St. Joseph Center’s work is overseen by a dedicated Executive Management Team that consists of President & CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum; Chief Operating Officer LaCheryl Porter; Vice President, Finance & Administration John P. McGann; Vice President, Community Programs Courtney Kanagi; Vice President, Development & Communications Paul Rubenstein; and Vice President, Operations Tifara Monroe.
President & CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum joined St. Joseph Center in 2008, bringing extensive experience in nonprofit management to the agency. During her tenure, St. Joseph Center has more than doubled in size, expanded its range of services, and broadened the organization’s geographic reach to include underserved communities in South Los Angeles.
Under Dr. Adams Kellum’s leadership, St. Joseph Center consistently applies best practices to serve new populations and new areas through significant collaboration with governmental, nonprofit, and private sector partners. The Center is a trailblazer in deploying integrated, multidisciplinary teams to help the most vulnerable homeless individuals obtain and maintain stable housing. Today, St. Joseph Center serves as the lead agency for both the Coordinated Entry System and the Homeless Family Solution System in Service Planning Area 5.
Dr. Adams Kellum is the former Chair of the Westside Coalition and represented Service Planning Area 5 on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Coordinating Council for many years. In February 2017 she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the newly established No Place Like Home Program Advisory Committee, which was established to assist and advise the California Department of Housing and Community Development on the program’s successful implementation.
Dr. Adams Kellum graduated with a B.A. from the University of Southern California and earned an M.A. from Ball State University before completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University. Throughout her doctoral program, she examined the factors that create stress in ethnic minority youth, such as poverty, academic underachievement, and family dynamics. Prior to coming to St. Joseph Center, Dr. Adams Kellum applied her research for six years as the Director of Transitional Living for United Friends of the Children (UFC). While at UFC, she helped create and oversee Pathways, an 18-month transitional living program that assists former foster youth with housing, college readiness, career development, financial assistance, mentoring, and individual counseling.
Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum is a graduate of Culver City High School. She resides in Cerritos, CA with her devoted husband Edward and their three children.
Chief Operating Officer LaCheryl Porter is a native of Los Angeles and has extensive experience in housing for special needs, low income and homeless populations. She began her housing career as a Housing Advocate for people with AIDS/HIV in San Francisco. LaCheryl went on to work in more administrative positions with the Oakland Housing Authority and as a private practice attorney where she took on cases that involved housing, real estate, landlord/tenant disputes and contracts. LaCheryl has deep knowledge in many aspects of permanent supportive housing and affordable housing from her experience as a Project Manager at the Community Development Commission for Los Angeles County and Skid Row Housing Trust, where she was the Director of Resident Programs, overseeing services to residents in 1600 units of permanent supportive housing. LaCheryl holds a BA from Cal State Long Beach, a JD from New College of California and is a member of the California State Bar. La Cheryl is heading St. Joseph Center’s strategic initiatives related to housing developer partnerships, and resource management.
Vice President, Finance & Administration John P. McGann brings significant experience in both the public and private sector. Before joining St. Joseph Center, John was the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Prior to working at Didi Hirsch, John served for 13 years as Vice President of Finance and Administration for Frantz Medical Development, a designer and manufacturer of medical devices and surgical equipment. Before joining Frantz Medical, John was the Chief Financial Officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art, a non-profit cultural and educational institution. John began his business career with the accounting firm KPMG after receiving his degree in business administration from Kent State University. While at KPMG, he earned his CPA certificate and was responsible for a broad spectrum of clients from the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. He also served as an instructor in the Firm’s national training program. In addition to his professional career responsibilities, John was president of the Alumni Advisory Council to the College of Business at Kent State and was a director and president of the NE Ohio Chapter of the Financial Executives Institute. He has also served on the boards of several not-for-profit social service and United Way Agencies.
Vice President, Programs Courtney Kanagi was born and raised in Southern California. She holds a degree in Sociology from California State University, Northridge and has significant experience addressing homelessness in the community. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center she spent eight years at PATH, where she held a number of leadership roles. Most recently, as the Director of Street Outreach, she helped develop and oversee outreach teams that served those living on the streets. Courtney brings strengths and experience in housing and community engagement; she is now working on St. Joseph Center’s behalf with Venice Forward, a consortium of stakeholders dedicated to developing local solutions to homelessness.
Vice President, Development & Communications Paul Rubenstein has worked in nonprofit fundraising for more than 15 years. He manages St. Joseph Center’s private fundraising efforts and pursuit of public funding sources, oversees in-kind donations and volunteer services, and directs communications efforts. Before joining St. Joseph Center’s development staff in 2004 he worked with City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica, an acclaimed alternative ensemble that the LA Weekly called the “Best Theatre Company in Los Angeles.” At City Garage he obtained the company’s first public arts funding from Los Angeles County and implemented fundamental development strategies, including audience surveys and an annual campaign, for an organization that had little existing fundraising infrastructure.
Vice President, Operations Tifara Monroe earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past nine years. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center, she served as the Program Manager for United Friends of the Children’s Transitional Living Program. She is responsible for the daily upkeep of multiple St. Joseph Center program facilities, addressing neighborhood concerns, coordinating with the onsite users of the Center’s Hampton Drive facility, and ensuring agency compliance with the terms of its facility’s conditions of approval. Tifara is a member of several social service organizations and is committed to serving the poor and disenfranchised.