Fall Cohort 2020
Amy Vogltanz is the Director of Grants and Contracts at Manhattan Legal Services (“MLS”), a program of Legal Services NYC, the largest civil legal services provider in the United States whose mission is to fight poverty and seek racial, social and economic justice for low-income New Yorkers. Along with a central team of grant reporting specialists, Amy oversees all aspects of reporting and compliance of MLS’s 12.5 million dollar budget comprised of federal, state, local and private grants and contracts.
Prior to being promoted to management, Amy was an attorney in the housing unit at MLS working on the Pinnacle Settlement Project — the result of a federal class action lawsuit brought by tenants across New York City against their landlord alleging a widespread and coordinated pattern and practice of harassment and intimidation. As part of that project Amy represented approximately 500 tenants in their damages claims under the settlement.
In addition to her formal roles at MLS, Amy spent nearly two years serving her colleagues as a union delegate prior to moving into management and she has served as a borough-wide co-facilitator of the white anti-racist group seeking to equip white people with tools to individually and collectively participate in and support LSNYC’s organizational anti-racism transformation process as led by people of color, and to undermine structural racism within the organization.
Before joining MLS, Amy served as the Special Assistant to the National Legal Director of the ACLU where she coordinated the production of all briefs to the Supreme Court and was responsible for the streamlining of multiple administrative processes, including legal intake for the entire national office, CLE programming for its almost 100 attorneys, and assisting the Legal Director in oversight of a multi-million dollar budget.
Amy is a Nebraska native and a queer mom living in NYC with her daughter, Emelina Mae (age 27 months). She enjoys reading, photography, hiking, music and re-seeing the world through her toddlers eyes.
Amy received a B.A. from Barat College in 2000 and a J.D. from CUNY School of Law in May 2014. She was admitted to practice law in New York State on June 1, 2015.
I started at Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) in 2013 as the Program Assistant for two programs: Return to Recovery, a re-entry program to promote re-integration for men returning to the community from incarceration and the Strong Steps program, a Trauma-informed Domestic Violence initiative. This last initiative was a partnership between CHASI, and the Richmond County District Attorney’s office Bureau of Special Victims. Both initiatives were funded by a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant. In my program assistant role, I managed and tracked data for both Intiatives, and I interacted with different managers, directors, clinical and line staff. As a result of these regular interactions, I started to learn each individual leadership & management style within the department, and I began the journey of identifying my own. I decided to further develop my leadership skills and I jumped to a volunteer opportunity presented in 2014. As a Youth Task Force Coordinator, I was tasked to implement and manage an educational and mentoring initiative for youth at- risk. This volunteer experience expanded both my managerial and leadership skills and allowed me the opportunity to be considered for a Life Skills Coordinator role within that same year. I was officially promoted to Life Skills Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Initiative and worked closely with the Director of Programs to design program curriculum and to develop life skills programming that included, but was not limited to: Financial literacy, employment skills, mental wellness, educational planning, self-esteem, networking skills, among others. In 2016, I was able to continue to expand my professional career at CHASI and decided to tackle a new area of public health – HIV prevention work. I received my second promotion as Prevention Coordinator for the Outreach & Education for Combination Prevention Program (OCP) whose goal was to increase awareness and access to PEP/PrEP services. In February 2017, due to successful program management, I was promoted to Director of HIV Prevention Services overseeing a portfolio of three prevention contracts targeting 3 different target populations and managing a team of 6 staff members. In December 01, 2017 the agency received a new women-focused grant for HIV & Prevention Services, “Women Up.” This multifaceted grant required managing three distinctive components: HIV/HCV Testing, Implementation of a peer program for a cohort of 10-14 and an evidence-based group facilitation initiative (Healthy Relationships) targeting HIV + women. I accepted the challenge as an opportunity for growth and transitioned to a new department with an expanded role overseeing 4 contracts as the Director HIV Prevention Services. During my time at CHASI, I have successfully adapted to the many changes and challenges each new role has brought to me. This helped me further expand both my management and leadership skills and it taught me to eagerly and consistently seek and create opportunities for growth. I believe that all these great opportunities that I have been honored to experience have made me a strong candidate for this fellowship.
Ben Anderson is the Director of Policy and Health Policy at the Children’s Defense Fund – New York (CDF-NY). Mr. Anderson oversees CDF-NY’s health policy portfolio which includes health coverage, improving access to health care, improving the quality of health care and services for children, and eliminating disparate health outcomes for all New York children. Prior to joining CDF-NY, he worked in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Anderson began his career as a health care attorney, focusing primarily on Medicaid reimbursement and complex rate-setting matters. He represented health care providers, managed care plans and third-party administrators, and a state Medicaid agency. While practicing law, he successfully negotiated the resolution of a multi-million dollar rate-setting dispute on behalf of a statewide developmental disability service provider. His experience includes spending two years at First Five Nebraska, where his work focused on early childhood mental health care and developmental screening, in addition to education policy. Mr. Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colgate University and a law degree from Boston University.
Chanda Dawadi has over 10 years of experience in community and economic development with a focus on affordable housing and economic development. Currently, Chanda holds Senior Project Manager position at New Destiny Housing Corporation, where she is responsible for site identification, feasibility analysis, preparation of project budget, targeting the appropriate sources of funds, securing financing commitments for construction sources and for conversion sources, and managing the ongoing construction and pipeline projects. Prior to joining, New Destiny, Chanda was managing supportive housing projects at HELP USA, where she closed on a pipeline of projects totaling over 300 supportive housing units worth an aggregate public-private investment of over $120 million. Chanda’s previous work in the non-profit sector includes serving as the Vice President of Urban Planning and Real Estate at Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, where she identified potential development projects and facilitated those projects from conception to completion. She earned her M.S. in Business Administration from Montclair State University as well as M.S. in Infrastructure Planning from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Chanda is also an adjunct professor in the school of business at Montclair State University.
Chantel holds a Bachelors in Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Buffalo, a Masters in Science in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP). Chantel currently works as the HR Manager at The Brotherhood/ Sister sol, a social justice youth non-profit in Harlem. She has extensive hands-on experience leading HR initiatives including policy design, compensation, performance management, recruiting, compliance reporting, HRIS implementations, HR workflow development, training and development, and benefits administration. She has served in the role of Human Resources Director at Display Technologies, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Prior to her time at Display Technologies Chantel worked at the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY and at the University of Buffalo.
Courtney M. McClellan is a multi-disciplinary artist and creator who is tired of the same inequities in life being replicated in art (and artistic spheres) and then re-presented to humanity as a further enforcement of the status quo. She seeks to create equitable representation and compensation in all aspects of her work, learning, and art, for herself, her communities, and others who are interested in empathy-building, restorative justice, and personal growth for forward movement and positive change, especially with the most marginalized. She is anti-respectability politics, anti-racist, anti-capitalistic, anti-white supremacist, anti-bias, anti-neoliberalism, anti-prison industrial complex and -cash bail, and anti-individualistic extremism and ultra conservatism. She is pro-democratic socialism, in favor of the Affordable Care Act, pro-choice, pro women’s and femme rights, and an advocate for the LGBTQ community and any letters that add to it. She is a self-described Southern, Black, Christian Bruja and logophile, embracing and welcoming conversation and work with young children, students, educators, adults, all artists, applied theatre practitioners, facilitators, BIPOC populations, families, social workers, medical care professionals, caretakers, domestic workers, social and political organizers, corporate visionaries, human resources personnel, communications professionals, scientists, researchers, and non-profit workers, and she magnetizes communion with those groups.
Erika Lindsey is a designer and user researcher with a background in advocacy, urban planning and social change initiatives. As a Design Research Lead at Public Policy Lab (PPL), she contributes to the project management, design, user research, analysis, and storytelling for human-centered design research projects. Prior to PPL, Erika worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), where she led initiatives aimed at strengthening social infrastructure and neighborhood-level emergency and resiliency planning in communities across New York City. Erika also taught ArcGIS to nonprofit leaders, and conducted spatial analyses for an environmental justice organization in New Delhi, India. Erika is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Sociology. She received her Master in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Eva Rosa is the Associate Director, Individual Giving at Playwrights Horizons, an Off-Broadway non-profit in NYC that cultivates and produces new American plays. The organization’s specific focus on contemporary work naturally lends to supporting more diverse storytelling and audiences to better reflect our modern world. Eva has over 10 years of fundraising experience and now focuses her work in fundraising through the lens of equity, diversity and inclusion. She hopes to share her experiences and challenges of working within primarily white arts institutions and help continue to diversify arts leadership and non-profit boards. During her time at Playwrights Horizons, she has helped grow Generation PH into one of the top young donor programs Off Broadway, and has doubled the size of its loyal base. Her strong track record in digital growth in fundraising campaigns has yielded year-to-year online revenue growth. In addition, she has managed a growing list of donors and prospects and, through her efforts, deepened their commitment to Playwrights. As a native New Yorker and Latina, she understands the long history and heritage of theater with hopes to see it better reflect our community, and she believes in treating her cohorts and donors like family.
John Orr currently serves Vibrant Emotional Health as the Associate Vice President of Children, Adolescent and Family Services. Having originally joined Vibrant (then the Mental Health Association of NYC) to develop the Child and Adolescent Care Coordination Department, his focus has broadened with this new role where he places emphasis upon building empowered relationships and efficient operations. With such aims and responsibilities there are many opportunities for collaboration with the vast array of services offered by Vibrant, including: Preventive Services for families who have interactions with ACS, Peer Support for families with young people who are experiencing mental and emotional difficulties, home-based Clinical Services for youth, specialized education and vocational training at the Adolescent Skills Centers, and Care Management for youth who are experiencing significant needs as a result of the circumstances of their lives. Treating leadership as a continual learning experience, John has looked to synthesize his education and experience in Communications and Mental Health Counseling into an approach that skillfully meets the ever-evolving demands of the field and community.