Events & Special Projects Coordinator is a new position approved by the City Council

CATHEDRAL CITY — Events and special projects are women into the fabric of this community. They give this community a unique identity. Think Halloween Spooktacular, Fields of Valor, International Hot Air Balloon Festival & Food Truck Fiesta and so many more.

To that end, the city of Cathedral City has named Cristina Velazquez as the Events & Special Projects Coordinator, a new position approved by the City Council as part of the biennial budget for fiscal year (FY) 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

Velazquez will be part of the Communications & Events Department, managed by Ryan Hunt, the City’s Communications & Events Manager.

She began her work with the city on Oct. 23, 2023.

Velazquez has dedicated her life to service and to the betterment of her community. A proud local and Cathedral City High School graduate, she worked for more than 16 years in education fulfilling a wide range of roles across both the K-12 and university settings. While she has extensive experience in both teaching & curriculum development, for the last few years she has specialized in student leadership development, student & community activities, and event planning. She stands as a fervent advocate for social & community programming and has demonstrated her leadership across the Coachella Valley.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Cristina on board to expand and enhance our Communications & Events team,” Ryan Hunt, Communications & Events Manager said in a statement “A homegrown talent, she brings years of experience in the event planning space, community outreach and has an undeniable love and passion for this community. The future is bright for the City’s community events and she’s going to be a big part of our success moving forward.”

Beyond her roles as a K-12 educator, student activities director, and as a university instructor, Cristina’s personal journey is also marked by a remarkable achievement. In 2019, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Bernardino. Her groundbreaking dissertation delved deep into the intricate relationship between Spanish as a heritage language and identity, exploring how these factors impact student development, success, and well-being. This research, combined with her understanding of the experiences shared by many students in the Coachella Valley, equips her with a unique perspective that will play a pivotal role in shaping and contributing to the city’s role in building community amongst all its residents.

Velazquez’s lifelong dedication to education & service and to the betterment of her community continues to be an inspirational and transformative force, enriching the lives of those she touches.

In speaking about her connection & commitment to the Coachella Valley, Velazquez says that the connection spans both the personal & professional realms: “I grew up within its boundaries and I am a proud graduate of CCHS. I know this community because this is where I played sports as a kid; the local library is where I learned to love reading; and while I spent my formative years here, I was able to watch the Cathedral City grow & mature into what it is today. Because I grew up here and have been an educator in the local schools, I have a unique perspective that makes me committed to contributing to the success of everyone, from students and their families to business owners to all the community organizations that make this city thrive.”

Velazquez is ready to delve into community building here in Cathedral City and share her talents with everyone: “Orchestrating events that create magical moments has been more than a profession for me; it is a profound calling. I am honored to represent the City of Cathedral City and humbled by the opportunity to create moments of joy and inspiration. One of my primary goals will be to honor the rich tapestry of diversity within our city. I believe that our community’s strength lies in its myriad of voices, backgrounds, and experiences. By recognizing and celebrating this diversity, I aim to create inclusive spaces and initiatives that allow every individual, regardless of their background, to thrive and find a sense of belonging. My commitment to diversity is not just a matter of principle; it reflects my deep respect for the unique perspectives and contributions that each member of our community can bring to the table.”

Velazquez is excited to join the City of Cathedral City team and looks forward to working with the community to build a better future: “I aspire to foster an environment where every resident feels valued, represented, and empowered to shape our shared future and I look forward to sharing that aspiration with everyone.”

Image Sources

  • Cristina Velazquez: Ryan Hunt, Cathedral City