Luis has served as the Executive Director for the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) for the past 11 years. During his tenure, he has worked to create increase the asset development opportunities for San Francisco’s low-income Latino families and has worked to develop asset development programs that are most relevant, provide the most added value to MEDA’s low- and moderate income, Spanish-speaking constituency. In this regard, he has led the development of a business development program, whose services focuses on the long-term sustainability of local-serving businesses; a first-time homeownership program which helps working families own their first home; and, a free tax preparation program which helps constituents access their tax returns. Despite their different goals, the common thread among these programs is the focus on financial education, which focuses on families reducing their debt, increasing their savings, and improving their credit score. Combined these programs provide asset development services to over 3,000 families per year. Most recently, Luis led the development of Plaza Adelante – a 21,000 square-foot, one-stop financial and asset development services center tailored to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income Latinos in San Francisco. This will be accomplished by co-locating of several organizations under one roof, coordinating the relevant administrative services, and synchronizing the service delivery of the various participating organizations. Additionally, the project also includes art and technology components. This is the only community center in the nation whose focus is on creating asset development opportunities for low-income individuals.
Luis serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), the California Association of Micro-Enterprise Organizations (CAMEO), and Galeria de la Raza. Luis has a Masters of City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors of Science from the University of California at Davis.
Myrna Melgar became MEDA’s Deputy Director in 2012. Prior to coming to MEDA, Myrna was a community development and affordable housing consultant providing services related to affordable housing policy and planning, affordable homeownership program development, affordable housing campaign development, financing, and organizational capacity building. She is the former Director of Homeownership Programs at the Mayor’s Office of Housing in San Francisco. As such, she oversaw the City’s portfolio of investments in homeownership for low and moderate income households. San Francisco provides down payment and mortgage assistance, and also administers one of the largest below market rate programs in the country. Additionally, she managed several rehabilitation loan and grant programs for low income homeowners. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Ms Melgar served as a loan officer for the Housing Development Fund in Fairfield County, Connecticut, a CDFI providing capital and technical assistance to non-profit low income housing developers and first time homebuyers in the region. Ms. Melgar immigrated to San Francisco with her family from El Salvador as a teenager in the 1980s. She holds a MSUP in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York, and lives in San Francisco with her family.