Christine Larsen is the Marketing Manager at Ballinger, a nationally recognized architecture/engineering firm that’s a leader in academic, research, healthcare, and corporate planning and design. At Ballinger, Christine handles day-to-day activities in the marketing department and develops strategic initiatives to increase the firm’s visibility.
Originally from New York, Christine moved to Philadelphia and has fallen in love with all the city has to offer, from sports to dining. “I’m a big 76ers fan—I can’t get enough of JJ Redick and Joel Embiid. I moved to Philadelphia from Connecticut (a state with no teams!), so I’m enjoying cheering for Philadelphia and am consistently inspired by the energy and spirit of Philadelphia fans.” When she’s not cheering on the Sixers, Christine enjoys reading, yoga, and designing photo books.
Christine learned about the Collaborative through Ballinger’s community engagement group, which connects employees to volunteer opportunities across the city. “Employees who volunteered with the Community Design Collaborative reported on the different roles and responsibilities they were able to take on, and the fulfillment they felt from working directly with communities in need.” As a new board member, Christine says she’d like to use her marketing background to hone the Collaborative’s message and bring more attention and resources to the organization’s work.
“Employees who volunteered with the Community Design Collaborative reported on...the fulfillment they felt from working directly with communities in need.”
Wale Mabogunje is a Senior Development Manager at Liberty Property Trust, a leader in commercial real estate and one of the nation’s largest real estate companies. In addition to his position at Liberty Property Trust, Wale is a member of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He also serves as the secretary of the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School Board of Trustees and volunteers with the ACE Mentor Program.
When he’s not busy working and volunteering, Wale loves traveling, spending time with his family, and keeping up with the Philadelphia Eagles and Sixers.
Wale was introduced to the Collaborative by current board member Jeff Goldstein. “After doing a little research, meeting with a few board members and the executive director, I came away fascinated with the work the Collaborative does and its profound impact on the city. I believe the Collaborative’s mission is essential to the growth of our city and I wanted to participate in some way.” Wale hopes that his involvement with the Collaborative helps to make lasting changes to organizations and neighborhoods and improves the quality of life for all.
"I believe the Collaborative’s mission is essential to the growth of our city and I wanted to participate in some way.”
Harry Tapia serves as the Director of Operations for HACE, a community development corporation managing over $100 million of commercial and housing development projects in the Fairhill and St. Hugh neighborhoods. At HACE, Harry’s duties include developing affordable housing, community revitalization, resident training, and civic engagement.
When he’s not at work, Harry is an avid runner, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and travels back home to Puerto Rico where he plays and dances bomba music. “My favorite food is rice, beans, and chicken hands down. I can literally eat this dish every day.”
Harry considers Philadelphia’s lack of safe and affordable housing for low income residents as the city’s biggest challenge, and an area where his new role with the Collaborative can impact. “My professional background is in accounting. Although I’ve been working with HACE for the past 17 years, I did not work directly in the development of commercial spaces and low-income housing. In my new role as Director of Operations, I am transitioning into the [real estate] development role which is perfect timing to get involved with the Collaborative’s mission.”
"In my new role as Director of Operations, I am transitioning into the [real estate] development role which is perfect timing to get involved with the Collaborative’s mission.”
Christine, Wale, and Harry join the Collaborative’s Board of Directors, which also includes Jody Arena, Caritas Construction, LLC; Modesto Bigas-Valedon, AIA, WRT; Tavis Dockwiller, ASLA, Viridian Landscape Studio; Daryn Edwards, AIA, CICADA Architecture/Planning; Kevin Flynn, PE, AKRF Inc.; David Gest, Esq., Ballard Spahr LLP; Jeff Goldstein, AIA, DIGSAU Architecture/ Urbanism; Carol Horne Penn, Clemens Construction; Rebecca Johnson, AIA Philadelphia; Megan McGinley, AIA, Kitchen & Associates; Darrick Mix, Esq., Duane Morris LLP; Charles Moleski, Becker & Frondorf; Lea Oxenhandler, AIA, PEC Community Development Corporation; Paul Sehnert, University of Pennsylvania; Maria Sourbeer, Shift Capital; Julie Wiley, PE, Temple University; and Richard Winston, AIA, BWA architecture + planning.
Daryn Edwards, AIA and Richard Winston, AIA will serve as Co-Chairs of the Collaborative's 2019 Board of Directors.