Nancy Maldonado is a community advocate with a strong commitment to improving the lives
of marginalized communities. She has held leadership positions for the past fifteen
years and has a proven track record of identifying growth opportunities within
organizations, driving development efforts, contract and grant compliance, fiscal
management, team development and leadership. She is a dynamic leader that has been
recognized for her dedication to helping communities.
Nancy joined Chicano Federation as the Senior Program Director in 2017. Her knowledge of community based
research and experience in leading the strategic development of community based programs
and interventions propelled her to the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2018.
Since then Nancy has worked to improve the quality of Chicano Federation’s programs
and services and helped build a strong foundation for long-term growth and innovation.
In January 2019, Nancy was named Chief Executive Officer of Chicano Federation.
Nancy holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Science and a Bachelor's Degree in
Kinesiology. She formally owned and operated her own business where she developed and
implemented corporate wellness programs. Prior to joining Chicano Federation, Nancy
served as the Director of Community Health for the American Heart Association and
American Stroke Association. Nancy has been recognized for her leadership and
contributions to the San Diego community by multiple publications and the California
Roberto Alcantar joined the Chicano Federation as the Senior Director in 2019 and now serves
as the Chief Strategy Officer, working alongside the CEO in developing, communicating, executing
and sustaining strategic initiatives at the organization. Roberto was raised in the San
Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego and continues to be an active member of his community.
Roberto graduated from UC Berkeley with a Political Science and Public Policy degree. He
has worked in the non-profit sector as an advocate for communities and has extensive
policy, legislative, government affairs and organizational strategy experience.
Roberto has previously worked for the ACLU, the California State Senate and the San Diego City
Council. Roberto is a San Diego Leadership Alliance Institute Alumnus and was named one of
San Diego’s 40 Leaders under 40 in 2015 and again in 2019. In 2019 he was honored by State
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez with an 80th Assembly District Outstanding Community Leader Award.
Roberto also serves as an elected member of the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board.
With a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management and International Business, Veronica Gomez has focused on Human Resources practices and training. She has also taught Business and Human Resources courses at local vocational schools. The opportunity to teach has given her the ability to work with a diverse group of students and successfully lead them in their journey to better themselves.
Veronica believes in equality for all and is involved with other organizations that advocate for equal rights regardless of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Craig Watson began working at Chicano Federation in October 2019 after
several years in the hospitality industry. He has many years of hands-on
experience in accounting, financial analysis, budgeting and cash forecasting.
Craig graduated from CSU Chico with a Bachelors in Business and later earned
a Masters in Finance from the University of Denver. He grew up in central
California but came to San Diego after enjoying four years in Boston.
Craig’s role at Chicano Federation fulfills a deep desire to use his experience to
help support a non-profit that is making a positive impact on the lives of
thousands of people.
Rachel Villarespe has worked in the early childhood education field for over 15 years. She has held various positions in the early childhood education field including teaching. Half of Rachel’s career has been in administration at State-funded preschool programs and corporate childcare centers.
Rachel is an advocate for quality early childhood education settings and is a member of the San Diego County Child Care and Development Planning Council. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Administration. Rachel also holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University.
Veronica Ruiz joined the Federation in March 2002 as a Resident Manager and
moved her way up to her current position as Senior Property Manager. Miss
Ruiz holds several accreditations from the San Diego Apartment Association
and is pursuing her real estate license and Science degree.
Her background and experience in managing and implementing tenant and landlord
regulations prepared her for her current position where she oversees nine
properties with a team of eight resident managers.
Zarai Santos is the Child Nutrition Program Supervisor and a dedicated advocate for social change. Before joining the Chicano Federation, Zarai worked at the San Diego Food Bank. She has also worked as a Labor Relations Representative for the California School Employees Association and as a Political Coordinator for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. In those positions, she worked tirelessly against the infringement of workers’ rights by negotiating equitable employment contracts, mobilizing union members for labor demonstrations, and organizing citizen workshops.
Her previous work focused on expanding the role of unions, empowering Latinos to run for public office, and strengthening voter turnout within marginalized communities of color. Zarai graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Sociology.
Lupe Flores joined the Chicano Federation in January of 2020 as the Development
and Community Relations Manager. She is an experienced non-profit professional
with a demonstrated history of working in project management and fundraising.
Before joining the Chicano Federation, she worked for the San Diego County
Taxpayers Association managing their political fundraising, development and
Lupe graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CSU San Marcos
with a minor in Border Studies. Lupe is a member of local organization Mana de
San Diego. She has dedicated her career to building lasting partnerships that ensure
financial resilience for organizations making a positive impact in the San Diego community.
Board of Directors
Chair - Primary Funding
Vice-chair - Jackson Lewis P.C.
Secretary - CA Department of Public Health (Retired)
Treasurer - Bank of America
Catherine M. Arambula
Coldwell Banker West
Juan Felipe Sanchez
RRQB Lead Solutions
Maria S. Gonzalez
CDC Small Business Finance
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