Annie Johnston – Director, BIA Accredited Immigration Attorney
Annie Johnston is a native of Chicago, IL who has made her home in the Gulf South. She is a graduate of Tulane University’s School of Law, where she also obtained her Juris Doctorate and a joint Master’s degree in International Development. From 2013 until 2016, Ms. Johnston was employed at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, where she oversaw the citizenship program while working primarily to provide direct immigration legal services to adult and child immigrant survivors of abuse and persecution. Ms. Johnston moved to the MS Gulf Coast in January of 2016 to begin her current position as director of El Pueblo Immigration Legal Services.
Mary Townsend – BIA Accredited Immigration Attorney
Mary Townsend is a native of Pass Christian, Mississippi. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974 with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. She worked for a number of years as a computer systems analyst, until she began volunteering with the immigrant community in 1998 in Central Mississippi. She established and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in Morton, MS, arranged for an immigration attorney to provide low-cost immigration services at the local Catholic Center, organized parenting classes, accompanied people to the doctor, lawyer, court and other appointments as an interpreter and advocate. She also taught ESL classes at Trinity Mission Center of the United Methodist Church in Forest, MS, and at Tyson Foods in Carthage, MS, over a period of 8 years. She helped to establish the Immigration Clinic of Catholic Charities Jackson and was the immigration specialist there from 2002 to 2003. In that capacity she was accredited to practice as an immigration paralegal by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) of the U. S. Department of Justice. She was a founding member of MIRA! (Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance) and served as an officer and member of the Board of Directors for several years.
Ms. Townsend returned to the Gulf Coast in July, 2006 to work for Hispanic/Latino Ministries of the United Methodist Church as a long-term recovery caseworker for Spanish-speaking victims of Katrina. She helped to found El Pueblo in 2007 and continues to work there providing immigration legal services.
Xenia Wickline – Accredited Immigration Case Manager, Domestic Violence Program Coordinator
Born in El Salvador, Mrs. Wickline graduated as an Industrial Engineer in 1996 from the University of Engineering of El Salvador and spent 15 years as Manager of Operations and Logistics for a Salvadoran company. Mrs. Wickline volunteered for more than 14 years at a children’s orphanage in El Salvador where she combined her business skills with her love of service by constructing a Therapy Room for children with special needs.
After marrying a U.S. serviceman, Mrs. Wickline moved to the United States and became a naturalized citizen. She is now the proud mother of a teenager. Mrs. Wickline’s deep desire to help less fortunate members of her community led her to begin work at El Pueblo in 2011 as a Receptionist and Interpreter for the Hispanic community. In 2012, Mrs. Wickline became an Administrative Assistant at El Pueblo and a leader of “Mujeres Unidas.” Mrs. Wickline’s passion for learning has since led her to initiate a collaboration between Mujeres Unidas and Mississippi State University that allows immigrant women access to teaching on topics such as parenting, depression, and nutrition. In 2015, Mrs. Wickline became a BIA-Accredited Immigration Representative. She is currently the coordinator of the Domestic Violence in Immigrants Program.
Kay Horne – Administrative Assistant/ Paralegal
Born in Chicago, Kay Horne was raised in Biloxi, MS. She received her B.A. in vocal performance from Xavier University of Louisiana and then spent three years working for the Office of Development at Tulane University where she was involved with the Major Gifts Program. After working for Federal Express for 21 years, Ms. Horne went to work for Fedex as a Senior Sales Analyst in Chicago. Ms. Horne moved to Mississippi after hurricane Katrina and quickly became a committed advocate and liaison for the elderly on the Gulf Coast. Over the years, Ms. Horne has dedicated herself to helping the elderly, founding a fellowship center and feeding program for senior citizens and using her vehicle for “meals on wheels.” Her service won her the attention of WLOX which featured her in a news story as a “hometown hero.” Ms. Horne worked as a Procurement Officer and later as a Municipal Court & Deputy Court Clerk for the City of Gulfport. Her love for service has led her to stay as active as ever since retiring from public service, and last year Ms. Horne joined El Pueblo’s staff. She is now working to become an accredited BIA. Ms. Horne has established a women’s conference at her church which is about to celebrate its ten-year anniversary, and she runs a food pantry for the homeless. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Ms. Horne revives her memories from singing with the New Orleans Opera for ten years by sharing her vocal talents with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus each Christmas season.
Kathryn Millard – Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, ESL Instructor/ Coordinator
Born and raised in Plainfield, NJ, Ms. Millard studied Biology from Bloomfield College after which she transferred to Thomas Edison State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science & Mathematics. In 2017, Ms. Millard completed her Masters of Public Service Leadership in Public Health/Public Policy. Prior to serving at El Pueblo, Ms. Millard worked at Smyyth, LLC in South Plainfield, NJ as a Corporate Deduction Analyst and at Johnson & Johnson in Piscataway, NJ as a Credit Management-Account Manager. Ms. Millard was trained to be a concert pianist for eight years and is an accomplished singer/songwriter with successful album placements and features. Ms. Millard’s devotion as an El Pueblo staff member is fueled by her heart for service, as she loves to see people win and hates to see them hurting. Her deep commitment to outreach is reflected in her favorite quote: “Our Language is Love & Kindness Is Our Accent.” — P.K. Cooley.
Marlene Zepeda – ACA Navigator serving Latino population on the coast
Born in El Salvador, Marlene Zepeda moved to Biloxi in 2005. She received her degree in Business Administration from Captain General Gerardo Barrios University in El Salvador. In 2016, Ms. Zepeda began working at El Pueblo as an Affordable Care Act liaison. Ms. Zepeda finds great joy in helping the Spanish speaking community on the Gulf Coast. She has two beautiful daughters.