Executive Leadership

Robert Chavez 

CEO

Robert Chavez steps into the role as CEO after years serving as the Chief Operations Officer (COO). Mr. Chavez’ history with YDI began when he was a 14-year-old summer youth employee. Today, he oversees all of YDI and works closely with each VP, engages each department, and listens to every employee to ensure the success of YDI and keep our promise of partnering with every family.

He is the former COO of the New Mexico State Board of Nursing, and former interim co-division director for the New Mexico Human Services Department’s Behavioral Health Services Division, as well as former Deputy Director for the Income Support Division. Chavez holds an MA and BS degrees from the University of Phoenix.

Terri Owens-Sweetland

CFO

Terri Owens-Sweetland is YDI’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Terri holds a BBA and an MBA from the University of New Mexico, as well as holding a CPA certificate.

Terri joined YDI in 2020 and been instrumental in strenghtening and stabilizing the organization’s finances while navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

Born and raised in New Mexico, Terri has worked in various industries in the accounting and tax arena for construction companies, credit unions, GasCo of NM/PNM, and hospitality real estate and management.

 

Donna Martinez

VP of Human Resources

Donna Martinez is the Vice President of Human Resources for the agency and has been with YDI for 42 years. Ms. Martinez and her professional staff are responsible for all personnel matters for the more than five hundred professional employees of YDI. Ms. Martinez has been employed with YDI for thirty three years and is a leading expert in the field of Human Resources. Ms. Martinez graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelors degree in 2000.

Manuel Casias

VP of Development and Annual Giving

Manuel Casias is the VP of Development and Annual Giving with Youth Development Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience in operations, strategic planning, fiscal management, fund/business development. Casias has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Santa Fe; a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix; and also has a master’s degree in divinity from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

 

Diana Lopez

VP of Prevention, Intervention, and Behavioral Health

Diana has over 36 years of direct service and senior management experience in non-profit organizations ranging in scope from start-up to $5.2M per year supervising programs and providing comprehensive social service and mental health care for children, youth, and families. Diana holds a Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of New Mexico and holds licensure as an LPCC from the State of New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board.

Debra Baca

VP of Early Childhood Education

Debra has an M.A. in Business Administration and over 36 years of direct services and senior management experience with YDI. Debra oversees and administers $16 million annually. She provides leadership and supervision for 350 staff members, whose primary focus is to implement high quality education for young children and self sufficiency for families.

Concha Cordova

VP of Education, Employment, and Training

Concha Cordova has 19 years of experience with direct service and senior management of youth workforce development, dropout prevention, and education programs at YDI.  Mrs. Cordova has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology with a minor in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration. 

 

KJ Straub-MacCanon

Communications Manager

KJ Straub-MacCanon is a true green chile-loving Burqueño at heart and will always have the Southwest run through his blood. A fascination with the arts and theatre led to a BA in Theatre from UNM in 2003, graduating Cum Laude and in 2017, KJ earned his BFA in Communication Design from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His eclectic collection of knowledge and interests not only gives him the ability to communicate with countless cultures and generations, but also shows through in all his design and illustration projects.