Veronica Vences, Entrepreneurship Director
As the Latino Community Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Director, Veronica is eager to continue putting her passion and values into practice to scale LCF’s efforts in unleashing the economic power of Latinos across the state.
The belief that economic justice is social justice has long been a core value that has shaped Veronica’s service and commitment to the comunidad. Born and raised in Sonoma County where her parents settled to work the land after emigrating from Mexico, Veronica knows that she stands on the shoulders of many who have sacrificed a great deal to pave her a path towards a better future. Fueled by her family experiences, she believes that everyone deserves access to resources and opportunities to thrive – she is living proof of what is possible when this is a reality.
Veronica has built her career around examining the circumstances that create social inequities and creating viable ways to achieve transformative change. She has a range of unique experiences, including serving within local government institutions, various community-based organizations, and international NGO’s. She spent four years with the Sonoma County Human Services Department’s Economic Assistance team where she played a critical role in deploying safety net programs that our community relied on during the 2008 recession. She has contributed to research and evaluation efforts both domestically and internationally, including at 826 National, supporting a network of nine writing and tutoring centers as they evaluated their student’s work through an equity lens, and at Kari Grande in Cusco, Peru, where she led research efforts to better understand the impact of social variables on the academic performance of youth.
Most recently, Veronica served for seven years at La Luz Center, Sonoma Valley’s leading Latino advocacy organization. She has been on “ground-zero” while two major crises hit the community: the Northern California Wildfires of 2017 and COVID-19. She witnessed first-hand the devastation these events caused on our hard-working Latino community, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. She understands what a just and culturally aligned response looks like as she led the distribution of more than $1.5 million in direct relief services through both crises, including distribution of micro-loans to small businesses, the development of a construction training program, execution of a vaccine equity campaign, and influencing local policy to achieve long-term transformational change for her community.
Veronica received bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Urban Studies from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in Applied Economics from San Jose State University.
Veronica is reminded of the privilege she holds by having been born in “El Norte.” Her father is originally from Michoacán and her mother is from Toluca. She visits often and continuously falls in love with the food, people, and culture. She loves to travel, volunteer, and spend time with her husband and son. They hope to one day have a home in Mexico and continue nourishing the roots they are ever so proud of.