YORK, PA – The CASA family of organizations, CASA and CASA in Action, is pleased to announce a powerhouse team of Latinas to head up the organizing, elections, and services pillars of the organization. These new leaders join the existing team of Pennsylvania Director Daniel Alvalle, Senior Director of Membership Maria del Carmen Gutierrez, Senior Membership Program Manager Patricia Zapata, Lead Organizer Martha Hernandez Vite, and Membership Engagement Manager Irena Vresk to lead a team of over 20 full-time staff based in York and Lancaster.
It is with great pleasure that we celebrate Lydia Walther-Rodriguez on her promotion as CASA’s new Chief of Organizing and Leadership. Lydia immigrated to the United States from Panama and has been residing in Baltimore City for over 14 years. She began advocating for immigrant rights with CASA as a student activist at Morgan State University, fighting for the Maryland Dream Act in 2010. She later joined CASA as an AmeriCorps volunteer to promote and facilitate citizenship services. With over 10 years of organizing experience at CASA, serving alongside Elizabeth Alex’s leadership, Lydia has built the people power together with CASA members and staff, that has produced concrete victories impacting members’ lives. Lydia has developed and overseen CASA’s multiracial organizing work, advanced CASA’s police accountability coalitions, expanded its youth organizing and college access programs, and led the Central Maryland region’s community organizing team. Most recently, Lydia served as the Central Maryland Regional Director.
Pennsylvania Organizing Director Mirna Gonzalez is originally from El Salvador and is the loving mother of four children living in York. Her origin as an immigrant characterizes and drives her to empower the Latinx and Hispanic community, the working class, and immigrants, to integrate them into the movement to make changes in the field. Mirna recognizes that justice for immigrants, Puerto Rico and climate justice can be won. Characterized by her passion for people, she empowers community members making changes and forging a fair future for all. Her field of experience has been in human services for more than 20 years, with different organizations nationwide.
Pennsylvania Immigrant Integration Manager Sara Salazar is proudly Peruvian. Living in Hanover, PA, she supervises staff and AmeriCorps volunteers to provide services in Lancaster and York including help with the citizenship process, financial education, and tax preparation. In Peru, Sara studied engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. For no other reason than destiny, she ended up working in the field of finance for many years and then after moving to the US in 2004, in fitness. In 2016, she discovered CASA and fell completely in love with the organization and became a core volunteer. In 2017, she joined the staff and grew in leadership each change offering new personal growth. Sara is not only 100% committed to the cause but also involves her family in the fight for equality and justice.
Monica Luna Nuñez, MA
Education and Workforce Development Manager Monica Luna Nunez, MA, is from Colombia and has always been committed to service and education. With a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality and a Masters of Arts in Marketing Management, her career was devoted to higher education working at different Colombian universities. After moving to Chester County, PA, Monica came to CASA as a volunteer supporting advocacy campaigns and later became part of the team of promoters for CASA’s voter registration program. She was the first workforce development coordinator and thanks to her work and the expansion of CASA, she now leads the team as the first Education and Workforce Manager in Pennsylvania. Monica is passionate about creating new opportunities for immigrants and the Latinx community in employment, education and professional development.
Sheather Mendes serves as the Operations Manager of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in New Jersey to parents from Brazil, she worked in healthcare for several years before moving to Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and working for the Department of Health Office of Health Equity. Her passion for services and health equity drew her to CASA’s mission and she joined the team in 2022. Sheather is an alumna from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health.
Rosemary Cintron, Pennsylvania Voter Engagement Manager, impacts social change through voter mobilization, candidate accountability, and influencer development, all to further the goals of the CASA family of organizations. For years, she has fought for equity, diversity, and inclusion through non-profit organizations in South Central Pennsylvania. Through her various roles, Rosemary has developed and implemented initiatives focused on empowering women, eliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The daughter of a Filipino immigrant, Rosemary was inspired early in life to support positive change in her community. She currently resides in Hanover, PA, with her three children and two dogs.
With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.