Cris Medina retires from GCI

Jose “Beto” Lopez, named Acting Executive Director and CEO

Cris Medina

Longtime leader of the Guadalupe Centers, Director and CEO Cris Medina, has announced his retirement after more than 40 years of service.

During Mr. Medina’s tenure, Guadalupe Centers, Inc. (GCI) has expanded its programming and services to tens of thousands of individuals in the Kansas City region. Major accomplishments include:

• The opening of the Plaza de Niños Head-start Center for Children in 1985.

• The acquisition of the original Guadalupe Center building in 1991, located at 1015 Avenida Cesar Chavez from the Catholic Diocese of KC / St. Joseph.

• The merger of the KC Terminal Employees Federal Credit Union & the Guadalupe Centers in 1995 to form the present Guadalupe Centers Federal Credit Union.

• The $5.8 million dollar renovation and expansion in 2003 of the Guadalupe Center’s Historic Landmark facility, featuring Commercial kitchens, Culinary Arts Classrooms, a Senior Center, and Administrative offices.

• The 2014 purchase and renovation of the Saint Paul School of Theology campus for the expansion of the Guadalupe Educational System Charter Schools in order to open an elementary school and Pre-K program at the Villa Guadalupe Campus, along with the Guadalupe Centers Family Support Center located on the city’s Eastside.

“On behalf of all directors and the thousands of Kansas Citians served over the years, we would like to thank Cris Medina for his decades of service to Guadalupe Center,” said Paul Rojas, Chair of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors has named Beto Lopez as Acting Executive Director and CEO. Lopez has served as Chief Operating Officer of Guadalupe Centers since 2018. Prior to joining the staff, Mr. Lopez served on the GCI Board for nine years, including three as president, as well as serving on the Guadalupe school board for five years.

The Board will soon begin a national search for its next leader.

The Guadalupe Centers began as a settlement house for Mexican immigrants who came to work on the railroads and later resided in Kansas City, Mo. Named after the patron saint of Mexico – Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Guadalupe Center was established in 1919 to serve as a school and clinic for Latinos on Kansas City’s Westside. It is one of the nation’s oldest social service agencies for Latinos. Through the years the Guadalupe Center’s programs have expanded to include social service assistance and cultural educational opportunities. The Guadalupe Center is the heart and social services hub of the Latino community on Kansas City’s Westside. It provides an array of comprehensive services, including a charter school system, credit union, social services and youth development programs and serves over 12,000 individuals per year.

For more information, please contact Acting Executive Director and CEO Beto Lopez at (816) 421-1015 or

Source Guadalupe Centers, Inc.