Who We Are

Executive Director

Roberto Barrágan

For more than thirty years, Barragán has served in leadership positions with organizations focused on community lending and economic development. He is a nationally recognized expert on economic development loan funds, organization capacity building, and strategic resource generation. Over the last three years, Roberto served as Chair and Vice Chair for the inaugural Federal Reserve Board of Governors Community Advisory Council.

Roberto Barragán is a skilled small business lending executive and an experienced non profit organization professional.  For the past 2 years, he has provided impactful small business and CRA solutions to cities, associations and  financial institutions, fund raising, capital development service, strategic planning to CDFIs and other nonprofits across the United States , while providing financing and credit solutions for minority owned businesses in California. Aquaria has assisted in raising $20 million in loan capital and $2,500,000 in grant support nationally for CDFI’s and national CDFI advocates.

Barragán led the VEDC to national prominence as a highly regarded and industry leading small business lender originating millions annually in small business loans to minority borrowers. Under his leadership and innovation, the VEDC increased its assets from $10 million to over $70 million in under 10 years, while he personally raised over $100 million in debt and grant capital.  Additionally, he redefined how African American and Latino entrepreneurs can access capital through partnerships with financial institutions and corporations and launched numerous business programs including Business Opportunity Funds in Chicago and New York, and  the National African American Small Business Loan Fund. Under his direction and leadership during a 21-year career, the VEDC helped thousands of businesses succeed.


Elena A. Frias, Director of Programs and Technical Assistance brings 20 years of community and economic development experience. An advocate for social justice, access to basic health care and education; her work has focused on community development, raising awareness on health care disparities and community and coalition building.  Through her extensive community engagement efforts, Elena has built strong connections to the Los Angeles community, which is vital to her role of the Director of Programs and Technical Assistance. Elena is a current Board elected and voting member of the Hollywood Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors. Elena holds a Bachelor’s in Communications from Emerson College and a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Northeastern University. 

Elias Garcia is the Training and Advocacy Manager at CCEDA. Elias earned a B.A. in Film Studies at Humboldt State University. However, an urge to give back to his community led him to work in education. Elias worked as a Paraprofessional and Special Education Teacher at various schools in the San Fernando Valley, the area in which he grew up. Wanting to expand his service to the community beyond the classroom, Elias joined CCEDA in 2021. Elias is passionate about empowering poor and working-class people, as well as challenging systems of power. 

Dawn Perkins, Marketing & Membership Coordinator is a young, ambitious marketing specialist and journalist for over 4 years. Dawn has formerly worked as a broadcast journalist at Long Beach Local News, editor at 22 West Media and the Daily 49er where she covered issues on social inequalities in housing and income disparities, community health, outreach programs and local government politics. Simultaneously, she worked as a marketing manager and media relations consultant in the beauty industry for beauty brands. Perkins specializes in social media work, strategic marketing, content creation, copywriting/newswriting and web development. Through Dawn’s creative eye she has built her portfolio as a graphic designer, video producer and editor, at growing professional lash/beauty brand. Perkins has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a focus in Broadcast Journalism from California State University, Long Beach.

Board of Directors


Kerry Doi, President & CEO

Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment

Northern Vice Chair


Southern Vice Chair



Antonio Manning, President & CEO

Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA)


Mark Wilson, President & CEO

Coalition for Responsible Community Development


Director of Planning and Development

Big Sandy Rancheria

Joe Duran, CEO

Stanislaus Equity Partners

Susan Howard, Retired

Jill McCullough, Vice President

Corporate Social Responsibility 

Community Relations Manager | Greater Los Angeles U.S. Bank

Claudia Lima

Chief Investment Officer

New Jersey Community Capital



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