Board of Directors
Board President / Gilbert Felix
A Central Valley native, Gilbert is passionate about empowering families through education, community development, and economic opportunity. He earned his Master in Public Policy from University of Southern California and his undergraduate degree from California State University, Fresno. Gilbert has spent his professional career working for Central Valley families on behalf of elected officials at the federal, state, and local government levels. Additionally, he has worked in community and labor organizing, political campaign management, and philanthropy.
Board Member / Felicia Espinosa
Felicia was born and raised in Southeast Fresno surrounded by her abuela, a teen mom, and her twin sister. Being raised by Latinas, she saw firsthand the struggles teen parenting can have on families and the importance of mentorship, education, and family support. Professionally, she is an Assistant City Attorney overseeing the Fresno City Attorney's Office's Anti-Slum Enforcement Team. At the City, she has litigated tort, employment, labor, and code enforcement matters. Prior to joining the City, she was a legal aid attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., exclusively representing agricultural workers throughout the Central Valley. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Women’s Studies and Comparative Literature. She then attended University of San Francisco School of Law and began her legal experience with internships at Public Defender’s Offices, a Nonprofit representing prisoners on Texas’ death row in their post-conviction proceedings, and a Nonprofit assisting people with HIV/AIDS resolve their legal issues. After law school, she returned to Fresno and has been in her hometown ever since.
Board Member/ Mariah Thompson
Mariah Thompson is a staff attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance, where she works with rural farmworker communities advocating for access to basic municipal services like clean water, sidewalks, and street lights. She also is the co-director of the Fresno chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which provides legal support and training to grassroots movements. Mariah is an Oregonian and moved to Fresno in 2016; she joined the board of Fresno Barrios Unidos the same year. She has a long-standing interest in reproductive justice, women's rights, and youth empowerment.
Board Treasurer / Aron Flores
Aron was born and raised in Reedley, CA, attended Reedley High School and Reedley Community College prior to graduating from University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Economics and Accounting. Aron began his career as a CPA in 2007 with KPMG, LLP, one of the Big 4 accounting firms located in Los Angeles. Aron moved back to the Fresno area in 2010 to be closer to family and continue his career as a CPA in public accounting.
Aron is excited to be a member of the Board and appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the Fresno community through the work of Fresno Barrios Unidos.
Community Board Member / Marinarde Soto
Marinarde Soto was born in Chapultepec Guerrero. She started her organizing work at Barrios Unidos both as a youth participant and staff. She then went on to work as a Field Fellow with ACLU Of Northern California supporting a rapid response immigrant rights network in the Central Valley. She currently holds a position with GSA Network. Building capacity Trans and Queer youth of color to ensure organizing and policy advocacy at the intersections of LGBTQ+ student safety and economic and racial justice in schools.
Marinarde is proud to serve as a Board Member to Fresno Barrios Unidos. Continuing to support work that empowers and creates positive change for communities throughout Fresno and the Central Valley.