Dina González-Piña, a Mennonite Brethren from Hanford, California, has been named West Coast MCC executive director. She moves from her current work as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. ethnicity and gender equity specialist into the regional leadership role on Jan. 4, 2021.
González-Piña replaces Nathan Yoder, who led the region for five years before departing in August to join the staff of MB Foundation in Fresno, California.
González-Piña was a member of the West Coast MCC Board of Directors from 2003 to 2009 and the MCC U.S. board from 2006 to 2015. As ethnicity and gender equity specialist, she consulted with MCC staff and boards and with MCC’s supporting denominations and colleague organizations, and led trainings and workshops across the country. González-Piña is a leader in the joint effort of Mennonite Disaster Service, Everence and MCC U.S. to provide funds to churches facing financial crisis due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
MCC U.S. executive director Ann Graber Hershberger says, “Dina’s deep faith grounds her and directs how her gifts are developed and offered to the church. She is both a gifted presenter and a great listener, connecting in meaningful ways with people because of this approach and ability. She is a true team builder seeking peace and justice. I am delighted and grateful to see Dina continue her longtime service with MCC as West Coast executive director.”
Prior to her staff role with MCC, González-Piña worked with Fresno Pacific University (FPU) for 23 years, most recently as assistant dean of multicultural ministries. She provided pastoral and administrative leadership and ministry connections for FPU in the community and globally. She continues to serve as FPU adjunct faculty.
In announcing the appointment, West Coast MCC Board chair Kevin Malamma of Bakersfield, California, says, “Dina’s work springs from her deep relationship with God and her strong commitment to the church. Her creative, persistent efforts in ethnic and racial equity include expert teaching, bridging divides and forming respectful partnerships. We are grateful Dina has answered God’s call to lead West Coast MCC.”
González-Piña’s roots are in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She received a master of arts degree in education and a bachelor of arts degree in social work from FPU and an urban leadership certificate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She serves on the boards of Christian Community Development Association and Fresno Latino Leadership Network and was the first woman of color to serve on the USMB Pacific District Conference Board of Faith and Life.
In the U.S., four MCC regional offices connect directly with supporters and the church and carry out local program. West Coast MCC works in partnership with organizations and Anabaptist churches in nine states across the western U.S. In addition to supporting MCC’s international and U.S. work, the office operates regional program especially focused on restorative justice, immigration direct services and education and peacebuilding along the Mexico-U.S. border. It also operates a material resources center and the Mennonite Quilt Center in Reedley, California, and Thrift on Blackstone, an MCC thrift shop in Fresno. Its main office is in Reedley.
González-Piña says, “I look forward to serving and working with our churches, partners, the community and leaders across our region as we collectively respond to needs, work towards transformation and seek to be a strong witness of the work of peace and justice in the name of Christ.”
González-Piña and her husband, Xavier Piña, are parents of Rebeca Elisa Piña and Samuel Nicolas Piña. The family is part of Iglesia La Gran Comisión, a USMB congregation in Hanford.