La Luz's Staff

  • Juan

    Juan Hernandez

    Executive Director

    Born and raised in the barrio of East Los Angeles, Juan is completely bi-lingual and bi-cultural. He is a counselor, coach, and a seasoned advocate for youth and community outreach. He earned a B.A. degree from UC Riverside, a Fellowship in Management Leadership from New York, and an M.A. in Psychology and Organization Development from Sonoma State University. Juan served as Director of Educational Programs at the Calistoga Family Center, and, while in Calistoga, was elected to the board of the Napa Community Foundation and the Napa Valley Hispanic Network. Juan has been appointed (Sonoma Country) First 5 Commissioner, and he serves on the Sonoma Sheriff’s Advisory Group, the Sonoma Valley Health Roundtable, Portrait of Sonoma County Leadership Team, and the Latino Leaders of Sonoma County. Juan’s wife Veronica is a high school Spanish teacher.

  • Kara

    Kara Reyes

    Director of Programs

    Born and raised in Sonoma, Kara is a graduate of Sonoma High and Sonoma State University, where she received a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies. All of Kara's work is grounded in a deep commitment to social justice and health equity. She has worked both locally and internationally with a wide variety of communities. Kara believes in working collaboratively with all sectors of the community. She first learned Spanish while studying and working in Guanajuato, Mexico and later studied at the Center For Cross-Cultural Studies in Seville, Spain. Kara brings extensive knowledge and experience in health, education and cross-cultural competency to her position at La Luz. In her eleventh year at La Luz, she leads all of La Luz’s programs and services and is a senior member of the development team.

  • Maricarmen

    Maricarmen Reyes Larios

    Coordinator of Educational Programs, Family Advocate

    Daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, Maricarmen was born in Sonoma Valley in 1981. In 2000 she graduated from Sonoma Valley High School and was fortunate to receive a La Luz Center Scholarship. In 2005 after having worked five wonderful years for Migrant Education California MIni-Corps she graduate with Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chicano and Latino Studies from Sonoma State University

  • Sharon

    Sharon Somogyi

    Office Manager

    Sharon moved to Sonoma in 1993 and fell in love with the beauty of the valley, the culture and the sense of community. A lifelong believer in the value of strong communities, Sharon has spent her career in the non-profit world, over 25 of those years with Boys & Girls Clubs. Sharon brings a diverse background in programs, operations and development to La Luz. In addition to working with the staff and board at La Luz, Sharon enjoys spending time with her grandson and volunteering for various events and charities.

  • Maria

    Maria E. Calvillo Moncada

    Receptionist and Client Resource Assistant

    Maria was born in Zirahuen, Michoacán, Mexico, and came to Sonoma when she was seven years old. She attended all local schools and graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 2000. As a young child, she remembers accompanying her mother to La Luz for services. Maria began working at age 16 and has developed a strong work ethic. She has been a bilingual teacher assistant at Sonoma Valley High School and a teller at Banco de Sonoma for four years, where her goal was to always provide the best customer service. Maria loves helping the wide spectrum of people from many cultures who come to La Luz.

  • Maritza

    Maritza Barajas

    Family Advocate

    Maritza was born in Tepatitlán, Morelos, Jalisco, and came to Sonoma when she was 9 months old. Maritza attended all local schools and graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 2006. After attending Santa Rosa Junior College, she decided to volunteer at La Luz Center, to give back to the community that had welcomed her with open arms. She was hired as La Luz’s Receptionist in 2010, and has since been promoted to Family Advocate where she can assist clients with more in-depth counseling. In addition to her duties at La Luz, Maritza spends her time with her young son, her husband Miguel and their three horses. This year, Maritza is proud to have become a U.S. Citizen!

  • Alyson

    Alyson Therres

    Volunteer Coordinator & ESL Assistant

    Alyson was born and raised in a small town in Maryland. She studied Graphic Design and Marketing at James Madison University in Virginia. After graduation she went to Costa Rica, where she spent two years traveling, teaching English and coordinating a children’s program in Centro de Idiomas Intercultura. While at the school she established a volunteer training program to encourage and train foreign students to work in Costa Rican schools.

    Alyson enjoys spending her free time outside, photographing nature and creating jewelry. Her goal is to enhance La Luz’s many programs by providing increased support from community volunteers.

  • Catalina Chavez-Tapia

    Community Navigator


    Born in Michoacán Mexico, Catalina migrated to the United States in 1976. She was raised in Napa and educated in the Napa public schools. She earned her B.A in International Inter-Cultural Communication at California State University, Sacramento and her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration from University of San Francisco. Catalina has spent the past two decades doing research for nonprofit organizations. She is a member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Parent School Partnership Program (MALDEF), Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), is a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Latin American Students (AALAS) and founder of the Bi-national Health Alliance of Napa County.

17560 Greger Street

Sonoma, CA 95476


Mon-Thu 9am-5pm

Fri 9am-4pm