Leadership

  • PRESIDENT
  • SECRETARY
  • TREASURER
  • DIRECTOR

President

Ralph Cintrón, Ph.D.

Ralph Cintrón, Ph.D. is a joint Associate Professor in English and Latin American and Latino Studies at the Universtity of Illinois Chicago. His interests are in rhetorical studies, ethnography, urban theory, political economy, transnationalism, and immigration. Research wise, he has done fieldwork in specific Puerto Rican and Mexican neighborhoods in Chicago. Dr. Cintrón has also done fieldwork in Kosova and co-authored essays on humanitarian interventionism and international state building.

            He has published about twenty-five journal articles and book chapters, and has given over 150 keynotes, invited lectures, professional papers at conferences, or presentations in the United States and Europe. One of his books, Angels’ Town: Chero Ways, Gang Life, and Rhetorics of the Everyday, won honorable mention for the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing from the American Anthropological Association. He was also Co-Principal Investigator on the recently published “60 Years of Migration: Puerto Ricans in Chicagoland.”
Dr. Cintrón has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar on the political science faculty at the University of Prishtina in Prishtina, Kosova 2007-2008, and a former member of the Executive Board of the Rhetoric Society of America. He has been a member of Chicago’s Puerto Rican Agenda since 2002.
Currently, he is co-editing with Robert Hariman (Northwestern University) a book titled Power, Rhetoric, and Political Culture: The Texture of Political Action. He is also currently authoring Democracy as Fetish: Fieldwork, Rhetoric, and the Oligarchic Condition.

Secretary

Trevor Tejeda-Gervais

Trevor has almost a decade of experience organizing movements, driving electoral campaigns, developing and executing communication strategies, and directly lobbying legislators. He has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arizona, in Political Science and Latin American Studies.

 

Trevor began his political career in Arizona, where he successfully organized his public school district to set their first-ever class size maximum. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he served as the Southern Arizona Regional Field Director for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. In that capacity, he created and managed more than 25 neighborhood volunteer teams, which registered more than 12,000 people to vote across Arizona border communities and Tucson. As Election Day neared, Trevor became the GOTV Director for Central Las Vegas, where he managed field staff and created a regional Election Day tracking team to deploy additional resource to priority precincts, which in turn enjoyed record turnout.

As the Midwest Organizing Director of Common Cause, Trevor developed relationships across the region in order to advocate for redistricting, voting rights reforms, and other campaigns to increase political participation. He developed a statewide Student Network in Illinois with a presence on more than a dozen campuses, in addition to several community chapters across the state, that lobby legislators and educate voters.

Trevor is also a weekly panelist on Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.’s nationally-syndicated radio show “Keep Hope Alive”, which airs in 40 markets across the country.

In his current capacity as Co-Founder of We Bridge Consulting, LLC he primarily focuses on general consulting services, community organizing and field mobilization, digital communications, and overall political strategy for state and local campaigns.

Treasurer

Jonathan Casiano

Jonathan Casiano is Senior Vice President of Public Finance at PNC Bank where he manages PNC’s government client relationships in Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. Directly responsible for the allocation of credit and development of broad, multi-faceted relationships, Jonathan is a relationship banker dedicated to helping government and non-profit entities access capital, manage debt and establish valued banking relationships in order to better execute their missions and expand the reach of their services. Mr. Casiano’s background as a journalist covering government and urban issues gives him a unique understanding of clients’ needs and his passions for educational equality and urban economic development drives the community development work he does.

 

         Mr. Casiano holds a BA in Communications, Law, Economics and Government from American University. He went on to earn an MS in Public Policy Management for Urban and Regional Economic Development from Carnegie Mellon University from which he also earned an MBA in Finance.dedicated to helping government and non-profit entities access capital, manage debt and establish valued banking relationships in order to better execute their missions and expand the reach of their services. Mr. Casiano’s background as a journalist covering government and urban issues gives him a unique understanding of clients’ needs and his passions for educational equality and urban economic development drives the community development work he does.

Director

Mariana Osoria

Mariana Osoria has been a national trainer and facilitator for the past seventeen years. She has worked in the field of social service for the past twenty five. Mariana received a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Ms. Osoria has had extensive experience working in diverse training settings. She has had the opportunity to train educators, social workers, community developers, and managers. Mariana has a deep commitment to continued learning and sharing that learning with other professionals. She utilizes life-long learning as a guiding principle for herself and her work.

            Mariana began her social service career when she was about ten years old helping her family fill bags of grocery that were later to be distributed to needy families. This was just the beginning of a career that is focused on giving back and building community. After receiving her BA she began to work with some of the Chicago area’s most needy families. Ms. Osoria’s experience spans from working in the court system, in community based organizations, and educational system. Her work as a case manager for families involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services solidifies her desire to work in the field of social services. Building on that work Mariana moved to Youth Guidance whose programs are school-based. She now has over twenty years of experience delivering social services. Ms. Osoria has a deep understanding of the systems that impact community development. Ms. Osoria has honed her knowledge and understanding of resiliency and strength-based approaches. Ms. Osoria has utilized this knowledge to implement successful programs and to provide training, workshops, and technical assistance to all levels of staff. It is her commitment to share this knowledge in order to impact more youth and families.

In reflecting on what work to continue to explore Ms. Osoria felt a need to begin working more closely with families before their children even entered the school system. Family Focus was the perfect fit for the next step in Ms. Osoria’s professional career and personal commitment. The mission of Family Focus to promote the wellbeing of children from birth really is the driving force for her move to this organization. In addition, delivering service right in the community, being able to respond holistically and responding to and working with the community is at the center of her choice to shift her career to Family Focus. At Family Focus she has held the position of Assistant Director, Director and her current role is Vice President of Centers.

Mariana continues to give back to the community in numerous ways outside of her organization that include sitting on boards of directors, volunteering in her children’s school, and engaging in volunteer opportunities in her community, whether that is connecting with her neighbors to clean up the community or connect neighbors in need with local services and programs. A community driven approach is central to Mariana’s philosophy.

Mariana is also an adjunct faculty member at Erikson Institute and has been a guest lecturer at Loyola University and the University of Chicago.

Staff (Main Office)

3541 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-5338 

TitleNamePhone Number
Executive DirectorLissette Castañeda(773) 276-5338
Staff AttorneyRaisa Alicea(773) 276-5338 ext. 235
Law ClerkErica Bobish(773) 276-5338 ext. 260
Development AssociateLisette Arzuaga(773) 276-5338 ext. 224
Director of Affordable HousingCharlene Andreas(773) 276-5338 ext. 227
Building Development AssociateLincoln Stannard(773) 276-5338 ext. 242
Building Development Associate Sam Comrie(773) 276-5338 ext. 252
Assistant Property ManagerEvelyn Vega(773) 276-5338 ext. 225
Project Coordinator, Community Alliance InitiativeAlan Goldberg(773) 276-5338 ext. 223
Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Community Alliance InitiativeFarah Bousmaha(773) 276-5338
Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Community Alliance InitiativeJuan Luna(773) 276-5338
Director of FinanceKhanh Huynh(773) 276-5338 ext. 237
Administrative ManagerMaria Galarza(773) 276-5338 ext. 239
Program AssistantAna Velez(773) 276-5338 ext. 226
ReceptionistRousemary Vega(773) 276-5338 ext. 221

Housing Opportunities Center

1152 N. Christiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 489-8484 

TitleNamePhone Number
Housing Counseling SpecialistGuillermina Leon(773) 489-8484 ext. 255
Housing Counseling SpecialistLeticia Vargas(773) 489-8484 ext. 228
Housing Counseling SpecialistMichael Stumpf(773) 489-8484 ext. 240
Intake SpecialistMarisol De La Rosa(773) 489-8484 ext. 258

Humbolt Park Residence

1152 N. Christiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 489-8484 

TitleNamePhone Number
Resident Services CounselorEmma Epstein(773) 489-8484 ext. 257
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