Board of Directors
Beatriz has been a dedicated employee of BAHIA for 31 years, 22 years as the executive director. She was overwhelmingly elected in 2009 as School board member and served as president in 2011 and running for re-election in November 2012. In addition to these responsibilities, Ms. Leyva-Cutler is co-chair to the Chicana/Latina Foundation Board of Directors and a board member to the National Latino Children’s Institute. She is also on the advisory board of Somos Familia, a Latino family support organization for families with children/youth who are LGTBQ.
She has been recognized for her service and commitment as a community leader. She has been honored as Woman of the Year by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock; with the KPFA Radio Peace and Justice Award; as a leader in education by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as well as featured on “Profiles of Excellence” by ABC/Channel 7.
A graduate of San Francisco State, Beatriz received her M.A. from Pacific Oaks College. She is an alumna of EMERGE California, which prepares democratic women for political office and attended the LeaderSpring Institute, which provides a two-year fellowship for non-profit executive directors.
Board Vice President
Michael Aldaco is a retired higher education executive. He began as a counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program at UC Santa Barbara. When he retired from the University in 2008 he was serving as the Assistant Vice President for Student Development & Academic Services for the University of California system. His entire 36 year career centered around educational equity. In each position he held he worked on increasing the number of students from groups who were underrepresented in higher education, who were academically prepared to succeed in rigorous academic programs, and who graduate from college. He has deep experience in data analysis, staff management and development, budget development and management, and service delivery. When he led California’s Statewide Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program, the organization was awarded the prestigious 2001 Innovations in American Government award from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
Michael graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1975. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and a M.A. in Education. Michael and his wife, Luci Castruita, have three children and three grandchildren. Two of their children, Natalia and Nico, attended Centro Vida as did one of their granddaughters, Cristina.
The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Irma was born in Oakland, California, but grew up in Berkeley, where she attended public schools. Spanish is her first language and she was educated in a bilingual environment from kindergarten through fifth grade. As a result, she experienced first hand, the beauty and struggles of growing up in two linguistic and cultural worlds.
Irma has a long personal and professional history with BAHIA. She began, as a summer youth intern at Centro Vida where she was a teacher assistant and later a part time office assistant at both Centro Vida and Bahia. It was during this time she left to attend college, but returned to BAHIA as a parent, where her children attended La Academia and Bahia. Irma double majored and received her BA in Sociology and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining BAHIA's board, Irma served as a room parent at her daughter's transitional kindergarten class, room parent for La Academia, president of the English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) at The Berkeley Arts Magnet School, and interim co-chair of the Evaluation Committee for Marin County's Public Assistance Redesign Team. Irma continues to be a parent advocate of English learners within the Berkeley Unified School District and currently serves on the program committee for BAHIA. Irma has been a board member since July 2015 and believes language acquisition should be fostered in a child's early and primary developmental years, along with promoting a strong cultural heritage.
Sr. Prospect Analyst University Development and Alumni Relations,
Vladimir Foronda is Senior Prospect Analyst on the University Development and Alumni Relations department at UC Berkeley. Since joining Cal's Prospect Development team in 2014, Vladimir has focused on performing affinity-based prospecting, portfolio optimization, and donor pool analysis to further the university's fundraising efforts. He has also provided assistance to a number of smaller units that lack the resources and/or know-how to undertake prospecting projects. Vladimir enjoys applying his problem-solving skills to tackle varied projects that often involve dealing with large volumes of information with the aim of positioning his clients to succeed. He has taught database use, reporting, and search classes as well as provided customized one-on-one trainings, and actively participates in working groups and other efforts to improve data collection, data quality, and reporting. Prior to his current position at Cal, Vladimir worked at UC Davis, Earthjustice, a national non-profit public interest law firm, Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and Centro Latino. He has a long history of working for or supporting non-profits. Currently, he volunteers on the boards of two Bay Area nonprofits and serves as finance chair on Alianza, a Latino staff organization on campus. Vladimir is a UC Berkeley alumnus, having earned a dual degree in Sociology and Development Studies.