Antidrug group lets go of director

The Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition has decided to sever ties with its executive director, who was hired less than a year ago to manage a five-year federal grant aimed at keeping drugs out of the community.

David Marquez, who was hired in January, was let go on Oct. 14 after the coalition’s executive committee performed a lengthy evaluation of his job performance and determined they were no longer a good match, coalition President Matt Zakarian said.

“He just wasn’t a right fit for coalition,” Zakarian said.

Marquez assisted with the $625,000 grant, which was awarded last September through the federal Drug Free Communities Program. He was also responsible for creating coalition leadership and for strengthening partnerships with the community.

“He’s got a lot of great qualifications,” Zakarian said.

Marquez, who worked for a Los Angeles-based economic development and community consulting group for six years, said the decision to cut ties was “more about the right fit and where do we take it from here.”

Marquez’s role was to get the grass-roots group, which community members established to address drug and alcohol issues affecting local teens, off the ground by establishing procedures, policies, strategic management and planning, he said.

He also recently helped with the planning of a community screening of the film, “Race to Nowhere,” at Crescenta Valley High School.

“I’ll still be around and still be connected,” Marquez said.

The Mt. Washington resident added that he would always be a resource for the coalition and plans to continue his work in community development.

Coalition Treasurer Susan Dubin, who has been with the group since it was created, will temporarily replace Marquez as the coalition searches for his replacement.

Zakarian said executive coalition members will create an ad-hoc committee to develop a list of job qualifications, which will include being a local resident and background knowledge of the community’s drug and alcohol issues.

The coalition plans to start recruiting for the position in the coming days, he added, with the goal of finding a permanent replacement within a month.


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