Latino Board Leadership Academy

More Latinos in the Board Room

Now Accepting Applications!

San Mateo County Cohort: April - July 2020
Please apply before Friday, April 3rd to be considered for the Class XVI cohort in San Mateo County.

Apply Today!

2019 LBLA Class XIV

The Latino Board Leadership Academy trains Latinos to volunteer their time in leadership roles as board members of nonprofits in our region. Nonprofit boards should reflect the community they serve and our LBLA addresses the leadership gap in order to better improve the needs of the Latino community in Silicon Valley.

Why is this important?

A study conducted by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley less than 3% of nonprofits in Silicon Valley have Latinos serving on their nonprofit board. While Latinos greatly under-report their volunteer activity, the LBLA program recruits, trains, and guides Latinos to maximize their impact.

What are the results?

In addition to recruiting, training, and guiding Latinos to maximize their impact as board members, we match them with boards of nonprofit organizations whose missions best match their personal interests.

• Over 400 Senior Fellows have graduated from LBLA
• 75% of graduates have been placed on nonprofit boards

Latino Board Leadership Academy Applications Now Open!

San Mateo County Cohort: April - July 2020
Please apply before Friday, April 3rd to be considered for the Class XVI cohort in San Mateo County.

Apply Today!

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LBLA Professional Instructors

Ron Gonzales
President & CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Ron Gonzales is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. Gonzales has over 35 years of technology and public policy experience. Prior to leading the Hispanic Foundation, he was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Presencia, LLC. Presencia, LLC provides marketing and sales consulting services in the government, education, enterprise and SMB markets.

From 1999-2006, Gonzales served as Mayor of San José, the Capital of Silicon Valley and the nation’s 10th largest city. His achievements included nationally recognized initiatives that strengthened neighborhoods, improved public education, and ensured the economic vitality of the city with high quality public services and effective solutions to affordable housing and regional transportation projects. Before his election as Mayor, Gonzales worked as an executive with the Hewlett-Packard Company, in the areas of marketing, human resources, and corporate philanthropy.

Gonzales served for eight years (1989-1996) on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. As a two-time mayor and member of the Sunnyvale City Council (1979-1987), Gonzales helped initiate governmental efficiency measures that were recognized in the best-selling book Reinventing Government. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Notre Dame de Namur University, KIPP Bay Area Schools, and Save The Bay. He is married to Guisselle Nuñez and they live in downtown San Jose.

Kyra Kazantzis
Silicon Valley Council of Networks (SVCN)

Kyra Kazantzis has been a nonprofit professional, community leader, and public servant in Silicon Valley for over 25 years. Her most recent role was Senior Policy Advisor to San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, focused on solving San José’s housing and homelessness crisis. 

Her prior role as a longtime directing attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley saw her leading teams of in-house and law firm pro bono attorneys in conducting strategic impact policy advocacy and litigation in a wide variety of issue areas—fair housing, affordable housing, civil rights, inmate rights, consumer protection, disability rights, and poverty; Kyra co-founded the Law Foundation’s innovative Fair Housing Law Project. 

Kyra has a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinction and honors from the University of Arizona. She has served on the governance boards of SVCN, MACLA, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) and is a long-time volunteer at Children’s Musical Theater, San Jose. In 2013, Kyra was named as SCCBA’s Professional Lawyer of the Year and, in 2012, was listed as a woman of influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Kyra is a proud member of ALF’s Urbanism Class XXXVI, and lives in downtown San José with her husband Eric, teen-aged daughter Kassia, and rescue dog Leila.

Illyasha Peete
Leadership Development Specialist at the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN)

Illyasha (Illy) is a Leadership Development Specialist at CEN has served as a corporate trainer and as an adjunct college professor, but is most proud of her ability to lead and unite a team of varying experience levels and inspire them to meet and exceed the designated goals. Her experience as a real estate professional, with a multi-million-dollar portfolio, armed her with the ability to market effectively, negotiate contracts, and manage finances. As a nonprofit leader, she was able to cultivate fee-for-service models which catapulted the organization into a stronger financial position. Illy earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University in human resource management and her master's in business administration from Ashford University with a focus in global management.

Jennifer Simmons

Jennifer “Jen” Simmons has over 20 years’ experience in the public, high tech and non-profit sectors.  Jennifer is currently an independent consultant specializing in board governance, nonprofit management and interior design.

Jen is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and is currently getting a Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture & Design from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. 

Jen’s nonprofit experience includes serving as the Executive Director for the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN).  Prior to joining CEN, Jen worked with Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley as their Executive Director and in 2012 she led the organization through a strategic merger.  Jennifer has also worked at Infineon Technologies and for local County and State elected officials. 

Jennifer is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow - Class 31, a 2010 graduate of CEN’s Leadership Institute and, in 2012, she was named one of the "100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley" by the San Jose Business Journal.  Jennifer’s community involvement includes membership in the San Jose Downtown Rotary Club where she is very involved in the Enterprise Leadership Program that trains high school juniors business planning skills.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Santa Cruz in Political Science.

Kay Sprinkel Grace

Kay Sprinkel Grace is an internationally acclaimed independent consultant, speaker, facilitator, and writer. After successful careers in journalism and education, she became a development professional in 1979, working in several organizations before starting her own consulting firm in 1989. She understands the challenges of 21st century philanthropy as well as its opportunities, and brings her experience from working with countless nonprofit organizations to bear on the current issues affecting donor development, fund raising, outreach, message strategy and volunteerism.

As principal of her own organization since 1989, her clients include public media, hospitals, universities, arts and cultural organizations, environment and social justice organizations, churches and education, as well as community-based services. She is the author of seven books related to philanthropic practices and board engagement. In 2013, she was awarded the Henry A. Rosso Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fund Raising by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. The Rosso Medal recognizes lifelong dedication to emphasizing philanthropy's ethics and values, acting as a mentor to perpetuate and invigorate philanthropic traditions, and noted leadership in a long, productive career of distinction. In 2017, she was recognized in the first class of Distinguished Fellows of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

As a volunteer, she serves on the Advisory Boards of the Czech Fundraising Institute, Prague, Czech Republic, and The Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco.  She is President of the governing board of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco.  

She lives and works in San Francisco and is passionate about her family, philanthropy, writing, travel and her photography.

Nelson Layag
Nelson is a certified coach, consultant, facilitator and trainer for nonprofit leaders and organizations.  His passion is working with people and organizations who fight for justice in our society and community. His work includes performance management/staffing, coaching and communications, project management, boards of directors, and leadership development.  He is a certified leadership coach through Leadership That Works.  For nearly 24 years, his work not only focused on developing learning programs for CompassPoint but also facilitated trainings on topics including leadership, performance management, group facilitation, project management, and instructional design. Most recently, he was the project lead on a year long project focused on diversity, equity and inclusion for a national environmental justice organization. Currently, he serves as the board president of Filipino Advocates for Justice.

Prior to joining CompassPoint, he was a youth group home supervisor for Star House in San Jose and social worker serving at risk youth in Baltimore. Nelson earned a BA in Business Administration and Marketing from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD and was part of a group of students that helped lead the development of what soon became the Center for Values and Service at Loyola.

Guisselle Nuñez

Guisselle Nuñez is a dynamic, hands-on, and insightful personal brand expert who provides participants with bite-sized, quick and easy techniques to help them weave personal branding into their daily professional and personal actions.

Mrs. Nuñez, a seasoned, marketing, and communications professional, has taken her personal experience of building and managing her personal brand in the face of many challenging personal and professional situations and has developed a unique curriculum, techniques, and insights to personal branding.

In her effort to expand her reach and help more people reach their professional and personal goals (with a special emphasis on helping Latina professional women), for over a decade, she has taught workshops on personal branding and has taken that knowledge and poured it into her book “Take Charge of your Brand.”  

She conducts marketing and personal branding workshops for private, public and non-profit sector clients. Her experience as a speaker also includes keynote speeches, panels and as an Emcee for fundraising events. Born in Nicaragua, and raised in San Jose, CA, she is also fluent in Spanish. Guisselle is not only a graduate from Santa Clara University but she is a member of its Board of Regents

Christina Hudnall
Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Staffing at IMPEC Group

Christina is a consummate professional having honed her skills at such companies as Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Torchmark Corp. Christina is an expert in Recruiting & Selection, Compensations/Benefits, Employee Relations, Training & Development, Policy Design and Administration, Operations Management and ATS / CSM Administration. Christina also brings significant experience with multi-site businesses, most recently as a Head of HR and Recruiting at Berman Skin Institute. On personal note, Christina loves to stay active – she’s a competitive hiker, enjoys cycling and tries to catch a few waves surfing when the weather gets warm.

Program Partners

LBLA Funders