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Education and training program prepares Latino professionals to serve and excel on local nonprofit boards

IRVINE, Calif. (June 13, 2024) — The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) has announced that its second cohort of 22 local Latino professionals has graduated from the Avanzar Board Leadership Academy. Launched in 2023 with the support of Adelante Partners, 41 participants have completed the three-month training program fully underwritten by OCCF, arming themselves with the necessary skills to become confident board members and leaders for Orange County nonprofit organizations.

2024 Avanzar Celebration

The Avanzar Board Leadership Academy was created in response to the high demand of local nonprofits wanting to ensure their boards reflect the Orange County communities they serve. Upon program completion, participants have access to an extended network of peers and nonprofit organizations with opportunities for continued collaboration, such as professional development and networking events to connect with recruiting organizations looking to diversify their boards.

“Through peer-to-peer training sessions and board leadership curriculum, Avanzar is continuing to prepare passionate and talented Latino professionals for board service,” said Cathleen Otero, OCCF’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re thrilled that our nonprofit partners are prizing the invaluable insights and perspectives Avanzar graduates bring to their boardrooms.”

Emerging Latino leaders participated in 10 in-depth sessions facilitated by Latino professionals who are subject matter experts in nonprofit board leadership, including board governance, nonprofit financials, board culture, fundraising, organizational sustainability, and relationship building. The program also featured discussion panels to understand the dynamics between a board chair and an executive director, along with advice on personal branding. Graduates engaged in a board prospecting session where they discussed and practiced important questions to remember when looking to join a board.

The program is already yielding positive results for members of Avanzar’s second cohort. Ana Flor, chief people officer at Attom Data Solutions LLC, is in discussions with Meals on Wheels Orange County for a board position and has accepted a committee role with Solutions for Urban Agriculture. Flor attributes these valuable opportunities to the program’s support and training.

“It was great to learn about nonprofit board leadership and connect with amazing Latinx professionals,” said Flor. “These opportunities with Meals on Wheels and Solutions for Urban Agriculture align with my passion for agriculture and food supply. Without this program, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue either.”

The 2024 class of Avanzar Board Leadership Academy graduates include Ana Flor (Attom Data Solutions LLC), Ana Laura Padilla (Themis Multiservices), Andy Robles (Simon Scholars), Brenda Godinez (Camino Health Center), Daisy Sanchez (Center For Investment And Wealth Management), Elia Renteria (Self-Employed), Erick Pineda (CIELO), Genesis Luviano (Nicholas Academic Centers), Janira Perez (MOMS Orange County), Javier Rivera-Carbone (Rivera Carbone PC), Jorge J Acebo Ubidia (Consumer Law Experts, P.C.), Leslie Mendez (CenterStone), Lisette Martinez-Acebo (CIELO), Martha Rivera (MRDT Consulting Enterprises), Melissa Lupercio (Building Skills Partnership), Nora Adriana Preciado (Tzunu Strategies), Pablo Dominguez (CIELO), Pat Danel-Carreras (Benefits Advisor), Perla Lozano (APCT), Ricardo Muniz (Entrepreneur and Government Canvassing Coordinator) and Dr. Stephany Cuevas (Chapman University), and Yessenia Delgado (Girls Inc. of Orange County).

To learn more about the Avanzar Board Leadership Academy, visit Professionals interested in applying for a future program can sign up for updates by clicking here. Nonprofits interested in recruiting Latino talent can view and fill out an interest form by clicking here.

About Orange County Community Foundation
The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) combines giving strategy, community intelligence, enduring relationships, and heartfelt intention to amplify the power of giving and its profound result: greater good in Orange County, and beyond. We serve as a resource for individual and family philanthropists, facilitate grant and scholarship programs, and lead community-based initiatives. We inspire giving and connect people and resources to create sustainable impact, granting more than $1 billion since 1989 in Orange County, across the country, and around the world. For more information, visit or call (949) 553-4202. Be a part of our conversation on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. View OCCF’s 2023 annual report here.


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Alexandre Torres
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