Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation Announces New Trustees
All newcomers are Imperial County residents which was a criterion of eligibility in addition to their commitment to the community. This community representation adds to the profile of the board, which is overall 85% born and raised in the Valley; 70% of the full board/committees are members of families who have been in the Valley for 3-6 generations, and 70% have experienced health inequities such as challenges in getting access and care due to language, literacy, transportation, military status or age. “This lived experience is among the reasons these individuals have been invited to volunteer with the Foundation,” stated Jose Landeros, Chairman, IVWF Board of Trustees.
Yurii Camacho, new IVWF Trustee and Program Committee member, is an English High School Teacher in the Holtville School District, and Commissioner of Children and Families First Commission. She grew up in the City of El Centro and attended school in the Heber Elementary School District and Centro Union High School District. She chairs the California Teachers Association (CTA) Women’s Right Committee. Camacho received an M.S. in Instructional Leadership from National University and her teaching credential and a B.A. from California State University, San Bernardino.
Jazmyn Horton, new IVWF Trustee and Program Committee Member, has experience and training in mental health, public health and community organizing. She is a candidate for Masters of Social Work at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley, where she is also President of Students of Social Work Association on campus and advocates, uplifts and empowers those in the social work profession. Through this association, she has been able to establish a collaborative community-based initiative called The Donation Drive-Thru Project which centers local Imperial Valley charities and organizations in a donation drive event. Horton is currently involved with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW); Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and is a guest speaker on topics revolving around social issues. She is set to start an internship with a local Imperial Valley agency where she will work with more members of the community in impactful ways. Horton earned an Associates in Psychology at Imperial Valley College and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from San Diego State University-IV.
Antonio Romayor, Jr., new IVWF Trustee and Finance Committee Member, is the Chief Technology Officer with El Centro Elementary School District and a director-at-large with California IT in Education (CITE). Romayor has worked in various technology roles for the school district for more than 20 years. Professionally, he is an active member of numerous organizations, including California IT in Education, Association of California School Administrators, Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, and the Imperial Valley Telecommunication Authority. Romayor attended Western Governors University where he earned a Master of Education, Learning and Technology and a B.S. in Business/Information Technology Management.
Ambrose Ramirez, a proud Navy Veteran, is joining the Development Committee for Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation. Professionally, Ramirez has been working with various non-profit organizations as a Veteran Services Coordinator/Programs Coordinator. In this role, he has been offering references to resources needed to help with filing for benefits of disability from the Veterans Administration (VA), as well as coordinating a Veterans support group for mental illness. For the United States Navy, Ramirez served as a Law Enforcement Specialist, providing for public safety by maintaining order; responding to emergencies; protecting people and property; enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. His volunteer community roles include Co-Chair of Imperial County Tobacco-Free Coalition, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Youth Tobacco Movement Project. Ramirez earned a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Studies from Ashford University following his 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy.
IVWF, which is an all-volunteer working board, opened nominations in January 2021 to fill vacancies on its Board of Trustees. There was interest from 17 community stakeholders and ultimately 14 applications were received. Seven applicants were invited for interviews by the IVWF’s Nominating & Governance Committee. The committee considered skill sets; alignment with the Foundation’s mission to advance health and wellness for the County’s most vulnerable as well as lived experiences in the Valley.
“We were impressed with the qualifications of the candidates who showed interest in working with us,” said Jose Landeros, Chair of the IVWF Board of Trustees. “It’s always difficult to make tough decisions when there are only a few vacancies. However, we continue to informally recruit for new committee members which is a great way to learn about IVWF and be ready for a Trustee role when the next one opens up. We’re all locals and welcome inquiries about committee positions and our work.”
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About Imperial Valley Wellness
Recognizing a need for more local funding to support promising health initiatives, a group of Imperial Valley civic leaders joined forces to create the Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation (IVWF). IVWF is a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code formed to advance the health and wellness of vulnerable populations in Imperial County. The San Diego-based Alliance Healthcare Foundation, nationally recognized for its innovative health and wellness initiatives, has offered a $7.5 million matching grant to endow IVWF and has provided other direct funding to support start-up operations and initial grant making. Wholly independent from Alliance Healthcare Foundation and locally governed by its own board of trustees, the Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation is raising an additional $17.5 million through a national capital campaign to create a $25 million endowment that will fund local programs and activities in perpetuity. Visit www.ivwf.org.
IVWF Board of Trustees (3/1/2021)
Jose Landeros, Chair of the Board; Vice President of Sales, David H. West Insurance
Alex Cardenas, Vice Chair; Executive Director, CASA Imperial County
Tim Kelley, Secretary; President & CEO, Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp
Sara Griffen, Executive Director, Imperial Valley Food Bank
Stephen Jaime, Clinical Nurse Specialist of Diabetes Education, El Centro Regional Medical Center
James Garcia, Chair, Program Committee; Owner/Broker, Capital Real Estate
Matthew Jaime, RD, Clinical Dietician, El Centro Regional Medical Center
Jazmyn Horton, Candidate for Masters of Social Work, San Diego State University-Imperial Valley
Antonio Romayor, Jr., Chief Technology Officer, El Centro Elementary School District
Yurii Camacho, English High School Teacher, Holtville School District; Commissioner, Children and Families First Commission
Victor Jaime, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation