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Princeton NJ Non-Profit Press Releases

Trenton Circus Squad Welcomes 4 New Board of Trustee Members

Trenton, NJ— Trenton Circus Squad announces the appointment of four new members to its Board of Trustees: Adriana Abizadeh, Samantha Bobila, Calvin B. Thomas Jr., and Chris Wallace. The new Trustees join continuing Trustees Amy Mayer (Chair) Kelly Ganges (Vice-Chair), Jon Erickson (Treasurer), Juanita Johnson Brooks (Secretary), James Burke, Anne Hoppenot, and Tim Stauning.
 
 "All four of our newest Board members bring talent, expertise and vision to the table. They embody the vibe of Trenton Circus Squad and the pulse of the communities we serve!  We are very fortunate to have them on our team as we continue to strengthen and evolve the program."
                                                                          ~Tom von Oehsen, Executive Director.
 
Adriana Abizadeh, has been the Executive Director of Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) since 2016.  LALDEF promotes the rights of all immigrants, with a focus on the Latin American community in the Mercer County area, facilitates access to health care, education and legal representation, advocates for the integration of immigrants, and fosters inter-cultural communication to strengthen our communities. 
 
At LALDEF, Ms. Abizadeh led a successful capital campaign to purchase a historic Trenton building to serve as LALDEF's headquarters in 2018, oversaw a threefold budget and staff increase, and a corresponding expansion of services and outreach activities. She previously served as Special Projects Coordinator at Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society, in Camden, NJ. Ms. Abizadeh also serves as a Trustee of the Trenton Health Team and the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice. She has a Masters' degree in Public Policy from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. Ms. Abizadeh is a passionate leader and advocate for social justice, committed to the inclusion of those often marginalized and unseen.
 
Samantha Bobila is Director of Fund Development at the YWCA Princeton. She previously fundraised for Oaks Integrated Care and the Rescue Mission of Trenton. Ms. Bobila currently serves on the Mercer County Government and Policy Committee and is a former member of the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services' Multicultural Group and the Mid Jersey Chamber of Commerce's Non-Profit Council. She has a Masters' Degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. Ms. Bobila's highly effective leadership is infused with her infectious enthusiasm for the purpose-driven work that she champions.
 
Calvin B. Thomas, Jr. has dedicated himself for more than twenty years to working directly with youth and helping organizations build and support youth development programs. He is currently the principal of both Renewing the Mind, LLC, and LodeStar Consulting. He also works with UIH Family Partners of Trenton. He is a Steering Committee Member, and current Coordinator, of Trenton Area Stakeholders, a network of more than three hundred community and organizational leaders working to positively impact youth and families of Greater Trenton. He also serves on the Mayor's Workforce Development Advisory Board. Mr. Thomas has served on numerous not-for-profit boards including, most recently, Isles, Inc., and the Princeton Area Community Foundation. He is a native and resident of Trenton, a proud father and grandfather, and volunteer teacher of life skills and risk reduction behavior to middle and high school students. He retired from a full naval career in 1990. Mr. Thomas has an unyielding passion and vision to transform Trenton one neighborhood at a time. 
 
Chris Wallace is a business development executive in the asset management field. Most recently, Chris was a Senior Vice President at Neuberger Berman, where he led the firm's multi-employer (union) pension plan business. Previously, he was a Director at BlackRock in a similar role. Prior to his work with these firms, Mr. Wallace worked for the AFL-CIO and other union organizations including the IBEW, SEIU, UFCW, and Bakery & Confectionery Workers. Mr. Wallace lives in Brooklyn with his wife, son and daughter. Mr. Wallace has a Masters' of Business Administration from Stanford, and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Princeton University. Mr. Wallace's career of principled stewardship of retirement funds is founded on his deep-seated commitment to economic justice.
 
About Trenton Circus Squad: Trenton Circus Squad is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring people to take big leaps in life. Our squad members learn how to cooperate, push themselves and serve their community – all through the astonishing practice of circus arts.  As part of our commitment to building an organization that belongs to the Trenton community, Trenton Circus Squad has worked to develop leaders that reflect the community we serve. For more information about our program, please visit our website www.trentoncircussquad.org or call 609-984-8599.  Follow along on Facebook @trentoncircussquad

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