Thursday, June 20, 2024



Power Moves: Pennsylvania’s Commission for Women just got some Philly flavor

Pennsylvania Commission for Women. October 24, 2017 Category: ColumnFeaturedPeople


Editor's note: The spelling of Carl Buchholz's name has been corrected. (10/24, 2:31 p.m.)

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

1. Three Philly leaders just joined the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

Wells Fargo CSR pro Tiffany Tavarez, TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman and Evolve Solutions founder and activist Salima Suswell have been appointed to the commission, a statewide volunteer advocacy group “responsible for advising the governor on policies and legislation that impact women.”

Tavarez, Welson-Rossman and Suswell join 10 other new appointees, including Chester County’s Rep. Carolyn T. Comitta. There were 20 existing commissioners, including Montgomery County Rep. Madeleine Dean; the Philadelphia Office of Special Events deputy managing director and director of operations, Jazelle Jones; and PASSi founder Im Ja Choi.

<em>Pauline Abernathy. (Courtesy photo)</em>

Pauline Abernathy. (Courtesy photo)

2. Benefits Data Trust hired its first chief strategy officer.

Pauline Abernathy has been tapped as the inaugural chief strategy officer for the benefits access nonprofit (and winner of the inaugural INTER/VIEW Shoutouts for Coolest Office).

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Abernathy previously worked as executive VP of nonprofit The Institute of College Access and Success, as well as senior advisor to Mayor Michael Nutter and deputy director of health and human services policy at Pew Charitable Trusts. She starts her new role on Nov. 1.

3. Media strategist Larry Ceisler is the new chair of WXPN’s policy board.

Penn’s member-supported public radio station picked Ceisler, principal of strategic communications company Ceisler Media, to head its policy board. Ceisler also serves on the board of food security nonprofit MANNA.

Per a release: “The 23-member board focuses on issues including WXPN’s mission, long-range goals and objectives, fundraising, budget and finance, as well as university and community service.”

4. College Possible Philadelphia picked Jen Weikert as its new executive director.

Weikert has previously worked as director of external relations for the Children’s Literacy Initiative and as executive director of the YWCA of PhiladelphiaThe college access and success nonprofit works with low-income high school students to improve their chances of not only enrolling in college, but graduating.

“During the 2016-2017 school year, College Possible Philadelphia coached 98% of our high school students to earn admission to college,” Weikert said in a statemet. “Building on the organization’s impact to date, I am confident that College Possible Philadelphia can be a key lever in closing the region’s degree divide, building a competitive workforce in Philadelphia and interrupting the cycle of poverty.”

Jen Weikert of College Possible Philadelphia.

Jen Weikert of College Possible Philadelphia. (Courtesy photo)

5. Meet the five inaugural Buchholz Fellows.

We’re a little late on this news: In September, nonprofit government watchdog org Committee of Seventy named its first five Buchholz Fellows:

  • Jennifer Devor — Director of partnerships at Campus Philly, elected committeeperson and president of Neighbors Invested in Childs Elementary
  • Gaige Flint — Director of government affairs at Comcast and board member of Philly Set Go
  • Christopher Havener — Associate VP and assistant general counsel of employment law at Aramark, and Committee of Seventy volunteer
  • Nathan Singh — Clinical fellow in Penn’s Division of Hematology and Oncology, founder and co-president of Moving Philly Forward and the founding member of Indivisible Leadership for Southeast Pennsylvania
  • Jason Tucker — VP of acquisitions and development at Goldenberg Group, cofounder of Philadelphia’s Leaders of Tomorrow and cofounder of PhilaSoup

Fellows will serve on Committee of Seventy’s board for a year and complete a policy-related project. The fellowship was created in honor of Carl Buchholz, a board member who passed away last year at the age of 51.

Reminder: The fall election is happening Tuesday, Nov. 7.

(Courtesy photo)

6. Samantha Porter is the city’s new director of place-based initiatives.

The Temple alumnae’s work in the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) will focus mostly on the Obama-designated West Philadelphia Promise Zone, meant to bring economic opportunities to the area between the Schuylkill River, Girard Avenue, 48th Street and Sansom Street, she wrote in an email.

“This designation creates opportunities for increased collaboration between community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, institutional partners and Promise Zone residents to address issues such as access to quality affordable housing, education, health and wellness, and economic and workforce development. I plan to really focus on community input and engagement, as well. Finally, this role allows me to further CEO’s larger mission, to support longstanding partnerships while simultaneously building new relationships that seek to strengthen anti-poverty efforts.”


West Philadelphia Promise Zone

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