Meet the Team
Conozca al Equipo

 
Sergio Sosa, Executive Director   Upon hearing from hundreds of south Omaha community members about the challenges they were facing, Sergio was inspired to start the Heartland Workers Center in 2009. Sergio draws upon his 30-plus years as a community organizer to direct the work of the organization and lift up the voices of his neighbors. Sergio is from Guatemala and has studied philosophy and theology. He and his wife have two teenage children. In his free time, he enjoys reading, praying, and watching sports and news.   sergio (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Sergio Sosa, Executive Director

Upon hearing from hundreds of south Omaha community members about the challenges they were facing, Sergio was inspired to start the Heartland Workers Center in 2009. Sergio draws upon his 30-plus years as a community organizer to direct the work of the organization and lift up the voices of his neighbors. Sergio is from Guatemala and has studied philosophy and theology. He and his wife have two teenage children. In his free time, he enjoys reading, praying, and watching sports and news.

sergio (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Abbie Kretz, Lead Organizer   Abbie grew up in Schuyler, Nebraska. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in philosophy and religion, and Spanish, and a Master of Arts in sociology. Previously, Abbie was a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Volunteers in Peru. While in Peru, she coached soccer and started a reading group at a home for teen girls, worked at a women’s center, and coached boys soccer in one of Lima's shantytowns. In her free time, Abbie enjoys running, teaching and doing yoga, reading about world history, and traveling.   abbie (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Abbie Kretz, Lead Organizer

Abbie grew up in Schuyler, Nebraska. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in philosophy and religion, and Spanish, and a Master of Arts in sociology. Previously, Abbie was a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Volunteers in Peru. While in Peru, she coached soccer and started a reading group at a home for teen girls, worked at a women’s center, and coached boys soccer in one of Lima's shantytowns. In her free time, Abbie enjoys running, teaching and doing yoga, reading about world history, and traveling.

abbie (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Lucia Pedroza, Senior Organizer   Lucia finds inspiration for her work through friends and family, including her children, Santiago and Andre. She hopes to help build communities that work for all people and to create a more just society for future generations. Lucia was born in Guatemala and raised in Hastings, Nebraska. She currently studies sociology, focusing on families and inequality. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising outdoors and spending time at home.   lucia (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Lucia Pedroza, Senior Organizer

Lucia finds inspiration for her work through friends and family, including her children, Santiago and Andre. She hopes to help build communities that work for all people and to create a more just society for future generations. Lucia was born in Guatemala and raised in Hastings, Nebraska. She currently studies sociology, focusing on families and inequality. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising outdoors and spending time at home.

lucia (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Raúl Arcos, Organizer   Raúl is originally from Mexico and has lived in the United States for 27 years. He is a DACA recipient who has worked in the Columbus, Nebraska area as the programs and outreach coordinator for Centro Hispano. Previously, he worked as a food service manager, so he bakes to relax. Raúl wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. He is married and lives in Grand Island with his husband and three cats.   raul (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Raúl Arcos, Organizer

Raúl is originally from Mexico and has lived in the United States for 27 years. He is a DACA recipient who has worked in the Columbus, Nebraska area as the programs and outreach coordinator for Centro Hispano. Previously, he worked as a food service manager, so he bakes to relax. Raúl wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. He is married and lives in Grand Island with his husband and three cats.

raul (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Alejandrina Lanuza, Organizer   Alejandrina was born in Illinois and lived in Mexico for several years before returning to the United States in 2010. She has her bachelor's degree in culinary arts and applies her studies as a kitchen manager. Alejandrina also is a GED instructor, teaching in Spanish. She serves on the Comite Latino de Schuyler and Schuyler Chamber of Commerce boards. In her spare time, Alejandrina likes to pray, cook, read, learn about cultures and traditions, and spend time with her family, including her husband, son Jesus, and their "fur baby," Frankie. She and her family enjoy road trips and exploring new places together.   alejandrina (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Alejandrina Lanuza, Organizer

Alejandrina was born in Illinois and lived in Mexico for several years before returning to the United States in 2010. She has her bachelor's degree in culinary arts and applies her studies as a kitchen manager. Alejandrina also is a GED instructor, teaching in Spanish. She serves on the Comite Latino de Schuyler and Schuyler Chamber of Commerce boards. In her spare time, Alejandrina likes to pray, cook, read, learn about cultures and traditions, and spend time with her family, including her husband, son Jesus, and their "fur baby," Frankie. She and her family enjoy road trips and exploring new places together.

alejandrina (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Penélope León, Health & Safety Training Institute Trainer   Penélope is passionate about helping workers with labor issues and advocating for equality, liberty, tolerance and respect between humans and nations. She is a proud Mexican and American citizen who was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1991. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with a major in journalism. Penélope is married and has a teenage daughter, Natalia. In her free time, she enjoys walks and photography.   penelope (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Penélope León, Health & Safety Training Institute Trainer

Penélope is passionate about helping workers with labor issues and advocating for equality, liberty, tolerance and respect between humans and nations. She is a proud Mexican and American citizen who was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1991. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with a major in journalism. Penélope is married and has a teenage daughter, Natalia. In her free time, she enjoys walks and photography.

penelope (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jennifer Lopez, Organizer   Jennifer lives in Columbus, Nebraska, having lived there since the age of 5. Born in Los Angeles, California to two immigrant parents from El Salvador, she strives to work for equality and justice for rural Nebraska. Jennifer volunteers frequently at Centro Hispano, helping with their Naturalization clinics, get out the vote efforts, campaigns, and community events. Before joining Heartland Workers Center, Jennifer assisted managing her family's restaurant in Schuyler, Nebraska and was a dental assistant. During her down time Jennifer enjoys reading, meditating, volunteering at church, and family time.   jennifer (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jennifer Lopez, Organizer

Jennifer lives in Columbus, Nebraska, having lived there since the age of 5. Born in Los Angeles, California to two immigrant parents from El Salvador, she strives to work for equality and justice for rural Nebraska. Jennifer volunteers frequently at Centro Hispano, helping with their Naturalization clinics, get out the vote efforts, campaigns, and community events. Before joining Heartland Workers Center, Jennifer assisted managing her family's restaurant in Schuyler, Nebraska and was a dental assistant. During her down time Jennifer enjoys reading, meditating, volunteering at church, and family time.

jennifer (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Katherine López, Organizer   Katherine is originally from California and moved to Nebraska at the age of two. She has her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Spanish and Hispanic Studies from Creighton University. She aspires to grow the rural area in leadership, social justice, and passion to be a catalyst for change. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, reading and eating.   kat (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Katherine López, Organizer

Katherine is originally from California and moved to Nebraska at the age of two. She has her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Spanish and Hispanic Studies from Creighton University. She aspires to grow the rural area in leadership, social justice, and passion to be a catalyst for change. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, reading and eating.

kat (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Raul Muñoz, Organizer   Raul grew up in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States in 2002. He has a bachelor of Law and Political Science degree from San Martin de Porres and a bachelor of Business Administration degree from Bellevue University. His work experience has been vast, including time as a paralegal, math and science tutor, and instructor in Spanish, computing, and citizenship classes. He has worked in a variety of organizations, community centers, and nonprofits in Omaha. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading and doing outdoor recreational activities.  raulm (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Raul Muñoz, Organizer

Raul grew up in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States in 2002. He has a bachelor of Law and Political Science degree from San Martin de Porres and a bachelor of Business Administration degree from Bellevue University. His work experience has been vast, including time as a paralegal, math and science tutor, and instructor in Spanish, computing, and citizenship classes. He has worked in a variety of organizations, community centers, and nonprofits in Omaha. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading and doing outdoor recreational activities.

raulm (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jessica Navarette, Administrative Assistant   Jessica is originally from San Diego, California. She has lived in Council Bluffs, IA for 22 years but has participated in the Omaha community. She is also a translator for Centro Latino in Council Bluffs and owns a jewelry business. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters’, being a soccer mom, and exercising.   jessica (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jessica Navarette, Administrative Assistant

Jessica is originally from San Diego, California. She has lived in Council Bluffs, IA for 22 years but has participated in the Omaha community. She is also a translator for Centro Latino in Council Bluffs and owns a jewelry business. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters’, being a soccer mom, and exercising.

jessica (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Gabriela Pedroza, Organizer   Gabriela is a graduate of North Valleys High School in Reno, Nevada, and is currently a student at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha. Before joining the Heartland Workers Center, she worked at JBS food processing company. During her free time, Gabriela enjoys spending time at the gym and with her family, including her 5-year-old daughter.   gabriela (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Gabriela Pedroza, Organizer

Gabriela is a graduate of North Valleys High School in Reno, Nevada, and is currently a student at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha. Before joining the Heartland Workers Center, she worked at JBS food processing company. During her free time, Gabriela enjoys spending time at the gym and with her family, including her 5-year-old daughter.

gabriela (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jackeline Prados, Organizer   Prior to joining the Heartland Workers Center, Jackie was an active volunteer with the center, most recently working on the 2016 Get Out the Vote Campaign. She has her Bachelor of Arts in architectural studies and an architectural technology diploma. Jackie previously worked as a wall panel designer for Building Supply Corporation. She hopes to transfer her experience in design and construction to building and developing her community. In her free time, she enjoys making new friends, watching baseball and reading.   jackeline (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Jackeline Prados, Organizer

Prior to joining the Heartland Workers Center, Jackie was an active volunteer with the center, most recently working on the 2016 Get Out the Vote Campaign. She has her Bachelor of Arts in architectural studies and an architectural technology diploma. Jackie previously worked as a wall panel designer for Building Supply Corporation. She hopes to transfer her experience in design and construction to building and developing her community. In her free time, she enjoys making new friends, watching baseball and reading.

jackeline (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Lily Reyes, Organizer   Lily is originally from El Salvador where she has worked with non-profit organizations that promote human rights in conjuction with the United Nations. She has a degree in Business Administration and has specialized in Integral Risk Management, including those of social conflict. She has a passion for her work in the wellness of the communities that need it most. She also enjoys sharing family time, good food and discovering new places with her daughter Kathy and sons Richard and Diego.   lily (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Lily Reyes, Organizer

Lily is originally from El Salvador where she has worked with non-profit organizations that promote human rights in conjuction with the United Nations. She has a degree in Business Administration and has specialized in Integral Risk Management, including those of social conflict. She has a passion for her work in the wellness of the communities that need it most. She also enjoys sharing family time, good food and discovering new places with her daughter Kathy and sons Richard and Diego.

lily (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Sean Tjaden, Organizer   Sean Tjaden is from Omaha. Before joining the Heartland Workers Center, he was working toward his master's degree in conflict resolution and peace processes at the Pontifica Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. In his spare time, Sean enjoys hiking and camping.   sean (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Sean Tjaden, Organizer

Sean Tjaden is from Omaha. Before joining the Heartland Workers Center, he was working toward his master's degree in conflict resolution and peace processes at the Pontifica Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. In his spare time, Sean enjoys hiking and camping.

sean (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Alia Ward, Director of Operations   Alia is a veteran of the armed forces. She pursued her degrees in social work and nonprofit management after recognizing the disparity between government resources and the needs of the people. Alia is passionate about traveling, culture, fine arts, and writing. She has been to 28 countries and is a strong advocate for anti-trafficking and global women’s rights initiatives.   alia (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org

Alia Ward, Director of Operations

Alia is a veteran of the armed forces. She pursued her degrees in social work and nonprofit management after recognizing the disparity between government resources and the needs of the people. Alia is passionate about traveling, culture, fine arts, and writing. She has been to 28 countries and is a strong advocate for anti-trafficking and global women’s rights initiatives.

alia (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org