While it’s bittersweet, we’re thrilled to share that our long-time colleague, Sandra J. Martínez, director of public policy, will be leaving Cal Wellness October 1 to become the VP and Chief of Staff at the LA84 Foundation where she will serve as strategic adviser to the President & CEO and oversee the foundation’s work to advance sport and play equity through its grantmaking, partnerships and advocacy efforts. She brings her considerable leadership skills and knowledge of public policy, legislative advocacy and community organizing to LA84, a foundation with a 30-year track record of work to level the playing field, and advance play equity, so that sport and play is accessible to all children, regardless of their race, gender, zip code or socioeconomic status.
Sandra joined Cal Wellness in 2002 as program director leading our grantmaking focused on violence prevention. She then served as the program director responsible for special projects, developing grantmaking strategies focused on health care policy, health care reform advocacy and implementation. In her current role as director of public policy, Sandra established our statewide and regional power-building strategy and developed our strategy to deepen relationships with policymakers and elected officials. And through it all, she remained a consummate grantmaker, awarding as much as $8 million annually to advance public policy addressing health issues from a systemic perspective.
“Sandra has been a cherished member of the Cal Wellness family for almost 20 years,” said Richard Tate, Cal Wellness EVP. “We’re grateful for her legacy of bold work at Cal Wellness to advance health and justice, and we look forward to her continued leadership in making philanthropy ever more equitable and accountable to California communities and people of color.”