Local business leader Silvia Thomas has been appointed as director of Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

Thomas most recently served as managing partner and real estate agent with Unified Advantage LLC and Keller Williams Realty. She has also worked as program manager for Overstock.com. She is a former member of the Pete Suazo Business Center Board and of the Hispanic Advisory Council.

Thomas will serve in the Office of Ethnic Affairs along with the directors of Black, Pacific Islander and Asian Affairs. The office's role is to ensure access and proper delivery of culturally competent state services to Utah's ethnic community.

"Her extensive business and management background will complement the strengths of the other directors in the Office of Ethnic Affairs," Palmer DePaulis, executive director of the Utah Department of Community and Culture, said in a statement.

Thomas replaces Jesse Soriano, who was recently hired as director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs.