The Board of Directors of Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center has appointed veteran staff member Blanca Huijon to be its executive director.
After conducting a nationwide search for the position, Huijon, who had been acting as interim executive director, was chosen to lead the Napa nonprofit dedicated to empowering the Latino community in the areas of education, health and social services, and immigration, according to a news release.
Over her decade-long tenure with Puertas Abiertas, Huijon has served in virtually every area of the organization, the board of directors said.
“Blanca has proven herself as a passionate leader in this community and has earned the trust and respected of our clients, the board, and her co-workers,” said board chairman Sharon Macklin. “She has been instrumental in the growth of Puertas Abiertas, and as a board we were unanimous in our selection of her to lead us into the future.”
Blanca has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano and Latino Studies from Sonoma State University. She began her career as a community leader in Napa in 2007, serving as a school adviser for migrant education at Silverado Middle School and Vintage High School.
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She joined Puertas Abiertas in 2010 as a senior case mentor.
Her work has been recognized with awards by the Napa County Hispanic Network, the Latina Women’s Conference, the office of U.S. Representative Mike Thompson, and Leadership Napa Valley (Class ’28).
Blanca was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico and emigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old.
Since opening its doors in 2005, Puertas Abiertas has served thousands of Napa County Latino families each year with direct programs and guided referrals to county health care and social service providers.