CEO and President
Karina Ayala-Bermejo joins Instituto from Metropolitan Family Services where she served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President and the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services. Prior to Metropolitan, she worked for the City of Chicago in Mayor Daley’s administration as Acting Commissioner, First Deputy Commissioner, and Managing Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Human Resources.
Karina spent seven years as the Director of Community Services for the Chicago Bar Association where she encouraged attorneys to take on pro bono work and collaborated with the bar and various divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County on initiatives to improve the justice system. She also served as the first Executive Director of the Sun Times Judge Marovitz Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program, a foundation that mobilizes the legal profession around mentoring youth, where she was instrumental in securing a $2 million dollar award. Karina’s legal career began as an attorney in the Litigation Division of the Chicago Board of Education handling labor and employment matters.
Ms. Ayala-Bermejo holds a Bachelors of Science from Loyola University Chicago and Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law
Vice President of Education and Programs
Dr. Ricardo Estrada is Vice President of Education and Programs at Instituto del Progreso Latino, a position he has held for 10 years. His responsibilities include developing and evaluating career pathways and education programs at the organization. He has over 35 years of higher education experience at Chicago-area community colleges as well as in the private education sector. During this time, he developed several adult education, vocational, and workforce development models that have enabled non-traditional students to advance in their careers. He is a frequent speaker at local, state, and national workforce and education conferences. Dr. Estrada’s experience in curriculum and program development has qualified him as a member of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s Career Pathway Panel of Experts. Dr. Estrada holds an EdD from National Louis University and an MBA from North Park University.
Chief Financial Officer
Miguel Tovar leads Instituto del Progreso Latino‘s Accounting / Finance Department as Chief Financial Officer. Miguel has over 22 years of accounting / finance experience, from start-ups to multi-million dollar corporations. He brings superior leadership and critical thinking to Instituto in all areas of the organization.
With a strong knowledge of both cash and accrual accounting systems, Miguel has been responsible for multi-fund budgets ranging from $10 million to $50 million. He has experience in all aspects of budgeting, financial forecasting, resource allocation, fund management, accounting, and control.
Miguel Tovar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.