Stay Gallery has named Josie Estrada as its new Executive Director.
Estrada, 43, has been a resident of Downey since 1992. She brings a diverse background in business to the gallery.
“I worked in corporate America and also worked in non-profit, so I had exposure to both,” said Estrada. “One that has led me to be here today with Corporate America is knowing that those companies, there’s people and corporations that do want to help the community and want to give back.”
With her experiences in nonprofit, Estrada says she learned "how to ask."
“Knowing that there are people willing to give, I learned I have to ask; the worst they can say is ‘we can’t at this time,’” said Estrada. “But we can also introduce ourselves…when people see based on our results and what we’ve done, then we revisit them. I’ve had a good opportunity to build relationships with the community as well because of that in the nonprofit world.”
More specifically, Estrada worked in community relations with Alta Public Schools from Oct. 2015 to Nov. 2017, having been responsible for developing and implementing social and school awareness programs.
Estrada was also involved with Kaiser Permanente as Marketing Representative for Labor and Trust Large Group accounts from Oct. 2009 to Oct. 2015, where she lists one of her accomplishments as increasing membership from 11,000 to 35,000 members.
She has also been the owner of Fina Boutique Fashion on Wheels since Oct. of 2011.
As she steps into her new role, Estrada says those who have come before at Stay Gallery have developed an “amazing base.” She now hopes to expand the gallery’s exposure.
“The base is solid and there’s not much I can go from there but up,” said Estrada. “I think we need to expand a little bit more. We have great groups like our youth programs, our volunteer programs…I also think I want to work more with the Downey Arts Coalition and expand our audience.”
She also says she wants to give back to the youth who are currently involved with the Gallery.
“[I want to] work with other big corporations to create internship programs where these kids aspire to be a part of Stay because there’s a goal at the end that they can reach,” said Estrada. “Whatever we can help with – whether it’s through education, through just asking for more resources and asking people to be a part of our city to contribute some of their own resources and their knowledge – I think this would be great for our community, for our kids.”
Estrada says that communication between her and the already long-established Stay Gallery team is crucial moving forward.
“They’re very accessible to me, and whatever I need and any questions I have” said Estrada. “It’s been good for me because they’re very involved and so they’re willing to help me and kind of guide me along the way.”