Pomona Economic Opportunity Center


Fernando Romero

Executive Director

Fernando is the Executive Director for the PEOC since January 2015. He has an extensive background and experience in community organizing on immigrant rights and workers rights. Fernando lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years since the age of 8. As of August 2015, he is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to conduct document preparation and at low-cost for immigration benefits  He was the Director for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice from 2011 to 2015 where some of the most prominent work was that of the crisis of the Migrant Children and Families in Murrieta, CA during July 2014. As an undocumented student at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), he studied creative writing and journalism and was a co-founder of FUEL, the first AB 540 support group at CSULB, co-founder of the independent, on-campus publication focused on Latina/Latino students El Reflejo and the video blog project for undocumented youth Dreamers Adrift.

Daniela Alvarenga

Workers’ Organizer

Daniela graduated from Pitzer College in the spring of 2017, where she received her B.A. in psychology. During her time at Pitzer, she worked with multiple Community Engagement sites such as Prototypes, Pomona Day Labor Sites, and Camp Afflerbaugh Paige. At Prototypes, she further developed and implemented a Mind, Body, Art curriculum that aimed to promote wellness and a creative outlet for expression for the womxn on site. With the Day Labor Sites, she facilitated English Language Learning classes, capacity building workshops, and organized the annual Fútbol is Vida Tournament where students, day laborers, and community organizations come together to raise funds for a designated community organization or platform. She continued her engagement with the Pomona Day Labor Center as the Pitzer Community Hecker Fellow coordinating programming and student-faculty engagement. Outside of Pitzer, she has developed English Language Art Curriculum as a Breakthrough Collaborative Fellow- an education organization focused on, “creating an empowering educational experience that results in equitable access to higher education for our students and prepares our teaching fellows for education sector roles”. Daniela’s educational interests include mental health in the Latinx community, critical and socially responsible curriculum development, art as a tool for community empowerment, and equitable access to higher education.

Benjamin Wood

Community Organizer, BIA Accredited

After majoring in languages at UCSB, Benjamin returned for a Master’s in Education and his teaching credential. While at Santa Barbara, he became involved in the grassroots organization PUEBLO, ultimately serving on board of directors. He returned to his Inland Empire community to teach high school and eventually transitioned to a career in community organizing, at first with a faith-based organization. He transitioned into PEOC in 2012. Benjamin’s activities as community organizer include AB 60 study sessions, coordinate and facilitate meetings with collaborative partners, hold leadership trainings for members and leaders, and create civic engagement opportunities for our leaders to advance different campaigns. As of August 2015, Benjamin Wood is accredited by the BIA to conduct document preparation at low-cost for immigration benefits. Contact E-mail: bwood@pomonadaylabor.org

Javier Garcia

Day Laborer and Jobs Coordinator

Javier is the Jobs and Workforce Development Coordinator at the PEOC. Javier understands the immigrant struggle. Living in the shadows for over 15 years, he empathizes with working class people, especially those who have given up their birth place and adopted this country as their own. He knows what it is to be stigmatized in a strange land. Javier’s beliefs and values revolve around making a difference and utilizing his various skills and passions to brighten the future for all those that strive to better their lives. Contact E-Mail: jgarcia@pomonadaylabor.org

Fanelly Millán

Inland Empire Organizer

Fanelly has a Communications background but started her career early on with nonprofits in Pomona.  She was first a youth advocate for the Community Wellness Partnership and then became a community liaison for the Pomona Valley Center for Community Development (PVCCD).  More recently, she was a Traffic/Production coordinator at a Hispanic ad agency.  As a DACA recipient herself, she knows and understands the plight of low-wage workers & the immigrant community.  She hopes to continue promoting health, safety, and well-being through her volunteer work with the Pomona Valley Runners/Pomona 5K/10K as well as continuing to serve her community through her new role at the PEOC. You can contact Fanelly at fmillian@pomonadaylabor.org

Karen Kandamby

Civic Engagement Coordinator

Karen graduated from Pitzer College in 2015, where she received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish. After graduating, Karen became Pitzer College’s Hecker Community Fellow where she connected students to local organizing efforts and programs at the PEOC and other local organizations. In May 2016, she joined California Partnership as their Los Angeles Organizer. During her time there, she organized statewide efforts to protect, improve, and expand health and human services programs  In the Fall 2018, Karen returned to her organizing roots in Pomona to lead PEOC’s first Integrated Voter Engagement campaign for the 2018 Midterm elections. Karen currently leads our civic engagement work and Census outreach in Pomona and the Inland Empire. Karen is committed to supporting the PEOC in its efforts to turn out Pomona’s low propensity voters in the 2020 presidential election and ensuring an accurate count for the 2020 Census. You can reach Karen at karen@pomonadaylabor.og

Jose Diaz

Educational Outreach Coordinator

Jose Diaz has been with the PEOC since 2007. He came to the PEOC as a day laborer and after rising through the leadership ranks he has become an invaluable asset for his knowledge and commitment to the day laborer and low-wage, immigrant worker community in Pomona. Jose has been pivotal in various campaigns including the passage of AB 60 in 2013 at the state level as well as the grassroots advocacy for rent control and tenant protections in Pomona.

Mariela Martinez


Mariela is the Bookkeeper at the PEOC and has been in that position since 2005 to present. She has a Master’s degree in accounting from the Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit (Nayarit University). She works for the PEOC on a part-time basis and has been with PEOC for over 10 years. She is also a full-time accountant at PMS in West Covina, CA.