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Our Team

James Burnett

Executive Director, VestedIn
Mr. Burnett has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years, beginning his career with Fidelity Bank 1988. In 1999, Mr. Burnett pivoted to community economic development (“CED”) as Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution (WPFSI). Because of his CED work, Mr. Burnett became an adjunct professor position at Thomas Jefferson University in the School of Sustainable Design. In addition to his professional focus, Mr. Burnett has served diligently on various community and professional boards and is committed to the promotion of financial education and access to capital. While building ParkWest Town Center Mr. Burnett oversaw the development of the WesGold Fellows program to provide high school students with exposure to opportunities that are typically beyond their reach. Mr. Burnett has frequently spoken about how having these students around every summer brings new ideas and focus to why VestedIn is committed to investing in Philadelphia’s youth and their impact on the future of the City.

Samantha R. Lyons

Director, WesGold Fellows
Prior to joining VestedIn as WesGold Fellows’ first full time director, Samantha spent eight years as a business attorney, providing strategic legal and business development on behalf of her clients. After graduating law school, she worked as the Diversity Recruiter for Villanova University School of Law. After Villanova, Samantha joined Tiagha & Associates as the Manager of Corporate & International Business, with a particular focus on business development, corporate transactions, real estate, and small business. After Tiagha & Associates, Samantha founded Grace & River Strategies, a project development firm, where she served as the head of Strategic Legal & Business Development. Samantha received her Juris Doctorate from Villanova School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ursinus College, where she minored in Spanish and English. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and a graduate, with honors, of Temple's Real Estate Institute. A Philadelphia native, Samantha is a proud alumna of the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

Crystal Randall

Administrative Assistant, VestedIn
Crystal has over 20 years of office administrative experience working with several non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area. At VestedIn, she is responsible for carrying out day-to-day general administrative duties for the entire organization, including accounts payable and receivable, office management and human resources. In addition, she assists with the management and distribution of grants and loan processing. Crystal studied public relations at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Jabari Jones NOBG

Business Support- Small Business Loans

Malcom Yates NOBG

Kwame Amankwatia NOBG

Andre Andrews NOBG

2021 Coordinators

Collin Young

Collin Young
Collin Young is a sophomore at Drexel University studying Entrepreneurship. He is from Baltimore, Maryland where, as a high school student, his interests included design and sports. Colin was also a varsity athlete. He has prior work experience as a teacher and coach.
Jana Alrayes

Jana Alrayes
Jana Alrayes is a junior at Drexel University, pursuing a degree in Psychology with a French minor. She is mainly interested in helping others, which is one of her core values. Jana enjoys volunteering and her past volunteer experience includes assisting at a daycare and elementary school. Jana aspires to become a professional organizer in order to help others create order and diminish clutter in their lives. She also enjoys learning about different cultures, which is why she chose to study French and became an instructor for a Korean pop dance team at Drexel. In her free time you’ll find her learning new dance choreographies, reading Stephen King novels, or spending time with her two cats Buddy and Toona.
Tushar Rai

Tushar Rai
Tushar is a second-year Interactive Digital Media student at Drexel University. For the last 6 years Tushar has been engaged in youth development organizations and communities around the world. He has a strong passion for education and human-centered User Experience design. In the near future, Tushar wants to be someone who works in the field of Education Technology to improve the ways of learning things through the concepts of experience design, user research, and immersive/interactive technologies.
Will Pelisson

Will Pelisson
Will Pelisson is a sophomore at Drexel University currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship. Pelisson has extensive volunteer experience in mentorship programs such as Reach Mentorship and Unified Sports. In addition to his volunteer experience, Will has professional experience in customer service, and has started and managed his own small business. His future career plans are to either have his own business or work in the consulting industry.
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