Staff Leadership

Gloria Perez

President & CEO

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Perez is one of the country’s leading experts in two-generation strategies to reduce poverty.  As an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute, she is working with leaders from across the country to drive innovative ideas and proven strategies to help families achieve educational success and economic security.  A graduate of Macalester College, Perez is the recipient of  numerous awards, including the Alexandrine Medal from St. Catherine University, an honorary doctorate degree from Macalester College and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  She serves on the board of directors for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation,  the Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation, and the board of trustees for the F.R. Bigelow Foundation. 

Jessica Lehman

Chief Operating Officer

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Prior to joining Jeremiah, Jess was a human resources leader at Target Corporation for many years, managing store managers and HR professionals to promote a unified guest culture and drive profitable sales. She also led senior leadership teams and designed high-performing strategies to support the organization’s mission and vision. Jess received her B.S. in child psychology from the University of Minnesota and her master’s in counseling from Indiana University.

La Juana Whitmore

Executive Director
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

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Whitmore comes to Jeremiah Program from Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) where she is Director of Consulting Solutions, leading a team of business consultants to assist over 850 minority entrepreneurs in starting and growing their Minnesota-based businesses. Prior to MEDA, she held a variety of roles at Target Corporation, including leadership positions in Enterprise Strategy & Innovation and Merchandise Process & Technology Development. She is a founder of BlackTwinCities.com and has acted as a small business consultant and entrepreneurship expert throughout her career.

Emilia Diamant

Emilia Diamant

Executive Director
Boston, MA

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Diamant joined Jeremiah from Prozdor of Hebrew College where she served Assistant Director. She is heading efforts to grow current and new approaches to delivering the core elements of Jeremiah’s two-generation model to families in the Boston area. A graduate of New York University and the University of North Carolina, Diamant has taught and worked in New York, Costa Rica, North Carolina, Ukraine and Italy.

Lonnie Pederson

Executive Director
Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN

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Pederson joined Jeremiah after developing a Master of Arts in Leadership Program at the University of Jamestown, where she served as director of this program as well as an assistant professor. Prior roles included serving as vice president at Sanford Health and holding several development roles at Concordia College, including director of the annual fund and external relations, director of annual giving and development associate.

Shannon Moody

Shannon Moody

Executive Director
Austin, TX

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Moody brings more than 20 years of nonprofit experience with expertise in fundraising and strategic planning garnered as development director of many Austin nonprofit organizations, including Austin Children’s Museum and Austin Film Society. She has served on the boards of Austin Heritage Society and SafePlace and Marathon Kids, and is the recipient of an award from the Junior League of Austin for her work with the Teenage Parent Council.

Shivonne McKay

Executive Director
New York, NY

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A global leader and voice, Ms. McKay has proven success throughout her career in non-profit management intersecting faith, education, and business. Ms. McKay leads the efforts of integrating the innovative, and holistic approach of Jeremiah Program and building campuses throughout Brooklyn, New York. McKay has spent her career teaching, working to eradicate poverty for families, and empowering women and girls as leaders. A contributor to several publications such as Sojourners and Patheos magazines, she is also Co-Author of Becoming a Woman like Ruth. McKay has served on numerous boards and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. A recipient of the NYC City Council Woman’s Caucus award, McKay was recognized for her work with women and children. McKay also currently serves as Senior Pastor at Groveville United Methodist Church.

JoMarie Morris

Executive Director
Rochester-Southeast, MN

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JoMarie Leth Morris served as a legislative intern for Minnesota State Senator Steven Morse prior to attending William Mitchell College of Law, where she graduated with honors and served as associate editor of the law review. She was a partner at Klampe, Delehanty & Morris law firm in Rochester for 18 years, president of the Olmsted County Bar Association, and an adjunct professor at Winona State University. She has done significant pro bono work relating to domestic abuse, sex and labor trafficking, and citizenship for refugees. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Winona State University.

National Office Staff

Visit specific campus sections for additional staff listings.

Gloria Perez
President & CEO

Jessica Lehman
Chief Operating Officer

Debra Wilken
Chief Advancement Officer


Controller


Senior Accountant


Accountant


Accountant


Executive Assistant to the President & CEO


Gift Processing Manager

Operations Specialist

Program & Data Specialist


Director of Marketing Communications


Grants Director


Grants Manager


Grant Writer

Equal Housing Opportunity
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