We’re thrilled to announce our second ELN Cohort!
Vice President of Development
Amber Martinez currently serves as Vice President of Development at LA’s BEST, an after school enrichment program and partnership of the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District. Since 2017, Amber provides strategic leadership in all aspects of LA’s BEST fundraising and communications. She also served as Interim Co-CEO, leading the organization through new challenges related to the pandemic and major leadership transitions. Amber is an experienced nonprofit executive and community organizer, working to connect people, empower communities and inspire action to ensure a brighter future for all. Prior to joining LA’s BEST, she held leadership positions across nonprofit organizations with national and local impact, including the XPRIZE Foundation, City of Hope, the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce, Vision To Learn and ALPFA. Amber volunteers on political campaigns and is on the board of trustees at Zócalo Public Square and NextGen board member of the ASU Foundation. She holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership & Management and a Bachelor of Science in Family & Human Development, both from Arizona State University. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, currently living in Eagle Rock with her husband, mom, and two children. She is honored to be a part of the ELN program and is looking forward to enhancing her network of leaders committed to a more equitable future, growing together in our understanding of the problems and finding ways to collaborate on solutions.
Brittney Weissman has worked in health and public policy with community-based organizations for 20 years. Until joining Hollywood 4WRD as its first Executive Director, she was CEO of NAMI Greater Los Angeles County, the largest affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Southern California where she advanced policies and programs aimed at making life better for everyone affected by mental health challenges. She has served on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission for the past six years. She earned her MA in Public Policy from USC and her BA from Occidental College. Brittney loves her work, Los Angeles, and her family – including rescue pup, Joy. She is eager to create supportive, collaborative relationships with other executives and discover new ways to tap into her own and her coalition’s individual and collective talents and abilities to shine..
Vice President, Human Resources
Para Los Niños
Deanette Brewer serves as Vice President, Human Resources at Para Los Niños. Founded on Skid Row in 1980, Para Los Niños provides education and comprehensive family support, serving over 10,000 children, youth, and families annually in some of the most underserved areas in Los Angeles. Deanette is responsible for providing leadership, vision, and strategic direction in designing and driving all PLN Human Resources programs, focused on attracting and maintaining a highly competent, engaged workforce while supporting the agency’s mission, values, and strategic plans. As well as agency funding and regulatory compliance. In addition, she is very active with her sorority. Their award-winning programs encourage and support community youth and enhance the health and well-being of the community. She is looking to expand her leadership capacity and strategies in effective collaboration to support her executive team in developing effective organizational policies that align with their core values.
Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles
Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon
Heidi Duckler is the Founder and Artistic Director of Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles, California and Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Titled the “reigning queen of site-specific performance” by the LA Times, Duckler is a pioneer of site-specific place based contemporary practice. Through the use of expanded techniques and a methodology that encourages us to understand how dance, born from our experience, can be a tool for awareness, Duckler has contributed to redefining the field and has created more than 500 dance pieces all over the world.
Duckler was the recipient of the 2021 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship and most recently, her film “Where We’re Going” has been selected for first prize by the Cinedanza Festival jury amongst 28 films from around the world. “Where We’re Going” was also selected for the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) Digital Media Wall in their new building in downtown Sacramento, scheduled to premiere in 2022. Currently, Duckler is on faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Film and Media Studies Department.
Duckler earned a BS in Dance from the University of Oregon and an MA in Choreography from UCLA, and served as a Board Member of the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance Advancement Council. Awards include the Distinguished Dance Alumna award from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, the Dance/USA and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Engaging Dance Audiences award, and the National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpiece award. Duckler was a recipient of the 2019 Oregon Dance Film Commission and her work received the award for Best Choreography for the Lens at Verve Dance Film Festival. Duckler is thrilled to be included in the Coro 2023 Executive Leadership Network and looks forward to learning and growing alongside esteemed colleagues.
Upstage Theatre Schools, Inc.
Julie Bank is the Managing Director for Upstage Theatre Schools, Inc. where she leads a team of 30 plus staff members who provide musical theater programs for students in LAUSD, SPUSD and OPUSD among others. Julie oversees operations, marketing, human resources, financials and business development. She is the Founding Board Chair of the Jewish Center for Justice and a Founding Board Member of Partnership for Growth-Los Angeles. She has worked for organizations including the Chicago Urban League and Dallas CASA and served as Chair of the Economic Justice Task Force of the Commission on Social Action for Reform Judaism. Julie hopes to further develop her leadership style and communication skills and create lasting connections with the other CORO cohort members. She holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from University of Texas, Austin and a Master’s in Social Service Administration from University of Chicago.
Elevate Public Affairs
Julie Stephens is a Vice President at Elevate Public Affairs, where she is responsible for leading teams on communications and community outreach strategy and execution for the organization’s clients. Julie’s expertise spans public affairs, social impact strategy, media relations, social media, trade association management, community outreach, event planning, public-private partnership development and strategic communications planning. Beginning her career in television news and transitioning to public relations, Julie has almost two decades of experience. She has developed and implemented campaigns for large-scale statewide social issues, consumer brands and nonprofits for a variety of issues. Prior to joining Elevate, Julie worked in development with Woodcraft Rangers, an afterschool provider that has served LA for more than 100 years. Julie recently earned a certificate in social impact strategy from the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from upstate New York, Julie has a BA in Journalism, minor in economics, from Ithaca College.
Bureau Chief for Business Operations
Long Beach Police Department (LBPD)
Julissa José-Murray is the Bureau Chief for Business Operations at the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), where she is responsible for the management of all financial services, including grants and contract management, accounting, procurement, fleet management, and oversight of 14 facilities. She also oversees human resources, payroll, labor relations, and wellness initiatives for 1200+ employees. Julissa’s expertise includes providing strategic guidance on public finance, legislative affairs and policy development in the government, nonprofit, and labor sectors. Previous leadership roles include serving in the City of Long Beach – Budget Office, leading public affairs efforts for Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester and holds master’s degrees from University of Arizona and the University of California, Irvine. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Day Nursery and Transitions in Motherhood.
Vice President of Planning, Land Use, and Government Affairs
Luciralia is the Vice President of Planning, Land Use, and Government Affairs for Caruso, overseeing entitlements and government relations in Los Angeles and statewide. With over 16 years of experience implementing CEQA and processing regionally significant and complex development projects in the City of Los Angeles, Luciralia is intimately aware of the obstacles and opportunities to housing and economic development in Los Angeles in particular, and California as a whole.
In addition to building and expanding on her executive training, Luciralia aims to leverage her knowledge and expertise to improve how Angelenos live, work, and experience the City of Los Angeles, a City that she loves deeply. From the Executive Leadership Network program, Luciralia seeks to gain the connections, tools, and insight on how to undertake meaningful change.
Vice President of Capacity Development and Sustainability
Lupe Solorio serves as the Vice President of Capacity Development and Sustainability for Community Partners, where she has provided management and fiscal expertise for the last 19 years. She has extensive knowledge in nonprofit management, organizational development and fiscal sponsorship. In her role, Lupe oversees the implementation of Community Partners’ fiscal sponsorship and intermediary programs. Under her leadership, her team provides project leaders with individualized technical assistance and facilitates internal and external training in program planning, board development, proposal writing, evaluation and sustainability. During her tenure at Community Partners, Lupe helped develop the re-granting service, which has now become a hallmark of the work within the organization’s intermediary service offerings.
Lupe is a frequent speaker and presenter with nonprofit organizations and has served on the board of the Asian Business League and, most recently, as the chair of the board of the Latinx American Cinemateca of Los Angeles. She has volunteered as a panelist for Public Allies LA, and on the steering committee for the Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month for the City of Los Angeles. A native of Los Angeles, she received a dual B.A. in international relations and Spanish from the University of Southern California.
Lupe hopes through CORO’s Executive Leadership Network to expand her executive leadership skills and connect with a community of peers to support her growth.
Vice President of Strategy & External Relations
Michael Graff-Weisner is the VP of Strategy & External Relations at Chrysalis – a nonprofit serving people navigating barriers to the workforce by offering a job-readiness program, individualized supportive services, and paid transitional employment. At Chrysalis, Michael leads the organization’s work in the community, developing partnerships, working with public-sector partners, as well as spearheading the agency’s plans for expansion. Michael brings over 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors to his position at Chrysalis. His workforce development experience includes creating job training programs at the Wilshire-Metro WorkSource Center in LA, and managing programs serving refugees at CAMBA in Brooklyn, NY. Outside of the workforce field, Michael has worked as a technology consultant, launched after school programs, and worked as a policy researcher. Born and raised in LA, Michael received a BA in Economics and Spanish from Amherst College and a MPP from the Kennedy School of Government.
Director, State and Local Government
Monique Earl is a Director within the State & Local Government segment at Guidehouse (formerly Grant Thornton Public Sector). Monique leads management consulting strategy in the areas of financial management, organizational development and diversity, equity, inclusion and access. In addition, Monique has over twenty years of experience supporting the legislative, executive and administrative branches of government for the City of Los Angeles having served as Deputy Mayor of Financial Policy (Villaraigosa), Chief Deputy Controller, and Executive Officer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Monique is currently a board member for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. Monique hopes to enhance her leadership acumen and learn new tools to navigate the future of work by participating in Coro’s Executive Leadership Network.