Faye Washington, CEO of YWCA Greater Los Angeles
As Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, Faye Washington is a rainmaker in the world of non-profit. Her 32-year government track record of management, personnel administration, legislative and budget policy development, strategic planning and implementing budgets of over $3 billion created the landscape for her groundbreaking tenure of leading the YWCA Greater Los Angeles in its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
Because of the urgency of the YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ mission, Washington strategically pursues funding opportunities that result in multi-generational impact and long-term residual value for the community at large. She walks with giants and demands the impossible for the sake of those who have no voice or power. Through meticulous hard work, creative vision, audacity, and persistence, Washington has become known as a “game changer.”
In an economy where development is scarce, Washington has successfully orchestrated multi-million dollar facilities that will yield triple net bottom line results year after year for the Los Angeles community. Among these development projects is the state of the art, fully funded Union Pacific Empowerment Center in East Los Angeles. The center offers child development, senior programs, career transitional programs and California High School Exit Exam Preparation courses.
A savant in project development, Washington masterminded the landmark Job Corps Urban Campus. To create revenue to sustain the Urban Campus and YWCA Job Corps programs, Washington lead a seven-year, multi-tiered pitch for funding and received monies allocated by President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Urban Campus is a seven story building with health facilities, library, dining facilities, vocational training classrooms, campus-wide green spaces, dormitory rooms and offices for YWCA staff. The project, completed in April 2012, required $70 million in total project development. Through new market tax credits and other creative financing, Washington masterfully raised the funds required, resulting in a fully funded project. The groundbreaking Urban Campus serves as a home to 400 at risk youth and offers the blueprint to replicate this vision in other urban centers around the country.
Recognized by educational institutions such as the Drucker School of Business and the Graduate School of Non Profit Management, as an authority on strategic non-profit fundraising, Washington is in top demand as a guest lecturer, panelist and keynote speaker across the country. She is associated with several high profile community groups including the United Way, The Links, Municipal Improvement Corp of L.A.; Workforce Investment Board; National Job Corps Assoc.; Downtown Breakfast Club; California Post Secondary Commission; the International Women Leadership Organization and the Affirmative Action Association for Women. Washington’s contributions to the community have earned her numerous recognitions and awards, one of which was the honor bestowed by The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) for her significant contributions to the community and entrepreneurial excellence.
Washington’s philosophy for community programs that embrace the “whole family” approach, including child care, job training, supportive housing and individual empowerment will certainly leave a brilliant legacy of making Los Angeles a better place for its citizens to live, learn and grow.
Thomas Ponce, Lobbyist and 12-year-old Founder of Lobby For Animals
Thomas Ponce, from Casselberry, Florida, is twelve years old and the founder of Lobby for Animals, a new organization helping people lobby their elected representatives, speak up, and take action on issues affecting farmed animals, pets, animals used in entertainment, animal testing and more. Thomas started his career as an animal rights activist at age four. He attended his first protest at age five, and started his first animal rights group in the fourth grade. He has won numerous awards for his activism over the years and was recently named Young Vegan of the Year. In addition to Lobby for Animals Thomas has started his own animal rights club in his middle school called Harley’s Home, and currently has 34 members.