Senior Manager, People & Culture
Irene Martinez joined Music Will in March 2023 as the first Senior Manager, People & Culture, bringing nearly a decade of nonprofit and Talent experience to her role. Irene comes from the education space, having previously worked as a Program Lead for America Reads before transitioning over to Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, the largest nonprofit charter in Los Angeles, as their Manager of Employee Relations & Engagement.
During her seven years at Alliance, Irene built employee relations processes and engagement-focused strategy to enhance employee performance, increase retention, and cultivate meaningful experiences for staff across the network. She oversaw the development and implementation of Alliance’s employee recognition programs, managed engagement-focused communications strategy, drove full planning cycles of engagement events in various scope and scale, and supported HR needs during employee onboarding and offboarding.
Irene also served as a member of the DEI Working Group, contributing to overall DEI strategy, facilitating community discussions on DEI and anti-racism, developing cultural celebration programming, and managing network affinity spaces in an effort to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for all staff. Irene is a proud 1st generation Latina and Mexicana – her family roots come from Fresnillo, Zacatecas, MX. She believes firmly in the impact DEI & culture work can have inside and outside the classroom, recognizing its power to challenge, disrupt, and cultivate meaningful and generational change for students of color, their families, and the communities at large.
Irene holds a bachelors in visual & media studies and graphic design from the University of Redlands and is working to obtain her masters in HR and organizational leadership. When she is not working or spending time with family, Irene volunteers to support food-security programs and organizations like Community Chefs LA through the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC). You can also find her every September working as a volunteer cook at L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s Annual Fundraiser (a giant food fair featuring culinary tastings with chef’s from all over the world) which aims to bring awareness and raise funds to end children’s cancer.
She is an active traveler, filling up her passport with as many stamps as she can while also enjoying literature, cinema, amateur cocktail-making, and dabbling in interior design. Irene also has a deep love of music and grew up playing guitar which has since led to her accruing a modest collection of her own guitars – the crown jewel of which is currently a 1932 National El Trovador Resonator she inherited from her late abuelo. She currently resides in Montclair, CA.
Music Will allow us to express the inexpressible, connecting us with our own humanity and breaking down barriers to empower community healing and joy.