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Director, Mitzvah Corps
Alexa Broida has been passionate about discovering people and places around the world, uncovering untold stories, and connecting others with life-changing global experiences for as long as she can remember. As the Director of Mitzvah Corps, a nonprofit that runs network of social justice travel programs, she spends her time identifying off-the-grid innovators and sustainable change agents, and creating opportunities for young people to work alongside them in the fight for social justice.
Andrew Napier, a native of Queens, NY, began to engage in his community as a teen working on voter registration drives. Since then, he has continued to give back as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in New York City and later as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan. He fell in love with the city of Philadelphia while clerking with Chief Judge Petrese Tucker of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and currently practices in the Labor and Employment Group at an international law firm in the city. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and Columbia Law School.
Regulatory Compliance Manager, NRG
Brian Kauffman has a diverse business and public policy background. Brian was the founding Executive Director of Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, a trade association of 50 companies working to transform the electricity sector in Pennsylvania. As Executive Director, over three years Brian tripled the organization's budget, developed new programs, and hired and developed a talented team of Board and staff members. In this role, Brian collaborated with business, government, and other partners to make electricity more affordable, reliable, and sustainable for customers throughout the state by growing the state's utility energy efficiency programs known as Act 129. In 2016, Brian joined national energy solution provider, NRG Energy, as Regulatory Compliance Manager. At NRG, Brian is a member of the national strategy team for distributed energy resources, which include services such as, demand response, behind the meter generation, and battery energy storage. Brian is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale University.
Producer for Arts Discovery, People's Light Theatre
The focus of Devon's 12-year career thus far has been education, with a decade of specialization in early childhood. In 2005 she began managing Romparoo, an early learning center in Hoboken, NJ that she later went on to buy, for which she developed a full preschool program as well as arts, music, yoga and movement curriculum. She has owned Romparoo for over ten years and now oversees a full staff who run the daily operations. She loves collaborating with and mentoring fellow business owners. She has simultaneously worked as the full-time Children's Program Coordinator for the Swarthmore Public Library, where her passions for reading, writing, children and family programming, and literacy intersected. She currently works full-time as the Director of Education for People's Light Theatre in Malvern, where much of her role is dedicated to access and inclusion in the arts. With a lifelong interest in conflict resolution, she has earned her certification in Mediation from the state of New York, a minor in Nonviolent Conflict and Change from Syracuse University, she teaches yoga to children ages 2 -13 years, and acts as a chapter leader for the global nonprofit organization Kids for Peace. A relative newbie to Philadelphia - born and raised in a nearby suburb but only a Philly resident since 2016 - Devon is thrilled to explore Philly's vibrant theater offerings and eat her way through the city.
Director of School Transformation, Partners in School Innovation
Ebony is currently the Director of School Transformation for Partners in School Innovation. In her position, she works closely with district leaders and principals to transform teaching and learning in schools that are historically underserved. Previously, she was a middle school English teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. Ebony is passionate about literacy, whole child learning, and educational equity. She has taught in several other settings such as Emory University’s Autism Center, the Head Start Program, Jefferson County Adult Education Program teaching GED courses and in Fuzhou, China teaching conversational English. Ebony received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Professional Writing and Communications at Purdue University. She also earned a Master’s degree in Middle Grades Education at Mercer University. As a fairly new resident of Philadelphia, in Ebony’s spare team she enjoys learning more about the city, volunteering, writing, taking in the lovely art scene and dabbling in photography.
Owner, Hanbidge Law LLC
L. Elizabeth F. Hanbidge, Esq. owns Hanbidge Law, LLC, a civil litigation practice in Fort Washington, PA. Liz attended University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree and earned Masters’ degrees in psychology from Oxford and Harvard Universities before obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin. In addition to her litigation practice, Liz is doing further graduate work with the University of Cambridge on protective factors for children of high conflict divorce. Liz is very involved with the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP) a local initiative which provides free legal representation to children who are the victims of abuse and neglect in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of Foxcroft School, Middleburg, VA. Liz, a long time rower, is the awards captain of the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. A lifelong horseback rider, Liz has recently taken up triathloning. When not in court (and on occasion when she is), Liz is often accompanied by her canine companions Honey and Kaida.
Senior Manager-Government Affairs, Comcast
Gaige is a Senior Manager on Comcast’s Government Affairs team in Philadelphia. In his role, Gaige supports the implementation of the company’s regulatory and legislative initiatives with local governments, and advocacy efforts across 6,000 communities. Prior to joining Comcast, Gaige worked as a legal research assistant at Villanova University’s Widger School of Law, where he received his J.D. and M.B.A. in 2015. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Gaige arrived in Pennsylvania by way of Lehigh University, where he received his B.A. and was a member of the Men’s Varsity Lacrosse team. Gaige enjoys volunteering and serves on the boards of Lehigh’s Young Alumni Council, Comcast’s Young Professionals Network and Philly Set Go. When he isn’t working, Gaige enjoys reading and staying active. Visiting one of Philly’s many historical gems and playing pickup basketball at Palumbo are amongst his favorite weekend activities.
Attorney, Capstone Law LLC
A native to the City of Philadelphia, Jennifer proudly earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She later earned her law degree and certificate in Civil Law from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. During law school, Jennifer was a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and worked as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Robin M. Giarrusso. After living in New Orleans for six years, Jennifer returned home to Philadelphia to be a part of the renaissance happening between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. Jennifer serves on committees and boards of non-profits and remains involved with the University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer learned at an early age that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice. This axiom has guided her through her professional and civic commitments. In her free time, Jennifer tries to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live as often as possible.
Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation, PA Department of Health
Lauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc, FAAFP, is a practicing family physician and Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to joining the Department, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan where she studied health services research. She holds degrees in zoology and Spanish from Iowa State University, an MPH in health policy from The George Washington University, and a medical degree from the University of Iowa. Dr. Hughes served as the national president of the American Medical Student Association for one year prior to completing her residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has volunteered through AmeriCorps in a federally qualified health center, worked for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, and studied medicine and health systems in Brazil, Sweden, Tanzania, and Botswana. Dr. Hughes has also been a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center, ABC News Medical Unit in New York City, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and The Commonwealth Fund. In 2015, she was named a regional finalist in the White House Fellows program, and in 2016, a recipient of the Women Leaders in Medicine Award from the American Medical Student Association and the Early Career Achievement Award from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
Lauren Tilghman is principal of her own public relations boutique, PhilanthroPRY, specializing in non-profit and small business public relations. She is Philly transplant hailing from Chester County, PA. A graduate of Drexel University, Lauren is passionate about community advocacy; and often volunteers her time and resources to small not-for-profit organizations in the West and North Philadelphia areas. She is currently in the works of creating an app geared towards opportunity youth, and cultivating volunteer opportunities for them through the over 15,000 non-profits within the Greater Philadelphia area.
Senior Associate, U3 Advisors
Maurie Smith is a Senior Associate at U3 Advisors, a nationally recognized consulting practice that provides real estate and economic development solutions to the institutions that anchor our communities. Her projects range from creating large economic and community development strategies to implementing small-scale real estate development projects. At work, she splits her time between clients in Philadelphia, Chicago, and College Park, MD. Maurie earned her B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary and then returned back home to complete a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school, she worked in Camden, NJ at the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership on neighborhood planning, sustainability initiatives, and large infrastructure projects. Originally a West Philadelphia native, Maurie recently moved to South Philly in search of more affordable housing stock. She is passionate about her work in community and economic development and looks forward to engaging with the 2017 fellows to enact progressive agendas on the neighborhood, city and national stages!
Finance Associate, Rittenhouse Political Partners
Melissa McCleery is a fundraiser and political consultant with Rittenhouse Political Partners, where her work focuses on creating and implementing strategic finance and political plans to elect women and minority candidates. She is especially passionate about her work with Represent PAC, an organization working to elect more Democratic women to PA state legislative offices and build a pipeline for women to higher elected office though significant, early campaign contributions. Melissa grew up in the Lehigh Valley and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with degrees in women’s studies, political science, and Spanish. Throughout college, she was a campus activist successful in bringing increased attention to campus sexual assault and harassment and dramatically updating Penn State’s campus sexual assault policies to be more progressive. Her policy interests lie in social and economic justice, strong public education funding, and affordable health care. She enjoys running, spending time with her beloved Bichon pup, Jack, and adding to her collection of blue and white striped dresses.
Senior Manager of Youth Programs, The Village of Arts and Humanities Project Manager, US Attorney’s Office Eastern PA District
Through the healing power of art, Mike O’Bryan (Univ. of The Arts, ‘07) serves as an advocate for youth rights and social change in underserved communities. His professional experience touches the worlds of performance art, public health and trauma informed care. Much of his work has centered on amplifying the voices of marginalized populations including: adjudicated youth, youth and families experiencing homelessness, and migrant farm-workers. Past projects include work with: Project HOME, WURD 900AM, ASTEP, The University of Miami's Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, and The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Mike was named “Child Advocate of The Year, 2014” for the Philadelphia Region by The Pennsylvania Department of Education for his work assisting youth living in emergency housing and a 2016 “Hero for The Homeless” by One Step Away. Currently, he is pursuing a graduate certification in Childhood Development and Trauma Studies at Philadelphia University while also serving in two job roles: Senior Manager of Youth Programs at The Village of Arts and Humanities; and, Project Manager on a collaborative trauma and wellness initiative between The US Attorney’s Office (Eastern PA District) and The ANDRUS Sanctuary Institute.
Manager of Individual/Corporate Giving, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Naima relocated to Philadelphia in 2013 to pursue her Master's Degree at Drexel University. Upon arrival, she fell in love with the city's cultural vibrancy, musical history, and diversity of neighborhoods. She currently serves at the Manager of Individual and Corporate Giving at Mural Arts Philadelphia, where she connects public art advocates to opportunities to support accessible cultural experiences and a more-equitable Philadelphia.
Events and Public Programming Manager, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Nicole works in the Communications Department at Mural Arts Philadelphia as the Events and Public Programs Manager. Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Prior to Mural Arts, her work for an international art gallery allowed her the opportunity to live across the US and travel around the globe. Her decision to focus on her passions for public art and historic preservation led her to Philadelphia in 2011. She has since spent time working and volunteering for various cultural institutions throughout the city. The collaborative environment at Mural Arts has enabled her to maintain and grow those organizational relationships. She lives in Brewerytown with two rescue pups and a husband that keep the vegetables in her Brewerytown Garden plot alive.
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Nicole Pumphrey has dedicated her career to using education and economic development as tools to foster cultural understanding and promote inclusion. Nicole joined the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians as Director of Strategic Partnerships in 2014, where she builds collaborations and advocates for the valuable contributions of immigrants to the region’s future social stability and economic prosperity. Nicole earned her B.A. in French and Korean Studies and an M.S.Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the board of the Women’s Opportunity Resource Center, a CFDI promoting economic self-sufficiency for women and their families through entrepreneurship and the Pennsylvania Council for International Education, advocating for global competence in policy and practice throughout the Commonwealth. She has served as a member of the PA Department of Education’s International Education Advisory Council, on Mayor Jim Kenney’s Transition Team for Immigrant Affairs, and in 2016 she received the Rising Star Award from Drexel University’s Institute for Strategic Leadership as a Fellow in the Leading for Change program. Nicole is a lifelong Philadelphian, who has lived in France and Korea, but sees her deep roots in the region as a valuable asset, motivating her to invest in making her hometown a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, both newcomers and long-time residents.
Assistant Director, Lenfest Scholars, Foundation
Preston grew up in Lancaster, PA and later went on to study Sociology at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). While at F&M Preston played four years of varsity soccer and was accepted into the Socioeconomic Development internship in South Africa through the Ware Institute at F&M. Upon graduation, he received the Chris Campbell Memorial Award, has interned at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lancaster County, been active in politics and worked with the Pennsylvania College Advising Corp where he was a College Adviser at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy in Philadelphia. Preston is currently the Assistant Director of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation, where he helps students and families who are interested in going to some of the most competitive colleges in the country.
Analyst, LBC Credit Partners
Rachel-Paige Mumenthaler grew up in Skippack, PA and resides in the Museum District of Philadelphia. Rachel-Paige is currently an analyst for LBC Credit Partners, LLC, a private debt fund focused on providing financing solutions for middle-market clients in connection with leveraged buyouts, restructurings, recapitalizations and refinancings. Prior to her current role, Rachel-Paige worked as an investment banking analyst for PNC Debt Capital Markets. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College in 2015 with bachelor degrees in Economics and International Political Economy, and double minors in Spanish and Business. Rachel-Paige’s involvement in politics began at a young age. She helped start the Obama Campaign office in Montgomery County in 2008. She also interned for two years as a Legislative and Campaign Finance intern for then Senator and now Lt. Governor Michael J. Stack. During her time at Penn State, Rachel-Paige served as the College Democrats Campaign Chair during the 2012 Election, Fundraising Chair and Events Chair. Since graduation, Rachel-Paige is still very involved with her undergraduate institution. She participates in the Liberal Arts Mentor Program and the Schreyer Alumni Connect Mentoring Seminar and works with advisors to raise awareness and enrichment funding for the Paterno Fellows Program.
Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Raphael is an Assistant District Attorney at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. His primary responsibility is protecting the city through zealous, ethical, and effective prosecution. He currently litigates violent and property crime in East Division, identified in Philly as the highest volume of crime, including the areas of Kensington, Port Richmond, Juanita Park, Feltonville, Fishtown, and Northern Liberties. Before representing the Commonwealth, Raphael served the chambers of the Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He drafted opinions related to ineffectiveness of counsel, capital Post Conviction Relief Act cases, and police corruption claims. During school, he had the broad experience of working for Defender Association’s Juvenile Special Defense Unit, First Judicial District Complex Civil Litigation Division for the Honorable Paul Panepinto, and the District Attorney’s Office. Raphael earned his law degree with pro bono distinction from Widener University School of Law, graduated from Temple University with a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice, and proud alumnus of Roman Catholic High School. Additionally, he serves on the boards of SEAMAAC, a non-profit supporting immigrants and youth, and the 26th PDAC, a monthly council meeting with police and community residents addressing quality of life and enhancing public safety
Educator, Stephen Decatur Elementary School
Sara Watts is a fifth grade literacy, and social studies teacher at Stephen Decatur Elementary School in Philadelphia. She earned her degree in Elementary and Special Education from Temple University in 2011 and accepted her first teaching position that year at Antonia Pantoja Charter School. Her experiences there propelled her to deeply examine the issues that affect Philadelphia's youth. After teaching for a few years, she accepted a position as Coordinator of Outreach Education at the National Liberty Museum, where she taught the Young Heroes curriculum in twelve Philadelphia-area public, charter, and parochial schools. Although she loved outreach, her heart brought her back to the classroom in 2015. Sara believes that every child is capable of learning and deserves a high quality education. Outside of the classroom, Sara loves dancing, reading, being with her family, and hiking with her dog, Zoey.
Shannon DeVido is an accomplished actress, comedian, and singer. She has appeared in the Comedy Central Web Series Delco Proper, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, HULU's Difficult People (Andrea Mumford), Good Beer (Shannon), Law and Order:SVU (Beth Myers) and Sesame Street. As a stand up, she's performed around the country, including opening for Josh Blue and Jim Florentine. She can be seen performing around Philadelphia with her sketch groups Adventure Friends and Spirit Animal, and in her web series, Stare at Shannon.
Attorney, Richards, Layton & Finger P.A.
Steve Torok is an associate attorney at Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., in Wilmington, Delaware. He focuses his practice on matters related to commercial real estate, including the acquisition, sale, lease, finance and development of commercial real estate properties. He has co-authored articles that have appeared in Delaware Banker and The Practical Real Estate Lawyer. Steve obtained his J.D., cum laude, from William & Mary Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in History, with a minor in Political Science, from Gettysburg College. Steve was born and raised in Southern New Jersey and currently resides in Old City, Philadelphia. He has been involved with various organizations in the Delaware Valley and New Jersey. He recently served as a Mentor Coach with America Needs You - New Jersey, a non-profit mentoring program for first-generation college students. He is an active contributor to The Parkinson Council, where he is a co-founder of that organization's Young Friend's Board. Steve is also a (very) amateur musician, serving as a singing member of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia and as the youngest baritone in the Center City Chorale in Wilmington.
Vanessa Snyder is an attorney and active member of her community. When she isn’t defending corporations and non-profits in their employment and general liability matters, she can be found volunteering her time on the boards of organizations that benefit education, such as PhilaSoup, and pediatric cancer research, including chairing the 2017 Liberty Ball. Vanessa is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and is an active member of the Temple Law Women’s Leadership Initiative. In recognition of her work in this area, Vanessa was recently appointed to the Temple University Board of Trustees Student Life and Diversity Committee. Vanessa is a very proud graduate of Temple Law School and Ursinus College, and she is a former law clerk to now Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
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