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Peter Gonzales has led the Welcoming Center as its CEO since 2012; he is departing in June. Photo Courtesy of TWC.
Peter Gonzales has led the Welcoming Center as its CEO since 2012; he is departing in June. Photo Courtesy of TWC.

Peter Gonzales to step down as Welcoming Center CEO in June

He has spent 11 years in the role, taking over for the organization’s founder, Anne O’Callaghan.

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Peter Gonzales, who has led The Welcoming Center for over a decade as its CEO, announced that he will be departing from the role in June 2023. 

Gonzales first joined The Welcoming Center as a volunteer board member in 2011, when he was managing an immigration law firm.

The following year, he was promoted and appointed as CEO, succeeding the organization’s founder, Anne O’Callaghan.

Gonzales has led The Welcoming Center through a period of transformative growth and change during his tenure. Under his leadership, the organization has emerged as one of the national leaders in innovative and holistic approaches aimed at promoting inclusive economic growth through immigrant integration.

Gonzales has led on the back of his passionate advocacy and talent for networking with other professionals and organizations that are committed to the success and flourishing of immigrants and their communities. 

Since becoming CEO, Gonzales has helped grow the organization’s budget by 70% with a hand from diversified funding sources, which now includes support from corporations, private foundations, and individual donors. 

Through the new funding, The Welcoming Center has been able to implement a slew of new programs, including its Immigrant Professionals Program, Immigrant Leadership Institute, and the Intercultural Wellness Program, among others. 

Gonzales has also amplified The Welcoming Center’s mission and impact by serving on several philanthropic boards, which includes the Chamber of Commerce fore Greater Philadelphia, the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia, The Merchants Fund, the Douty Foundation, Greenline Access Capital, and Philadelphia Works, Inc. He has also represented The Welcoming Center’s interests on President Obama’s Task Force for New Americans, and on the transition teams of Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney. 

“Peter’s warm and inclusive leadership, his unswerving commitment and wide-ranging vision have brought us to this embarkation point, for Peter, to take off on new and exciting challenges and for The Welcoming Center, to strengthen and stabilize its operations while always pushing to improve and increase the impact of its programs,” said Hao-Li Loh, Chair of the Welcoming Center Board, in a statement.  

The Welcoming Center was founded in 2003, focusing on connecting immigrants to jobs in the region. Since its creation, the city’s diverse immigrant population has increased by 50%.

This year, The Welcoming Center will be celebrating its 20th anniversary during its annual Solas Awards.

As Gonzales prepares his departure, the Welcoming Center board search committee and key stakeholders will actively engage with Criterion Search Group to identify its next President and CEO. 

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