Sonoma County’s local career-connected learning nonprofit has elected Lee Alderman as chair of the 2023 Board of Directors for Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation. Alderman, a retired Assistant Vice President for Redwood Credit Union, served as vice chair in 2022 and has been on Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation’s board since 2014.
Also announced today were four recently elected directors of the Board, including Andriana Duckworth, Arif Virji, Hector Velazquez and Erica Torgerson.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming so many talented and passionate board members in 2023,” said Kathy Goodacre, chief executive officer of CTE Foundation. “This organization is committed to incorporating a diversity of professional and personal experiences mirroring a cross section of the backgrounds and opportunities of students and employers in Sonoma County.”
Andriana Duckworth is the former executive director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance.
“The mission of the CTE Foundation is one that resonates with me both personally and professionally,” Duckworth said. “Providing students and young adults with resources and pathways to a career is critical for long-term success of the individual and our local economy.”
Arif Virji is a partner at the law firm Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP, where he focuses on labor and employment and complex commercial litigation. He credits his experiences with the Magnet Program Foundation, the Gravenstein School District Board and the experiences of navigating education-to-career pathways with his own children for his excitement about joining the Board of Directors.
Hector Velazquez, who is the president and CEO of Nexo Media, Inc., has a passion for opening doors and connecting people, he said. He also founded Red LatinX The Hub, a nonprofit organization providing services to Latino entrepreneurs.
“Being multicultural has been my biggest advantage,” Velazquez said. “That’s why I love my job – it’s the opportunity to connect and engage across cultures. Being inclusive is one of my greatest strengths and my mentality is to leave no one behind.”
Erica Torgerson is the director of customer service at Sonoma Clean Power. She wants to make a difference for students throughout Sonoma County based on the experiences of her own children.
“Watching them struggle in school because the work didn’t interest or inspire them was a source of frustration,” Torgerson said. “I want to develop better workplace training for Sonoma County and show students that college and debt are not the only options to get ahead in life.”
The four new members of the Board of Directors are each stepping into the roles for a three-year term. The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation also elected new officers for 2023, in addition to Alderman as chair. Mark Soiland will serve as vice chair, Julianna Graham as treasurer, Elisabeth Wade as secretary and Cindy Gillespie as immediate past board chair.
About Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation
Career Technical Education is innovating the education-to-career experience to strengthen economic development and student success through a multi-year sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to post-secondary education and careers. CTE programs deliver an enriched educational experience that promotes student interest and academic success while developing technical and career readiness skills necessary for the workplace of the future. Graduates of today’s rigorous and relevant CTE programs are better prepared for high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers. For more information about Career Technical Education Foundation visit ctesonomacounty.org or call (707) 708-7080.