Commentary

09/25/2019  by Ed Coghlan

CA Fwd adds staff to continue building its CA Dream Team

CA Fwd is adding to its senior and policy staff as the organization expands its work to make government more responsive to the people and help make sure that the state can continue to be a world leader in the 21st century.

"We are thrilled that we've been able to attract such a talented and diverse group that expands CA Fwd's reach throughout the state," said Micah Weinberg, CA Fwd CEO. "They are already making a significant contribution to our work of leading a statewide movement to ensure that our communities are growing, green and great for everyone.”

Lavera Alexander has been named CA Fwd’s first Director of Strategy and leads the organization’s development efforts to fuel our policy work. She has extensive experience in non-profit management and optimizing non-profit teams. She came to CA Fwd after 10 years as an executive consultant and strategist for All Things Non-Profit, in Los Angeles. There, she co-founded the “Executive Director on Call” service to help non-profits stabilize, grow and cover management gaps. She has expertise in major donor solicitation and a proven track record cultivating strategic partnerships. In addition to her work as a consultant and strategist, she has served nonprofit organizations in the capacity of Executive Director, Director of Development, and VP of Marketing. She has a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a master's degree from California State University Northridge.  

Ismael “Ish” Herrera, Jr. is CA Fwd’s Director of Regional Stewardship. He will be responsible for coordinating the collective impact activities of members of the California Stewardship Network (CSN) and to advance the policy initiatives of CA Fwd through the California Economic Summit. Prior to joining CA Fwd, Herrera spent 10 years at the Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno (OCED), most recently as its Executive Director. While at OCED, he contributed to the development of university-led activities that aligned Fresno State’s assets to regional initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the eight-county San Joaquin Valley. Herrera served as the Lead Executive for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. He holds two undergraduate degrees from U.C. Irvine and a master's degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard.

Jennifer Lovett is Senior Project Manager with CA Fwd where she helps shape the organization's public policy work related to the supply of and access to housing and dynamics impacting the future of work in the state, among other topics.

Before joining CA Fwd, she worked as Public Policy Associate in the Milken Institute's Center for Regional Economics, focusing on projects related to workforce development and housing and infrastructure finance. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from USC.

Amber Bolden is Senior Project Manager with CA Fwd where she is working on the issues of economic development, environmental vitality and working lands. She began her career working for the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development in 2009. She currently lives and works in Riverside County. Before joining CA Fwd, she worked with the Western Municipal Water District as a communications specialist. Her work in Riverside County has provided her with a sincere appreciation for the community assets and opportunities within the region. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from U.C. Riverside.

David Loaeza is a Program Associate for CA Fwd. Previously, he co-founded a web design business that connected other small businesses in Orange County to a growing social media generation in order to help them survive during the recession. While attending the University of California, Los Angeles, he interned at the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, where he co-authored proposals encouraging collaboration between California and the Mexican government in order to help needy Mexican families receive child support funds and immigration law counseling. While studying in Thailand, David assisted the Human Development Forum Foundation (HDFF) in making the country safer for nonprofit employees by designing online reports to track violent incidents against these employees. David is a graduate of UCLA.

All five joined CA Fwd this summer and are working with the rest of the CA Fwd staff and consultants in preparing for the annual meeting of the California Economic Summit in Fresno on November 7-8. The Summit is a year-round non-partisan effort that attracts business, equity and environmental leaders from every region of the state to work on policy solutions that will benefit the lives of all Californians.

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