Carlos joined NP as Director of Economic Opportunity in October 2018. In his role Carlos will be leading our work to build assets and financial vitality in communities across Oregon. He’ll be supporting the success of the Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative, as well as working to advance policy changes and secure resources – including increasing funding for the IDA Initiative.
With over 10 years of experience in the asset building field, Carlos brings expertise in direct client service, program development and administration, and leadership in policy initiatives. Carlos is passionate about supporting social and economic justice and hopes to continue advocating for programs and policies that help promote family economic success throughout Oregon. Carlos holds a degree in International Business from Oregon State University where he worked throughout his undergrad career on issues of access and retention for Chicano/ Latino students. On his own time Carlos enjoys traveling, playing basketball, biking, watching movies and spending time with family and friends. He is originally from Hermiston, Oregon.
For starters, tell me a little about yourself.
My full name is Carlos David García and I’m the son of immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico who came to this country in pursuit of a better life for their family. I’m a twin, the youngest of 6 siblings and have 17 beautiful nieces and nephews. I was born and raised in Eastern Oregon, in the small town of Stanfield where I knew everyone in my school. I eat an apple almost daily and the button accordion is my favorite instrument that I dream of playing some day. I love to travel and take advantage of all that the NW has to offer.
What area of expertise and interest do you have?
I have over 10 years of experience in the asset building field and bring expertise in direct client service, program development and administration, and leadership in policy initiatives. This includes experience in direct service delivery, financial coaching, counseling, advocating for struggling homeowners and creating homeownership and other asset building opportunities (like credit) for working families. One of the last strategic initiatives I led was to find ways to integrate Financial Capabilities and Financial Coaching into all of our organization’s programmatic areas including homeownership, small business development, housing and youth and family programs.
I have a strong interest in financial capability and coaching and developing solutions that put the needs of those most affected heart and center. Additionally to create policies that promote and encourage asset building as a way to develop wealth for individuals and families who have been historically pushed out of the economic progress of our State’s economy.
What does opportunity mean to you?
Opportunity means choice. It means having a set of circumstances that make it possible for everyone to get quality and affordable housing, education, health care, and living wage jobs. It’s having a system that does not discriminate but rather creates and expands that choice and opportunity.
What difference can financial security make for individuals and communities?
One of the foundations to financial security is having money and resources to fall back on during hard times. And since life happens to all of us, whether it’s unexpected medical expenses or your car breaking down, it’s knowing that having that resource (or savings) to weather the storm that allows individuals and families to come out the other end stable and in a position to have a choice about next steps and eventually plan for the future. That is NOT the reality for far too many of our neighbors. It’s that difference of being in a position to have a choice that truly allows both individuals and collectively communities to fully reach their potential and prosper.
What’s your favorite quote?
!Si se puede!
Choose one author, living or dead, that you’d like to have dinner with?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
What are you looking forward to most about this position?
To continue working alongside so many colleagues that I respect and admire from across the State. To work collaboratively and have the opportunity to be bold, create and promote programs and policies that will support the IDA Initiative and our fellow Oregonians.