Staff Bios

Benjamin Torres

President & CEO

Benjamin Torres is the President/CEO of the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech), a nonprofit organization focused on addressing issues of racial equity and economic justice in low-income areas of Los Angeles.  CDTech empowers marginalized residents to lead the process of community development efforts.  Through education, training, workforce and community organizing strategies CDTech supports people to both fight for systems change and resource development opportunities while preparing those same communities to take advantage of the change and opportunities they generate.  Benjamin’s entire career has been focused on placing the tools of democracy directly in the hands of our most marginalized residents through education, training, engagement and multi-ethnic/racial community building.

For the last 23 years, his leadership has supported the South LA region’s Black/Brown residents to increase their political capital and economic opportunity.  He has developed efforts to create inclusive, democratic and power building strategies utilizing highly effective public, private, nonprofit and community partnerships.

He is committed to progressive movement building efforts and serves on the Board of Directors of several key local and national organizations. He also serves as President of City of LA Commission on Community and Family Services and he also serves on the LA County Public Health Equity Task Force Commission.  

Kristine Williams

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Kristine Williams is the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech). CDTech is an innovative community economic development organization working in strategic partnership with Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, the LA Community College District, grassroots leaders and community institutions and organizations to build livable and economically viable neighborhoods in LA’s underserved communities. Prior to joining the CDTech team in 2007, she was part of the United Way system for 17 years, helping to build the capacity of two United Ways to achieve community-level impact both in the rural areas of northern Arizona and across Los Angeles County. She approaches community development work from an integrated perspective of funder, fund raiser, program designer/implementer and administrator. She holds a Masters degree in Applied Sociology from Northern Arizona University and has worked in the community building field for over 35 years.

Yvette Nunez

Director of Operations & Human Resources

Yvette Nunez is Director of Operations and Human Resources at CDTech.  She is responsible for payroll, bookkeeping, human resources and the day-to-day operations and needs of the organization, its staff and building.  For over 20 years, Nunez has held a variety of positions at CDTech including Sr. Program Director for Business and Economic Development, Director of Operations (previously), and the lead for the Los Angeles Manufacturing Networks Initiative (LAMNI) and the Green Urban Manufacturing Initiative (GUMI).  She also served as the Executive Director of the Food Industry Business Roundtable (FIBR) and the Toy Association of Southern California (TASC).

As a senior manager, her varied experience working with South Los Angeles Small Businesses, manufacturing industries, the implementation of Community Benefits Agreements and Workforce Development Initiatives contributes to her perspective on community issues.

Nunez has extensive Government and Non-Profit Experience.  Before joining CDTech, she worked for RLA (Rebuild L.A.), a non-profit Los Angeles Riot Recovery agency and has served under former Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley, U.S. Senator Alan Cranston and U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown. Nunez also worked at Cordoba Corporation, a nationally recognized engineering, program and construction management firm.

Nunez has received numerous awards and honors and currently is a Board member and officer of the Food Industry Business Roundtable, and a member of the LA Trade-Tech College Culinary & Professional Bakers Advisory Committee, Advancing Women’s Health & Financial Literacy Advisory Committee, the Alliance for Economic Inclusion, the Slate Z Promise Zone Jobs Committee and the South Los Angeles Community Jobs Coalition.

Formerly, she served on the Board of Girls and Gangs, as a member of the Steering Committee for the Ca Association of Environmental Health Administrators, Safe, Secure and Sustainable Food Systems Symposium, on the Legislative Affairs and Environmental Affairs Committees of the California League of Food Processors and as an Advisory Board Member for the Dorsey Culinary Arts Program.  

Ms. Nunez was a partner and operator of a South Los Angeles Café, Bakery & Market Place for two years and the Chef at the Oso Ranch and Lodge in New Mexico for 10 years.  Nunez brings her Culinary and Entrepreneurial experience to her role at CDTech.

Susana Coracero

Director of Civic Engagement & Community Organizing

At CDTech, Susana Coracero, oversees our Civic Engagement and Community Organizing efforts. She is responsible for building the capacity of grassroots leaders and residents to effectively engage residents and lead change through personal and collective action across a broad spectrum of social justice, economic development and community health, safety and well-being concerns.

Susana Coracero has dedicated her life to equity and justice for historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed peoples. She brings lived experience, education and 18 years of career experience which includes working in public, private, and non-profit sectors. She has collaborated with students, community residents and organizers to create pathways into higher education. She understands the complexities of systemic power, and is convinced that community organizing and civic engagement is necessary to push the re-thinking of moral rhetoric and its relationship to ethical practice for people in her community.  Her community organizing training was fostered from different perspectives – AFL-CIO SEIU Local 1, Janitors for Justice in Chicago, Illinois; Environmental & Economic Justice Academy in Washington D.C.; United Farm Workers Organizing in Oakland; CORO Neighborhood Leadership Program in Los Angeles; Organizing for Educational Excellence Institute;  and as Youth Organizer while working at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. Susana has lived and worked throughout California – Sacramento, Richmond, and East LA – bringing the lessons she learned along the way back to her South Los Angeles community. 

Susana was born in Compton, raised and lives in Watts.  She attended Jordan High School, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara with a double major in Sociology and Chican@ Studies and master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education. She has presented research at the American Sociological Association in Anaheim, CA and Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on “Ethnic Labeling.” In 2018 she was profiled in The California Endowment “The Women Leaders of Building Healthy Communities. ”  She currently is an Adjunct Faculty of the Community Planning Program at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

Liliana Cortez

Civic Organizing and Community Engagement
Census Manager

Liliana Cortez currently leads our Census 2020 Community Engagement efforts in South Los Angeles.  She oversees our large scale community grassroots efforts to ensure every and all South Los Angeles residents get counted.  She equips youth, adults and Community Planning students from Los Angeles Trade Tech College to conduct door-to-door canvassing, phonebanking, social media engagement, and a multitude of grassroots strategies to educate, engage, and commit residents to being counted in the Census 2020.

Liliana joins us with over twenty years of experience working with youth as an Educator, having taught English as Second Language (ESL)/English Language Development (ELD) in both private and public schools, including charter schools, in Chicago, Los Angeles, and overseas in Japan and Nepal.  Her experience goes beyond the classroom, as she has also done volunteer work in China, India, Nepal, New Zealand and Australia.  Her world travels and connections with local communities have provided her with first-hand experiences of the immense educational disparities and systemic conditions facing poor people of color around the globe.  Liliana is passionate about educational equity, working directly with marginalized communities, and addressing displacement pressures in South Los Angeles.  Born and raised in Chicago, Liliana was destined to become a lifelong activist and social justice worker.  She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Secondary Education and English, while participating in student-led solidarity actions across Chicago during the times of Propositions 187 and 227 in California.  Liliana is also a Community Planning and Economic Development student at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.  In her spare time, you’ll find Liliana riding her bicycle all over the city, traveling and travel planning, cooking vegetarian food, writing, and painting.

Marcos Hernandez

Civic Engagement & Community Organizing Coordinator

Marcos is in the front-lines leading and training others to participate in civic engagement and community organizing efforts.  Marcos responsible for building the capacity of multi-generational; multi-racial; multi-ethnic; bilingual and multi-gendered communities of diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Marcos is a South Los Angeles native, an alum of CDTech’s High School program – YLEAD, and an alumni of Public Allies Los Angeles program. He graduated from Santee Educational Complex and is currently pursuing an Associates Degree in Community Planning and Economic Development.  Marcos has lived through the effects of poverty, limited access to career pathway opportunities and is witness to the increased displacement pressures.  He is now invested in working to increase economic opportunities and allocation of resources for his immigrant family and neighbors to remain in place in South LA. 

Tariq Glenn

Youth Coordinator, YLEAD

Tariq Glenn is a Youth Coordinator in CDTech’s YLEAD program.  He is our frontline staff working with South Los Angeles High School students, including Black and Brown males of color.  His responsibilities include helping develop, implement and integrate civic engagement into youth’s education, personal and leadership development.  He also implements coaching and mentoring support to youth academics, career planning and civic engagement practices.  Tariq is also responsible for ensuring a positive youth transition into early adulthood.  

Tariq was born and raised on the Eastside of Detroit, Michigan. He is a Public Allies Los Angeles alumni and currently pursuing a degree in Communication/Public Relations with a minor in Psychology.  He shares the lived experience of growing up in underserved communities. His determination to change the course of his own life was driven by his commitment to ensure his younger siblings did not fall victim to violence, as their older sibling did. Tariq found passion in photography and founded WeridEye Inc., a youth empowerment organization mentoring underserved youth in Detroit through photography and fine arts.  Between his lived experience, his passion for photography and investment in youth development, Tariq is living proof of how youth have the ability to develop innovative ideas to create economic opportunities while being positive civic agents of change. 

Eduardo Bracamontes

Civic Engagement & Community Organizing Coordinator

Eduardo Bracamontes is lead in our large scale community engagement and community organizing efforts.  He is responsible for the capacity building of interns, volunteers and community residents to conduct grassroots efforts – door-to-door canvassing and phonebanking.  Eduardo works with multi-generational; multi-racial; multi-ethnic; bilingual and multi-gendered communities of diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Eduardo is a South Los Angeles native, an alumni of Public Allies Los Angeles program and currently pursuing an Associates Degree on Community Planning and Economic Development.  He understands the root causes that limit economic opportunity and resources that drive violence in his community.  Eduardo has lost two siblings due to violence and has lived through the effects of family separation due to systems in place.   As a teenager he has taken on the role as head of household to secure his family’s well-being. He is now also determined to be part of the positive change in his community by working to increase economic opportunities and allocation of resources for residents of South LA. 

Kimberly Williams

Site Director, Public Allies Los Angeles

From program participant to Site Director, Kim Williams has committed almost ten years of service to Los Angeles communities through her work with CDTech and the Public Allies Los Angeles program. She is particularly passionate about ensuring South LA Residents take advantage of the training and learning opportunities offered by CDTech and it’s partners, and is thankful to have a space to continue her professional learning and growth while doing work that empowers her community.

Daniel Johnson

Program Manager

Daniel currently attends Los Angeles Trade Tech College. He is interested in supporting efforts that help his peers achieve long-term success.  He is currently serving as President of the Zapata-King Neighborhood Council.  With his passion for Black and Brown unity, Civic Engagement and becoming the voice for under-served communities, he aspires to be an elected official.

Kaylin Dickerson

Senior Program Manager, Career Ambassadors Program

Kaylin Dickerson is passionate about making South LA communities stronger.  As a student at UCLA, Kaylin was trained in research methods and the multitude of assets and challenges in LA’s communities of color. Alongside her research training, she became a leader in very successful programs designed to create opportunity, experience, and exposure for Black youth of South Los Angeles.  Naturally, Kaylin developed a passion for developing evidence-based programs that make an impact on youth’s lives and affect positive change in the communities served. She is dedicated to empowering youth, particularly those affected by poverty, homelessness, poor education, and trauma. As Senior Program Manager of the South-Central LA Career Ambassadors Program, Kaylin hopes to create an environment of growth, compassion, and innovation to create real change in her community.  Kaylin’s self care practices include drawing, painting, and sunbathing.

Jessica Moron

Program Manager, Career Ambassadors

Jessica V. Moron was born, raised, and presently lives in South-Central Los Angeles. After graduating from Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, she continued her studies at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC). As a community member and student from South – Central Los Angeles, she started working as a receptionist at All Peoples Community Center. As a receptionist, she witnessed how impactful community services and resources were to community members. Jessica, a Public Allies Alumni since 2015, was placed at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center; The program allowed her to grow professionally and personally, advocating for quality health care for residents regardless of their status and integrating inclusive. language. After Public Allies, she graduated from LATTC with an Associates in Social and Behavioral Science and transferred to California State University, Dominguez Hills majoring in Psychology. Now, as a Program Manager for CD Tech Career Ambassadors program she provides youth mentorship and models the importance of intervention programs to prepare them for the future. Jessica is passionate about continuing her studies and plans to evaluate and fund community programs as a future Clinical-Community Psychologist.

Shelia Balque

Program Manager, Education and Career Pathways

Shelia Balque is a proud resident of South Los Angeles. As Program Manager of  Education and Career Pathways at CD Tech, her responsibilities include co-managing Public Allies Los Angeles and being the lead for student and admin support for the Community Planning & Economic Development program at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.Shelia is also a proud graduate of Soka University of America (B.A. Liberal Arts, 2010) and is an alumna of Public Allies Los Angeles (2011-12 2012-13) and the Community Planning Program (class of 2016).