Anita Maldonado Named Chief Executive Officer

New CEO to set future course for anti-poverty agency celebrating 50 years

California Human Development (CHD), a leader in the War on Poverty serving farmworkers and others of low income for 50 years, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Anita Maldonado, Ph.D. as incoming Chief Executive Officer. Maldonado will join CHD on April 17, 2017 and work with retiring CEO Christopher Paige during a two-month transition period. Maldonado comes to CHD with an extensive background in social services and community action; she is currently the Chief Operating Officer for IMPACT Community Action in Columbus, Ohio.

“This is the perfect time for Anita Maldonado to join California Human Development, as the agency prepares to serve low income communities for the next 50 years and beyond,” said CHD Board Chair Miguel Mejia. “She’s a very strong leader coming in to assist our most impoverished communities at a crucial time. We are excited by her breadth of experience and perspective, which encompasses nonprofit leadership in programmatic, operations, fundraising and executive capacities.”

Maldonado was selected following an extensive nationwide and international search, led by Sonoma County’s Leap Solutions Group. She joins CHD in the midst of the agency’s milestone 50th Anniversary celebration and will serve as only the fourth chief executive officer in the organization’s rich and lengthy history.

“I’m pleased to welcome Anita Maldonado and confident that she’ll ensure excellent service to those we assist across northern California” said Chris Paige, who retires in June following 42 years with CHD. “My plan, meantime, is to enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle while also remaining actively involved with CHD’s mission, staff, clients and partners,” he adds.

“It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve California Human Development in its 50th year,” said Maldonado. “As the incoming CEO, I am looking forward to carrying on the legacy of the founders as well as building upon what my predecessor Chris Paige accomplished during his tenure. I’m committed to advancing the work that CHD is doing for the communities it serves and am thrilled to work with the Board and the talented staff and volunteers to take the agency to the next level.”

Maldonado’s extensive experience focuses on development and successful program implementation serving people of low income, including emergency assistance, financial services, workforce development, re-entry, youth services and affordable housing, among other programs. She is also a member of the adjunct faculty at Franklin University and Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Maldonado will lead CHD’s team of 240 staff based in Santa Rosa and with offices across northern California. The agency, which was inspired in service to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in 1967, is today a non-profit, human services provider waging the War on Poverty across 31 northern California counties. CHD creates opportunities for people from all walks of life who struggle in the grips of poverty to achieve self-sufficiency. Through training and employment, affordable housing, immigration assistance, disABILITY services and recovery from addiction, CHD gives those who labor most a hand up to the American Dream. To date, the agency has served over 500,000 people and counting.


To Do List for Young Dreamer

1. Renew DACA  

2. Work/Save $$  

3. Go to College  

4. Get Married

 5. Take care of sisters (?)

When Andrik walked into the CHD office in Santa Rosa this morning, he had a pocket full of hard-earned cash and his mind set to take care of business fast! Andrik is a “Dreamer” who lives in Sonoma County under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Called “DACA,” the program provides young people illegally brought to the U.S. as children with work permits and relief from deportation. DACAs must be renewed every two years and for Andrik that time is now.

“I’ve been so busy applying for jobs and working that it kind of slipped my mind, plus I had to save up the money,” says Andrik. “But then, with everything that’s been going on with immigration, I figured I better stop putting it off and get it done today,” he adds.

Born in Cordoba Vera Cruz, Mexico and brought to Sonoma County when he was just three years old, Andrik recalls sleeping in the attic of a home in Petaluma, sharing a bed with his folks (which he thought was ‘awesome’) and drinking American milk for the first time (‘gross’… but now his preference). He attended grammar school, junior high and high school all in Sonoma County, has never returned to Mexico and considers himself American. He dreams of earning a college degree in business management. He’s also in love and plans to get married soon to a U.S. citizen. Their union will not only fulfill his heart’s desire but also allow him to seek a green card and ultimately citizenship in the only land he’s ever loved.

In many ways, Andrik’s dreams are shaping up nicely. But there’s a catch. His parents do not have documents and he has two underage sisters who were born here. “If my parents are forced to leave, I will stay and take care of my sisters. Though this is hardly anyone’s dream,” he says.

Andrik and his family, like so many others, anxiously await details on promised immigration reform and how those reforms will be implemented. Meantime, Andrik’s DACA renewal is heading to DC for approval. Pending any unforeseen difficulties, it will provide him with two more years of protection to pursue his American Dream.

Dreamers in need of DACA renewal assistance are encouraged to call CHD’s immigration experts at 707.523.1155, ext. 4721.

“Dream” Alive, DACA Support & Work Continues

A new contribution to the Dream Fund is infusing more than just financial support to California Human Development’s (CHD) work for young immigrant “Dreamers,” who are protected by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

“I believe the support of our Dream Fund very clearly signifies that many within our community stand behind our Dreamers and are opposed to any effort that would force them to leave the communities they call home,” says Chis Paige, CEO of California Human Development. “These donors are saying in a very tangible way that we need DACA and we need to protect our Dreamers,” he adds.

The DACA program launched in 2012 protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, giving them the temporary right to live and work here on a renewable basis every two years. President Trump has promised to dismantle DACA. Since then, CHD and many other immigration service providers have been quickly working to processes DACA renewals prior to changes being implemented. During this time of uncertainty, most immigration experts are not processing new DACA applications. 

The Dream Fund launched in December represents community contributions to pay the $495 federal processing fee for DACA renewals. The fee, which must be paid every two years, is too steep for many and often prevents Dreamers from maintaining their DACA. With the newest Dream Fund contribution of $2500, CHD can pay the federal processing fee for an additional five DACA renewal applicants. Grant funding from the California Department of Social Services also allows CHD’s accredited immigration experts to help Dreamers prepare their applications at no cost.

Dreamers in need of DACA renewal assistance are encouraged to call 707.523.1155, ext. 4721.

Contributions to the Dream Fund may be made through CHD’s online giving portal, or give John Way, Community Investments Manager a call at 707.523.1155, ext. 4788.





CHD Supports California Values Act

BE IT RESOLVED that  the  Board  of  Directors of California Human Development  hereby  supports  SB 54  the California Values Act which  would  prevent  the use of state and local public resources to aid federal immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) agents in deportation actions. SB 54 is consistent  with  our  values of  supporting  the millions  of undocumented residents  that  are here in California  pursuing  and contributing to the  American Dream.  We note  that  the  California Values Act does not prevent state and local departments or agencies from complying with a  judicial   warrant   to  transfer   violent   offenders   into   federal  custody  for immigration enforcement purposes.  We also note  that SB 54 supports public safety  because  when  victims  of  crime  do  not  come  forward for  fear  of immigration consequences, the negative impact on public safety impacts all of us.

Duly adopted  by the  Board of Directors  of California  Human Development  at the Regular Board meeting in Santa Rosa,California on January 28th, 2017.