2015 HDA Staff

Jessica C. Chihuahua, National Communications & Chapter Relations Coordinator

IMG_9901Jessica comes to the Hispanic Dental Association with over six years of experience working for non-profit organizations. Her work for non-profits included implementing special events, identification and securing sponsors, and designing marketing campaigns.  She established success by increasing membership retention and expanding community engagement. She also provided financial accountability for special events and general non-profit operations. Jessica graduated from the University of Texas Pan American with a Bachelor in Business Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While completing her undergraduate degrees Jessica  was involved with the National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) as the Secretary and later as Vice President of the Student Chapter. Her career has varied from working at non-profits to recently working for the State of Texas as a Child Protective Investigator III.

Leslie Cox, Bookkeeper

000_0113Leslie Cox, has had her own bookkeeping business for over 15 years, and has worked with a variety of companies, including law firms, engineering and architectural companies, financial advisors, and several non-profits. Leslie worked in museums for a number of years, both in the Austin and Chicago area. She runs a non-profit foundation in memory of her brother (The James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists, wwww.jamesalancoxfoundation.org), and has developed and teaches an elementary school program called “Globetrotter Kids”. Leslie is originally from New York, and has a BA from Northwestern University and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin.


Andrew_Kaffes-1_AAndrew G. Kaffes is a government relations consultant who enjoys seeing the gleam in an advocate’s eye when they convey their issues to a member of Congress. That gleam is the reason why he started A.G. Kaffes & Associates in 2007 with the goal in mind to help “Main Street” organizations and start-up companies find their voices and navigate through Washington. All told, he has 19 years of experience in Washington and has provided government relations consulting to the Hispanic Dental Association since 2010. In the private sector, Andrew has provided legislative and public affairs consulting to a diverse portfolio of clients in the sectors of medical research and public health, non-profit, victims’ rights, energy and telecom. He has generated grass-tops and grass roots support for appropriations efforts, devised federal budget lobbying plans, analyzed legislation, organized meetings with members of Congress and the highest levels of government officials in Federal Agencies and coordinated Capitol Hill Day events. Andrew has submitted written testimony on behalf of clients that has been entered into the public record. Among Andrew’s accomplishments include helping HDA to organize its first-ever congressional briefing on the importance of oral health disparities and cultural competence in 2011. Other professional accomplishments include:

  • Executing a legislative strategy that propelled implementation of a Homeland Security policy
  • Implementing proactive measures to voice a client’s position to include stimulus aid for NIH to key congressional stakeholders that was eventually adopted
  • Helping a client grow a congressional caucus by six-fold
  • Working on a client’s behalf to contribute to coalition efforts to pass the reauthorizationof the Violence Against Women Act
  • Garnering support from members of Congress to restore funding for a federal program
  • Devising a government relations outreach campaign to successfully create awareness of an energy efficiency technology
  • Drafting and passing legislation that commemorated the anniversaries of two associations
  • Working with a coalition on a client’s behalf to pass Congressional Gold Medal legislation

In March 2009, his knowledge of marketing to the federal government was utilized by a blog published by Remodeling magazine, a leading trade publication for the remodeling industry. During his tenure with an international membership association, Andrew blended public relations, grassroots and coalition-building tactics to help the organization address the issues affecting the membership. Andrew researched and produced Congressional Scorecards, drafted, introduced, and passed legislation; and helped grow a Congressional Caucus to a record 142 members in the 109th Congress.  As a result of his efforts, the association was recognized in the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs, the official publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, as an organization whose lobbying tactics are often emulated by similar groups. Andrew has organized several public policy forums that included the participation of U.S. and foreign government officials, prominent Think-Tank organizations, leading academics and non-profit professionals, and foreign journalists. The forums help raise awareness of issues and educate the community. Andrew holds a Master’s of Arts in Political Management with a concentration in Lobbying/ Corporate and Trade Association Public Affairs from The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM).  There, he was class Valedictorian, and he was voted Most Principled Political Player by his peers. He graduated cum laude from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where he received a B.S. in Public Relations.  There, he was presented with The Pinnacle Award in Public Relations. Andrew is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Committee of the PRSA-National Capital Chapter.  He is also a member of the American League of Lobbyists (ALL).