The Lady Has a Big Mission

By Jennifer Goldsmith

Erlinda Agron is on the move again.

“I’m on my way to a meeting!” she laughs as the interview begins.

That’s not unusual. Whether she’s going to (or from) her office at the Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem, walking through the neighborhoods she serves, thinking of new ways to help local business owners, or raising and guiding her three children, this graduate of the Moravian M.B.A. program is always in motion.

Action defines Erlinda Agron ’97, ’00. She’s a mover and shaker in the Lehigh Valley’s Latino community, working to improve the quality of life for minorities in the valley.

Right now, she’s using that M.B.A. know-how on a day-to-day basis on the South Side of Bethlehem, where as head of the Community Action Development Corporation since 2001, she and her three-person staff develop business marketing programs as part of the organization’s mission to increase awareness of the area for the entire valley.

“We provide technical assistance to people who want to start their own businesses,” she says. It’s a highly visible role that helped her receive a 2001 Spirit of the Community award from the Allentown Morning Call.

The corporation is a private non-profit agency that relies on donations and government grants to support its mission of urban revitalization. Along with holding educational seminars for local businesses and providing marketing assistance, Agron believes her job also involves “building bridges, knowing how to approach people in different situations, making us realize that the things that make us different are not as many as the things that make us the same.”

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Photo: John Kish IV