Gabriel Buelna, Ph.D,
Dr. Gabriel Buelna graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN) with a Bachelor’s degree before completing a master’s program in Social Work at San Diego State University. Dr. Buelna earned his Ph.D. from the School of Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate University. In 1999, Gabriel joined CSUN as a faculty member where he continues to teach history and politics in the Chicana/o Studies Department.
In the early 90s, Gabriel began his career as a children’s social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and went on to work in foster care. He worked with abused and neglected children, their families, law enforcement, and the courts. Through this intense involvement in the community, Gabriel learned that safe neighborhoods, job creation, and education are the foundation for healthy families.
Gabriel attributes much of his success to his strong family ties. As the son of Mexican immigrant parents and growing up in South Los Angeles, Gabriel grew up in a household where education was a central core value. Gabriel and his wife of 24 years, Pilar, have three daughters who are active student athletes in track and cross country.
Dr. Buelna remains committed to improving the world his daughters will inherit and imparts upon them the critical need to do the same for their children.
Max A. Ordonez is the Chief Financial Officer of Plaza Community Center, Inc. At Plaza, he is responsible for the financial operations of the organization, including financial reporting, operating budgets, business systems, procurement, fiscal compliance and contract/grant administration.
Before joining Plaza in 2019, started imm management® in 2000. Max’s consulting practice imm management® provided customized long-term and short-term growth & financial solutions for each respective client based on industry and stakeholder requirements. He has been successful in the completion of a wide range of private and public sector projects. Clients served include: K-12 and Community College programs, construction, development & redevelopment, telecom, insurance services, manufacturing, and medical/medical device companies.
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Programs & Operations
Jennifer Blades is a California native who was born and raised in the City of Pasadena. She has been working in the field of Early Childhood Development for over 22 years and has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Development and a Master’s degree in Human Development with a concentration in Leadership in Education and Human Services, both from Pacific Oaks College.
Jennifer has been dedicated to working with children and families and started her career as an Education Technician for the Department of Defense with the United States Army Child Care System. She has a long history of working with nonprofit agencies and in the private sector as a Preschool Director, Family Service Coordinator and has been a part of educational research studies as an observer for the Quality Rating and Improvement System.
Ms. Ceja is a proud Mexican-American woman who was born and raised in Boyle Heights. She comes from a very humble family and is the oldest of three. In the early years of her career she volunteered and worked at various after school programs while attending East Los Angeles College.
In 2012 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Child Development from the University of La Verne. Ms. Ceja also earned a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College in 2014. Ms. Ceja has worked in the field of Child Development for the past 15 years. She began working in the classroom as a Teacher Assistant, Associate Teacher, Lead Teacher and eventually a Site Supervisor. Working with young children has been a very rewarding experience for her. She has had the opportunity to work with both private and state subsidized preschools.
Currently Ms. Ceja is managing the Select Home Visitation program at Plaza Community Services where she ensures clients receive high quality home visits that include: child development education, family well-being and resource and referrals. She is also an active participant of community lead meetings. Ms. Ceja enjoys spending quality time with her lifelong partner and family. She loves traveling, road trips and exploring new adventures. Ms. Ceja is committed and devoted to give back to the East Los Angeles community.
Select Home Visitation
Rosalba is the Director of State Early Childhood Education Program. She earned her Bachelor’s in Social work from California State University of Los Angeles in 1997. In 2016, she graduated from Pacific Oaks College with a Master’s in Human Development with a specialization in Leadership and Education. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of early childhood education and over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector.
She was born and raised in the East Los Angeles Community, which leads her to have a deep connection with the community Plaza serves. She is passionate about early childhood education and advocating for children and their families. Rosalba believes in providing children with a safe educational environment in which they can learn and grow.
Rosalba continues to reside in the community of East Los Angeles with her two sons and husband. She is devoted to her family and enjoys spending as much time possible together.