Nana Acheampong, Land and Housing Program Coordinator
As MVM’s Land and Housing Program Coordinator, Nana manages projects involving affordable housing development, vacant land management, community gardening, and neighborhood planning. Before joining MVM in 2022, Nana worked with the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative, an organization in Southern Brooklyn dedicated to providing a holistic community space for residents to address and heal from stress related issues of ongoing gun violence in the community. Nana holds a Bachelors Degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute, where her study of focus has concentrated on land and physical space reclamation opportunities for community benefit.
Danny Foster, Director of Community Development
Danny joined MVM in 2018, where their work centers on organizational development, program supervision, and policy advocacy. Danny also represents MVM in the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, the Reclaim Philadelphia Housing Justice Task Force, the West Philadelphia Promise Zone Housing Committee, and on the board of the Mantua and Powelton Alliance. Before coming to MVM, Danny worked as a paralegal, community organizer, and urban policy researcher in Philadelphia, L.A., and Boston. Danny holds a BA from Tufts University and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Lorraine Gomez, Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Coordinator
Lorraine joined MVM in 2013. With 20 years of experience in community organizing, Lorraine first served as the Block-by-Block Coordinator for the We Are Mantua! Public Safety Initiative. In 2015, she became the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Coordinator, connecting residents in the East Parkside, Mantua, and Powelton Village neighborhoods to public resources and city services. Lorraine also leads the Neighborhood Advisory Sub-Committee, an elected group residents that provide guidance on community priorities. A life-long resident of East Parkside and a U.S. Air Force veteran, Lorraine also serves on the board of Centennial Parkside Community Development Corporation, is the President of the Viola Street Residents Association, and is a member of the Parkside Historical Committee.
Rikeyah Lindsay, Safety and Justice Coordinator
Rikeyah joined the MVM team in 2019, where she leads efforts to improve neighborhood safety, nourish individual and community-wide healing from violence and trauma, and support the personal development and capacities of West Philadelphia residents. Before coming to MVM, Rikeyah worked as a Family Navigator with Action for Early Learning, where she helped parents gain critical information about early education for their children. A lifelong member of the Mantua community, Rikeyah is also a member of the Mantua Urban Peace Garden, the Friends of the Mantua Greenway, and serves as a block leader on the 3800 block of Aspen Street. Rikeyah is a dedicated mother of one, with a passion for youth outreach and community engagement.
Sam McCormick, Program Assistant
Sam is MVM’s new Program Assistant and joined the team in 2022. He has lived in the Spruce Hill neighborhood of West Philadelphia since 2019. Prior to joining MVM, he was a Teaching Associate in the third and fifth grade classes at Greene Street Friends School in Germantown. Sam is looking forward to working with the residents of Mantua, Powelton Village, and East Parkside to access rental and utility assistance programs. He is equally excited to collaborate with the existing networks of community organizations in the area. Feel free to stop in to talk with him or to call and schedule an appointment
Robert Reavis, Land Care Crew Leader
Rob came to Mt. Vernon Manor CDC in 2019, where he supervises MVM’s “Ready, Set, Green!” land care and workforce development program. Through RSG, Rob supervises a seasonal landscaping crew, mostly made up of local residents recently returning from incarceration, in building their professional skills by diligently cleaning, cutting, and cultivating vacant land across West Philadelphia. Rob also supports MVM’s food pantry programs for youth, seniors, and other residents. Before joining MVM, Rob spent almost ten years building a small lawn care business to service his native West Philly neighborhood.
John Scott, Building Services
A lifelong Mantua resident, John has been with MVM since 2021. John cares for MVM’s physical facilities, keeping the organization’s spaces bright, warm, and welcoming for staff and visitors. John also helps organize MVM’s food pantry programs and makes a mean chicken cheesesteak.
Michael Thorpe, Executive Director
Mike has led the Mt. Vernon Manor CDC staff since 2015, where he runs MVM’s real estate development, community programming, and day-to-day operations. Some of Mike’s proudest accomplishments at MVM include redeveloping 150 units of affordable housing in his home neighborhood of Mantua, creating a workforce development program that supports returning citizens with landscaping jobs, and overseeing a neighborhood plan in Mantua that won numerous federal funding awards and ultimately led to the designation of the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. Prior to joining the staff, Mike served as President of MVM’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015. He also serves as an elder at the Resurrection Center Church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives with his wife and son.