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Carlos Ruiz begins new life-chapter with Zepf Center


By La Prensa Staff


Nov. 18, 2018: The Latino leadership team grew by one more at the Zepf Center this past month when Carlos Ruiz joined the mental health provider as finance director. Ruiz had worked at the Lucas County auditor’s office for the past five-and-a-half years, where he had risen through the ranks to chief tax accountant.


“I’ll tell you what. It was not an easy decision because I absolutely loved my job at the auditor’s office and everything I did,” said Ruiz. “However, it was at that point in my life where I felt I was ready to go and expand my skill sets and make a jump and take it to the next level.”

Carlos Ruiz


The University of Toledo graduate admitted he “took a calculated risk” by moving from a government job to a nonprofit organization, especially considering the stability he would have had knowing county auditor Anita López will be in office another four years after running unopposed in the Nov. 6th general election.


“That only made it harder,” he admitted. “But it was for the desire to learn new things. I had become a subject-matter expert in real estate, taxes, and finance. It’s time for me to learn new things like financial administration and budgeting. I feel like I made the right decision.”


The college finance major will get that opportunity alongside people with whom he’s already very familiar. Ruiz did an internship at Lucas County Job and Family Services, when Zepf Center CEO Deb Ortiz-Flores was the executive director there. The agency’s human resources director Ursula Barrera-Richards is another familiar face, because the two were colleagues for a time at the auditor’s office.


“I can speak to her work ethic and professionalism and her mentorship,” said Ruiz. “Not only has she been a co-worker and colleague, I consider her a friend and mentor of mine. When I made this decision, she was one of the people who guided me through it and offered me advice.”


Zepf Center chief financial officer Adam Nunn is the one who hired Ruiz, but the two had also encountered each other before. Nunn is a former CFO at Lucas County Job and Family Services.


Zepf Center currently has 8 locations in the Toledo area.


“I’ll be working with the senior leadership across all of the departments to develop budgets, create efficiencies, and essentially maximize and improve their departments, at least from a financial standpoint,” said the Lake High School graduate. “I’ll be working with compliance among all of our streams of revenue. We receive grants from the federal, state, and local government, so I’ll ensure all of our deliverables are being met.”


The 30-year old also will deal with insurance billing for the Zepf Center’s mental health and addiction recovery clients—from private providers to Medicaid, and other financial sources.


“I don’t think I would be where I am today were it not for the opportunity extended to me by Anita López at the auditor’s office and the capacity in which she entrusted me and allowed me to develop,” said Ruiz. “She allowed me to grab that job and those responsibilities by the horns and allowed me to become the professional I am today and gain the experience I did. I’m eternally grateful to her.”


Ruiz continues to expand his leadership role in his community work. He has served five years now on the board of directors at Adelante, Inc., the past two as board chairman. He recently completed a term as vice president of the Northwest Ohio Latino Alliance, Inc.


Ruiz currently serves as president of the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate and its TIOS Mentoring program, which helps guide Latino upperclassman to graduation and beyond. The acronym is short for Teaching and Inspiring Our Students. Many of the students who are mentored by Latino community leaders are recruited from UT’s Latino Student Union. The alumni organization has won UT alumni affiliate-of-the-year for two of the past four years.


Ruiz himself is a former recipient of the Diamante Youth Leadership Award, and has served as the master of ceremonies for the awards banquet.


Ruiz got engaged earlier this year to Ana Reséndez of Fremont, Ohio. But the couple has not yet set a wedding date for a number of reasons. Ruiz just started his new job, while Ms. Reséndez and her twin sister are midway through a nursing program at Terra Community College in Fremont.


Long-term, the native of Nicaragua hopes to fill the role of a top financial administrator or chief fiscal officer of a government agency or a large nonprofit organization “that is doing good for our community.”


“In about five or ten years, God willing, I keep learning at the pace I have been,” he said. “I keep surrounding myself with awesome teachers and mentors.”


On the Internet:  www.zepfcenter.org/



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Revised: 11/20/18 13:38:05 -0800.




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