Tara Peterson is a recognized expert in the field of violence against women and is responsible for the executive and administrative leadership of YWCA Glendale and Pasadena. Peterson has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the organization’s 95-year legacy of supporting local women and girls by expanding programs and igniting a change in the culture and conversation around gender and racial equity in Glendale, Pasadena, and surrounding communities. Peterson co-founded and leads the Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale, which helped draft Glendale’s historic Sundown Town Resolution in 2020. In the resolution, the city apologized for its racially exclusionary history as a “sundown town.” This work earned the Coalition Housing Rights Summit Award the following year.
Peterson has led YWCA since 2016 and is responsible for ensuring high quality outcomes, financial sustainability, organizational viability, and exceptional service delivery. Under Peterson’s leadership, YWCA was recognized with the Maria Jacobsen Humanitarian Award from the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter, and named the 2020 Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 43 for its work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the community’s calls for racial justice. During her tenure, she has grown the organization’s operating budget from $1.3 million to $3 million and led the successful 2021 merging of the YWCA Glendale and YWCA Pasadena Foothill Valley subsidiary relationship, and the organization’s subsequent name change to YWCA Glendale and Pasadena.
Peterson brings more than 20 years of experience addressing domestic violence, youth violence, sexual assault, and reproductive rights. She spent a decade working at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, including five years as its Executive Director, leading statewide policy, legislative, and budget advocacy efforts. She is a fierce advocate with a long track record of successfully advocating for legislative change on behalf of survivors and their children, including leading initiatives to increase access to domestic violence services in underserved communities. Throughout her involvement in this movement, Tara has been called upon to advocate at the federal and state levels to secure resources and funding to address the social justice issues amplified in YWCA’s mission.
She represents YWCA Glendale and Pasadena in advocacy efforts at the California State Capitol and with legislative policymakers in Washington D.C. As a recognized expert in the field of Violence Against Women, she encompasses the intersection of domestic violence and communities of color and has been called upon to deliver speeches on these topics and has presented at several state and national conferences.
Peterson obtained her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento in Ethnic Studies while on a full-ride softball scholarship. She also holds a master’s degree in Multi-Cultural Education. She has been recognized for her excellence in leadership, receiving the following notable recognitions and awards: the 25th Senate District Women Heroes of the Pandemic Award, the 25th Senate District Outstanding Non-Profit Executive Director Award, and the Soroptimist Glendale Wonderful Woman Award.
Lisa Hirsch Marin
Lisa Hirsch Marin, LCSW, MSOD offers twenty-eight years of experience leading trauma-informed domestic violence, mental health, housing, education, child welfare, and community transformation initiatives that improve the lives of vulnerable women, children, and youth living in under-resourced communities throughout Los Angeles. As the Chief Operating Officer at the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, Ms. Hirsch Marin oversees domestic violence program operations, the 16-bed emergency shelter, the 24/7 crisis hotline, facilities, and IT, HR, Government Grants Operations, and compliance and risk management.
Ms. Hirsch Marin is a bilingual/bicultural executive with vision and experience that has led teams to innovative solutions, and implement initiatives that break through barriers so that children, youth, and families lead healthy, thriving lives. Her passion is creating opportunities for people to heal from the trauma of living with violence and poverty, abuse and neglect, and homelessness in underserved communities. A strategic thinker and creative problem solver, she challenges systems that have created generational cycles of poverty, in particular for people of color. Ms. Hirsch Marin has most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Wellness since 2019, leading trauma-informed Housing First Programs for Transitional Age Youth in South LA; Crisis Response and Intensive Programming; Psychiatry; Professional Development, Training and Evaluation; Total Quality Management and Compliance, and Technology. In addition, Ms. Hirsch Marin helped to broaden the organization’s base of financial support by 8 million dollars and expanded its compassionate, trauma-informed care with the incorporation of nontraditional therapeutic practices such as Healing Circles. Previous roles Ms. Hirsch Marin has held include Vice President of Programs at Para Los Niños, Director of Mental Health at El Centro Del Pueblo, Regional Director of Clinical Services and Community Mental Health Services at Children’s Institute, Inc., and Children’s Services Administrator at the Department of Children and Family Services. Ms. Hirsch Marin has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women as the Woman of the Year award recipient.
Ms. Hirsch Marin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has double Master’s Degrees, a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Social Welfare, and a Master of Science in Organization Development and Leadership (MSOD) from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
Jomie Liu has worked toward providing Girls’ Empowerment and equitable STEAM youth development programs over the past 10 years in Los Angeles County.
Jomie received her Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Physiology, and Neuroscience concentration from the University of California San Diego and is continuing both academic and professional development. She has made it her mission to validate and honor girls’ voices and identities over the past decade in Pasadena and Glendale communities.