Raza Development Fund’s Legacy Dinner honors
Co-Founders Raul Yzaguirre, Tommy Espinoza, Mark Van Brunt, and outgoing members of the Board of Directors. Together, we celebrate those who started RDF 23 years ago turning a small Hope Fund into the largest Latino-serving Community Development Financial Institution in the country.
Thank you to our event sponsors
Raúl Yzaguirre is without a doubt a trailblazer and icon in the Latino community for his dedication to the civil rights. Through his leadership, Raúl had advocated for affirmative action policies and greater Hispanic representation in government and leadership positions. Raúl’s tireless efforts have been nationally and internationally recognized with various awards including the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award and the Charles Evan Hughes Gold Medal Award. Most recently, Raúl was also honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Since the onset of RDF, Raúl, the then President & CEO of Unidos, championed our CDFIs work as an integral part of the larger UnidosUS community dedicated to emboldening our Latino families.
Tom Espinoza is an icon, a true servant leader and an architect of hope. He has shown the world how to do good by building an organization based on love and<br /> service of the poor. As he led by example, Tom inspired the RDF team to continuously grow professionally and spiritually. He stood as a reminder to give back, pay it forward, stay spiritually grounded and be humble. Our Co-Founder and former President & CEO,<br /> Tom dedicated his career to helping Latino families and individuals live in peace and with dignity through educational opportunity and community/business development.
Mark Van Brunt
Mark Van Brunt is lovingly known in the RDF Familia as the Chief Conscience Officer. As a Co-Founder, and former Executive Vice President, Mark offered guidance and a different perspective to a variety of questions or challenges at the office. Mark lives and embodies servant leadership, always ready to teach others how to live by their values. His passion showed through his entire career with his work at San Juan Diego Institute, at RDF and his previous position as Deputy Vice President of UnidosUS.
Arabella Martinez has served on the RDF’s Board of Directors for over 20 years. The first Latina in US history to be appointed a cabinet level position by President Jimmy Carter, Arabella is a trailblazer. She has brought a depth of board experience and over 40+ years of community development service. Arabella is truly a one-of-a-kind gem who leaves her snippets of wisdom everywhere she goes. RDF is proud to have Arabella Martinez as our Emeritus Board Member
Often, Art Ruiz takes introspective journey along el camino in Spain, and returns encouraging us all to keep learning and growing. Art is a breadth of wisdom, knowledge and history. He is a leader and icon of the Chicano movement. After the first initial State Farm investment, Art has been an integral part of RDF’s formation. His passion for serving our Latino community is imminent upon even a quick interaction with him.
Charles Kamasaki has dedicated his career to policy research and advocacy. He uses his great mind and talent for the written word to pen reports, articles and editorials, and has testified at Congressional and Administrative hearings – all to advocate for Latino civil rights. He shares the challenges of the Latino and other migrant communities through book: Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die. While many of us have the passion and drive to serve our communities, Charles has the factual insights to help make our collective voice louder.
James Feild has said that RDF is a lender with a heart, well Mr. Chairman you are what you feel. We are most grateful for the past 22 years of your service to RDF. You’ve been with us since the start and were an integral part of our formation and helping us learn and achieve major milestones, which has culminated into RDF growing into the largest national Latino CDFI in the country. But even more treasured is the time, heart, and soul you have poured into leading us and believing in RDF and the potential of our Latino communities and poor families across the nation.
Janis Bowdler is a vital voice for Latinos and people of color. She has dedicated her career to tackling racial disparity through economic opportunities. This vibrant and elegant leader serves with heart and intelligence in her commitment to social justice and equity. In a recent speech to college graduates, Janis encouraged the young professionals to shine unapologetically in hopes to bring our communities together. RDF is so proud of her recent appointment to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s first Counselor for Racial Equity.
Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan has devoted her career to community development projects. As our board member, and president of the Low Income Investment Fund, a 36-year-old national nonprofit CDFI, she continuously strives to champion families, invest in innovative and collaborative affordable housing initiatives, advocate for early care and education and healthy foods initiatives. Serving as chair of RDF’s Risk and Loan Committee, Kim has graciously imparted her strong background in risk and asset management to guide RDF’s policies in this important business function.
Ramon Murguía is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the Latino community. His drive and motivation for the work he does can be summarized in the quote by Cornel West “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.” Ramon is a motivator. He is passionate about ensuring the Latino community is seen and heard in important civic discussions and has access to quality K-12 and post-secondary educational opportunities.
Roldan Trujillo may come from a small town in New Mexico, but his knowledge is expansive. Roldan always asks the difficult questions to ensure RDF is venturing in the best possibly direction for growth and in pursuit of its mission. His guidance and insight are revered among the RDF team. With his great mind and passion to serve, Roldan is a leader in community development.