“I think CAM is a place where your voice is heard. I’ve learned A LOT from my colleagues. Everyone is approachable here. Open-minded, willing to help. I have the chance to learn and serve my clients. I’ve met wonderful people and I hope to continue to do so.” – Juan Vidal, Community Action Marin Team Member
Juan Vidal has been working at Community Action Marin for the past year as a Client Intake & Data Specialist and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site Coordinator. Juan brings incredible attention to detail, client and data management, and respect for individuals from all walks of life to his work as a bilingual and bicultural member of our team.
As the VITA Site Coordinator, Juan oversees all of the operational needs of the program, helping to ensure that people file taxes even when they might not think it necessary. Juan is able to work with community volunteers to get many people an unexpected refund just by filing! Juan notes:
“I work closely with our volunteer recruitment managers and help with the hiring process, scheduling appointments, and managing volunteers. I also ensure timely electronic filing of tax returns, security of confidential information, and proper reporting and record keeping. I also handle any equipment, software, supply, and miscellaneous site needs.”
Every day during tax season and beyond, Juan speaks with potential clients to collect their personal information to determine their eligibility for agency programs. He then guides them to the right service and creates warm hand-offs to colleagues that ensure confidentiality and trust building. In his role, Juan covers lots of details, but importantly, he helps to ensure that people are given a roadmap that centers their strengths and helps them find their way to self-sufficiency.
Juan says that having two different roles at the agency is both “super interesting and challenging.” Between calls, emails, applications completed, VITA clients, and more, Juan notes that he connects with between 50-70 people each week:
“I feel fortunate and grateful because I can work for others needing better life conditions. I feel more conscious about the urge to make this world a better place to live for everyone…The connections I’ve been able to make are very fulfilling. I like making people feel relieved and taking some pressure off of them. People that struggle deserve to live better. It’s good to know that the resources we have at Community Action Marin can help with their struggle.”
When asked how he aligns with Community Action Marin’s values of relationship, inclusivity, unity and service, Juan shares:
“I identify with inclusivity and unity most; but if I had to pick one value, I’d say service. I’ve been involved in the customer service industry my whole professional career, working only for corporations until I started working for CAM. It’s been a life changing experience because I’ve been able to utilize all the skills that I’ve learned and put them into practice. I feel very glad to be able to help different types of people in our community.”
Juan’s first job was at the front desk for a Marriott Hotel, a great learning experience for him because of the high standards of service. Juan has also had the chance to work for different software development companies and law firms. He was also part of a team that developed and built licenses for software used to control equipment in spacecrafts for NASA.
In his free time, Juan is a musician and likes playing music and going to concerts. He also loves learning new things and working out. Says Juan “I have a beautiful daughter, she’s my whole life. I have a great and supportive family. I’ve traveled the world. I feel blessed.”