Carlos Martinez was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from Gardena High School in 1981 then graduated from Cal State University (Dominguez Hill) in 1986. Martinez majored in business administration and opened up a business soon after graduation called Quality Office Supplier. In 1988 Martinez joined a consulting firm called Lopez Lusk & Associates helping out businesses with internal management. He then joined a company, Bienestar, as executive director, a new nonprofit that addressed the HIV/aids community. In 1991 he joined the National Association of Hispanic Elderly headquartered in California, with 16 regional offices across the country. Martinez was also hired to help with internal management and launch a leadership program for young Latinos in the field of aging. During this time, Martinez worked on his Masters in (gerontology). He later joined the American Society on Aging, in San Francisco. In 1995 he moved to Boston to lead La Alianza Hispana –a community center that provided public health/employment/senior center/elderly and mental health services. He was later hired by United Way of Massachusettes Bay as vice president of community investments. In 2002 Martinez returned to Fresno as executive director of the Fresno Art Museum and to care for his ill mother. In 2008 Martinez moved to Colorado and became the CEO of the GLTB Community Center and in early 2014 was hired by the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado as its executive director. Martinez enjoys visiting museums and galleries during his free time as well as cooking.
About Latino Community Foundation of Colorado
The Latino Community Foundation of Colorado was founded in 2007 by community leaders and the Rose Community Foundation. Martinez oversees a staff of 10. Martinez adds, “This foundation is able to keep its focus on the big picture, changing the narrative for Latinos by bringing people together.”
High School Experience
A self-proclaimed B student, Martinez recalls high school as a stepping stone to college. His counselor discouraged him from pursuing college and advised him to enroll in a trade school, Martinez enrolled in college and eventually completed a masters program.
Message to Youth
“Never be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there. Never be afraid to open the door to do something you want to explore – even if you don’t have support.”
“Never doubt the change you can make. I have always put myself out there, I’ve been afraid. Do things to learn and help others. Also, my mother used to say, “The only thing you take with you, when you die, is your reputation.”