Meet the Team

Staff

Janelle Pagulayan

Janelle Pagulayan

Operations Manager
Lori Herrera

Lori Herrera

Outreach Manager
Mark Vevle

Mark Vevle

Interim Executive Director
Okechukwu (OK) Ukah

Okechukwu (OK) Ukah

Manager of Member Services
Jaq Masters

Jaq Masters

Philadelphia Recruitment and Member Services Coordinator
Oren Robinson

Oren Robinson

Systems Manager

Interim Board

Esteban Kelly is the founding President of Guilded and has served as the interim Executive Director since Guilded’s incorporation in 2020. Esteban works to bridge our present to post capitalist futures through economic democracy, particularly by expanding multi-racial solidarity and forms of collective ownership. He is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and a worker-owner and co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance)– a worker co-op that has built capacity for hundreds of social justice projects through intersectional training and consulting. He was a founding board member of the US Solidarity Economy Network, the Democracy At Work Institute, Climate + Community Project, the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), Cooperative Innovation Lab, and the current iteration of the 501(c)4 Policy Advocates for Sustainable Economies. Esteban is the Board Chair of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA–CLUSA), and currently serves on the boards of the Platform Co-ops Consortium, the indie musician’s co-op Ampled, and CICOPA which is the worker co-op sector association of the International Co-op Alliance, the latter being the largest NGO in the world representing a billion members of cooperatives the world over.

Parallel to his cooperative organizing, Esteban has been a freelance worker and lifelong creative performer. As a classically trained vocalist he performed with choirs around New York, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. He recorded and toured in indie and punk bands in the late 90s and early 2000s, and spent over twenty years in performance theater. The son of a graphic artist, Esteban channeled writing, culture, politics, and graphic design into a series of fanzines and blogs reaching a million unique viewers over 15 years. Esteban is a Ford Global Fellow, a Margaret Burroughs Fellow in the Social Justice Portal Project at University of Illinois-Chicago, an Executive Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University, and a Futures 4 Good Fellow in the Equitable Enterprise Initiative at the Institute for the Future.

Ajoke Williams (she/her) is Guilded’s former Program Manager with skills in tech development, fundraising, communications, project management, and consulting for artist and activist organizations.

Elizabeth López (she/her/ella) is the Operations Manager at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Elizabeth was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, the daughter of two working class Mexican immigrants who taught her how to luchar. She began organizing for immigrant rights and reproductive justice, which led her into labor organizing. While getting her MA in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, she found Workers’ Dignity- a Nashville worker center led by member low wage workers organizing for economic and transit justice- and eventually served as Operations Manager and Interim Co-Director. Elizabeth recently returned to the Philly area and is usually found exploring, reading, making things, and eating delicious food with her partner and their dog. Her passions lie in being a “builder” and helping folks empower themselves to fight back, organize and transform our lives.

Vanessa Bransburg is the Senior Managing Director at the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), Gilded’s Fiscal Sponsor. At DAWI, Bransburg supports staff professional development and builds strong organizational culture. Vanessa also provides training and consultation to cooperative developers working with vulnerable workers and immigrant communities.

Advisors

Lauren Ruffin is Fractured Atlas’ Chief External Relations Officer, responsible for the organization’s marketing, communications, community engagement, and fundraising. 

Arnaud Hubert is the Smart EU Coop Liaison to Guilded. Arnaud launched the first phase of Guilded’s preliminary research, and spent time in Belgium and the US assessing the ecosystem and the requirements for adapting Smart to other countries.

Rafael Espinal is the Executive Director of Freelancers Union. He became New York’s youngest elected official when he joined the State Assembly at age 26. The son of Dominican immigrants who were union members as well as freelancers, Rafael quickly became a leader fighting on behalf of workers, small businesses, artists, low-income communities, and the environment.