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. 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.

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Cecilia Ferber

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.

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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. Nora lives with her husband and two rescued Rottweilers in Marin and enjoys painting, hiking, exploring dog-friendly parks and beaches, camping, wine-tasting, and traveling to spend time with friends and family, near and far.

 


Rob Taylor

Director of Impact

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.


Marie Wang

Director of Finance

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.


Operations 

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. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys exploring her creative side by making cross stitch designs for friends and family.


 Development & Communications

Dayna Kalakau

Marketing Manager

Dayna joined Raphael House in April 2022. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, she moved to the Bay Area in 2018. While in Hawaii Dayna held various marketing and communications roles, having gotten her start working as a promotions assistant for Clear Channel Radio in college. She was also a freelance publicist and event planner for almost 10 years. Prior to joining Raphael House, Dayna was the Marketing & Communications Director at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company. She holds BAs in Journalism and Public Relations and an MA from Hawaii Pacific University. Dayna is inspired by the mission of Raphael House and the organization’s focus on family-centered solutions to combat homelessness in the Bay Area.


Chloë Noonan

Development Assistant

Chloë joined Raphael House in September 2021. Born in San Francisco, Chloë moved to Seattle, Washington at a young age before moving back after college. She began her nonprofit work with FACETS Multi-Media, as a Program intern for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, where she was appointed as the festival’s Hospitality Coordinator. Chloë has a BA in Communications & Media, and minors in Art History and PR & Advertising from DePaul University. In her spare time, she loves going on absurdly long walks, dancing, and hanging out with her goldfish, Panini. She is inspired by Raphael House’s work to end the cycle of homelessness by both supporting family bonds and child development.


Kellen Sarver

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 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.


Jodane Solorzano

Development Manager

Jodane joined Raphael House in July 2019. He is originally from Houston, TX, where he was raised before moving to the Bay Area in 2005 and then eventually attending the University of California Riverside. He began his nonprofit work with the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC) during high school, providing youth and parents with mentorship and support. After graduating with a BA in Philosophy, Jodane continued his work with youth and nonprofits at Oakland Leaf, which cultivates community transformation through creative education for youth and families in East Oakland. Prior to joining Raphael House, he worked at the Diocese of Oakland as Development Associate-Coordinator for Program Services, overseeing annual fundraising and granting programs with Family Aid Catholic Education (FACE). Jodane is inspired by the way Raphael House is able to support families and continues to strive to help his community and underserved populations at large.


Family Services 

Bianca Beverina

Bilingual Family Wellness Manager

Bianca Beverina joined Raphael House in August 2018. Bianca’s professional and volunteer experience includes peer counseling and work as a preschool and daycare teacher in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the Program Department at Raphael House, Bianca has worked closely with parents and their children in order to support the development of healthy social/emotional skills in young children through play, positive discipline and coaching. As the Family Wellness Manager, Bianca ensures that Bridge and Residential Families have access to general wellness support services. Bianca holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus in Developmental Psychology and is working towards completing her masters degree in Social Work at San Francisco State University.


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.

 


Elisa Feria

Assistant Program Director

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 Assistant Program Director 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.


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.