Meet the Fellowship Team

Alexis Major - Program Manager

Alexis Major serves as Program Manager of the Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship Program, the program's staff leader. The Fellowship provides intensive instruction to consumer health advocacy organizations to strengthen their ability to engage effectively and powerfully with a broad spectrum of stakeholders at the intersection of policy, politics, and care. The Fellowship curriculum will emphasize the calling that drew Rob into community organizing — addressing the historically discriminatory roots of the health care system and eradicating deep inequities by diversifying the health justice movement.

Alexis has been with Community Catalyst for nearly ten years, serving most recently as the Senior State Advocacy Manager for the Substance Use Disorders and Justice-Involved Populations program. In that role, Alexis supported state and local partners by providing technical assistance on coalition building, community engagement, grassroots organizing, harm reduction strategies, and the design and implementation of successful health advocacy campaigns.

Alexis is a Certified Professional Life Coach and centers her work on the idea that change comes from community power. She is committed to changing the narrative, shifting behaviors and beliefs, and building the health justice movement's power.

She is also the co-founder of a local non-profit organization that strengthens the youth and community's existing power. Underneath this hat, she was selected for the Culture of Health Leaders. Designed for people from all fields — from technology and business to architecture and urban planning — Culture of Health Leaders fosters cross-sector collaboration. It supports people in their continued growth and development as agents of change for equity and health.

 Gregory Cendana - Facilitator

Dancer, Strategist and Entrepreneur Gregory Cendana is President of Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting and co-founder of The People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation. He was the first openly gay and youngest-ever Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership and Advancement. Gregory was also Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, co-founder of the diversity initiative Inclusv, and serves on the board of directors for United We Dream as Treasurer and 18 Million Rising as Chair. Gregory was President of the United States Student Association (USSA), where he played an integral role in the passage of the Student Aid & Fiscal Responsibility Act and Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act.

Prior to his current role on the Board of Pharmacy, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also appointed him to serve on the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs after he served a two year term on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Advisory Committee under the leadership of Mayor Vince Gray. Gregory also co-founded the Washington Highlands Civic Association and currently serves as its Vice President. He has been named one of Washington DC's most influential 40-and-under young leaders, one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30, 40 Influential Asian Americans in Washington, DC’s Inaugural Power 30 Under 30™ Award Recipients and the "Future of DC Politics". In his spare time, Gregory enjoys singing karaoke, choreographing dances and trying new recipes with his partner, Terrence. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @GregoryCendana and TikTok: @GregDances

Jennifer Drake - Coach

Jennifer Drake is a consultant based in St. Louis, MO, whose practice focuses on organizational development, especially with nonprofits, leaders of color, and organizations and companies that are interested in serving black communities well. Jennifer has several years of experience as a consultant after more than a decade in the nonprofit sector. Her experience runs the gamut from program design and evaluation to leadership development and management on a range of issues and progressive causes.

Jennifer’s career began at Planned Parenthood, as a student representative to the board of the affiliate in northeast Missouri and then later as a staff member for the St. Louis affiliate. This launched a career in health policy that lasted a decade, including an appointment as a Kaiser Family Foundation Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s health policy staff. Jennifer spent seven years at Power to Decide (formerly The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy), working with the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and community organizations on initiatives to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy and increase access to sexual and reproductive health care and education. Before launching Drake Strategy Partners, Jennifer was a senior consultant with The Rome Group, where she worked on organizational development with nonprofits for five years.

Jennifer was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She received a degree in Biology from Truman State University and earned a Master of Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer is a board member of the Missouri Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Partnership. Her clients have included Black-led nonprofits and other organizations that serve marginalized communities such as Action St. Louis, ArchCity Defenders, Queen of Peace Center, the Haven of Grace, The Women’s Safe House, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, Metropolitan Congregations United, and Food Outreach.

Thomas McAuliffe - Coach

Thomas McAuliffe has worked in philanthropy for nearly 20 years.  His work has concentrated on strategy and policy in the areas of advocacy, government relations, leadership, and public affairs.  Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, he participated in nearly 200 nonpartisan educational presentations at state and national levels.  He has also appeared in print, radio and television on health and policy related issues.  Additionally, Thomas has been a lecturer in political science at Webster and St. Louis Universities.

 

 

 

 

 

 Maranda Richardson - Coach

Maranda Richardson, MPPA, is CEO and Principal of MWR Coaching and Consulting. Mrs. Richardson earned a Master of Public Policy with a concentration on Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Missouri St. Louis, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Planning from Tennessee State University, and an approved International Coaching Federation certification from Coach Diversity in Washington, DC.  She brings over 15 years of experience working to advance racial equity in the social service, philanthropic, and government field by working with organizations and in communities often underserved.  As CEO and Principal of MWR Coaching and Consulting, Mrs. Richardson focuses on transforming lives, engaging communities, and advancing equity.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Richardson has worked to improve the community she serves.  She is the Founder and President of Black Funders of St. Louis, a local giving circle working to transform and elevate Black communities by way of supporting Black-led nonprofit organizations with grants and capacity building initiatives. Mrs. Richardson’s experience, training, and certifications, have afforded her the opportunity to build skills and resources to engage, strengthen, and transform communities.

Faith Heinaman — Program Associate, Vaccine Equity and Access Program (VEAP) and The Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship

Faith serves as a Program Associate and splits her time providing support to the Vaccine Equity and Access Program (VEAP) and the Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship. Faith is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Politics and Human Rights with a minor in Social Work. Before joining Community Catalyst, Faith worked at the international relations-focused think-tank Asia Society. While in college, she completed internships at the Council on Foreign Relations and the NGO Committee on Aging within the United Nations and interning within multiple human rights-focused non-profits in New York City and Peru. 

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