Board of Directors

Beatriz Leyva-Cutler

Executive Director 

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.

Lupe Gallegos-Diaz

Board President

Director, Chicana Latino Student Development

Lupe Gallegos-Diaz directs the Chicana Latino Academic Student development office at University of California, Berkeley (UCB), where she also serves as a community affairs liaison for the Latino communities on and off campus.

At UCB, Lupe teaches seminars/courses for the Department of Ethnic Studies/Chicano Studies and the School of Social Welfare in areas that include student, community, and leadership development; philanthropy, fundraising, nonprofits and Latino social work practice.


Lupe received her B.A. in Sociology from Santa Clara University, an M.S.W. from the School of Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, and a certificate in fundraising from the University of San Francisco.

She is a founder of the Fundraising Multicultural Alliance Program for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter, and has served twice as chair to the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS). In addition, she has been a council member of the North Fair Oaks Advisory Council and a commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women in San Mateo County. Lupe has also served in several positions some of which include: Consejera for the Instituto de Los Mexicanos al Exterior; Exterior; Administrator coordinator for the Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS); Consultant for the Association of American Colleges and Universities – Campus Women Lead (CWL). Currently she is co-chair of the Chicana/Latina Foundation and serves as the UCB development vice president for the Chicano Latino Alumni Association (CLAA).

Following in her family’s activist and entrepreneurial roots, Lupe continues the tradition of leadership and development within the Latino community as BAHIA board president.

Michael Aldaco

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.

Irma Sanchez-Ledezma

Board Secretary

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.

Vladimir Foronda

Sr. Prospect Analyst University Development and Alumni Relations,

UC Berkeley

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.

  • BAHIA, Inc. operates on a non-discriminatory basis, affording equal treatment and access to services for all without regard to sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color or mental or physical disability.

  • BAHIA, Inc. welcomes the enrollment of children with disabilities and other special needs and implements reasonable accommodations for such children as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • BAHIA, Inc. does not provide religious instruction or worship, nor will any child development program funds be used for the general support of any private church-related activity or event.

  • BAHIA, Inc. has a procedure for receiving and handling complaints which is on file in the office. 

  • BAHIA Inc. has designated our Operations Manager as the person responsible for receiving and investigating complaints.  Parents have the right to appeal any adverse action.

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