Our Staff

Senior Leadership 

Marc Slater

Executive Director

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.


Elisa Feria

Director of Family Services

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 an 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 Director of Family Services, Elisa ensures that program staff offer the supportive services needed when families enroll and participate in our Residential and Bridge services.


Nora Niesen

Director of Development

Nora joined Raphael House in January, 2021, following 6 years of fundraising in the Bay Area and 15 years of experience on both the giving and asking sides of philanthropy. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Nora worked in marketing and sales in the higher education publishing field in Boston, Albuquerque, and New York City. Nora received a BA in Communications from Simmons University in Boston and a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University. Through her first professional experience as an intern for Rosie’s Place, the first women’s shelter in the United States, Nora learned early on that she is mission-driven. Nora thrives on helping organizations and their people succeed, and she is thrilled to contribute to an experienced team doing meaningful and well-respected work to empower those we serve.

Marie Wang

Director of Finance

Marie assumed the Director of Finance position at Raphael House in October 2017. She earned two Master’s Degrees, one was from the University of Nebraska, majoring in Economics, and the other was from the 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 over twenty years of experience in financial and business management in various business sectors, ranging from the national defense aerospace industry, private and public schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. She served as a Regional Controller in the California region for a national charter school management company for 4 years and then as the Director of Finance/CFO for an independent Charter School in San Francisco for 6 years. Prior to joining 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.


Melissa Heredia

Director of Operations

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.

 Development & Communications


Meagan Matthews

Development Coordinator

Meagan joined the Raphael House team in January 2024. With a B.S. in Human Biology and a minor in creative writing, she is specifically interested in the intersection of public health and storytelling. Her work in development began by operating a successful peer-to-peer campaign with The Farmlink Project. Through her major and a previous database management position, she has developed a knack for data entry and maintenance. She is driven by Raphael House’s mission to support families on their path to stability and feels fortunate to learn from its dedicated team. Since moving to San Francisco in the fall of 2023, Meagan has spent her spare time trying new recipes and restaurants, looking for opportunities to dance, walking around the city, and trying to make more art.

Kellen Ruiz

Community Engagement Manager

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.

Katherine Sanderlin

Donor Relations Officer

Katherine joined Raphael House in January 2022. Prior to working in Development, Katherine taught ethical humanism to elementary school kids at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Manhattan. As a teacher, she found great joy in encouraging students to use their talents and skills in order to activate societal change around issues that mattered most. She now uses her enthusiasm for building authentic relationships to connect with donors. Prior to joining Raphael House, Katherine worked at the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the SPCA Monterey County, and Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Georgia.

Family Services 

Ralitza Doynova

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.


David Macias

Bilingual Residential Case Manager

David Macias joined Raphael House in March 2022. Born and raised in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, David sparked a passion for helping others and supporting his community. Prior to Raphael House, David worked at other non-profit organizations within the Tenderloin Community, providing support services to formerly homeless single adults. David attended CCSF, and would like to further his education by pursuing a BA in Psychology. As a Bilingual Residential Case Manager, David works in collaboration with families in our Residential Shelter to address individual barriers to housing in order to develop a long-term plan for success. Some of his hobbies include cooking, trying out new restaurants, photography, and sightseeing.

Elena Novikova

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.


Michelle Topete

Bilingual Family Stability Manager

Michelle Topete initially joined Raphael House in July 2017 as a Bilingual Residential Case Manager. Since then she has collaborated with Raphael House clients in a range of roles to help clients meet their academic and professional goals. Michelle holds a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish from CSU Stanislaus, and is certified as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate. Michelle has also earned two professional certificates from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and San Francisco State’s College of Extended Learning Program with a focus on court interpreting in the English and Spanish language pair. As a Family Stability Manager, Michelle oversees the Financial Assistance for Family Stability, Bridge Case Management, and Career Development Services. Michelle enjoys implementing all of her skillset in a holistic manner to each individual family’s situation to see them thrive for the long haul.