Reflecting & Rejoicing Celebrating 60 Years of Impact »

SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, 2024 /The Unity Council/ — The San Francisco Business Times has named The Unity Council’s CEO, Chris Iglesias as one of the Most Admired CEOs among Bay Area businesses and nonprofits. In an article now appearing in the weekly publication, Iglesias is recognized for his transformative leadership at The Unity Council, where he has spearheaded innovative community development initiatives for over a decade. With a keen understanding of both nonprofit advocacy and urban development, Iglesias has led the organization through significant growth, cementing its role as a beacon of hope in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. His visionary approach has garnered acclaim, bridging the gap between social impact and sustainable growth.

Fruitvale has been called the “land of the essential worker” by leaders in the community and there was no greater testament to that than during the pandemic.

As the world was shutting down, many Fruitvale residents got up and went to work every day. In the first year of the pandemic, the Fruitvale BART station became the fifth busiest in the Bay. Iglesias says it was a big wake-up call for the Bay Area.

“We need these essential workers close to the Bay Area. They can’t be coming from the Central Valley every day. I think it was also kind of a wake up call for people that maybe they don’t really understand our work. Maybe they don’t understand what affordable housing is,” Iglesias said.

The Unity Council is now working on the Bay Area Latinx Power Building Initiative, which last year received a $3 million injection from the San Francisco Foundation. The money will be used to strengthen the network of advocacy organizations that serve the Latinx community.

“Ultimately, coming back to Oakland, where I was born, all my family lived, is everything,” Iglesias said.

The San Francisco Business Times will honor Iglesias at its Most Admired CEOs gala on May 16.