Board of Directors

Manuel Celaya Alberni (CEO and Chair)

Manuel Celaya is Neighbors’ CEO and Chair. He is an expert in finance and U.S.-Latin American affairs, with a focus on finance, policy, and security. Mr. Celaya has over thirty years of experience in business and organizational development across a range of industries including finance, real estate, telecommunications, and information technology. He is a strategic planning consultant to commercial and government clients.

Mr. Celaya is a former Board member and President (2008-11) of the Alianza Democrática, a non-profit educational organization whose acclaimed Project Democracy led efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Cuba through education. In 1994, he directed the activities of Project Guantánamo, created to assist in the relief effort for tens of thousands of refugees in the U.S. Naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. For his work, he received the 1995 “Humanitarian of the Year Award” from World Relief.

Mr. Celaya has a B.A. in Management from St. Leo University, with post graduate work in Finance at Florida International University. He is fluent in Spanish, and was appointed to Neighbors’ Board in 2015.

Kermit A. Rosenberg

As a partner in the Washington Global Law Group, PLLC, he concentrates on bankruptcy practice and creditors’ rights, focusing on business reorganization cases. His practice involves advising individuals, businesses, principals, and creditors on strategies and options available under the Bankruptcy Code and state creditors’ rights laws to resolve complex financial issues.

Mr. Rosenberg earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia; in the US District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia; in the US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia and the Fourth Circuit; and in the US Supreme Court.

He has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation – Bankruptcy since 1992.

Mauricio Tamargo

Is a Founding Partner of Poblete Tamargo, LLP – a solutions-driven law and public policy practice.  With over 25 years of government affairs and public policy experience, Mr. Tamargo was named among the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine.

Mr. Tamargo previously served as Chairman of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission(“FCSC”)  at the US Department of Justice and held several senior congressional positions. In the US Congress, Tamargo was Staff Director and Legal Counsel to three subcommittees of the House Committee on International Relations, while also serving as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL).   Mr. Tamargo earned a B. A. from the University of Miami and a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Florida, and is a member of the US Court of Federal Claims, US Supreme Court, American Bar Association, Cuban American Bar Association and District of Columbia Hispanic Bar Association. He is fluent in Spanish.

Mike Bargeron

Is co-founder and Managing Director of The Belair Group.  With over 30 years of experience in the banking industry, he has worked as a loan officer, manager, underwriter, and operations manager.  He served as a regional manager for a top-10 mortgage company, overseeing underwriting, closing, post-closing and shipping, regulatory compliance, Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Act compliance.

Mr. Bargeron has served on commercial loan committees and administered commercial real estate loans, equipment leases and floor-plan financing.  He has worked with the TS, CC, FDIC, HUD, FHLMC, & FNMA, and has created and implemented banking policies & procedures.  He has served as  a teacher and speaker at various lending industry venues.  White Papers he drafted for HUD ultimately led to the issuance of a new mortgagee letter. He is also a HUD Loss Mitigation Specialist.

Jorge Sapoznikow, PhD

Dr. Jorge Sapoznikow is an acclaimed international economist and expert on Latin American economic development.  He currently works as a consultant to Latin American goverments.  A Colombian-born US citizen, Dr. Sapoznikow enjoyed a 28-year career with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).  Most recently, he was a consultant to the Solicitor General of Colombia (Procuraduría General) in its Institutional Modernization Program.

At the IDB, he served as Chief of the Modernization of the State Division for Mexico, Central America, Belize, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Haiti, where he oversaw the Bank’s operations in the areas of governance, including anticorruption, citizen security, judicial modernization, legislative modernization, and law enforcement reform.  He was previously Chief of Operations for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua with responsibility for the Bank’s lending program in those countries and for the organization of the donor consultative group related to natural disasters and peace agreements to end the civil wars in the region.  Before that he was Chief of Programming of the Plans and Programs Department, where he was responsible for the Bank’s assistance strategy in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.  Dr. Sapoznikow joined the IDB in 1980 as an economist in the Project Analysis Department and later became Chief of Urban Development in that Department.  Prior to the IDB, he was Director of the Graduate Program in Economics at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, where he also lectured and conducted economic research.

Dr. Sapoznikow has published widely in his field, particularly in the areas of population, labor and employment, and citizen security, and participated in numerous development conferences and seminars.  He has lectured at Johns Hopkins University on contemporary international economics and at the University of Washington on citizen security in Central America.

Dr. Sapoznikow received a B.A in economics from the Universidad de Los Andes, and an M.A. and Ph.D in economics from Stanford University.  He was also Visiting Fellow at the Economic Growth Center of Yale University.