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Lunch and Learn with Fran Rodriguez
October 3, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Planting Seeds for Legacy & Community Growth
Whether we’re leading grassroots movements, non-profit organizations, households or schools, how might we create pathways for others to build upon our legacy? When was the last time you considered succession planning, and what/who does that involve? During our time together, I’ll share my WHY.
About Fran Rodriguez:
In 2004, Fran was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell to serve on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA). She served as Co-chair of the Commission from 2009 to 2011. GACLA’s mission is to ensure that the Latino community is afforded the opportunity to continue to prosper. Fran’s 7 years in state government was by far her greatest professional accomplishment in that she represented Latinos proudly with a strong sense of commitment and passion.
Community engagement and social issues have played an integral part of Fran’s success in building and managing sustainable programs. In 2005, during her term as President of Latina Professionals of South Central Pennsylvania, she negotiated with state government agencies and local non-profit organizations, securing funding for a qualitative study addressing factors affecting the socioeconomic and educational status of Latinos in Lancaster County. The 2007 publication, Latinos in Lancaster County: Voices, Perspectives, Myths and Realities, served as a valuable resource for organizations seeking to enhance and improve programs. Fran’s experience in motivating and fostering partnerships has evolved into effective alternatives with extraordinary societal rewards.
In 2008, Fran founded the Lancaster ADELANTE Education Committee which seeks to serve as a catalyst for students, parents, educators, and members of the community. Her vision for this committee was to focus on transforming the Lancaster community into a learning hub by proactively identifying innovative educational strategies. The Lancaster Education Forum, now in its 11th year, has provided an annual platform for students, parents, educators, and community leaders, and is attended by local and statewide groups.
In 2009, she founded the Latino Empowerment Project (LEP), which seeks to improve the interpersonal skills of Latinos from all walks of life, helping individuals to become leaders on the job, in their communities and with their families. Both projects distinctly address concrete needs within broad community sectors and continue to receive financial support and statewide recognition.
Fran is most excited about the growth and future of the LEP. She created this initiative to instill a better of understanding for community involvement and professional development amongst Latinos, especially because we are not appropriately represented on local boards and/or serve in public office.
She is President of the League of Women Voters of Lancaster County (since May 2015) and is the first Latina to ever serve in this capacity. Upon becoming the LWV President, she immediately appointed 8 new board members, all under the age of 40 and representing the nonprofit sector, finance/banking and higher education. She firmly believes that this generation is ready to have a seat at the table where their voices can finally be heard — NOW. Moreover, Fran’s dream is to engage as many women of color to consider running for public office. The League is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. Fran is a former columnist for La Voz Lancaster and served on LNP’s inaugural Editorial Board.
Fran is a Senior Program Officer with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies from Harrisburg Area Community College, as well as a master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University. She has more than 15 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in Lancaster County. Fran is an empty-nester. Her daughter Ava Villafaňe, lives in Southern California.
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