In mid-September, chapter chair Dennis Loya resigned from his committee positions, including his role as chapter chair. Citing an increasing workload in his day job and the increasing stress of chapter responsibilities, Dennis felt it was in the best interest of both his family and the chapter to step back and better focus on health and family.
In Dennis’s time as Chapter Chair, he held the chapter steady through the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, including re-opening outings and representing our local outings program to the national organization. Dennis ensured the City Hike fundraising event had the support it needed to be successful and used his voice as chapter chair to advance several conservation priorities. Dennis also prioritized bringing the Executive Committee together, first with a day-long retreat in February, and notably by hosting an informal gathering at the chapter offices to honor volunteer leaders who have won national service awards. We celebrate the leadership Dennis brought to the chapter and we will miss his energy.
Dyana Peña, who was elected chapter vice-chair this past January, is stepping into the role of the Chair.
Statement from Morgan Goodwin, Senior Director of the Angeles Chapter:
“This is a moment of change for the chapter, but it’s important to remember that power is never held by any one person in the Sierra Club -- we are a broad-based organization with democratic values. I deeply appreciated working with Dennis and I’m sorry to see him go. However, I am confident in the depth of the Executive Committee, and I am excited to work with our new Chair, Dyana, to advance the goals of the Sierra Club. In particular, as a member of the Equity Advisory Committee, Dyana brings an important perspective on equity, inclusion, and justice to our chapter leadership.”
A statement from Dennis Loya, outgoing Chapter Chair:
I would like to thank everyone for all the help and support that I received during my short time as Chapter Chair. This has been a very important learning experience for me and I appreciate all that I have learned from everyone. It was truly an honor to be elected to the position. I appreciate everyone’s patience as I got my feet wet, muddled through the issues regarding the Zoom meetings.
There comes a time when my health issues and the circumstances in my personal and professional life get in the way of devoting the attention necessary to lead the Chapter. It is time to part ways and leave the position in good hands. Had I not believed that the Chapter would have been left in great capable hands I would have stayed on to at least finish the year until someone else could be voted in to take my place.
Dyana is wonderful, caring and someone who is very forward-thinking, the Chapter is in good hands and I look forward to watching her take the Chapter forward to new heights.
Statement from incoming Chair, Dyana Peña:
“As unexpected as this has been, I am grateful to be able to help fill this role so that Dennis can prioritize his health and his family. Dennis brought clear and calm leadership during his time as Chair and I already miss him greatly. Thank you so much, Dennis and I wish you the very best so that hopefully we can work together again soon. I am humbled by the amount of support I have received. We have astounding leaders in our Chapter including volunteers and our phenomenal staff, and I have many exceptional examples to look up to. I am committed to doing what I can to keep our momentum going during this critical time and to help make the Sierra Club the home for anyone looking to get involved in real revolutionary change for a healthy planet and just communities.”