Trustees

2020
John William Chin

John William Chin

John Chin is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), a non-profit organization, whose mission is to preserve, protect, and promote Chinatown as a viable, ethnic, residential and business community. His and PCDC’s core value of “self-determination” for neighborhoods results from the decades of environment injustice imposed upon Chinatown. He oversees four core programs: neighborhood planning and advocacy; support services to achieve housing and economic security and benefits access; economic development and small business assistance; and neighborhood beautification and mixed-income housing development. His passion is to ensure that there is equitable development for people of all incomes, races, ethnicities, and all neighborhoods. He has led the development of Crane Community Center project, which will open its doors in fall 2019 and provides Chinatown’s first center for wellness, recreation, and cultural celebration. John Chin serves on the board of numerous organizations including PHLDiversity and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, as well as the PHLCVB. He chairs the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and sits on The Trust for Public Land Advisory Board. He previously served on the steering committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Diversity, and Mayor’s Office of Community and Empowerment Opportunity. He served on the Boards of Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, Philadelphia Forward, and Reading Terminal Market. In 2010 he served on the Philadelphia School District’s Diversity Taskforce. He was the co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He served on transition teams for Mayors Nutter and Kenney. John joined PCDC in 2000 and graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Business Administration.
2020
Greg DeShields

Greg DeShields

Greg DeShields currently serves as the Executive Director at PHLDiversity a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Greg is a Graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, with an A.S. Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management; and B.S. Degree in Hospitality Management. Professional Development Leadership Graduate: Urban League of Philadelphia, Leadership Forum, Leadership Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange. His professional certifications include: American Hotel & Lodging Association, Educational Institute – Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and Asian American Hotel Owners Association – Certified Hotel Owner CHO) Previously, Greg served as Managing Director of Business Development and adjunct instructor for Temple University Fox School of Business & School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Industry Expert for Ying Mei Jia Tong International Business Consulting Co., Ltd. (Liaocheng and Tai'an, China) and faculty for Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Hospitality Educators. Professionally, Greg has been a manager in the hospitality industry for such companies as Hyatt Hotel, Omni Hotels, Sheraton Hotels, Korman Company, General Manager of Philadelphia OIC’s Opportunities Inn: Hospitality Training Institute Greg’s interests include cars, travel, and most importantly cooking.
2020
Jeri Lynn Johnson

Jeri Lynn Johnson

Jeri Lynne Johnson is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Chicago. In 1998 she won the Jorge Mester Conducting Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival and her conducting mentors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop and Daniel Barenboim. In 2005 Ms. Johnson made history as the first African-American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship. Since then, Ms. Johnson’s conducting engagements have included leading orchestras around the world including making her the first African-American woman to lead many orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony (UK), and the Weimar Staatskapelle in Germany. Her broad and eclectic musical tastes have allowed her to perform world-premieres of MacArthur Genius Grant winning classical composers as well as a ground-breaking collaboration at Carnegie Hall with rapper Jay Z, singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, and hip hop band The Roots. In 2008 she established her own orchestra in Philadelphia, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, with some of the top musicians in the country from diverse cultures and ethnicities as a model for the 21st-century orchestra. Through Black Pearl, she pioneered a fresh new approach to community engagement that has been imitated and adopted by orchestras across the country. The world-class quality of her concert performances have earned Black Pearl numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. And her innovative community engagement programs have made Black Pearl the only organization in the nation ever to win three prestigious Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grants. Ms. Johnson was heralded as one of today’s leading young women conductors on the NBC Today Show and she has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as television and radio shows around the world including 20/20 and the “Tavis Smiley Show” on NPR. She is also civically engaged and sits on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations including the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council. She enjoys playing golf, traveling, and spending time with her daughter, Evelyn.
2020
Yasmine Mustafa

Yasmine Mustafa

Yasmine brought Girl Develop It to Philadelphia, a non-profit providing affordable opportunities for women interested in learning software development. In addition, she sits on the board of Coded by Kids, a non-profit organization committed to providing free tech education to inner-city youth. BBC selected Yasmine as one of its 100 Women of 2016 due to her work in empowering women. She was also recognized as Upstart 100's most dynamic people shaping business, Philadelphia Magazine’s Top 20 Best Philadelphians of 2016, among others.
2020
Andrea R. Allon

Andrea R. Allon

Prior to joining the Chamber, Andrea was a Partner of Ernst & Young LLP overseeing audit services provided to public companies primarily in the financial services and technology industries. Andrea spent over 20 years with Ernst & Young in the Philadelphia and New York offices. She is a certified public accountant. Andrea represents the Chamber on the Boards of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies, the Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) where she serves as Vice Chair and chairs the audit committee. Andrea earned her MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
2020
Joseph G. Meterchick

Joseph G. Meterchick

Prior to assuming his current role, Meterchick served as regional president for Florida West, as well as PNC’s director of Corporate and Commercial Banking for the state. In that role, his responsibilities included business development and portfolio management for businesses with sales in excess of $10 million. Meterchick brings over 37 years of banking experience with PNC to its clients and prospects. Before assuming the regional president role in Florida West in 2011, Meterchick’s career at PNC included nearly 30 years in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. During that time, he led the corporate banking team in addition to serving as managing director of PNC Capital Markets and group manager in PNC Business Credit. Active in a range of community organizations, Meterchick is a board member, finance committee chair and executive committee member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Foundation Board of Overseers of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Meterchick received B.S. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University in Business Administration (Accounting) and Liberal Arts (Economics).
2020
Varsovia Fernandez

Varsovia Fernandez

Prior to joining Customers Bank, Ms. Fernandez served as CEO to the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where she helped achieve record levels of membership, revenues and member-driven activities through the implementation of new strategies and programs. Under Ms. Fernandez’s leadership the GPHCC created a voice for Hispanic business in the region by developing a programmatic strategy that helps build on the small business, professional and corporate Hispanic markets by focusing on market and leadership growth. Ms. Fernandez has over sixteen years of senior management expertise across industries including, not-for-profit, information technology, venture capital, commercial lending and ecommerce. For the past fourteen years Ms. Fernandez worked in the not for profit sector where she has been recognized for her work to maximize government and corporate relations as an advocate of the Latino community. Ms. Fernandez serves on various boards and commissions including Comcast National Joint Diversity Council, The Chamber for Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, POWER and Rosemont College. She most recently served in the board to the World Meeting of Families 2015, chaired the Community College of Philadelphia Board of Trustees, the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission and the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperative Authority (PICA).
2020
Alice Bast

Alice Bast

For years, Bast suffered from numerous, painful symptoms. She experienced hair loss, tooth decay, extreme fatigue, chronic migraines, canker sores, diarrhea, bloating, gastrointestinal pain, and tingling sensations in her fingers and toes. After one stillborn child and three midterm miscarriages, the 5-foot 9-inch Bast weighed just 105 pounds and kept getting sicker. Her second daughter was born seven weeks premature and weighed two pounds. In the decade since her symptoms had begun, Bast visited 22 doctors, none of whom correctly diagnosed her. Finally, a veterinarian suspected that Bast’s symptoms were food-related. A simple blood test confirmed the diagnosis of celiac disease. An estimated 3 million Americans of all races, ages, and genders suffer from celiac disease and a staggering 95% of celiacs (people with celiac disease) are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. A pharmaceutical cure for the disease has not been found and the only treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. In 2003, Bast founded the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) with a dual mission: to increase awareness of celiac disease in order to make early diagnosis standard, and to raise funds to support medical research and education. While the NFCA is not the only organization to support celiacs, Bast’s initiatives are the first to actively work to diagnose them. Since the establishment of the NFCA, the rate of diagnosis has dropped significantly from eleven to six years. To increase early diagnosis, Bast joined forces with area hospitals to create celiac centers which treat patients throughout the region. With a grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2004, Bast organized an international medical advisory board to help physicians diagnose celiac disease more quickly. She produced free online resources about celiac disease, through which primary-care physicians can earn continuing medical-education credits by studying.
2020
Uva C. Coles

Uva C. Coles

Uva’s most recent career accomplishments include an appointment to the Kenney administration’s workforce delegation to Germany; designing Peirce College’s career center-- developed around the needs of first-generation adult learners; and creating Peirce’s signature Women in Leadership annual event featuring local and regional C-suite executives. A workforce and career development thought leader, Uva has served on the City of Philadelphia’s Workforce Steering Committee and she has also co-chaired the education sub-committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Roadmap for Growth Steering Committee. In 2018, Uva served as a board member with the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia where she participated in the Workforce Equity initiative and co-chaired the 2018 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange Conference. She was also the recipient of the Social Innovations Award for her leadership in leveraging higher education as a poverty disruptor in underserved communities. Currently, Uva serves on the boards of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Awards, and West Oak Lane Charter School. She is also a member of the Philadelphia Global Identity Advisory Board led by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. Uva is an alumna of the Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum ’17, the Preeminent Growth Collaborative ’16, and LEADERSHIP Philadelphia ’11. A seasoned higher education executive, professional speaker, trainer and writer, Uva’s work has been featured in numerous publications including the Philadelphia Business Journal, Philly.com, Forbes.com, U.S. News Weekly, Al Dia News, Generocity, and Metro, to name a few. An Afro-Latina native of the Republic of Panama, Uva resides in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband and their two sons. Uva has a Master’s degree in Business Management from Wilmington University and a Bachelor’s in English from Claflin University.
2020
David L. Cohen

David L. Cohen

Mr. Cohen has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including corporate communications, government and regulatory affairs, public affairs, legal affairs, corporate administration, and community investment, and serves as senior counselor to the CEO. Before assuming this position in July of 2002, Mr. Cohen served as a partner in and Chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. A native of New York, Mr. Cohen graduated from Swarthmore College in 1977 with a BA and with a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (summa cum laude) in 1981. From January 1992 to April 1997, Mr. Cohen served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. As detailed in the book A Prayer for the City, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger, Mr. Cohen played a critical coordinating role in significant budgetary and financial issues, in economic development activities, in collective bargaining negotiations, and in a wide variety of other policy and operational issues relating to the city. Mr. Cohen serves as Chairman of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its Executive Committee. Mr. Cohen also serves as a member of the Trustee Board and the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine. In addition, Mr. Cohen serves on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the CEO Council for Growth. Mr. Cohen serves as Vice Chair of City Year and is Chair of its Governance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. He also serves on the national board of the National Urban League and is Chair of its Audit Committee and Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Council of La Raza. Mr. Cohen has received numerous awards for his civic and charitable activities, including the Americanism Award of the Anti-Defamation League (1993), the American Red Cross Citizen of the Year Award (1999), the National Cable Television Association, Vanguard Award for Leadership and Impact in the Cable Industry (2005), the President’s Volunteer Service Award (2007), the MS Society Hope Award (2007), the Drexel University Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), the National Urban League of Philadelphia Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), the William Penn Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (2012), the Spirit of Asian American Award (2012), the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award (2012), and the Minority Media Telecommunications Council Digital Equality Award (2013). Mr. Cohen also was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Drexel University in 1997 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Rider University in 2010. Mr. Cohen lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their two sons.
2020
M. Claire Lomax

M. Claire Lomax

In 2003, the Lomax Family Foundation (“LFF”) was established and Ms. Lomax became its Chief Executive Officer. Since its inception, Ms. Lomax has led the family philanthropic efforts by ensuring that LFF satisfied its mission to promote art/culture, health/wellness, education and philanthropy in the African American community. In her capacity as CEO of LFF, Ms. Lomax oversees the funding guidelines approved by the Board of Trustees, the grant awards process, investment portfolio, partnerships with other grantors and communication with the grantee community. Since 2006, Ms. Lomax has served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Pennsylvania. She is Chair of the Trustee Student Life Committee and Vice Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity. She is also on the Board of Overseers for the Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice and the Trustee representative on the WXPN Policy Board. Ms. Lomax is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Philadelphia Award Foundation as well as a past Chair and current member of the Board of Directors for the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She is a proud Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania and a member the Forum of Executive Women. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Law Center, Ms. Lomax is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
1916
Pedro Ramos

Pedro Ramos

Ramos has a long history of service in law, business, government, and nonprofit organizations in the region. He practiced law in Philadelphia-based national law firms for more than two decades, while serving on numerous nonprofit boards in human services, economic development, and arts and culture. He served the City of Philadelphia both as its Managing Director and as the City Solicitor. For the School District of Philadelphia, he served on the Board of Education from December 1995 to December 2001 and on the School Reform Commission from 2011 to 2013, each of which he chaired for two years. He was also University Vice President and Chief of Staff to the former Penn President Dr. Judith Rodin. Currently, he serves on the boards of CF Leads, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Award, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Journalism in New Media, FS Investment Corporation (NYSE: FSIC), Amerigas (NYSE: APU), and Independence Health Group. Ramos grew up primarily in North Philadelphia and Olney, attended public schools and graduated from Central High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Drexel University. Ramos also completed an Eisenhower Fellowship, an international program that encourages innovative leaders to enhance their skills, enrich our world and encourage justice and peace.
1916
Margot Berg

Margot Berg

Anative Philadelphian, Margot has served in her current capacity as Public Art Director since October 2006, managing the nation’s oldest municipal Percent for Art Program and the care of the nation’s largest and most renowned public art collection. Margot earned a BA in sociology and urban studies from the University of Delaware, a Masters Degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and has over twenty years of experience working in the public and nonprofit sectors in community planning and arts administration, including seventeen years in public art administration. Her preservation program was awarded the 2015 and 2016 Grand Jury Award of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. She is the author of the 2015 A Guide to Public Art in Philadelphia.
1916
Prema Katari Gupta

Prema Katari Gupta

Described by Politico as "the coolest shipyard in America" and by ULI as "one of the most successful office/industrial master-planned redevelopments in U.S. history," the Navy Yard is a 1,200-acre thriving waterfront community, with 7.5 million square feet of real estate in a mix of historic buildings and LEED®-certified construction oriented around world-class open space. The Navy Yard is home to more than 13,000 employees and 152 companies. From 2010-15, ran and originated the Planning and Economic Development at University City District, where she developed some of the most innovative public space projects in the country. Before working at UCD, Prema was a Real Estate Manager in PIDC’s Real Estate Services group. She has also worked at Yale University and at the Urban Land Institute, where she authored a book on placemaking in mixed-use development. She is a board member of the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Raised in Connecticut, Prema is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. She lives in West Mount Airy with her husband and two small children.
1916
Dr. Keith Leaphart

Dr. Keith Leaphart

In 2016, Dr. Leaphart established Wallsome, an innovative design firm, specializing in creative wall graphics. Seven years ago, Dr. Leaphart also assumed leadership of Replica Creative, a print shop located in the Center City area of Philadelphia and in 2013, as president and CEO, he leveraged the company’s more than 35 years of business experience with his collaborative leadership style to launch the Creative Café @ Replica in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, the first café hybrid of its kind in the country. Prior to Dr. Leaphart’s transition to a physician entrepreneur, his commitment to service led him to work as a “long-term” substitute in the School District of Philadelphia at George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science. He completed his undergraduate work at Hampton University; earning a BS in Biology. While working towards a dual DO/MBA degree, he served as an administrative intern at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. During this time, he established two independent businesses, while earning his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a business degree from Saint Joseph’s University. Dr. Leaphart completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Since 2005, he has practiced medicine at the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Leaphart serves on the boards of the Lenfest Foundation, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Greater Philadelphia Traditions, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Philanthropy Network, Philadelphia Youth Basketball, Philadelphia Media Network, The Philadelphia Award, The Science Center and The Lenfest Scholars Foundation. He is also a 2013 recipient of the Vision for Philadelphia Award.
1916
Harold T. Epps

Harold T. Epps

Formerly, Harold was the Vice-Chairman of the Board of PRWT Services and served as PRWT’s President and CEO from 2007 – 2014. PRWT Services is one of America’s largest minority-owned firms and a $100M provider of high-performance business solutions, facilities management and infrastructure support services. Prior executive roles include Quadrant, Menasha Corporation and Polaroid, where Harold led subsidiaries and divisions with annual revenues up to $175M and 2,000 employees. Epps’ personal commitment to workforce development and business opportunity diversity and inclusion drive his civic and board activities. Harold is currently a member of the North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees and Co-Chairman of the Comcast National African-American Advisory Council. He also serves on the following Boards: Philadelphia International Airport Advisory Board, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Select Greater Philadelphia, Global Philadelphia Association and PHLCVB, among others. Formerly, Harold served as the Chairman of the African-American Museum of Philadelphia, and was an executive committee member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and The Urban League of Philadelphia. Harold holds a Master of Business Administration from Western New England College and a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina Central University.
1916
Curtis Kise

Curtis Kise

Born and raised in Philadelphia, educated in New England, Curtis has also lived in Venice Beach, California and Portland, Maine. Owner of Neighborhood Books in Center City, Philadelphia, Kise is an expert in rare and collectible books. He is honored to be the Bok family representative on the Board of Trustees for the Philadelphia Award.
1916
Mailee Walker

Mailee Walker

Prior to joining the Claneil Foundation, she was vice president, communication/program officer of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. She previously served as executive director of the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program and project coordinator for the Neighborhood Improvement Initiative in California.. Mailee serves as a board member of The Philadelphia Award. She is a steering committee member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders and an advisory board member of The Center for Hunger-Free Communities. She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and Asian Mosaic Fund Giving Circle. Mailee earned a BA in urban studies from Stanford University and an MBA in change management from the Wharton Graduate School of Business. She is an alumna of the Coro Fellows Program, the Center on Philanthropy's Jane Addams Fellowship, and Leadership Philadelphia.
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