This year the magazine’s focus is on diversity and inclusion. Mr. Noriega’s career and accomplishments is one of the most diverse in the group. He is at the helm of AVANCE, Inc., a leading national non-profit agency that offers early childhood education, parenting and comprehensive family services to predominantly Hispanic families in at risk-communities. The agency strives to stop the cycle of poverty through an early intervention program that focuses on parents with children birth to 3 years of age. Under Noriega’s leadership, AVANCE has grown significantly, which landed the organization on Hispanic Business Magazine’s Top Ten non-profits for 2011.
Noriega's career also includes distinguished service in the Army, as a public servant and in business. He was Manager of Economic Development at CenterPoint Energy, Inc. in Houston for fifteen years. In addition, he served five terms in the Texas House of Representatives and authored the Texas Dream Act, which benefited thousands of Texas college students. He worked as the Vice President of Neighborhood Centers Inc. where he managed the disaster case management program as well as six community centers and their programs. Most recently, Noriega completed his term as a White House appointee to the Military Leadership Diversity Commission.
Noriega has proudly served in the National Guard and Army Reserves since 1980. He served in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, as commander of the Kabul Military Training Center for Afghan forces. Noriega also served as Laredo Sector Commander during Operation Jumpstart working with U.S. Border Patrol. He later commanded the 1-141 Infantry Battalion (First Texas, the Alamo Regiment), 36th Infantry Division. Currently Colonel Noriega is the Brigade Commander for the 71st Theatre Information Operations Group.
Upon his return from Afghanistan, Noriega was appointed by Houston Mayor Bill White as Incident Commander of the city’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center. His leadership was crucial in transforming the Convention Center into a virtual city that cared for nearly 30,000 evacuees, and then dismantled within a month.
Noriega is a Houston native with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He earned a certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School of Government at Texas A & M University. Noriega recently completed his U.S. Army War College Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. Noriega is married to Houston City Council member Melissa Noriega and they have two sons.
Noriega’s accomplishments and projects are featured in many publications and on local and national TV, most recently he was interviewed on CNN-Español.
To set up interviews, obtain photos or for more information about AVANCE please contact Cleo Garcia at cgarcia.nat@
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Unlocking America’s potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs. AVANCE is one of the oldest and most distinguished parenting-early childhood programs in the the country.