Salvador Ontiveros: New Leader of LCDA - 405 Magazine

Salvador Ontiveros: New Leader of LCDA

Taking the helm and expanding connections.

Salvador Ontiveros

Salvador Ontiveros photographed by Charlie Neuenschwander.

On this frosty winter afternoon, the Latino Community Development Agency is filled with signs of joyful life: preschoolers dancing through the lobby holding hands and the smells of cooking. Oregano, garlic and chilies waft deliciously through the air. The LCDA, an award-winning service organization founded in Oklahoma City in 1991, welcomed a passionate and capable new president and CEO on Aug. 1, 2023. Salvador Ontiveros took over the role from Dr. Raul Font. Six months in, he is enthusiastic about this new role. “I go home at night not feeling like I worked 12 hours; I go home at night thinking about all the people that this place served. It’s not always appropriate to brag in our culture, but I think it’s time to start sharing what we are doing.”

Before accepting this position, Ontiveros brought a wealth of experience from his 14 years of work in multiple fields. He has held various positions in sales, finance, human resources and banking. “I was trying to learn everything. But what I have always wanted to do,” he emphasized, “was work in non-profit.”

He came to the LCDA from his work at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center as it was beginning a fundraising campaign to construct a new building at 11th and Broadway. “I was in charge of finance, accounting, IT and human resources. The campaign raised 30 million dollars and we started construction on the new building. We went from 13 employees to close to 100 employees. We tripled our budget, we created a 20-million-dollar, state-of-the-art facility. I’m very proud of the work we did there, and very grateful for the opportunity.”

Salvador Ontiveros photographed by Charlie Neuenschwander.
Salvador Ontiveros photographed by Charlie Neuenschwander.

When he received a phone call about running the LCDA, he said that he was humbled and even shocked. The organization that taught him to serve the community wanted him to come back. Recalling the influence that the organization had on him as a young person, he said, “Growing up, I would come to the LCDA and participate in the programs. This place was a beacon of hope, and it allowed me to find support when I really needed it. I volunteered here often and I fell in love with nonprofit organizations and serving my community. I also met my wife here at LCDA. This place has always held a special place in my heart.”

As a high school senior, the LCDA introduced Ontiveros to a college recruiter from OCU, where he won a full-ride scholarship, The Clara Luper Scholarship. He recalled, “That was huge for me. My parents wanted to help but they weren’t fluent in the language. I found my mentors here.”

When Ontiveros talks about future plans for the organization, he explains, “Our goal at the moment is trying to expand services. We are getting ready to start Lunch & Learns for the community and the corporate community so they can come learn more about the LCDA. We are going to start recruiting Luncheon members for an annual fundraiser, inviting leaders of the community to come in and help plan the future.”

Although Ontiveros said he can’t talk about all the plans for the future publicly yet, he shared that he is tirelessly looking for ways to collaborate with other organizations and any place there is opportunity to grow the LCDA and their reach. “There is an abundance of opportunity out there. We are creating many different partnerships, and I am so grateful.”

Ontiveros learned recently at the State of the City event that 58% of the students in Oklahoma City schools are Latino. “Our community is growing — and that is a lot of future taxpayers and voters. That is so much potential. I want to promote and elevate all the ways to help them that we can.”

We look forward to the leadership of Salvador Ontiveros at LCDA and to the pride and benefits the organization brings to the OKC Latino community, and to all of Oklahoma City.

Interested in learning more about OKC’s LCDA? Click here to read about their former leader, Dr. Raul Font.