Our Team

Adriana Schellhaas

Executive Director

A Mexican-American born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas, Adriana began volunteering with Casa Chirilagua as an interpreter and mentor in 2011, then joined the staff in 2012. As Executive Director she helps bridge the gap between our families, students, staff, volunteers, churches and school partners. She holds a Bachelors in Theater Arts.

Marissa Salgado

Programs Director

A California native now on the East Coast, Marissa provides support to the programs team and works to connect Casa’s community partners with our programming. She joined the staff in 2016 and is passionate about walking alongside our families as they develop as leaders. She holds a bachelors degree in International Affairs with a Public Health concentration from George Washington University.

Liz Wang

Community Development Director

Liz recently moved to Virginia from Guadalajara, Mexico, and joined Casa Chirilagua in September 2017. She has worked to support human rights internationally and is now dedicated to promoting a positive community and strong social bonds within the local community.

Teddi Beschel

Elementary Programs Director

Teddi is a native of the DMV area, born and raised in Alexandria, VA. She began her time at Casa Chirilagua volunteering as the Teens Programs Coordinator from 2017-2018. After Casa, she continued to work in youth development in southeast D.C. for three years. She is excited to return back to the Chirilagua community in her new role as the Elementary Programs Director.

Rebeca Gore

Teen Programs Director

Rebeca grew up in DC and has a passion for youth, ministry, and community development. She brings her experiences as a teacher, AmeriCorp and Peace Corps member to the table along with a love for the Latino community. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Public Health and Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary.

Molly Klein

Mentoring Director

Molly joins Casa Chirilagua from her previous position as Program Associate with ACT for Alexandria. She is currently enrolled in a graduate program at George Washington University for a degree in International Development Studies, with a focus on migrant children and their families. For her undergraduate degree, she studied Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Spanish. 

Kate Denson

Volunteer Coordinator

Kate is a long-time friend of Casa going back to the prayer meetings of 2007 that led to the founders moving into Chirilagua.  She’s worked as a campus minister with InterVarsity since 2007 leading the DC Justice Program. Casa Chirilagua has been one of InterVarsity’s key partners since 2009. Serving within Casa alongside people she’s labored with for years is a profound honor. She’s married to JR Denson, a DC native and together they have one son Alexander who’s in public school in DC. 

Jon Paramore

Development Director

China, Jordan, Iowa, DC, and Virginia are all places Jon has lived and called home. After working as a chaplain on a college campus, he developed a passion for fundraising for organizations he believes in. Jon has lived with his wife in the Chirilagua neighborhood since 2018 and is honored to have such kind and faith-filled neighbors. He graduated with a bachelor’s in Arabic and International Affairs from the George Washington University.

Lauren Wallace

Business Manager

Lauren lived in New Orleans, LA for 20 years before relocating back to Arlington, VA with her husband and family. She joined our staff part time in May 2019 bringing years of experience as a controller for several small family owned companies. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors degree in Accounting.

Odali Saravia

Local Leader

Odali is a first generation Honduran-American, who was born and raised in Chirilagua, Virginia. Her first connection with Casa Chirilagua was in middle school through Bible study. Her hope is to make a positive impact in her family as well as in her neighborhood. She is happy to be part of Casa Chirilagua and is working hard to be the first in her family to receive a high school diploma and attend college.

Cindi Villanueva

Local Leader

A first-generation Salvadorean American, Cindi was raised in Alexandria. She graduated from T.C. Williams High School. Cindi is the first in her family to attend college and is a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College studying English. She yearns to serve the community and make a difference in the students’ lives. Cindi is passionate about creating a safe space for students hoping to be someone exemplar in their lives by fully embracing them.

Irma Valle

Local Leader

As a first generation Honduran-American, Irma has lived in Chirilagua her whole life and started participating in Casa Chirilagua through Bible Study. She will be a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College and plans to pursue a bachelors in Social Work. She is excited to start working as a Local Leader and hopes to make a positive impact in her neighborhood.

Katherine Posada Membreno

Local Leader

Katherine was a volunteer at Casa Chirilagua before she became a Local Leader. She was the first in her family to graduate high school and was born and raised in the Chirilagua community. She is thrilled to be able to work with Casa to support the community. Katherine loves working with children and she is passionate about child development and educating children for the better good through Christ. In her church she is a Sunday school teacher and participates in her youth group choir. 

Board Members

Fredy Hernandez

Board Chair

Economist, US Coast Guard

Adriana Gómez Schellhaas

President

Executive Director, Casa Chirilagua

Angela Zabler

Board Member

Economist, US Coast Guard

Campbell Vogel

Development Committee Chair

Fundraising and Development Consultant

Ryan Wismer

Vice Chair

Security Director, Chemonics International

Rev. Nina Bacas

Board Member

Associate Rector, Grace Episcopal Church

Kristopher Klaich

Board Member

Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Connor Smith

Finance Committee Chair

Engineer, Clark Construction Group, LLC

Amanda Meri

Board Member

Founder, The Gut Nurse

Get Involved

Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.