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Power Moves: Markita Morris-Louis is leaving the Arts + Business Council

Markita Morris-Louis. April 22, 2019 Category: ColumnFeaturedLongPeople


Updated to add photo of Harold and Lynne Honickman. (4/23/19, 1:28 p.m.)

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

1. Markita Morris-Louis to leave the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.

Morris-Louis has resigned as executive director of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s arts council. She has been there since Nov. 5, 2018.

“Though I have been part of this team for only a short time, I’ve been overwhelmed by your generosity of spirit, collegiality and support,” she wrote in her letter to the Chamber. “Very recently, I was presented with a compelling opportunity on a national scale to support women of color living in public housing to move out of poverty. This work has deep personal resonance with me given my upbringing and speaks to the highest and truest expression of my being. Only something so deeply meaningful would cause me to leave ABC at this time.”

Morris-Louis told Generocity that “the career-defining opportunity” she has accepted is as chief strategy officer at Compass Working Capital (CWC) — the Boston-based company that trains public housing residents to build credit so they can move to home ownership. Last year, CWC was one of the recipients of a $600,000 investment by GreenLight Fund Philadelphia to scale its work in Philly.

Morris-Louis has said she will stay on in her role through May 29.

2. Orlando Esposito named chief financial officer of the Philadelphia Foundation.

Orlando Esposito. (Courtesy)

Esposito, a financial services executive with a history of in nonprofit and community leadership, has been appointed as chief financial officer of the The Philadelphia Foundation. In his role he will provide strategy and leadership at an enterprise level, growing results and meaningful partnerships for the foundation.

From our Partners

“Orlando’s knowledge and expertise bring an exciting mix of financial and nonprofit leadership and an orientation to service which will truly accelerate our next century of positive community impact.” said Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the foundation.

Esposito has deep roots in the Philadelphia area — he grew up in Kensington, graduated from Central High School, earned his bachelor’s degree from Philadelphia University and his MBA from Villanova. He most recently served as executive VP and head of PNC’s asset management group, and was part of the executive committee of the local United Way, leading its 2017-2018 campaign. He has also served on the boards of the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Thomas Jefferson University and TouchPoint Inc.

3. Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia names Daria Torres its first executive in residence.

Daria Torres. (Courtesy)

Torres, managing partner of the Walls Torres Group, will be joining the Philanthropy Network in May as its first executive in residence. She will be leading the organization’s inaugural Equity Cohort — a 12-month immersive program designed to foster awareness, reflection, and institutional change among regional funders regarding structural and systemic barriers to equity, particularly as they pertain to race.

“Daria’s experience working across the philanthropic sector combined with her experience facilitating partnerships and collaboratives focused on the alleviation of inequities across sectors makes her uniquely qualified to lead this important work,” said Sidney Hargro, president of Philanthropy Network.

Torres holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia, a master’s in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in operations and information management from The Wharton School. She also serves as the board chair of Giving Cycle, is an alumni trustee of the University of Virginia IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Fund, and is a founding member of the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle.

4. David Heayn-Menendez and Ranem Atia join Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.

Ranem Atia and David Heayn-Menendez of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture. (Courtesy photo)

Heayn-Menendez is the Arab arts and culture nonprofit’s new director of public education. Heayn-Menendez, a Philly native, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Villanova, a doctorate from CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, and studied Arabic at the University of Jordan. He taught history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and at CUNY, and history and religious studies at Pennsylvania College of Technology and Susquehanna University prior to his appointment at Al-Bustan.

Atia is the assistant for the Immigrant Alphabet project. Atia worked as a language specialist at a clinic for students with disabilities while she studied at the American University in Cairo. She has also worked as a seventh grade English and social studies teacher, and as a science and literacy curriculum developer at UC Berkeley. She earned her bachelor’s degree and a certificate in Arabic language and linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

5. Tahnee Jackson leaves Leeway Foundation.

Leeway’s communications and community engagement assistant has left the organization to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, including the development of Sacred Skin, a line of natural skin care products.

6. As noted in other Generocity stories …

L to r: Michael Banks, Jessica Paschke, Ellen Hwang, Ginger Zielinskie. (Courtesy photos)

7. Project HOME, One Step Away, WOAR presented awards and recognitions to 14 honorees in April.

Harold and Lynne Honickman at the Project HOME gala, where they were honored with an award. (Courtesy photo)

Project HOME presented a lifetime achievement award to Lynne and Harold Honickman at the organization’s 30th anniversary gala on April 16.


One Step Away Philly named its 2019 Philly Heroes:

  • Sonia Thompson, Mental Health Partnerships
  • Melissa Clark, St. John’s Hospice
  • Dr. Tina Castellan, Stephen Klein Wellness Center
  • Carnita Washington, The Center at Arch Street United Methodist Church
  • Stephanie Michel, North 5th Street Revitalization Project
  • Janelle Lewis, RHD Cedar Park Safe Haven
  • Jim McPhail, RHD Kailo Haven
  • Joe Cox, PMA Bike Ride
  • Matt Tice, Pathways to Housing PA


Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) honored three outstanding Philadelphians during April, acknowledging them as advocates in the fight against rape and sexual assault:

  • Tracy Davidson, NBC10, received the Carole Johnson Humanitarian Award
  • Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown received a Bridge of Courage Award
  • Councilwoman Helen Gym received a Bridge of Courage Award

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and WOAR’s Dr. Monique Howard. (Courtesy photo)


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