Our Staff

Josh Blakesley, M.Div.

(he/him)

Co-Founder and Executive Director,

The Welcome Project PA

Josh grew up in the Midwest before completing a B.A. in Theatre at Northwestern College [IA] and a Masters of Divinity [M.Div.] at Princeton Theological Seminary [NJ]. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ [UCC], Josh has lived and worked in Iowa, Philadelphia, Hawai’i, Mexico, and Michigan. Currently, he is Pastor of Love In Action UCC, an open and affirming congregation featured in a Vox Media episode of Divided States of Women with Liz Plank and in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Josh has 20+ years of nonprofit experience, including leading workshops and training in corporate, medical, and academic settings, focused on diversity & inclusion, grant writing, fund raising, and program management. Josh is a fellow of Interfaith Philadelphia, designing and coordinating HS and University student groups for interfaith immersion service-learning weeks, called “Alternative Break Interfaith Encounters.” Josh also co-facilitates “How to be an Interfaith Ally” trainings for Philly Peace Day and recently, in Toronto at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is founding member of The Society for Faith & Justice, and a Collaborator for Nurturing Justice. He also performs regularly with the dinner theatre company, Without a Cue Productions, and has developed theatre arts curriculum for use in religious and secular settings. Josh also enjoys playing basketball, strumming on the guitar, traveling, learning languages, or making strange and funny faces. He lives in Center City Philly with his life and laugh partner María Elena.

Jenn A. Petro

(she/her)

Co-founder and

Director of Community Engagement,

SAGA Community Center

Jenn A. Petro is a proud transwoman and mother of three grown sons. She is an activist, poet, musician, artist, storyteller, speaker, twenty-year elementary school teacher, and workshop leader. She has been featured on an episode of Vox Media's Divided States of Women with Liz Plank, as well as in the the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Montgomery News, and the Bucks County Courier Times. She has published articles for GLSEN and the Montgomery County Women’s Center, as well as two books of trans-related poetry.  Jennifer has spoken at rallies., featured in a production of This is My Brave, was a speaker for International Day Against Homophobia; she has also led Q-Crew groups at local libraries, and has been a part of efforts to successfully pass Human Rights Ordinances in Hatboro and other boroughs of PA. She set up the first LGBTQIA booth at Glenside Elementary School’s Diversity Fair. She has also led an LGBTQIA training at PECO Energy, and helps lead queer support groups. In addition to her passionate activism and work with the SAGA Community Center, she loves used bookstores and thrift stores, reading P.G. Wodehouse, and eating dark chocolate.

Niki (Nicolette) Kulp, LCSW

(she/her or they/them)

Co-founder, The Welcome Project PA

Co-founder and Director of Program Development, SAGA Community Center

Niki is a Clinical Social Worker from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. In addition to their work with SAGA, they are currently working as a Psychotherapist with J. Snyder Therapeutic Services in Blue Bell, PA. They have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Arcadia University and a Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. They interned with Mazzoni Center in 2016 and co-founded SAGA Community Center in 2017. They are extremely excited to be leading the planning committee for history's first Bucks-Mont PRIDE Festival in 2021. Niki feels privileged to be a part of the important work being done by SAGA and The Welcome Project PA with a team of such wonderful and talented humans. They will continue to focus their passions for service, social justice, and mental health and wellness toward the goal of increasing support for the LGBT+ individuals of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Aimee Sarah Goldsmith

(she/her or they/them)

Co-founder and Assistant Director,

SAGA Community Center

Aimee is a professional artist with a BFA in sculpture from the University of the Arts. They spent three years as a 3D Printer technician for a local company, two years as a machine shop technician for the University of Pennsylvania, and five years working as a tooling / sculpting / mold making & casting technician for Lenox Corporation. Here, they took advanced courses in SolidWorks and designed and printed 3D parts for figurine and ornament models. They now work for an architectural Fiberglass company as a finisher and mold maker. In their spare time, they helped to co-found SAGA Community Center in 2017 and has been integral in program development, planning, implementation, web design, and marketing. They also assisted with building SAGA's Queer Library and serves on SAGA’s Advisory Board . Their other interests include vacationing in the Poconos, walking along the Wissahickon, crafting handmade wooden jewelry and other commissioned artwork. They enjoy live music, outdoor festivals, DIY projects, and spending time with loved ones.

Our Board of Directors

2020-2022

Laurie Schrecengost, Secretary (she/her)
Education Specialist, Lakeside

Adjunct Professor, Immaculata University

Worship & Community Leader, Love In Action UCC

Gerald W. Vassar, Chair (he/him)
President/CEO of Lakeside

Member of WPPA

Organizational Strategist

Elle Anzinger, Treasurer (she/her)

Councilperson/Pro-Tempore, Borough of Hatboro 

Geologist, Sediment Remediation Group at Jacobs

Alexander Myers (he/him)

Community Volunteer/LGBTQ+ Advocate
Treasurer of Elm Street Hatboro
Member of Rotary, International
Member of WPPA


Jeff Chirico (he/him)
Realtor@, BHHS Fox & Roach
Freelance Reporter, 6abc Action News

Lelia “Kai” Howard (he/him)
Chief Information Officer,

Accreditation Liaison Officer,

Bryn Athyn College

Member/Leader, Love In Action UCC

Member/Leader, SAGA Community Center

Jim Leamon (he/him)

Biopharma Development Director,

Diversity and Inclusion Leader,

Jazz Pharmaceuticals 

Member/Leader, Love In Action UCC

Member/Leader, The Welcome Project PA

Rev. Kim Kendrick, M.Div. (she/her)
Chaplain at Bethany Children’s Home

 

Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu (he/him)

Education and Outreach Director,

CAIR-Philadelphia

Lecturer and Editor-in-Chief www.themaydan.com

Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University

CONTACT US

The Welcome Project PA

350 S. York Rd. Hatboro, PA 19040

T: 215-675-8808

E: info@welcomeprojectpa.org

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