Improving the Quality of Life for the Community

OUR TEAM

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Amanda August

Executive Director

Amanda oversees the growth of JSC and its transition from an all-volunteer 501(c)3 to a staffed organization. She is also working to create an accessible community hub, in partnership with Hanover Presbyterian Church, as well as support the implementation of community-driven revitalization efforts. Amanda has a Master’s in Social Justice and Community Organizing from Prescott College and over a decade of non-profit experience, with special focuses on trauma-informed care, outdoor education and community engagement.

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Willie J. Patrick, Jr.

President

Willie J. Patrick, Jr., Director of Emergency Management for the City of Wilmington, is a resident of the Ninth Ward community and is active on the Second District Planning Council. He is retired as Chief of the Wilmington Fire Department after 32 years of service. He serves on the Board of Wilmington Little League and is an adjunct instructor at Wilmington University and for the National Fire Academy under FEMA. 
 
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Romain Alexander

Vice President

Romain Alexander is a resident of the Ninth Ward and a member of Hanover Presbyterian Church. He is currently a Policy Advisor in the Office of Governor John Carney. He was formerly Chief of Staff for Wilmington City Council, serving as chief advisor to the President of the City Council. Prior to that, he served 12 years as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Wilmington, managing the daily operations and budget across five divisions within the department. He designed and implemented a grant-writing effort that raised more than $3 million for park and playground enhancements.
 
Ellen Casson

Ellen Casson

Treasurer

Ellen Casson is currently serving as treasurer for Jefferson Street Center, Inc. During her years on the board, she has written foundation grant requests to support families in need of tuition assistance for childcare. She is a member of Hanover Presbyterian Church, has an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked in criminal justice for 30 years in Philadelphia and Delaware, retiring as the Chief U.S. Probation Officer for the District of Delaware. She is currently serving on the Washington Heights Blueprint Community® Team.
 
 
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Leah Kacanda

Secretary

Leah Kacanda is a resident of the Brandywine Village neighborhood. She is an urban planning professional working in transportation, land use planning, and community development for Whitman, Requardt and Associates, LLP, an area engineering firm. She has experience in community engagement, group facilitation, project management, public speaking, and policy research. She is also an avid cyclist and complete streets advocate. 
 
 
 
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Lorie Tudor

Board Member

Lorie Tudor, a long-time member of Hanover and a resident of the Washington Heights community, is retired after working many years for the State of Delaware in family social services. Lorie has an MSW and also has experience as a program director and grant-writer. She has served on Hanover’s Session and Faith in Action committee for many years and has a strong commitment to social justice for all people. She also is a founding board member for the Jefferson Street Center.
 
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Janie Randolph

Board Member

Janie Randolph lives in Baynard Village and is an active member of the Neighborhood Association. Her background includes over 20 years of corporate legal support and global project management. She is passionate about neighborhood revitalization and will be participating in Cinnaire’s 2022 Jumpstart Wilmington program to learn more about real estate development. 

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Helen Anderson

Board Member

Helen Anderson is a Wilmington native who still resides in the 9th Ward with her daughter. Ms. Anderson is currently the executive director of Dual Generation Services for the State of Delaware. In her role, she works with Wilmington families to bridge the gap between education and social services to end systemic poverty. Ms. Anderson’s passion for youth has helped her to create a holistic initiative that encompasses various state agencies and community partners to provide housing, employment, social service navigation and educational opportunities. Helen is living out the legacy of her father, William “Hicks” Anderson and the work he started with Wilmington families. Ms. Anderson earned a MBA and Masters in Education from Wilmington University. 

Cynthia Kelsey

Cynthia Kelsey

Board Member

Cynthia Kelsey has lived on North VanBuren Street in the Triangle neighborhood for over 30 years. Cynthia was a social worker for the Delaware Division of Child Protective Services and then a Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice in the criminal division. She has been a member of the board for Jefferson Street Center, Inc. for several years and is a current member of the Washington Heights Blueprint Community® Team.
 
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Candice Brown

Board Member

Candice Brown is a resident of the Brandywine Village neighborhood and is active in the Brandywine Village Civic Association. She works at Children and Families First, with the Red Clay Community School Initiative (Shortlidge Academy and Warner Elementary School), to strengthen families and create a healthier community. Her college degree is in early childhood education. She was Program Director for H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club for four years and also a team lead on a Delaware Readiness Team in the Northeast section of the city. She is Chair of the Washington Heights Blueprint Community® Team.

Joel Schiller

Board Member

Joel Schiller, Artisans’ Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Assessment Officer, served on the Washington Heights Blueprint Community® Team representing a member institution of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. Artisans’ Bank is a community based, mutually owned, financial institution serving the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware since 1861. He serves on several boards, including the Delaware Bankers Association, and actively supports the Stepping Stones Community FCU, a low income credit union bringing financial services to our community.  

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Kimberly Hardy

Board Member

Kimberly Hardy proudly resides in Baynard Village and is an active member of the Baynard Village Neighborhood Association. Kimberly holds a Master’s in Education, serving as Lead Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers NCC for over 10 years. She is passionate and purposeful about promoting resiliency, strengthening community collaborations and fostering relationships that empower children, families and communities. As a Board member of Westside Family Healthcare, she thrives at the cross-section of education and healthcare. Kimberly further extended her expertise with a Mindful Parenting Coach certification and established Higher Ground Enterprises, LLC, aimed to share mindfulness practices and skillful communication skills that transform generational patterns and create more peace. 

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Maggie DeGennaro

Board Member

Maggie DeGennaro grew up in Delaware, and is currently a resident of the Triangle neighborhood in Wilmington. Her main area of expertise is video production, but she’s also skilled in several areas of multimedia, including photography and design for web, print and digital platforms. At present, she is the Multimedia Communications Manager at Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore. 

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Diane Chugani

Board Member

Dr. Diane Chugani is Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at the University of Delaware. Previously, she was Professor of Pediatrics at Wayne State University, Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Executive Director of the University Pediatricians Autism Center, and Director of the Translational Imaging Laboratory at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Dr. Chugani received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from UCLA, and her research interests have focused on the pathogenesis of autism and epilepsy, as well as the design and testing of new treatments. Her work as been supported by a number of grants from NICHD and NINDS, including an Autism Center of Excellence Network Grant. Dr. Chugani’s most recent research interest involves the role of parent stress and immune function child language development. 

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Roger Hesketh

Board Member

Roger Hesketh is a resident of the Brandywine Village community. He is Assistant Policy Scientist for the Center for Community Research and Service (CCRS) at the University of Delaware. He is the Director of Community Revitalization within the CCRS and has served as facilitator for the Washington Heights Blueprint Community® Team. He has also served as program manager and community engagement manager for Public Allies Delaware.
 
 

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Jefferson Street Center, Inc.
1801 N. Jefferson St., Wilmington Delaware 19802