Manny Hidalgo • Executive Director
Haile Gebregziabher • Director of Operations
Jilna Kothary • Director of Development and Communications
Jilna joined Shepherd’s Table in February 2015, after serving on our Board of Directors. She leads our development and communications team, handling all aspects of fundraising, communications and event planning. Prior to her time at Shepherd’s Table, Jilna worked at ABC’s The View, Discovery Communications, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She graduated from New York University with a B.S. in Culture & Communications and also completed the American India Foundation’s William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India.
Jerome Chambers • Director of Social Services
Jerome joined the team in May of 2021. He leads our Social Service Department, handling all aspects of case management, the Resource Center, the Eye Clinic and our Weekend Day Program. Prior to his time at Shepherd’s Table, Jerome worked as the Director of Social Services for various long-term care facilities for the elderly throughout Maryland and South Florida. He holds both a Master of Divinity degree from Morehouse Scool of Religion and a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University. Jerome grew up in Silver Spring and excited to serve his community.
Evert Vargas • Program Manager, Social Services
Evert has been with Shepherd’s Table for over 11 years, bringing extensive experience in serving the needs of the Spanish-speaking community through his work with Neighbor’s Consejo, Clinica del Pueblo, Casa of Maryland and Identity Inc. In the past, Evert received training in HIV/Aids testing and counseling. He has served as a case manager, counselor, and health educator. Additionally, he has also worked with the homeless population in Montgomery County as an outreach emergency worker and assisted clients in housing, employment, social services, legal, medical and immigration services. At Shepherd’s Table, in addition to ensuring a smooth operation at the Resource Center, Evert also coordinates the Eye Clinic Program and provides services as the Bilingual Counselor.
Christina Moore • Director of Special Programs
Penelope Kwarikunda • Resource Center Associate and Eye Clinic Coordinator
Sibyl Brown • Development Associate
Sharon Flynn • Donor Relations Associate
Holly Harris • Communications Associate
Holly joined the team in 2021 as the Communications Associate to create written and designed collateral for the organization. She interviews clients and volunteers, writes our Shepherd’s Table stories, and manages our social media. She is passionate about human rights work and elevating both justice and compassion. In the non-profit sector, she is experienced in multi-media communications projects, branding, and project management. She is interested in ensuring dignifying and ethical communications define the marketing strategies of good work.
Marcy Merti • Volunteer Coordinator
Gary Bullock • Chef
Jose Armando • Chef
Jose joined the team in October, 2020. Before coming to Shepherd’s Table, Jose was a chef at E.J’s Provision Co. Restaurant in Laurel, Maryland. He volunteered a couple of times with us in the beginning of the year throughout the pandemic. When an opportunity to become a full-time chef opened up, he applied and was hired for his extensive experience in the culinary field. Jose has been cooking for over 25 years, and now at Shepherd’s Table, he is excited that he can cook for a great cause.
Russell Smoot • Chef
Russell, known as Ruggz, has extensive experience working as an Executive Chef across a variety of restaurants. Constantly driven to learn new things, he’s mastered an array of cuisines and techniques. For the past several years, he’s focused his practice on healthy, plant-based foods and loves to show clients how delicious healthy-eating can be. He began volunteering at Shepherd’s Table during the pandemic and was asked to join the team six months later. He’s passionate about serving the public and enjoys utilizing his gifts to do so.
Paola Ortiz • Special Programs Assistant
Paola graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute of Arizona in 2009, then started working as a private chef for a family. When the family moved to Maryland in 2012, Paola decided to follow them with the initial thought of only staying for a year. Unexpectedly, she fell in love with the place and has stayed in Maryland for eight years since. Before coming to Shepherd’s Table, Paola was the Head Chef and Facility Manager at The Cottage at Curry Manor in Bethesda, Maryland. She has over 12 years of experience in the culinary field and she will be assisting with the Beyond the Table program.
Mohamed Banya • Senior Program Assistant
Robert Savoy • Program Assistant
Roberto Maravilla • Program Assistant, Security and Facilities Maintenance
Nancy Martinez • Receptionist
Nancy joined the Shepherd’s Table team with years of experience as a GNA. Poised at the front of our building, Nancy is the first staff member many of our clients ever meet. Her experience caring for patients has equipped her to empathetically engage our guests and meet them wherever they are. She plays a crucial role in building relationships with clients, and works to ensure all of our on-site programs run smoothly and safely.
Board of Directors
Board Members at Large