Power Moves: Dignity Housing's Vanessa Tercero is now its executive director - Generocity Philly

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Sep. 19, 2017 12:57 pm

Power Moves: Dignity Housing’s Vanessa Tercero is now its executive director

The former deputy director replaces John Ungar, who left last month for NewCourtland Elder Services. Plus, Interactive Mechanics has four new fellows, and three local nonprofits made hires.

Vanessa Tercero of Dignity Housing.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a semi-regular column chronicling leadership movements within Philly’s social impact community. Send announcements to philly@generocity.org.


1. Dignity Housing’s new acting executive director is Vanessa Tercero.

As the Germantown housing nonprofit prepares to celebrate its 30th birthday in 2018, it celebrates a new leader, too.

Trecero has worked as Dignity’s deputy director for the past year and a half, but she’s been with the organization for 18 years total, upgrading from running the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts and developing programming for residents to her new position as acting ED.

John Ungar.

John Ungar. (Screenshot via Vimeo)

2. … And its former ED, John Ungar, is at NewCourtland Senior Services.

Ungar joined Dignity Housing in April 2016 and left this August to become NewCourtland’s director of housing and project management.

“It was tough to leave Dignity Housing because it is an incredible organization with a talented, dedicated staff that is making a difference in the lives of the people they serve,” Ungar wrote us. “However, a mutual connection of mine and NewCourtland knew that they were looking to fill this position and thought it would be a good match. This was an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

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NewCourtland provides affordable housing for low-income seniors in Philadelphia; in his new role, Ungar oversees the management of those affordable housing units.

The lawyer previously worked as COO of Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation and executive director of the Mt. Airy Revitalization Corporation.

3. Interactive Mechanics just announced its four new fellows.

The second year of web design firm’s diversity-focused fellowship program kicked off yesterday with four new fellows, who will spend the next nine months working on their design and development portfolios. (Psst, two members of the inaugural cohort just got jobs.)

The fellows are:

Carol Zou. (Courtesy photo)

4. Carol Zou is Asian Arts Initiative’s new director of programs.

The artist fills a newly created role for the Chinatown North-based arts and culture nonprofit, which will celebrate a quarter-century in 2018.

As director of programs, Zou will help “refresh [AAI’s] programming and artistic vision, grounded in community-engaged arts practice,” according to a release. She recently participated in the multi-state Michelada Think Tank for artists, educators and activists of color and is 2017 fellow of University of Houston College of the Arts’s Project Row Houses.

5. Former School Reform Commission member Sylvia Simms will lead Educational Opportunities for Families.

The pro-charter parents lobbying group tapped the former commissioner as its new executive director. Before being appointed to the SRC in 2013, Simms founded parent advocacy group Parent Power. Her term as commissioner expired last December.

Jackie Saez. (Courtesy photo)

6. Sunday Suppers hired its first full-time program manager.

The food access nonprofit that offers Sunday night cooking classes and related programming to low-income families in Kensington has hired Jackie Saez, who formerly worked for Congreso de Latinos Unidos running a healthy meal program.

Sunday Suppers’ newsletter credits the small, scrappy organization’s ability to hire Suarez with its supporters’ donations, which allow it to “better serve participants and grow our program.”

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