Leadership and Staff

For questions or comments, contact Program Manager, Karina Vogel at *protected email* or 704-907-0974.

Board of Directors

Aleigh Acerni
Aleigh Acerni, Marketing/Public Relations Chair
Aleigh is a writer/editor and offers marketing, public relations, and social media guidance and support for Circle de Luz. After being involved as a Mija for the class of 2015, she was eager to be more involved and joined the board in July 2013. She and her husband have a daughter, Claudia, and two dogs.
Ashley Headshot
Ashley Clark, College 101/Alumni Programming Chair

Ashley is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A.in Urban Studies and a minor in Spanish. She received her Masters from UNC Chapel Hill in City and Regional Planning with a focus on housing and community development. She is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Social Capital at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  Ashley first became involved with Circle de Luz through its partnership with the Junior League of Charlotte and is excited to continue her involvement as a board member.  She works with research and data all day, so in her free time she loves to use the other side of her brain and do anything that is creative and crafty.She lives in Huntersville, NC with her husband Kevin and their rescue cat (that thinks he’s a dog) Milton.

Vanessa Garcia
Vanessa Garcia, Special Project Chair

Vanessa works in Development and Alumni Relations at Johnson and Wales University. Originally involved with Circle de Luz through our partnership with the Junior League, she joined the board in July of 2013 in order to deepen her involvement. As treasurer she provides strategic financial guidance to the organization as well as help to pursue financial sustainability and IRS compliance. In addition, she serves as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Symphony Guild of Charlotte and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Jennifer Geyer
Jennifer Geyer, Family Resources Chair
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Ethnic Studies from Davidson College. She currently works as a Career Pathways Advisor for MeckEd at Garinger High School. Prior to MeckEd, Jennifer served as an AmeriCorps ACCESS member working with immigrants and refugees and as a Resource Center Assistant and College Access Para Todos Coordinator at the Latin American Coalition where she discovered her passion for working with students and helping them attain their goals of higher education. Jennifer is an avid salsa and samba dancer and is a proud member of Rumbao Latin Dance Company and Movimentos de Samba Dance Company.
Mary Kathryn Elkins, Finance Chair
Mary Kathryn is a mother of two young boys, Nolan and Graham, who loves to run, practice yoga, cook (especially baking!), and read. She attended Davidson College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and also has her Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She was involved with Circle de Luz as a board member for four years before being hired as the first Program Manager. She is thrilled to go back to serve Circle de Luz as a board member.
Leslie Johnson
Leslie Johnson, Organizational Impact Chair
Leslie is a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo currently leading a Enterprise
Project Management Office. She has been with the company over 30 years and is active in the Charlotte community where she resides. Leslie has been focused on helping kids navigate high school and beyond, first as President of the Vance High School PTO and then as a mentor for the GENTS program which focused on helping at risk male students graduate from high school. After being a program donor to Circle de Luz for the past couple of years, Leslie looks forward to contributing as an active board member.
Rosie Molinary, Board Chair

Rosie is an author, speaker, and educator. She is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina. Raised in Columbia, SC, she is of Puerto Rican descent and now lives in Davidson, NC with her husband and son.

Jocelyn Negron-Rios
Jocelyn Negron-Rios, Relationships Chair

Jocelyn is a founding board member of Circle de Luz, and has been part of this amazing organization since its inception. As a proud Puerto Rican hailing from New York City she is honored to serve in the Charlotte Latino community and help empower young women to pursue their possibilities by way of further education. Jocelyn serves as Relationships Chair for Circle de Luz and is passionate about diversity/inclusion and making sure our communities are seen and heard. She works in Compliance and Administration and is currently pursuing her degree in International Business. She resides in Huntersville, NC with her husband and two sons.


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Karina Vogel, PMP – Program Manager

Karina is a native of Lima, Peru currently living in Charlotte, NC with her husband Stephen and her rescue pup Layla. She is a graduate from UNC-Charlotte University with a B.S. in Accounting and has recently obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  Prior to joining Circle de Luz, Karina worked in the corporate world for nearly 20 years holding several administrative, operational, financial, and project management positions. She enjoys cooking, salsa dancing, paddle boarding, and running.