This summer Converge welcomed three dynamic new full-time staff members, two new Associate Consultants, and one amazing intern.
As Converge’s Business Operations Manager, Lavonzell Nicholson ensures Converge delivers efficient service that meets the expectations and needs of our partners. She has experience operating several local small businesses and has held several leadership positions in the nonprofit sector in both Maryland and Louisiana. Lavonzell currently serves on the Louisiana Department of Economic Development Small Business Advisory Council as well as Communities in Schools. Lavonzell received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland, a Graduate Business Certificate in Leadership Development from John Hopkins University and a B.A. in Sociology from Nicholls State University.
Fun Fact: She loves traveling and is the proud mother of two boys.
As a Converge Project Manager, Jillian Delos Reyes manages the New Orleans Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and supports the New Orleans Workforce Development Board. A native of Virginia, Jillian moved to New Orleans in 2015 to work as the Program Coordinator at Tulane University Drop-In Center. Previously, Jillian was the Senior Development Associate for TechnoServe. Jillian received a B.A. in Political Science and Writing from Loyola University.
Fun Fact: Jillian is a classically trained vocalist who sings in an a cappella jazz group and loves biking in New Orleans.
As a Converge Project Assistant, Rhea Lewis coordinates the New Orleans Youth Program Quality Initiative and the Crescent City Community Land Trust strategic planning process. Previously, Rhea worked at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking as a Changemaker Institute fellow. Originally from Middleton, MA she has called New Orleans home since 2013. Rhea attended Tulane University received a B.S. in Public Health and minored in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.
Fun Fact: She enjoys running, hip-hop, and listening to New Breed Brass Band play at Blue Nile.
Converge also welcomes Vanessa Spinazola and Sian Miranda Singh O'Faolain as Associate Consultants. Vanessa supports Converge’s clients with fund development and facilitation support for GNOFN’s Coastal Communities Action Table. Naressa is overseeing the release of the New Orleans Educational Equity Index set to be launched this September. Sian is designing an equity framework for Lift Louisiana.
Vanessa Fun Fact: She also has ten years of hosting, bartending, and waitressing experience and is a certified indoor cycling instructor.
Naressa Fun Fact: Naressa has a Ph.d in Engineering from Purdue!
Sian Fun Fact: With Afro-Caribbean and Irish family roots, she lives with her partner and daughters in New Orleans.
A rising sophomore at Bard College, Asha Lane is interning at Converge following an internship with Voice of the Experienced (over-achiever!) While at Converge, Asha has supported the preparation of the New Orleans Education Equity Index release and the design of a giving circle to support Black Women and Girls in New Orleans.
Asha Fun Fact: Asha is the co-founder of The Gifted Girls of Columbia (GGC), a tutoring and mentoring program for girls in a female correctional facility in upstate New York.
To learn more about our team at Converge, click here.