HHCD Welcomes New Executive Director

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Social Service agency Holsten Human Capital Development (HHCD) announced the appointment of Israel Vargas as Executive Director. “After a long search, the Holsten Human Capital Development non-profit Board is proud to welcome Israel Vargas. We believe his wealth of experience and the esteemed colleagues he has solid relationships with, position him well to further our mission and presence in the communities we serve,” stated Founder and Chairman of the Board of HHCD Jackie Taylor Holsten. Vargas acquired over a decade of experience organizing community outreach, working with Roosevelt University, San Jose Obrero Mission, where he stabilized the organization by increasing funds, and participated in multiple Ceasefire marches. Vargas has received an Award of Excellence by the Office of the Cook County Treasure Maria Pappas and received recognition by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees. Vargas recently spoke to Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper about his new endeavor with HHCD.

Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper: What does it mean to you to be at the helm of Holsten Human Capital Development (HHCD) as executive director?

Israel Vargas: To me, being at the helm of Holsten Human Capital Development it’s humbling and an exciting experience at the same time. I get to live my personal mission of helping others while affording my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and leveraging my network thru such an amazing organization that provides supportive services to CHA residents.

In your time as director of Community Engagement for Roosevelt University, what lessons and experiences will you take into your new role?

As the former Director of Community Engagement at Roosevelt University, I was able to experience the diverse cultural exchange inside the university and the social justice awareness that the students express, and to work with outside community groups that are always strategizing to enhance services to our populations. Working at Roosevelt University reaffirmed my belief that the key to success is a proper education; encouraging education is a core value for me, and impacts everything I do.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

As executive director for HHCD what will that entail?

Being the executive director of HHCD entails three main categories:

  • Provide strategic vision to expand our work with outcome-driven data
  • Increase partnerships with community stakeholders, agencies, philanthropic institutions, and government bodies that will create a city wide wraparound system to help our most vulnerable
  • Be at the forefront of innovative programing that enhances the quality of life of our residents

Where do you hope to propel HHCD in the next five years?

I hope to propel HHCD to make sure programs are available in the mixed-income housing provided by Holsten Real Estate Development to ensure integration and eliminate isolation of our most vulnerable population instilling Communities Without Barriers.

You have received multiple awards for your activism, shared your insights through your book “Your Personal GPS-How to Navigate Life Challenges and Roadblocks,” and participated in Ceasefire marches. Why is it particularly vital for you to work closely with communities across Chicago?

It’s important for me to work with communities in Chicago because it take a village to raise a child. As a member of this village, I am responsible to be the voice reminding people that as long as they put in the work and never stop learning, everyone can make something of themselves. I know the importance of mentorship, communication, and guidance.

What message do you have for families who seek services from HHCD?

My message to families who seek services from HHCD is that we are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and to share your good experience with others at Holsten Human Capital Development because together we can build stronger communities.

Comments are closed.