Staff

Michael Thorpe, Executive Director
Mike has led the Mt. Vernon Manor CDC staff since 2015, bringing over 20 years of construction and property management experience to bear on running MVMCDC’s real estate development work, community development programming, and day-to-day operations. Some of Mike’s proudest accomplishments at MVMCDC 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 MVMCDC’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.

Lorraine Gomez, Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Coordinator
Lorraine joined MVM CDC 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.

Danny Foster, Director of Community Development
Danny joined MVMCDC in 2018, where their work centers on project management, fundraising, and policy advocacy. Danny helps shepherd affordable housing projects from ideation to occupancy, supervises programs in workforce development and environmental justice, and manages MVMCDC’s various development initiatives. Danny also represents MVMCDC 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 MVMCDC, 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.

Rikeyah Lindsay, Safety and Justice Coordinator
Rikeyah joined the MVMCDC 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 MVMCDC, 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.

Robert Reavis, Land Care Crew Leader
Rob came to Mt. Vernon Manor CDC in 2019, where he supervises MVMCDC’s “Ready, Set, Green!” land care and workforce development program. Through “Ready, Set, Green,” 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 MVMCDC’s food pantry programs for youth, seniors, and other residents. Before joining MVMCDC, Rob spent almost ten years building a small lawn care business to service his native West Philly neighborhood.

Gillian Tiley, Real Estate Coordinator
Gillian, a recent graduate of the Masters of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, joined MVM in 2021. At Penn, Gill focused on community and economic development, channeling her passion for affordable housing and vibrant, sustainable communities into hands-on, community-centered projects. Some of her work has included creating a Youth Housing Insecurity Prevention Toolkit, devising an implementation plan for a Community Land Trust, and conducting zoning education in West Philadelphia communities. At MVMCDC, Gill’s work focuses on managing projects related to affordable housing development and land stewardship, zoning and community development partnerships, and communications and design. In her free time, Gillian enjoys strong coffee, making charcuterie boards, and true crime podcasts.