Hispanic Latino Club Officers

PRESIDENT – Michael Kaminski

I was born in the Chicagoland area where my father lived and mother emigrated from Mexico.  I went to the University of Illinois in Urbana where I graduated with my Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1998. Immediately upon completion of my dissertation, I came to

Mike Kaminski, President

Argonne as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the former Chemical Technology Division. In 2002, I was promoted to junior staff.  From 2003 to 2006 I was Leader of the Nanoscale Engineering Group, which has now been combined into a larger group in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. In 2009, I was promoted to Principal Materials Engineer.  I have approximately 50 publications, more than 50 presentations, 20 inventions, 2 patents, and 3 patent applications.

My research interest has involved developing magnetic particles for radionuclide and heavy metals separations in the field of waste management. I have also been developing magnetic particles for drug delivery applications in medicine with the University of Chicago. In addition, I have developed radioactive decontamination technologies for several applications and a radionuclide sensor for rapid analysis of radioactive debris. I also maintain a research position with the nuclear energy programs and currently, I am developing host materials for nuclear wastes produced in advanced fuel cycles.

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my wife Julie, my sons Mikey, Nate and Benjamin, the rest of my family, and friends.

VICE PRESIDENT – Javier Bareno Garcia-Ontiveros


Javier Bareno Garcia-Ontiveros, Vice President

I was born in Madrid, Spain in 1978 and came to the USA in 2002 for graduate studies at UIUC.  I joined Argonne in 2009, working on lithium-ion battery materials in the CSE Division.  I joined the Hispanic-Latino Club right away and have been an active member ever since.

I am happily married and have two daughters:  Ana and Maria.  Maria doesn’t speak yet, but Ana is bilingual in English and Spanish.  She slips a few English words when talking to me, but reverts to Spanish when she talks with her grandparents on Skype, since they do not speak any English.  As a family, we love to spend time reading together and to each other.


TREASURER – Lupe Franchini

I have been working at Argonne for 33 years, most recently as the Executive Assistant to the Laboratory Director, Peter Littlewood.

Lupe Franchini, Treasurer

My family came to Joliet, Illinois from Guanajuato, Mexico when I was 9 years old.  I often go back to Mexico to visit relatives and friends.

I am married and have two daughters; Yvonne and Natalie.  Both of them are fluent in reading and speaking Spanish.  I am now working on Stanley (the dog), he only understands Spanish, I want him to be bilingual too.  Although I am not crazy about cooking, everyone in the family thinks I am a good cook and most of the time I get stuck doing the planning and cooking for all our gatherings.

I have an Associates Degree in Business from Joliet Junior College.

SECRETARY – Mary Nunez

Mary Nunez, Secretary

My name is Mary Nunez and I work in the CSE/Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division in Bldg. 205. I have been in CSE for a little over 2 years but have been at the laboratory for 30 years. Little did I know I would graduate from East Chicago, IN, in June 1980 and start working here in July and be here ever since. I have been in a couple divisions here at Argonne but have finally found the position that I love and division that I call home. My plans are to be here until I retire.

I am also the Secretary for the Argonne Hispanic Latino Club and contribute my time & help when ever I can. The people at Argonne are like family and I have grown up with them over my 30 years of service. My job is stressful at times but I enjoy the interaction with my co-workers and look forward to each day. The atmosphere, the benefits, and the people are one of a kind and I am very lucky to work here. I enjoy biking, walking, cooking/eating, and being with my family & friends which includes my 3 year old golden lab Willie, and my 2 year old beagle Rico!

ADVISER – Frank Gines

I have over 27 years of Federal experience in the Dept. of Defense (DOD) and the Dept. of Energy (DOE) managing facilities and infrastructure.  After graduating from the

Frank Gines, Adviser

University of Puerto Rico as an Electrical Engineer, I entered the U.S. Air Force and began an engineering career first as a Construction Manager and later as a Design Engineer.  Upon returning from an oversea assignment, I was assigned as a Computer Software/Information Systems Analyst responsible for installations of an Engineering Work Management System at six military bases.  After nine years of active military duty, I transferred into the Air Force Reserves and continue to serve.  As a civilian, I began working for DOE at Argonne and continued managing facility and infrastructure.  My initial assignments at Argonne were as Facility Maintenance Manager and later as Program/Project Manager for the facility and energy programs and the pollution prevention program.  I am currently a Federal Project Director for science related projects as the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) project, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) Upgrade projects.  Most recently I was assigned as the Deputy Federal Project Director for the proposed Advanced Photo Source Upgrade project.

ADVISER – Vanessa Mendez

I have worked at Argonne for 33 years. I worked in Argonne’s Analytical Chemistry Laboratory for 15 years, 2 years in Chemical Technology’s Budget Office, and 9 years in

Vanessa Mendez, Adviser

ANL’s Sponsored Research Office. Currently, I am a Budget-Resource Administrator working in the Computing, Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) ALD Directorate.

My job consists of administering a wide variety of activities (joint appointments, human resources, budget/accounting, and procurement) to the Computation Institute (CI); the Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE); the Biosciences Division (BIO); and some support to the CELS Directorate Office.

I was born and raised in Joliet, IL. I am married to my hard-working husband Joe, and have two boys, Adam (19 yrs. old) and Alex (17 yrs. old). My father was born in Ixtlan, Michoacan, and my mother in Ransom, IL. My mother’s parents were also from Ixtlan, Michoacan until they came to the United States to start their family. I love the warm and friendly culture of Mexico, and hope to retire there someday!

I graduated in May 2005 with an Associates Degree in Marketing Management from Joliet Junior College.