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Leadership Team

Michelle Venema
Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Venema

The story of Michelle, our Chief Executive Officer, is a true inspiration. Thirty years ago, she started at First National Bank of Chester County as a bank teller and worked her way up to the role of Executive Vice President of Business Banking. There was a time, in her Sweet Briar College days, when she wanted to become a doctor and to that end got her degree in Biochemistry. However, once she started working at First National, she caught the banking bug and never left the financial world until joining Home of the Sparrow as Chief Executive Officer in 2017.

Darla Nutter
Director of Operations

Darla Nutter

Darla Nutter is the heart and soul of Home of the Sparrow. Here from almost the beginning, she played an essential role in bringing us to where we are today. We sometimes suspect that she has an encyclopedic memory, because she knows everything about Home of the Sparrow, and many of our supporters personally.

Kathleen Sanger

Kathleen Sanger
Director of Development

Kathleen Sanger

Kathleen has always worked in the nonprofit sector; always in Chester County. She began her career at United Way of Chester County in 1988 when it was located in Exton. 32 years later, she’s working down the street from her first job, serving another organization whose mission she believes in fervently. Although raised in Media, she became a Chester Countian when she arrived at WCU to study speech communications. She and her husband raised their three sons here, all of whom went to college locally. The family continues its commitment to the County with her eldest and her husband working as teachers and her middle son serving another County nonprofit as an active volunteer.

Matrie Johnson
Director of Programs

Matrie Johnson

When Matrie Johnson believes something is possible, she doesn’t take no for an answer. As Director of Programs, she grew our programs to where they are today. She made Home of the Sparrow a place that is open to all women in Chester County who are struggling with housing, despite doing everything they can. Matrie’s philosophy builds on the idea of partnership, personal strength and encouragement. Her goal is to empower single women and mothers to become financially self-sufficient and independent.

Staff

Alejandra Colin

Bilingual Program Coordinator

Alejandra also known as “Ale” is the Bilingual Program Coordinator from the Supportive Housing Program. Knowing a second language is such an important asset here in Home of the Sparrow...

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Ashley Leiss

Development and Communications Associate

Ashley loves to tell a story, and has spent over 10 years in the field of communications doing just that. She began her career as a TV News Reporter and Producer, extensively covering Pennsylvania’s Capital City...

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Ashley Smith

Outreach Coordinator

Ashley Smith can find the most unusual things, giving her the nickname ‘finders girl’. Together with her ability to bring order to chaos and to organize rock star volunteer events, she is the perfect outreach coordinator ...

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Bruce Field

Property Manager

As one of the longest standing staff members of Home of the Sparrow, Bruce Field makes sure that our Pre-Senior Bridge Houses and our office are in tip-top shape. We have yet to find a problem that Bruce can’t fix ...

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Jessica Lesko

Jessica Lesko

WRAP Program Coordinator

Jessica Lesko has always had a passion for women’s issues and she knew early on that she wanted to dedicate her career to making a positive impact in our community. Nothing is impossible ...

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Kristen Jaggers

Program Coordinator

Kristen has been responding to life in this way since she was a youngster, demolishing whatever barrier the universe dropped in her path. As a teenager she volunteered in homeless shelters and soup kitchens, ...

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Kylee Johnson

Reentry Program Coordinator

Kylee has a true passion for reentry and wants to see returning citizens thrive in their communities. She is a PA native who relocated back to her home state after residing in Baltimore, MD for several years...

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Tamara Widdowson

Program Coordinator

Tamara joined the Home of the Sparrow family this summer. She’s a perfect fit with over 20 years of human service experience in Chester County. In those two decades of serving her community ...

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