The Lower Columbia Hispanic Council has been privileged to have had Jorge Gutierrez as our executive director for six years. As it happens with talented people, he is leaving the position for a great opportunity in Seattle.

The area Latino community, as well as the community at large, will feel the void. Jorge arrived when the Hispanic Council was struggling to survive. He came, and having had no experience with social work, completely turned the organization from a one-man show, a struggling board and a skimpy budget to a team of eight staff members and a full-functioning board of directors.

He wrote grants for programs related to the Oregon Health Plan, school programs for students and their parents, such as Abriendo Puertas and Juntos, Individual Development Account (IDA) programs through Court Appointed Special Advocates to match savings three to one to pursue higher education or to start a business, and La Cima leadership camp for youth, just to mention a few of the programs.

It is rare to find quality people willing to run a nonprofit organization in a rural area such as ours. Jorge has made a mark that will be impossible to erase, and we hope to be able to find someone that will continue what he did so well. ¡Gracias Jorge! ¡Te vamos a extrañar!

ROCIO LIZARRAGA SIMMONS

Astoria

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