The “Toward a Shared Vision Awards” ceremony will occur on Thursday, October 26th, at the Riverside Convention Center. Hosted by Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), a local nonproﬁt, the awards recognize contributions to educational attainment and economic success in the Inland Empire.
RIVERSIDE, CA — Seven individuals and ﬁve groups will be recognized for their work in driving Inland Empire’sducational and economic success.
The Toward a Shared Vision Awards ceremony is set for Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Riverside Convention Center.
“The Toward a Shared Vision Awards recognizes individuals and groups making significant contributions to educational attainment and economic success in the Inland Empire region while embodying core values of equity, transformation, collaboration, innovation, and centering students,” said Ann Marie Sakrekoff, Interim CEO of Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), the local nonprofit hosting the awards celebration.
“We received twenty-ﬁve nominations for individuals and groups throughout the region, all of which are well-deserving candidates,” said Sakrekoff. “GIA brought together a diverse panel of representatives from local education and community-based organizations who deliberated and selected 12 individuals and groups to be recognized across six categories.”
The awardees are:
• Group: Children Deserve Success Program, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
• Individual: Dr. Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino
• Group: Ontario-Montclair Promise Scholars
• Individual: Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, California’s 58th Assembly District
Fby GIAity-Focused Excellence:
• Group: College Futures Foundation
• Individual: Dr. Henry D. Shannon, Superintendent/President, Chaffey College
Foby GIAellence in Regional Collaboration:
• Group: Making Hope Happen Foundation
• Individual: Kim McNulty, Vice President of Regional Strategy, OneFuture Coachella Valley
For by GIAlence in Innovation:
• Group: Office of Pre-College Programs, California State University, San Bernardino
• Individual: Dr. Ivan Peña, Dean of Student Services and Counseling, Crafton Hills College
• Individual: Dr. Judy D. White, President/Founder, MOSAIC, Retired 12th Superintendent of Schools for Riverside County
The awards ceremony is scheduled for October 26 at 2 p.m. as a culminating program of the two-day Toward a Shared Vision regional summit. Tickets for the full two-day summit can be purchased for $129. A day-two-only ticket, including the recognition ceremony, can be purchased for $65. Ticket sales will contribute to GIA’s student scholarship fund. Learn more about the awards and register to attend on GIA’s website: https://inlandempiregia.org/tasv-2023-awards/.
Since 2015, Growing Inland Achievement has been actively supporting educational attainment and economic success in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about their mission and initiatives, please visit InlandEmpireGIA.org.
Growing Inland Achievement President and CEO, Dr. Carlos Ayala, Dr. Carlos Ayala speaks at GIA’s annual Toward a Shared Vision Summit. Photo by Robert A. Whitehead
Ayala is credited with working with the Network to establish Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), as a 501(c)(3), IRS tax-exempt organization; more than doubling the size of the organization; and bringing more than $20 Million to the region for education.
INLAND EMPIRE, CA – President and CEO of Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), Dr. Carlos Ayala, will retire in June 2023.
GIA serves both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties as a regional, cross-sector network of education, government, nonprofit and business partners in the Inland Empire; collectively, they work towards a shared vision of educational and economic success.
“It has been an honor to serve the students of the Inland Empire, says Dr. Ayala. “I have learned a great deal about the affordances and constraints our students, families, institutions and community-based organizations face when it comes to student success.”
Dr. Ayala, age 62, has more than 25 years of service in public education. During his tenure as CEO, Ayala is credited with working with the network’s partners to establish GIA as a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization, more than doubling the size of the organization and raising millions of dollars for Inland Empire education.
Under his guidance and working with the network members, GIA was accepted as one of only six organizations in the U.S. chosen by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to participate in its Intermediaries for Scale program, also known as Higher Endeavor, bringing $10 million of support to the region for postsecondary transformation reforms.
“I want to thank the GIA Board of Directors and employees for their commitment to the people and students of the Inland Empire,” Ayala said. “I also wish to thank the vast array of people who are committed to changing the economy of the Inland Empire through education. Their work is notable and I remain convinced that the path forward is at your doorstep—engage collectively.”
The Board of Directors for GIA will oversee the process of choosing Dr. Ayala’s successor.
“As its first CEO, Carlos established the organization, including a set of processes to help us move forward,” said Dr. Kim Wilcox, GIA Board Chair and Chancellor of UC Riverside. “I’m personally grateful for his efforts.”
“Dr. Ayala brought a deep knowledge of the education landscape, strong leadership, and a passion for positively impacting student lives to our organization,” said Ann Marie Sakrekoff, COO of Growing Inland Achievement. “He is leaving GIA in a great position to succeed in our next chapter. Under Dr. Ayala’s leadership, GIA has become nationally recognized.”
GIA’s shared vision is that by 2035, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties will be widely recognized for their educated workforce, thriving communities and vibrant economy that creates prosperity for all.
Growing Inland Achievement, which serves both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, is a regional cross-sector network of education, government, nonprofit, and business partners in the Inland Empire, collectively working towards a shared vision of educational and economic success.
GIA staff support this work by researching issues and opportunities, developing financial resources for the region, and connecting diverse stakeholders across the two-county region of the Inland Empire.
GIA’s shared vision is that by 2035, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties will be widely recognized for their educated workforce, thriving communities, and vibrant economy that creates prosperity for all.