Jan. 16, 2018 1:49 pm

Power Moves: City Hall shakeups, nonprofit departures and a new poet laureate

Leadership changes in Philly's commerce, public health and innovation and technology departments — plus, Sustainable Business Network is out of a policy manager, and CASA Youth Advocates has a new ED.

Francisco Garcia.

(Courtesy photo)

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

1. Francisco Garcia is the city’s new director of business development for innovation and technology.

This young policy pro is the new Archna Sahay — sort of.

Sahay left her job as director of entrepreneurial investment to join Jeremy Nowak in his consulting biz last June. Since then, the renamed Department of Commerce position has sat vacant.

Garcia, who most recently worked as GoodCompany Ventures’ finance fellow, is the city’s “main liaison with the local tech community” as of November, charged with encouraging startups to relocate and grow here as well as managing StartupPHL programs.

Garcia is also a current Lipman Family Prize fellow and will complete a graduate program at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government this spring.

2. Philly’s chief information officer is out.

Sister site Philly broke this news Friday evening: CIO Charlie Brennan has left the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology, though it’s not clear if by choice.

The former cop took on the role two years ago under the then-new Kenney administration following the departure of Adel Ebeid, the chief innovation officer credited with “institutionalizing civic tech in City Hall.”

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Charlie Brennan. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

3. Global Philadelphia Association named its 2017 Globy winners.

In December, Philly’s nonprofit to encourage international partnerships announced the latest winners of its annual awards for “globally active leaders” doing noteworthy work in the region.

Here are the 2017 Globy Awards winners:

  • Corporate Leadership Award — Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport
  • Community Leadership Award — Tiffany Chang Lawson, executive director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
  • Education Leadership Award — Deborah Diamond, president, Campus Philly
  • Lifetime Achievement Award — Christiaan Morssink, executive director, UNA-GP
  • Heritage Leadership Award — Paul Steinke, executive director, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Raquel Salas Rivera. (Photo via

4. Raquel Salas Rivera is Philly’s new poet laureate.

The Puerto Rico native has been named the city’s 2018-2019 poet laureate by the Free Library of Philadelphia, a role in which they are tasked with leading a local cultural movement around poetry.

Rivera is the author of several poetry works, including a forthcoming book called “lo terciario/the tertiary.”

5. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education snagged Widener’s senior fundraiser as its VP of development.

The international membership association for educational institutions hired Linda Durant from the Chester-based university in December.

Durant worked as Widener’s senior VP for university advancement for nearly 15 years and had been a longtime volunteer for CASE in various capacities, including by serving on its board of trustees. She takes on the newly created role in February.

Saleem Chapman.

Saleem Chapman. (Courtesy photo)

6. Saleem Chapman left Sustainable Business Network.

The business advocacy nonprofit lost its policy and advocacy manager in December.

Chapman, a native of Cobbs Creek (and an awesome oratortold us in 2016 that to him, there’s no separating economic and environmental sustainability, which is why he saw his work with SBN to be so crucial to solving the city’s economic inequality problem.

A letter to members this month from ED Anna Shipp indicated Chapman left by choice; requests for comment from Chapman went unanswered. SBN is currently hiring for three other positions.

7. The city hired its first harm-reduction coordinator.

Allison Herens is charged with thinking about how the Department of Public Health can be more human-centered in its tackling of the opioid crisis, which includes the expansion of naloxone trainings. The creation of the role was one of the recommendations set forth by the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia in a report released last May.

Herens penned an essay on her experiences with the opioid crisis for the city’s website:

“Long before becoming a Harm Reduction Coordinator and before it became the topic of every news headline internationally, I knew there was an opioid crisis. Growing up in Camden County, NJ, I was only sixteen years old when the first person I knew died of an opioid overdose.”

Check out her WHYY radio interview here.

Leigh Anne McKelvey. (Courtesy photo)

8. Leigh Anne McKelvey is CASA Youth Advocates’ new ED.

The nonprofit’s former program director and assistant executive director takes over the role from Anne Shenberger, who is stepping down to become its strategic director.

CASA trains volunteers to advocate for children in Delaware and Chester counties’ welfare systems. According to a release, during her previous 10 years with the organization, McKelvey helped it expand to serve 40 percent more cases (to 134), triple its staff (to nine) and quadruple its operating budget (to $1 million).

9. PACDC made a comms hire.

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations announced this week it hired Zakya Hall as its new membership and communications coordinator to support its Community Development Leadership Institute, among other comms efforts.

The recent Penn grad and North Philadelphia native most recently worked as a leadership and community action fellow at Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Markita Morris-Louis. (Courtesy photo)

10. Two Clarifi staffers joined nonprofit boards.

The financial services nonprofit’s team is making moves:

  • Senior VP of Community Affairs and General Counsel Markita Morris-Louis was elected vice chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the FHLBank Pittsburgh.
  • Director of Community Engagement Soneyet Muhammad joined the Debt Advisory Group of the Aspen Institute’s EPIC: the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative.

President Patty Hasson was also recently reappointed to serve on the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s board of directors.

11. Resources for Human Development CEO Marco Giordano’s interim position is permanent.

This news is hardly a surprise, as the giant human services nonprofit’s leadership made its intention to keep Giordano in the top spot was made clear as soon as Dyann Roth vacated the post in June.

Giordano, formerly RHD’s chief financial officer, told us later that summer that he would strive to scale the organization’s programming, which currently reaches 15 states, and diversify its revenue sources.

Marco Giordano.

Marco Giordano. (Courtesy photo)


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