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Our team at the Center includes full-time and part-time staff as well as members of our programs who provide direction and leadership for our work.

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Molly Ashodian

Molly Baird Ashodian is Administrative Coordinator for the Center. She joined the Center in late 2021 as a Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Molly has spent the last decade working for non profits, city government, and most recently, a healthcare workers' union, advocating for and supporting the working poor in accessing services and living financially empowered lives. She completed a BA at the University of Vermont in 2010. She has previously led trainings on effective communication, collective bargaining and political advocacy. In her spare time, Molly enjoys cooking, experimenting with new vegetarian recipes and going on walks in the Wissahickon with her dog, Baxter.

Millie Bass Headshot

Millie Bass

Millie Bass is a full-time Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment Coach for the Center's Building Wealth and Health Network. They joined the Center in fall 2022. Millie is a graduate of Columbia University’s masters of social work policy program where they conducted research with Columbia Justice Lab’s Probation and Parole Reform Project. Their research focused on centering impacted voices in solution building, harm reduction and community investment rather than current systems of divestment and punishment. Prior to Columbia, Millie was an AmeriCorps VISTA in their hometown of Winston Salem, NC, with the Kids Cooking Coalition. Millie’s social work experience has balanced between trauma-informed and anti-oppressive macro level research and direct practice. In their direct practice, they have conducted home health visits in rural Appalachia and taught kids' nutrition and healthy habits that are both accessible and attainable. They are a member of Hearts on a Wire, a grassroots prison advocacy organization working to address the needs of transgender folks in Pennsylvania prisons. Millie’s passion is to see a world full of choice, equity and joy. They are a Capricorn and enjoy embroidery, learning, dreaming, reading and spending time outside.

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Leona Brown

Leona Brown works with the Building Wealth and Health Network as a Per Diem Program Facilitator. She has over 15 years of work experience in retail and held roles as a store manager and merchandiser and has also worked as an administrative assistant. She is certified in FIVE9 and Help Desk and has completed four years of parenting courses. She also held the role of secretary on the Policy Council of Ecelero Learning. In her free time, Leona loves spending time with her four children, taking walks alone, and having heart to heart conversations as well as singing, dancing, reading and doing crafts with resin. She is a proud member of the Network and serves on the Network Advisory Council (NAC).

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Emily Brown Weida

Emily Brown Weida, MSW, DrPH is Director of Research and Evaluation for the Center. She previously served as Research Associate with the Building Wealth and Health Network. She graduated with her DrPH in Health Management and Policy from the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in 2022. Her dissertation was titled "Impact of Trauma-Informed Programming on Financial Well-being and Multidimensional Resilience." She received her master's degree in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary.

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Mariana Chilton

Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Health Management and Policy, at Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. She founded the Center for Hunger-Free Communities and Witnesses to Hunger, a movement to increase women's participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty. She is principal investigator of the Building Wealth and Heath Network, designed to incentivize entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. For 15 years, she was a co-principal investigator in the Children’s HealthWatch. Her research addresses trauma, food insecurity and the advancement of human rights. She served as co-chair of the Bi-partisan National Commission on Hunger, meant to advise Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture on how to end hunger in America. She has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and has served as an advisor to Sesame Street and to the Institute of Medicine.

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Alie Huxta

Alie Huxta, MSS, is the Director of Training and Engagement. Starting as a Network coach, she is now excited to lead the Center team and bring our healing-centered approaches to other organizations. As a coach she helped create a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive approach to the Network's Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment sessions. She previously facilitated experiential learning and political consciousness with youth at Camp Sojourner Girls Leadership Camp and later coordinated and built youth programming with the University Community Collaborative at Temple University. In this time, she was trained to lead Transformational Social Therapy groups, a model that urges people across identities to share personal violences, hopes, and fears in order to reach collective intelligence and solutions. This work led her to pursue a clinical social work degree at Bryn Mawr's Graduate School for Social Work and Social Research where she studied the psychological effects of oppression as a counseling intern at Women Organized Against Rape. Alie also loves to backpack on the Appalachian Trail, cook with friends, and make songs.

Keith Lee Headshot

Keith Lee

Keith Lee, CLU, ChFC, serves as a Per Diem Facilitator for the Building Wealth and Health Network and is a financial expert with two decades in the financial services industry. Over the years he has developed curriculum and taught courses in personal and spiritual personal growth and development and has taught pre-licensing courses in the insurance industry. He is a graduate of The American College of Financial Services in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Korah Lovelace headshot

Korah Lovelace

Korah Lovelace is a Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment Coach for the Center’s Building Wealth and Health Network. Korah has a passion for research and community empowerment. In 2016, Korah was featured in the “Company of Biologists: Disease Models & Mechanisms;” for genetic research she completed as a high school student, at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2018, Korah received a B.S in Health Administration from Drexel University and has been working to combat poverty and improve maternal-child health ever since. Korah has a history of facilitating mental and physical health sessions for teens as well as helping parents budget for success. Korah sits on community action boards that help to allocate funding to various non-profits, aiming to assist vulnerable populations in Philadelphia. In addition, Korah works to assist parents in accessing essential needs such as cribs, diapers, wipes and housing assistance. As a proud introvert, Korah spends a lot of her free time doing yoga and in nature completely disconnected from fast-paced city life.

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Kevin Mansa

Kevin Mansa, MPP, serves as the Director of Programming and Financial Strategy for the Center. His primary role is to oversee the the Building Wealth and Health Network's programmatic activities and operations, as well as managing the Network staff. Kevin is also responsible for helping the Network expand and grow its footprint and developing and updating the Network financial strategy to guide how we help members improve their finances. Prior to joining the Center, Kevin was a highly decorated banker, working with PNC Financial Services and Commerce Bankcorp. He was also a recognized community advocate in the North and West Philadelphia sections of city. Kevin received his bachelor of science in business administration from St. Joseph's University and attained his master’s degree in public policy at Drexel.

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Michael Moody

Michael Moody is the Associate Director of Operations for the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. Mike oversees the back-end operations and organizational management of the Building Wealth and Health Network. He has been working within the nonprofit sphere for 10 years, taking on various administrative roles within organizations centered around social justice, equity, and self-determination. Prior to this, Mike spent many years working within the corporate healthcare sector where he developed the administrative acumen that he uses to support the Center. Mike has a deep and unapologetic passion for combating social, racial and gender disparities and has made it his life mission to advocate for oppressed groups and those who feel voiceless. During his spare time, Mike manages box office and customer engagement activities at the BlackStar Film Festival, is a lover of the arts, and travels as often as possible.

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Sherita Mouzon

Sherita Mouzon was a founding member of Witnesses to Hunger in Philadelphia who now serves the Center as a community engagement assistant. Her primary work focuses on trauma, addiction and motivational speaking. Her commitment to bettering trauma-informed care extends into her professional career with past roles in human services at the Salvation Army and St. Christopher's. Her writing and activism have been featured in TalkPoverty, DrexelNow, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.

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Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson serves as a Financial Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. She is a former Network member from cohort 36 and the first Network member to be hired by the Center. She looks forward to many other Network members joining her on the team in the future.

Brittany has been a licensed life and health insurance agent for two years and has helped many families and children become financially secure for their future. She teaches the importance of proper financial planning for now and the future. She is a mother of three and credit repair is her specialty. She enjoys using her voice and experience to help others, in hopes that as many people as possible can overcome the obstacles preventing them from reaching their goals.

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Natalie Shaak

Natalie Shaak, MS, joined the Center in 2019 as Operations Manager and now serves as Associate Director of Communications and Administration. In her role, Natalie supports the Center's programs through communication and business operations. She oversees the Center's website and social media, manages the Center's financial accounts, and assists the leadership team in strategic planning, grant writing, and other Center operations. Natalie holds bachelor's degrees in English from Millersville University and culinary arts and science from Drexel University as well as master's degrees in educational psychology/counseling from West Chester University and publication management from Drexel University. Natalie has worked in the restaurant industry and previously held professional staff roles in communication with Drexel Student Life and the LeBow College of Business and served fraternity and sorority communities at Drexel, West Chester, and Washington State Universities. She also serves as chair of the Staff Coordinating Committee for Dornsife School of Public Health and is a member of the Dornsife School Council. She also coordinates neighborhood cleanups as a Philadelphia Block Captain, serves as an election poll worker, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation's education committee. In her free time, Natalie enjoys gardening, volunteering with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), collecting cookbooks, and reading. Natalie is passionate about historic preservation, restaurant worker rights, culinary arts, and food waste reduction.

Headshot of Jenay Smith

Jenay Smith

Jenay Smith, MSS, LMSW, joined the Center in 2016 as an intern and now is the Associate Director of Programming. Jenay is a graduate of Bryn Mawr's Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (GSSWSR) with a concentration in Community, Practice, Policy and Advocacy. Jenay is in charge of direct supervision of Building Wealth and Health Network coaches and ongoing training and development of Network program staff. In addition, she supports recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training of new coaches. Jenay manages partner relationships and oversees communication among the coaching team and our partner sites.

Outside of the Center, Jenay is a proud volunteer with LevelUp Philly, Philadelphia's largest city-wide at-risk youth outreach were Jenay mentors youth. She also serves as a teen leader at her home church Antioch Christian Fellowship in West Philly where she leads weekly teen sessions. In addition, she serves as an anger management facilitator for court appointed and at-risk youth and serves on WHHY's Community Advisory Board.

During her time at Bryn Mawr, Jenay served as the president of Macro Social Work Student Network, student representative on the strategic planning committee, and a graduate assistant selected by the Dean for a national Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work. Jenay was also asked to participate in a panel for the Policy Practice Summit, hosted by the National Association for Social Workers. Upon graduation, Jenay received the 2017 McPherson Award for excellence and service to the GSSWSR community.

Raheem Stevenson headshot

Raheem Stevenson

Raheem Stevenson, joined the Center in 2021 and serves as Senior Financial Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. In this role, he facilitates financial SELF empowerment sessions and offers one-on-one coaching for members looking to build financial security and meet their goals. He also provides guidance and training for new coaches and new sites of the Network and supports the Network's banking tasks. A native of Philadelphia, Raheem has over 12 years of extensive financial sales and management experience in numerous positions including financial planner, senior financial specialist, financial sales leader, district manager, and private banker. In 2009, he began the second phase of his professional career and opened his own business. Raheem is an alumnus of Virginia State University and a former varsity athlete who received athletic and academic honors from his alma mater. Raheem is truly involved in his community, serving as an ordained deacon and ministry leader at the Four Corner Crusade for Life Community Church and President of Peoples Unified Resource Center, an organization focused on the advancement and education of the African American community. Raheem volunteers with Big Brother and Big Sisters of Philadelphia and serves as a varsity football coach. He is a proud member of the Urban Financial Services Coalition and a dedicated father of three.