Why the LatinX Leadership Program? 

  • The overall Latino or Hispanic population grew by around 11% to about 15.6 million people, or 39.4% percent of the state’s total residents.*
  • Only 5% of nonprofit executive directors in the Sacramento Region are Latinx
  • Only 7% of nonprofit Board of Directors in the Sacramento Region are Latinx
  • 1% of all philanthropy dollars in the nation go to Latinx organizations
  • In our first three cohorts, the program has assisted in appointing 45 Fellows to boards and commissions.

The time is now...

Building a Leadership Community that...

– more closely mirrors the Region’s diverse population

– is prepared to lead the way during challenging times

– creates innovative solutions that affect change

– will advocate as the “voices” of the Latinx community

Participants will…

– increase their knowledge & skillset around implicit bias, negotiation, boards & commissions, functional teams, strategic planning, and more

– Name, Claim & Aim their personal strengths

– enhance the value they bring to the ventures they pursue

– broaden their exposure to community programs to gain a deeper understanding of life and issues in our region

The ideal program participant will be

– interested in learning leadership from a Latinx cultural perspective

– motivated to be engaged within the Sacramento Region in a leadership capacity

– committed to personal growth and development

– energetic, engaging, caring, and passionate about making a difference

– understands the importance of social responsibility, ongoing education, and purposeful involvement in the organizations and communities they serve

– are either members of the Latinx community or recognize the importance of this demographic to the future of the region

– and are available during the months of February-August 2023, the plan is a combination of virtual & in-person learning community sessions

Take the first step-Nominate yourself or someone else for future class participation consideration.


Fellows & Facilitators

Senior Fellows - Cohort I - Class of 2021

Senior Fellows  – Cohort I
(February -July 2021)

Our first cohort of 16 amazing Fellows – graduated in July 2021 and serve on the noted nonprofit boards and  government commissions

Sara Bernal – Center for Land-Based Learning
West Sacramento Housing Development Corp.

Gerardo Cabral – ABC 10
Verge Center for the Arts; Washington Neighborhood Center 

Katharine Campos – Yolo County Assessor/ClerkRecorder/Elections
Yolo CASA 

Alma Caravarin  – Community Projects Consultant
New Leaders Council; PFLAG of Placer County

Mariana Corona Sabeniano –  Ca State Legislature
Trustee, Sacramento County Board of Education – Area 2;  Commissioner, Sacramento County Planning Commission; Latino Economic Council; Board of Directors, Sacramento State University; Vice Chair, Metro EDGE (Chair appointment November 2022); Alumni Representative, CSU Alumni Council

Vanessa Cuevas-Romero – City of Sacramento
Sacramento County Children’s Coalition 

Elizabeth Esquivel – California Association  School Business Officials
West Sacramento Planning Commission; Hispanic Chamber Foundation; Yolo County Board of Education

Rosa Flores – Latino Coalition for a Healthy California project of TIDES
My Sister’s House 

Manny Garcia – Charles Schwab
Cottage Housing 

Roxana Garcia-Ochoa –  Health Education Council
Cottage Housing 

Maryam Irfan –  UC Davis Early Academic Outreach Program

Heather Mendez Ross –  Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Young Professionals in Energy 

Juan P. Novello –  Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Asian Resources – Chair of Fundraising; Associaton of Latino Professionals For America, Sacramento, Chapter; Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Political Action Committee; Teach for America-California Capital Valley; Woodland Community College Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Community Advisory Board 

Jovanny Perez – California State University, Sacramento
Sol Aureus Charter School

Jenny Rodriquez – Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Elk Grove EDGE (Equity, Diversity, Gender, Empowerment)

Armando Salud – Yolo County Assessor/ClerkRecorder/Elections
New Leaders Council, Recruitment and Selection Chair; Young Latino Association of Latino Professionals for America, Sacramento Chapter

Senior Fellows - Cohort II - Class of 2021-2022

Senior Fellows  – Cohort II
(July 2021- February 2022)

Our second cohort of 16 amazing Fellows – graduated in February 2022 and serve on the noted nonprofit boards and  government commissions

Jessie Armenta – La Familia Counseling Center
Latino Center for Arts and Culture

Mysti Champion-Freyenberger – Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Building Bridges of Iowa

Tomas Evangelista Torres –  Evangelista Community Relations
Placer Cunty Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drug Advisory Board

Belen Flores – California Center for Civic Participation
Board Post Pending

Damian A. Garcia – Garcia Performance Solutions
Austin 2030 Commission

Ricardo Lopez – Yolo County Children’s Alliance
Capay Valley Health and Community Center Capital Campaign 

Kathleen Martinez – Sacramento Municipal Utility District
AHS Football Parent Booster Club

Aliyah Moreno – Yolo Food Bank
Alchemist Community Development Corporation

Rosie Ramos – Sacramento Area Council of Governments
California Center for Civic Engagement

E. Avigail Romero – Rustic Strategies & J2 Global
Women’s Council of Realtors, Chair of Education

Krystal Toledo – Northwestern Mutual
Cottage Housing, Inc.

Brian Vargas – Pro Youth & Families/Youth & Family Collective
Friends of Sacramento Arts

Jose Emmanuel Vega – Sacramento LGBT Community Center
La Familia Counseling Center

Mayra Vega – LABCORP
Mayor, Woodland City Council

Maria E. Vides-Medal – City of Sacramento, Civic Engagement Division
Capay Valley Health and Community Center Capital Campaign 

Brandon Villegas – RISE, Inc.
Hispanic Advisory Council, City of Winters

Senior Fellows - Cohort III - Class of 2022

Senior Fellows  – Cohort III
(February – August 2022)

Our third cohort of 14 amazing Fellows – graduated in August 2022 and serve on the noted nonprofit boards and  government commissions

Yessenia Anderson – Dignity Health
State Structural Pest Control Board; B Street Theatre

Doris Romero Baccala – Placer Community Foundation
CalSWEC; Placer County Food Bank

Josue Garcia – SMUD
916 Inc.

Gabriela Herrera – Congresswoman Doris Matsui Sacramento Housing Alliance (pending)

Mariela Medina – Office of Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Friends of Front Street

Noel Mora – Sacramento State
YMCA of Superior California

Daniele Munoz – Sacramento State CARES Office
State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Jose Napoles – LSS of Northern California
Education Strategy Committee of Improve Your Tomorrow

Sarah Norberg –Folsom Lake College
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo HECSA Alumni Board, ALTA Regional Center (pending)

Anna Padilla – Sacramento Hispanic Chamber
Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California

Patty Sanchez – Yolo County Assessor, Clerk-Recorder, Elections
My Sister’s House (Pending)

Kaelin Sherrill – SMUD
Girls on the Run

Gilbert Valencia – Caltrans – Department of Transportation
City of Galt Parks and Recreation Commission (pending)

Analee Villalpando – Opening Doors, Inc.
Mexican American Veterans Memorial Foundation


Senior Fellows - Cohort IV - Class of 2023

Senior Fellows  – Cohort IV
(February – August 2023)

Our fourth cohort of 14 amazing Fellows – graduated in August 2023 and serve on the noted nonprofit boards and  government commissions

Ozmar Aburto – CommuniCare Health Centers

Yolo Health Council

Gerad Borrego – Placer Food Bank

Lincoln Athletic League

Dina Garcia – SAFE Credit Union

Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento 

Maria “Tina” Garcia – SMUD

Ca Board of Pharmacy

Patricia “Patty” Gomez – Cosmo Beauty Academy

State of California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Patsy Jimenez – California State University

Sacramento County Children’s Commission

Clarissa Laguardia – Campus Compact

CA Dental Hygene Board, Sacramento Mental Health Steering Committee

Diana Landeros – Dignity Health

Sacramento County Mental Health Advisory Committee

Angela Maldonado –The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC)

Sacramento Family Justice Center

Eduardo Ochoa – SMUD

El Hogar

Tarianna Perez – California State University

Girls on the Run

Sarina Rodriguez – UC Davis Center for Regional Chang

UC Merced School of Public Health Graduate Program

Monica Ruelas Mares – Youth Forward

City of Sacramento Planning and Oversight Commission (Measure L)

Maria G.  Segoviano – Yolo Food Bank

UC Davis Community Advisory Board

Current Fellows - Cohort V - Class of 2023-2024

Fellows  – Cohort V
(September 2023 – April 2024)

Our fifth cohort of 14 amazing Fellows – will graduate in April 2024 – and serve on the noted nonprofit boards and  government commissions

Jennifer Aviles

Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board

Alfredo (Alex) Cadenas

Sacramento City Ambassadors Program

Lilia Contreras

Los Rios Community College District HIS Advisory Board

Karen Cruz

The Broad Romm Arts Collective 

Elizabeth Delgado

SACOG Mobility Zones Project Community Committee

Marisa Green

Yolo County Homeless & Poverty Action Coalition 

Jose Gudino

Yolo County Waster Advisory Committee

Miguel Guerra

Yolo County Parks and Recreation Commission 

Elena Medina

Language Academy of Sacramento Governing Board

Katherine Menendez 

Yolo County Transportation Citizens District Board Committee

Nancy Pacheco

Vice President, Northern CA Library Literacy Coalition 

Liliana Ruiz

SOL Collective 

Mikaila Wedding

NAMI Yolo County, and Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH) 

Miguel Zaragoza

Los Rios Community College District HIS Advisory Board


Creciente Apoyados 

Our Apoyodos support the fellows of each cohort through mentorship, community connections, and career expertise. 

Jose Altamirano
State Compensation Insurance Fund

Christina Andrade-Lemus
CommuniCare Health Centers

Alex Araiza

Pablo Bermudez

Jose Bodipo-Memba

Dr. Lisa Cardoza
CSU Sacramento  – University Advancement

Maria Chan
California Department of Justice

Roxana Cheah
Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange

Veronica Delgado
Sacramento State

Rita Good Gallardo
CSU Sacramento

Albert Gallegos
Yolo County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder

Larry Garcia
Garcia Performance Solutions

Phil Garcia
CSU Sacramento – Retired

Monica Hernandez
CA Dept. of Housing & Community Development

Jaime Lemus
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

Amanda Merz

Cynthia Moreno
Sierra Health Foundation

Gloria Partida
Council Member – City of Davis

Stella Premo
Community Volunteer

Marco Rodriguez
Principal Financial Group

Rita Saenz
Consultant / Retired – Policy & Government Affairs Sacramento

Jesse Salinas
Yolo County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters

Jusino Santana
Capitol Tech Solutions

Dr. Tico Zendejas
RISE, Incorporated





Program Advisory Council Members

The Program Advisory Council is a group of Latinx leaders from the Sacramento region with a strong commitment to Creciente. They provide cultural wisdom for the content and direction of the program as well as subject matter expertise and facilitation.

Dr. Lisa Cardoza – President American River College  

Francisco Castillo – Diego

Vanessa Cuevas-Romero – Sacramento County

Rita Gallardo Good – CSU Sacramento

Shilo  Costello  – SMUD

Misty Avila  – James B McClatchy Foundtion

Lydia Ramirez – Five Star Bank

Maryam Ifran – UC Berkeley EAOP

Dr. Addie Ellis – Author, Coaching Consultant

Program Directors


Doni Blumenstock – Connections Consulting
Adrian Ruiz – Executive Director YDN

Facilitators, Keynote Speakers, and Panelists

These thought leaders and community members support the fellows of each cohort as content experts and specialists that make the Creciente Program curriculum engaging and valuable. 

Marie Acosta

Christina Andrade-Lemus

Joaquin Alvarado

Yessenia Anderson

Misty Avila

Alberto Ayala

Gina Azzarello

Dr. Manuel Barajas

Deborah Bautista Zavala

Meg Birmingham

Sam Blanco

José Bodipo-Memba

Christopher Cabaldon

David Cabral

Gerardo Cabral

Dr. Lisa Cardoza

Edmundo Casteneda

Dr. Cesar Castaneda

Francisco Castillo

Mysti Champion-Freyenberger

Flo Cofer

Michael Colatrella

Felix Contreras

Vanessa Cuevas-Romero

Veronica Delgado

Dr. Viridiana Diaz

Suzanne Dizon

Tina Dyer

Dr. Addie Ellis

Tomas Evangalista

Rosa Flores

Rita Gallardo Good

Damian Garcia

Larry Garcia

Phil Garcia

Mario Guerrero

Chief Daniel Hahn

María Harrington 

Angela Hassell

Michael Jasso

Dr. Jessica Kriegel

Jamie Lemus

Alma Elizabet Lopez

Arlicia Lorentty

Alana Matthews Davis

William Jahmal Miller

Danielle Munoz

Cruz Naranjo

Quirina Orozco

Alice Perez

Gerardo Pinedo

Lydia Ramirez

Randall Reynoso

Rachel Rios

Cathy Rodriguez

Janeth Rodriguez

Rosario Rodriquez

Xochitl Rodriguez

Adrian Ruiz

Adrian Ruiz Jr.

Rita Saenz

Roger Salazar

Jesse Salinas

Armando Salud

Patricia Sanchez

Jazmine Santacruz

Daniel Savala

Mauro Solis Rodriguez

Jessica Swaney

Trao Thao

Simone Thomas

Emilio Vaca

Myriam Valdez

Katie Valenzuela

Rogelio Villagrana

Analee Villapando

Oscar Villegas

Steve Winlock 

Lilly Wyatt

Dr. Tico Zendejas

The Latin X Leadership program reminded me that not only do I belong at the table where key decisions are made, but that my voice and perspective is needed to ensure people and Latino people of color are adequately represented in our government by serving on boards and commissions.

by Elizabeth Esquivel

The thing I really learned about was really myself. I learned that servant leadership is exactly the leadership style that I embody and it’s something that I can be proud of. I learned that there is no such thing as a “right way” to be Latinx. I learned that so many of us have come this far never feeling that we were enough or that we belonged, that our ideas or our views or our experiences are in fact shared across so many different spaces.

by Sara Bernal

This program just continuously reminds me that regardless of where I come from, I deserve a seat at the table.

by Jovanny Perez

Latin X Leadership is something that has been a long time coming, but I’m so honored to be part of what is here now today and to provide Latinx leaders in our community the tools and network they need.

by Armando Salud

Incorporating Strengths Into Your Work Culture

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