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Executive Team

To contact a member of our Executive Team regarding our agency, programs, and/or partnerships please email us at president@neighborhood-centers.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

Angela Blanchard, President and CEO+
Through her more than thirty years of experience, thought leader Angela Blanchard has reached an epiphany: A community should be defined by its strengths, resources, achievements and hopes – not its degree of “brokenness”. As a result of her unwavering and passionate efforts as president and CEO of Neighborhood Centers Inc., Blanchard has extended this community development framework throughout the Houston region to impact over 404,000 people a year. Under Angela’s vision and leadership, Neighborhood Centers remains the largest non-profit in Texas and is ranked in the top 1% of charitable groups in the nation.

Blanchard’s insightful knowledge of community revitalization and its impact on metropolitan areas, has garnered three invitations to the White House to meet with community development leaders, senior white house officials and President Barack Obama. Blanchard is honored to have advised the administration on the President’s Promise Zone Initiative and Ladders of Opportunity, which will work to ensure that all families, no matter where they live, have ladders of opportunity to the middle class.

An expert in Human Capital Development, Blanchard, has participated in The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Leadership Council. The “Met Council” serves as a leader in providing policy makers with research, analysis, and ideas that impact metropolitan areas. Blanchard’s paper in the publication, “Investing in What Works for America’s Communities”, a project sponsored by the Low Income Investment Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, highlights ideas of leading experts in community and economic development, academia, government policy, and philanthropy who offer entrepreneurial solutions to the national epidemic of poverty. Blanchard’s work has also afforded her participation and collaboration at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she offered insight on innovative investment approaches that help build community programs, grow local economies, promote thriving neighborhoods, and present investors with expanded opportunities for financial and social returns.

Blanchard has been featured in Fast Company Magazine, as a Gen Flux Leader for adapting and leading during troubled and disruptive times. Her BIF (Business Innovation Factory) speech entitled “Emerging after the Storm” and TEDxHouston talk outlined a powerful transformational model for community redevelopment with important implications for other efforts throughout the nation.

In addition to her work with Neighborhood Centers, Blanchard serves as a Board Member at the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), the National Community Advisory Board for JP Morgan Chase and was recently appointed to the GHP Regional Workforce Development Task Force. She has spoken at a number of high-profile events, including the White House Social Enterprise and Opportunity Series and Executive Leadership Academy in Australia where she discusses key issues like disaster recovery and leading in a crisis. Blanchard has also presented at the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Immigration Summit and Panel, the Houston Rotary Club and the PolicyLink Equity Summit, and many others.

Ray Chung, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer +
As the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Ray Chung is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining Neighborhood Centers’ strategic initiatives. These strategic initiatives will drive the agency’s activities toward building vibrant communities.

Chung joined Neighborhood Centers’ Executive Team in 2005 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to his current position, Chung was a business consultant specializing in mergers and acquisitions of small and mid-sized companies.

From 1995 to 2000, he was a Partner of Dartford Partnership, a privately held partnership he co-founded that was engaged in the acquisition and management of packaged food businesses and companies. Prior to forming Dartford, Chung was co-founder, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer of a privately held milling and baking-mix company with $385 million in annual revenues.

From 1987 to 1990, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wyndham Foods, Inc., a cookie company formed through the acquisitions of small, regional cookie companies. At the time of its sale to President Enterprises in 1990, Wyndham was the third-largest cookie company in the United States.

Chung was formerly employed by Riviana Foods, Inc., most recently as Vice President of Finance. Riviana is one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of packaged rice and rice mixes in the United States.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University. He is married and has two children.

Emelda Douglas, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer+
Emelda Douglas enjoys the gentle art of fundraising. Guiding charitably inclined individuals and organizations through the challenges and rewards of philanthropy. With an uncompromising commitment to excellence, achievement, and innovation she unites stakeholders through their common interests with the many effective programs offered by Neighborhood Centers.

Ms. Douglas joined Neighborhood Centers in 2006 bringing an extensive knowledge of the local nonprofit community. As part of the senior leadership team, Emelda is instrumental in ensuring that Neighborhood Centers sustains its growth and relevance in providing resources to families in Houston’s most vulnerable communities.

Neighborhood Centers’ annual operating budget exceeds $200 million. Emelda is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of the Agency’s fund development, which includes principal gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations and annual giving program. Additionally, she oversees marketing and communications.

Prior to joining Neighborhood Centers, she was Vice President of Community Investment for the Greater Houston Community Foundation and facilitated the distribution of annual grants of more than $34 million to local charities. The previous decade of her career was in the private sector in business development for a natural gas liquids pipeline company.

Ms. Douglas is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, accounting major, and graduated with honors from Stephen F. State University.

Claudia Vasquez, Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer+
Claudia Vasquez knows what it takes to build vibrant communities, and in her role as senior vice president and chief program officer, she leads the charge in unifying programs that support educational attainment, financial wellness and engaged citizenship.

Vasquez joined the Neighborhood Centers team in February 2010 as vice president of Community Based Initiatives, overseeing programs in the areas of youth development, economic sustainability, immigration and citizenship, leadership development, and family health and wellness.

Prior to joining Neighborhood Centers, Vasquez served as the director of the Citizens Assistance Office for the Office of City of Houston Mayor Bill White. She also served under Mayor Bob Lanier and her tenure with the City of Houston includes coordination and oversight of community initiatives for the city of Houston. Vasquez launched her career in community and neighborhood development efforts in 1993. Since then she has lead community based organziations, schools and government entities.

Vasquez holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Saint Edward’s University. She is certified in special education instruction and English as a Second Language Instruction. She also holds a Principal’s Middle Management certification. Vasquez has received numerous education and community awards and recognitions such as Top Woman in Government, Top 100 Hispanic Administrators by the Texas Association of Hispanic Educators and most recently in 2013, she was recognized as Hispanic woman of the year.
Jane Bavineau, Vice President ofSheltering Arms Senior Services+
Jane Bavineau is director of Care for Elders for Sheltering Arms Senior Services, a subsidiary of Neighborhood Centers Inc. and a charter member United Way agency. Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms has a proud legacy of supporting Houston’s older adult community and their caregivers.

Bavineau is the Executive Director of Care for Elders, a local partnership of more than 80 organizations that is working to improve the care and services provided to older adults and family caregivers in Houston and Harris County. Bavineau’s tenure with Sheltering Arms began in 1979. She left briefly to work for the American Red Cross and returned to Sheltering Arms in 1989, serving in nearly every capacity. She has been an intake worker, case manager, director of volunteer services, and served as the director for various program. She served as vice president for 15 years, providing leadership to critical in-home and dementia day care programs, care management and various caregiver support services.

A social worker by trade and with nearly 30 years of experience in the field of gerontology, Bavineau has been recognized for her commitment to improving the lives of older adults. In 2004 she was named Social Worker of the Year by the local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and in 2006 she received the Advocate of the Year Award from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing. Bavineau has served as the project director for two national demonstration projects, and in 2007, was selected as one of 10 Practice Change Fellows in the country because of a project she envisioned for improving the health of older adults with congestive heart failure. Bavineau is a member of 15 city, county, and state-level councils dedicated to improving the lives of senior adults.
Vicki Birenbaum, Vice President of Governance+
Vicki Birenbaum is very familiar with the governance issues that affect Neighborhood Centers, having served a total of seven years on the board of directors of the organization, including two years as its board chairman. In 2012, after completing her term as board chair, Birenbaum joined the staff of Neighborhood Centers as Vice President of Governance. In this position she serves as liaison to the board, monitors board compliance matters, insures that board training and new member orientation occur, is responsible for the board guidebook, and oversees general governance and compliance matters for the agency.

Birenbaum graduated with honors from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. She practiced law for over twenty-five years, specializing as a labor and employment lawyer at Sewell & Riggs, later known as Gardere Wynne Sewell L.L.P. She was a frequent speaker on employment topics, having taught continuing legal education courses on race and sex discrimination, fiduciary liability, wage and hour laws, privacy issues and other employment topics.

Over the years Birenbaum has served as board chairman of the University of Houston Law Alumni Association and also served on the boards of Citizens for Good Schools, the University of Houston Law Foundation, Texas Executive Women, and Volunteers in Public Schools. She is a member of Leadership Houston, Class of XV. She has volunteered as an ombudsman for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, assisting returning service members and their employers with their re-employment issues under USERRA and has served as a volunteer attorney representing abused children in the Harris County courts.

She and her husband Bob have three children and seven grandchildren, all living in Houston.
Felix Fraga, Vice President of External Relations +
Felix Fraga, Vice President of External Relations for Neighborhood Centers Inc. since 1990, is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with individuals, companies, and foundations on behalf of the Agency. Fraga has worked continuously for Neighborhood Centers since 1946, beginning his career with the Agency as a youth worker at Rusk Settlement, which later became the Kirkland-Ripley Community Center. In 1970, he was promoted to Center Manager over Ripley House Community Center. His continued support and acclaim throughout the Houston Community have served Neighborhood Centers Inc. in the many community improvements and programs undertaken by the Agency.

In addition to his service to Neighborhood Centers and its clients, Fraga has served on numerous volunteer boards and committees, as well as on a variety of task forces and councils. Fraga is particularly well known for his work to improve the social, economic, and physical surroundings of Houston's Second Ward. He is a member of the Houston Committee for Private Sector Initiatives, Houston Housing Development Corporation, the United Way Campaign, and the Housing Finance Corporation. He has also served on the Chinquapin School Board, Cultural Arts Council of Houston, Neighborhood Housing Service, and the Houston Housing Authority. He was also a member of the Board of the Houston Independent School District for four years where he helped to increase parent participation within the entire School District.

Fraga has been honored for his tireless service and efforts throughout his career. In 2000, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for his work in improving Houston’s inner city and received the Metro Salute to Hispanic Families. Fraga and two of his brothers, Lupe and Angel Fraga, were honored with the Community Service Award by the Mexican American Bar Association in 2001.

A member of the National Association of Social Workers, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and his Master’s in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio.

Ann Hilbig, Vice President of Choices in Education +
Vice President of Choices in Education, Ann Hilbig heads the agency’s division that seeks to solidify the educational continuum for children from early childhood through middle school. This division includes the Texas Education Agency (TEA)-certified Promise Community School District, which is comprised of elementary schools, a middle school, and a new-neighbors school that seeks to rapidly prepare newly emigrated children. Hilbig also oversees the early-childhood development division including Neighborhood Centers’ Head Start and Early Head Start programs, health and nutrition and family services and community support programming.

In her 28-year tenure with the agency, Hilbig has held a number of positions, beginning as an intake worker in the agency’s child care program. Since joining the executive team in 2001, Hilbig has held responsibility for program operations at all of the agency’s community-based sites. Her accomplishments include the opening of an elementary charter school; development of innovative models of collaboration for early childhood programs; incorporation of the asset-based community development philosophy into program operations; doubling the number of senior centers; adding an evidence-based senior fitness program; and the implementation of a compassionate case management response to disasters known as Stay Connected.

Hilbig is on the Advisory Committee for the Social Work program at the University of Houston Downtown, and has served as on the Advisory Committee for the Houston Community College Adult Education program. She is the Past President of the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children, former Board Chair of the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, and former member of the Executive Committee for the Texas Early Care and Education Coalition. She has been a member of the She is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Texas, in 2006 was named Alumni of the Year for the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and in 2008 received the Lifetime Commitment to Children award from the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children.

Hilbig is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of St. Mary's Dominican College in New Orleans, and obtained her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Houston. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker.

Karim Kafray, Vice President of Fund Development +
Karim Kafray joined the Neighborhood Centers team in September 2010. In his role as Vice President of Fund Development, he oversees major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, and annual giving programs.

Kafray is a 13-year market-analysis and business-development professional whose expertise has generated profitable results in the private sector and garnered generous donations at various non-profit organizations.

Prior to joining Neighborhood Centers Inc., Kafray served as development director for non-profit Child Advocates, Inc., where, for seven years, he championed volunteer initiatives and led development efforts that annually garnered more than $3.5 million in private cash donations, and continually exceeded revenue objectives. His earlier career included customer-relationship management and project management at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), where he ranked as a top consultant among the 75,000-personnel organization. He served also as expansion development officer for a $34 million-capital-campaign project at Texas A&M 12th Man Foundation.

Kafray holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, small business and entrepreneurship major, from Texas A&M University. He and wife Saima live in Houston.

Evan Peterson, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer+
Evan Peterson has over twenty years of experience in information technology designing, developing and managing IT innovations in government, non-profit and private industry. In his role as Chief Information Officer, Peterson strives to provide technology-related innovations to Neighborhood Centers staff and the communities they serve.

Peterson joined Neighborhood Centers in October 2012 as Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, overseeing more than 100 applications and providing technology solutions to over 1,000 employees as well as the community. He has begun implementing enterprise-class technical standards in an effort to evolve the IT Department and lay the technological foundation necessary to support the fast growing needs of the organization.

Prior to joining Neighborhood Centers, Peterson earned a BBA in Business Analysis and Research – MIS from Texas A&M University. Peterson began his career at Pennzoil developing oil and gas related software before working as a consultant with BSI Consulting where he developed software for numerous small and large businesses including Shell, Second Baptist, University of Houston and Harris County.

Peterson later served as Director of Information and Technology for the Harris County District Clerk’s Office where he oversaw a multi-million dollar budget and supported a data center with 24x7 business requirements and real-time disaster recovery data redundancy. He designed, architected and developed a comprehensive enterprise-class document management system used today throughout the Harris County justice community to securely manage over 250 million pages of Civil, Criminal, Family and Juvenile case documents.

During his tenure with Harris County, Peterson received statewide recognition for bringing cutting edge innovations to the government sector through the use of targeted technology implementation as a means of realizing greater efficiencies for government agencies and increasing the public availability of court data and documents. Peterson also developed and implemented numerous other applications including a secure web portal which allowed the office to distribute documents online, generating more than $1 million dollars in revenue while drastically reducing office resource involvement.

Peterson also led various technology committees including serving as the chairperson for the Harris County Justice Technology Committee and participating at the state level as a liaison member to the Texas Supreme Court’s Judicial Committee on Information Technology.
Kirk Rummel, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer+
Kirk Rummel came to Neighborhood Centers in 2013 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for all Accounting, Reporting, Treasury, Budgeting and Financial Analysis for the agency.

Mr. Rummel, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, comes to the agency from the City of Houston where he was Deputy Director of Aviation and Chief Financial Officer of the Houston Airport System (HAS). At HAS, he was responsible for annual revenues exceeding $490 million and net assets of $2.9 billion at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Ellington Field.

Prior to joining the City, Mr. Rummel spent 17 years with Continental Airlines in various financial roles of increasing responsibility. Prior to Continental Airlines, he spent 6 years with the Alliance for Audited Media.

Mr. Rummel earned a B.B.A. from Texas Christian University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rene Solis, Vice President of Emerging Public Initiatives+
Rene Solis was named Vice President of Emerging Public Initiatives for Neighborhood Centers Inc. in 2009. In that role, he manages the Public Sector Solutions division as well as the agency’s disaster recovery program Stay Connected.

Previously, he was Director of New Business Development for Public Sector Solutions and developed opportunities for the design and implementation of effective human services programs for other non-profit agencies and government organizations. Under his direction, the division grew from managing one child care contract, which served 13 counties, to four contracts serving 46 Texas counties and totaling more than $145 million annually. Currently, the Public Sector Solutions Division serves as Financial Aid Payment Contractor for Workforce Solutions – Gulf Coast Workforce Board, and as Child Care Service Contractor for the Coastal Bend, Deep East Texas, and Rural Capital Area Workforce Development Board areas.

Through the Stay Connected program, Neighborhood Centers provides a compassionate response to both the material and emotional needs of people who have been affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes. In 2009, more than 17,000 people were connected with services and resources to assist them in the long-term recovery process.

Solis’ experience also includes service as the Chief Financial Officer for the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region. He began his career with the YWCA in 1991 and held positions there as Child Care Services Administrator and Child Care Services Finance Supervisor, managing the child care subsidy program for the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Area.

Throughout his career, Solis has worked with many regional partnerships and has successfully secured and managed contracts with funding sources including school districts, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, and the City of Houston.

A native of El Paso, Solis earned a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is married and has a son.