Bertha G. Magaña

Associate Vice President

“What matters is not the leader's charisma. What matters is the leader's mission….The "non-profit" institution neither supplies goods or services, nor controls. Its product is a changed human being. The non-profit institutions are human-change agents. Their "product" is a changed human life (culture) altogether.” ― Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

Bertha G. Magaña joins The Alford Group with 35 years of program development and organizational leadership experience with community and national nonprofits. A former executive director, development director and director of operations, Bertha is an experienced nonprofit leader with a background in community organizing, program management, executive leadership and change management. Her passion centers on advancing organizations’ executive and volunteer leadership capacity to achieve impactful change.

Bertha’s nonprofit and volunteer positions focus on school and community development in Chicago’s African-American and Latino communities, including Kenwood Oakland and Pilsen. Prior to joining The Alford Group, Bertha, who is bilingual and fluent in Spanish, served as executive director of Latino Education Alliance (LEA), revitalizing an ailing educational support non-profit partnered with a Chicago public high school that advanced educational outcomes for Latino high school students through school-based early intervention, individualized student support and parental engagement leading to graduation and post secondary preparation. During her tenure, she led the board in its first strategic planning efforts to set agency direction; revised program design, operations and setting evaluation procedures; improved banking and finance processes; diversified and  grew philanthropic revenue 200%, expanded the program to 3 additional sites, and overhauled human resources policies. As a result of her leadership LEA’s successful programs were institutionalized into its founding school site and built upon by the Chicago Public Schools system-wide.

Bertha also served as Interim Director of Operations at Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization managing daily operations of a 4.5 million dollar agency comprised of a multi-level staff of 36 full and part-time employees in 8 departments. There she accelerated the development and implementation of a transition plan to improve and expand national office functions and facilitate spin-off of local affiliate by redefining their relationship. She assisted board governance by running its executive search process, while recommending operational and policy improvements, revising cost controls and revenue projections.

Bertha has also served as a consultant to non-profits and to the public sector. She planned and implemented a pilot teen summer intern employment and training program which served as a model for further expansion in collaboration with the Chicago Public Schools under the Mayor’s office.

Bertha’s civic involvements began as an undergraduate. She managed a Chancellor-funded tutoring program at a student organization and was a UIC Senate student member. As a professional, her service has been as a mayoral appointee to the Chicago Public School Board of Education from 1990 to 1995; Co-chair of the Citywide Coalition on School Reform; board member with Y-ME, National Breast Cancer Organization and an executive committee officer at the Chicago Foundation for Women, as well as, Co-chair of the Alliance of Latinos and Jews, an inter-group relationship-building volunteer-run non-profit. Most recently she served as Co-chair of the Latino Giving Circle, a donor advised fund at the Chicago Community Trust. Bertha is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, currently serving on the Fellows board of Directors and Co-chair of the LGC Unleashed Education Group. These engagements fulfill her personal commitment to giving back to the community and promoting educational equity.

Bertha and her husband have striven to model values of community service and integrity as proud parents of 3 wonderful young adults. The family shares an appreciation for diversity and cultural pride.

Education and Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Juris Doctor, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana College of Law
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