Executive Advisory Council
Cindy, who serves as the CEO of TreePeople, is a lifelong Angelena raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She began volunteering with local community organizations at the age of 12.
Her love for the environment began with her family. Cindy’s mother was raised in a remote, mountainous region of Veracruz, Mexico and her father in the dry border state of Chihuahua.
Her parents ignited a passion for the environment in Cindy at an early age when they pointed out environmental injustices in their neighborhood. As a family, they participated in tree plantings and, blessed them with visits to state and national parks and encouraged the kids to pursue careers in social justice.
At the age of 25, Cindy was elected as the youngest mayor and councilmember of her hometown of San Fernando. At 28 years old, she made history by becoming the youngest woman elected to the California State Legislature, where she became a champion for the environment, sustainable urban planning and social justice.
Cindy then moved on to serve as Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she was a core part of the team transitioning the nation’s largest publicly-owned utility to cleaner energy and a more sustainable local water supply.
Director of Community Relations & Public Affairs
Goodwill Industries of Southern California
Executive Advisory Council
Stephanie Medina is a seasoned nonprofit leader with strong media and communications expertise. She currently serves as the Director of Community Relations & Public Affairs at Goodwill Southern California, advising the senior team on media strategy, governmental affairs, and overall community engagement. Prior to this role, Stephanie was named Interim President and CEO at Heal the Bay, one of the environmental movement’s most influential organizations. Stephanie was named the Sr. Vice President, Community Relations & Volunteerism for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles. Just prior to this position, she was the Corporate Initiative Marketing Manager at KTLA5 Television in Los Angeles, arriving at KTLA after 20 years at KCAL and 8 years with CBS2 after the stations merged in 2002. Her roles at KCAL/CBS2 included Director of Public Affairs, News Assignment Manager, Special Projects News Producer, and Assignment Editor. For two seasons she produced KCAL’s “Crosscheck”, the Emmy nominated public affairs program. Stephanie has been honored with four Emmy Awards, 3 Golden Mikes from the Radio Television News Association and an Imagen Award.
Medina served as Chairman of the board of Heal the Bay. She has also served on the boards and/or advisory boards of Full Circle Learning, Nonprofit Communications and Media Network (formerly PIRATES), Special Olympics Southern California, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Valley Economic Alliance, and Ability First.
Vice President, Education and Immigration
California Community Foundation
Efrain Escobedo is vice president in charge of education and immigration programs at California Community Foundation. Escobedo has had an extensive career, dedicated to increasing civic engagement and ensuring public policies and institutions not just serve but also empower our communities. He has worked nationally and locally on efforts to increase citizenship, voter participation and the Census and is recognized nationally and locally as an active leader and expert in Latino civic engagement and elections policy. Escobedo earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies and ethnicity from the University of Southern California and is a recent graduate of the Los Angeles County Executive Leadership Program.
Nature for All
Belinda Faustinos is the Executive Director of Nature for All. Prior, Belinda served as the Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC). She was also the Executive Officer of three joint powers entities: the Watershed Conservation Authority, the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority and the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority. She retired from these positions in May of 2011. A native of Southern California, Belinda was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
Mark formerly served as President of the environmental group Heal the Bay, and was their first employee hired 20 years ago. Heal the Bay is an environmental group dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. Mark received his Bachelors and Masters in Biology and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA. He has been inducted into the UCLA School of Public Health Hall of Fame, and has received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and the Aspen Institute Catto Fellowship. Mark has worked extensively over the last 20 years in the field of coastal protection and water pollution
Resource Legacy Fund
Alfredo Gonzalez leads efforts across programs to broaden and diversify the conservation constituency with a specific focus on actively engaging urban, Latino, underserved, and younger Californians at Resource Legacy Fund. Previously, he served as director of the South Coast and Desert Region for The Nature Conservancy of California, managing programs in Southern California including a Los Angeles-based urban strategies project and a renewable energy initiative. He also oversaw land protection and habitat enhancement efforts in the Tehachapi Mountains, Riverside County, San Diego County, and the watersheds of the Santa Clara and Armargosa Rivers.
Veronica is Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful, Pacoima Beautiful, a grassroots environmental justice organization that provides education, impacts local policy, and supports local arts and culture in order to promote a healthy and sustainable San Fernando Valley. Veronica grew up in Sun Valley and now lives in Sylmar with her family. She serves as a City of Los Angeles Planning Commissioner and as an Urban Planner works to improve the welfare of people by creating equitable, healthy, and safer communities.