Leadership Team

Dulce Ortiz joined Mano a Mano as Executive Director in April 2019.  She is responsible for leading the Mano a Mano team in the implementation of our mission through planning, programming and community engagement. She also plays a key role in the development of strategic community partnerships and leads our policy advocacy agenda. Dulce has been actively involved with the non-profit sector and has dedicated her time to serve as a Board Member of different environmental, health and government organizations in Lake County.

Before joining Mano a Mano, Dulce spent seventeen years at the Waukegan Township, in several different positions more recently as the Human Resources Manager. In her time at the township, Dulce gained diverse experiences in organizational management and community programs, as well as  a deep understanding of community needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris University. Dulce is an advocate for the underserved and vulnerable population, and she brings her expertise and drive to help immigrant families with opportunities so they can integrate into American life. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and originally from Mexico City, Mexico. 

Megan McKennaDirector of Strategy & Development, joined Mano a Mano as its third executive director in 2014 and in 2017 transitioned into the organization's first Director of Strategy & Development. Under Megan's leadership as executive director, in just four years, the organization doubled its revenue and significantly expanded its services footprint throughout Lake and McHenry Counties. Currently, Megan is responsible for implementing the organization's multi-year resource development and diversification plan, communications and marketing, and other strategic priorities. Megan is also managing the design and launch of Mano a Mano’s newest immigration legal services initiative which is focused on providing legal supports and protections to victims of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault.

She has over a decade of experience working in community development, research and policy analysis, and planning and evaluation in the United States and Latin America. She has served in leadership positions for a variety of community and economic development organizations in Lake County, including serving as the president of the board for the Alliance for Human Services of Lake County. Megan holds a Master of Community and Regional Planning degree from The University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Truman State University.  She is bilingual English/Spanish and partially accredited by the Department of Justice to practice immigration law.

Carla Rosales, Director of Operations,has been with the organization for nearly a decade. Carla is responsible for the oversight of all agency facilities, financial management, relationship with all outside vendors, and all supportive services such as childcare and reception.

Originally from Michoac√°n Mexico, Carla is a graduate of Round Lake High School and holds an Office Administrator certificate from the College of Lake County. Carla is proud to be a part of Mano a Mano because she enjoys helping other people and being a part of her community.

Astrid Martinez, Program Manager, joined Mano a Mano in November 2017. She oversees the Healthy Families and Successful Children programs. Astrid is the daughter of immigrant parents from Guatemala and they have lived in the Round Lake Area for the past 20 years. 

Astrid received her Bachelors degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Spanish, followed by her Masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. She spent 7 years as a Teaching Assistant for English Language Learners and Special Education programs at Round Lake Area Schools. She comes to Mano a Mano with a great passion for equity in education and health to help the immigrant population specifically to educate and provide resources  in order to help them develop into valuable and skilled community members.

Cynthia Vargas, Program Manager, joined the Mano a Mano team in June 2019.  She leads and manages the Engaged Citizens and Productive Parents Programs. Prior to joining Mano a Mano, Cynthia served as the Communications Manager for the Lake County State’s Attorney, where in addition to communications, she managed several key community engagement projects including the Lake County Opioid Initiative. Prior to this role, Cynthia worked at Catholic Charities in Waukegan, serving in several different capacities including as a DOJ Accredited Immigration Legal Representative.

Cynthia brings great community volunteerism and leadership experience to the organization having served in leadership position on a variety of different community coalitions and boards of directors. She was born and raised in Waukegan and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Studies with a minor in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She is bilingual English/Spanish.

Diana Guttierez, Health Education and Outreach Program Manager, joined the team in 2012. Currently, she oversees the Community Health Education and Outreach Program.  She has a background in medicine and public health as a former medical practitioner, professor and researcher in Mexico.

Diana has worked extensively with Community Health Workers or Promotoras de Salud, both in Mexico and the U.S and is responsible for the coordination of the Lake County Community Health Workers Partnership, whose mission is to improve health literacy and navigation for medically under-served and at-risk populations in Lake County through building capacity and utilization of Community Health Workers. Diana also develops community partnerships with other organizations. Diana is originally from Mexico, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Dulce Maria Dominguez, Community Engagement Manager, joined the team in August 2019. Dulce Maria is responsible for the organization wide management of external relationships, grassroots outreach, communications, and strategic relationship management. Dulce Maria also supports the leadership team with activities that support fundraising, advocacy, and event planning. She has been very involved in her community as an advocate and an organizer for immigrant students and families.

Before joining Mano a Mano, she worked at Erikson Institute supporting their Policy and Leadership Department through event planning, financial record keeping, and administrative support. As a member of Lake County Immigrant Advocacy, she has organized and supported several community awareness campaigns that promote immigrant rights. Dulce Maria holds a Masters Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, where she completed an internship in Immigration Policy and Research at Alianza Americas. She also holds a Bachelors of Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University. She is a DACA recipient born in Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico and is bilingual in English/Spanish.

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