Baltimore Trolley Museum

Staff

Ken Gelula, Interim Executive Director

Mr. Gelula has had a long and distinguished career in Baltimore’s non-profit sector and is perhaps best known for his work from 1983-2012 as the executive director of Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. (CHAI), a nationally respected neighborhood revitalization and housing organization in Northwest Baltimore, where he managed a staff of 24 and had an annual agency operating budget of $3.5 million.

Mr. Gelula’s work with CHAI in Northwest Baltimore, where he organized multi-ethnic neighborhood coalitions to address neighborhood issues (in collaboration with local government) as part of the organization’s revitalization and housing effort – combined with his a second career as a consultant to non-profits — made him the ideal choice  to be a bridge to the next full time director of the Central Baltimore Partnership.  kgelula@centralbaltimore.org

Ashley Wallace, Acting Deputy Executive Director & Director of Projects and Program Services

For the past five years, Ashley Wallace, has managed major community planning aspects of the Homewood Community Partners Initiative (HCPI) agenda by advancing CBP’s major quality-of-life, transportation, TOD, and other commercial and housing initiatives in Central Baltimore. She received her graduate degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, where she was a member of a multi-disciplinary academic research team consulting on community organizing, land use and wetland restoration planning in New Orleans, LA.

Prior to making Baltimore and CBP her home, she worked for the State of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Planning Grant Program and a Midwest-based private planning firm, Crispell-Snyder, as their Planning Assistant and Interim Lead Community Planner. She earned an undergraduate degree in Peace, Conflict and Global Studies with a Community Organization concentration from Northland College. Ashley is a proud Greenmount West resident in Central Baltimore. She can be reached at awallace@centralbaltimore.org.

LeVar Michael, Project and Program Services Coordinator

LeVar Michael has worked in the area of community development for over 10 years. Most recently Mr. Michael worked as an Operations Officer in the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office. There, Mr. Michael worked to enhance public safety and quality of life strategies through a number of different programs such as the White House’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), The Federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HITDTA), and the McElderry Park Revitalization Initiative. Mr. Michael has an extensive experience in the areas of public safety, human services, community organizing, and community development.

Before working for the Mayor’s Office, Mr. Michael worked as a Political Organizer with GJBB, an SEIU 1199 program designed to enhance economic equality throughout Baltimore. Mr. Michael has an abundant amount of political experience and has served as Canvassing Coordinator with the Kerry/Edwards Presidential campaign in 2014, as well as the Vice Chair of Victory ’04, a Political Action Committee (PAC) funded by now Pa Governor Tom Wolf.

Mr. Michael also worked as an Initiatives Coordinator with the York City Housing Authority where he worked on a number of high level redevelopment projects such as HOPE VI and Choice. Prior to working for the Authority, Mr. Michael worked for the local government human service contractor Bell Socialization Inc. as a Program Coordinator for 7 years. Mr. Michael’s holds a B.A. in Political Science and Government Affairs as well as a M.A. in Organizational Management

Destiny Durso, Executive Assistant

Destiny, a Baltimore native, comes to the Central Baltimore Partnership with an extensive background in Non-Profit Office Management and IT coordination experience from several local agencies.  Destiny manages the daily admnistrative tasks for the CBP staff and handles all scheduling requests for the Executive Director.  Destiny can be reached at ddurso@centralbaltimore.org

Eric Evans, Real Estate Consultant

Prior to founding Eric Evans & Company, LLC, Evans played a major role in one of the most significant urban development undertakings in the City of Baltimore.  Evans worked most recently with East Baltimore Development, Inc. (EBDI), where he project managed the development of the Bio-Tech Park at Johns Hopkins and served as the special assistant to the president and CEO.  Evans managed infrastructure improvements for an $800 million neighborhood redevelopment project which included approximately two million square feet of Life Sciences space and 1,200 new or renovated homes for mixed income buyers and renters.  Evans also coordinated the Planned Unit Development approval process, serving as the chief liaison between EBDI and community leaders, neighborhood organizations, and a variety of Baltimore City agencies.

Prior to joining EBDI, Evans advised multinational corporations on the federal tax consequences of international business activities for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.  Evans currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Midtown Development Corporation.

Evans received his BA from Brown University, a Juris Doctorate and MBA from Boston College, and was a fellow at the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.  Eric can be reached at:eric@ericevans.biz

Edward Weiss, Communications Manager

Between 1986-1996, while managing communications for market researcher Packaged Facts, Edward Weiss produced a PR-based newsletter, “Press news from Packaged Facts” that generated 700+ stories and was quoted by every major newspaper, business publication, and TV network in the U.S. He also served as an occasional spokesperson, including appearances on CNN and NBC. Weiss left to become an editorial freelancer (researcher, writer, editor, and occasional illustrator, designer, and web creator) and to pursue a career in art. His illustrated book Peter Pigeon of Snug Harbor won the 2006 COAHSI Award for Literary Excellence sponsored by JP Morgan Chase. In 2011, his public art project, The Forgotten History of Staten Island was awarded an Original Work Grant from N Y State. Weiss became CBP Communications Manager in April, 2014.  Since then,  his major accomplishment has been to provide the content (words and pictures) for this web site.  Ed can be reached at eweiss@centralbaltimore.org.

Maria Garcia, Public Realm Project Manager

As the Public Realm Project Manager for CBP, Maria works on a variety of programs related to public spaces and transportation. Her projects include, among others, the Two-Way Study on St. Paul and Calvert Streets, North Avenue Streetscape, and Reconnecting Charles Street. Maria will also serve as the coordinator for the HCPI Community Spruce-Up Grants, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Outside of CBP, Maria is an Urban Art Leadership Fellow with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

Originally from Colombia, Maria graduated from Johns Hopkins in December 2014 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Economics. While an undergraduate, Maria interned at the International Rescue Committee and studied abroad in Paris at Sciences Po. In the summer of 2013, she received a research grant to travel to Copenhagen and conduct a comparative research project on policy and urban agriculture. Maria can be reached at mgarcia@centralbaltimore.org.

Search Central Baltimore Partnership

Previous Next