Human Services Director Santiago Cornejo

Santiago Cornejo was named director of the Human Services Department in 2019, having served the City of Tolleson since 2016. He currently oversees Senior Services and Senior Center operations, the Community Action Program, and Housing Rehabilitation Services. Prior to his promotion to Director, Santiago began with Tolleson as the Senior Services Supervisor, followed by a promotion to Community Services Manager, culminating in the creation of the Human Services Department, (formerly Community Services) to expand operations and flourish under his leadership.  

Santiago is a multi-disciplined public servant with over 20 years of experience working in municipalities throughout California and Arizona. His background includes direct service to Older Adults, managing sports, special events, recreation programs for youth, adults, older adults, and clients with disabilities, and facilities management & operations. Santiago has been instrumental in engaging local businesses and facilitating their investment into the community, attracting a number of large-scale sponsorships from Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in Tolleson. Santiago’s breadth of experience informed his ability to pivot operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable residents maintained social connections and continued to receive welfare checks and services critical to their well-being.

Mr. Cornejo holds a Bachelor's degree in Recreation & Leisure Studies from California State University - Long Beach, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Grand Canyon University. In addition to his educational background, he holds certificates in computer repair, CPR/First Aid/AED/Blood Borne Pathogens, and Serve Safe Management. In 2017, Santiago received the City of Tolleson Diamond Award in recognition of his commitment to excellence and service to the residents of Tolleson. He has also served on a number of statewide leadership boards, including a role as board member, Vice-President and President of the Arizona Senior Center Association.  

Santiago is passionate about community service, injecting care, compassion, and empathy into his work. He is most proud of his direct service work, creating an environment that is welcoming and lively, attracting various members of the community to partake in programs the city has available. He takes great pride in aiding the personal and professional development of his staff, and strives to share his experience in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of leadership. In his free time, Santiago enjoys spending time with his wife Danielle, doing outdoor activities, working on cars, and traveling. He and his wife are excited for the arrival of their first child in the summer of 2023.