Staff Directory2018-10-31T20:42:57+00:00

Staff Directory

Adonis Banegas, MSHEd

Adonis Banegas, MSHEd

Executive Director

Adonis Banegas, MSHEd

Adonis Banegas serves as the Executive Director of The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of Philadelphia (Concilio). As Executive Director of Concilio, Banegas oversees programs that provide social, educational, cultural, preventative and intervention services to underserved families in the Philadelphia region. Concilio, the oldest Latino non-profit in Philadelphia, serves as a voice for the diverse Latino community around issues impacting children, youth and families, and convenes two major cultural events in Philadelphia each year: The Hispanic Fiesta on Penn’s Landing in July and the Puerto Rican Festival in September, which includes the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Banegas has more than 15 years of nonprofit experience working to expand access to health and social services for vulnerable and underserved populations.  That work includes serving as the Program Director at the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Program Manager of the Family Planning Council’s Men’s Initiative, Facilitator for Educating Communities for Parenting, Reintegration Worker for Resources for Human Development, and a Prevention Specialist for Congreso de Latinos Unidos.

A true Philadelphia product, Banegas graduated from Samuel S. Fels High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science in Health Education from Arcadia University. His community involvement includes serving on the board for Deep Roots Charter School and Community Advisory Committee for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cares Community Fund. Banegas previously serving as a Board Member for Pan American Charter School and the Barbershop Initiative, a program under the University of Pennsylvania. The Latino Connection and the Governor’s Advisory Commission recently recognized Banegas as one of 100 most influential Latinos in Pennsylvania on Latino Affairs.

Julie Avalos, MSW

Julie Avalos, MSW

Deputy Director

Julie Avalos, MSW

 

Julie Avalos has spent over 15 years working in Philadelphia to improve the health and social outcomes for the city’s most vulnerable citizens. As the Deputy Director of Concilio since March of 2015, she provides strategic vision and oversight to health and social services to roughly 10,000 individuals each year. In addition to program development and evaluation, she is responsible for fundraising and development, strategic communications and community engagement.

A Master’s Level Social Worker with a degree from Temple University, Julie has done systems work both locally and statewide; advocating to reduce health disparities, improve access to resources within the Latino community and promote positive health outcomes.  In addition to her full-time work with Concilio, Julie is on the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, a Member of Philadelphia’s Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team, and an advisory board member for Pennsylvania’s 21st Century Community Learning Center. Julie is a 2017 fellow of Bryn Mawr University’s Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute.

Lee Vetta Smith

Lee Vetta Smith

Manager of Community Based Services CBS

Lee Vetta Smith

LeeVetta Smith, a resident of Philadelphia has worked in social services since 2004.  Working with students and troubles youth emerged as one of her strengths early on in her career.  Lee earned her BA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2004, and her MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2007.  She went on to embark on her journey to earn her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Walden University and remains there still.  Focusing on the betterment of the community, with a firm belief that exposure breeds experience, Lee took the road less traveled for three years, where she traveled and gained various experiences.    Joining Concilio in 2014, Lee began as a part-time Supervisor for the after-school program.  After a short time, she was promoted to Program Manager of Community-Based Services where she had oversight of Housing, Immunizations, Victim Services and Out of School Time.  Still learning, and still teaching others, Lee’s main focus is to remain teachable and available to pay her role in community betterment.

Meghan Van Blarcum

Meghan Van Blarcum

Family Social Services Manager

Meghan Van Blarcum

Meghan Van Blarcum, Family Social Services Program Manager, oversees the foster care department, adoption services, and training department.  Meghan has a passion for advocating and working with families. Meghan has been working with the Philadelphia Child Welfare system for the last 5 years and has been working in the social services for 10 years. Meghan earned her Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and Master of Arts from Eastern University. Meghan recently joined Concilio in September 2018 and is excited to grow the Family Social Services Department. Meghan’s favorite part of being the Family Social Service Program Manager is knowing that this department is providing families with access to support, resources, and community connections.

Melanie Nieves

Melanie Nieves

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Melanie Nieves

Melanie Nieves was born and raised in Philadelphia and is of Puerto Rican descent. She graduated from La Salle University in 2016, completing her Bachelor’s in Communication, with a dual focus in Interpersonal Communication and Mass Media. During her time at La Salle, Nieves made contributions to the Young Broadcasters, a University club where she explored broadcasting and production careers while also working with the University’s cable station; as well as the Collegian, the University’s Newspaper where she wrote articles on local events. Currently, in addition to marketing and coordinating Concilio’s annual cultural events since 2016, Nieves serves on the board of The Young Professional Network (YPN), an initiative created and funded by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC), and volunteers her time gardening at Bartram’s Gardens, a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Oneyra Ortiz

Oneyra Ortiz

Fiscal Manager

Oneyra Ortiz

Oneyra Ortiz is the Fiscal Manager of Concilio. During her 22 years tenure, Oneyra overseas the fiscal administration department with accounting and is part of the management team. Before this position, Oneyra was the Fiscal Secretary for the administration department for Concilio. She is well known for the ability to be analytical focus and detailed oriented. Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree of Science in Business with a Concentration in Accounting from the University of Phoenix. On her spare time, she enjoys going RV camping around the United States.

Oral Bestman

Oral Bestman

Operations Manager

Oral Bestman

Ms. Oral Bestman is the Operating Manager at Concilio, where she oversees operations, banquet hall, and IT strategy. She drives our continued building growth in the lease, IT integration and banquet hall expansion. Ms. Bestman has spent more than nine years part of Concilio’s Executive leadership and development team.  Ms. Bestman has complete business responsibility for Building projects, IT growth integration, Supplies purchases, and Banquet Hall Marketing. Ms. Bestman also leads our building safety committee, co-created Concilio annual Hispanic fiesta kids’ corner event and she works closely with our hall clients in planning their event.

Born in West Africa, Liberia

Ms. Bestman has her Master in Information Technology Management and B.S. in Technical Management.

Yolanda Panzullo

Yolanda Panzullo

Finance Director

Yolanda Panzullo

Yolanda Panzullo joined The Council of Spanish Speaking Organization (Concilio) as a Director of Finance in October 2018 and leads the agencies fiscal department.

Prior to joining Concilio, Panzullo has been working with other non-profits for more than 18 years.  A graduate of the Universidad Libre de Cali, Colombia where she obtained her CPA certification and began her career as a senior accountant for several companies with businesses in South America.

Civic engagement and volunteerism are very important to Panzullo, for this reason, she has always worked with non-profits.

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