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Natalie R. Herendeen 

Chair 

Natalie is the Executive Director and Attorney for the Center for Community Advocacy in Salinas, whose mission is to identify, cultivate, and recognize leadership from farmworkers and low-income families and to expand opportunities in their lives. 

Natalie was born and raised in the Salinas Valley, where most of her family continues to live. Natalie returned to the Salinas Valley to work within her community and improve housing conditions for residents. While working at Legal Services for Seniors for Monterey County, she was the Staff Litigation Attorney.

In 2016, while working at Legal Services for Seniors, Natalie first worked with CCA on a mass eviction case and successfully helped 50 people stop their wrongful evictions and secure affordable housing. In addition to being the Staff Litigation Attorney and then later the Director of Litigation for Legal Services for Seniors, Herendeen managed her own practice, Herendeen Legal, from 2016 to 2021.  

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Natalie earned her Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies, completed her Juris  Doctorate degree in 2014, and has been a licensed attorney since 2014. Natalie is fluent in Spanish. 

In her leisure time, Natalie loves traveling to 20 countries and living abroad three times. She is an avid hiker and enjoys gardening, playing with her four dogs, and spending time with her family.

Natalie's LinkedIn.

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Cristina Medina Dirksen

Treasurer 

Marina, CA, resident. Experienced communications professional working in the philanthropy industry. Skilled in Nonprofit organizations, news writing, news editing, social media content generation and analysis, and media relations. Strong media and communication professional, community volunteer, and leader, California State University, Fresno, Monterey College of Law. Mayor Pro Tem, City of Marina, CA. President of the board of Marina Youth Arts. Cristina's LinkedIn.

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Ramiro Medrano

Secretary 

Ramiro Medrano is a native of Pajaro, CA. He is a lifelong educator and now works as a school counselor in Salinas. As a school counselor,  Ramiro is dedicated to helping all students to develop personal, academic and career skills in a safe environment. Ramiro grew up inspired by the murals of artist Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda throughout Watsonville and believes public art is essential to form culture, pride, and identity in children. Making change happen daily, Ramiro also started a farmworker caravan during the pandemic to express appreciation to the life-giving workers in this sector.

He now lives in Salinas with his wife and two daughters. 

Ramiro's LinkedIn.

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Elizabeth Jimenez

Salinas, CA, resident. Business Communication Bachelor, with a Master’s in Administration, Social Communication, and Marketing specialist. More than 23 years of experience in public administration, developing campaigns, and educational programming. Grants and Communications Manager, Rancho Cielo. Elizabeth's LinkedIn.

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