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Board of Directors & Staff

If you are interested in becoming a board member we are looking for dedicated and committed WUA members to join our Board and help shape the future of Uptown Whittier. Being a Board member provides a wonderful opportunity to get to know other business owners and members of our community and learn about opportunities to promote your business. For more information on becoming a Board Director call (562) 696-2662 or Download the Board Member Application and send to

Board Members

Frank Medina

Frank Medina


ReMax Dynasty

Frank is a local business Partner of Re/Max Dynasty in the city of Whittier and has 21 years of experience in Real Estate Sales. He brings more than 21 years of Leadership skills, sales experience, executive management experience, and has trained over 300 agents since 2001 in sales skills, mindset, the Four Quadrant Personalities and how to run and maintain a high level of production to their businesses. Frank is also a member of NAHREP East Los Angeles Chapter and HSBA.Over the past years frank has volunteered his time for many Non-Profit Organizations, Plaza De Raza in East LA and giving back to the local children’s schools during Christmas providing toys. A member National Association of Hispanics Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) East Los Angeles Chapter. And a current member of the Whittier Elk’s Club #1285 and Chamber of Commerce Whittier.

A native son to East Los Angeles and has been a resident of Whittier since 2000. Graduate of California State Los Angeles majoring in Business Administration – Managerial Operations. And a Graduate of Bishop Mora Salesian High School in East Los Angeles.

April Gallegos

April Gallegos

Vice President

La Pescadora Mexican Restaurant

April Gallegos has over twenty years’ experience in both the spirits industry and the non-profit sector. She graduated from Bishop Amat Memorial High School in 1987.

She began her career at the University of Southern California where she managed and created events at the Law School and the School of Public Policy, Planning and Development for donors, alumni and students while raising money for the University. She, along with her sisters, also created the Armando Gallegos Memorial Foundation, honoring her father as well as raising money for education. This was created in 2001

April’s love of spirits began when her uncle owned a bar when she was a teenager. She continued her passion for the spirits industry by bartending and cocktailing, eventually becoming the Brand Ambassador (“Diplomat”) for Maker’s Mark. She continued to grow her love of spirits and education and became the Education Specialist for Jim Beam and is a certified Spirits Specialist in the industry. In 2014 she purchased a restaurant, La Pescadora, in Uptown Whittier. April joined the Whittier Uptown Association Board in 2017 and sits as Vice President for the Association for the 2018-19 term.

Claudia Prado

Claudia Prado


Shop The Runway

I am a local business owner in the ever-blossoming community of Uptown Whittier.

Though I grew up in the neighboring city of Montebello, I currently reside in Whittier. As a home-owner and mother of two, I have my sight set on nothing but success. At the age of 19 I became an entrepreneur launching my online store,, and later that same year I opened my first brick and mortar store in Sherman Oaks. I always envisioned planting my roots amid the shops in Uptown Whittier and in June of 2014 that vision became a reality. With my 12 Years of Retail experience, I have learned how to grow my business through social media, creative marketing, networking and customer service. I constantly continue to learn more by attending marketing seminars and classes, getting tips from other successful business owners on how to grow and bring more traffic to my store. My goal is use these skills to help bring business to Uptown by working together with other business leaders in the community. Thank you for your consideration.

Justin Tipton

Justin Tiptons

Telcog Communications

Justin is a local business owner of LivVoIP Inc. A telecommunications provider located in Uptown Whittier. He brings over 7 years’ experience as a business owner and entrepreneur, owning multiple small businesses throughout Southern California. After a few years of running his companies in Downtown Los Angeles and Newport Beach, he decided to open up an office in Whittier where he has resided for the past 12 years. He is an advocate of community service and has worked with several non-profits throughout the years that focus on the youth in Whittier and Los Angeles. Justin has always loved the energy and hometown feel of Uptown Whittier. He joined the Whittier Uptown Association as a board member January 2019.
Jessica Heraldez

Jessica Heraldez

J Anthony Uptown Salon

Jessica Heraldez the business owner of J. Anthony salon on Bright Ave. in Whittier, California. The salon has been in business for six years this last April. Jessica also works there as a full time stylist and has been a hair specialist for fourteen years. Shortly after Jessica opened the salon she moved to Uptown Whittier and was drawn to the sense of community this city has with their residents and businesses. She worked hard on first building the salon to fulfill her dream of being a business owner and then creating a positive environment for the employees and contractors that work at J. Anthony. She is eager to apply her years of experience and contribute back to this thriving community. Helping to create an environment that will not only attract more tourists but be beneficial to the current residents in promoting more growth to our city.
Marisa Sotomayor

Marisa Sotomayor

Board Member
Cielo Beauty Bar

A native of Los Angeles and a California State Licensed Esthetician, Marisa is an expert in the field of beauty. Her passion and commitment for beauty and healthy skin care is reflected through her work, extensive training, dedication and client relationships. Marisa has been working in the skincare and the beauty industry for 13 years and opened her first salon in 2014.

She is a huge advocate of community service and community participation while investing and enriching the lives of others.

Fabio Soto

Fabio Soto

Board Member
Fabio Soto State Farm Agency

In 2006, I attended an event in Uptown Whittier that ultimately changed my life forever.  I met the most amazing person I’ve ever known who ultimately became my wife and mother to four wonderful children.

Having now been a part of the State Farm family since 2006 and an Uptown Whittier resident since 2013, I’m very excited to be able to operate my State Farm Insurance agency in this wonderful city. I’m a native to Los Angeles, born and raised in Echo Park.

I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.  I am committed to my faith, my family and my community.  As a local resident and business owner, my goal is to bring a unique point of view and perspective as a Whittier Uptown Association board member that will ultimately benefit local business owners in Uptown.

Whittier Uptown Office


Olivia Rios

Operations Manager

Olivia is the liaison between district business members, local government and with surrounding chambers and organizations. Responsibilities include planning and directing all operations, programs, activities, functions, and affairs of the organization. Reporting to the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, she assists in leading the organization to fulfillment of its mission and vision. The Whittier Uptown Association represents a 22 block district with over 490+ merchants and members.