Our Staff


Vanessa McDowell CEO

Downtown Madison

101 E. Mifflin Street
Suite 100
Madison WI 53703
(608) 257-1436, option 2
Fax (608) 257-1439


Misty Armstrong CFO
Angela Borman Accounting Assistant


Jael Currie Housing Director
Andrea Gaines Family Housing Stability Coordinator/Case Manager
Rachel Hernandez Residence Counselor
Briana Hutton Housing First Case Manager/Coordinator – Rapid Re-Housing
Lucia Ledesma Internal Housing Manager
Katey Nelson Housing First Coordinator
Jessica Oswald Housing First Coordinator
Tamaha Shepherd-Jones Shelter Case Manager
Mai Thao Third Street Coordinator/ Case Manager
Carmin Valerdi Empower Home Case Manager
Skyler Van De Weerd Community Housing Manager
OPEN Children’s Program Coordinator


April Elvington Property Manager
Isaac Gomez Facilities Manager
Darnell Jackson Maintenance Technician
Ricardo Morales Maintenance Technician
benji Ramirez Gomez Receptionist
OPEN Resident Services Manager
Carly Sobye Operations Director

Empowerment Center

2040 S. Park Street
Madison WI 53713
(608) 2571436, option 3
Fax (608) 395-2598

Development and Marketing

Sami Clausen-Ruppert Advocacy & Grants Coordinator
Erin Farrar Development & Volunteer Coordinator
Jill Pfeiffer Development & Marketing Director
Jay Young Development & Marketing Manager
Andrea Zea Grants & Compliance Manager

Employment Services & Transit

Jamie Adams Scheduling Lead
Open Employment Services Coordinator
Aneesha Mitchell DLRP Coordinator
Ashley Moncrief Employment Services & Transit Director

Human Resources

Rhonda Schemm Human Resources Director


Saul Cortes EC Receptionist/Program Assistant

Race and Gender Equity

Geraldine Paredes Vasquez Race & Gender Equity Director
Libby Tucci Race & Gender Equity Practitioner – Lead
OPEN Race & Gender Equity Practitioner
OPEN Race & Gender Equity Practitioner

Restorative Justice

Bill Baldon Restorative Justice Manager
Kiana Burnette Restorative Justice Community Program Manager
Andria Chatmon Restorative Justice Intake Coordinator
Eugenia Highland Granados Restorative Justice Director
Alyssa Ivy Restorative Justice Coordinator
Kyra Johnson Community Restorative Justice Coordinator
Shirin Kestin Restorative Justice Coordinator
Asly Warren Community Restorative Justice Coordinator (Bilingual) 
Orion Wells Restorative Justice Coordinator