Power Moves: Meet Generocity's new editor, Sabrina Vourvoulias - Generocity Philly

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Feb. 18, 2019 1:24 pm

Power Moves: Meet Generocity’s new editor, Sabrina Vourvoulias

Plus, new heads at Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and CDC, Tree House Books, UC Green, Share Food Program, Welcome America and a bunch of other Philly social impact organizations.

Sabrina Vourvoulias.

(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. Generocity’s next editor is NBC10 alum Sabrina Vourvoulias.

The seasoned journalist, who starts her work managing this news site today, previously spent five months as managing editor of integrated media at NBC10/Telemundo 62, where her team won an Emmy; four years as executive editor of the bilingual newspaper Al Día; and seven years as managing editor of the Catholic Standard & Times. Her reporting and opinion writing has been published at outlets across the region.

She succeeds Julie Zeglen (hi!), who is now sister site Technical.ly’s managing editor.

“I believe in the power of community. I’m inspired and energized by the number of organizations and individuals that are working cross-sector — from philanthropy to social justice, to design thinking and social innovation — to bring about significant, positive change in Philadelphia,” Vourvoulias said. “It is exciting to think about the stories, social impact strategies and plans I’ll learn about and signal boost as Generocity’s editor. I am grateful to be given this opportunity to continue to shape what Julie Zeglen, Technically Media cofounder and CEO Chris Wink and the Generocity team have so ably crafted: a distinctive news outlet with the mission of building better community.”

You can reach her at sabrina@generocity.org.

2. Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and CDC’s new head is Aishah Miller.

Aishah Miller. (Courtesy photo)

The bank’s philanthropic arm, which operates in Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, hired Miller at the end of last year as its executive director. She replaces Denise McGregor Armbrister, who worked as the org’s ED for nearly two decades before retiring in August.

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Previously, Miller was a German Marshall Memorial Fellow with a focus on global relationship building, as well as the executive VP for development at CDFI association Opportunity Finance Network.

3. Philadelphia City Council may be inheriting some nonprofit pros.

This fall, Philadelphians will vote for their next mayor, county sheriff, register of wills and all 17 City Council members. Among those who’ve already signaled their intent to run for Council: Fairmount Park Conservancy’s now-ex executive director, Jamie Gauthier, and Juntos‘ executive director, Erika Almirón (now on hiatus).

Gauthier took over the nonprofit that supports Philly’s parks system in July 2017 after working as its senior director of public partnerships for six months. Previously, she worked for four years as executive director of the Sustainable Business Network (SBN). She is seeking Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s West Philadelphia seat.

Almirón is a longtime social activist who has been leading the Latinx-focused nonprofit since 2011. She is seeking an at-large seat.

Also running for office is Campus Philly’s director of partnerships, Jennifer Devor, who stepped down from her role in January in hopes of snagging a city commissioner job in May.

4. Tree House Books’ new ED is Michael Brix.

The North Philadelphia-based nonprofit that encourages literacy through a giving library, a learning center and events such as Philadelphia Literacy Day announced Brix as its next leader in January. He spent the previous seven years as executive director of Yes! And … Collaborative Arts, an arts education nonprofit in Germantown, where he lives.

“I love books and reading,” he said in a statement. “I see Tree House Books as one of many strong literacy organizations working in Philly. Our strength is truly in the embrace of the community being built here. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and ownership our neighbors have with this space.”

Brix replaces a two-year interim role held by organizational consultant June Bretz. She had taken over from Michael Reid, who held the ED role for three years and now works as Philadelphia city director of Up2Us Sports.

Michael Brix. (Photo by Heather McBride Photography)

5. George Matysik is taking Steveanna Wynn’s spot at Share Food Program.

Matysik will become executive director of the food security nonprofit in March. He currently works as ED of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance and serves on the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council.

Wynn retired after 32 years with Share in November 2018 and moved to Nashville to live with family.

“At its heart Share is about community, and about respecting and nourishing everyone in our community,” Wynn said in a statement. “From working with George over the years, I’m confident that he embraces the essence of Share’s values, and will be a strong, caring leader of this wonderful organization.”

6. Following its interim head’s death, UC Green hired Kiasha Huling as its new director.

Kiasha Huling. (Courtesy photo)

The 20-year-old nonprofit that facilitates volunteer greening in University City named Huling to lead it in December. Her hire follows a nearly two-year period of transition following the February 2017 murder of its program manager and interim executive director, Winnie Harris.

“Winnie was a tremendous programming manager,” said UC Green Board Chair Ed Datz in an August interview. “She was not only committed to UC Green, it was her garden on her street, she was a community activist who participated in multiple elements of the community and dedication to greening.”

“But organizationally,” he said, “we relied on the strength and support that existed with her and the cooperation and collaboration and commitment of a group of people that then basically doubled down the efforts that the work that she had also done was continuing to thrive and continuing to exist.”

Ethan Leatherbarrow had been serving as an interim program coordinator before Huling, a University of Pennsylvania grad, took over. She previously worked as the director of outreach and social work at the Dr. Bernett L. Johnson Sayre Health Center in Cobbs Creek.

“I am honored to be continuing the powerful legacy of UC Green,” Huling said in a statement. “As West Philadelphia grows and develops, our commitment to bringing people together around a shared interest in the care of the land we occupy is not only fun for all involved but helpful for the collective good of our neighborhoods.”

7. Michael DelBene is Welcome America’s new president and CEO.

At the end of January, Welcome America, Inc. announced that corporate philanthropy pro DelBene, who worked most recently as VP of business development for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, had been hired to lead the 27-year-old nonprofit that runs events such as the Wawa Welcome America Festival on the Fourth of July.

DelBene, who also previously worked as head of major gifts at the National Constitution Center, fills the spot left by Jeff Guaracino, who left in the fall to head up tourism marketing agency Visit Philadelphia.

Michael DelBene. (Courtesy photo)

8. These social impact folks are also making moves …

  • Christine Stutman has stepped down from her role as executive director of Lutheran Settlement House after two years to take on an undisclosed “new professional opportunity,” per an email from the organization.
  • Greensgrow announced in January that Meg DeBrito has been selected as its new ED following Ryan Kuck’s departure; the nonprofit also promoted Ari Rosenberg to be its CFO and development director and Lee Baldwin to be its business director.
  • Hoa Pham became the director of workforce development at Urban League of Philadelphia in January after working as program manager of the Job Opportunity Investment Network for five years.
  • Communities in Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. replaced longtime, outgoing President and CEO Dawn McCray with Interim President Nyne Sellers, director of the nonprofit’s CIS Education Center, in January.
  • Steppingstone Scholars Director of Development Monique Curry-Mims left in February and founded her own consultancy, Civic Capital Consulting.
  • SBN hired Larry Downey as its new manager of membership growth and stewardship after he worked for the previous five years as the community manager for Lowcountry Local First in Charleston.
  • Germantown United CDC has two new staffers: Rhakeim Miller, its new neighborhood advisory committee manager, and Renae Bruce-Miller, its new corridor manager.
  •  The Phoenixville Community Health Foundation’s president and CEO of 21 years, Louis J. Beccaria, plans to retire this year.
  • Safehouse, a nonprofit hoping to open a supervised injection site in Kensington, hired public health pro Jeanette Bowles as its first executive director in January.

9. … and a whole bunch are receiving awards.

  • Chester County Fund for Women and Girls picked Good Samaritan Services Director of Permanent Housing Services Cheryl Miles to receive its 2019 Kitchen Table Award at its Making a Difference Luncheon on May 3.
  • Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians will give two awards at its gala on Feb. 28: Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, cofounder and VP of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation, will receive the Dennis Clark Solas Award, and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia will receive the Atlas Award for Advancing Opportunity Award.
  • The Power of Professional Women honored Bob Cane, general auditor of UGI Corporation, and David L. Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer of Comcast Corporation, as recipients of the inaugural Power Advocate Awards on Feb. 8.
  • Sunday Suppers‘ honorees for its Spring Supper 2019 event, happening April 16, are South Philly Barbacoa owners Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller.
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