Father McKenna Center Staff: Front (left to right): Cortez McDaniel, Director of Men’s Programs and Services; Margaret Atkinson, Summer 2016 Food Pantry Coordinator; Kim Cox, Center President; Raymond Derr, Cook; Pat Kisicki, IVC Volunteer; Sr. Barbara Bartlett, Volunteer. Back (left to right): Colin McCarthy, Notre Dame student and SSLP Intern; Reggie Green, Facilities Team; Mike Jones, Operations Team; Ned Hogan, Development and Volunteer Director; Don Kisicki, IVC Volunteer; Dennis Dee, Case Manager.
Kim Cox, Center President Selected as the new President of the Father McKenna Center after a careful search in September 2014, Dr. Cox leads the Center through collaboration with the Board of Directors, through regular meetings with donors and supporters of the work of the Center, and by bringing vision and direction to the staff. She also makes it a point to interact with the guests of the Center and the patrons of the Food Pantry.
Dr. Cox previously served as the Chair of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Orange (CA), and as CEO of The Blind Children’s Learning Center in Santa Ana, CA. She was, for nearly two decades, a professor of economics at University of California at Irvine. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Duke University.
Cortez McDaniel, Director of Men’s Programs and Services Cortez has been a key member of the Father McKenna Center staff since 2009. His role as Director of Men’s Programs and Services makes him the front line person with the homeless men we serve. Cortez meets with all new guests and works with them to identify their goals and objectives and to develop a strategy to assist them reach those goals and objectives. His dedication to helping these men move forward comes from a deep faith in God and a desire to pass on what he has learned through his life.
Cortez is a co-founder of the DC Peace Team, a collaborative group that works to teach mediation and creative conflict resolution strategies to youth and young adults across DC. He is also a founding member of the DC Homecomers Academy that works with recently incarcerated individuals. Cortez previously worked at Second Genesis as an addiction counselor and as a Regional Director at Quartermaine’s Coffee Roasters.
Syd Slocum, Staff Assistant Syd’s role at the Center is as the “greeter” each morning. He welcomes our guests for the Day program and assists the team to track how regularly each guest comes to the Center. He also assists Cortez McDaniel with the intake interviews and maintains the database of men who are part of the program. He is also charged with inventory of the many things we need to keep the Center running smoothly.
Syd came to the Center as one of our guests in 2014, but he has a fascinating life story. He was an air traffic controller during the 1970’s, resigned to go into sales. He has also worked as a program assistanct at the World Bank and as a auto sales consultant and sales manager. In 2013 he accepted a job offer to work as contractor for the US Department of Defense, but the contract was never awarded to the company, and Syd gave up his apartment because he did not have sustainable income. He came to the Center and “the Center offered me a ‘retake’ on life. I listened to Cortez and reflected on my own life and chose rebuild life as I know it should be lived. The Center offer me the path, but I had to do the hard work. Now I am here to help others along that journey.”
Sam Hamilton – Jesuit Volunteer Corps Food Pantry Coordinator/Shower and Laundry Coordinator Sam is originally from Portland, Maine and graduated from Boston College in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in both Philosophy and Economics. After graduation, Sam joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a year-long service organization, through which he interviewed and was placed at the FMC. Sam desire to put ideals from his Jesuit education into practice led him to service as a postgraduate path, instead of seeking entry into the corporate workforce. Sam has been working full-time at the FMC since August 2016 and coordinates the Food Pantry program as well the Shower and Laundry programs for the men. In addition, Sam often assists in orienting volunteer groups to the center, and works closely with many of our regular volunteers.
Ali Sentmanat – Franciscan Mission Service Mail Coordinator / Clothing Closet Coordinator / Computer Lab Coordinator Ali is originally from Houston, Texas, and graduated from University of Dallas in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Theater. Ali joined the Franciscan Mission Service after graduation, interviewed, and was placed here at the FMC. Even prior to college, Ali knew she wanted to do a year of service after college so as to deepen her spiritual growth and commitment to her faith. Ali coordinates the Clothing Distribution program, the Computer Program, and is also in charge of all of our Mail Distribution. Ali has also been instrumental in helping to plan and implement changes in the physical layout of our Center–making our center a much more inviting and functional space for everyone.
Christine Melekian, Bookkeeper Christine has been the Father McKenna Center’s bookkeeper since August, 2014. As such, she is responsible for processing the generous contributions of our donors, our accounts payable, and our payroll. In addition, she provides other management support to the Center’s efforts, including budget tracking and setting up organizational systems. She is formerly the Director of Business Operations for a federal training and organizational development contractor. She holds a Bachelor of Science in French and Chinese Languages and Literatures from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Community Planning (M.C.P.) from the University of Maryland.
Ned Hogan, Director of Development and Volunteer Coordinator Ned joined the Father McKenna Center team in 2014 as the first Director of Development, charged with planning and implementing a program to secure diverse funding from foundations, corporations and individuals and to oversee the communications efforts of the Center. He is also the coordinator of our hundreds of volunteers and the students who come through the Immersion program. Also among his duties is keeping the statistics on the programs.
Ned was a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for 22 years, serving at Gonzaga (1995-97) and Holy Trinity Parish (1988-92), among other places. After leaving the Society Ned has been a professional fundraiser since 1998. He has always worked in smaller organizations ranging from social service agencies to schools to arts centers. His joining the Father McKenna Center team is a “coming home” to work in a ministry to those living at the margins of society.