Welcoming Marisela Montoya, new executive director

Marisela Montoya recently assumed the role of executive director of South Los Angeles Health Projects (SLAHP.) Montoya is the organization’s first Latina female executive director—an important milestone demonstrating the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

As executive director , Montoya will build and execute strategy, deliver on operational excellence, and forge a strong relationship with community partners. She will continue her leadership in modernizing SLAHP systems and processes, build on our commitment to sustainability and diversity, and focus on evolving SLAHP workplace culture as we plan for a post-pandemic future.

Heidi Kent, SLAHP’s former executive director , announced Montoya’s appointment in September 2021. “Marisela’s experience and knowledge of SLAHP operations and culture will ensure a smooth transition and continuity for our participants, staff, and stakeholders,” Kent said.

“She is the right choice to continue partnering with the staff to deliver on our mission to enhance the health and quality of life of low-income adults, infants, and children in South Los Angeles.”

Montoya joined SLAHP as the chief of operations in 2014. She advised the executive director, ensuring that the most complex and critical operational issues and policy matters impacting the organization were developed and implemented consistent with the SLAHP mission, vision, and values.

“I am already working with the staff to build on the progress we’ve made on sustainability, social responsibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Montoya said. “It’s not lost on me that I am the first Latina woman to lead SLAHP.

”I am so proud of our culture. Our staff’s dedication to our mission and their work is what makes SLAHP an outstanding organization and destination employer. I am excited to lead this organization as we take on the challenges and opportunities the future will present.”

A native of Mexico , Montoya immigrated to West Los Angeles with her parents in 1972. She attended Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools. Montoya and her husband have three sons, a granddaughter, and two chocolate Labradors.

Montoya holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics and Food Administration with a minor in Chemistry, and a Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an Education emphasis. She earned a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership. Montoya successfully completed a Dietetic Internship with the honorary title of Summa Cum Laude, and is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.