The executive director of El Concilio del Condado de Ventura, Ventura County's largest Latino advocacy group, resigned Wednesday after eight years of service.
Marcos Vargas will leave the 20-year-old nonprofit organization in June to pursue a doctorate in urban planning at UCLA. El Concilio has begun a statewide search to replace Vargas.
El Concilio board President Bernardo Perez praised Vargas, citing his tireless work for the county's poor and disenfranchised as well as his organizational abilities.
"Marcos' strong managerial skills and determination in the face of difficult economic times for nonprofit groups has been the key to El Concilio's growth and overall success over the years as an effective countywide social service provider," Perez said in a written statement.
During Vargas' tenure, El Concilio's staff grew from six to 21 full-time workers, and the organization developed a base of more than 600 volunteers.
Services provided by El Concilio include youth leadership development, after-school tutoring, youth violence prevention, alcohol and drug education, AIDS education and prevention, citizenship services and bilingual information and referral.
El Concilio provided services to more than 13,000 people in 1994.