A skilled nonprofit manager, Beth has been executive director of the Community Design Collaborative since 2001. She has guided the Collaborative’s growth from a single full-time employee to a staff of six and launched Infill Philadelphia, an initiative that uses design, community engagement, and strategic partnerships to address urban infill development. An unapologetic urban enthusiast. Beth currently serves on Center/Architecture + Design Board and the Plan Philly Advisory Committee. Beth also recently served on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (2011-2016). Beth holds a Masters in Government Administration from the Fels School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.
Heidi is a registered architect with more than 25 years of design and project management experience. She oversees the Collaborative’s design services, volunteer placement, and volunteer management. Before joining the Collaborative staff in 2001, she was senior project architect with Kling and Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC. She is an advisory board member of the Citizens Planning Institute and an active volunteer with Julia R. Masterman School, Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel, Brandeis University, and University of Pennsylvania Varsity Gymnastics. Heidi earned a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University and a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University.
Robin Kohles is Program Manager with the Community Design Collaborative. She is a registered architect with more than 20 years of experience in design and project management. Since 2010, she has managed Collaborative design services and educational programs to support neighborhood economic development and commercial corridor revitalization in Philadelphia. Previously, Robin was owner’s representative for Independence Charter School’s building relocation project and an architect with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. She is an active volunteer with the SOSNA Grays Ferry Triangles Committee and teaches an elective class on design at the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School. A founder of the Collaborative, she received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.
Elyssa Kane joined the Community Design Collaborative in 2018 after securing resources for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia region over the past 19 years. She is responsible for leading the Collaborative’s staff and volunteer efforts in fundraising. Most recently, Elyssa oversaw a diversified development program at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. Previously, she raised funds in the community development and social service sectors. She holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.
Linda is a certified city planner with over 25 years of experience in community planning and outreach. Originally a volunteer with the Collaborative and on staff since 2001, Linda manages communications and educational services to raise public awareness about the Collaborative’s work and mission. Previously, she served as a community planner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and continues to be an advocate for special needs housing, historic preservation, and community gardening. Linda earned a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia.
Stewart supports the financial and administrative operations of the Collaborative. Previously, Stewart served as the Promise Zone Workforce Development and Strategic Initiative Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity through AmeriCorps VISTA, where he provided administrative support to key committees and working groups, mapped tax delinquency, and conducting resident surveys on child nutrition to support initiatives of the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. Stewart earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Urban Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Temple University.