Center for Nonprofit Excellence Announces 2024 LEAD Institute Cohort

Center for Nonprofit Excellence Announces 2024 LEAD Institute Cohort

21 Nonprofit Leaders Selected from Monterey,
San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties

Monterey County, California — The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) selected 21 emerging nonprofit managers to join the LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development) Institute’s 2024 cohort. LEAD is a year-long professional development institute offered by the CFMC’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence to foster strong, effective leadership in the local nonprofit sector.

Reid Norris Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Nonprofit Excellence“LEAD Institute combines in-person learning and professional coaching to provide new leaders with resources and skills they need to lead a thriving team, develop a network of peer support and work towards a more sustainable and equitable vision for our community. It’s an investment in the LEADers, their organizations and their missions.” – Reid Norris, Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Nonprofit Excellence

This year’s LEAD Institute features nonprofit professionals from diverse fields of nonprofit activity, including the arts, education, health and human services. The 2024 class includes participants from nonprofits based in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. They join a network of nearly 200 nonprofit leaders representing 125 nonprofits who have engaged with LEAD since it launched in 2009.

2024 LEAD Institute Participants:

  • A. Augusto Rivera-Gutierrez, Director of Development & Compliance, YWCA Monterey County
  • Abby Newman, Program Manager, O’Neill Sea Odyssey
  • Alisa Smith, Philanthropic Services Officer, Community Foundation for Monterey County
  • Azucena Barrios, Education Lead Organizer, Building Healthy Communities of Monterey County
  • Bertha Perez, Program Manager, Youth Alliance
  • Eric Mora, President, Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations
  • Erika Matadamas, Chief Advancement Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County
  • Evyn Robles, Director of Campus and Housing, Housing Matters
  • Francesca Marietti, Advocate Supervisor/Transitional Age Youth Specialist, CASA of Monterey County
  • Jamelle Jones, Program Coordinator, The Village Project Inc.
  • Julia Echenique, Executive Director, Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum
  • Kari Martorella, Home Delivered Meals Manager, Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula
  • Kayshla Lopez, Homeless Services Manager, City of Salinas
  • Marissa Serna, Program Director, Youth Arts Collective
  • Marlo Botello-Aepli, Executive Director, UnChained
  • Maya Sedillo, Administrator, Healing and Reconciliation Institute
  • Micha Scott, Executive and Artistic Director, Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center
  • Noa Daniels, Executive Director, Access Media Productions
  • Richelle Santoya, Executive Director, Epicenter of Monterey
  • Ritika Kumar, Founder/ CEO, Art Abilities
  • Rosa Torres, Housing Operations Manager, Interim, Inc.

LEAD is designed to maximize the leadership potential of capable nonprofit managers through monthly leadership and professional development seminars. The LEAD Institute emphasizes individualized professional growth by identifying core values and building resilience to address the opportunities and challenges facing the community. Participants gain new insights, abilities and a network of support to assume greater leadership roles.

“If LEAD isn’t a model for other community foundations throughout the state and country, it should be. LEAD is precisely the program that community-based organizations should offer to enable local organizations and their leaders to have a greater impact. The program provided me with new insights and tools, and introduced me to passionate, inspiring people in the community that are doing meaningful work every day.” – Taylor Honrath, 2023 LEAD Institute Alum

About the Center for Nonprofit Excellence of the Community Foundation for Monterey County
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) works with local nonprofits of all types and sizes to be stronger, more resilient and equitable. It helps staff, boards and volunteers make meaningful connections to resources and one another. For information on LEAD Institute or other nonprofit resources, visit or call 831.375.9712.

About the LEAD Institute
Facilitated by Reid Norris, Leadership Development Specialist, LEAD is an annual leadership development program of the Community Foundation for Monterey County for nonprofit leaders. Applications for LEAD 2025 will be available in Summer 2024. For information or to apply, visit

The mission of the Community Foundation for Monterey County is to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Monterey County. For more information, visit