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OUR STAFF

ORION COMMUNITIES has a dedicated staff here to assist our neighbors in need.

keith wilburn

Keith Wilburn

Executive Director

Keith has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit and human service sector.

Danielle Blanchard

Operations Manager

Danielle is a vibrant and positive member of the Orion team. She is a proud alumna of the University of Pittsburgh.

Melinda Izzo

Melinda Izzo

Community Relations & STARS

After volunteering for four years, Melinda joined Orion in December 2018 as Program Coordinator for our STARS and GLAD programs.

Ava King

Ava King

Development Director

Ava has always had a passion for helping those in need and has worked within the Human Services field for almost 30 years.

Yolanda Durante

Manager of Case Management

Yolanda’s passion is to equip leaders and develop the giftings and skills that each person possesses regardless of the challenges they face.

Sarah Batista

Sarah Batista

Case Manager

Sarah Batista, bilingual case manager, is a native of  New York City and moved to Pennsylvania during her teenage years.

lori heath

Lori Heath

ROOFS Program Specialist

Lori is a graduate from Chestnut Hill College. and began her career in child welfare with foster care.

Laurie Richardson

Laurie Richardson

Case Manager

Laurie has many years of experience in housing, mental health and has worked with folks experiencing addiction and disabilities.

Maria Manogue

Maria Manogue

Lead Case Manager

Maria has experience in the social service field including Child Protective Services, Case Management and Supports Coordination for individuals with IDD and Autism.

Sam Aloha

Sam Ahola

Case Management Intern

Sam is currently a student at Alvernia University getting his master’s in social work. Sam is dedicated to helping others and chose to intern at Orion to fulfill that passion.

Kari Burdeau

Tech Specialist

Kari has worked for a variety of non-profit and for profit businesses, gaining experience in office management, advocacy, and customer service.

Dottie Bellissimo

Operations Assistant

Previously employed with civil engineering firms, Dottie has an eye for detail, and supportive administrative and organizational skills.

LaVeana McCoy

LaVeana McCoy

Receptionist

LaVeana joined the Orion team in December of 2019. She brings with her over 20 years of Business Administration experience.

Robin Wunder

Bookkeeper

Robin has been a bookkeeper with 40 years of experience and has focused on non-profits for 18 years.

Vickie Clark

Development Assistant

Vickie, a former client, is known for helping many in the community.

Katie Price

Katie Price

Program Specialist

Katie has served the Chester County community for the past two decades.

Thalia Dafermos

Thalia Dafermos

Office Assistant

Thalia is an old timer residing at Camphill Soltane for the past 25 years.

James Fisher

James Fisher

Maintenance

James is a long-time friend of Orion and joined our staff last year.

keith wilburn

Keith Wilburn

Executive Director

Keith has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit and human service sector, working in Boston, NW Philadelphia, and the Coatesville and Downingtown communities. He is most recently coming from developing and directing Coatesville Kids to College and The Well Community Center, both in Chester County. He is a graduate of Boston University with degrees in Education and English Lit. and has his Master of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. Keith is passionate about social justice, human rights, and providing opportunities for individuals to become self-sufficient and self-determined. He feels privileged to be a part of the incredible team that is Orion Communities in this season of his life.

Danielle Blanchard

Operations Manager

Danielle is a vibrant and positive member of the Orion team. She is a proud alumna of the University of Pittsburgh, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and Master’s in Social Work. In her role at Orion, Danielle’s expertise in operations is complemented by her ability to infuse a sense of fun and levity into the workplace.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Danielle finds joy in spending quality time with friends and family, often immersing herself in the beauty of nature. She is committed to fostering a positive and enjoyable atmosphere at Orion.

Melinda Izzo

Melinda Izzo

Community Relations & STARS

After volunteering for four years, Melinda joined Orion in December 2018 as Program Coordinator for the STARS and GLAD programs.  She has a B.S. in counseling from Geneva College and has a background in children’s mental health and early childhood education with an emphasis in autism.  Melinda loves children’s literature and guiding children in acquiring new skills and overcoming challenges. She comes to Orion with a can-do attitude and an ability to network and identify resources for the children and families in our programs.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading and perennial gardening.
Ava King

Ava King

Development Director

Ava has always had a passion for helping those in need and has worked within the Human Services field for over 30 years. She moved to the Chester County area from Pittsburgh, PA in 1993 and is a die-hard Steelers fan. She graduated from Wilberforce University in Ohio, with a degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice with a minor in Pre-Law. She came to Orion in August 2022 after developing and running the Eviction Prevention Court in Chester County. Ava is a playwright, founder, and director of a drama ministry that has about 100+ members. She is the proud mother of 3 children. She enjoys listening to music, going on long walks, sitting on the beach from sunup to sundown, and spending time with family, friends, and especially her one and only granddaughter. Ava’s motto is “I can, and I will!”

 

 

Yolanda Durante

Manager of Case Management 

Yolanda Durante is originally from the artistic Williamsburg section of New York City but Pennsylvania has been her home for 30 years. She now cheers for the Eagles and loves visiting the countryside in Lancaster County. Her passion is to equip leaders and develop the giftings and skills that each person possesses regardless of the challenges they face. She has served Churches in Montgomery, Chester, and Berks County, and Virginia in the capacity of Senior/Solo pastor. She has worked with impoverished children and families and pre-natal mothers as an Early Head Start Health Coordinator in Montgomery County. She taught Humanity courses to inner city students as an Adjunct Professor at Esperanza College of Eastern University in both English and Spanish.  Her educational experience includes an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary with a concentration in Counseling, BA in Sociology from Hunter College, and some doctoral work at the University of Virginia.  In her spare time, she loves taking walks with her Bichon Frise dog and doing research.

Sarah Batista

Sarah Batista

Case Manager

Sarah Batista, bilingual case manager, is a native of  New York City and moved to Pennsylvania during her teenage years. She has over five years of experience in the social service field working in a variety of settings such as case management, crisis intervention and guardianship. Sarah has a passion for people in need. In her free time, Sarah enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, working out, reading, and writing.

lori heath

Lori Heath

ROOFS Program Specialist

Lori is a graduate from Chestnut Hill College. and began her career in child welfare with foster care and adoption and later transferred to working with Children and Youth where she spent many years working and advocating for at risk children and their families to assure their safety and well-being. She looks forward to working with Orion and being part of the Phoenixville community again where she was born and raised.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and doing projects at home.

Laurie Richardson

Laurie Richardson

Case Manager

Laurie is originally from Delaware County. After graduating from West Chester University with a degree in Social Work, she made the Downingtown area her home. Laurie has many years of experience in housing, mental health and has worked with folks experiencing addiction and disabilities. She enjoys visiting local coffee shops and spending time with family.

Maria Manogue

Maria Manogue

Lead Case Manager

For as long as she can remember, Maria has had a passion for helping others.  She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Shippensburg University. She began her career in child welfare with Montgomery County where she spent several years working with at risk children and youth.  Maria has experience in various settings in the social service field including Child Protective Services, Case Management and Supports Coordination for individuals with IDD and Autism.   With a passion for planning and coordinating events, Maria spent 8 years as the Organizer of Connect the Tots, a group dedicated to bringing together families for social opportunities and support in the Berks County region.  In her spare time, Maria enjoys being a spectator at her children’s sporting events, hiking, paddle boarding, thrifting, DIYing, singing, and cooking.  

Maria is thrilled to be a part of the Orion Communities Team.  

Sam Aloha

Sam Ahola

Case Management Intern

Sam is currently a student at Alvernia University getting his master’s in social work. He has worked at Kelsch Associates for 5 years and is currently a program support manager with adults with intellectual disabilities. Sam is dedicated to helping others and chose to intern at Orion to fulfill that passion. He enjoys working out and watching movies.

Kari Burdeau

Tech Specialist

Kari has worked for a variety of non-profit and for-profit businesses for many years gaining experience in office management, advocacy, and customer service. She has been a notary public since 1997. She has a BS in Computer Science with a double major in Spanish from the State University of NY at Plattsburgh. She looks forward to using all that she has learned over the years to benefit Orion and the greater Phoenixville Community.

She has lived in the Borough of Phoenixville with her husband for over 32 years. In her spare time, she likes to hike, travel, read, and do crafts.

Dottie Bellissimo

Dottie Bellissimo

Operations Assistant

We welcome Dottie to the Orion Team. Previously employed with civil engineering firms, Dottie has an eye for detail, supportive administrative and organizational skills, and has even hand-drafted plot plans for a survey department. A native of Yeadon, Delaware County, Dottie now lives in Limerick with her high school sweetheart of 33 years. They have two sons and recently acquired the new titles of Mimi and PopPop. Dottie loves to bake, garden, and spend time with her husband and family.

LaVeana McCoy

LaVeana McCoy

Receptionist

LaVeana joined the Orion team in December of 2019. She brings with her over 20 years of Business Administration experience. LaVeana feels comfortable problem solving, managing information databases and supporting senior employees. While currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, LaVeana has already achieved her Associate of Science degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management. She loves helping others and comes to Orion eager and ready to support clients in need. In her free time, LaVeana enjoys sewing, listening to opera, playing tennis, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Robin Wunder

Bookkeeper

Robin has been employed as a bookkeeper for over 40 years with a focus on non-profits for 18 of those years.  She is a native of Royersford, Montgomery County.  She is married to her high school flame.  She has 2 adult children.  In her spare time she loves to travel and go antiquing.

 

 

Vickie Clark

Development Assistant

Vickie Clark was born in West Chester, lived in Phoenixville for a period of time, and now is a proud homeowner in Pottstown. Vickie went through some hard times in her life and is very grateful to Orion for supporting her and her family through those difficult times. Because of the help that Vickie received as a former client, she is known for helping many in the community i.e., single moms and the elderly. Vickie is a certified tax preparer with an Accountant and Data Entry background. When not working on the computer tackling Orion’s Database, Vickie enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.  

Katie Price

Katie Price

Program Specialist

Katie has served the Chester County community for the past two decades working as a Victim Advocate in many different capacities.   She graduated from West Chester University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and is now enrolled at Delaware County Community College pursuing a certificate in Human Resources and her SHRM Certification.

Katie has lived in Chester County for most of her life and is now raising her family with her husband in central Chester County, Pa. Katie, and her family are beekeepers and enjoy time spent outside camping, hiking, and gardening.

Katie’s mantra is “Be a lifelong student.  Don’t lose that curiosity.” -Indra Nooyi

Thalia Dafermos

Thalia Dafermos

Office Assistant

Thalia is an old timer residing at Camphill Soltane for the past 25 years. She got to know Orion when she was working in a local restaurant. Thalia was interested in office work and started as a volunteer. Over time, she showed increased comfort, confidence, and independence that resulted in her being hired as a part time employee.

Thalia keeps busy in the office with filing, shredding, and organizing donations of food and personal care items. She has many interests but two of them are annual trips home to Greece and painting her feelings with water colors. She also likes weaving in the textile training studio on the Soltane property.

James Fisher

James Fisher

Maintenance

James is a long-time friend of Orion and recently joined our staff doing maintenance and making sure that we’re clean and spiffy. James has many talents including landscaping, and cooking, but his favorite is working on an alpaca farm. We always know when he’s been there because of the big smile on his face. We are glad to have James on our team!