Staff Spotlights is a series that highlights and celebrates the dedicated staff of International Institute of Los Angeles. 

April 17, 2024

Meet Alejandro Cruz, our dedicated team member who has been with IILA for just over one month. In his short time here, he has already made a significant impact by ensuring that the children across LA County served by our Nutrition Division receive the meals they need. His primary responsibility is preparing meals for children with food allergies and other dietary accommodations. According to IILA’s Nutrition Division Director, Dianna Wong, Alejandro brings great attention to detail to his work, which is essential to the safety of children with food allergies. “Dealing with meal accommodations is extremely important, as it can have some serious medical effects if any mistakes are made…He’s very thorough when reading food labels, always asking questions to confirm and clarify.” 

Not only does Alejandro prepare meals, but he also lends a helping hand wherever needed, whether it be cleaning, cooking, or delivering food. Wong shares how, “From day one, he has been a team player.  His personality fits right in with the rest of my crew.  As soon as his duties are complete, he jumps in to ask his co-workers how he can be of help to them.  If there isn’t anything for him to help with, then he finds something to clean.  There’s always something to clean in the kitchen.” Alejandro embodies the IILA team spirit and approach to our services. 

One of the aspects he enjoys most about his role is the variety of tasks it can involve, making each day a little different and dynamic. He explains that, so far, “…learning all the allergens and ingredients in the food has been the most challenging. But we are on a six-week cycle menu, so I should be familiar with everything soon.” Looking ahead, Alejandro hopes to continue learning and growing in his current role within the department and as a team player. 

What initially drew Alejandro to his position was the appealing work hours, which allow him the flexibility to spend quality time with his family and engage in other personal interests. Outside of work, he enjoys spending his free time hiking at Runyon Canyon or going to the beach with his wife and dogs.  Alejandro is also passionate about music and plays the trumpet in the band Tamborazo el Alazan. They perform at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena on Friday nights and at private parties on Saturdays.  

We are grateful to have such a talented and versatile individual as part of our team. Thank you, Alejandro, for bringing your strengths and dedication to IILA!