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Staff Spotlight: Development Coordinator

Isla Martinez

Marketing and PR Coordinator

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) wants you to learn more about our amazing staff, the individuals behind the work of our programs including the Hispanic Heritage Awards, Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT), Youth AwardsCode as a Second Language and other initiatives.

HHF is a team of 18 individuals working out of our Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices, among others. We introduce you to Jessica Herrera, Development Coordinator.

Jessica was born in South Los Angeles and was raised in South Central Los Angeles. She comes from a huge loving family and has 2 sisters, 2 brothers, 13 nieces and nephews and is the 2nd youngest child! Growing up Jessica enjoyed doing makeup and hair for all those around her. She saw herself becoming a middle school teacher, then a doctor, and now is focused on mathematics and finance.

She attended Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School where she was class president her junior and senior years, helping with fundraising for her class and putting all the details together for prom! Jessica was also involved in baking class, drama, cross country club, and ran the LA Marathon her senior year. After graduating high school she continued her studies at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, while attending Los Angeles Southwest College, majoring in Mathematics.

Jessica’s first job was a team associate at Wetzel’s Pretzels when she was 19. Fast forward 2 years later, she transitioned into her role as LOFT Investors Forum Associate at HHF! Shortly before working with the Foundation, Jessica had volunteered for our LOFT Coder Summit, and fell in love with the work HHF was doing across the country.

As LOFT Investors Forum Associate, she was preparing to put together an awesome Forum this year, with the guidance from Emanuel Pleitez, Board Chair at HHF.

“The LOFT Investors Forum educates and trains our Latino community related to investments and best practice, connects Latinos in the finance space with each other. The Forum provides a platform for young Latino professionals to grow into senior roles within asset management,” said Jessica.

Monika Mantilla, President and CEO of Altura Capital/ Board Member at HHF, and Emanuel Pleitez have also been huge supporters for Jessica.

This year’s LOFT Investors Forum took place on June 21st and June 22nd in Chicago! Jessica secured many sponsors for the Forum, which included Guggenheim, The Rock Creek Group, LM Capital Group, Carpenter Company, Robbins Arroyo LLP, Garcia Hamilton and Associates, GCM Grosvenor and many others!

With such a huge event there are challenges, but Jessica is a 23- year -old working with finance professionals in the investment industry, and that speaks for itself. “One of my biggest challenges this year was working directly with sponsors, but I learned a lot along the way, and I am now working with the Development team, which I am so excited about.”

When Jessica first started with the Foundation she wanted to execute a successful Forum, and learn as much as she could along the way, whether it was through communication, outreaching, Jessica was eager to dive into different roles and support in any way that she could. Now, as a new member of the Development team, she wants to be successful in securing sponsors, and making sure that deliverables are met and captured in every way. “That is an important component in my new role, making sure that I capture everything, my new goal is to learn the in’s and out’s of fundraising, thinking bigger picture now, and helping others be successful in their roles as well.”

Where does Jessica see HHF moving forward? “I see HHF growing into a bigger caliber, whether it is through our Code as a Second Language (CSL) Initiative, LOFT Source, which I think is a fantastic part of HHF. We are helping Latina and Latino professionals break into the industry, whether it is through tech, finance, we are breaking down the stigma that there is no Latino talent, we have so much to offer.”

What does Jessica want you to know about her? “I really enjoy doing makeovers, I like highlighting people’s unique features and making them feel comfortable, I think it’s a Libra thing. I am still trying to figure out what my particular style is, and I love seeing what other people have to show the world.”

Jessica’s work at HHF does not go unnoticed, thank you for your commitment Jessica, HHF is lucky to have you! Stay tuned to learn more about our staff in the weeks to come.