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40 UNDER 40
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Shawna Smith Gotreau

Executive Director, Taller San Jose

By Elaine Murphy & Sarah VaughnPublished: May 01, 2012

Shawna Smith Gotreau is the executive director of Taller San Jose, a job training center for low-income and troubled young adults ages 18 to 28 in O.C. (the word “taller” in Spanish means “workshop”). Program participants receive an education and key job skills.
   
Taller San Jose also employs program graduates through its subsidiary, Hope Builders Inc., which creates affordable housing in the county. Gotreau is proud that 89 percent of the program’s graduates are still employed after one year, and she plans to double the size of Hope Builders over the next two years.
   
It’s no surprise that she is passionate about helping others rise above poverty. “There are few things more rewarding than watching a young person’s future open up before their eyes and knowing your efforts helped make that possible.” 
   
She says the best business advice she has received is to “empower those who work with you to do what they are best at” and to “surround yourself with honest advisors who care about the organization.” She has clearly taken that advice to heart. tallersanjose.org

First job: Hardware store cashier



OC METRO's 2012 40 UNDER 40
Lily Knowles    Ashleigh Aitken    Jeremy Yamaguchi
Kevin Willson    Megan Lavender    Jason Lucash
Tan Rezaei & Navid Firoozi    Julie Schoenbachler
Chris Winn    Shawna Smith Gotreau    Matt Petteruto
Kelly Lewis    Justin Choi    Marissa Gerlach    Josh McCarter
Brian Davis    Patrick Strader    Quy "Q" Nguyen
Carla Vargas    Patrick Rue    Jennifer Tucker Klein
Brandon Burton    Lauren O’Gorman    Inna Kassatkina
Tom Reimers    Jackie Ferlita    Eric Bender
Dale Partridge & Aaron Chavez  ≈  Danny Sonenshine
Russell Bendel    Sandra Jones    Balaji Krishna
Saimah Chaudhry    Dan Nasitka    Laura Hess
Kohl Crecelius    Larry Labrado Jr.    Melissa Beck
Jeremy Linehan    Stephen Silver

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