Nikia Owens

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.

Twitter @Dr_NOwens  LinkedIn Nikia Owens, Ph.D.

Melissa Jackson-Schmidt
Chief Program Officer

Melissa Jackson-Schmidt is the Chief Program Officer at Campaign for Working Families. Melissa was YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School’s Director of Workforce Development and was responsible for all workforce programming and operations, including internships, employment and college to career training and development. Melissa created workforce programs such as the Business Administrations Scholars, Building Maintenance, Child and Youth Development and Culinary Arts program. She successfully opened a student-run social justice cafe called the “Stomping Grounds Cafe” located in the Promise Zone in West Philadelphia. Prior to the director role, Melissa managed the Business program and the Information Technology program.

Melissa started her teaching career as a Teach for America AmeriCorps member and taught math in the School District of Philadelphia and YouthBuild Charter School for 13 years. In 2012, Melissa was awarded by the House of Representatives “Teacher of the Year.”

She received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Chestnut Hill College, a Secondary Education certification at Drexel University and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Peirce College. She belongs to the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, chapter sponsor of the Future Business Leaders of America Phi Beta Lambda INC, a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Human Relations Commission committee member of Jenkintown Borough and a member of the Graduate Studies Advisory Board at Peirce College.

Thais Caine
Director of Tax Operations

Thais is responsible for all tax site operational functions and responsibilities, particularly in regard to planning, implementation and evaluation of tax services along with annual tax site selections. Thais recruits all tax site teams and is responsible for strategic team placement to ensure maximum productivity, and ensures sites are working to their full potential and in compliance with the IRS.

Laurie Rosard
Director of Strategic Grant Development

Laurie manages grant funding proposals and reports to funders and develops new strategic funding partnerships to support CWF initiatives. Laurie brings several years of grant writing experience with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. She also comes to us with additional nonprofit program management experiences to help implement fundraising strategies that strengthen and promote viability and success in financial empowerment to build economic self-sufficiency for low-to-moderate-income individuals and families.

Michelle Carroll
Senior Tax Site Manager

Michelle provides coordination, organization, and supervision for CWF’s year-round tax site. Michelle is ultimately responsible for maintaining the quality procedures and processes required by the IRS and CWF to ensure the overall accuracy of tax returns prepared and e-filed at the site. In the off-season she manages the closeout of all CWF tax files. Michelle gained her experience working with Opportunity Service Corporation with a background in HUD Recertification.

Victoria Cheatom
Lead Tax Site Manager

Victoria began as a volunteer in 2017 and today is responsible for creating a positive customer service experience for both tax clients and volunteers at CWF Headquarters. Working with team members that she supports at the tax site and throughout tax the season, Victoria works to ensure the tax site runs smoothly and returns are prepared in a timely and accurate manner.

Monica Pierson
Senior Site Manager – Virtual Tax Preparation

Monica joined CWF in January 2016 as an Intake Specialist at our Rutgers University tax site and soon transitioned to Assistant Tax Site Manager at CWF Headquarters. She is responsible for providing coordination, organization, and supervision for all aspects of CWF’s year-round virtual tax site. Monica also works on special community projects such as the Mobile Tax Team.

Elizabeth Olson
Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator

Elizabeth joined the CWF team in September 2021 and is responsible for year-round volunteer recruitment, training, recognition, and retention. 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.