Manuel Morales came to the United States as a migrant tomato farmer from Mexico. One of Manuel’s sons, Tom, saw the power of hard work in his father’s journey. Manuel challenged his family to give back to the Hispanic community, and Tom took his message to heart.
In 2003, Tom founded the Morales Group to fulfill his lifelong dream to bridge the power of employment to those in underserved communities. As Morales Group continued to grow, he launched Project Azul to give individuals the chance to expand their job skills and access to resources in order to climb the job ladder for a better life.
Project Azul offers our candidates the opportunity to advance through training, development, and personalized support. Our dream is to positively impact thousands of lives for the better.
What started as an immigrant’s dream has transformed into a life-changing reality.
Yecenia Tostado is the Executive Director of Project Azul. She is passionate about improving the local and global community and is committed to the empowerment and advancement of individuals across various stages of their education and career journey. She previously served as associate director for Indy Achieves at EmployIndy.
She is committed to civic engagement and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Indianapolis, Right Fit Indiana, and the District Theater. She is part of the Founding Steering Committee for the Axis Leadership Program, which is a partnership between the Indiana Latino Expo and the City of Indianapolis Mayor’s Office focused on providing professional and leadership development for young Latino professionals, something Yecenia believes is critical to the success of the cities.
She was recognized as one of Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences 20 Under 40 in 2021, the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class of 2020, and Indy Eleven’s Campeones de la Comunidad (Champions of the Community) in 2019. She is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy (SKL) Executive Leadership Series Class XLIII and an alumna of the FBI Citizens Academy. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University and a Master of Public Affairs from O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.
Maria Baca Vilchez is the Workforce Success Manager for Project Azul, where she supports and places candidates into life-changing jobs. Prior to this role, Maria has served in workforce development, employment, financial, and income support coaching roles.
She strives to create equitable opportunities and bring resources to the communities she serves. Maria firmly believes that everyone should have access to career, education, health, and resource opportunities. In over 7-years as a community servant and leader, Maria has learned that her purpose in life is to lend a helping hand to those in need and listen to their stories with empathy and respect.
Maria is involved with the Trusted Mentors organization as a mentor. She was an honoree of the United Way of Central Indiana’s 100 Heroes and a speaker at TedEx, where she discussed her experiences as an immigrant in the United States.
Maria grew up the only girl and fourth of five children. She is a mother to four wonderful boys. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, attending church, and spending quality time with family.
Mina serves as Project Azul’s Workforce Success Coach. He graduated from Ball State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Prior to working at Project Azul, Mina worked at Energy Systems Network in Indianapolis through the AmeriCorps VISTA program and taught English in South Korea.
As Project Azul’s Program Support Intern, Anna manages the organization’s social media, represents the organization at community events, assists with Salesforce, and supports other programmatic efforts. She hails from Yorktown, Indiana and currently attends Ball State University studying Spanish and Political Science. Anna plans to pursue nonprofit and advocacy work, as well as to incorporate Spanish into her life and career — a perfect fit for the Project Azul mission! When not advocating for Indiana’s workforce, you can find Anna salsa dancing, snacking on pupusas, or creating unique earrings and other art.
Jackie Morales’s passion drives her work in overseeing marketing, innovation, and workforce development to ensure her team helps people find incredible jobs to best take care of their families. Her intense passion for connecting people to better opportunities carries over to her mentorship of Latino high school students via Project Stepping Stone. Her resourcefulness has earned her recognition as an Indianapolis Business Journal’s 40 under 40, as well as Latina Business Woman of the Year at the Latino Expo. When she’s not hard at work in the office, she’s busy researching her next festival or hiking spot to explore with her family.
Tiera currently serves as the Operations Director for EmpowerED Families. Previously, she served as Financial Performance Analyst for the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation where she oversaw the financial health of 40 Mayor-Sponsored Charter Schools and as a Case Manager for former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly’s Office.
Tiera graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Public Policy. During her time at Notre Dame, she pursued opportunities in policy and data analysis. She was a legislative intern for the U.S. Senate, a policy intern for a nonprofit seeking to re-integrate the formerly incarcerated into the community, and a research assistant for a professor focusing on education and social justice issues. After earning a research grant, Tiera spent nine weeks abroad studying the German criminal justice system.
Tiera volunteers for Dress for Success as a career coach and she also serves on their finance and fundraising committee. Tiera advocates for schools by serving on the federal advisory board for Indiana’s Department of Education which was created by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Berenice Lopez grew up on California’s central coast and moved to Indy’s West side in 2017. Through her roles in banking and higher education, she has remained committed to supporting and working alongside people through their professional and personal development. As a first-generation college graduate and proud Mexican-American daughter of immigrants; her life experiences have fueled her determination to reach higher and defined her vision to see underserved communities grow. By participating in various local organizations, she has continuously worked to establish herself as a community member who provides guidance and perspective to bridge the gap between uncertainty and opportunity for all.
In this role, he is responsible for negotiating, writing, reviewing, summarizing, researching and executing a wide variety of agreements for companies and clients, including marketing agreements, entertainment, licensing, real estate leases, confidentiality agreements, and other general business contracts both domestically and internationally. Tim serves on a number of nonprofit boards such as Recycle Force, Keys to Work, Indy Gateway, Governmental Affairs Society of Indiana (GASI), Friends of the White River, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP). Tim lives on the west side of Indianapolis, with his wife -Yolanda, kids-Taylor & Timmy and dog- Macy. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and a Masters in Public Affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (J.D./M.P.A.). He was a double major in Business Administration/Political Science earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Fisk University in Nashville, TN.
There’s no stopping Seth Morales as he blazes the trail to grow a business built on listening and solving the critical issues of business leaders. As the President and CEO, he sees Project Azul an incubator for talent, providing a pipeline of people to continue the mission of the Morales Group family of services. This people-driven all star continues standing up for the less fortunate in helping build homes for the less fortunate via the Home of Hope program in Mexico and sits on St. Vincent’s Health System Board of Directors. When he’s not reliving his game-winning touchdown catch from Drew Brees to beat Ohio State, he can be found hiking or playing in the pool with his kids and hitting up Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Butler University basketball game.
As a child, Tom Morales aspired to be an engineer and likely never dreamed of being able to start a company that would make such an impactful difference in people’s lives. Morales Group Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board saw an opportunity to serve individuals who needed consistent and reliable work and wanted to build a bridge between the Indianapolis business community and the Hispanic population. Tom continues to invest in others by serving on the boards of Elevate Indy, YWAM, and IU Cancer Center Development Board and lecturing all over the country on immigration issues. When he’s not serving, you’ll find him enjoying time with his wife and five children or on the golf course.
Jordan Rodriguez moved to the United States in 2008 after being born and raised in Latin America and Europe (Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain). He started his career in city government and currently serves as the Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Manager where he directs all hiring efforts for the 33 agencies within the city county enterprise with best practices for equitable hiring. Jordan is dedicated to ensuring that ALL communities in Indianapolis have equitable access to city services and community decisions.
Our training programs are designed meet employer needs while remaining focused on ensuring participants can achieve success.Learn more
Our workforce coaching, which continues in employment, helps participants meet their basic needs, navigate professional barriers, or resolve concerns.Learn More
Our intentional employer partnerships provide us with opportunities to help participants secure good jobs.Learn More