Women's Medical Fund found its new executive director in Elicia Gonzales - Generocity Philly

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Jul. 7, 2017 1:58 pm

Women’s Medical Fund found its new executive director in Elicia Gonzales

Plus, leadership shakeups and board appointments at Philadelphia Theatre Co., Milkcrate, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Jobs with Justice and more.

Elicia Gonzalez.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a semi-regular column chronicling leadership movements within Philly’s social impact community. Send announcements to philly@generocity.org.


1. Elicia Gonzales is Women’s Medical Fund’s new head.

The abortion access nonprofit announced earlier this week that nonprofit pro and cofounder of sex positivity collective SEXx would be taking over as of Wednesday, July 12. Longtime WMF Executive Director Susan Schewel left the organization at the end of May after serving as its head since 2003.

Gonzales previously worked as the executive director of LGBTQ Latino nonprofit GALAEI for six years, overseeing its move from Center City to Kensington in 2015, before departing last spring. She also serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Bread & Roses Community Fund and Camp Sojourner Girls’ Leadership Program, and is an adjunct professor of human sexuality at Widener University.

WMF provides emergency funding for low-income women seeking abortions. Last year, of about 3,200 people who called WMF looking for help, about 2,500 received funding at an average of $152 per person, according to Gonzales — and 73 percent of those 3,200 were already mothers.

“While the current sociopolitical climate is dire and something that is causing a lot more violence toward marginalized communities,” including people of color and lower-income people, she said, “the experience of racists and classist policies have been in place in this country for decades. WMF will continue to work to make sure the most marginalized communities have access to reproductive healthcare.”

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One of the organization’s biggest goals is to advocate for repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which dictates that federal funds may not be used to pay for abortions, including through Medicaid, Gonzales said.

“To know that these kinds of restrictive laws are having a direct and immediate impact on poor women and women of color are something we need to shine a light on,” she said.

2. Comcast exec David Cohen is the Philadelphia Theatre Company board chair.

The telecommunications corporation’s senior executive VP is upgrading after serving as vice chair of the board for two years. He is replacing board chair E. Gerald Riesenbach.

The nonprofit also announced in April that it would be producing a lean lineup of shows for the 2017-2018 season “to get our house in order,” including its debt, as Reisenbach told Philly.com.

3. MilkCrate hired a new CTO, Darla Wolfe.

The B Corp just got that much more legit with the appointment of Wolfe, who most recently worked as managing principal of Sweat EquitE, LLC, a startup that connects job seekers with small businesses and nonprofits.

Wrote founder Morgan Berman in an email to MilkCrate’s newsletter subscribers: “Our new Chief Technology Officer, Darla Wolfe, has already made a huge contribution to our relationship with Comcast, and we are thrilled to have her fill this role with her decades of experience and delightful personality.”

Note that MilkCrate is also hiring right now for a business development manager.

4. Pennsylvania Humanities Council has a handful of new board members.

Gov. Tom Wolf just appointed three new members to the arts and culture organization’s board of directors: Erie’s Gwendolyn White, Shippensburg’s Allen Dieterich-Ward and Bala Cynwyd’s Christina Donato Saler.

Donato Saler is a lawyer currently working as senior counsel for Chimicles & Tikellis LLP. She previously worked as a senior account executive with Philly ad company Tierney Agency.

5. Jamie Gauthier is Fairmount Park Conservancy’s new executive director.

As we reported last week, it was by mutual agreement between the FPC board and former ED Rick Magder that he would leave the organization as of July 1. Gauthier is currently working as acting executive director, but the intention is for the position to become permanent by the end of September.

Magder was upfront about the organizational lessons that could be learned from the shakeup: Don’t be afraid to admit when someone’s not a good fit, as he wasn’t, and have a backup plan.

“Being prepared to not rest solely on one person is always a good idea,” he said. “It’s about the organization, not the individual.”

6. The Barnes Foundation is losing its chief curator.

Sylvie Patry is heading back to Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, where she previously worked for more than 10 years, to become its deputy director for curatorial affairs and collections. Patry will be replaced Barnes’ associate curator, Cindy Kang, who will work as the curatorial department’s interim head.

7. Ashley Del Bianco will no longer be working on the Mayor’s Fund’s daily operations.

The city’s nonprofit arm is getting a major makeover — which involves Del Bianco, its part-time executive director, stepping down. Del Bianco also works as the city’s chief grants officer and will keep that job, as well as serve on the revamped Mayor’s Fund board come fall.

“What we’ve found over the past year is that we really need a full-time executive director to be fully functioning,” she told Generocity.

8. Jobs with Justice’s head is stepping down.

Eight-year executive director Gwen Snyder is leaving the “coalition of labor unions, community groups, faith groups, and student groups that conducts grassroots campaigns around economic and social justice issues.” She will replaced by Devan Spear, who will be formally introduced at JwJ’s Solidarity Awards Dinner on July 10.

9. Lisa Greener is the new ED of Lancaster’s Community Basics, Inc.

The housing nonprofit promoted Greener from her position as director of finance in June following the retirement of Ken Smith, who had worked as its executive director for 17 years. Community Basics’ new director of finance is Loaida Rodriguez.

10. PAFA’s new museum director is finally on the job.

Brooke Davis Anderson took over the head position at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art five weeks ago after being selected for the position in the fall. She previously served as the director of New Orleans art festival “Prospect.”

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Julie Zeglen

Julie Zeglen is the editor of Generocity. Previous to joining the Technically Media team, she served as managing editor of Star Community Newsweekly, a hyperlocal newspaper focused on Philadelphia’s River Wards. The Temple alumna lives in West Philly.

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