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Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW
Chad Dion Lassiter is a nationally recognized expert in the field of American Race Relations. Lassiter has worked on race, peace, and poverty-related issues in the U.S., Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel, and Norway, and is called upon frequently by media outlets to provide commentary on race relations and potential solutions.
Lassiter is the current Executive Director of the PHRC, where he has legislatively delegated authority to investigate filed complaints alleging the occurrence of unlawful discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and commercial property, education, and/or regarding public accommodations.
During his tenure in this position, he has developed and launched a "No Hate in Our State Townhall" to address the surge of White Nationalism in Pennsylvania and a "Social Justice Lecture Series" to provide an outlet for Pa. communities to discuss imperative issues. He also serves on a Racial Reduction Response team for those communities impacted by hatred.
He oversees a staff of 87 with three Regional Offices that serve the 67 counties in Pennsylvania. He also manages an annual budget of $12 million. Under his appointment, Lassiter has developed programs, such as a "Global Social Justice Initiative," "Black and Jewish Beloved Community Dialogue," and the "College Race Dialogue Initiative."
Lassiter received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work, where he was the A. Phillip Randolph Award winner in 2001. He received his bachelor's degree in Social Work from Johnson C. Smith University in 1995.
Lassiter is a Co-founder and the current President of The University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice's Black Men at Penn, the first Ivy League black male group of social workers. This transcendent group seeks to recruit black males into the profession, provide anti-racism and violence-prevention training to urban and suburban schools around the country, and offer diversity and inclusion training for corporate entities and penal systems.
Lassiter has been recognized by the Philadelphia Tribune as "The Most Influential African American Leader from 2010-2020," as the "Young Leaders of the Future Under 30" by Ebony Magazine in 2003, and "Who's Who among African-Americans" 17th edition in 2004 with such notables as Colin Powell and Michael Jordan. On November 18, 2019, Lassiter was inducted into the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2021, Lassiter was named Social Worker of the Year by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and in 2022 was named to City and State's "The Power of Diverstiy Black 100" list.
Lassiter's previous work includes Executive Director of the Red Cross House with the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania and a Visiting Scholar at West Chester University in the Undergraduate School of Social Work. He was also a former contributing Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice, where he was the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Award. He is a former research fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Collective Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he worked on two National Research Projects, P.L.A.A.Y. (Preventing Long Term Anger and Aggression in Youth) and H.I.P.P. (Health Information Providers and Promoters).
Lassiter has also held several Board of Trustees positions, which include his appointment as a member of the Board of Governors at St. Christopher Hospital for the Children (five years), Board of Trustees for the Philadelphia Prison System (eight years), and Board of Trustees for the Community College of Philadelphia (five years).
Lassiter is a pioneer in the fields of social work, social justice, and race relations where he hopes to continue to impact and empower.
Director of Enforcement Kurt Jung, Esq.
Kurt Jung is the Director of Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). As a Senior Manager, he is responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures for PHRC programs designed to enforce the provisions of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
Prior to coming to the Commission, he worked for the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, where he held positions as an Investigator, Civil Rights Trial Attorney, Enforcement Supervisor, State and Local Program Manager, and Administrative Judge. As a Trial Attorney, he litigated cases in Federal court on behalf of aggrieved individuals and the EEOC. In his role as an Administrative Judge, he was responsible for adjudicating cases filed by federal employees against their agencies.
Jung previously managed the EEOC contracts with 12 State and Local Fair Employment Practice Agencies including PHRC, as an EEOC State and Local Program Manager. With a passion for Civil Rights, he spoke at various Community Events and Programs involving the Asian American/Pacific Islander and Deaf Communities concerning disability and discrimination law.
He is currently the founder and the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Jersey Music Academy, a non-profit music school with the mission of bring music instruction and performance to all peoples, including the disabled, the indigent, and the elderly. He is a graduate of Temple University School of Law.
Chief Counsel Samuel Rivera, Esq.
Samuel Rivera, Esq. brings a fiery passion to his position as chief counsel to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, where he oversees the legal division and safeguards the legal interests of the civil enforcement agency. Chief Counsel Rivera comes to PHRC with a long history of successful litigation, trial advocacy for reform, and the pursuit of justice at every level.
Prior to being named chief counsel, Rivera worked to protect the rights of children and families as the Senior Staff Attorney for the Racial Justice Project at the University of Connecticut School of Law’s Center for Children’s Advocacy in Bridgeport, CT. There, he worked tirelessly to reform the policies and practices of education, law enforcement, and justice systems that lead to over-representation of minority youth at various points in the education and justice systems. He served as chair and facilitated five Racial and Ethnic Disparity (RED) Reduction Committee meetings located across the state that included representatives with decision-making authority, such as school superintendents, chiefs of police, local judges, juvenile probation officers, and community-based programs. In this role, Rivera managed the Bridgeport legal office, represented youth in juvenile court and educational administrative hearings; and provided training on education discrimination to probation officers, families, and other community groups.
Before working in Bridgeport, Rivera operated a successful Harrisburg law practice dedicated to state and federal criminal defense work. During this time, his work included investigating, counseling, preliminary hearings, detention hearings, jury trials, pre-trial and post-sentence motions practice, sentencing hearings, post-conviction collateral relief petitions, trial and appellate briefs, and probation and parole revocation hearings. Rivera also represented families and children at Children & Youth hearings, detention, adjudication, and dispositional hearings. His record shows successful appeals to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Rivera was appointed to the U.S. District Court, Middle District of PA, as a Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney, from 2000--2006 and 2009--2019.
During this time, he represented indigent defendants in the Middle District of Pennsylvania on various criminal matters at every stage of the process, from the initial appearance through appeal. Rivera also handled numerous illegal re-entry and criminal matters, and counseled clients on possible immigration consequences.
Additionally, he served an Assistant Public Defender in the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office in Harrisburg.
Director of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Mediation Guerline L. Laurore, Esq.
Guerline L. Laurore, Esq. serves as the Direcot of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs and as the Director of Mediation for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. In this role, Laurore has led a team of two mediators to successfully settle more than $3.2 million in awards for aggrieved citizens of the Commownealth.
During her time at PHRC, Laurore has received the 2021 PHRC Executive Director Excellence Award and PHRC 2021 Best Social Justice Team Award for her work leading the Mediation Division. In addition, she received the 2021 Trailblazer in Public Policy Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Harrisburg Chapter.
Laurore maintained a prominent immigration law practice for over ten years prior to joining the Commonwealth as PHRC Director of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs. In addition, she taught as an adjunct faculty at several colleges and universities in the areas of Psychology and Law.
Laurore earned a Bachelors’ degree (Licence) in Psychology, in 1995 and a Masters’ Degree (Maitrise) in Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology in 1996, both from the University of Provence Center of Aix, one of only five universities in the nation connected with the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique.
In 2004, she received a Juris Doctor Degree from Widener University School of Law, in Wilmington Delaware. Laurore is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and several other courts. She is fluent in English, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Spanish.
Laurore humbly serves as a Team Leader at First Haitian Christian Assembly of Harrisburg, and the America250 Advisory Committee. She is appointed by President Biden to serve on the PA State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, sits on the board of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and is past President of NAACP Wilkes-Barre, and has served on several community organizations throughout the Commonwealth.
She is the 2011 recipient of the Pennsylvania Young Lawyers Division Michael K. Smith Excellence in Service Award. Ms. Laurore was selected as a Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee, Rising Star. She was named one of Lulac Political Letter’s 2018 Women We Love.
Director of Fair Housing and Commercial Property Adrian Garcia
Adrian Garcia serves as PHRC's Director of Fair Housing and Commercial Property Division and has enjoyed a long career focused on assuring equal consideration and representation at every level. Experience in human relations, advertising, marketing, insurance and financial products and his degree from Palmer Business Institute have allowed him to serve his community locally and beyond -always with a focus on markets of inclusion.
As Specialty Marketing Manager for Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Garcia chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Work Group which worked on ensuring fair representation in the hiring and promoting of a diverse staff in their retail and corporate divisions.
After 5 years with AAP, Garcia returned to Lancaster, PA where he worked as Development Officer for the local Hispanic Public Radio Station, SACA Broadcast Station Corporation. Garcia was subsequently hired as an Intake officer of the Lancaster County Human Relations Commission, and later became an investigator working on employment discrimination cases and assisting as an interpreter for housing cases, which included translating complaints and other documents. He translated the Landlord/Tenants Rights and Responsibilities Manual, which is now known as the Know Your Rights Landlord and Tenant Guide. Garcia was the Education Committee Liaison working with over 15 school districts throughout Lancaster County.
In 2016, Garcia joined Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) as its director of Housing Equality & Equity Institute, where he led the effort of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing through programmatic advocacy where Garica sought ways to breathe life into the AFFH.
In 2018 Garcia applied for and secured the Fair Housing Initiatives Program designation from HUD. This was a game changer as it allowed LHOP to expand its fair housing education and outreach initiatives in York county including The Rental Advantage Course and the Eviction Prevention Network. For these programs Garcia received the 2019 Innovator Award from Fine Dinning Lancaster Magazine. The Eviction Prevention Network model has become the framework for addressing COVID19 evictions.
For his work in various communities across the nation and here at home, Adrian has received the following awards:
- NAACP Image Award for Business, Roanoke, VA
- Frank C Sumy Award from the Urban League of Lancaster.
- LULAC Leadership Award, Memphis, TN
- Compañeros Award, Atlanta, GA
- Community Stewardship Award, AUSA, Roanoke, VA
- Innovator Award, Lancaster, PA
- City and State's 50 Over 50 2021 PA Power List
Director, Pittsburgh Regional Office Lyle Wood
Lyle Wood is the Director of the Pittsburgh Regional Office of the PA Human Relations Commission, where he directs the enforcement of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act overseeing 26 counties in Western PA.
Wood was a member of the first wave of African American students to integrate Pittsburgh’s public elementary and secondary schools. By the end of his junior year, he was elected Taylor Allderdice High School’s first African American student government president, serving during his senior year.
While a student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in History, Wood was active in many areas. He joined Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, earned a varsity letter in track and field and was the first African American Secretary of the Inter Fraternity Council. He was the NAACP fundraising Chair, the co-chair of the West African Drought Relief Fund and a Fulbright Grantee for Project Afghanistan sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, studying at the University of Kabul. Lyle was selected as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Before coming to the Commission, Wood was a General Manager in the property management division of builder/developer Crossgates, Inc. Subsequent to his four years at Crossgates, Inc. Wood also worked as the senior housing counselor at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s, County Housing Counseling unit assigned to comprehensive housing counseling issues and conducted default/delinquent mortgage counseling for eight years.
On January 19, 1989, Wood began with the Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission as an investigator, investigating housing related discrimination complaints. He was appointed Investigative Supervisor, expanding to all other areas within the Commission’s jurisdiction. He has served as Regional Director since July 2016.
Director, Harrisburg Regional Office Heather Roth
Heather Roth joined the PHRC in January of 2013 as the Regional Director for the Harrisburg region. The Harrisburg Regional office serves 36 counties in PA. Roth's role is to direct and manage the investigative work of the staff as well as to conduct outreach and training for the communities in which the office serves.
Prior to this role, Roth spent 15+ years in the field of Human Resources Management. She served in multiple senior manager roles and directed the human resources functions for multi-site and multi-state organizations. As a District Human Resources Manager for The Home Depot, she oversaw the HR operations of eight store locations in Central PA which employed more than 1,000 employees. She also served as a certified management trainer and worked on special employee relations projects throughout the PA/NJ region.
As the Manager of Store Support - Human Resources for Ollie's Bargain Outlet she oversaw the HR functions for 111 stores in 12 states which employed more than 3,000 employees. Roth was instrumental in developing HR policies and documents as well as keeping the organization compliant with state and Federal laws. Roth also served as a Market Area Human Resources Manager for Interstate Waste Services (now Advanced Disposal) overseeing the PA and MD markets.
Roth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University where she studied Public Relations. Roth has held professional certifications in human resources since 2004. She obtained her SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute in 2010.
Roth was accepted as a member of the Mid Atlantic ADA Leadership Network in 2016.
Roth received two awards from the Commonwealth in 2016 including a “Transformation Award” from the Governor’s Office of Innovation and the “Education and Outreach Award” from the Commission for her work in educating the public.
Director, Philadelphia Regional Office Robert Lindsey
Robert Lindsey serves as the director of the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. In addition to managing the operations of the office, this role allows Lindsey to continue his personal and professional path of serving and functioning in core human relations domains – specifically equal employment opportunity, diversity and inclusion, civil rights, and social Justice.
Lindsey has held positions within the public and private sectors which he says has heightened his desire and commitment to address biased and unfounded prejudicial assumptions which unfortunately have led to discriminatory paradigms throughout the world we live in today.
Director Lindsey’s academic background includes earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee with a major in philosophy concurrent with a commission in the U.S. Army. He started his career at what was at that point his most rewarding assignment, working as the Operations and Chief Test Management Officer of the Philadelphia Military Entrance Processing Station.
Since that time Director Lindsey has held positions of increasing authority and responsibility within the Human Resource Management field. Prior to joining the PHRC team, he served as the Strategic and Operations Human Resource Business Partner/Consultant for Next Generation Corporation, a diversified management consulting/advisory firm.
Recently, Lindsey completed a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University, focusing on course work as it applied to cultural diversity, law, and ethics, thus reaffirming interest and commitment to addressing the factors that enable and sustain our social contract of living in a society centered in justice, equality, and fairness.
Director of Communications Laura Argenbright
Laura Argenbright serves as Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission with responsibility for leading statewide integrated communications, marketing, PR, and media strategies. Likewise, Argenbright directs production of the PHRC Annual Report, the Annual No Hate in our State/Building the Beloved Community Report, and a monthly staff newsletter.
Argenbright has more than 35 years of business experience, including nearly 20 years in the hospitality and tourism sector and 10 years as an Arts administrator. Prior roles include marketing director, development director, festival manager and executive director in both non-profit and corporate organizations. Additionally, Argenbright spent 10 years working as a self-employed marketing and PR consultant, helping businesses in Westmoreland, Somerset and Cambria counties succeed through successful promotional campaigns.
An involved community leader in the Laurel Highlands region, Argenbright is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, and since 2020 has served as founding chair of the annual Sunset Serenade fall fundraising event. Among many other civic groups and committees, Laura served for 10 years on the Board of Directors, including several years on the Executive Committee, of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, now Go, Laurel Highlands. Following roles as marketing and development director, and executive director, Argenbright remains an active board member of the Mountain Playhouse, an iconic 83-year-old Equity summer stock theater in Somerset County.
Throughout her career, Argenbright has been a freelance writer and reporter for various publications and business journals including the Pennsylvania Business Central, the Tribune-Review, and since 2010 has been a weekly columnist in the Ligonier Echo newspaper.
A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Argenbright holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Special Assistant to the Executive Director Anja Mijocevic
In 2015, Anja Mijocevic moved to the United States where she started her career with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After working for different Departments, in 2018, she joined the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Since then, she has been an integral part of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, serving as Special Assistant to the Executive Director, working to advance PHRC’s vision to address all forms of unlawful discrimination. Mijocevic has been the lead on project designed around Social Justice Lecture Series, No Hate In Our State, Social Justice Intern Initiative and the recently launched Social Justice Global Initiative with the Executive Director.
Mijocevic graduated from the Limoilou college of Quebec where she studied Spanish and German. Within two years she earned a college diploma of Science, Arts and Languages. One year later, while employed for the Government of Quebec, she studied at the University Laval to earn a Bachelors’ degree in Political Science.
Mijocevic worked for the Secretariat du Conseil du Tresor a governmental department with its primary function to assist the Treasury Board and its’s Chair in the function of governmental management of resources such as HR, IT, budget and infrastructures. During this time, she also worked on the Strategic Planning and Budget announcement to the General Assembly for Treasury Board.
Mijocevic engages and supports various charitable organizations such as the YWCA of Harrisburg, Bethesda Mission Men's Shelter and Toys for tots.