Michael Thorpe, Executive Director
Michael served as Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc.’s (MVM) Board Chair from 2011 to 2015. As Board Chair, he oversaw MVM’s efforts during the 2010 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Initiative, which resulted in the creation of a community-driven neighborhood transformation plan for the Mantua neighborhood. Michael transitioned into the Executive Director’s position in May 2015. He’s successfully led the rehabilitation of 121 affordable apartment units and is currently pursuing an affordable housing preservation project with 29 units and a neighborhood mixed-used development that will include healthy food retail and housing. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of MVM’s community economic development initiatives, including a collaborative public safety program and the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, which engages neighborhood residents in activities that support numerous City core objectives. Michael Thorpe earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Dakota State University. He serves as an elder at The Resurrection Center Church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he currently lives with his wife and son.
Lorraine Gomez, Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Coordinator
Lorraine joined Mt. Vernon Manor (MVM) in 2013, bringing 20 years of experience in community activism and organizing. She initially served MVM as the Block-by-Block Coordinator for the We Are Mantua! Public Safety Initiative, recruiting and training block-level resident leaders to identify and address community concerns. In 2015, she became the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Coordinator, connecting residents in the communities of East Parkside, Mantua, and Powelton Village, to community resources and city agencies. Lorraine also leads MVM’s Neighborhood Advisory Sub-Committee, an elected group of 9 residents that provide guidance to the organization about the community’s priorities. A life-long resident of Philadelphia’s East Parkside neighborhood 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.
Danny Foster, Community Development Associate
Danny joined the Mount Vernon Manor team in the fall of 2018. Danny’s work at MVM centers on real estate development, expanding the Mantua community’s stock of quality affordable housing; resource development, sustaining the fiscal and organizational capacities of MVM; and media and communications, keeping MVM visible and accessible to its constituents and partners. Danny also supports MVM’s work as a NAC Center, providing area residents with access to critical household resources, and represents MVM in a number of joint projects and coalitions including the Home Preservation Initiative and the West Philadelphia Promise Zone Housing and Public Safety Committees. Before coming to MVM, Danny worked with the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and completed post-graduate coursework in community development at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to that, he lived in Boston for several years, where he worked as a paralegal, community organizer, and urban policy researcher. Danny holds an interdisciplinary BA from Tufts University and a Masters degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.