AAMA Welcomes Interim CEO While Celebrating Growth and Performance Across the Greater Houston Region

Style Magazine Newswire | 10/28/2022, 11:09 a.m.
AAMA, the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, announces senior leadership promotions while celebrating elevated performance at AAMA's George …
Daisy Morales

AAMA, the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, announces senior leadership promotions while celebrating elevated performance at AAMA's George I. Sanchez Charter Schools. Daisy Morales will serve as interim CEO, while Adolfo Melara becomes President and Superintendent, and Debbie Ortiz becomes COO.

“The Board is pleased that Daisy Morales has accepted a pivotal role as our interim CEO starting in December,” said AAMA Board Chair Benjamin Hernandez. “Daisy shares our vision for a future that invests in education while continuing to strengthen our communities. Daisy will lead an empowered team that continues to grow and excel for our students, our mission, and stakeholders.”

Daisy Morales, a longtime Vice President of Community Affairs at a regional Texas nonprofit, brings extensive community relationships and a history of educational innovation and vocational preparation to her new role as AAMA’s interim CEO.

“I’m excited to work with Adolfo, Debbie, Benjamin, and the entire AAMA team as we build forward for our students and our larger communities,” said Morales. “I believe in our team, and I see the road ahead for how we will build greater success and meaningful opportunities for Latino communities in the Houston area.”

Morales, Melara and Ortiz are assuming their new roles as the George I. Sanchez Charter Schools, a vital part of AAMA’s mission, have earned higher state scores under Melara’s first year as Superintendent. With today’s announcement, AAMA board members celebrate the progress Melara and Ortiz have achieved. Ortiz has created new strategic partnerships and relationships, brought in new donors, increased AAMA’s revenue, and stepped up to serve as interim CEO over the past 6 months. Melara undertook a rigorous “turn-around” strategy for the schools, bringing state ratings up strongly and positioning the schools and students for future success.

“Adolfo and Debbie have been a key part of our growth and educational improvements during the last year,” said Hernandez. “The Board is recognizing not only their accomplishments, but also their ongoing capacity for high performance in the future. Having a nonprofit executive and community leader like Daisy gives our organization a wise and trusted interim senior leader over the next year as Adolfo transitions his Superintendent duties to become AAMA’s President and CEO.”

Morales, active with numerous nonprofit organizations, was transitioning from her full-time career when AAMA asked her to join the organization as interim CEO. She noted that while many of her peers are retiring or semi-retiring from corporate and executive roles right now, she wanted to leverage her experience in unique, strategic ways.

“Serving as interim CEO allows me to continue to invest in our community while having a well-defined time span to support AAMA’s future,” said Morales. “This is a great way to give back! I am grateful to Debbie for her long-term commitment, even agreeing to serve as a bridge to my role as interim CEO, and in turn I am committed to providing a structure in which Debbie and our whole team can thrive, and in which Adolfo can continue to guide the school’s excellent progress while planning for his larger organizational duties. A year from now, or maybe sooner, I look forward to welcoming Adolfo as our President and CEO.”

Hernandez and the AAMA Board will announce the trio’s new roles at the Illumine Gala, Friday, October 28, 2022. Proceeds from the Gala support AAMA’s programs, George I. Sanchez Charter Schools, Prevention & Counseling, Early Childhood Center, Adelante Adult Education, and Work and Learn Center.

AAMA serves 10,000 people each year, including nearly 1,000 students at two Sanchez charter schools, 6.000 individuals who are recovering from substance use disorders or at risk of communicable diseases including HIV, 1,000 more who participate in ESL and HSE classes, as well as others in workforce development and career pathways, and Early Childhood.