Equipping Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities.
So here's a little about us – email us if you have any questions.
Colleen Dailey, Interim Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen Dailey has worked in the field of community economic development in Washington, DC since 1999. From 2005-2010, Colleen served as executive director of the Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) during which time she grew the organization’s financial education and savings programs, staff, and revenues more than fourfold. As a Program Manager at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) from 1999-2001, she supported hundreds of community-based practitioners in their efforts to launch and grow asset-building programs and developed federal policy proposals to encourage saving and investment in low-income communities. She has designed and managed a variety of financial education programs, coordinated the startup of a free tax assistance initiative called East of the River, and advocated for stronger consumer financial protection laws in the District of Columbia. Over the past decade, she has served on numerous advisory committees and task forces to address issues related to income and wealth inequality. Colleen currently has her own management consulting practice which provides expertise in program evaluation, business planning, financial management and human resource development. She joined LEDC’s Board of Directors in 2011 and currently serves as the Vice Chair and Governance Committee Chair.
Leda Hernández, Controller, email@example.com
As Controller at LEDC, Leda Hernández is responsible for all bookkeeping and procurement activities as well as managing and reconciling all bank accounts. Leda has been working at LEDC in this capacity for the past ten years. Prior to joining LEDC in June 1998 she worked for the City Tavern Association where she served as an accountant. She received a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Business Management from Strayer University in 1997. Leda says “my observation and experience of the under-representation in the government and the poor quality of life that is prevalent in so many communities has inspired me to consider the role I can play in making changes in these situations.” Leda serves the community with passion. She enjoys partaking in DC’s various cultural activities.
Ash Kosiewicz, Director of Communications and Advocacy firstname.lastname@example.org
Ash Kosiewicz joined the LEDC team in August 2009 after graduating from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service with a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies. Ash entered the world of communications advocacy and fundraising in 2004, traveling to Guayaquil, Ecuador to work with a local foundation and rice farmers to raise funds for the construction of a health center in the rural canton of Santa Lucia. Ash returned from Ecuador and worked for two years as development associate and communications director at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. During graduate school, he traveled to Lima, Peru and worked with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team to help the organization expand its communications toolbox through the incorporation of information communication technology (ICT) tools, including blogs, vlogs, and other electronic communications. Ash enjoys how communications advocacy allows him to fuse his two passions - human rights and journalism - and is excited to continue his work with community-based organizations. As Communications and Advocacy Director, Ash directs LEDC's communications and is leading initiatives to integrate advocacy activities across programs. Ash loves to play basketball, learn about his Polish heritage, follow Latin American politics, and is an avid watcher of Sunday news programs.
Marla Bilonick, Director of Small Business Development email@example.com
Marla Bilonick is LEDC’s Director of Small Business Development and rejoined LEDC in 2012 after first working at the organization in 1999. As director, she works with her team to provide high-quality bilingual training and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners. In graduate school at Johns Hopkins SAIS, she took an interest in microenterprise development and microfinance and was awarded a fellowship to study the effectiveness of national and local-level policies in Mexico aimed at supporting small businesses post-NAFTA. In New York, she worked with small businesses in Lower Manhattan that were impacted by the attacks of September 11th, helping to re-focus small businesses in the wake of tragedy. As previous director of the Upper Manhattan Business Solutions Center, Marla’s team was able to work closely with thousands of small businesses in Harlem to launch and expand their businesses, bridging gaps to critical resources including information and financing. Her work in the international arena in settings such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama provides her with cultural sensitivity and awareness that is useful for working with Latino participants. Marla believes that the communities that LEDC serves are vibrant and embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is required to take great ideas and bring them to life. In her free time, she spends time with family and friends, likes to travel, and arrange flowers.
Kate Rios, Operations Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Drew is LEDC’s Director of Operations. Kate has worked at LEDC since 2006 and has been involved with all facets of LEDC’s fundraising activities. While earning a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University, she focused her studies on the roles that nonprofit organizations play in the policy process and wrote her thesis on the community benefits derived from homeownership. During her time at Cornell University, she worked a semester abroad in Guayaquil, Ecuador at a micro-finance institute and earned a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Communication and Development Sociology. Kate is thrilled to do what she can to make LEDC’s vision come true and to play a role in helping make DC a more equitable place where people can dream big and have opportunities to achieve their goals. As Operations Director, she is responsible for the coordination of LEDC’s operations and work.
Marjorie Nemes, Evaluation Manager email@example.com
Marjorie Nemes brings ten years of experience conducting research and evaluation in the social justice field to LEDC’s Development Department as Evaluations Manager. Marjorie helps LEDC understand who we serve and assesses our impact in order to strengthen our program models and the effectiveness of our comprehensive approach to community-based economic development. She especially enjoys LEDC’s work to strengthen opportunities for financial security, independence, and civic engagement. She identifies her mixed racial, ethnic, and religious background, her father’s experience as a Holocaust survivor, and her own experience as an ethnic minority in the United States as a lens and perspective that has been critical to her work. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland College Park, MD in Psychology and a Master of Science in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Brunel University in London, UK.
Mattias Kraemer, Financial Capability Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Mattias has worked for the economic and cultural development of diverse communities in Washington DC and all over the world. A dual citizen from Chile born and raised in Adams Morgan, Mattias enjoys the opportunity to contribute to the cultural backgrounds and evolving neighborhoods of the capital city, and considers this work a very real and life-long commitment. As Financial Capability Coordinator, Mattias provides all clients with holistic action-based Financial Fitness curriculums - addressing clients’ credit profiles, personal budgets, and savings goals – while integrating them into their personalized Financial Action Plans. He enjoys playing guitar and directing theatre in his spare time.
Lourdes Morales, DC Small Business Trainer/Coach email@example.com
Lourdes Morales brings over eight years of experience working with for profit and nonprofit organizations to her position as DC Small Business Trainer/Coach. She helps aspiring small business owners in the District to acquire the skills and knowledge to successfully open and grow their businesses, including assistance in obtaining licenses and permits, marketing, recordkeeping and business planning. She has multiple degrees from universities in Guatemala and the United States, with an academic focus in marketing. Lourdes has a passion for helping people to become self sufficient and strengthen their communities. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the DC area with her husband Joseph and daughter Chloe, exploring different places, foods, and cultures.
Cesar Lopez, Chief Executive Officer, Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs firstname.lastname@example.org
As Chief Executive Officer for LEDC’s Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs, Cesar has worked in more than 25 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia as well as with private, government and international organizations in the field of microfinance. Before joining LEDC, Cesar worked for 15 years with ACCION International, a private, nonprofit organization, serving multiple posts including vice-president of operations for Latin America, vice-president and head of the Department of Financial Services, and vice president and program manager of Global Programs. Cesar's belief in LEDC's mission is grounded in his appreciation and respect for new immigrants who are working to reach the American Dream as many other generations before them. Cesar believes immigrants infuse new energy in our communities and bring diversity and new skills that enrich our lives. As chief executive officer for CAFE, Cesar helps current and future micro and small entrepreneurs to reach their potential by helping them to create jobs and increase their quality of life. Cesar likes to travel and learn about different cultures, enjoys swimming and spending time with family, and also enjoys teaching underprivileged high school kids to prepare for college.
Carlos Arango, Senior Small Business Lending Officer email@example.com
As Senior Small Business Lending Officer, Carlos works closely with small businesses owners in the DC metropolitan area. An industrial engineer with a M.A in Economics from John Hopkins University, Carlos joined LEDC in Fall 2009; he enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds. Carlos understands the challenges of being an entrepreneur/small business owner and feels proud to work in a place that open doors of opportunity for all immigrant and underserved communities. In his free time, Carlos enjoys vegetarian cooking, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and taking long walks in the city. Carlos' favorite reading subject is history.
Angela Buitrago Neira, Senior Small Business Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela moved to the United States in January 2008 from her native Colombia. Since arriving, she has worked in many banks and appreciates the complexities of navigating the financial system that immigrants face. Before moving to the United States, she worked for Microsoft as a Contact Center manager where she enjoyed assisting clients. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in International Marketing, and she is currently completing an Associate’s Degree in International Business. As Senior Maryland Small Business Coach and Trainer, Angela is responsible for working closely with aspiring and established small business owners in Wheaton and other parts of Maryland. She enjoys being with her husband, sharing good food with family and friends, walking, jogging, traveling, dancing and listening to music.
Christina Stockamore, Senior Small Business Lending Officer email@example.com
Christina Stockamore joined the LEDC team at the start of 2010 as the Business Outreach Manager for the Wheaton, Maryland office. Now, as Senior Small Business Lending Officer, she works to help small businesses in DC access credit through LEDC’s Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs. A graduate of Georgetown University with a Masters degree in Latin American Studies, Christina is eager to combine her passion for economic development and entrepreneurship to improve the wealth-building capacity of others. After completing her graduate work, Christina spent a year working for National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. She hopes to bring her experience running a summer camp for at-risk youth in Costa Rica to her position and in the process strengthen the community in which she lives. In her spare time, Christina can often be found riding her road bike, practicing yoga, cooking, or planning her next travel adventure.
Diana Avellaneda, Portfolio Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Avellaneda brings 15 years of experience to LEDC working in the field of finance in areas such as cash management, accounting, and investing with institutions including Citibank and Santander Bank. As Portfolio Manager, Diana is responsible for the management, administration and accounting of LEDC’s portfolio which has reached $1.5 million and more than 150 clients. She supports and develops all back office operations for LEDC's Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs to ensure LEDC business loans are repaid and adequately processed. She loves working at LEDC because of its work to help people not just tackle the challenging world of business but achieve success. Diana loves spending time with her family, skiing, and eating Italian food.
Manuel Ochoa, Regional Director of Homeownership email@example.com
Manuel T. Ochoa is the Regional Director of Homeownership for LEDC. Previously, Manuel was principal of the Washington Urban Collaborative, a consulting firm specializing in urban planning, affordable housing, commercial revitalization, and historic preservation. Manuel has more than 16 years of national experience working in urban planning and the affordable housing arena. Previously, Manuel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development. He was responsible for $4 billion dollars in several grant programs that included the Community Development Block Grant Program, HOME investment Partnerships and managed over $30 Billion in disaster relief assistance to the Gulf Coast and the Midwest. He was key player that launched the first $4 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Manuel has a varied background in urban issues affecting metropolitan areas. Manuel is also a founding member of the Region Forward Coalition, led by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Manuel is a native of South Florida and a graduate of the University of Miami and a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Manuel enjoys reading a good history book and spending time with his family and friends.
Walda Yon, Senior Bilingual Housing Counselor firstname.lastname@example.org
Walda Yon brings six years of experience working with the Latino community in Washington, DC. Prior to working with LEDC, Walda worked in administrative and outreach capacities with Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Carlos Rosario International Career Center & Public Charter School, International Migrants Development Fund, and Alfa Omega Tax Service. Originally from Guatemala, Walda came to the US in 2000 with solid work experience in customer service and procurement at one of the leading sugar refineries in the country. Walda attended the Business Administration School at the Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala. In her position as Senior Housing Counselor Walda educates clients on the credit system, financial literacy and the home buying process. Also, Walda works with homeowners at risk of losing their homes to avoid foreclosure. She can also be seen in the community leading workshops at off-site venues. Walda is motivated by the fact that she is helping to improve the financial health of the community. She knows that by providing the tools for wealth-building to each client, she is helping their families and the community as a whole. Walda in her spare time enjoys keeping up to date on information related to her work. She also likes to take walks and enjoy the scenery of Rock Creek Park.
Marcia Camilo, Senior Bilingual Housing Counselor email@example.com
In her role as Housing Counselor Marcia Camilo helps clients understand the home buying process and whether or not they are ready to buy. Marcia’s training with the NeighborWorks Institute has provided her with a strong base of knowledge. However, she credits her own clients as the reason she is great at her job. With each new client Marcia learns from a new experience. Marcia sees LEDC's mission coming true with her work every time a client goes to closing or every time she learns of her client becoming a homeowner. In her spare time Marcia likes to walk, dance, cook and read interesting books.
Jose Rodriguez, Senior Bilingual Housing Counselor firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Rodriguez, as Housing Counselor helps clients through the steps of homeownership by hosting HPAP seminars, counseling clients on how they can improve their credit, and by calling lenders and other professionals to speed up the home-buying process. Since the inception of the Homeownership Counseling program in October 1993, Jose has been counseling, educating, organizing, and serving as one of the Latino community’s “go-to” guys for any question about housing issues. Involved with housing counseling and tenant organizing since 1990, José has helped organize and incorporate countless tenant associations, helped hundreds of tenants resolve issues and improve communication with their landlords, and walked hundreds of families through every step of the homebuying process. Jose says he finds the rewards of his work in the happiness of his clients upon becoming homeowners.
Wendy Alvarenga, Senior Bilingual Foreclosure Housing Counselor email@example.com
Wendy is a Senior Housing Counselor in LEDC’s Wheaton Maryland office. Prior to coming to LEDC, Wendy worked for Wells Fargo assisting homeowners over the age of 62 with reverse mortgages. Wendy has also worked with Housing Counseling Services as an Intake Specialist and assisting counselors with the HPAP applications, as well as with the Greater Washington Urban League as the Document Control Process or Coordinator of the HOPWA program. Wendy enjoys shopping, going to the movies, dance, and spending time with her daughters. Wendy says, “The most exciting thing is when you see the faces of families go from bitter sweet to happiness because you were able to help them.”
Patricia Belbusti, Senior Bilingual Foreclosure Housing Counselor firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from Argentina, Patricia is a bilingual housing counselor in the LEDC’s Wheaton, MD office. Patricia formerly worked in real estate and holds a real estate license in both MD and DC. She has also acted and played the guitar as part of LEDC’s teatro callejero, bilingual, musical plays performed in the streets at outdoor festivals, telling the story of a family trying to improve their housing situation.
Maria Godoy, Bilingual Housing Counselor email@example.com
Born in Los Angeles California but raised most of her childhood in El Salvador. Maria joined LEDC November 2010 as a Bilingual Foreclosure Housing Counselor. Prior to LEDC, Maria worked for two years as a Loan officer for Bank of America and for three years as a Title Closer for RGS Title. Maria has had an active license as a title insurance producer for five years. Maria successfully completed Neighborworks Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling Certification in February of 2011.
Farah Fosse, Director of Affordable Housing Preservation firstname.lastname@example.org
As Program Director, Farah coordinates the work of the Affordable Housing Preservation Program to educate residents on their rights as tenants in DC, assist residents in preserving their housing as affordable, and advocate for affordable housing policies in DC. Farah Fossé joined LEDC in October of 2005 in this role. Farah has served as a representative on Mayor Fenty’s Tenant Advisory Council and Mayor Grey’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force Coalition. Farah is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA with a BA in Latin American Studies and Economics. During college she studied in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and has traveled extensively in Latin America. Farah is originally from Connecticut but her diverse family hails from the Midwestern United States and Puerto Rico. Farah has lived in Northwest DC since 2000 and is passionate about preserving DC’s diversity and preventing the displacement of low and moderate-income residents, particularly Latinos, from the area.
Tamira Ramirez, Bilingual Tenant Organizer email@example.com
Before working at LEDC, Tamira Ramirez interned at the School of Americas Watch where she worked to close the School of Americas. Tamira worked for the closure of this institution through lobbying, research and organizing communities across the western hemisphere. Her passion to help the Latino community and other immigrant communities comes from her own experience growing up in El Salvador during the 12 year long civil war. She moved to the United States in 2002 and ever since then she has dedicated her academic and professional career to learn about the needs of Latino and other immigrant communities in the US. Tamira’s goal is to work towards improving the quality of life for Latino and other immigrant communities. She is excited to be part of the Affordable Housing Preservation Team at LEDC because it gives her the opportunity to use her leadership, organizing and advocacy skills to help families in DC stay in their homes and live in a decent, safe and affordable place. In her spare time Tamira loves spending time with her family, loved ones and friends.
Manny Ruiz, Bilingual Tenant Organizer firstname.lastname@example.org
Manny Ruiz brings years of experience in real estate to his position as a tenant organizer at LEDC. Having worked for many years assisting Latino clients to buy and sell homes, Manny learned how to effectively work to better the lives of many families. As a tenant organizer, Manny works with underrepresented communities to maintain and preserve affordable housing; to inform them about their tenancy rights; and assist them in the formation of Tenant Associations. In addition, his experiences as a student leader during college helped him develop organizing and advocacy skills. Manny loves being able to work for the betterment of his community; the kind of work that has driven his college and professional career and that shapes his present work with LEDC. In his spare time, Manny actively participates in his fraternity, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. to help develop undergraduate members’ professional and academic skills.
Monica Buitrago, Bilingual Tenant Outreach and Organizing Associate email@example.com
Monica Buitrago joined LEDC after working with Impact Silver Spring and Americorp, two experiences that taught her about power sharing, commitment, and teamwork. She is very excited about helping not only Latinos but minorities grow into roles of leadership and advocacy. As a Tenant Outreach and Organizing Associate, Monica builds relationships of mutual respect and trust with tenants throughout the city to help them achieve their goals in their buildings as well as connecting them to the growing renter network in D.C. As a renter herself, she is very committed to the work of LEDC's Affordable Housing Preservation program that works with renters in D.C. to keep their homes and live in decent living conditions. In her spare time, Monica loves reality tv, organizing clothing swaps in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, and thrift store shopping at Value Village. Monica graduated in 2012 from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor degree in Communication and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Communication at American University.