American. She was the first woman in her family to attend and graduate college. During her freshman year, Vero Co-Founded Hermanas Unidas. Hermanas Unidas was where she highlighted the importance of a space for women like herself to identify and find support to make it to graduation day with hard-work, leadership, and female empowerment. Vero met Cecy and Irene in the summer program prior to starting freshman year and from that moment on she knew these were going to be hermanas and homies for life.  

After graduation, Veronica realized she was interested in business and management and went on to hold several sales and management positions at different corporations, most recently as the Director of Marketing and Events for a sports organization. Through these positions Vero learned valuable professional and personal skills, employee and team development, key negotiation tactics, among learning to excel in a male dominated industry. Now as a professional and mother of two she is ready to put her years of experience and knowledge to good use at Level Up Latina and inspire growth and change in women who are looking for support as they take the next step in either their personal or professional life.

Favorite pastimes:  the outdoors, travel, and a good cervecita!