Staff

Though we draw from different places, passions, and experiences, we are united by our belief that the Washington region is stronger when all families have the opportunity to achieve financial independence and join with their neighbors to improve their quality of life.

Administrative


Small Business Services

Small Business Development Program

Lending Program

Women's Empowerment Programs

Housing Counseling Services

Housing Counseling

Affordable Housing Preservation 


Marla Bilonick - Executive Director
mbilonick@ledcmetro.org

Marla Bilonick was named LEDC's Executive Director in 2014. She rejoined LEDC in 2012 as Director of Small Business Development after first working at the organization in 1999 as a microloan officer. As Executive Director, she leads LEDC's regional efforts to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. and Baltimore area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence.

Prior, she worked for Seedco with businesses in Lower Manhattan New York that were impacted by the 2001 attacks of 9/11 so that they could be retained and could grow. As director of the Upper Manhattan Business Solutions Center,her team worked with entrepreneurs in Harlem to launch and expand businesses. Her work in microfinance for DAI in settings such as Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and her native Panama provides her with cultural sensitivity that is useful for working with LEDC's core constituents. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received her Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies-SAIS.

Marla is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders-NALCAB and a member of the Montgomery County Comprehensive Economic Strategy Advisory Group. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Housing Trust's ICE-Institute for Community Economics---a CDFI offering pre-development, acquisition, rehabilitation, bridge loans and more to create community land trusts, shared equity and permanently affordable housing; as well as Enterprise Community Partners' Enterprise Community Loan Fund Board. She's a former Aspen Institute Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness-ELM2 Fellow and is a graduate of the Citi/Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)'s Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Marla currently serves on Capital One Bank's Community Advisory Council and is a member of the Equity Committee of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)'s Board of Directors. She was named a Community Champion for the Washington, DC metropolitan area by Capital One Bank in 2015.

Marla resides in the Maryland suburbs with her husband and three children.

Leda Hernández - Chief Operating Officer (COO)
lhernandez@ledcmetro.org

Leda Hernández joined LEDC in 1998 and has worked in LEDC's Finance & Administration Department for the past 18 years. More recently, as Controller, she spent a decade leading all bookkeeping and procurement activities at LEDC as well as managing and reconciling bank accounts for the organization. On August 1st, 2016, Leda was appointed Chief Operating Office-COO, overseeing strategic and long-term initiatives for LEDC. Prior to joining LEDC in June 1998 she worked for the City Tavern Association where she served as an accountant. She received a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Business Management from Strayer University in 1997. Leda says “my observation and experience of the under-representation in the government and the poor quality of life that is prevalent in so many communities has inspired me to consider the role I can play in making changes in these situations.” Leda serves the community with passion. 

 

Carlos Vallés - Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
cvalles@ledcmetro.org

More than 20 years’ experience in the non-profit industry with experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management, operational analysis and internal controls. Proficient in the areas of financial reporting, budgeting and planning, knowledge of internal and system controls and its implementation. Carlos Vallés serves as LEDC's CFO providing strategic financial leadership for LEDC by working with the Senior Management Team to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.

Carlos served as Senior Director of Finance at CentroNia, another longstanding DC Latino nonprofit organization. He moved up the ranks in their Finance Department over the course of his 11 years with the organization. Prior to that role, he was the Director of Finance and Administration at a Financial Management firm in his native Peru. 

Mr. Vallés received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from University of Ricardo Palma, his Master of Business Administration from University of Pacific, and his Master of Science Enterprises Business Management from Stratford University. He also completed Advance Management Program at IESE, University of Navarra in New York. We are very excited about the capacity that Carlos will bring to LEDC.  

Rosana Sandoval - Human Resources Manager
rsandoval@ledcmetro.org

Rosana has more than ten years of experience in Business, Human Resources, and working as a Special Projects Coordinator at a Senior Management level. Rosana has excellent written and oral communication skills, problem resolution abilities, and maintains a high level of confidentiality regarding work-related issues. Rosana started with LEDC in 2009 as a Bilingual Default Foreclosure Counselor and was promoted after 5 months to become Financial and Human Resources Specialist. Rosana has over 4 years of experience working in the Administration department at LEDC and over 20 years of background experience. She has recently returned to LEDC’s Finance Department where she continues to exercise her well-developed skills in Human Resources administration, office management, bookkeeping, and finance. 

Marjorie Nemes-Galarza - Director of Development
mnemes@ledcmetro.org@ledcmetro.org

Ms. Nemes comes to LEDC with 15 years of experience in the community development field. As LEDC's Development Director, in partnership with the Executive Director, Ms. Nemes spearheads development efforts, including communications and evaluation. Prior to joining LEDC, Ms. Nemes’ work focused on assessing the needs of vulnerable and marginalized communities and the impact of programs designed to minimize social inequities. She has directed, consulted, and supported research and evaluation projects related to immigrant and refugee integration (including race and ethnic relations), public health, community change processes, and economic development. Ms. Nemes is bilingual and has extensive experience conducting field work with ethnic communities. Having served as a research and evaluation consultant to foundations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, Ms. Nemes is well versed in program development and organizational capacity building. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park, in Psychology and a Master of Science in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Brunel University in London, England.

Jorge Rodriguez-Larrain - Communications and Development Associate
jrodriguez_larrain@ledcmetro.org

As LEDC’s Communications and Development Associate, Jorge implements LEDC’s communication strategy and assists with grant applications. He tracks, compiles, and produces content for LEDC’s communications efforts, which include website updates, quarterly newsletters, press releases, annual reports, flyers and other graphic design materials. He manages and compiles content for our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. He also maintains LEDCs communications databases. Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and has lived in various Latin American countries. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he obtained his BA in Political Science and Philosophy. Before joining LEDC, Jorge worked with several political campaigns including the campaign for reelection of Judge Clay Jenkins of the Dallas County, and as the Media Relations Director for Adrian's Garcia's campaign for Mayor of Houston. Jorge has also served as a White House appointee for the Department of Health and Human Services as the West Texas Regional Outreach Specialist and Media Advisor.

Morgan Shaw - Development Associate
mshaw@ledcmetro.org

Morgan Shaw is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a BA in Spanish & Latin American Studies and a BA in International Relations. Morgan has lived in abroad in Antigua, Guatemala & Madrid, Spain where he enrolled in language immersion schools. Morgan interned for LEDC in 2014 conducting follow-up evaluation with Small Business clients, and after finishing college joined the Small Business team as a Loan Officer. In 2016 Morgan transitioned to become the Development Associate for LEDC securing grants and funding for the future of the organization.

Oswaldo Acosta - Director of Small Business Services
oacosta@ledcmetro.org

As an entrepreneur, Oswaldo understands the value of having access to financial services first hand and is aware of the important role that the Latino Economic Development Center plays in the success of the region’s small business owners. In his own entrepreneurial ventures, he launched and expanded a food manufacturing company with market reach in Virginia, Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania and New York City. After his company’s acquisition, Oswaldo joined Self-Help Ventures Fund’s team, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) where he was part of a commercial lending group prior to joining LEDC as director of Small Business Services. Oswaldo’s academic training as an economist, his experience as a consultant for The World Bank and certainly his experience as an entrepreneur suits him with a broad and technical understanding of the challenges facing LEDC clients. He holds a bachelor degree in economics from Monterrey Tec, an MA in Political Economy and an MSc in Economic Regulation from Essex University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, respectively.

Rossana Espinoza - Program Manager, Small Business Development Department
respinoza@ledcmetro.org

Rossana Espinoza is the Program Manager for Small Business Development at LEDC. She is responsible for ensuring quality small business support through technical assistance and business trainings in the greater DMV region. Her team of small business coaches work to help entrepreneurs start and expand their businesses by providing bilingual technical assistance in the areas of business planning, incorporation and licensing as well as holding trainings on topics pertinent to small business owners. Rossana has been at LEDC for five years since first joining in 2011. A graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics, Rossana has previously worked for student-led organizations on campus advocating for the inclusion and retention of Latino students. Rossana has worked on community development in a professional setting and volunteer basis and currently utilizes the skills gained to help minority and low-income small business owners thrive.

Zara Cabrera - Portfolio and Data Administrator, DC
zcabrera@ledcmetro.org

Zara was born and raised in the Petworth neighborhood in Washington, DC and her parents are Panamanian. Zara's previous work experience includes working as an administrative assistant at H&R Block and Rosemount Center. She graduated from Bell Multicultural High School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and attended Montgomery College Silver Spring/Takoma Park campus. Zara enjoys being a part of an organization that helps small business owners that have difficulty obtaining credit from mainstream financial institutions achieve their dream of starting-up, improving, or expanding their businesses.

Ana Guzman - Loan Operations Clerk, DC
aguzman@ledcmetro.org

Ana was born and raised in DC. Her parents are from El Salvador. Before joining LEDC, Ana worked for T-Mobile where she got to learn about all different kinds of businesses. She graduated from Bell Multicultural High School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and attended the University of District of Columbia.

Richard Cisneros - Senior Small Business Coach & Project Lead, MD
rcisneros@ledcmetro.org

Richard Cisneros was born in San Miguel, El Salvador. Richard holds a BS in Business Management from George Mason University and an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from the Northern Virginia Community College. Richard worked for two years as the Marketing Manager at the Mariposa Cultural Foundation. Before this, Richard used to work as the Assistant Producer for Accent Media, Inc., and as the General Manager for Three Pigs Barbecue. Richard feels blessed to work with business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. He feels inspired to work with motivated-hardworking individuals. He gets to help foster and develop ideas into functional businesses. Richard provides one-on-one coaching for small business owners, builds client base and fills courses through outreach, and organizes trainings on business topics. Richard is proud to hear the success stories of his clients.

Maria Jimenez - Small Business Coach, MD
mjimenez@ledcmetro.org

Maria brings to LEDC fifteen years of experience in finance and accounting, working on multiple assignments at the Senior Management level. Her experience includes private sector and, more recently, the international nonprofit sector where she had the opportunity to work in Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and USA. She is bilingual and originally from Peru. Her passion is social entrepreneurship and social finance. In that sense, she volunteered as a mentor helping a Peruvian entrepreneur and as a volunteer evaluating social enterprise in Africa and Haiti. She holds a Bachelor in Accounting from Catholic University, Peru, and an MBA from Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. She received a certificate in Microfinance at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance and Social Enterprise and a Social Impact Investment certificate at Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), in California, USA. She is very excited to be part of LEDC and to provide technical assistance to small business and entrepreneurs to help them to flourish.

Johanna Amaya - Small Business Coach and Liaison, MD
jamaya@ledcmetro.org

Johanna Amaya joined LEDC in August of 2016. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Finance from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and brings a wealth of practical experience working with small business owners through SBDC. Johanna also has experience in the financial field, specifically in the banking industry through past internships. As a Small Business Coach and Liaison for Small Business Development at LEDC, Johanna is responsible for providing one-on-one technical assistance to business owners as well as liaison services between businesses and Montgomery County. Johanna is passionate about helping her clients. Watching them grow and succeed makes her work fulfilling.  

Omar Velasco - Small Business Coach, Baltimore
ovelasco@ledcmetro.org

Omar has more than nine years of business experience. He spent two years as a leader in quality management and strategic planning for the Cardiovascular Foundation of Colombia, and six years as a manager and owner of a food manufacturing company, which is still operating. In addition to managing and operating his company, Omar was a business coach at the Chamber of Commerce of Bucaramanga, where he coached 180 entrepreneurs with the objective of turning their ideas into sustainable companies. As an entrepreneur, he knows first hand the setbacks of starting and running a company and he learned that every difficulty is in fact, an opportunity. Omar is an Industrial Engineer in process optimization from the Industrial University of Santander and certified auditor for integrated management system ISO 9001 ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. He is very happy to be part of LEDC and to have the privilege of serving the community.

Daniel Friedman - Small Business Outreach & Program Coordinator
dfriedman@ledcmetro.org

Since 2010, Daniel has worked as a farm market vendor for Twin Springs Fruit Farm. In 2016, he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Spanish Language, Literatures and Cultures. After school, Daniel approached all the Latin American restaurants between Mt. Vernon Square and Archives. This led to a management position at El Rinconcito Café’s Silver Spring location. Around the same time, he began interning at LEDC’s Wheaton office in the Small Business department. Though he is now full-time at LEDC’s headquarters, Daniel continues to work at the Bethesda Central Farm Market on Sundays.

Karina Mendoza - Small Business Coach, DC
kmendoza@ledcmetro.org

A University of Southern California graduate, a high school teacher in South Central L.A., a chocolatier and inventory manager in Wisconsin, a small business coach in Washington DC, and currently a CPA student at Syracuse University, Karina Mendoza brings with to LEDC a diverse professional experience that encompasses the many intricate sides of entrepreneurship. Formerly at Crossroads Community Food Network, where she managed the Microenterprise Training Program, assisting entrepreneurs in Maryland start food businesses, Karina is dedicated to assisting marginalized community members increase their financial well-being.

Bibiana Stevens - Small Business Coach, DC
bstevens@ledcmetro.org

Bibiana Stevens joined LEDC in July 2017. As a Small Business Coach, she is responsible for providing one-on-one technical assistance to business owners in the DC area. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics fromJose Vasconcelos University in Oaxaca, Mexico, and her Master of Arts in Applied Economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. She previously worked at the Community Foundation of Oaxaca, where she coached indigenous entrepreneurs in rural Oaxaca. She is also experienced at supporting the Washington area Latino Community through her time with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, where she was a bilingual case manager for the Central American Minors program, a program which sought to reunite minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala with their parents in the United States. Mrs. Stevens speaks Spanish, English, and Hungarian.

Diana Avellaneda - Program Manager, Lending Department, DC
davellaneda@ledcmetro.org

Diana Avellaneda brings 22 years of experience to LEDC working in the field of finance in areas such as cash management, accounting, and investing with institutions including Citibank and Santander Bank. As Program Manager of the Lending Department, Diana is responsible for the management, administration and accounting of LEDC’s portfolio which has reached $2.7 million and more than 260 clients. Diana is a member of the Board of Directors of Credit Builders Alliance. She loves working at LEDC because of its work to help people not just tackle the challenging world of business but achieve success.

Amanda Gant - Small Business Lending Officer, DC
agant@ledcmetro.org

Amanda Gant joined LEDC as a Small Busines Lending Officer in January 2017. She previously worked with the non-profit CRDF Global where she developed and organized startup boot camps and virtual mentorship programs to support technology startup entrepreneurs in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Amanda has long had the entrepreneurship bug, selling bracelets on the beach of her hometown of Cocoa Beach, FL since middle school, and it was this experience which inspired her to study international development at Georgetown, with the goal to empower others to realize their dreams by starting their own businesses. Amanda has also researched technology’s role in improving microfinance outreach in Kenya. Amanda holds a master’s degree in International Public Policy and a bachelor's degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Michelle Maluwetig - Small Business Lending Officer, DC
mmaluwetig@ledcmetro.org

Michelle brings business development and communications expertise acquired in startups and international organizations where she focused on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and civic engagement. Most recently, Michelle was the Director of Operations at Cambio Coffee, the first Latino-owned benefit corporation in China. Before working at Cambio Coffee, she was a policy delegate representing Canada at the Organization of American States, in Washington DC. Michelle holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from McGill University in Canada, and a Master’s degree in International Business from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Rodrigo Cordon - Small Business Lending Officer, Baltimore
rcordon@ledcmetro.org

Rodrigo Cordon is from Guatemala and graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. Before joining LEDC, Rodrigo worked for Under Armour, at the E-commerce department as a CSR in the returns team. Rodrigo has a passion for international development and has field experience in Peru and Zambia, where he performed his internships with Chemonics International. Rodrigo is very excited to be part of LEDC and help small businesses grow in Baltimore and its surrounding area.

Jonathan Reyes - Small Business Lending Officer, Baltimore
jreyes@ledcmetro.org

Jonathan Reyes graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in International business and a minor in Spanish. Originally from Guatemala, Jonathan has been living in the United States most of his life. While in college he worked with nonprofit organizations such as CASA, Janet Arce’s foundation and participated in MOAS (Model Organization of American States). He joined LEDC in May, 2017 as a small business Loan officer. Prior to joining LEDC, Jonathan was the operations manager for a small business which focused in exporting goods to other businesses in Latin America, Europe, and ASIA. His experience in managing and working with businesses and people from different backgrounds adds to his passion in helping small businesses and people grow.

Isis Salmeron - Small Business Lending Officer, MD
isalmeron@ledcmetro.org

Originally from El Salvador, Isis Salmeron brings four years of experience working with small businesses and low-income population in the DC Metropolitan area, especially in Montgomery County. She received her bachelor degree in Finance and Business Administration from the University of New Orleans, and her Master of Science in Finance from Johns Hopkins University. Isis is very excited to be part of LEDC and provide financial opportunities to small business’ owners and entrepreneurs.

Carlos Garcia Rada - Small Business Lending Officer, MD
cgarcia@ledcmetro.org

Carlos Garcia is a Small Business Lending Officer with LEDC. He has developed a solid reputation for excellent client service and customized financing solutions. He works out of LEDC’s Montgomery County hub in Wheaton, Maryland. Prior to working at LEDC, Carlos cultivated a career in financial service provision in the private sector, working for entities including SunTrust Bank where he served as a Business Relationship Manager. He also worked for banks in his native Peru, including Banco Santander and Banco Solventa in the areas of marketing and sales. There he developed, launched, and grew critical brands and products for those respective banks. Carlos holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Lima in Lima, Peru.

Sarah Bodley - Associate Director Women's Empowerment Programs
sbodley@ledcmetro.org

Sarah Bodley joined EWI as Operations Manager in 2016. She previously served as Executive Director of Doug Varone and Dancers (DOVA, Inc.), a world-renowned modern dance company based in New York City. Sarah began her work with Doug Varone in May of 2006 and subsequently played integral roles in the creation of new programming for DOVA, including the introduction of the Winter Intensive and Stripped Series in 2009-10, and the formation of the Junior Board in 2013.

Since 2013, she has also had the pleasure of working as a consultant for nonprofits including the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, Women’s Education Project, and Community Development International.

A former professional modern dancer, Sarah has worked extensively in arts administration, for the Connecticut Dance Theatre, the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT, the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College and at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. As a dancer, she has had the pleasure of working with NOA Dance, The Pharmacy Project, The Median Movement, and other independent creators. Sarah earned a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase, and an MBA in Sustainability from Bard College. Her personal objective is to leverage her nonprofit arts leadership skills and passion for sustainability, to provide operational support for organizations seeking to enhance systems and frameworks for sustainability, equality, and justice.

Alexandra Boycheck - Regional Program Manager Women's Empowerment Programs
aboycheck@ledcmetro.org

Originally from Romania, Alexandra came to the United States in 2012 to pursue her dream since childhood, to live and study in the big apple, New York. She studied at the Spanish American Institute in New York City and after moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandra has been an integral part of EWI’s growth and development over the past four years. She has played many parts here, from volunteer to intern to student to Program Manager to her latest role as Regional Program Director. Her experience in these various positions gives her a deep understanding of the nuances of EWI, and allows her to respond to the needs of our clients with agility and grace. As a manager, Alex cares deeply about her staff and works hard to provide a good balance of direction and freedom to innovate.

Alexandra is a graduate of Babes- Bolyai University in Cluj- Napoca, Romania, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and later her Master of Arts degree in Advertising. Her passion for being engaged with the work of a non-profit organization started when she was in college. She managed the Strategic Planning Department of her student marketing organization, ASM (Association of Marketing Students), which included training and team building. Her experience with the organization left a strong impression on her and developed her leadership skills.

Alexandra likes spending her free time out in nature with her family and her dog, Cooper. She also loves cooking as well as decorating and organizing her home.

Walda Yon - Housing Department Director
wyon@ledcmetro.org

Walda Yon brings six years of experience working with the Latino community in Washington, DC. Prior to working with LEDC, Walda worked in administrative and outreach capacities with Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Carlos Rosario International Career Center & Public Charter School, International Migrants Development Fund, and Alfa Omega Tax Service. Originally from Guatemala, Walda came to the US in 2000 with solid work experience in customer service and procurement at one of the leading sugar refineries in the country.  Walda attended the Business Administration School at the Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala. In her position as Senior Housing Counselor Walda educates clients on the credit system, financial literacy and the home buying process.  Also, Walda works with homeowners at risk of losing their homes to avoid foreclosure. She can also be seen in the community leading workshops at off-site venues. Walda is motivated by the fact that she is helping to improve the financial health of the community. She knows that by providing the tools for wealth-building to each client, she is helping their families and the community as a whole.

Maria Godoy - Housing Counseling Program Manager
mgodoy@ledcmetro.org

Born in Los Angeles California but raised most of her childhood in El Salvador. Maria joined LEDC November 2010 as a Bilingual Foreclosure Housing Counselor.  Prior to LEDC, Maria worked for two years as a Loan officer for Bank of America and for three years as a Title Closer for RGS Title.  Maria has had an active license as a title insurance producer for five years.  Maria successfully completed Neighborworks Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling Certification in February of 2011.

 

Katherine Canales - Housing Counseling Coordinator, DC
kcanales@ledcmetro.org

Katherine joined LEDC in September 2014. She is of Ecuadorian and Salvadorian descent. A recent graduate of Trinity Washington University, Katherine majored in International Affairs, concentrating on global migration, and minoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Having demonstrated academic excellence by graduating with several honors she was inducted into three honor society chapters: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta, and Sigma Iota Rho. Katherine believes that her customer service work experience and education has helped her develop outstanding interpersonal communication skills and cultural sensitivity, which aids her in helping create financial independence for LEDC's clients.

Julia Sarmiento - Housing Counselor, DC
jsarmiento@ledcmetro.org

Julia was born in El Salvador and completed most of her education in the United States. Julia obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Latin American Studies from the University of Maryland. Julia has six years of work experience in foreclosure, home-buyer education, financial literacy, community service and outreach work. Julia has also worked with youth and families to promote education through physical activity.

Angelica Rufino - Housing Counselor, DC
arufino@ledcmetro.org

Angelica Rufino comes to LEDC with almost 7 years of nonprofit experience, having spent the last 5 years working in the housing counseling industry in Washington DC. She is a native Washingtonian of Dominican heritage. She is a certified housing counselor with experience in homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and credit counseling. Before becoming a housing counselor, she was an intake specialist helping the public know about the various programs available for the community in DC. She was also a former member of the LEDC family as a receptionist, where she was introduced to the housing counseling field and all the housing programs in Washington DC.

Maria Rosa Jimenez - Housing Counselor, DC
mariarosajimenez@ledcmetro.org

Maria has 15 years of experience of working in the nonprofit area in Washington, D.C. Her experience includes outreach, housing and tenant organizing. She holds a Bachelor in Communication and Photography from the Ibero University in Puebla, Mexico. Maria is very excited to be part of LEDC and to support immigrant families to live in decent and safe housing.  


Judith Ventura - Housing Counselor, DC
jventura@ledcmetro.org

Judith was born in Los Angeles, California but move to DC when she was about five. Judith speaks both Spanish and English plus a little bit of Japanese. She has always been very passionate about her education, after she graduated from high school, she decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology. Before she started working at LEDC she was working in retail with the Men’s Wearhouse in Maryland. LEDC added value to her life as soon as she started working here. It showed her that we as people can still be compassionate to those around us. Judith loves the fact that she can say that she works for a non-profit organization that helps people with housing and that we actually change lives. She is the first person of contact at LEDC, the first face that is seen. She helps counselors with anything they need, i.e. booking appointment, calling clients, organizing files, transferring calls, taking messages, etc. Judith makes sure that everything is set for both the client and counselors.

Rob Wohl - Tenant Organizing Manager
rwohl@ledcmetro.org

Rob Wohl joined LEDC as a tenant organizer in 2015. Rob has 4 years of experience working on labor, environmental, and corporate accountability campaigns, including the movement against deadly sweatshops in Bangladesh, the effort to limit deforestation in the global palm oil industry, and the drive to raise wages and other labor standards at Walmart. Since coming to DC from Tucson, AZ in 2011, Rob has been involved in local activism through a variety of organizations, including Jews United for Justice, where he has served as co-chair on the affordable housing and Paid Sick Days for All campaigns.

Cecilia Behgam - Tenant Organizer
cbehgam@ledcmetro.org

Cecilia Behgam joined LEDC as a Bilingual Tenant Organizer in 2016. She grew up in the Dallas area and graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Cecilia brings four years of organizing experience to LEDC. Cecilia also plays son jarocho, a style of folk music from Veracruz, México.

Nikola Radovic - Tenant Organizer
nradovic@ledcmetro.org

Nikola Radovic Fanta joined LEDC as a Bilingual Tenant Organizer in 2016. He is originally from Chile, with a Chilean mother and Serbian father. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America (Chile, Perú, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Haiti) and graduated in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Universidad Viña del Mar. Nikola worked for two years in his university's international department before moving to the United States in 2016. Nikola loves doing social work and helping others. He is an avid soccer fan, enjoys hiking and going to the movies during his time off.

Citlalli Velasquez - VISTA Tenant Organizer
cvelasquez@ledcmetro.org

Citlalli Velasquez joined LEDC as a VISTA bilingual tenant organizer in 2017. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2017 studying Arabic and Philosophy and has since stayed in DC. While at Georgetown she organized with students to make Georgetown a “sanctuary” campus and establish an affinity space for Latinx students. Citlalli’s upbringing in East Los Angeles and exchange years in Egypt and Jordan fueled her to fight for justice through an anti-imperial lense as she realized that the current and historical state of people of color in the U.S. is parallel to those in historically colonized countries. Citlalli strongly believes justice should be sought through a racialized lense because imperial and colonial violence is and has been racialized. She looks forward to building power with Section 8 tenants to challenge our institutions and ourselves by demanding better housing conditions in order to live and thrive in healthier communities.