Rafael E. Álvarez, President, Office of Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez
Rafael serves as the Community Relations Liaison for the Office of Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez. Prior to that role, he managed the Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s Puerto Rican themed gardens and created programming for the gardens with community members, youth, and volunteers. He also has worked at Youth United for Change and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Rafael has a strong passion for social justice and advocacy especially in the areas of youth and education.
Anne Koellhoffer, Secretary, University of Pennsylvania
Anne joined the GALAEI board in June 2010. She graduated from Haverford College in 2009 with a major in economics and a concentration in the Peace and Conflict Studies program. As an undergrad, Anne worked for the college’s alumni relations and annual giving department and discovered her passion for the work. She spent two years employed with The Philadelphia Foundation in donor relations before returning to Haverford as a staff member. She currently works at UPENN. When she is not working, Anne spends time fostering the many stray animals that seem to seek her out. She enjoys bringing her development background as well as her passion for equal rights to her volunteer work with GALAEI.
Olinshar Nguyen, Treasurer, Comcast
Olinshar is a manager for Marketing Sciences at Comcast. Prior to that, she worked at JP Morgan Chase as strategy analyst in the customer support division as well as in the credit policy division, concentrating in small business and non-profit lending. Olinshar has ten years of financial services experience in various roles. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from New York University. Olinshar joined the GALAEI board in the summer of 2011 to apply her financial experience and analytical background to help foster community building.
Christopher Garnett, Member, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dept. of Special Immunology
Christopher is a social worker at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in their Department of Special Immunology. Christopher has worked in this department since 2008 providing family centered case management to perinatally acquired HIV positive children, teens, young adults, and their families. Christopher co-created and implemented an HIV medication group intervention and pediatric to adult HIV care transition procedure, linking the department to adult HIV practices to assist with young adult patients’ continuity of medical care. Christopher previously worked as a Youth Case Manager at ActionAIDS as well as an Adolescent Counselor at the Attic Youth Center. Christopher has over 10 years of experience working with the HIV and LGBTQ communities in Philadelphia. He received his MSS from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and his BA from Bloomsburg University.
Felix A. Perez, Member, The Wedge Recovery Centers
Felix is a native Philadelphian who has worked as a psychotherapist, social worker and administrator in behavioral health, child welfare and public health. Currently Felix serves as Vice President for Compliance and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) for the Wedge Recovery Centers, where he works with staff and clients on measuring and improving the impact of treatment and social services. Felix gladly returns to GALAEI where he served previously as a sexual health educator prior to departing for graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Felix is proud to have also worked in service to communities while at the Attic Youth Center as a peer educator and Congreso de Latinos Unidos in various clinical and administrative capacities.
Lauren Vidas, Member, City of Philadelphia, Government and External Affairs
Lauren, a Philadelphia native, joined the GALAEI board in the summer of 2011. Lauren is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Miami School of Law. She currently serves as a government and external affairs specialist for Mayor Michael Nutter where she works on legislative and community issues. Prior to joining the City, she worked as a civil litigator in Miami and Philadelphia. In addition to serving on the GALAEI board, Lauren serves on the board of her neighborhood association, SOSNA, as well as the board of New Directions for Women. On her off days, she runs with the Monster Milers, which connects Philadelphia runners with shelter dogs as running companions.
Marcel Williams Foster, Member, Dance/USA Philadelphia
Marcel W. Foster is an arts administrator, choreographer, and numbers geek. With a unique background rooted in science as well as the performing arts, Marcel works as a freelance accountant as well as the Operations Manager for Dance/USA Philadelphia. He graduated Summa cum Laude, with High Distinction, from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in Acting as well as a BA in Biological Anthropology. This dual-focus led him to work five years with the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center, with publications featured in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Nature. Additionally, Marcel remains heavily active in the performing arts community with credits from The Guthrie Theater, Pig Iron Theater, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and several original works presented internationally. With a passion for financial equity and social justice, Marcel is honored to provide financial oversight and service for GALAEI. www.marcelwfoster.org.