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Eric Salazar passed away unexpectedly in June of 2022. He was a tireless leader and dedicated father. He assisted San Juan Diego Institute grow in its service to a wide range of creative Latino serving nonprofits that were making differences in their local communities and beyond. We leave his Biography on the page as a reminder to his instrumental role as a Fellow of the San Juan Diego Institute.

Eric Salazar has been a dedicated leader in the government and nonprofit sectors for over 20 years. He has ample experience supporting the growth and development of nonprofits through network models. He spent much of his career helping nonprofits develop unique program models and strengthening their service delivery platforms through process innovation, technology enhancements, organizational culture & leadership development, and performance evaluation, which allowed them to develop strong teams, maximize outcomes and access diverse funding streams.

His first nonprofit network role was as a regional manager for Greenpath Financial Wellness, a national credit counseling and financial education nonprofit. He was a regional manager in NY and AZ markets and formed part of a mergers and acquisitions team that expanded into predominantly Latino markets in Florida and Texas. This role expanded his regions and leadership footprint into four markets. In these ten years, he developed much of his servant leadership style and abilities to maximize the potential of nonprofits through organizational development, process innovation, and market development through win-win partnerships in local communities.

He then transitioned to UnidosUS as Director of UnidosUS’ Housing and Financial Empowerment component. At UnidosUS, he was responsible for expanding their homeownership network, increasing the network from 42 to 50+ organizations, and improving performance, resulting in HUD awards increasing from $1.2 Million to $2.5 Million and strengthening its partner organizations. He was also responsible for establishing a unique call center model that leverages affiliate housing counselors as its workforce, allowing housing counseling organizations to benefit from fee-for-service national program models.

Having graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, he transitioned to Raza Development Fund (RDF), where he is Director of UnidosUS Affiliated Investments. At RDF, he established the Affiliate Support Program. This technical assistance program helps RDF educate, inspire, and activate nonprofit organizations to make enterprise-level changes. These changes include earned income strategies, exploring social enterprise opportunities, and seeking CDFI investments along a path of transformational growth and impact in their communities. To date, 33 affiliates have participated in the program, with over $3 million in investments made to support technical assistance in small business, housing, and general organizational development. 

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