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Angie Sanchez becomes the second executive director of the organization. Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.
Angie Sanchez becomes the second executive director of the organization. Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.

Angie Sanchez is the new executive director of the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

She becomes the organization’s second top executive leader, and its first since 2009.

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The Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently introduced Angie Sanchez as its new executive director. 

In doing so, the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce fills the long-vacated role as only the second executive director for the organization, and its first since 2009. 

Alma Magallon, the Chamber’s board president, said that Sanchez “embodies everything that our team was looking for to serve in this role.”

“Her passion to serve our community and her experience with working with local businesses along with her innovative and creative ideas will truly help our chamber continue to grow and be sustainable for years to come,” Magallon added. 

She previously served as a board member for the Chamber from 2017 to 2022. 

Sanchez has built a career in a number of different roles, most notably as nonprofit leader, entrepreneur, and community advocate. Prior roles include serving as Chief Program Officer for the Sonoma Community Center, head of programs for Corazón Healdsburg, and Community Engagement and Programs Manager for La Luz Center. 

She is the founder of VIDA Cultural Arts, an organization that amplifies the contributions of the Latino population through arts, culture and community through cultural events, education & learning, and civic engagement.

Sanchez’s experience as a nonprofit leader, community advocate and entrepreneur gives her a keen understanding of the challenges facing other entrepreneurs, and how to go about addressing them now in her new role. 

“Now at the chamber, I can create workshops around the struggles that I witnessed or the challenges that I saw that they were facing, particularly the Latinos who might not be speaking any English, who might be illiterate, and not be able to read or write and fill out the applications,” she told The North Bay Business Journal

In addition, Sanchez hopes to build on the connections she developed at the grassroots level to help both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs obtain the necessary resources to start or grow their businesses, respectively. 

As executive director, her four main priorities are: to promote economic development, offer more educational programming, strengthen community partnerships, and increase accessibility to services for small business owners and local entrepreneurs. 

Due to a lack of funds, the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had been unable to pay for an executive director. 

Sanchez’s installment into the role represents a new era for the Chamber.

“It's exciting because I get to help it go through its next phase of growth and the current board (is) very supportive of the ideas and the things that I want to accomplish with the organization,” said Sanchez.

With help from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Chamber will also have funding to pay an office assistant, gain technology improvements, develop additional programming and create resources for the next 2 ½ years.

Overall, Sanchez’s goal is to bring intentionality toward expanding the Chamber’s reach by increasing accessibility to resources. 

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