“I’m a big believer in the notion that the course of our lives is largely impacted by life opportunities, those that come naturally and those that are presented to us by people who go the extra mile,” says Rachid Chamtieh, our March 2022 “Volunteer of the Month.”

He adds, “KidWorks’ focus on changing lives by walking in the shoes of our kids and their families aligns with my beliefs that the power of change always starts from within.”

Rachid does much more than share this philosophy, he lives it as a 12-year leader and supporter of KidWorks.

As Managing Partner of Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance Pacific Southwest practice, based in Costa Mesa, Rachid has provided exceptional financial stewardship, advice and wisdom to KidWorks. He’s served in several volunteer executive/leadership roles.

Rachid has been part of Deloitte’s Orange County office for 27 years. Previous roles with the firm include Leader of Deloitte’s Real Estate Practice in the West region, member of Deloitte’s national board council, plus various leadership roles in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Rachid’s volunteer leadership/executive roles at KidWorks have included:

Chairman of the KidWorks Board of Directors, 2014 to 2015 and 2016 to 2017, where he led the board during a transformational part of our journey, including leadership changes and improved financial discipline. This included the 2014 feasibility study that led to the major capital fundraising campaign, “Building Dreams,” that made possible the Dan Donahue Center’s significant 2017 expansion and update.  He was Vice Chair from 2012 to 2013 and first joined our board in 2009.

KidWorks Board of Directors Treasurer and member of the Audit and Finance Committees, where he supported processes, initiatives and policies to assure our financial health for the long term. 

KidWorks Advisory Council, a current position, where is a trusted resource and counselor on vision and strategy matters to David Benavides, our Executive Director/CEO and his management team.

“I’m grateful for Rachid’s service to KidWorks. His leadership and expertise as treasurer, as board chair and throughout our Building Dreams campaign has increased confidence with our existing partners while attracting new supporters. He’s changing lives and walking with our students behind the scenes,” shared David Benavides, KidWorks CEO and Executive Director.

Rachid’s financial experience and guidance, insights and support over the years contributed to KidWorks receiving a four-star rating from Charity Navigator in 2020, the widely recognized premier independent and third-party evaluator of non-profits.  

A four-star rating is the highest possible ranking from Charity Navigator. This was a step up from our prior three-star rating. We’ve maintained the four-star rating since 2020.

As a financial professional with nearly three decades of experience, Rachid knows how essential good financial stewardship is for any organization.

“We walked the walk that our donors asked of us,” Rachid says. “Looking back several years, we understood that stepping up our financial discipline was instrumental to our brand’s trust with key donors and the overall donor community in Orange County.”

Rachid adds, “The board and executive management of KidWorks are committed to demonstrating to stakeholders that we serve them in the same way we serve our community. This means maximizing the impact of their contributions in Santa Ana, the most important element of our strategy.”

As KidWorks looks forward to celebrating our upcoming 30th anniversary, Rachid sees a bright future ahead.

“I’m convinced we can continue to make more of an impact,” Rachid says. “I’m a big believer in the concept of KidWorks satellite centers at various locations in Santa Ana and I hope someday to see 10 to 20 throughout this soulful and diverse city.”

He adds, “I consider myself an ambassador for KidWorks and have and will always provide any support needed to serve the mission.”

Rachid and Deloitte have also supported our KidWorks Foundation for Success luncheon since its inception in 2007. Deloitte was an original financial sponsor and has been for 15 years.

Rachid has also encouraged his Deloitte colleagues to support KidWorks. This has included volunteer and financial support opportunities.

Rachid and his wife Rola, have two boys RJ, eight-years-old and Rami, six-years-old. They enjoy time with family and friends, playing basketball and travel.

Rachid perfectly articulates his vision for children and youth with these words: “We should not rest until every kid in Santa Ana has the same opportunities and choices as all kids in Orange County. It’s a long journey but I am a big believer that when we align the smarts and hearts of Orange County, anything is possible.”

With exceptional and gifted leaders like Rachid, we also believe anything is possible for KidWorks and the thousands of students and families we serve.

By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer