Power Moves is a semi-regular column chronicling leadership movements within Philly’s social impact community. Send announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Damali Rhett is leaving Philadelphia to join “the largest renewable generator of electricity in America.”
Rhett was hired by the member-owned retail energy cooperative in 2016 after working as an energy and environment strategy and process consultant, as well as commercial director at renewable energy company Enviva. She’ll start a new gig in September, though she declined to share the name of the organization or what her new position would be.
“While I am sad to be leaving Philly, a community that has willingly embraced me and my passion for renewable energy and energy as a form of social justice, I am excited to be joining the largest renewable generator of electricity in America,” Rhett wrote in an email. “I plan to continue to give a voice in spaces where it is not often heard that energy is a critical form of social justice and renewable energy should be a right, not a privilege.”
Apply for her old job here.
2. Naomi Gonzalez is the Mann Center’s new director of education and community engagement.
Gonzalez comes to the outdoor music center following two years as manager of collaboration and access at the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. Previously, she worked as the lead teaching artist at Play On, Philly!
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The arts educator succeeds Rhoda Blount, who recently retired after 22 years at the organization.
3. New Sanctuary Movement’s Blanca Pacheco has been promoted to co-director.
Pacheco, an immigrant herself, will lead the immigrant rights nonprofit alongside Peter Pedemonti after cofounding the organization 10 years ago. She worked as its assistant director for the past two years and as a community organizer for the previous four, and has also volunteered on its Know Your Rights Committee, served on its board and developed NSM’s listening campaigns.
NSM attracted negative attention in recent months for the firing of three immigrant organizers after they raised concerns about Pedemonti’s leadership. In the same newsletter announcing Pacheco’s promotion, the organization stated the matter had been settled:
“With respect to the events involving NSM and a group of former employees that have been reported in the media, the parties have reached a just resolution regarding the terms of the former staff members’ termination of employment and the availability of legal fees. The parties are committed to moving forward for the good of the immigrant community.”
4. Philadelphia Outward Bound School picked a new head as its outgoing ED goes national.
The experiential education nonprofit that sometimes sends donors and reporters rappelling down skyscrapers announced a major leadership transition earlier this month.
Its longtime executive director, Katie Newsom Pastuszek, stepped down to become the chief advancement officer of parent organization Outward Bound USA on July 1.
She has been replaced by Meg Wise, who worked for the previous seven years as ED of Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse.
POBS is also in the process of building the Discovery Center, a Civic Commons project with Audubon Pennsylvania in East Fairmount Park, which will serve as its base of operations. The hub is expected to open in September.
5. Wharton Social Impact Initiative hired Nisa Nejadi as its new comms manager.
Nejadi joined the social entrepreneurship and impact investing research arm of Penn’s business school in May. She previously worked as Teach for America’s director of recruitment marketing and communications.
“I’ve always been a strong believer that education is a vehicle for change, and now I’m looking forward to illustrating how business, too, is a key player in solving the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges,” she wrote in an email.
“Starting with the launch of our new website, my goal is to highlight the work of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative as well as the entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers who are creating social change through business.”
6. Maura Shenker is now director of Temple’s Small Business Development Center.
The former director of Saint Joseph’s University’s Center for Professional Development joined the North Philadelphia university in June; SBDCs are resource hubs where small biz owners can access expert consultations, startup incubation services and events to connect them to lenders and investors, all for free. Shenker also previously worked as VP of development for nonprofit financial institution Finanta.
Temple SBDC’s program is expanding to offer classes in Spanish, she wrote in an email, and will be hiring for several positions soon.
7. The mayor just appointed five new members to the Community College of Philadelphia Board of Trustees.
In support of a “more robust partnership between the College and Philadelphia’s business community,” Mayor Jim Kenney picked five trustees from a list submitted by a nominating panel, per a press release:
- H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO of Philadelphia Works, Inc.
- Harold T. Epps, commerce director of the City of Philadelphia
- Sheila Ireland, ED of the Office of Workforce Development in the City of Philadelphia
- Sharon A. Jean-Baptiste, regional director for solutions and technology, Jacobs
- Mindy M. Posoff, managing director of Golden Seeds and founder of Traversent Capital Partners, LLC
V. Steve Herzog, senior VP of strategic planning at Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and Jeremiah J. White, Jr., CEO of White and Associates, were both reappointed. They join eight other board members.
8. John Moeller Jr. is now Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s director of development.
The social services nonprofit hired Moeller in June to lead its fundraising efforts via individual and philanthropic donors, planned giving, special events and the like.
He previously worked in development leadership positions at Blossom Philadelphia, Planned Parenthood Keystone and Planned Parenthood Association of Bucks County. He also worked as executive director of the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund from 2011 to 2012.
CCTC is hiring now for a development and marketing specialist.
9. United Way, Philadelphia Education Fund, Kimmel Center and Pathways to Housing have new board members.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey:
- Darrell Giles, partner at Mitchell Titus
- Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University
- Marcos Lopez, founder and CEO of Exude, Inc.
- Sharmain Matlock Turner, president and CEO of Urban Affairs Coalition
- Jennifer Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Sonya Weigle, managing principal of SWC Management Consulting
Philadelphia Education Fund:
- Markus Weidner, chief innovation officer of Pennoni
- Kenneth Seiler, ED of system planning of PJM Interconnection
- Tom Morrison, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts:
- Bart Blatstein, president and CEO of Tower Investments, Inc.
- Obra S. Kernodle IV, commissioner of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
- Jeffrey A. Leonard, attorney at Cozen O’Connor
- Stanley C. Middleman, founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corporation
- Tanya Roberts-Graham, director of corporate compensation at Independence Blue Cross
- Amy Gavin, impact manager at Gavin/Solmonese
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