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Latia King- Fontánez

Chief of Staff at Junior Achievement of Northern New England (JAofNNE) (as of September 2019)

Former Position at CEP
Senior Executive Assistant to the President

Length of Tenure at CEP
13.5 years

What are you up to these days?
I’m working as Chief of Staff at Junior Achievement of Northern New England (JAofNNE), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Our goal is to empower the next generation of resilient leaders through economic mobility and opportunity. I’m thoroughly enjoying being back in the youth development field! I find putting my skills and talents to use, in an effort to have a positive impact on the lives of young people, to be very important and extremely fulfilling.

How did your time at CEP prepare you for what you are doing now?
During my entire tenure at CEP, I worked in the President’s Office, as Phil’s executive assistant. Being able to work so closely with the president of the organization, and for so long, afforded me many opportunities to learn all about what it takes to run – and grow/sustain – an organization truly dedicated to its mission and to lead it with the utmost transparency and integrity…and how to do all of that successfully. When I started at CEP, we were one office, YouthTruth was not in existence, and I was employee number 12. When I left CEP, we had two offices, YouthTruth was doing excellent work – and had been for years – and we were a staff of close to 40!

Also, because I assisted Phil, I had a part to play (big or small) in just about everything that had to do with the organization. As one might imagine, I grew a lot from being in such a role and learned to a deeper degree how to maneuver through high stakes situations and how to handle confidential information and matters. Phil also made the most of all the skill sets he noticed that I possessed. He would, often times, offer me opportunities to take on more responsibilities. Responsibilities that worked well alongside my skill sets, even if they weren’t responsibilities an executive assistant would normally be privy to and/or tasked with. That kept things fresh and helped me to continue to grow professionally while also allowing certain skill sets not to get rusty.

Having the experiences, options, and opportunities listed above did nothing but help me hit the ground running at JAofNNE and, particularly, in the role of being the organization’s first-ever Chief of Staff.

What do you miss most about working at CEP?
My former colleagues! Though there is A LOT to miss about not working at CEP anymore, it’s my former colleagues that I miss most. Hands down. Very fortunate and appreciative of the time I had with them. Truth be told, however, the snack closest is a close second!

What advice would you give someone about working at CEP?CEP is a one-of-a-kind place to work, which provides some one-of-a-kind opportunities to learn and grow. Take advantage of it and learn all you can. People at CEP want to see you succeed and are willing to help you grow and develop, both personally and professionally. Bring your questions, thoughts, insights, and best work to the table every day. Be prepared to work hard – but enjoy that you will also play hard!

Describe your perfect Sunday.
It’d definitely start off with NOT having set my alarm clock the night before. Days where I can just allow my body to wake up when it wants to are simply glorious! Once awake, and after having thanked God for allowing me to see another day, I’d spend time putzing around the house with my husband before we make and eat breakfast together. After that, we’d get ourselves ready to go to church and then spend time fellowshipping with our church community. We’d follow that up by spending quality time doing whatever we want and just enjoying being unscheduled and letting the day take us where it will. We’d wind the day down with some tasty Thai food as we watched a movie at home before then turning in for the night at a reasonable hour. Translation: No later than 10pm!

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