Bob Jacobs stepped into the role of Executive Director in January 2017. Bob first came to L’Arche GWDC as an assistant in 2007, following a 30-year business career. In addition to the role of Assistant, Bob has been a Home Life Coordinator and a Community Leader in our DC homes. For the past three years, he has also held a part-time role with L’Arche USA as the Assistant Eastern US Regional Leader. In that role, he worked on national plans & projects, and supporting four of the eighteen L’Arche Communities in the U.S.- Boston North, Syracuse, Cleveland, and Clinton, IA.
Chief Operating Officer
Anjela Turner came to L’Arche in 2011 from D.C.’s Department of Disabilities Services where she worked as a service coordinator for six years. Before beginning her role as the Chief Operating Officer, Anjela was L’Arche GWDC’s Director of Professional Services. She has a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Winston Salem State University and a master’s in Healthcare Management from Marymount University.
Director of Finance and Operations
Mark Cosenza came to L’Arche in 2015. As an educational professional, Mark has served as both a teacher and school administrator. As a classroom teacher, Mark developed innovative programs for students with intellectual and behavioral disabilities that earned him national recognition. As an advocate for improving the quality of education for all children, he worked to open charter schools in the District of Columbia and a tuition-free, Catholic school in Saint Louis, Missouri. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education, from Harris-Stowe State University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University.
Director of Professional Services
Tamara Cobbs came to L’Arche in 2015 from the Transitional Housing Corporation where she worked as an Assessment Specialist for several years. Her previous experience includes opportunities with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, The League for People with Disabilities, and Abilities Network Inc. As the Director of Professional Services, Tamara currently oversees government contracts and supervises direct care provision. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Johnson C. Smith University and received a Master’s of Science Administration in Public and Community Health Administration from Trinity University in December 2015.
Director of Contract Compliance
Don Kelly first came to L’Arche in 1994 and has contributed to L’Arche in various capacities in the 20 years since. Don graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor’s in religion and from Eastern Mennonite Seminary with a master’s level degree in divinity. Before coming to L’Arche, Don worked as a youth minister and in various capacities at homeless shelters and transitional housing agencies. He also spent 6 years coordinating pharmacy services for HealthCare for the Homeless / Unity Healthcare.
Project Manager for Individualized Day Support (IDS)
Eva-Elizabeth Chisholm first came to L’Arche in 2011 after graduating from the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work with her Masters Degree. She served for the last four year as the Service Team Leader of Sixth Street House in addition to her role as an assistant in both Virginia homes. In April 2016, Eva-Elizabeth began her current role, developing future opportunities for adults in the district looking for an alternative to traditional employment or day programming.
Director of Communications and Fundraising
Paulette Platis came to L’Arche in 2015 with over twenty years of fundraising experience. Before joining L’Arche, she had been a part of fundraising efforts for a variety of nonprofits including Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Red Cross, and United Way. Paulette has a B.A. in English and a Masters of Fine Arts.
Megan Guzman joined L’Arche in 2007. During her time, she has served as an assistant, Home Life Coordinator, and Home Life Leader, in addition to working with an emerging L’Arche community. Megan holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education with a minor in Faith-Justice Studies from St. Joseph’s University. Before coming to L’Arche, Megan served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and taught middle school.
Luke Smith began his journey in L’Arche when he was 13, his calling to join L’Arche was realized in 2010 as one of the founding assistants of L’Arche GWDC’s fourth home, located in Arlington, Virginia. In 2011, Luke spent four months living in L’Arche London (England) before returning to Greater Washington to take on a leadership role in the Virginia homes. Luke is Irish, but grew up in England, and hails from a diverse and multi-cultural hometown of Wolverhampton. Luke studied geography in Aberystwyth (Wales) focusing on the development of communities and the geography of disability. Prior to coming to L’Arche, Luke was active with (L’Arche’s sister organization) Faith and Light, taught high school students with disabilities in New Jersey, and worked at Myddelton Grange, a retreat center in the North of England.