Javier Martínez – Executive Director
Javier Martínez has been a tireless advocate for New Mexico’s communities almost 20 years. Javier’s career started in 2000 as a community organizer in Albuquerque’s historic Barelas, Wells Park, and Sawmill neighborhoods. In 2001 he was hired by PCA, where he developed a reputation for being highly effective as a consensus builder, a tough negotiator, and an advocate for working families .Over time, Javier’s work extended to Albuquerque’s North and South Valley, working with neighborhoods to improve public safety, public schools, and to secure public infrastructure projects.
Javier’s story is predicated upon the American Dream. His parents, Javier and Ana, came to New Mexico in search of a better future for their two children, Javier and Viridiana. Javier is a product of Albuquerque’s public schools and graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law, becoming the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. Javier lives in the near North Valley with his wife Diana, their daughter, Marisela, and son, Camilo. Aside from his role at PCA, Javier also serves his community on various non-profit boards and as a member of the NM State Legislature.
Mayra Acevedo – Community Advocacy Manager
Mayra Acevedo was born and raised in the state of California. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. While an undergraduate student, Ms. Acevedo coordinated PCA’s youth coalition, called “Stepping Out of the Box.” Through her internship experience she was able to understand the functions and operations of the organization. Currently, Ms. Acevedo is the Community Advocacy Manager at PCA. She has been with the organization since 2012. She is very proud of the work PCA continues to cultivate with the community.
Adrián A. Pedroza – Social Enterprise Project Lead
Adrián A. Pedroza, is the new Social Enterprise Director for the Partnership for Community Action. Previously, Adrián worked with the University of New Mexico High School Equivalency and College Assistance Migrant Programs, which provide educational opportunities to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. In addition, Adrián worked for former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman in New Mexico. Under Governor Bill Richardson, Adrián was appointed to the inaugural Hispanic Education Advisory Council. He is currently a Commissioner on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics serving on the Early Learning Sub-Committee. Adrián serves on the National Advisory Board for the early childhood school readiness and parent engagement curriculum Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, and is on the Advisory Board of the NM Center for School Leadership. In 2012, Adrian received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Recently, he was selected to be a part of the WK Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Fellowship Program- where he will work with diverse leaders to strengthen networks and communities to become vigorous advocates for vulnerable children and their families. He holds a B.A. in political science and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico. Adrián is most proud of his family- his wife Valerie, seven year old daughter Mariana and four year old son Marco.
Dennis Aragon – Office Manager
Dennis J. Aragon is the office manager at the Partnership for Community Action. He has worked with PCA for the past seven years, but started with the Partnership as a volunteer in 1999. In these seven years, Dennis has worked with the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Parenting program. Before joining the Partnership, Dennis was program manager for the Barelas Learning Center for fourteen years. The first Abriendo Puertas class offered by the Partnership was at the Barelas Learning Center. Dennis is married to Ivette Aragon and they have two children Xavier and Daniela. Dennis is a strong advocate for children, families and immigrants.
Antonio Granillo – Community Advocate
Antonio Granillo works under the Community Advocacy Manager to improve evaluation methods of the Abriendo Puertas program and develops regular communication for families and community members through email and social media. Antonio leads the Youth Employment Summer Institute (YES!) during the summer where student interns work on projects that engage their personal interests and develop lasting relationships with the PCA. Through his neighborhood association, Vecinos del Bosque, Antonio became involved with PCA and its neighborhood advocacy program, which soon led to his first job as a summer intern in high school. He studies Political Science at the University of New Mexico, and he regularly performs on the stage with Working Classroom, an arts organization that explores social justice through original plays and visual art.
Rosa Cardenas – Community Advocate
Rosa Cardenas coordinates the PCA’s economic justice strategies, including the PCA Small Loan Program. Under the Community Advocacy Manager, Rosa implements financial literacy training for Communities for Education and Action (CEA) participants, establishes one-on-one coaching opportunities for borrowers, and facilitates a peer support group.
Jaen Ugalde – President
Jaen Emmanuel Ugalde Becerra is a native Mexicano and is currently serving as a Community Capacity Builder with the Community Engagement Center (CEC) at PCA. Jean works in partnership with community to support students, and develop leadership for capacity building, community organizing and civic engagement. In 2012, Mr. Ugalde received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico and is currently working on a masters in language literacy and sociocultural studies with a concentration in bilingual education. For the past ten years he has been involved in cultivating leadership and is inspired to devoting his life to working with undocumented students and families.
Dr. Kristine Suozzi – Vice-President
Kristine Suozzi, Ph.D. is a former New Mexico of Health Department/ Public Health Division Director, the current coordinator for the New Mexico Health Equity Working Group, and a member of the Bernalillo County Place Matters Team. Dr. Suozzi has dedicated her professional career to promoting community health equity and reducing disparities. She worked as an evaluator for the Partnership for Community Action before joining the Board in 2013.
Bernadette Miera – Treasurer
Bernadette is a 13th generation New Mexican (yes, you read right—her family dates back to the 1600s in NM). Bernadette Miera’s main goal in her job as Bernalillo County Neighborhood Program Coordinator is to create better communication between residents and county government. Miera earned her master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico in July 2002. She graduated from UNM two years earlier with a bachelor’s degree in University Studies. She has operated a planning/facilitation consulting company as well as a legal research/courier business. Bernadette is actively involved in the community as a board member of Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Mother of Mercy Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, Martineztown House of Neighborly Services, the Partnership for Community Action and Amigos y Amigas, all non-profit organizations serving Bernalillo County residents.
Sandy Martinez Pino – Secretary
Sandy Martinez Pino is one of the founding Board Members of the Partnership for Community Action, and has actively participated in campaigning through the Partnership for the underserved in education and civil rights for the past 20 plus years. Sandy worked at the Albuquerque Police Department for 25 years, retiring and coming back half time with the APD crime prevention unit, where she helps to form neighborhood watch programs, teach armed robbery trainings, and assist the community in personal safety and identity theft. Sandy has been an amateur and professional boxing judge for 27 years. She served as president of USA Boxing for twelve years, which has over 60,000 members nationwide. Most recently she has judged the last two world title fights for Holly Holm and worked recently on ESPN in two title fights. Sandy is also a softball coach and has two daughters, Alexis who teaches 4th grade at Kit Carson Elementary School and Angela who is a compensation analyst at PNM, and four grandchildren, Dominique, Ciara, Yarelis and Alexis Jr.
Susy Sarmiento – Board Member
Susy Sarmiento, a PCA board member since October January 2016, was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, and comes from a family of low-income Mexican immigrant parents. Currently, Susy holds the position of the Site Director at the Family Independence Initiative (FII), a national non-profit organization working with low-income families to lead their own change. Prior to FII, Susy worked in the higher education sector for 16 years at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) helping underrepresented populations advance in school and connect to resources. She has been a guest speaker at various community functions motivating audiences with her personal story. Susy holds a BBA from UNM and is the first in her family to earn a college degree.