Meet the VGR Board of Directors
Mario Martinez, Board President
Mario comes from very humble beginnings. His family moved from San Antonio Texas to follow opportunities as migrant workers. At a very early age, Mario learned the importance of hard work and humility.
He now has more than 30 yrs as a Insurance Broker and entrepreneur. Despite all his business success, Mario understands life is more than just a great reputation. Life is about leaving a lasting legacy
which lead him to become a pillar in the Hispanic and Racine community. Mario currently serves as a City of Racine Commissioner on the “Planning, Heritage, and Design Commission”. He is also
Chairman of “The Amigos de Cesar Chavez Community Center”. Mario will continue to focus on creating partnerships in all communities in Racine. Building long lasting relationships with hard working, humble
and empathetic folks in Racine is what Mario aspires to do.
Arlene Martin, Board Vice President
Arlene has been in the financial industry since 1988, ranging from Business Banking/Commercial Lending to Commercial Real Estate. As an SBA Lender with Huntington Bank, she has determined that there is a great need for business owners to gain access to capital. It is most often a critical component to the success of businesses during start up and growth periods.
She enjoys working with a range of businesses with gross revenues and is very well versed in federal loan programs (SBA Lending) and the state lending programs that are very advantageous for business owners. In addition, she has a strong background in commercial real estate. She firmly believes in supporting the entrepreneurial business owners that have emerged and now become the backbone of our country.
Specialties areas include small to mid-size businesses, and a focus on a variety of industries including manufacturers, service industries, franchise operations, as well as contractors.
Arlene is the VGR Board Vice President and serves on the Tech-Prize leadership Committee as well. She is passionate about the impacts that may be made in Racine.
Arlene is married to Greg, has two daughters and two granddaughters.
Angelika Coghlan, Board Member
As a Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, Angelika partners with business owners and executives of small and mid-sized companies to support their growth strategies by utilizing proven human capital strategies and business services. She is a strong believer in Insperity’s mission to help businesses succeed so communities prosper. Prior to Insperity she worked with business owners helping them to transform selling strategies, tactics and culture so that they would meet expectations and growth goals. She successfully founded and ran Catwalk Consulting, a technology consulting firm for over 20 years.
Angelika believes part of growing an expertise and building a business is helping others –and in her case, especially women entrepreneurs around the world. She currently serves on the advisory board for The Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women. She is a mentor for the IEEW Peace through Business program where she works with business owners in Rwanda and Afghanistan. Over the years she has worked with business owners all over Europe and Africa. She travelled to Kenya Africa to conduct classes and form a business development center that also provided access to capital using the Kiva Zip program.
Angelika has served on the board of directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Chicago Area Chapter as president and was an active participant on the City of Chicago’s Procurement task force. She was the program manager for NAWBO Chicago’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy which focused on providing entrepreneurial training to girls 12-18 years of age. She has served on the board of directors for OMNI Youth Services and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
In 2003 Enterprising Women, a national magazine for women entrepreneurs, presented Angelika with the 200e Enterprising Women of the Year award for heading up a growing technology consulting firm. The Small Business Administration presented her with the 2010 District and Regional Women Business Champion Award for her work with women business owners.
Barry brings to Visioning a Greater Racine (VGR) 55 years of teaching, training, management, and business start-up experience. Before retiring in 2018 he designed and conducted teaching and training classes for children, adolescents, and adults in formal education, military, non-profit, and correctional settings; managed government, for-profit, and non-profit operations in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin; and launched several retail, publishing, real estate, and service businesses over a 40-year period. In retirement he has found time to devote his energies to improving the quality of life in Racine – a community he finds most desirable in which to live, and most marketable to others.
Rod French to Racine in 1981 as a reporter for the Racine Journal Times. In 1984, Rod opened a Racine branch of Sales Promotion Ideas a promotional agency started by his father, Russ. Rod currently works for QRG in New Berlin helping clients create Raving Fans by empowering their brand and engaging their people.