SACA Announces New CEO, Jose R Lopez

As the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary, it welcomes a transition in leadership including new role for founder, Carlos Graupera

On July 1, Jose R Lopez became the new CEO of the Lancaster-based Spanish American Civic Association, now referred to as SACA. SACA’s founder and previous CEO, Carlos Graupera has stepped into the role as CEO of the newly formed Tec Centro Workforce Network. These organizations will continue to work in collaboration to serve the greater Lancaster community, just as SACA has done for the last 50 years.

For over half a century, SACA has served Lancaster County’s largest minority population, the Latino community, and during this time it has been both a witness to and a catalyst for major cultural shifts. SACA was established in 1973 with the help of local Catholic charities. The mission was to provide civic infrastructure and support that would meet the evolving needs of the Latino population and enable the general community to engage constructively with the growing Latino community.

Today, the mission of SACA has expanded to serve every ethnicity, age, and ability. As the needs of the people changed over time, so did SACA’s response to their issues. SACA now exists with one clear mission: to uplift and restore marginalized communities through human, economic, and social services, while supporting cultural identities.

SACA is now a full-service organization, meeting the most essential needs of the community through its growing offering of programs. Most notably, SACA has established Nuestra Clinica, a bilingual mental health and drug and alcohol outpatient clinic; SACA Development Corporation, a housing development corporation dedicated to creating affordable homeownership opportunities for inner- city residents; Tec Centro, a workforce development resource providing low-cost education and training; and WLCH Radio Centro, a full-time bilingual (Spanish/English language) educational public radio station serving Lancaster and York. A full list of services can be found at

Prior to becoming SACA’s CEO, Lopez served as the President of SACA and SACA development. He brings with him an extensive background in professional services and leadership, primarily in the banking and finance industry as well as in the commercial real estate valuation services sector.

As SACA welcomes its transition to new leadership, Lopez has a fresh and forward-thinking vision for the organization’s role in the community. “I want to preserve and nourish the best characteristics of SACA, which is quite simply making sure that everybody gets a fair shake in the American experiment. And the breadth of the programs we have created help to do exactly this,” said Jose. “Looking to the next chapter, I want to continue to move toward being known as a fully-inclusive organization that is not just for one demographic, but that truly represents the beautiful diversity of the City of Lancaster and the many hands and hearts that make this community the gem that it is.”

Carlos Graupera will step into the role of CEO of the Tec Centro Workforce Network (TCWN). Currently made up of locations in Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York Counties, TCWN is the primary provider of bilingual education and skills training in the region. Graupera is well equipped to build this newly formed organization into another pillar of society, as he did SACA, this time with a focus on education, training, and workforce development.

“My work has always been so much more than a job, so I don’t view the transition as retiring from one role or beginning another. I’m placing SACA in the hands of a younger generation to carry the torch while I continue to do what I’ve always done, now with a slightly different focus. So long as there’s a need to be filled, I’ll continue to work to fill it,” says Graupera.