Jeffrey Tapia, executive director of the Latin American Association (LAA), announced today that she will retire later this year. Tapia will continue to provide leadership until her successor is named and will stay on in an advisory role with the organization she’s devoted her life to for 14 years.

Tapia has held leadership roles throughout her tenure at the LAA, having served as chief operating officer and associate executive director before she was named executive director in 2012. As executive director, Tapia expanded the scope and impact of the LAA’s immigration and educational programs, as well as increased the community’s awareness and support of the LAA’s programs and services.

“Jeffrey is a lifelong advocate for Latino immigrant families and communities and has led countless efforts to bring access and opportunity in education, economic empowerment, immigration and healthcare to the Latino community. We thank Jeffrey for her vision, passion and leadership,” said Carlos Pagoaga, chair of the board of the LAA. “She is leaving the organization in a wonderful position for the next-generation leader. She will be missed deeply by both the LAA and the community.”

Pagoaga has led the formation of a board committee to search for Tapia’s successor. In addition to Pagoaga (The Coca-Cola Company), other members of the committee include: Anibal Torres (Search Committee Chair); Chris Marquardt (Alston & Bird); Tina Fernandez (Bellwether Education Partners) and Bob Jimenez (Cox Enterprises).

“I am so proud to see how the work of the LAA touches the lives of so many families across Georgia and I feel fortunate to be part of its history. It is a privilege to serve our Latino community and to lead the Latin American Association,” Tapia said. “I’m excited about this new chapter in my life. It was not an easy decision and I will truly miss working with the community and the LAA’s extraordinary team on a daily basis.” Tapia is looking forward to her move to the north Georgia mountains, where she and her husband will enjoy their retirement.