Leader In Philanthropy, Grantmaking & Advocacy Joins Sports Youth Development Organization
Vice President/Chief of Staff
LOS ANGELES (2021) – The LA84 Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Sandra J. Martínez as Vice President/Chief of Staff.
In her new role, Martínez will be a strategic advisor and provide counsel to the President & CEO to inform long-term decisions. She will also use her extensive leadership experience to expand cross-departmental relationships that accelerate collaboration and responsiveness in achieving the organization’s goals of advancing sport and play as essential in the well-being of children and communities.
In addition to overseeing the LA84 Foundation’s grantmaking priorities and uplifting leadership development, Martínez will utilize her deep background in advocacy to help mobilize key stakeholders toward equitable policies and programs for youth, as well as advocate to build support for the value of sport and play in overall public health.
Martínez joins the LA84 Foundation after serving as the Director of Public Policy for the California Wellness Foundation since 2011. In this position, she planned, coordinated and oversaw the public policy activities of Cal Wellness to advance its mission and amplify the impact of its grantmaking. Her efforts addressed health issues from a systemic perspective and focused on improving policies or conditions using activities such as education, advocacy, civic engagement and policy analysis.
“As an organization, from our board to our staff we are thrilled to welcome Sandra,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “Throughout an extensive search, we sought a leader to help us strengthen our strategy to center the value of sports and play programs in supporting childhood development and community well-being. Sandra has also demonstrated an ability to manage teams and develop focused plans that positively impact communities. Sandra will enhance our work and capacity to serve our partners as our efforts continue to evolve to reach more young people.”
The LA84 Foundation – a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development – levels the playing field so that sport is accessible to all children. For over 35 years, the LA84 Foundation has supported thousands of youth sports organizations across Southern California through grantmaking, while also training coaches, commissioning research, renovating sports facilities and refurbishing fields of play.
Martínez joined Cal Wellness as a program director in January 2002 and became the director of public policy in 2011. Previously, she directed the Progressive Los Angeles Network and directed other community-organizing efforts at the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. Martínez has also conducted extensive research on health-related issues such as the effects of the AIDS epidemic on teens, co-authoring a chapter of “The AIDS Challenge: Prevention Education for Young People” and “The Los Angeles County Adolescent HIV Strategic Plan.”
Currently she serves on the board of Neighborhood Funders Group. In 2010, she was a fellow in the inaugural class of Grantmakers In Health’s Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy, and also completed a four-year term as a commissioner for the city of Los Angeles’ Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families (2006-2010).
Martínez is a past member of the board for the Los Angeles Trade Tech College Foundation; community-funding board member for the Liberty Hill Seed Fund; past president of the board of the Echo Park Film Center; and a former board member of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, and the California Child, Youth and Family Coalition.
She received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.
ABOUT THE LA84 FOUNDATION
The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. For more than 35 years, the LA84 Foundation has supported thousands of youth sports organizations in Southern California through grantmaking, funding facilities and fields of play, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and serving as a national thought leader on issues in youth sports. The LA84 Foundation levels the playing field to ensure all youth have access and opportunity, regardless of income, gender or ability, while elevating youth sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.