Meet the 2023 Workforce Leadership Network

We’re thrilled to announce our third WLN cohort!

Foyinsola Ani 
Manager of Community Organizing and Strategic Engagements
Community Health Councils
Foyinsola Ani, fondly called Foyin, is the Manager of Community Organizing and Strategic Engagements at Community Health Councils (CHC). She provides direct oversight of the Trauma Prevention Initiative, supports subcontractors, consultants, CHC field teams, and the Supervising Community Navigator and Community Navigation programs, implements initiatives based on policy/advocacy strategies, and assists with reporting requirements for funders. She is passionate about supporting the underserved and enjoys cooking, planning events, and spending time with family. Through her participation in the program, she is looking forward to learning how to apply critical thinking and advocacy skills, positively give and receive constructive criticism, effectively lead and build a coalition, and perform stakeholder analysis. She hopes to become an innovative leader who has successfully learned the act of managing diverse teams and can take risks to deepen the impact of her team, projects, and organization.

Ashford Ball 
Job Readiness and Career Development Coordinator
Los Angeles Room & Board
Ashford Ball is the Job Readiness and Career Development Coordinator at the nonprofit organization Los Angeles Room and Board. As the Career Development Coordinator, Ashford is responsible for finding employment and internship opportunities for residents who live at one of their four transitional housing sites, facilitating job training and professional development programs, and administering financial education. With these responsibilities, Ashford’s main focus is coordinating with different nonprofits in the Los Angeles area and other public institutions to provide comprehensive support for residents so they can find work, intern, get paid, and receive real-world professional work experience. Additionally, Ashford has been teaching inside prisons internationally and within Southern California. His heart and passion for underserved and disenfranchised communities are driven by racial equity, civic/community engagement, and social justice principles. What Ashford hopes to gain from the Coro program are leadership skills and networking that increase his ability to support these communities further.

April Barnes
Vital Link
April Barnes is a nonprofit executive. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/communications and a master’s degree in business administration. April has worked in the nonprofit sector in various leadership capacities for over 18 years providing leadership, funding, and support for those most in need in the community.  She is originally from Philadelphia but has called Long Beach home for 15 years.  She is looking to be more engaged in the workforce needs of the community, which is why she is joining Coro.

Angela Brown-Simpson
Director of Human Resources
City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles
Angela just completed her first year as the Director of Human Resources with the City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles. Angela is charged with managing the department’s human resources initiatives. Angela has over 23 years of service with the City of Los Angeles in multiple departments, of which she has over 15 years of experience in employee relations. She has gained extensive experience in complex hiring issues, MOU negotiations and implementation, grievances, and discipline during this time. 

As one of the vice presidents of the Los Angeles Association of Black Personnel, Inc., Angela leads mentoring and career development trainings for current and future City employees. From her participation in Coro, Angela looks forward to refreshing her leadership skills that can be applied to lead her HR team to success.

Angela Castellanos
Project Director and Senior Technical Assistant & Training Specialist
Center for Applied Research Solutions
Angela is a Project Director and Senior Technical Assistant & Training Specialist at the Center for Applied Research Solutions. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance, training, coaching, and consultation to the mental health workforce through a variety of projects and initiatives at her agency. She volunteers for local and international agencies that offer services and resources to immigrant families in the Latinx communities. As a wellness coach, Angela “walks the talk” and enjoys outdoor cycling, hot yoga, and strength training. Being involved with Coro will enhance her skills in training, address the crisis shortage of mental health, and connect with other leaders that are passionate about developing the workforce.

Eva Chavez
Associate Director of Learning and Evaluation
The Music Center
Eva Maria Chavez is the Associate Director of Learning & Evaluation at The Music Center. She is responsible for monitoring and facilitating learning opportunities for the entire organization. As an internal evaluator, she focuses on change management to consistently work on reflective learning. She hopes to learn how others create trust and build empathetic leaders.

Marques Davis
Program Associate II, Behavioral Health Workforce Development
Advocates for Human Potential
Marques Davis is a program associate on the Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) team at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). Marques is a seasoned professional with 18 years of development and supportive services within the public health & HIV/AIDS prevention field, with a youth-centered target population (ages 12–29). Mr. Davis has been involved in many aspects of the public health field, from managing outreach services and facilitating training to developing public programs. He also has experience supporting organizations with grant writing and working productively within a wide variety of age demographics, as well as with LGBT & low-income/underserved communities. During his spare time, Mr. Davis is a full-time single parent to his 17-year-old nephew. Together, they love traveling, movies, attending concerts, and spending quality time listening to music. Mr. Davis received his B.S. in social work and project management from Norfolk State University. Mr. Davis hopes to gain a lifetime of knowledge from other participants within the program. He looks forward to gaining more leadership tools to utilize in his career and personal life.

Victoria Deguzman
Assistant Director for Programs and Engagement
Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California, Irvine
Dr. Victoria Deguzman is the Assistant Director for Programs and Engagement at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at the University of California, Irvine.  In this position, she heads the event, workforce development, stakeholder engagement, and student programs for both the UC Irvine and the University of California systemwide Institutes of Transportation Studies. 

She has more than two decades of increasingly responsible positions in university research centers a decade prior to running her own valuation consultation firm specializing in forensic appraisal for partial acquisitions for transportation infrastructure development.   She is also a seasoned project manager, with certificates in Project Management, Research Administration, and Program Management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development, and a Doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development.  

Dr. Deguzman is a champion of faculty, staff, and students, and is known for her ability to create and execute innovative education, student engagement, and professional development programs and to motivate and aid others to participate and succeed.

Liselda Fabian
Manager, HR-Workforce Development
AltaMed Health Service
Liselda Fabian joined AltaMed Health Services in 2018 and currently serves as the Manager for HR’s Workforce Development department. In her role, she assists in the administration of high school and college programs. These programs support leadership development, college attainment and persistence, and career discovery. She has over 10 years managing a variety of experiential programs and hopes to continue supporting the educational and career journeys of young people. Liselda holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Carleton College and a Master’s in Post-Secondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California.

Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez
Project Coordinator
UCLA Labor Center
Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez is the Project Coordinator of the UCLA Labor Center’s POWER in Workforce Development Team. She has over 17 years of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research projects focused on low-wage workers, informal labor markets, worker centers, and workforce development strategies. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez is a leading expert on high road training partnerships (HRTPs) and has co-produced documents on the HRTP framework and model. In 2010, she co-authored a groundbreaking report on the prevalence of wage theft and workplace violations among low-wage workers in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Recently, Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez co-authored the first comprehensive study on transportation network companies in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Labor Center, Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez was the Project Coordinator of the UC Irvine Community and Labor Project and was a lecturer at the Law School. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez is looking forward to working with others interested in advancing equity and job quality in the public workforce system.

Irma Gorrocino
Community Engagement Advisor, Corporate Affairs
Southern California Edison
Irma Gorrocino currently serves as a community engagement advisor for Southern California Edison (SCE) where she works to implement SCE’s strategy on corporate social responsibility including regional workforce development. Prior to her role, she worked as a public affairs specialist for Cerritos College where she helped implement the development of The Village, California’s first community college housing project exclusively for students experiencing housing insecurity. Through the Workforce Leadership Network, Irma looks forward to gaining new insights on how to continue sustaining public, private, and nonprofit sectors to work together and create access to job opportunities in high-demand industries. At the start of COVID-19, she earned her master’s degree in Public Administration at California State University, Los Angeles. Irma is a recipient of the David Cruz Lizzaraga Fellowship through the TELACU Education Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Urban Planning from California State University, Northridge.

La’Tosha Johnson
Director Of Human Resources
La’Tosha Johnson is the Director Of Human Resources at ExED. As Director Of Human Resources, La’Tosha oversees a team of two and manages all aspects of Human Resources, including recruitment, onboarding, benefits, employee relations, performance management, payroll, corporate events, and other administrative duties. As an approachable leader, La’Tosha prides herself in providing excellent customer service to staff and exudes attention to detail in every aspect of her role as the Director Of Human Resources at ExED. She works with various departments in the organization on strategic initiatives. La’Tosha is ExED’s very own “Queen Of Fun” because she revamped the organization’s social activities and introduced fun but influential events that bring staff together and promote team building and bonding throughout the organization. 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”-Maya Angelou.

Kelly King
Executive Director
Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges and Chief Advancement Officer, Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)
Kelly King is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Los Angeles Community Colleges and Chief Advancement Officer for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). In this role, she manages special programs and philanthropic partnerships for the largest community college district in the county. 

Previously, Kelly served as the Senior Program Officer for Education at the California Community Foundation, Executive Vice President of Focusing Philanthropy, and Director of the Scripps College Academy. Kelly received a Bachelor’s in Politics and Public Policy Analysis from Scripps College and a Master’s in Education Policy, Evaluation, and Reform from Claremont Graduate University. She serves on several boards/advisory groups including LA County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative, Reading Partners LA, and Linda Vista Children’s Center. 

Through Coro, Kelly hopes to gain a better understanding of the trends and needs of the workforce development space, and the networks and skills to be an effective advocate.

Yelena Litvak
Senior Internal Operations Manager
Yelena is the Senior Internal Operations Manager for Chrysalis Enterprises. She oversees all transitional job placement operations and programming. Yelena is passionate about community outreach, building an equitable economy, and workforce development. Through participating with Coro, Yelena looks forward to thought-partnering and expanding her scope to gain further insight and strengthen her skills in workforce development.

Diana Matamoros
Project Coordinator
City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation & Parks
Diana Matamoros currently serves as Project Coordinator of HR Training at the Department of Recreation and Parks in the City of Los Angeles. There, she develops and coordinates training programs that empower, engage, and support the professional growth of nearly 8,000 employees. 

For nearly 10 years, Diana has worked for mission-driven organizations in a variety of sectors advocating for equitable programs that put people first, especially the underserved. In the same vein, she founded The Latina Upskill Project on a mission to empower Latinas to embrace their lived experience and upskill through education, mentorship, and comunidad. 

Diana holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with minors in Global Studies and Labor & Workplace Studies from UCLA and is currently a graduate student at California State University, Los Angeles completing an MBA with a concentration in human resources. 

She hopes to build strong connections with like-minded leaders through Coro‘s Workforce Leadership Network.

Craig McIntosh
Director of Operations
Craig McIntosh is the Director of Operations for ExED, a back-office provider for Charter Schools in California. He is responsible for the training and development of staff within the organization, and for providing feedback on systems and processes with the intent of suggesting improvements and managing implementation. Craig has worked across nonprofit organizations and is passionate about education and helping those in need. He hopes joining the 2023 Workforce Leadership Network will provide a diverse network of like-minded individuals who want to better themselves and the lives of the people they work with. He also hopes to develop leaders at every level of an organization and engage individuals to be passionate about their work no matter what the task may be.

Devon Miner
Director, Field Implementation Team
Jobs for the Future (JFF)
Devon Miner is a Director for Job for Future’s (JFF) Field Implementation Team. Devon’s work focuses on launching, scaling, and leading initiatives that support workforce intermediaries and boards, education and workforce development systems, nonprofit organizations, and businesses and industries. His work focuses on integrating educational opportunities, workforce initiatives, and economic partnerships to help individuals who have been systematically marginalized transition through postsecondary education into quality jobs that pay family-sustaining wages. Devon hopes to connect, build relationships, and learn from diverse cross-sectoral regional direct service leaders, system leaders, and thought leaders across the field of workforce and education.

Ngoc Nguyen
Advocacy Coordinator, Global Talent Bridge
World Education Services
Ngoc Nguyen (she/her/hers) is the Advocacy Coordinator at World Education Services (WES), where she works on advocacy efforts to promote workforce models that are inclusive of immigrants and refugees who were trained in other countries. As a proud daughter of low-income Vietnamese immigrants who risked everything to come to America, Ngoc is passionate about ensuring that all workers, regardless of their immigration status, have equitable opportunities to thrive in the U.S. Prior to joining WES, Ngoc worked for the US Department of Labor to protect workers’ employment-related benefits and the Cleveland Public Library to manage the development of the first library presence in Asiatown, Cleveland. She graduated from UCLA with degrees in International Development Studies, Asian American Studies, and Sociology. Through the Coro Workforce Leadership Network, Ngoc looks forward to building lasting relationships, improving her leadership skills, and learning from her peers.

Grace Park
Grace Park is CEO of Nuleep where she leads global collaborations, strategic advisory, workforce initiatives, and executive leadership.  She also serves as a strategic advisor and guest lecturer on technology, entertainment, clean technology, DEIA, and workforce sectors at various institutions like USC and LACI. As a native Angeleno, she supported global billion-dollar portfolios to scale companies and leaders across Fortune 500 companies, startups, and nonprofits.  Since her start at The Walt Disney Company, she focused on building integrated workforce solutions and brought those best practices to Nuleep. These workforce solutions include frameworks such as RISE, HEXAGON, BUILD, and ORCA that create access and processes for leaders and innovators. Recently, Grace partnered with global leaders to develop action plans that guide our next generation to lead advisory and corporate boards. With Coro, Grace hopes to build a community of leaders inspired to bring opportunities, education, and jobs to our cities.

Janet Rivera
Evaluation Coordinator and Project Administrator, Community Resilience Team
Community Health Councils
Janet Rivera is currently an Evaluation Coordinator and Project Administrator at Community Health Councils. Her professional responsibilities include the evaluation of the South LA Decides, Best Start Region 2 initiative. This includes developing tools to measure the progress of the project, creating presentations and reports, and analyzing data trends in early childhood education. In addition, she is currently under the Los Angeles County: Trauma Prevention Initiative. In this, she is co-facilitating interviews to form an informed coalition to tackle disparities and offer new approaches at the grassroots level. Trauma is a difficult feat to overcome in communities of color and Janet aspires to inform change by highlighting lived experiences of those impacted. In her spare time, Janet enjoys following education and financial policy news and putting lego-sets together. With the Coro Workforce Leadership Network, Janet is excited to critically understand time-specific barriers to long-term solutions, and learn more from Coro leaders/peers and ethical approaches.

Brenda Sillas
Program Manager, Northeast Youth Workforce Services
Para Los Ninos
Brenda Sillas is the Program Manager at the Para Los Niños Northeast Youth Workforce Services Program. As Program Manager, Brenda oversees the In-School and Out-of-School Youth Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program (WIOA) for youth ages 16-24. She enjoys working closely with the youth/community served through the WIOA program through mentorship and guidance to youth seeking traditional and non-traditional academic/professional career and educational pathways. Brenda hopes to gain a new collaborative network of workforce professionals that are interested in providing young professionals throughout the Southern CA Coro region with a variety of workforce opportunities.

Daniel Valenzuela
Senior Manager, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Services
Daniel Valenzuela is the Senior Manager for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Services at SSG HOPICS. Daniel oversees SUD programs that include the outpatient Drug Medi-Cal (DMC), Recovery Bridge Housing (RBH), Client Engagement and Navigation Services (CENS), and Harm Reduction programs. As the Senior Manager, Daniel is responsible for the programmatic and contract-related tasks associated with all SUD programs and the supervision of the managers that oversee each program. After serving as an infantryman in the Army for six years and completing two combat tours, Daniel continues to show support for veterans. Daniel was most recently part of an event that included a support reunion with fellow veterans who served during combat provided by Warfighter Overwatch to help those who continue to struggle. As a Senior Manager in an organization that in recent years has grown drastically, Daniel hopes to continually gain different leadership practices and skills to further expand his skillset as a leader.

Emily Van Cise
Sr. Director of Health and Wellness
Downtown Women’s Center
Emily Van Cise is the Downtown Women’s Center’s Sr. Director of Health and Wellness and has been at DWC since 2015. She has held several roles while at DWC, including Day Center Services Coordinator, Day Center Case Manager, and Health and Wellness Program Manager. In her current role, she oversees the Day Center, Interim Housing, Health, and Workforce Development programs, connecting participants to basic needs and emergency services. Emily is currently enrolled in Portland State University’s Master of Social Work program, with a focus on macro social work. Emily comes to the Coro program eager to learn more about the Workforce Development community in Los Angeles, especially in relation to supporting staff with lived experience of homelessness.

Emily Van Ostran
Sr. Operations Manager, Chrysalis Staffing
Emily is the Sr. Operations Manager with Chrysalis Staffing. In her role, she oversees an internal team that coordinates 10,000 hours of work per week for individuals who face barriers to employment. She has supported over 50 high-touch customer accounts throughout both Los Angeles and Orange County. These accounts provide the job assignments for workers; for example, during the pandemic, she worked with the City of Los Angeles to staff Project Room Key sites across the city. Emily is a member of the Alternative Staffing Alliance and actively volunteers as a group leader with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). She spends time tending to her plants, practicing yoga, and has exceeded her reading goal for the year. Emily looks forward to the connections that she will make during the WLN program and is eager to be challenged by the exercises covered in this course.