Our Staff and Board

Who We Are

There are two arms of CeaseFirePA, the educational arm CeaseFire Pennsylvania Education Fund (organized under the nonprofit laws of the Commonwealth of PA and recognized as exempt from income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code), and the advocacy arm CeaseFire Pennsylvania, (organized under the nonprofit laws of the Commonwealth of PA and recognized as exempt from income tax under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service Code).

Our Board of Directors



Shawn Kraemer, President
Alicia Chatkin, Vice President
Jill Zipin, Esq., Vice President
Howard Levin, Treasurer

Board Of Ceasefire Pennsylvania Education Fund

Alicia Chatkin MPA, MSW (President)
Jill Zipin (Vice President)
Howard Levin (Treasurer)
Mayor J. Richard Gray (Secretary)
Karen C. Buck
David Ellowitch, CFP
Kathy Ochroch
Harriet Weiss
Laura Morris
Todd Underwood

Board of Ceasefire Pennsylvania

Ellen Brookstein
Dr. Andrea Kesack
Mayor J. Richard Gray
Adam Kessler
Lila Roomberg
David Scholnick
Helen Tai
Hon. Timothy K. Lewis




Our Staff


Adam Garber

Adam Garber is CeaseFirePA’s executive director. Before joining CeaseFire PA, he worked to protect everyone from dangers in the marketplace at U.S. PIRG where his independent investigations into toxic toys, dangerous cars, contaminated food and other threats received national coverage on CBS This Morning, the New York Times and elsewhere. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade advocating for clean air and water in Pennsylvania at the local, state and national level.  Adam lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and young son, Elon, where he enjoys studying history, exploring the city and cooking.

Josh Fleitman

Josh Fleitman is CeaseFirePA’s Western PA Manager. His background is in policy, politics, and communications at the local, state, and federal government levels. He previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to PA State Senator Pam Iovino and worked in the offices of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and cat, and enjoys singing and playing guitar, skiing, and cooking. 


Christian Soltysiak

Christian serves as CeaseFirePA’s Managing Director. Christian brings her experience as a former small business owner as well as her commitment to civic engagement through her work on Jenkintown Borough Council. She is also a proud AmeriCorps NCCC alum.

Rhona Gerber

Rhona Gerber is CeaseFirePA’s Development Director. Rhona has over twenty-five years of development experience with non-profit and political organizations both as a staff member and as a consultant during her tenure as a partner at Fleischman Gerber and Associates. She is active in many civic organizations, including her local board of elections, Wintershelter and the steering committee for the Center City Kehillah.

Max Milkman

Max Milkman serves as our Lead Organizer. His role entails empowering Pennsylvanians to join the gun violence prevention movement and inspiring them to use their voice to advocate for safer communities. He is a Perlman Jewish Day School alum and attended Temple University. Mr. Milkman has worked on several political campaigns in the Commonwealth including Josh Shapiro’s Campaign for Attorney General. He also serves as the Pennsylvania Co-Director of March For Our Lives, the youth-led gun violence prevention organization founded by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Frances Patano

Frances Patano is CeaseFirePA’s Communications Manager. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received her Masters in American Government at Georgetown University. Frances is a proud AmeriCorps alumni and worked as an educator with College Possible at George Washington High School in Northeast Philly. She also brings years of campaign and electoral politics experience, and she served as a Deputy Organizing Director on the Pennsylvania 2020 Coordinated Campaign in NEPA and Central PA. Most importantly, she is #TeamWawa and Gritty’s number one fan.


Dijonée Talley

Dijonée Talley’s fellowship will focus on working to strengthen the role of youth voices in Pennsylvania’s gun violence prevention policy efforts through a youth led approach. It is a shared fellowship between the Health Promotion Council and CeaseFirePA. Currently, Dijonée is pursuing her PhD in Criminal Justice from Temple University. She brings experience working on violence prevention efforts as an applied researcher, community organizer, and educator. She has conducted evaluations and developed programming for YouthStat, a school-based intervention that seeks to reduce justice involvement, and developed policy skills while staffing the Connecticut legislature’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee. She also has a long track record of educating young people, including most recently overseeing Ourchive’s Youth Justice Advocacy program. Dijonée holds a BA in social thought and political economy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MS in criminal justice and forensic psychology from the University of New Haven.


Kallel Edwards

Kallel Edwards is the Philadelphia Campaign Organizer for CeaseFirePA. In his decade of organizing and issue-based advocacy, he has worked to establish fair sentencing guidelines at Families Against Mandatory Minimums and advocated for immigrant rights with Make the Road. He has extensive political experience having served on the Board of Directors for Millennials on Action to encourage urban millennials to play a “substantive role” in regional politics and local elections including Kahlil Williams campaign for Philadelphia Commissioner. Kallel is active in several organizations including the Philadelphia Free Library, Member of Blacks in Government, and the National Coordinator of the Flag program (Future Leaders of American Government). He is an active alum of Cheyney University, Located in Cheyney, PA.

John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens

John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens is CeaseFirePA’s Central Pennsylvania Campaign Organizer. Before joining CeaseFirePA, he spent the past 5 years organizing faith communities to advocate for criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, immigration and education policies with Mennonite Central Committee and the PA Council of Churches. His work on immigration is featured in the documentary “Las Madres Berks”, which shares testimonials of 4 mothers who were detained in the Berks County Residential Center. John-Michael lives in Harrisburg with his wife, Heather, and their two dogs and one cat. When not trying to improve Central Pennsylvania, John-Michael enjoys riding his bike, kayaking, hiking, reading and cooking for friends and family.