Something new is rising on our Horizon, and we are delighted to officially introduce you to the person leading us. After an intensive search, interview, and onboarding process over the past several months, Gretchen Villegas has accepted and begun acting as Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Gretchen comes to us with more than 15 years of experience working closely with vulnerable families and children in Latin America and Africa, as well as launching social enterprises within local markets in these nations. Most recently serving in leadership at Heifer International, Gretchen worked with a team to lead Business Development, program design and program effectiveness. She managed all funding opportunity proposals and worked to ensure transparent data and evidence, robust analytics and adaptive management to donors and partners. Gretchen brings extensive experience in social enterprise and field-team management, two key components of Horizon’s work.  

She could not be a better fit to join Horizon as CEO and lead us in maximizing our effectiveness and growth as we progress into the future. 

“Horizon’s bold, innovative model to build up local economic systems to care for orphaned children, vulnerable children and at-risk youth creates a solution for a severe need in marginalized communities – ones that I have seen first-hand,” Gretchen says. “I am truly blessed to be given the opportunity to join such an amazing group of founders, supporters, and staff committed to reaching more children in the most impactful way through significant programming and partnerships.”   

“I’m humbled to serve alongside of this amazing team,” states co-founder and board member Jim Pesce. “Our staff in Kenya, Guatemala, and Honduras are the heartbeat of our mission, and with Gretchen at the wheel, we’re on our way to living out our vision of radically transforming the way children are cared for.”

Board member Bill Poole adds,“these are exciting times for Horizon, as we honor our legacy while building for the future. I can think of no one more qualified to lead us than Gretchen Villegas. She is a unique servant leader who has the ability to transform lives through strategy, passion, and inspiration while fostering a team environment. I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors alongside of her.” 

Please join us in welcoming Gretchen Villegas to the Horizon family! We’re so glad you’re on the journey of empowering children with us — together, we can push the doors open wider than ever before.