Kenneth Barbour, Sites Assistant
A lifelong DC resident, Kenny Barbour assists all aspects of maintenance and improvements at Marvin Gaye Park, the Riverside Center, and numerous park and greening sites across the city.
Jeffrey V. Catts, ASLA, Field Director
Jeff Catts leads Parks & People’s community greening work across DC. He brings over 30 years of experience and design skills as a licensed Landscape Architect. During his career he has designed and managed the construction of significant projects including: a major expansion to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, a renovation master plan for Olmsted’s Fine Arts Gardens adjacent to the Cleveland Museum of Art, numerous college campus and urban park landscapes.
Jeff’s work in the DC region has included program management for DDOT’s Anacostia Riverwalk Trail project and designing the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association facility which reclaimed and restored a major section of riparian buffer plantings along the river. In 2011 Jeff left the private sector to follow his passion for working more ‘on the ground’ with communities by joining the staff of Parks & People. He has designed, coordinated and helped plant over 2500 native trees throughout the District with our DC Green Corps, and he has helped design and install numerous community and school gardens as well as the new landscape at Parks & People’s Josephine Butler Parks Center. Jeff is a graduate of Penn State University and is an 11-year resident of Adams Morgan.
Stephen W. Coleman, Executive Director & President
Steve Coleman has led Washington Parks & People’s award-winning alliance of community-based greening partnerships since it began as a volunteer neighborhood park crime patrol in 1990. In three decades of non-profit service, Steve has been a vice president and director of research for a national organization, program director of an international environmental advocacy network, staff officer for a national foundation, a fundraising consultant for environmental media initiatives, a community organizer, and an intern reporter for Public Broadcasting’s MacNeil/ Lehrer Report. Born in India, Steve has lived in DC’s diverse Reed-Cooke neighborhood for 32 years.
Makenzie Delmotte, Campaign & Special Events Manager
Makenzie Delmotte has been with Washington Parks & People since December of 2015, beginning as our Special Events Coordinator and quickly moving into the role of Campaign & Special Events Manager. With a background in political fundraising and events management, Makenzie brings a passion for ‘planning with purpose’, incorporating mission into mansion as the main point of contact for all events at the Josephine Butler Parks Center and the Riverside Center. Since graduating from SUNY Geneseo in 2013 with a degree in International Affairs and Sociology, she has worked with the Lupus Foundation of America, Women’s Campaign Fund, and EMILY’s List. Makenzie lives in Kingman Park and loves exploring the markets, breweries, & parks of DC.
Reshena Johnson, Office Manager
Reshena Johnson is a native Washingtonian with over 12 years of experience in the nonprofit arena. She began her nonprofit career as an intern at the Greater Washington College Info Center, where she began developing her skills in grant research and reporting. She eventually became Program Coordinator of the College Info Center, a position in which she managed the day to day operations of the CIC, as well as continued her work with grant research and reporting.
Most recently, Reshena served as the Development/Operations Coordinator of local nonprofit where she managed the financial, development and administrative operations of the organization. In addition to her work at WPP, Reshena is also an alternative health practitioner and Crystal Reiki Master-Teacher.
Behnam Mehrabkhani, Sites Manager
Behnam Mehrabkhani has helped train and coordinate tens of thousands of Parks & People volunteers helping in all aspects of park and landscape revitalization and building restoration and construction. He came to Parks & People in 2001 as a refugee from Iran, helping to assist the award-winning exterior restoration of the Josephine Butler Parks Center before he could speak more than a few words of English. Prior to coming to the United States, Behnam supervised a staff of 18 machinists in a Teheran factory and worked as a welder in Turkey. He is fluent in Persian and Turkish.
RonDell D. Pooler, Green Corps Manager
RonDell Pooler graduated from and now runs Parks & People’s DC Green Corps urban forestry workforce development and service learning program. He holds a certificate in urban agriculture from Prince George’s Community College. A resident of the stream valley next to Marvin Gaye Park, RonDell now leads all field training and volunteer programs, based at the Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center in Far Northeast DC, the District’s first neighborhood nursery, training center, and community food hub. In 2015, the William Penn House honored RonDell with the Peaceable Kingdom Award.
Emily Romero, Business & Operations Director
Emily Romero brings to the role of Business & Operations Director over 13 years of experience in community and international development across 15 countries, as well as a lifelong love of parks and the outdoors.
Emily’s passion for social and environmental justice and poverty alleviation infuses her work at Parks & People spearheading the earned revenue and green social venture strategies, driving initiatives in the management team and organizationally that contribute to long-term operational excellence, and managing and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the support functions. Emily has a MA in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University and a BA in English and History from Oberlin College.
Allie Thompson, Development & Communications Coordinator
Allie Thompson is from St. Louis, Missouri and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She attended Valparaiso University and studied Environmental Geoscience. Allie comes to WPP with 3 years of nonprofit experience at The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund. In her free time, she is volunteering around the city- including the National Park Service and the Environmental Film Festival. Allie is also a council member for The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who’s goal is reach new audiences and engage a more diverse group to the Trail. Allie enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and boating.
Lydia Vanderbilt, Program & Partnerships Coordinator
Lydia was born and raised in Detroit, MI and currently lives in NE DC. She attended Michigan State University and studied Forestry with a focus on sustainability and community engagement. Lydia comes to WPP with 9 years of nonprofit experience at various organizations from Michigan 4 -H Youth Development to Byte Back, a computer literacy and IT certification organization