LEAD 2020 – 10 Years of Growing Leadership

LEAD 2020 – 10 Years of Growing Leadership

Participants in the 2020 LEAD Institute of the Community Foundation for Monterey County are up and running with a constellation of online assignments, small group conversation, reflection and practice.

LEAD always has emphasized that relationships are at the heart of leadership.

Despite adjustments made to conduct gatherings virtually due to COVID-19 and shelter in place orders, these 19 nonprofit leaders are forming relationships with one another, sharing and developing their strengths as leaders and managers.

Meet Laura Cuadros

One member of the 2020 LEAD class is Laura Cuadros. Laura is the Billing Manager for Salud Para La Gente and has 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit Healthcare industry. She manages a team of 17 and strives to be a lifelong learner and compassionate leader, especially amid the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I am first-generation Mexican American born and raised in Watsonville, the community I serve and love,” said Cuadros.

I am passionate to help others and families like my own. My parents were both agriculture workers who had limited access to healthcare due [to] their work which nurtures my passion to work with an agency that promotes access to healthcare for all.” – Laura Cuadros, LEAD participant

Full list of 2020 LEADers below.

Through the rest of the year, Laura and the other LEADers will work on leadership projects in their organizations and explore an array of management and leadership topics.

Presentations will offer tools to design and evaluate strong programs, for example, work effectively with boards, fund development, financial management and more. LEADers are also paired with a leadership coach to further support growth and confidence.

Kaki Rusmore and Blanca Tavera continue to serve as Co-Facilitators for the 2020 Institute. Kaki is leaving the CFMC in May, but will continue to offer her expertise to LEAD as she ventures into consulting.

2020 marks the 10th year of LEAD, which has graduated over 150 nonprofit leaders from the Monterey Bay region.


OrganizationJob Title
HelenAldanaSanta Cruz Museum of Art and HistoryIntercultural Programs Coordinator
Emilio Barajas The Diversity Center for Santa Cruz County Program Director
StephanieBaron LuPositive Discipline Community ResourcesExecutive Director
MariaBarrancoMonarch ServicesProgram Manager (Shelter, On-Call and Prevention)
RafaelCendejasSalud Para La GenteClinic Manager
Laura CuadrosSalud Para La GenteBilling Manager
Kimberly Garcia ContrerasYWCA of WatsonvilleYW-Teens Program Coordinator
Elias Gonzales MILPA Collective

Training and Site 


NicoleIrigoyenMonterey County Rape Crisis CenterPrevention Education Director
AlexaJohnsonHousing Resource Center Program Manager
Hana KongMonterey Peninsula FoundationProgram Officer
SandraPeñaInterim Inc.Program Coordinator
TommyPieperOsio TheaterDirector of Operations
TenilleRamirezLive Like Geno FoundationExecutive Administrator
JoséSánchezGreenfield Community Science WorkshopGreenfield Community Science Workshop Director
Karin StrattonMonterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Partnership Program Manager
Javier TamayoAlisal Center for the Fine ArtsExecutive Director
Cheryl TsuchiuraIndependent Transportation Network Monterey CountyTransportation & Operations Manager
Kirstinvan GendThe Read to Me Project Program Manager