Ralph Payton assumed the Executive Director position at Raphael House in 2015. His commitment to social justice and underserved communities spans a career of more than 15 years directing nonprofit human service programs across the country. For several years, he was the director of Hamilton Families’ family shelter, a nonprofit program in San Francisco that provides shelter, housing placement and support services for hundreds of homeless families in the Bay Area. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2011, he lived in New York City where he directed a large family shelter for many years and then went on to direct an alternative high school, both in the South Bronx. He started his career in homeless services in Miami, Florida where he supervised one of the largest men’s shelters in the area. Ralph is currently the co-chair of San Francisco’s Local Homeless Coordinated Board, which is the lead entity for the San Francisco Continuum of Care. The Local Board works to ensure a unified homeless strategy that is supported by the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, City departments, nonprofit agencies, people who are homeless or formerly homeless and the community at large. Ralph earned a Master of Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology from Andrews University in Michigan.
Director of Development
Marc joined Raphael House in 2016. He comes to Raphael House with over a decade of nonprofit experience in marketing, media, and development. Marc was born in Los Angeles, he grew up in Malibu California, and he has been enjoying the food, culture, and people of the Bay Area as a resident since 2004. Marc has based his professional career on being in service of others. This idea was fostered as a young man after saving a mother and her two children during a flash flood in 1991. This experience defined his life, and later his professional career. Marc started his career working in film and marketing, and later dedicated his career to serving others as a director for the Boy Scouts of America and by heading shelter operations for the Humane Society. He is excited to continue his mission of serving others and having an impact on our local community as part of the Raphael House family. In his free time, Marc enjoys rock climbing, running and backpacking with his wife Autumn, and he is an avid golfer, archer and softball player.
Director of Family Services
Ceci Ferber joined Raphael House in October, 2013. Ceci holds an MS in Social Work with a concentration in International Social Welfare & Services to Immigrants and Refugees from Columbia University, and a BA in Psychology with a minor in Latin America and Latino Studies from UC, Santa Cruz. She has provided guidance and supportive services to families in need for over 15 years; Ceci’s professional and volunteer experience includes non-profit work in Mexico, the Greater Bay Area, and on the East Coast (New York State). Prior to joining the Program Department at Raphael House, Ceci provided direct services to clients in various settings, including assisted living for senior residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, after-school tutoring to Spanish-speaking children, family and individual counseling, specialized services to children with special needs, psychoeducational support groups for teens, and court-based social services to low-income families facing eviction (case management and short-term counseling). As the Director of Family Services, Ceci ensures that program staff continue to offer the supportive services needed when families enroll and participate in our Residential and Bridge services
Director of Finance and Operations
Marie assumed the Director of Finance position at Raphael House in October, 2017. She earned two Master Degrees, one was from University of Nebraska, majoring in Economics, and the other was from University of Missouri majoring in Statistics. She has also taken many core accounting and finance courses to build the foundation of her working knowledge in the business economics, quantitative analysis, budgeting, accounting and financial analysis fields. She has had over twenty years of experience of financial and business management in various business sectors, ranging from national defense aerospace industry; private and public schools, government agency and non-profit organization. She served as a Regional Controller in California region for a national charter school management company for 4 years and then the Director of Finance/CFO for an independent Charter School in San Francisco for 6 years. Prior joining to Raphael House, she served as the Director of Finance for a Housing Authority in the bay area for the past 2 years. In addition, she was, simultaneously, an adjunct Visiting Professor for 12 years teaching Budgeting and Business Economics in the MBA programs. When she is not working, she enjoys reading, traveling and going to movies with her family.
Melissa joined Raphael House in April 2017. She is a bay area native and has a passion for helping people in her community. Melissa studied Psychology at San Jose State University and started her career supporting a nonprofit agency for youth and families in the south bay. Her background also includes project management, customer service and knowledge of property management and is excited to bring her experience to serve the community at Raphael House. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys exploring her creative side by making cross stitch designs for friends and family.
Vong came to San Francisco in 2007 and quickly felt at home professionally and personally. Born in Laos and raised primarily in the mid west, Vong has a passion for international travel. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and African American Studies from Purdue University. Vong comes with over a decade of experience in Administration & Finance and is excited about the opportunity of training and mentoring international Finance interns. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the culinary diversity of Northern California, and being a new mom.
Development & Communications
Events and Corporate Sponsorship Manager
Erin joined Raphael House in January 2015, following 6 years as an Events and Marketing Manager at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Her fundraising experience began in 2001 as a Marketing Associate for The Oakland Zoo, and has continued over the years with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, San Francisco Chapter. She is passionate about working with her community to create valuable and meaningful solutions to families and children in the Bay Area. Erin grew up in the South Bay in Cupertino and graduated from UCSD with a B.A. in Literature/Writing. She loves exploring the Bay Area, riding her bike in Golden Gate Park, eating Cicero’s Pizza, traveling, reading, and being an auntie.
Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator
Kellen joined Raphael House in April 2016. Originally from Huntington Beach, she moved to San Francisco to attend San Francisco State University. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies: Natural Resource Management and Conservation, Kellen went on to work with youth and volunteers at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. While leading and scheduling habitat restoration projects in the Bay Area’s National Parks, Kellen especially enjoyed the sense of community that was created through volunteering. She has maintained that passion for building strong communities through volunteering ever since. Meeting and working with all of the amazing people who volunteer at Raphael House is something that Kellen looks forward to each day. In her free time Kellen enjoys hiking, going to concerts, traveling, watching HGTV, and eating cheese.
Rob joined Raphael House in September 2016. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Rob was raised around the country, living in six states before coming to San Francisco for college. He began his nonprofit work with World Arts West, producers of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, where he built up the organization’s first development department from scratch. Prior to Raphael House, he was Grants Manager for Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), overseeing a robust fundraising calendar for BAVC’s media arts and technology training programs. Rob has a BA in History and Cinema (dual-major) and a MA in History from San Francisco State University. In his spare time he loves mystery novels, theater/dance, and coffee. He is inspired by the family bonding and community building that takes place every day at Raphael House.
Started out as a prep cook in Delancey Street where I worked my way up through all the different stations. I also expedited there and was in charge of the ordering. Since then I cooked in places like Genetech and the Gap. I really enjoy putting out good quality food here for all of the families. I enjoy working out and going to fun places with my family, camping amusement parks etc. I really like the structure of the Raphael House and what we continue to do for our families here.
Residential Family Services
Children’s Services Manager
Ralitza is the Children and Family Services Manager at Raphael House. She joined Raphael House 11 years ago as the Tutoring Club and Children’s Outings Coordinator leading the academic tutoring, filed trips and children’s festivals and events for several years. She now heads Academic Tutoring and Enrichment for children and ESL tutoring for adults. Ralitza holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a B.A. in English.
Family Services Manager
Elisa joined Raphael House in August 2015. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University, she spent four years working as advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Her scope of service was based in both community programs and emergency shelter, and included support group facilitation, crisis line counseling, legal services advocacy for custody and domestic violence restraining orders, community outreach and education, and intensive case management. As the Family Services Manager at Raphael House, Elisa strives to support both the Bridge and Residential Program case management teams to provide high-quality, client-driven case management services, in addition to providing direct services herself to families in the Residential Program.
Career Development Manager
Candace joined the Raphael House team in June 2016 after moving to the Bay Area from Austin, TX. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University as well as certifications in Credit and Housing Counseling, Homeownership Counseling and Financial Education. Over the last 5 years she has worked with hundreds of individuals and families to establish and achieve their financial and homeownership goals through comprehensive action plans, budgets, empowerment and coaching. As the Career Development Manager Candace helps individuals to identify and overcome barriers to employment while facilitating the exploration of educational options and career advancement. She likes to travel as often as possible and usually spends her free time making pottery, gardening and getting outdoors.
Residential Program Manager
Serving as the Residential Program Coordinator since 2004, Elena strives to maintain a tranquil, home-like atmosphere in which our diverse families can overcome crisis and find stability. For many of those years, she lived at Raphael House alongside the residential families, an experience she finds to be crucial in learning how to foster a successful healing environment. Prior to her work at Raphael House, Elena studied music at a post-graduate level in her home country of Russia, taught children of various ages both privately and in academies, and performed with several musical groups.