HDA Staff

Manuel A. Cordero, DDS, CPH, MAGD Executive Director & CEO

Manuel A. Cordero, DDS left his native Puerto Rico the summer of 1972 to study at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He graduated with honors in June 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Certificate in Secondary Education.

The summer following graduation he taught at Northfield Mount Herman School, having been awarded a summer fellowship in Photography. Dr. Cordero then began an internship at Southeast National Bank. Within two years he was the Assistant Manager to one of the most successful branches of Southeast National Bank. He left that position with a wealth of financial knowledge as well as management skills that continue benefitting him to this day. Within a year of graduation, Dr. Cordero enrolled in post baccalaureate classes with the intention of enrolling in Dental School. In the fall of 1979, Dr. Cordero began his dental training at Temple University School of Dental Medicine and graduated in May 1983.

Dr. Cordero opened his primary practice in Sewell, NJ in 1983. He never forgot his roots and desire to serve the Hispanic community. By the fall of 1984, he purchased a second practice in Vineland New Jersey, a community with a large Hispanic, primarily Puerto Rican and Mexican, population. In 1984, he was the only Spanish speaking dentist in the community. It is with great pride that Dr. Cordero serves this Hispanic and diverse, eclectic community of patients in Vineland.

Immediately graduating from dental school, Dr. Cordero recognized the need to pursue continuing education. In 1984 he began taking continuing education classes and seminars, and by 1987, Dr. Cordero joined the Academy of General Dentistry. In 1997 he completed over 1000 hours of continuing education and after passing the Fellowship Exam, he receives his Fellowship. In 2000, he was recognized as a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry.

Over the years, Dr. Cordero has been a member of numerous boards and organizations.  He received Fellowships from the American College of Dentists, the College of Dentistry International, and the Pierre Fauchard Society. He was awarded Diplomate status in the American Board of Forensic Dentistry and has been honored as one of 29 mentors of the Academy of Richard V. Tucker Study Clubs. He has been an active participant in numerous community activities, Give Kids a Smile, local cancer society screenings and mentoring of college students interested in the medical/dental field.

He is a member of the ADA and served as President of the AGD in 2018. While working as a Trustee at the AGD, he continued the work of previous leaders and laid down the groundwork to allow International membership to become a reality for the selective and prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. He has also been an integral part of the leadership which is responsible for the diversification and integration of all genders and ethnic groups into the AGD. His visits to Washington DC have resulted in the Oral Health Literacy campaign of the AGD being adopted by HRSA and has secured funding for this life changing endeavor. Public Health and his pursuit to serve others have been the fuel that has driven his education and professional activities.

As the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Dental Association the knowledge and experience that he has gained over the years will help him focus the organization into becoming a beacon of hope and a roadway to success for all those that are engaged in providing and contributing to the improvement of both oral health and overall health to Hispanics as well as other underserved communities.

Jen Blake, CDA, EFDA, MADAA Managing Director

Jen Blake Director

Jen has been involved in the dental profession for over 40 years. As a certified dental assistant her career included private practice, teaching and a guest lecturer at dental assisting continuing education programs. She is a past president of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and served as the ADAA’s Director of Education and Professional Relations for over fifteen years. During this time, some of her responsibilities included the home study continuing education library of the ADAA and lecturing and coordinating speakers and education programs around the country. She was instrumental in fund raising for the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation (ADAAF) and later became the Vice President of Corporate Relations for the Dental Assistants Foundation. She is a recipient of the Kay Mosley Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the ADAAF. She is a Master in the ADAA and continues to volunteer chair side in Indianapolis.

Jen is the owner of Detail Management Solutions and a member of Procter and Gamble’s dentalcare.com advisory board. She serves as the Development Officer for the Hispanic Dental Association Foundation and the Managing Director of the Hispanic Dental Association. She is inspired by the enthusiasm and passion of the HDA community and looks forward to a bright future for the oral health care needs of the Hispanic Community.

Gilberto Ríos López, MPH, Operations Manager


Mr. Gilberto Rios is the newest member of our staff starting in March 2020.  Gilberto is a Health Services Administrator and has served in the healthcare industry and related fields for over 35 years.  Prior to joining the HDA he was the Executive Director, for the College of Dental Surgeons in Puerto Rico (CCDPR).  He directed and coordinated administrative, financial and Continued Medical Education (CME) Activities, for this dental organization on the island. 

Before joining CCDPR he was State Director (VP Level), Pfizer, Inc., for the State of New York in the Northeast Regional Business Unit, US Primary Care. Throughout his tenure at Pfizer he also served as General Manager for the Pfizer Caribbean organization, leading Puerto Rico and the West Indies markets.  Other positions he held at Pfizer included, Sales and Sales Operations Director, Regional Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, District Manager, and Marketing Associate.  Before that, Ríos was a Professional Healthcare Representative, position he held for two years and traced his career at Pfizer.

Gilberto also worked as a Budget and Admin manager at the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, and as a High School Teacher.

He retired from the United States Air Force, as a Medical Services Administrator with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, where he achieved the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.  He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and served as Chairman of the Board for the Pharmaceutical Industry Association of Puerto Rico (PIA-PR). 

Gilberto looks forward to supporting the HDA mission and is greatly committed to health literacy, especially for underserved populations.  He earned a master’s degree in public health (MPH) from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management from Park University, Parkville, Missouri.