Meet VECINA’s CEO and Board of Directors, a group of zealous advocates who have a vision to empower others in the fight against injustice.
Lindsay G. GrayChief Executive Officerlindsay@vecina.org(512) 856-4899
Lindsay Gray is the CEO of VECINA and based in Austin, Texas. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law for Washington University in St. Louis. She regularly teaches and speaks about immigration and asylum law, including at the AILA National Annual Asylum Conference, AILA Chicago, AILA North Carolina, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and others.
Cherisse RobisonChief Financial Officer (Fractional CFO)email@example.com(512) 653-0945
Cherisse Robison serves as VECINA’s fractional CFO through her consulting firm, Cherisse Robison Consulting LLC. Cherisse founded her firm after serving as a financial professional in the non-profit and government sectors for over 15 years. Most recently as the CFO of a $65M organization that served a network of 70 organizations that were primarily funded by a complex array of state, federal, and unrestricted revenue, Cherisse saw the need for financial consulting aimed at building strong financial management practices for businesses of all sizes. Cherisse is passionate about helping organizations achieve financial success.
Kate Lincoln-GoldfinchPresident, Board of Directorskate@lincolngoldfinch.com(512) 599-8500
Kate is a zealous advocate for immigrant rights, and was a finalist this year for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce Changemaker Award. She regularly speaks to the public about immigration law related issued, including being the keynote speaker in 2018 for the Equal Justice Works Conference, as well as appearing on Rachel Maddow to speak out regarding family separation.
Karen CrawfordTreasurer, Board of Directorskaren@karencrawfordlaw.com(512) 494-8100
Karen brings many years of experience in running immigration-related organizations, both in the nonprofit and private practice worlds. Karen currently sits on the City of Austin Commission on Immigrant Affairs and has served as chair. Previously, Karen served as the Legal Director and then Interim Executive Director for what is now knows as American Gateways, one of Austin’s most well known immigrant rights nonprofits. She has also taught at Immigration Law Clinic for the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
Penelope CodringtonSecretary, Board of Directorspenny@codringtonlaw.com
Penelope was born in England to West Indian parents. She immigrated to the United States from Barbados as a teenager. She is currently a corporate attorney and deal facilitator in Washington DC. Penelope has practiced law in the United States and in Europe for over twenty-five years, including serving for ten years as a senior director in a Fortune 100 tech company. Penelope is also a storyteller and essay writer, passionate about sharing the challenges faced and contributions made by immigrants. She is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and Harvard Law School.
Melissa SilvaMember, Board of Directors
Melissa was born and raised in South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley will always have a special place in her heart. After graduating from The University of Texas, she spent time in a campus ministry working with Latino college students at Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas. During this time, she began coming alongside and advocating for undocumented students. She spent almost a decade in the public education system as a 3rd grade ESL teacher and coached teachers in creating well- functioning and dignifying classrooms. Melissa is passionate about social justice. She frequently dialogues and is an active contributor in moving towards a more just world.
Dennis Jared WindscheffelMember, Board of Directorsdwindscheffel@akingump.com210.281.7176
Dennis Windscheffel represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial disputes. He has represented a diverse body of clients in a variety of industries, including:, insurance, securities, energy, real estate, construction, oil and gas, intellectual property, and telecommunications.
Dennis has handled numerous matters on a pro bono basis, including representing more than a hundred refugees over the last ten years. He has repeatedly been recognized for his long-standing commitment to pro bono legal services. In October 2018, Dennis was selected as a “Pro Bono Champion” by the Texas Access to Justice Commission. In 2015, Dennis was part of a group of Akin Gump attorneys who received the State Bar of Texas Frank Newton Award. In 2014, Dennis was recognized as Akin Gump’s pro bono counsel of the year.
Dennis is also part of a group of attorneys who organized and participated in the Karnes City Project, a collaborative project that provides pro bono representation to refugees from Central America.
Chad GrahamMember, Board of Directors
Chad Graham is an immigration attorney and partner at Graham Adair in San Jose, California. His practice encompasses all aspects of business immigration, including mergers and acquisitions, E-Verify compliance, non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, I-9s and E-Verify, consular practice, and naturalization. Mr. Graham earned his law degree from the University of Iowa, graduating with highest honors for service, and worked as Managing Editor for the law journal, Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. Mr. Graham also worked for two years in the legal clinic at the University of Iowa working with nonprofit corporations. From October 2005 – December 2009, Mr. Graham was employed by one of the largest immigration practice groups in the United States.