DLBA is proud to introduce Juan Carlos Torres, our new Operations Manager, who joined our staff in early January. With extensive experience working in a variety of roles within the nonprofit sector, Torres is very well qualified for the job.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping improve the community I work and live in,” said Torres, who has devoted countless hours to community outreach and volunteer services ever since he was a student at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
As Operations Manager, Torres leads the day-to-day work of our Clean and Safe Teams, who work within the 70-square-block Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID) to maintain and improve safety and cleanliness. He also manages DLBA’s third-party contract services delivered by Clean and Safe team personnel, and will oversee all phases of vendor contracts for programs within the PBID.
Torres was born at Long Beach Memorial Hospital and grew up in nearby Wilmington. After graduating from Banning High School, he decided to pursue a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology at CSULB, with an eye toward a career in law enforcement. While attending school, Torres worked as an economic advisor for the Educational Opportunity Program, assisting first-generation, low-income minority students.
At the same time, he was putting in work as a case manager for at-risk youth at Banning High School while also doing volunteer work for the Long Beach Probation Department in Downtown.
Torres gained the most experience during his 20-year stint with the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Wilmington. He started at GAP by doing community outreach, then became Assistant Director of Community Clean-up, leading efforts in graffiti removal, alley clean-ups, bulk item removal, and more. He continued working his way up, serving as Director of Administration for four years, then as Deputy Director for two more years. For the last six years, Torres served as the Executive Director of GAP.
“I left GAP last June, after my contract ended,” Torres told us. “I wanted to try something new. After interviewing with DLBA, I was offered the position the week of my birthday, which boded well.”
Torres is well-equipped to take on the challenges faced in Downtown, a place where he spent lots of time during student life at CSULB. “I’m just trying to give back,” he said, which is a theme seen throughout his work, volunteer, and family life.
A devoted family man, Torres loves spending time with his wife Nancy, a medical social worker who encouraged him to return to CSULB to earn his master’s degree in Public Administration. They have three kids: Samantha, age 6, Anthony, who’s 10, and Juan Carlos, age 12. The ever-busy Torres finds plenty of time for family outings and working on his vintage car fleet, which includes a ’56 Chevy Bel-Air and a ’67 Camaro.