Leadership shifts inside Sonoma’s La Luz Center

La Luz Center executive director Juan Hernandez announced last week a handful of leadership changes within the Latino advocacy nonprofit.

Veronica Vences, previously La Luz associate executive director, will assume expanded responsibilities in a new role as director of development; Sandy Sanchez will move from family services program manager to director of programs; and Sutapa Balaji has newly joined the La Luz staff as director of finance and administration.

Earlier this year, the organization announced its strategic plan and three primary areas of focus for La Luz programs: family services, economic advancement and community engagement.

“We have now created a leadership structure and named a leadership team to help ensure we reach the ambitious program goals we have set for the future,” said Hernandez in the press release announcing the changes.

Vences’s new role brings together development and community engagement activities. Sanchez will continue to oversee the El Verano Family Resource Center and AVANCE early childhood education teams, as well as the client services group. In addition, she will now integrate economic advancement initiatives. Balaji’s new position is expected to help strengthen systems, operations and advance financial sustainability which are key initiatives under-pinning future direction at La Luz Center.

Hernadez said that La Luz will transition to the new structure over the next 60 days.


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