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CCAEJ Board of Directors

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President
Marla Matime

Chief Operating Officer and Consultant

Marla A. Matime is the founder and CEO of MAR.M Artistry & Consulting, a PR and marketing consulting firm in Southern California.   Key services provided are strategic communication consulting, media and marketing planning, copywriting, editing, and vocal services such as, lead vocals, background vocals, and writing services. 

Marla, serves as the Chief Operating and Communications Officer for Voice Media Ventures, a multi-media communications firm in Riverside, that is home of the IE VOICE and the Black Voice News, a legacy publication.  

Passionate about the condition of our communities, she assists in covering stories to bring awareness to what is happening in the world around those of the community.  The experience and knowledge that she brings to CCAEJ is expansive. 

Marla has extensive experience in team building and management and has been successful in building a communications team that delivers weekly news and information through video content, interviews, short docs, and social media engagement. In 2018, she successfully led two political media-buy campaigns simultaneously through Black publications throughout the state of California for the primary and general elections. 

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism from the University of Phoenix.

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Vice President
Maria Lum

Mitigation Coordinator

Maria is enthusiastically dedicated to contributing to the land conservation mission of the Rivers & Lands Conservancy by applying 20 years of experience with southern California natural resource assessments, protected status species surveys, environmental compliance, mitigation, technical writing, and project management.

Maria is responsible for working with various community partners to plan for the acceptance of open space properties that are to be conserved per requirements of regulatory permitting processes. Maria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and a Master's Degree in Rangeland Management.

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Secretary / Treasurer
Dean Mayorga

Journalist

Dean Mayorga is a freelance journalist, communications professional and entrepreneur who has utilized his talents to grow various local organizations and movements. As a partner of local clothing brand, 1LoveIE, he plays a critical role in managing two brick-and-mortar locations while also overseeing the marketing and sales strategies. 

 

Dean is also a dedicated activist, serving as a hatted member of the Inland Empire autonomous chapter of the Brown Berets. His work as a Beret has included organizing protests, hosting educational workshops and building the communications efforts of the unit, which seeks to tackle social justice issues through the Chicanx lens. 

 

As a journalist he has written for publications such as The Press-Enterprise, HipHopDX and the San Diego Union-Tribune, where he covered issues important to the Latinx community. 

 

Currently, he is a Marketing Specialist at Altura Credit Union and is helping to develop the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program there. He holds his B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside and M.A. in Public Relations from Cal Baptist University. 

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Gracie Torres

Director

As a committed water quality and compliance professional, Gracie Torres became the youngest and first Latina elected to serve as Vice-President on Western Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors, where she aims to dedicate her service on transparency, water quality, and conservation.  Gracie Torres also serves on the Boards of the Inland SoCal United Way, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, and Riverside Mutual Aid.

In 2019, Gracie was awarded an “IMPACT Award” by the Pick Group of Riverside for Civic Impact and recognized as “35 under 35” in 2020 by Young Elected Officials Network.  She was also crown “Queen" at the 2020 MardiCrawl, a fundraiser for 2-1-1 Connect.

Gracie is a longtime Riverside resident and a proud product of Riverside Unified School District schools as well as Riverside Community College. Her passion for water quality and environmental science developed when she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry and a Master's in Earth and Environmental Sciences from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). She is currently working on a Doctorate in Public Administration at Cal Baptist University (CBU).

Professionally, Gracie is an adjunct chemistry professor at CSUSB and is an environmental planner for Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

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Kareem Gongora

Director

Kareem Gongora is a communications professional who has devoted his career to serving others. Kareem has worked within hard-to-reach communities coordinating after-school programs for at-risk youth, developing asset-building programs and tax credit awareness campaigns, as well as overseeing self-sufficiency grants and contracts to support families.

In 2014, Kareem was honored as “Young Leader of the Year” by the Inland Empire Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and recognized as a “30 under 30” in 2017 by Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes. In 2018, he was appointed by the Speaker of the California Assembly to the California State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners, overseeing the bar exam, first-year law exam, as well as the state’s accredited, registered, and unaccredited law schools.

 

Kareem holds a BA in English from UC Riverside, MA in Management from the University of Redlands, and is currently attending California Baptist University to earn his Doctorate in Public Administration. He works for the County of Riverside as a public information officer and also serves as a member of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Committee on School District Organization.

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