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Ability Central Announces Board Election Results

Celia C.J. Solis to succeed Jesus M. Gonzalez as board chair in FY2024

Oakland, California – June 2, 2023 – Ability Central today announced board elections for FY2024. At their May meeting, the board elected Celia C.J. Solis as chair, Dr. Sofia M. Vergara as vice-chair, and re-elected Sarah Slaughter as treasurer. The Ability Central board of directors, comprised of 12 members, is responsible for governing the strategy, goals, and vision of the organization.

Celia joined the Ability Central board in February of 2020 and most recently served as vice-chair. Celia is a senior executive with more than 15 years of experience in corporate and nonprofit administration, human resources, organizational and community development, information technology, and marketing. The daughter of immigrants, Celia herself emigrated from the Philippines. Dr. Vergara, who joined the board in 2021, is a lecturer and the co-founder of Bridges to Inclusion, a company that provides training and support to educational institutions, organizations, families, and individuals with disabilities.

“Celia has an extensive background in developing and executing strategic plans for organizational sustainability and growth in both for-profit and nonprofit environments,” says Barry Saudan, CEO of Ability Central and board president. “We are excited about the unique perspective and leadership she will bring to the board, and look forward to her 2024 term.”

Celia succeeds Jesus M. Gonzalez as chair. Jesus joined the board in 2017 before becoming vice-chair and finally serving as chair through FY2023, leading the board through strategic updates for the organization and its programs.

“I am compelled to express my deepest gratitude to Jesus Gonzalez for the trust he placed in me when he invited me to join the Ability Central board – and for the guidance and advice he provided me as a director,” says Celia. “Under his leadership as board chair, he provided the strategy and foundation for our board to move ahead, with insight to look deeper and the competency to look beyond. As chair, I am excited to use that foundation to pursue opportunities that position Ability Central for continued success in the future.”

The Ability Central Board of Directors for FY2024 is:

Barry Saudan, President

Celia C.J. Solis, Chair

Sofia M. Vergara Ed.D., Vice-Chair

Sarah Slaughter, Treasurer

Jean Galiana

Dr. Philip Prinz

Michelle Yook

Andreas Forsland

Griffen Stapp

Linda Drattell

Tim Jin

Cheryl Mitchell

To view full board member bios, visit our website.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, Ability Central is the philanthropic division of the California Communication Access Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2003. Ability Central is committed to serving as an educator, convener, and resource working to expand communication and information access for individuals who are Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent and communities of support. Ability Central also offers technical support to other nonprofits working to help people with disabilities and provides online information and resources for people with questions about disabilities and communication access. Since 2010, Ability Central has granted more than $12.5 million to 200+ projects, serving more than half a million people with disabilities.

Contact: Grant Barringer, Communications Manager