SAN DIEGO – John Valencia has been appointed president CEO of Voices for Children, the local nonprofit organization designated by the court in San Diego and Riverside counties to recruit and train Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of foster children and provide information to judges making critical decisions about their lives.
Valencia has two decades of senior nonprofit management experience in the areas of higher education, youth mobilization and environmental sustainability. Most recently, he served as the vice chancellor of workforce and organizational development for Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District where he led a team of 180 employees and oversaw a $50 million budget. In addition, Valencia has served on numerous boards of directors and received awards for his community service, including the Kiwanis Community Award and San Diego’s Citizen of the Year Award. He is a passionate advocate for foster youth and has been integral in helping these youth pursue their education during his time with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
“The board is thrilled to announce John’s appointment as Voices for Children’s new president and CEO,” Board Chair Jill Skrezyna said. “His dedication to helping foster youth succeed, coupled with his exceptional leadership skills, will help VFC carry forward its important work of advocating on behalf of foster children in San Diego and Riverside counties. With the help of Blair Search Partners, an exhaustive search was conducted, and the board is grateful to the many qualified candidates who stepped forward. As we look ahead to this next chapter, we thank David Bialis for generously serving as CEO in the interim.” David Bialis has served as interim CEO since Oct. 2.
“I am honored to be joining such an exceptional organization as Voices for Children,” Valencia said. “The board has a clear vision for VFC’s continued success in transforming the lives of foster children, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the staff, volunteers, donors and community partners who make this vital program possible for our youth.”
Valencia will be responsible for the administration of the entire organization, under the direction of the board of directors, beginning Feb. 13.
Founded in 1980, Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, neglected and abandoned children in foster care in San Diego and Riverside counties by providing them with trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA volunteers advocate for a foster child or sibling group in court, school and in the community to ensure their needs are met. VFC believes that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, striving to provide a CASA volunteer to every child in the foster care system who needs one. Last year, VFC CASAs and staff advocated on behalf of more than 3,400 foster children across San Diego and Riverside counties. For more information, visit www.speakupnow.org.