October 03, 2022

2022 UNA Nonprofit Leader Award Recipients

UNA is honored to recognize Sonya Martinez-Ortiz, Executive Director of Rape Recovery Center, and Jackie Larson, Executive Director/CEO of Centro Hispano as recipients of the 2022 UNA Nonprofit Leader Awards. Sonya and Jackie exemplify leadership, resilience, and grit. Their commitment to their organizations and the communities they serve cannot be overstated. We are truly grateful to have these compassionate, innovative leaders in the UNA community and look forward to their continued growth and success. Read on to learn more about these outstanding individuals. Congratulations, Sonya and Jackie!

 

 

2022 Outstanding Nonprofit Leader
Sonya Martinez-Ortiz
Executive Director
Rape Recovery Center

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With over 20 years of experience in grassroots advocacy, equity and inclusion strategies, community development, social work, and nonprofit management, Sonya Martinez-Ortiz is a true leader in Utah's nonprofit community. 

As Executive Director of the Rape Recovery Center, Sonya eliminated the Center's historical debt, secured the organization’s largest single gift, and steered the Center to be a leader in sexual violence advocacy at the state and national levels. She played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Prison Rape Elimination Act was implemented statewide for the first time and created PREA directives and positions within the Rape Recovery Center. 

Sonya was born and raised in Salt Lake City’s west side and has been involved with the community since she was in high school. She has worked and volunteered with organizations including NeighborWorks, Utah Community Action, University Neighborhood Partners, The University of Utah College of Social Work, and Zions Bank, among many others.

Sonya is not afraid of creating change, even if it means long hours, hard work, and challenging outdated systems. Leading by example, she values, honors, and respects her team as well as their knowledge and lived experiences. Sonya is courageous in her constant challenging of long-held beliefs in the nonprofit field and in her mission to incorporate anti-racism, equity, and accessibility in Utah’s communities.

 

2022 Emerging Nonprofit Leader
Jackie Larson
Executive Director/CEO
Centro Hispano

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Jackie Larson has always been driven by the urge to help others on a larger scale. From her time living in Indonesia, where she witnessed people suffering from easily preventable diseases, to her experiences working as an educator in local health departments, Jackie has been committed to improving the lives of those in her community.

Jackie first came to know Centro Hispano through her work at the Utah County Health Department and jumped at the opportunity to serve as CEO when the position became available in 2019. Stepping into the new role, she faced significant challenges—funding was slim, morale was low, and the organization had even lost its 501(c)3 charitable status. Over the next few years, Jackie committed herself to reviving the organization by restoring its 501(c)3 status, doubling funding, expanding program offerings to include the first immigration and family law service in Utah County, and securing much-needed financial support for the Latinx community during the COVID pandemic—all while learning the administrative responsibilities of nonprofit leadership.

Jackie is an effective leader who brings her whole heart to her work every day. She is devoted to her staff, Utah County, and the Latinx community, and is constantly looking for opportunities to unite the community and provide resources to the Latinx population.