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.
Vice President for 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.
Director of Operations and 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.
Director of Civic Engagement and 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.
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.
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.
Senior Program Manager, South-Central LA Career Ambassadors
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.
Program Manager, Education & 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).