Richard and Cynthia Leza Hispanic Scholarship

The Richard and Cynthia Leza Hispanic Scholarship is for ELAC students currently pursuing pathway programs and certifications at ELAC Computer Technology, Engineering Technology, Electronic & Electric Technology, and Drafting Technology with the intent to transferring to a 4-year university and intent to enroll in Computer or Engineering fields. The Student must demonstrate the need for financial assistance, be a Hispanic from California, have a GPA of equal to or greater than 3.0. The Student must be enrolled full­ time (12 or more units) at ELAC during the terms in which the award remains active.

ELAC students currently pursuing pathway programs, and certifications at ELAC Computer Technology, Engineering Technology, Electronic & Electric Technology, and Drafting Technology with the intent to transferring to a 4-yearuniversity and intent to enroll in Computer or Engineering fields. The Student must demonstrate need for financial assistance, be a Hispanic from California, have a GPA of equal to or greater than 3.0. The Student must be enrolled full­ time (12 or more units) at ELAC during the terms in which the award remains active.

Scholarship Criteria:
• Computer Technology, Engineering Technology, Electronics & Electric Technology, and Drafting Technology.
• Must demonstrate need for financial assistance.
• Must have completed at least 12 units or more at ELAC with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
• Student must be enrolled full-time (12 or more units) at ELAC during the terms in which the award remains active
•Intent to transferring to a 4-year university and intent to enroll in Computer or Engineering fields.

Award: $500.00

Richard Louis Leza was born in Laredo, Texas in 1947. Since the age of four he grew up and lived in a very poor Hispanic community within Hatch Valley, New Mexico. He worked in the fields picking crops (chile, cotton and onions) and struggled throughout his teenage life. He was raised by a single Mother and grew up with three sisters and six brothers. Richard was the only family member to finish college.

Mr. Leza earned over 40 years of experience in finance, manufacturing, engineering, medical devices, and application software. He provided initial seed and first-round capital, hands-on guidance to management teams, and strategic assistance to his portfolio companies. He was an entrepreneur and investor in many technology start-ups, including: Flex Star Corp.—the first automatic testing equipment corp. for hard drives; Optimal Learning Corp.—the first interactive educational software company; Endo-Therapeutics Corp.—the first disposable surgical trocars for minimal invasive surgery; and CastaLink, Inc.—initial provider of real-time web-based supply chain collaboration solutions for mid-size companies.

As a real mover and shaker, Mr. Leza became a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, in Northern California, and was a businessman in spirit and heart. He was founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of RMC Group, Inc. and AI Research Corporation. RMC was a management consulting firm. AI Research Corporation was an active venture capital firm that specialized in the areas of business-to-business software, information technology, and medical analytical software applications. The firm had specialized in early-stage investments with a “market focus” approach for creating long-term commercial products.
Mr. Leza is also very proud of his educational background which includes: AACT, East Los Angeles College; BSCE, New Mexico State University; MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB); and Honorary Doctor of Laws, New Mexico State University.

He retired from Exar Corporation (NYSE) after serving ten years as chairman and three times as interim CEO. Exar designed, developed and marketed high performance, analog mixed-signal integrated circuits and advanced sub-system solutions for many industrial markets. The company was sold to MaxLiner (NYSE) in May 2017.

Mr. Leza is proud of his accomplishments with many years on the boards of Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, U.S. Security Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, New Mexico State University Foundation, Integrated Memory Logic Limited, a company listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and other private companies. He also served as an Advisor to many early-stage companies and businesses in Silicon Valley. In addition, he was also co-founder, president and chairman of Hispanic-Net, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a network of successful Hispanics that would improve and enhance entrepreneurial opportunities for Hispanics in high-tech.

He has received many recognitions and honors, including: National Association of Corporate Directors: Outstanding 100 Directorship; Security Exchange Commission: Top SEC Advisory Committee Member; Stanford University: Jerry Porras Award for Outstanding Latino GSB Achievement; America’s 100 Most Powerful Latino Business Professionals; Hispanic Business’s: Top 100 Influential Hispanics in the United States; New Mexico State University (NMSU): Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award; and Rainbow/PUSH Coalition: The Trailblazer Award for Minorities.

He is an active promoter and supporter of education and has established many scholarships and endowments. He is also a philanthropist to Minority non-profit organizations. He is the author of two widely admired business books, Develop Your Business Plan and Export Now and many business papers, including Venture Capital Funding Guide.

Make a Donation

  • Please make checks payable to East Los Angeles College Foundation.
  • Please make sure you write in the memo line "For Richard and Cynthia Leza Hispanic Scholarship".
  • Mail the check to:

East Los Angeles College Foundation
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA 91754

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