Who We Are
Daniel P. Loftus
Founder & CEO
Prior to his current role as CEO of Oprima-1, Loftus worked extensively in Latin America as a teacher, trainer, administrator and ultimately from 2008-2013 as an NGO consultant working on behalf of the US Agency for International Development in Cuba.
During the same time period, Loftus founded the nonprofit immigration center PODER in Chicago’s Pilsen community to meet the growing need for greater educational and job training opportunities for adult immigrants. Under his leadership, PODER’s organizational budget grew by over 2,000% in twenty years, enabling PODER to empower over 10,000 Latino immigrants in English language (ESL) and job training programs.
During the recession, PODER encountered unacceptable student retention numbers in the job training programs. Loftus went to work to find a solution while also ensuring the financial sustainability of the organization. In 2012, Loftus opened the social enterprise Oprima-1 LLC, a business process outsourcer (BPO) call center & staffing solutions company. As wholly subsidiary of the nonprofit, Oprima-1 generates revenue by offering third party clients exceptional Spanish/English customer care, lead generation, temp-to-perm, and permanent placement services. For his efforts, PODER & Oprima-1’s accomplishments were recognized in Washington, DC by UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) as their 2018 National Affiliate of the Year.
Today, when not spending quality time with his wife, three children and German Shepherd (Lady Liberty), Loftus is an active member of Chicago’s workforce development community serving on committees and boards including The Resurrection Project, Chicago Nonprofit CEO Forum, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) Workforce Development Committee, Illinois Business Immigration Council, Metropolitan Family Services and the City of Chicago Community Development Advisory Committee as appointed by Mayor Daley and reappointed by Mayor Emanuel.
Piedra has been with Oprima-1 since 2012 and oversees the social enterprise’s day to day operations. Her core responsibilities at Oprima-1 include serving as the first point of contact for existing accounts, leading advocate training and coaching, analyzing call data, and managing quality assurance efforts. She has 20+ years of customer service experience she’s developed through working in the education, medical, and social service sectors and over six years’ experience in call center supervision and quality assurance. While working with Straight Forward, Inc., her Chicago-based bilingual team of 19 advocates became the company’s top performing group in both retention and sales for their New York cable company client. Piedra prides herself in her ability to teach customer service skills and provide customized support and services to existing clients.
Prior to joining Oprima-1, Piedra spent ten years as an English as a Second Language instructor and Customer Service trainer with PODER, a nonprofit immigrant integration center that is also the Oprima-1 parent nonprofit. She has extensive experience teaching English to native Spanish-speakers and has played an important role in implementing a range of strategic initiatives – from updating program models, writing curriculum, and designing workforce development training courses. As PODER’s lead Customer Service trainer, Piedra’s students averaged a 94% student retention rate and a 95% Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA) certification rate. She recently updated PODER’s Customer Service training curriculum to leverage a blended learning training model and more strategically integrate workplace technology exposure and training.
Piedra holds Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is TESOL-certified. She is an active member of the community and has served on the DFSS Workforce Leadership Board, St. Procopius Parish Council, Adult Literacy and Technology Integration Project with the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition, and the System of Care Community Advisory Board. Piedra also enjoys sharing best practices and has facilitated multiple workshops, presented poster sessions and participated in panel discussions at the UnidosUS Workforce Development Forum throughout the years. She enjoys and cherishes every moment she spends with her husband and three children, who are always on the move.