Tell us a bit about your current position, what you do, and how long you’ve served in this position.
Currently I am President and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. I have been in this role since 2000, although I have been with JFS since 1980. The position of CEO is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the Agency as well working closely with the board around strategy, resource development and visioning the future.
Tell us one thing we'd never guess about you.
Despite my two left feet, in college, I was part of a Folklorico dance group that performed traditional dances from Mexico.
What are a couple of things you attribute to your success?
To be successful in a position like CEO of a nonprofit requires mentoring and a clear and focused drive to achieve your personal and professional ambitions. I have been fortunate to have good, strong and caring mentors who supported my career development and served as a role model for successful leadership. With this support, I was able to direct my career trajectory towards my personal and professional goal of becoming a CEO of a nonprofit.
Name one area/subject you would like to learn more about.
Not related to my CEO work, I would love to find time to pursue music in some fashion. On my bucket list is time to learn an instrument and to perform in public somewhere – at least once!
What is the most challenging/rewarding part of your position?
The most challenging is the raising and stewardship of the resources to keep an Agency like JFS moving, growing and impactful. The most rewarding is the knowledge that the work we do makes a difference in the lives of so many in our community. This probably sounds a bit trite, but for those of us who have made this work, our life’s work, it rings true each and every day.
Favorite restaurant in Los Angeles/Southern California.
I live in the San Gabriel Valley so my favorite is a Mexican restaurant in Montrose called La Cabanita – great food and friendly people!
Name a key challenge for the Jewish profession and how could JCPSC address that need.
A key and continuing challenge is the transitioning of professional leadership out of our organizations. And I am not just referring to retiring executives, but the competition for our best and brightest talent. As our work begins to more closely intersect with other sectors (health care, technology, social innovation etc.), maintaining a competitive pipeline to refresh our collective workforce is paramount. It seems to me that JCPSC is in a good position to proactively connect talent with opportunity.