Press Release

California Community Foundation Announces President and CEO Antonia Hernández is Stepping Down

Press Release | March 23, 2023

Los Angeles, CA — The California Community Foundation (CCF) Board of Directors, with gratitude to our longtime President and Chief Executive Officer Antonia Hernández, announces her plans to retire. After nearly two decades of leading and transforming CCF into a strong, vibrant advocate for Los Angeles, Hernández is ready to start a new journey.

“I have known Antonia for over half a century and have seen her professional journey starting as a civil rights lawyer, counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and leading MALDEF, the nation’s leading civil rights law firm for the Latino/a community,” said California Community Foundation Board Chair and former Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Gloria Molina. “During her two decades at CCF she has transformed a small well respected community foundation into a leading civic philanthropic leader.”

Under Hernández’s inspirational leadership, CCF has expanded its impact with a philanthropic focus on education, health, housing and economic opportunity, immigration, civic engagement, and the arts for the residents of Los Angeles County. CCF’s assets, including donor-advised and other contributed funds, have grown nearly five-fold from $540 million when Hernández became president on February 17, 2004, to $2.3 billion today. During her tenure more than $3.4 billion has been granted to diverse non-profit organizations strengthening the fabric of society throughout Los Angeles, prompting national philanthropic recognition.

Earlier this year, Hernández led CCF’s move to its first permanent home in its 108-year history, a beautifully renovated 54,000 sq. building in the center of Los Angeles at 717 West Temple Street.

“Antonia has transformed CCF into the most influential philanthropic institution in Los Angeles County, and into an unmatched model for community foundations nationwide. Her legacy of extraordinary transformative leadership will make it difficult to find her successor; nonetheless, the Board is committed to ensuring that the next president and CEO will continue and build upon the critical role crafted by Antonia for the Foundation in and beyond Los Angeles County,” said Thomas A. Saenz, chair-elect of the California Community Foundation Board of Directors.

During Hernández’s tenure, CCF’s discretionary assets have grown significantly, allowing CCF to focus on changing the systems that create injustice and inequality in our community. Sheldon Stone, co-founder of Oaktree and former chair of the Board stated, “Antonia and I both joined CCF’s board 20 years ago. At that time, we were both newbies, and I had no idea that Antonia would ultimately be heading the organization. To say that she transformed CCF is an understatement. The organization grew dramatically under her watch, and its mission serving the most vulnerable in Los Angeles blossomed. The Foundation greatly benefited from Antonia’s tireless leadership, and just as importantly Los Angeles County had an advocate for those most in need. The organization she leaves behind clearly has her imprint, but, most importantly, it has the people and procedures to advance its mission of serving our community.”

Jane Pisano, the chair of the Board who led the hiring of Antonia, stated the following, “For two decades the California Community Foundation has grown to meet the needs of Los Angeles’ diverse community. Antonia Hernández’s sterling leadership and execution has been central to this work.”

Former Board Chair Reveta Bowers shared, “I had the honor to begin serving on the California Community Foundation Board the same year Antonia Hernández became its new president. I watched as Antonia embraced every opportunity and accepted the challenge of turning CCF’s Board, leadership team, staff and resources into one of the largest and most successful community foundations in the country. Under her able and impassioned direction, the Board and staff bring their expertise and dedication to improving the communities, organizations, and the lives of the individuals in those communities.”

Tom Unterman, former chair of the Board, commented, “Under Antonia, CCF has grown beyond philanthropy to be a leader in the effort to build a more just and fair Los Angeles. Antonia has also been an excellent steward of the Foundation’s resources, grown them beyond expectations and used them strategically to support policy initiatives that matter to all Angelenos.”

“I have been privileged to lead CCF for two decades. My entire career has been devoted to serving those in need. CCF has allowed me to work to improve the lives of all Angelenos. Together with our generous donors, contributors, and partners, we have been able to address issues affecting the most vulnerable persons in our society. I am proud to have expanded the role of a community foundation to be more than a grant maker but also a convener, advocate and change agent. The CCF staff and Board of Directors have built a strong foundation for the future of Los Angeles,” said Antonia Hernández, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation.

The Board of Directors has retained the firm of Spencer Stuart to assist them in leading the search for the next leader of CCF. Hernández will serve as president and CEO of the Foundation until her successor is identified and named, which is anticipated to take place later this year.

Hernández leaves a remarkable legacy. During her tenure she has transformed CCF into a 21st century activist community centered foundation.

Below are highlights of achievements during Hernández’s tenure as the president and CEO of CCF:

  •  Grew the assets of CCF from $540 million to $2.3 billion, while distributing over $3.4 billion in grants to address the needs of the community.
  • Raised significant discretionary funds.
  • Built a first-class program team focused on improving the lives of the poor and the vulnerable.
  •  Developed a strong donor base of individuals committed to partnering with staff and community.
  • Created a civic engagement department to work with the community to energize and engage residents in the civic life of L.A. County.
  • Created an immigration program to respond to the needs of the large and diverse immigrant community.
  • Built a diverse staff and board to reflect the population of Los Angeles.
  • Partnered with the public sector to leverage and enhance results.
  • Secured a permanent home with a beautiful convening center to welcome the Foundation’s community partners.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Paula Valle Castañon at pvalle [@] calfund [.] org or 213.452.6233

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The California Community Foundation (CCF) has served as a public, charitable organization for Los Angeles County since 1915. Its mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities. CCF stewards $2.3 billion in assets and manages 1,900 charitable foundations, funds and legacies. For more information, please visit www.calfund.org.