Danny Cortés

As Executive Vice-President and Chief of Staff at Esperanza, Reverend Danny Cortés is responsible for the creation and implementation of new projects throughout the organization. Nationally, he has supervised projects focused on housing, youth mentoring, and capacity building and training initiatives. Rev. Cortés has been integral to securing, distributing and managing national grants totaling over $3 million in technical assistance and $25 million in capacity building, assisting faith and community based organizations in 53 cities throughout the United States.

Recently, Rev. Cortés focus has shifted towards supporting and expanding Esperanza’s educational portfolio, which includes Esperanza Academy Charter Schools, Esperanza College of Eastern University, AMLA, Workforce Development and the newly founded Esperanza Cyber Charter School, providing an individualized educational experience to 140 students in grades 6-12.  In 2012, Esperanza Academy’s charter expansion was approved to include a middle school, which opened in fall 2013.  Esperanza Academy now hosts 925 students and expects to serve 1275 students beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.  Additional projects include Esperanza’s Workforce program that continues to be a top performer in the city of Philadelphia and Esperanza College of Eastern University, a two year college program located in the heart of North East Philadelphia.  Rev. Cortés also oversees AMLA, the Executive staff and the organization’s Strategic Planning and Fund Development.

Prior to joining Esperanza, Rev. Cortés served as a program officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts for 10 years.  There he was instrumental in enhancing and refining Pew’s religion grant making efforts in Hispanic, community and urban ministry, education and training.  During his tenure at the Trusts, Rev. Cortés was responsible for $40 million in grant funds.  Rev. Cortés also served as pastor for five years at the First Spanish Baptist Church of Philadelphia.

Rev. Cortés serves on numerous boards and committees including Ceiba, the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) and Eastern University.  He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern University.  Rev. Cortés and his wife Ellen have two children, Sarah and Danny and reside in the Philadelphia area.

Frank Cervone

Frank P. Cervone, Esq. is the Executive Director of Child Advocates, the lawyer pro bono program for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia.  Prior to his work at Child Advocates, Frank was a Staff Attorney at Delaware County Legal Assistance Association and Adjunct Clinical Professor at Villanova University School of Law, where he instructed law students in domestic-abuse and child-support litigation.  He previously served as counsel for Saint Gabriel’s System, an agency providing treatment services for juvenile offenders.

He is a founder and co-director of the National Children’s Law Network, former chair of the Board of the Children’s Trust Fund of Pennsylvania, former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Task Force on Children, and served as a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee.  In 2006-7 Mr. Cervone served as a member of the Mayor’s Child Welfare Review Panel examining the Philadelphia child welfare system.  Mr. Cervone lectures and trains both lay and professional audiences in child abuse and child advocacy.

He received the American Bar Association Mark Hardin Award for Child Welfare Legal Scholarship and Systems Change in 2014, and numerous other local and national.  Frank is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University School of Law and has a Masters Degree in Theology and Ministry from LaSalle University.

David Castro

David Castro is the President and Chief Executive officer of I-LEAD, Inc. He is a graduate of Haverford College (1983) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1986). In 1993,following a successful career both in private practice and as a Philadelphia prosecutor, David was awarded a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Program Fellowship. As a Kellogg Fellow he studied community leadership and its relation to improving quality of life. Based upon this work, in 1995 he founded I-LEAD, Inc., a school for community leadership development that has served several thousand emerging leaders across Pennsylvania through its affiliation with Pennsylvania Weed and Seed, and its development of an accredited Associate Degree program in Leadership.

In 2002, in recognition of David’s work on behalf of Pennsylvania communities, he was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship, which he used to study leadership and its impact on economic and community development in Turkey. In 2009, in recognition of David’s work in community leadership and education, he was named an Ashoka Fellow by the Ashoka Global Funds for Social Change. Ashoka is an international community of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. David is a teacher at heart, frequently consulted as a speaker, serving on panel discussions and contributing regularly via blogs and articles posted through the Ashoka network, the Kellogg Leadership Alliance and the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal.

David is the author of Genership: Beyond Leadership Toward Liberating the Creative Soul, now available in print and e-book formats. He is also the host of Innovate Podcast, a biweekly podcast featuring dialogue with social entrepreneurs, writers, visionaries and researchers engaged in transformative thinking, action and creative collaboration. Innovate has featured renowned guests such as Kailash Satyarthi, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Innovate is produced by Ashoka, the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance, the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal and I-LEAD. Innovate is sponsored by Arch Street Press.

Carolyn Adams

Carolyn Adams is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Planning at Temple University.  She has been a member of the Temple faculty for over 30 years, teaching courses in urban development, city problems, and policies to address those problems.

Dr. Adams has authored numerous articles and books including many publications about Philadelphia.  Adams and several Temple colleagues established the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project to create a set of social, environmental, and economic indicators that track important trends in the region, particularly indicators portraying the quality of life in local communities. In fall 2014 she published From the Outside In (Cornell University Press), a book that analyzes the role that suburban elites have played in reshaping central Philadelphia.  

In addition to teaching and research, Adams consults with non-profit organizations on issues ranging from community development to education and human services. She has served on the board of directors of the William Penn Foundation and the board of trustees of Moore College of Art and Design; was co-founder of Campus Philly; and served three years as President of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, on whose board she still sits.

While at Temple University, Dr. Adams has held a number of leadership positions including Chair of the Department of Geography and Urban Studies, President of the University FacultySenate, and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.