Yolo County Children’s Alliance announces the retirement of long-time Executive Director, Katie Villegas.
New Executive Director, Jeneba Lahai, appointed unanimously by the board, to lead YCCA beginning June 5, 2021.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2021
Yolo County Children’s Alliance announces the retirement of long-time Executive Director, Katie Villegas. New Executive Director, Jeneba Lahai, appointed unanimously by the board, to lead YCCA beginning June 5, 2021.
(Yolo County, CA) Leaving an organization after working tirelessly to grow it from one team member to 50 is never easy; and neither is the work that the Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA) does for the community. After growing YCCA from a dream into a multi-program organization, Katie Villegas, Executive Director, has announced her retirement for June 5, 2021.
“I am thrilled to announce that Jeneba Lahai will be the new Executive Director of YCCA. She is a leader, a researcher, and a compassionate individual who considers our community’s needs when leading the programs within our organization,” said Francisco Castillo, YCCA Board Chair. “Katie Villegas has done an incredible job overseeing the growth and development of YCCA and saying goodbye is certainly difficult. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we have full confidence that Jeneba will be able to continue the work and service that YCCA has established within our community.”
Since 2002, as an organization with only one team member and a minimal budget, Katie has spearheaded the success of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance. Throughout these years, she has established strong relationships and partnerships with other community-based organizations, municipalities, and Yolo County. Her work has led to the exponential growth of YCCA and the organization’s ability to serve more than 6600 families in the past year.
“I am so honored to have been a part of such an incredible organization over these past years and am so proud of all of the work our team does for this community. Retiring from the Children’s Alliance was a difficult decision because for over the past two decades, as an organization, we’ve been able to serve thousands of underserved community members,” said Katie Villegas, Executive Director. “Although leaving my position will be a bittersweet experience, I am more than grateful that Jeneba stepped up to the position as Executive Director. She is familiar with our programs, our team members and our clients, and understands the work it takes to support the entirety of our community.”
Jeneba is an immigrant from Sierra Leone, West Africa and a graduate of Sacramento State. Prior to joining YCCA, she served as the manager of one of Sacramento County’s Birth and Beyond Family Resource Centers. In her spare time, she volunteers as a member of the managing council of her yoga meditation center as well as the Sacramento chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), and is a participating member of Leadership Sacramento. Jeneba also serves as the vice chair of the Yolo County Health Council, board chair of the Yolo County’s Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition and board member of the West Sacramento Housing Development Corporation. In her current role as Director of Programs, Jeneba has made a remarkable impact in program and organizational development, community engagement as well as inter-agency collaboration by establishing relationships with key partners in Yolo County and developing programs to meet the needs of the community.
“My experience over the last seven years serving as the Director of Programs and the time I have spent working closely under Katie’s leadership fills me with a great sense of confidence that I can further the YCCA mission and continue to serve the families of Yolo County with the same level of commitment and service that YCCA has established in our community,” said Jeneba Lahai.