Our Team

Nikia Owens
CEO/President

nowens@cwfphilly.org

Twitter @Dr_NOwens
LinkedIn Nikia Owens, Ph.D.

Dr. Nikia Owens is the and President and CEO of Campaign For Working Families (CWF) and will provide the overall leadership and strategic direction and planning for the organization.

Prior to joining CWF Dr. Owens served as the Deputy Executive Director Family Supports and Basic Needs with the City of Philadelphia’s Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) Office, where her leadership was a driving force to CEO’s implementation of its whole-family approach through the benefit access, workforce, and youth initiatives.

Additionally, Dr. Owens was the Managing Director of Financial Empowerment at the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey developing and leading the strategic direction and impact of family income, assets, and financial stability. Owens has served in capacities as Vice President and held several leadership positions in the fields of Research, Education and Human Services. Owens has taught at the collegiate level and within her leadership roles she has served on State and local boards, worked closely with State officials, analyzed public policy, garnered bipartisan support on state initiatives, and most recently served on Mayor Barbarann Keffer’s transition team within the Upper Darby Township. Dr. Owens holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Social Work from Howard University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Planning, Administration and Social Science from Clark Atlanta University.

David Imukat
Director of Finance

David Imukat assumed the position of Director of Finance in early 2023. Mr. Imukat graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management – New York Campus in 2011 with an MBA – Accounting and received his CPA from New Jersey in 2011. He is accredited as a CPA in Pennsylvania as well. Mr. Imukat is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) – UK.

Mr. Imukat has embarked on a career which has included stints in private industry, public accounting, and nonprofits. He brings to CWF a broad base of experience solving problems and applying common sense to the accounting and finance process. Mr. Imukat’ s public accounting background includes 3 years in New York City with BDO USA LLP performing audit and assurance for healthcare, education, nonprofit, and employee benefit plan clients. Mr. Imukat’ s work for nonprofits spanned organizations involved in the provision of services to the underserved communities in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

 

Thais Caine
Director of Tax Operations

Thais Caine joined the Campaign for Working Families as the Director of Tax Operations in 2021. With a career spanning over a decade in the tax industry, Thais has honed her skills and demonstrated unwavering commitment to the field as a leader in both marketing and operations.

As the Director of Tax Operations, Thais shoulders the critical responsibility of overseeing all tax site operational functions, staff, and responsibilities. This multifaceted role encompasses the intricate planning, meticulous implementation, and rigorous evaluation of tax services, all while ensuring the utmost compliance with the stringent regulations set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

A native Philadelphia and graduate of Temple University, Thais has been on an extraordinary journey in the tax industry that commenced in 2012. This journey has led her on a path that would soon be marked by her marketing and operations leadership that extend from the East Coast to the South and Midwest regions the for-profit tax preparation environment.

Thais’s career is marked by a deep commitment to understanding the intricacies of tax services and an unyielding passion for educating the everyday taxpayer. This fervor for tax education is driven by her belief in the transformative impact it can have on individuals, families, and businesses. It’s no wonder that she wishes to continue CWF’s legacy of excellence in delivering vital tax services to the communities we serve.

 

Diana Allinger
Director of Volunteer Engagement and Partnerships

Diana plays an indispensable part in shaping the organization’s strategic direction and leadership, particularly in the development and oversight of critical volunteer recruitment and management operations. This encompasses the cultivation of partnerships with corporations, universities, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Before joining CWF, Diana held positions overseeing operations in two prominent City of Philadelphia offices, namely Philly Counts and The Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. Her professional background is grounded in non-profit program management and youth workforce development. One of her most rewarding professional experiences was working for three years as a bilingual educator in Medellin, Colombia.

 

Michael Svetly
Tax Operations Area Manager 1

Mike’s tenure with CWF began as a dedicated volunteer tax preparer, and over the past decade, he has ascended through the ranks to become our Tax Operations Area Manager 1. In his current role, which he assumed in 2023, Mike meticulously orchestrates the groundwork for the success of our tax sites. This involves formulating pre-season tax operation strategies, overseeing site progress and adherence to IRS Quality Specifications, resolving site issues, and crafting comprehensive tax operation plans and resources. In addition, he plays a pivotal role in staff and volunteer training.

Mike is a Proud Bostonian and received his BS in Chemistry at Suffolk University. Prior to retiring, he was a Research Chemist/Research & Development Director at a few chemical companies mostly dealing with adhesives. He then left chemistry to become a Math & Science teacher in Philadelphia and Texas. He holds a Masters in Education from Holy Family University.

 

Abdulfattah Abdullah
Tax Operations Area Manager 2

Abdul’s journey with CWF began as a seasonal Tax Site Manager at the Northeast (PATH) site in 2020. After three successful tax seasons, he was promoted to Tax Operations Area Manager in 2023. In his current capacity, Abdul diligently oversees and supports the sites within his jurisdiction, ensuring they are equipped with the essential tools and resources for seamless operation. His core objective revolves around optimizing the efficiency and efficacy of the VITA program, reinforcing CWF’s commitment to providing unparalleled service to its taxpayers.

Abdul’s personal and professional journey spans continents, having immigrated from Yemen to the United States. Fluent in both English and Arabic, his linguistic versatility is an asset that bridges cultural divides. He holds a Masters degree in Accounting and boasts a distinguished career of over a decade, working in accounting and tax preparation.

 

Monica Pierson
Tax Operations Area Manager 3

Monica’s journey with CWF started in 2016 as an Intake Specialist, and her unwavering commitment has led to her progression through various pivotal roles within the organization. She has served as an Executive Assistant to the CEO, Assistant Site Manager, Site Manager, and Senior Virtual Site Manager. In 2023, Monica’s exemplary dedication and competence culminated in her promotion to the position of Tax Operations Area Manager.

In her current role, Monica takes charge of the coordination, organization, and supervision of all facets pertaining to CWF’s Area 3 tax sites. Her extensive background, encompassing customer service, tax filing expertise, and successful project management, amplifies her impact within our community. A strong advocate for empowering individuals to attain their full potential, Monica believes that “We are more powerful when we empower each other.”

 

Cicero Cadell
Call Center Manager

Cicero started working with Campaign for Working Families in December of 2022. As the Call Center Manager he ensures CWF provides callers with timely and accurate information that is presented with courtesy and professionalism. This includes recruiting, training, and managing call center agents, and working closely with all other departments to make sure accurate information is provided to the public.


His background is in broadcast media where he spent 20 years as an executive in the television industry. After that, he started ADlingua, an international marketing company specializing in ethnic language media. In the mid 90’s, he started working in the call center industry first as Sr. Sales & Service Agent and later as a Trainer, Supervisor and Manager. Cicero enjoys being part of an organization that is truly impactful in the community.

 

Elizabeth Olson
Volunteer Engagement and Partnerships Manager

Elizabeth joined the CWF team in September 2021 and assists with volunteer recruitment, training, recognition, and retention. She manages CWF’s internship program and is responsible for several university partnerships. She brings to CWF her experience with community organizing, outreach, and organizational leadership. Originally from South Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University, she is passionate about giving back to the city that raised her.

Sharon Jefferson
Administrative Operations Specialist

Sharon comes to the Campaign for Working Families with many professional skills and technical expertise. She retired from the American Red Cross after thirty years of dedicated service, as the Manager of Volunteer Support Services, SE Pennsylvania Chapter.

A native Philadelphian, she attended Dobbins Vocational High School and later pursued a business degree at LaSalle University. Her pursuit of a B.S. in Business is still in progress.  She returned to work after a four-year retirement hiatus, joining CWF in 2020 as an Intake Specialist/Receptionist. Her current duties include answering calls and voicemails, ordering supplies, maintaining staff databases, processing mail and supporting the accounting department. Sharon’s most rewarding assignment to date was with the Prison Initiative where she assisted at three correction facilities to help the inmates recover missing stimulus payments.

Sharon’s desire to help others is what prompted her to return to work. She believes that we all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to motivate others and help those in need.  She is a firm believer in the saying that, “We Are Our Brothers/Sisters Keepers.”

 

Stephanie Duncan
Workforce and Asset Development Specialist

In January 2023, Campaign for Working Families (CWF) proudly welcomed Stephanie to our dedicated team as the Asset and Workforce Specialist. Tasked with a pivotal role, Stephanie seamlessly manages the multifaceted intake journey—from the initial outreach and thorough screening to the meticulous completion of applications for our suite of benefits and programs. Her commitment ensures that both our direct clients and the broader Philadelphia community have an advocate to guide them toward the assistance they require.

Stephanie’s rich background encompasses key expertise areas: from navigating the complexities of UC benefits claims to impactful community outreach and a knack for technical proficiency. These combined skills not only strengthen our team’s capabilities but also bolster our service delivery, ensuring we reach those most in need efficiently and effectively.

Grounded in her guiding philosophy—”lift while you climb”—Stephanie embodies the spirit of community empowerment. Her passion is evident in her daily efforts, as she constantly seeks opportunities to uplift those around her, reflecting the very essence of what CWF stands for.

Nicholas Castillo
Virtual Tax Site Manager

Nicholas joined Campaign for Working Families’ virtual team in 2021 as a college student who saw the opportunity to learn and grow as a Tax Associate Intern. His time at CWF ignited a genuine passion for uplifting the community as well as the field of accounting, and he decided to return as a seasonal Tax Site Manager. He has since joined the CWF team as the Virtual Tax Site Manager and looks forward to another successful year overseeing the Virtual Tax Site, teaching volunteers and interns alike how to prepare tax returns and assist those who need CWF’s services.

Bochy Fu
Tax Specialist

Bochy started as a CWF tax volunteer in 2019, then joined the CWF team in March 2021 and now is a tax specialist. Armed with the experience of preparing and reviewing tax returns and a knack for state tax laws and international students/scholars taxes, he’s avid in assisting the staff and volunteers alike and ensuring the quality of tax returns. Born to Taiwanese parents, he’s fluent in Mandarin, and loves reading history books, translating and writing, enjoying operas and classical music, and following baseball and football closely.

Nicholas Witmer
Call Center Supervisor

Nicholas Witmer joined the CWF team as a member of the newly formed call center in early 2023. After a successful season as a call center agent, he was promoted to Call Center Supervisor that same year. He is responsible for the training and development of call center agents, helping to grow their skillsets, and improving client relations. Nicholas brings with him 7 years of customer service and call center experience and is dedicated to building a team focused on serving our community and providing prompt and thorough information with a smile that you can hear.

Board Members

Richard F. Stipa
Board Chair

Retired Chief Executive Officer
TruMark Financial Credit Union

Michael A. Boyd, Esq.
Vice Chair & Treasurer

Suzette E. Adams
Board Member

PECO

Kenneth Levine

Kenneth Levine
Board Member

Partner, Reed Smith

Jill Michal
Board Member

Co-founder/CEO Kith and Kin

Roberta A. West, Esq.
Board Member

Retired Administrator Temple University

Jim Zug
Board Member

PWC Partner (Retired)

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