LEONARDO VAZQUEZ, AICP/PP
Leo is a national award-winning planner who is a leader in two emerging fields in urban planning: creative placemaking and cultural competency. He has two decades of experience in community development, community engagement, small group facilitation, local economic development, leadership development and strategic communications. He has worked with a wide variety of communities in New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, New York and Pennsylvania. With a strong focus on implementation and sustainability, he specializes in building leadership teams to oversee plans and raising funds to support planning and implementation efforts. In addition to his affiliation with The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, Leonardo Vazquez is Director of Creative Placemaking at New Hampshire Institute of Art. He is the author of Leading from the Middle: Strategic Thinking for Urban Planning and Community Development Professionals and co-editor of Dialogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities. He has written for several professional and general interest publications, including Planetizen, Planning, Progressive Planning and The Star-Ledger. He is the recipient of the 2012 American Planning Association National Leadership Award for Advancing Diversity and Social Justice in Honor of Paul Davidoff. It is the highest award given in the urban planning field on issues of social equity. He received a B.S. from Northwestern University and a M.P.A. and M.P., both from the University of Southern California.
ANDREA ORLANDO, MSJ
Andrea Orlando drives new projects from ideation to execution. She established the CreativePlace podcast and virtual Community Coffee Talks and directs all other communications for the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and is fostering a community of creative placemakers through her travels to all corners of the United States. In 2019 she earned the Certificate in Creative Placemaking, a 10-month, mostly online executive education program offered jointly by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Design at New England College. Her capstone piece focused on building a community of leaders among women of color.
Prior to joining NCCP Andrea worked as a staff writer for two daily newspapers and founded a corporate wellness firm serving clients in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In her spare time she teaches and performs New York style salsa dance and bachata. She holds a master of science in journalism from Columbia University and dual bachelor of arts degrees in economics and Spanish with a concentration in Latin American literature.
Erica has been in the arts for over 25 years. After attending The University of North Carolina School of the Arts for Modern Dance, she performed professionally in New York for Gina Gibney Dance. During that time, she also formed her own company, Esio Trot. Esio Trot's most prominent performances at Vermont’s SolarFest planted the seeds for Erica’s passion for environmental justice. Subsequently, she worked as an Office Manager for an international adoption agency while teaching ballet and modern dance part-time. Erica became the Artistic Director of The Dancer’s Edge in East Lyme, Connecticut in 2003, and remained in that position for 12 years. She received many awards for her choreography, both regionally and nationally, during her time at The Dancer's Edge. After moving from Connecticut to New Jersey in 2015, Erica returned to school and earned her degree in Arts Management from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Erica concentrated on cultural equity, arts advocacy and policy along with creating environmentally sustainable arts organizations.
Serving as Managing Director for The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, Erica concentrates on office management, customer service, and registrations to events. She joins the team at NCCP with an excitement to help bring the field of creative placemaking to the forefront of community development.
COMMUNITY BUILDING ASSOCIATE
Kristine Leslie holds a Bachelor of Art in Sociology, English-Writing Minor from Kean University and an Associate of Science in Deaf Studies. Before joining The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking as Community Building Associate, she spent several years as a classroom teacher, be it an assistant Teacher of the Deaf, 1:1 paraprofessional or dance instructor (Kristine has a diverse background in visual art, dance, and musical theater). She has also served as Marketing Coordinator for Nimbus Dance and American Sign Language Job Coach for Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey.
In addition to assisting Community Building Director, Andrea Orlando, in the Marketing, Communications, and Events Development sectors of NCCP, she currently serves as an apprentice for ARTS By The People and founder of Afro-Latinx Dance Project, LLC.
COLLEEN FINNEGAN KAHL, CHAIR
SOUTH JERSEY CULTURAL ALLIANCE
PRESIDENT & BROKER OF RECORD
SEGAL LABATE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
CIVIC EYE COLLABORATIVE
NEWBERRY OPERA HOUSE
SIEGEL ARTIST MANAGEMENT