Team

We are a highly diverse, high performing team of professionals driven by a mission of delivering
entrepreneurial solutions that support under-served communities for the joy of a healthy life.

Staff

Atif Bostic, Executive Director

atifbosticAtif Bostic is an established leader in addressing the Social Determinants of Health through the application of entrepreneurial solutions. Mr. Bostic leverages his leadership experience in workforce development, business development, business consulting, banking, and finance to develop sustainable solutions to social problems. In his current role, Mr. Bostic serves as the executive director of Uplift Solutions, a national nonprofit focused on addressing the Social Determinants of Health through the development of community-centric and community-informed business assets. Uplift’s direct-service work focuses on access to fresh and healthy food, health care, and jobs. Whereas, its advocacy work focuses on food justice, criminal justice, and social equity.

Toral Patel, Development Director

Ms. Patel comes to Uplift with over 15 years of Development and Communications experience. She has worked with organizations in supportive housing, human rights, social justice, and the arts. Having grown up in South Jersey, Ms. Patel has developed a passion for improving the lives of the underserved communities of Philadelphia.

Barb Varela, Chief Financial Officer

Barb Varela joins Uplift Solutions with 20+ years of experience in finance with a gift for organizational administration.  During the last 10 years, she’s focused on non profit administration, finance and real estate development.  As a driver of strategies and business plans, Ms. Varela oversaw the development of an $18M low income housing tax credit project providing housing for some of the city’s most vulnerable population located in the heart of Kensington.

Barry Johnson, Director (Workforce Solutions)

BarryBarry Johnson is the director of Uplift Workforce Solutions. Mr. Johnson is responsible for program operations and effectiveness. Mr. Johnson has over fifteen years’ experience in workforce development, having managed programs for JEVS Human Services, the Center for Literacy and the Philadelphia Prison Society. In addition to his experience and education Mr. Johnson has lived experience. Mr. Johnson has a Master’s Certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California-Irvine.

Lauren Ruday, Senior Case Advisor (Workforce Solutions)

Lauren
Lauren Ruday is the senior case advisor for Uplift Workforce Solutions. In her role, Ms. Ruday is responsible for screening, developing individualized plans, identifying resources and benefits, retention, and tracking of program participants. Ms. Ruday conducts one-to-one sessions with each participant to understand their unique needs and builds an individualized plan to gain access to resources, address social barriers, and transition to work effectively. Ms. Ruday holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from West Chester University, and a Master of Science in Education Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania.

Monique Oakman-Robinson, Lead Instructor (Workforce Solutions)

MoniqueOakmanRobinsonMonique Oakman-Robinson is the lead instructor for Uplift Workforce Solutions. In her role, Ms. Oakman-Robinson is responsible for instruction. Mrs. Oakman-Robinson delivers instruction in a group setting and provides one-to-one support for participants that need additional training. Ms. Oakman-Robinson is a former School District of Philadelphia Educator and holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Temple University. Mrs. Oakman-Robinson has over 18 years’ experience in customer service; which she utilizes and incorporates within the curriculum. Mrs. Oakman-Robinson holds several awards for her contributions in the community, such as Teacher of the Year for 2005 for the Philadelphia Christian Academy and the 190th Legislative District Image Award in 2015. She’s also had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion with Michelle Obama for her Let’s Move initiative for fighting childhood obesity.

Laura Lopez, Executive Assistant

LauraLaura Lopez is an enthusiast of human practices actively engaged in the community welfare. Ms. Lopez has over 15 years’ experience working with underserved communities and addressing the social and legal concerns of disadvantaged individuals. Ms. Lopez has been recognized for her efforts and impact with the Doer-Actions of Social Services award. As Executive Assistant she plans and fulfills ongoing project development and ensures the smooth operation of the Executive office.

Noah Averick, Development and Communications Associate

Noah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with Degrees in Nonprofit Management and Philosophy. Throughout his college career he accumulated a variety of experiences within the nonprofit world including fundraising, event planning and programmatic work. As the Development and Communications Associate, Noah is responsible for organizing and executing individual and corporate fundraising efforts, researching and writing grants, managing communications strategies, and contributing to the strategic planning of Uplift Solutions alongside the executive team.   

Jasmin Ramirez, Workforce Facilitator

jasminJasmin Ramirez graduated Arcadia University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. Ramirez has been an intern with Uplift since 2018 and began her role as a facilitator in May of 2021

Jasmin Helps participants become job-start ready by promoting their development and effective utilization of communication and self-presentation skills, facilitates orientation and program sessions, and recruits potential candidates for
the program. Ramirez plans to return to her hometown of Florida to
pursue her Master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Board of Directors

 

  • Sandy Brown, Chairman – Director In-Store Branding and Media Relations, Brown’s Super Stores
  • Sam Kates, Treasurer – Principal, CKCRG
  • Shelly Levitan Adler – Principal, Shelly Adler Consulting
  • Kimberly Lloyd – President, OARC
  • Jana Brown – EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Centurion
  • Keir Bradford-Grey – Partner, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP
  • Troy Crichton – Chair, Criminal Defense, Gibbons Legal
  • Carolina Cabrera DiGiorgio – President & CEO, Congreso
  • David Litsky – Vice President / Team Credit Manager, TD Bank
  • Sharmain Matlock-Turner – President and CEO, UAC
  • Scott Moses – Head of Grocery, Pharmacy and Restaurants, PJ Solomon
  • Pam Porter – Managing Partner, Stepping Stone Partners, LLC
  • Linda Rosanio – COO, VSBLTY
  • Scott Brown – Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.
  • Ron Berman – Retired, CFO of Uplift Solutions
  • Wayne Garett – Uplift Program Graduate
  • Lashawna Bennett – Uplift Program Graduate