Cynthia grew up in a small town in California. She was very close to her grandmother who taught her by example about faith, kindness, and compassion.
Cynthia has worked in the non-profit or public sector since 1983. Cynthia discovered her passion for helping disadvantaged individuals – whether impacted by poverty, disaster, job loss or personal tragedy – early in her career. Since 2012, Cynthia has been the President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cynthia has created new partnerships across the region to help impoverished individuals build better lives. She personally had the vision for and launched a new kNOw Poverty Conference in 2015 that is now in its third year to bring together people from cross-segments of the community to find solutions to help those in need find a path to hope and self-sufficiency.
An expert on the topic of poverty and ways to address it, Cynthia has a heart for the poor and vulnerable, and she often advocates on their behalf. She serves on various boards and task forces, regularly writes guest columns and speaks to community groups to encourage them – as well as government agencies and corporations – to find new ways to work together to address poverty-related issues that impact generations.
Cynthia oversees more than 340 employees and has been instrumental in bringing services to 83,000 people last year in Harris, Galveston, and Fort Bend counties. In 2013, Cynthia established a school counseling program in inner-city Catholic schools. This program has served more than 500 low-income students. Cynthia also elevated the focus on refugee services, and as a result, Catholic Charities was recognized as one of two top providers of services to Cuban asylees. She was named Female CEO of the Year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2016.
Cynthia and her husband of 35 years are the proud parents of two young men.