Líderes del Mes

Diciembre: Jarrett Barrios

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Jarrett Barrios serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. He leads a team of talented humanitarians providing care and comfort to those afflicted by disasters, serving veterans and members of the Armed Forces, and assisting refugees and their families.  Over his first two years, he has led the design of the Region’s effort to build resilience in Los Angeles’ most vulnerable communities against disasters ranging from home fires to earthquakes. This work builds on his prior role as the chief executive of the Massachusetts Red Cross where, for his transformational leadership, he was awarded the American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence in 2014.

Barrios is an honors graduate from Harvard College (AB ’90-’91) and Georgetown Law (’95), practiced law at the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow, then began public service in 1999 as a Massachusetts State Representative for four years, then as a State Senator for five years. In the House, he authored a broad range of legislation from a law to improve emergency room services for immigrants to the creation of a state low-income housing tax credit. In the Senate, he chaired the Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee and was the Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee.

As a state senator, Barrios led the first comprehensive rewrite of the state fire code in the wake of the Station Nightclub fire, authored the nation’s strongest “buffer zone” legislation to protect women’s health centers, led the passage of a statewide assault weapons ban and gang-prevention legislation, as well as authoring foreclosure prevention bills, consumer data privacy legislation, and laws to protect victims of domestic violence. During this period, he was a Senate leader in the effort to protect marriage equality for gay and lesbian families in the Commonwealth and helped found the Massachusetts statewide Latino political group, Oíste. Upon leaving the legislature, he served as the president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in Boston and of GLAAD in New York and Los Angeles.

Outside of Red Cross, he currently serves as a supervisorial appointee to the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, as a board member of the Los Angeles BizFed Institute, as well as the boards of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and the Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. Along the way, he has lectured on transnational gang violence in El Salvador, represented the United States in a delegation to Australia with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, counted hanging chads in the disputed presidential election of 2000, toured Mexico to train university students on American political process on behalf of the State Department, studied the public health systems and lectured on US health reform in Brazil as an Eisenhower Fellow. He recently participated in the inaugural cohort of the Presidio Institute’s Cross Sector Leadership Fellows in partnership with the White House Office on Social Innovation. He speaks Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese, and for twenty years, has engaged in licensed humanitarian efforts in Cuba.

Barrios has two children, Javier, 23, and Nathaniel, 18.


Noviembre: Fernando Vasquez

Fernando Vasquez was first elected to the Downey City Council in November 2010 to serve the citizens of the Fourth District. He was elected Mayor by a unanimous vote in November 2013, becoming one of the youngest council members to hold that position. In 2014, he was re-elected to serve four more years on the Downey City Council.

2015_Fernando_Vasquez_headshot_color.jpgMayor Vasquez has championed the causes he promised to address when campaigning in 2010. He has led the charge to bring the City into the 21st century by bringing forth new technology and open government initiatives to make government more transparent and accountable. He supported public safety services, a healthier and active City through the Stay Healthy Downey initiative, enhanced streets, parks and sidewalks, helped create thousands of jobs, and revived downtown by initiating numerous events, public art and new businesses.

A respected public policy speaker, Mayor Vasquez has presented at forums and seminars involving the Urban Land Institute, Forecast LA, Workforce Investment Healthcare Policy, COMCE de Occidente, A.C. (Latin American trade association), and other industry groups. He has been a guest lecturer at USC, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, San Diego, Universidad de Guadalajara and other academic institutions. He is a board member of Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG), I-5 Freeway Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Independent Cities Risk Management Authority (ICRMA- Alternate), Los Angeles City Selection Committee, Avanti Hospitals, Los Angeles County Medical Association Latino Advisory Committee and Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL). He is also a member of the National Association of Latino Elected Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the Downey Kiwanis.

In 2011, Mayor Vasquez founded and launched Primawaste, a medical waste management company. Today, Primawaste offers a variety of medical services throughout the western United States and is one of the fastest growing minority owned businesses in its industry. In 2015, he co-founded Mi Cielo Restaurant and Rooftop Lounge, an upscale fine dining restaurant in Downtown Downey. Mayor Vasquez holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from San Diego State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Riverside. He is married to Donna B. Vasquez, who is a partner with the Law Offices of Musick Peeler & Garrett.

Mayor Vasquez was raised in the City of Downey and is fluent in English and Spanish. He is the son of immigrant parents who came from a small town near Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. 

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