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Linda Toyota, Class XVII

Linda connects people, ideas and organizations and thrives in an environment that offers intellectual challenges and opportunities. She is able to discover, develop and present new ideas and concepts to help organizations grow.  Linda has been incorporating diversity and inclusion concepts and strategies throughout her life as she specializes in the development of non-profit fundable programming, community engagement, business development, and strategic partnerships.

The importance of diversity stems back to her family heritage. Her parents, U.S. born of Japanese ancestry, were incarcerated during World War II after Pearl Harbor. Despite being placed in an internment camp, Linda’s father enlisted in the all Japanese American U.S. Army regimental combat team.  This exclusion experienced by her parents has influenced her and made diversity/inclusion an important pillar for Linda throughout her life. 

Linda has worked and volunteered at a wide array of non-profits and is currently Vice President of Community Engagement and Development at LiftFund, a non-profit providing credit and services to small businesses. LiftFund transforms lives by opening doors, leveling the playing field and building a community of shared success through entrepreneurship. 

Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Management.  She received her Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Management from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work.  Her motto is “anything is possible”, “people support what they help create” and “actions speak louder than words.” 

She currently serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Leadership Houston, SASE, Texas Advisory Council of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and volunteers on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ International, Membership and Souvenir Program Committees and the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston.