Team

Our staff and board members are passionate about supporting the Latinx community. Learn more about our backgrounds and how each member of our team helps move our work forward.

Staff

Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Executive Director and Founder

Social entrepreneur and nonprofit professional with over 20 years of experience in the areas of general management, strategy, operations, marketing and fund development in both for-profit and nonprofit spaces. She is the recipient of the 2018 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, the 2018 Women of Inspiration of the Atlanta Dream, named one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia and a 2017 Hispanics in Philanthropy Fellow among other distinctions. She was raised in Lima, Peru.

Jean-Luc Rivera

Deputy Executive Director

Jean-Luc has an extensive nonprofit and political background including the Atlanta BeltLine and Senator Warnock. He received the 30 Under 30 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network award in 2020 and has continued to make his impact on the nonprofit sector in Georgia since. He is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and can be found cheering his heart out while watching every game during basketball season. Jean-Luc’s family is originally from Coamo, Puerto Rico

Monica Garcia, MPH, CHES

Director of Programs & Administration

Monica has 15 years of experience in promotion of community activities and public health. She has a passion for data quality and process improvement. She was recognized for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2002 for her job in the work-group of the Colombian Ministry of Health to develop a surveillance system protocol for domestic violence & sexual offences, Monica is a dedicated mom and is originally from Colombia.

Nataly Chalco-Lopez

Statewide Civic Participation Manager / Advocacy Team

Nataly comes from an organizing background having led campaigns for United We Dream, and One Fair Wage. She has held leadership roles in the voter protection space and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. She is from Peru

Pedro Viloria

Pedro Viloria

Statewide Health & Wellbeing Manager / Advocacy Team

Pedro received a BA from Emory University with a double major in Political Science and French Studies and is experienced in research and data analysis, healthcare management customer service, and is fully tri-lingual (Spanish, English, French). He founded and ran an NGO dedicated to providing meals to unprivileged children in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Sergio Mendez

Sergio Mendez

Community Investment Manager / Advocacy Team

Sergio Mendez is a first-generation college graduate of immigrant parents. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Augusta University. He is a six-year veteran of the US Army. He has previously worked with organizations dedicated to helping fellow students and service members.

Andy Santamaria

Andy Santamaria

Civic Participation Field Manager

Andy is an experienced canvasser and organizer with experience in New York and Atlanta. Andy has been engaged in the social justice space since he started knocking on doors for the 2010 census.

Dianne Román

Dianne Román

Public Health Specialist and Ventanillas de Salud Coordinator

Dianne Roman-Gonzalez is from Manati, Puerto Rico raised by a mother with an arduous work ethic encouraging the development of her leadership skills and fostering volunteerism and community engagement. She has an undergrad degree in Biology and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Puerto Rico.

Aurora Santana Cortez

Health & Wellbeing Organizer

Aurora is a community-oriented first-generation Atlanta native with family from Mexico. They received a B.S. in public health at Georgia State University and has previously worked with organizations dedicated to serving Latin families where she led outreach for COVID-19 as well as the youth programs. She is now working to expand and deepen outreach and community engagement at LCF.

Ulyssa Muñoz

Ulyssa Muñoz

South Georgia Lead Navigator

Ulyssa has been liaising and supporting hundreds of families in South Georgia since 2020 with Know Your Rights information, navigating the health system, civic mobilization, and financial assistance. She leads our Tifton team

Cristian Estrada

South Georgia Lead Navigator

Cristian is a first generation college student graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BIS in Interdisciplinary Studies. He leads our work informing primarily essential workers including farm workers in South Georgia of their rights, facilitates community vaccination events and designs and leads outreach to accellerate positive change in his community

Joanna Olguín

South Georgia Navigator and Organizer at LCF Georgia

Joanna has experience working with NC Legal Aid, Student Action with Farmworkers and is high-achieving, goal-oriented and community-centered. She is based in Valdosta where she is completing her undergraduate degree.

Daniela Racines

Communications Administrator

Daniela has a Master in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and is an experienced professional in nonprofit and environmental communication with experience in Ecuador and Georgia. She ensures our outreach is centered on simple, relevant, actionable and accurate content.

Liliana Alvarado

Office Administrator

Liliana is a recent graduate of Oglethorpe University with a degree in Communications. She is an advocate for the immigrant community and women’s rights. She dreams of becoming journalist in hopes to better inform underrepresented communities and write about the violations of human rights underrepresented communities experience. 

When Liliana is not working, she is either attending a concert or playing loteria with her family

Board of Directors

Daniela Demaria

Chair of the Board

Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Head of Strategy and Solutions for Fifth Third Bank. She has 20 years of C-Suite experience in the US and abroad. She is past Board member of Dress for Success – Atlanta, the United Way Women Leadership Council – Cincinnati, the GA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Cool Girls

Omar Esposito

Vice Chair

Chief Executive Officer for Framework Homeownership with 15 years of executive and banking experience. Member of the Georgia Bankers Association Board of Directors and the Community Bankers Association of Georgia’s Associate Member Advisory Council. LEAD Atlanta graduate, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HouseProud Atlanta and board member of a number of nonprofit organizations.

Luis A. Avila

Board Secretary

Vice President of Governance and Compliance for Cox Enterprises, Luis has broad-based transactional, corporate governance, securities, and M&A expertise. Mr. Avila has been recognized by numerous organizations, including being named Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, Business Leader of the Year by the Chicago Latino Network, Out & Proud Corporate Counsel by the National LGBT Bar, and Top Lawyer Under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Lauren Waits

Treasurer

Lauren is an independent public policy consultant based in Atlanta with over 25 years’ experience in legislative, administrative and grassroots advocacy, working at a range of social justice and anti-poverty organizations. She served as the Director of Government Affairs at the Atlanta Community Food Bank from 2016 to 2020, and the Policy Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children from 2005 to 2009. Ms. Waits currently serves as Treasurer of the Board at Project Community Connections Inc. (PCCI), a rapid rehousing organization that supports people experiencing homelessness.

Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez

Past-Chair

Principal at El Dorado Consulting. Lillian has served as Vice President at CCI, VP of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at The Coca-Cola Company and previously was the President of the Hispanic Federation of New York. Lilian also serves as board member for the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, MALDEF, LaAmistad, and the Hispanic Advisory Council of the Nielsen Corporation.

Yolanda Robles

Board Director

CEO and Founder of CulturaLink. Successful entrepreneur in the technology and health care space, born in the Dominican Republic and served as an interpreter and cultural navigator for her family. She is a member of the Joint Commission’s Long Term Care Advisory Council, American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management, member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and National Association of Healthcare Service Executives (NAHSE), among others.

Natalie Hernandez, PhD, MPH

Board Director

Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Interim Director of the Center for Maternal Health Equity at Morehouse School of Medicine. She has a broad background and over 15 years of experience in community-based participatory research, women’s health disparities, health policy, and social determinants of health. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Hernandez worked as a Program Manager for UnidosUS leading all their national maternal health projects.

Charmaine Ward-Millner

Board Director

Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Community Relations
with Kaiser Permanente Georgia. She has executive responsibility for marketing, public relations, media and community relations, community health, local government relations, corporate communications, and issues/crisis management. She also oversees a 64.4 million community benefit portfolio. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Charmaine held senior-level positions with Georgia Power, Georgia-Pacific, John H. Harland, Bank of America, Showtime Networks, and IBM. She has created tremendous value as a corporate leader in the areas of corporate philanthropy, foundation, corporate affairs, diversity and inclusion, marketing, and sales across multiple industries.

Lea Clanton

Board Director

Community Engagement Director for Georgia Power. Lea Clanton leads a team responsible for Georgia Power’s employee volunteer programs and community relations fostering the company’s relationships with people of color, women and LGTBQ+ communities. She is graduate of Clemson University and is active in the community in various roles and committees

Pamela Perkins

Board Director

Pamela is the Director of Global Contracts for UPS, leveraging wide-ranging experience gained over 30 years across the global transportation and logistics industry in the healthcare, retail, and industrial sectors. She drives company-wide best practices in contract development and negotiation globally.

Mariángela Corales

Board Director

Mariángela Corales is the General Counsel, Vice President of Legal and Compliance, and
Corporate Secretary for Goodwill of North Georgia.  Mariángela also serves as a guest lecturer at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She is a first generation Cuban-American, born and raised in South Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Florida International University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami.

Aida Perez-Flamm – Retired

Founding Chair (2017-2019)

Aida no longer sits on our board but she was our Founding Chair and the impetus behind the first fund LCF Georgia created to respond to disasters (Hurricane Maria in 2017). She is the founder and partner of Aida & Co, Aida is also director of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), a key Latino leader and instrumental in the development of many local anchor organizations including the Latin American Association, The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and others. Aida is a patron of the arts and a courageous advocate for the Latino/Hispanic community. We will forever be grateful for her influence and investment in our organization and the community at-large