Manny Hidalgo • Executive Director
Manny joined Shepherd’s Table as our new Executive Director in July 2019. Prior to joining us, Manny has also served in the leadership role for different organizations. He was also the President of Hidalgo Community-Based Consulting LLC, which provided services to nonprofit organizations and local governments seeking to build wealth in low-income communities. In 2009, Manny received the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s EXCEL Leadership Award and the Meyer Foundation’s Exponent Award in 2011.
Haile Gebregziabher • Director of Operations
Haile has been a key member of Shepherd’s Table’s staff since May 2009. He first started out as a regular volunteer at Shepherd’s Table while working as the Manager of Dining Services for The Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C. When the opportunity came, Haile joined us as our full-time team member. Before Shepherd’s Table, Haile worked for the International Committee of Red Cross in Sudan as their Administrator for five years. He went to the University of Cincinnati for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. At Shepherd’s Table, Haile oversees our daily operations and builds partnerships with local businesses and organizations. In addition to bringing over 10 years of experience in restaurant operations and management, he also shares a strong commitment and passion to serving our clientele in our day to day operations.
Jilna Kothary • Director of Development and Communications
Jilna joined Shepherd’s Table in February 2015, after serving as on our Board of Directors. She leads our development and media strategies, as well as handling foundation writing and other key development responsibilities. 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.
Evert Vargas • Director of Resource Center
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. 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. Evert coordinated the Eye Clinic Program at Shepherd’s Table and provided services as the Bilingual Counselor.
Marcy Merti • Volunteer Coordinator
Marcy joined our staff in January of 2020 after volunteering with us for many years. She has worked in manufacturing, transportation, and consulting services. A Silver Spring resident for 20 years, she is thrilled to serve her local community.
Sibyl Brown • Development Associate
Sibyl joined Shepherd’s Table in February 2020 and assists with fundraising, events, grant writing, as well as other key development roles. She has an undergraduate degree in American Government & Spanish from Smith College and a graduate degree in Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University. Sibyl grew up in Silver Spring and moved back to the area after spending 5 years working in South Florida. She has worked in development at several non-profits, including Feeding South Florida.
XuanThy Nguyen • Communications Associate
Thy joined Shepherd’s Table in March 2020. She conducts media outreach, manages our social media channels, executes all graphic design related work, and maintains our website. Thy graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Prior to her time at Shepherd’s Table, she worked at different companies as their Digital and Content Marketing Specialist. When she was an undergraduate student, Thy worked as a Crisis Counselor and served Prince George’s County residents by assisting them through crisis and other emergencies in life.
Sharon Flynn • Donor Relations Associate
Sharon has over 25 years of senior nonprofit management experience including executive director positions with an emphasis on fundraising. In addition to her nonprofit work, Sharon spent 14 years as co-owner of an award-winning film and video production company that provided programs as well as collateral materials, media strategy and marketing. She is also a published writer in national magazines. Prior to her time at Shepherd’s Table, she served as the Executive Director of Suited for Change, the area’s leading nonprofit for women in need of professional attire, mentoring, and job-readiness education and then a fundraising consultant to several Washington, DC nonprofit organizations.
Penelope Kwarikunda • Resource Center Associate and Eye Clinic Coordinator
Penelope is a Human Rights Advocate, who graduated from American University (WCL), and began her career by working with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (Polaris Project) as an Anti- Human trafficking Advocate. She was also a local expert of Rwanda for the World Bank Group, conducting a survey on protecting women from violence, and has worked with American Red Cross as a Humanitarian Law Intern. With her passion for Human Rights causes and being a part of solutions to the community, we are delighted to have her on the team.
Keith White • Lead Chef
Keith developed a passion for cooking from the weekends and summers he spent with his grandmother. He graduated from the Washington Culinary School and has experience cooking in hotels, country clubs, restaurants, and has also helped a friend start a catering business. Keith was a Chef at Shepherd’s Table from 2012-2014, and returned in November 2016 to join the team for the food program expansion.
Gary Bullock • Chef
Christina Moore • Chef
Christina joined the Army Reserves at 17, spending 9.5 years as a Human Resources specialist, including a one-year tour in Baghdad, Iraq. From there, she enrolled in culinary school, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in New England in the Advanced Honors Program and earning an AA in Culinary Arts, as well as a Diplome de Art Culinaire, the French equivalent of a Culinary Certificate. After completing an externship in Massachusetts, she relocated to Virginia. A series of unfortunate circumstances led to a fall into, and subsequent climb out of, a period of homelessness. After overcoming this difficult time, she became the Sous Chef of a busy restaurant in Virginia, and came to Shepherd’s Table out of a deep yearning to do something more important for the world, and a sense of wanting to “give back”.
Tricia McGee • Kitchen Assistant
Tricia has over 15 years of restaurant experience, including working in fine dining establishments such as Morton’s, Ruth Chris, and large VIP parties and banquets. She started as a server in 2003, and fell in love with working with people and food, with a strong desire to become a Chef. She is self-taught, and has culinary and back-of-house experience working as a kitchen manager in a BBQ restaurant, and another role following the Head Chef and Sous Chef, learning needed skills for running a restaurant. She has a passion for helping and feeding people, and her job at Shepherd’s Table is a perfect combination for her skills and passions.
Mohammad Banya • Senior Program Assistant
Mohamed started as a part-time program assistant at Shepherd’s Table, and when an opportunity presented itself, he became our full-time staff in 2016. Mohamed has extensive experience in managing security, both domestically and internationally. He started his career as a police officer, and worked his way up to working as Secret Service for the Vice President of Sierra Leone for many years. He moved to the US and worked at Discovery Communications headquarters as a Security Officer.
Robert Savoy • Program Assistant
Robert has worked in the security industry for over 15 years, ranging from sport bars, the Redskins stadium, to the federal government, which then brought him here to Shepherd’s Table. He is skilled at building relationships with clientele, de-escalating issues, and working in partnership with police officers.
Roberto Maravilla • Program Assistant, Security and Facilities Maintenance
Roberto joined Shepherd’s Table in April of 2018 and serves as one of our Program Assistants. Roberto wanted to work at Shepherd’s Table’s because it provides critical services to people who would otherwise not have access to them. Originally from El Salvador, before joining Shepherd’s Table Roberto has also been a maintenance and warehouse supervisor.
Board of Directors
Since 1983, Shepherd’s Table has been governed by dynamic community volunteers who tirelessly share their time, talents, and treasure to fulfill our mission of ending and preventing homelessness.