Director of Policy & Communications
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CONEXIÓN AMÉRICAS NAMES MARTHA SILVA AND TARA LENTZ AS CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Nashville, TN – Conexión Américas’ Board of Directors announced today that Martha Silva and Tara Lentz will lead the organization as its permanent Co-Executive Directors. Silva and Lentz stepped up in July 2021 to become Interim Co-Executive Directors.
“Through their demonstrated commitment to Conexión Américas’ mission and the Latinx community in Tennessee, Martha and Tara have proven themselves to be the ideal combination of hard skills, experience and dedication needed to lead the organization,” said Conexión Américas Board President, Tina Garcia. “Conexión Américas’ intentional investment in leadership and professional development over the course of its almost 20 years has positioned Martha and Tara to continue overseeing Conexión Américas’ excellent program offerings and advocacy for Latinx families in Tennessee.”
Tara and Martha have been leading the organization in many ways for more than 10 years each, and were key members of the leadership team that has overseen Conexión Américas’ leadership transitions. Based on their commitment to the organization, their depth of knowledge and strategic vision, the Board of Directors committed to supporting and nurturing Martha and Tara as Interim Co-Executive Directors over the past six months.
“We have worked directly together for 11 years, building a foundation to meet this moment, which now gives us the confidence to step forward together,” said Silva and Lentz. “We believe that this collaborative effort will lead Conexión Américas forward at this critical moment, while also reflecting the fundamental roots of the organization, when Conexión Américas’ three founders co-led. This model is timely, as we look ahead to Conexión Américas’ 20th anniversary in May 2022.”
With almost 12 years of experience at Conexión Américas, Silva joined the organization to lead its 2010 flood relief program, which successfully served and provided rebuilding and long-term recovery assistance for over 500 families in the Nashville community. Over the years, Silva developed, implemented and led seven independent programs including Conexión Américas Open Doors or, Puertas Abiertas, homeownership program, VITA Tax Preparation program, English language learning program, its Financial Empowerment Center and Microenterprise Development program, and the Mesa Komal Commercial Kitchen and Culinary Incubator at Casa Azafrán—the nonprofit collaborative community center led by Conexión Américas. Most recently, Silva oversaw the organization’s distribution of more than $1M to families through the COVID-19 disaster relief and emergency assistance programs.
Joining the organization as an intern in 2006, Lentz has served in several capacities, including designing and leading Conexión Américas’ successful afterschool, family engagement, and college access and success programs. Lentz was also key to transforming the vision of Casa Azafrán into a reality as she led the processes of co-locating and establishing collaborative relationships with Casa Azafrán partner organizations. Most recently, Lentz has led Conexión Américas’ successful individual, corporate, foundation and government resource development efforts and strategic growth initiatives.
Conexión Américas is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization established in 2002. Its mission is to build a welcoming community and create opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute and succeed. Every year, Conexión Américas assists more than 9,000 individuals and their families in their desire to start businesses, buy homes, improve their English, help their children succeed in school and go to college, and become an integral part of Tennessee’s social, cultural and economic vitality. Conexión Américas is the lead partner of Casa Azafrán, a nonprofit collaborative at the gateway to Nashville’s International District that is home to Conexión Américas and nine partners. To learn more, visit www.conexionamericas.org.